Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Light reading catch-up

I have again left it too long since last logging....

I find this time of year challenging: very tired still from a demanding fall semester, in theory delighted to now be having quiet time at home but in practice too worn out to be making good use of it! A minor lung ailment is limiting total exercise, though I refuse to let it stop me from inaugurating a good run streak. I want to be working but I can't even finish unpacking, and I still have school stuff to finish off (tomorrow, I hope, if I can get it together) before I can really get my head into the new stuff. Very glum and inertial today until I finally dragged myself out the door for a rather chilly run; hoping that if I can run earlier tomorrow, the whole rest of the day will go better as well.

Have basically been having large amounts of very soothing light reading that I may not log individually (I am also due the traditional end-of-year book recommendation post: may do that tomorrow as I do not intend to go out to celebrate the holiday!):

A strange but quite readable thriller, Dwayne Alexander Smith's Forty Acres; a well-written and remarkably appealing pair of North London procedural/noir crime novels (it is slightly implausible that a character in such dire straits at the opening of the first volume would have it so much together as the author implies, but they are very enjoyable, and set exactly in my grandparents' neck of the woods), Oliver Harris, The Hollow Man and Deep Shelter; five novels by Liane Moriarty (these are not my preferred genre, but she is an amazingly good storyteller - these are the books you want for airport reading, the hours pass by in a flash) and then a couple of young-adult novels by her sister Jaclyn Moriarty, the Cracks in the Kingdom books.

An excellent advance copy came in the mail and I devoured it: this is the latest installment in Bill Loehfelm's Maureen Coughlin series (start at the beginning, the writing is very good), The Devil She Knows.

Then I think my favorite of all this batch, a recommendation I plucked (along with several others - I think that was where I got Oliver Harris as well) from a useful Facebook thread instigated by Bruce Holsinger in traditional end-of-semester desperation: Elizabeth Wein's two mesmerizingly good WWII novels, Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, then her excellent five-book YA series The Lion Hunters. These last in particular are so much like what I would like to have written myself that I feel EW must be my writerly alter ego (and indeed I see commonalities in the bio)! Very fresh (especially after the first one, which is perhaps a little too much in the Mary Stewart Arthurian vein), but also wonderfully familiar: with all the strengths of Rosemary Sutcliff plus a hint of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond and Niccolo books - highly recommended (the WWII ones are probably even more compelling as writing, she made a leap forward between the two series, but the lion ones are more perfectly and exactly to my taste!).

Resolution for 2014: don't read so many novels!


  1. Resolution for 2014: don't read so many novels!

    Hmm... ship may have sailed on that one...

  2. Hahaha, yes - think I will leave that as is (or else it will need an added "error correction" label as well!)....

  3. Definitely leave it. Much funnier.