Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Feeling randomly and irrationally cheery this morning. Had a short run early, then self-imposed exile from B.'s condo (the cleaners come Wednesday morning, and I think it is better to give them free rein): first "five for five dolla" breakfast at Cimboco, and now I am ensconced for a morning of Clarissa work at Cafe del Sol.

Lots of light reading to log. I was in a state of despair about ever finding anything I wanted to read, I started and put aside almost a dozen different novels (several of which really are things I like very much, and when I am having this feeling very strongly the problem is more with me I think than with the books!). But school finished and I got a little more wherewithal to find stuff and enjoy it and now I have had an extremely good run of stuff:

A short memoir-essay by Ellis Avery, The Sapphire and the Tooth.

An amazingly appealing novel by Daniel Price, who really is a genius of light reading (I am impatient for the next installment in his newer series): Slick.

Laurie R. King's new Mary Russell installment (not bad, a bit silly in parts), Dreaming Spies.

Robin Black, Life Drawing (very well-written, but a little too domestic and depressing for my taste).

Charlaine Harris, Midnight Crossroad and Day Shift (slight but fun).

Marisa de los Santos, The Precious One (her novels are invariably delightful).

Suzanne Munshower, Younger (not bad, though not more than adequate).

Peter Higgins's final installment in the Wolfhound Century Series, Radiant State. I think this trilogy is superb, though I have to admit that the final installment is less to my taste than the earlier two (we miss the two main characters too much, and in general it's not character-driven - the modernist affiliations in the writing are particularly clear as he wraps up the grand-historical themes - shades of Gravity's Rainbow!). I especially love how he uses "real" poetic epigraphs for this alternate history (I still remember how delighted I was by one particular Heaney allusion, not even an epigraph, in an earlier installment - that's against the rules in a particularly appealing way!) - can't wait to see what he writes next.

Naomi Novik's wonderfully appealing new novel (she is another with the true light reading gift - this one's slightly reminiscent of Robin McKinley, but only in the sense that it's a kind/category of book I especially like, not that there's anything derivative) Uprooted.

Bridgett M. Davis, Into the Go-Slow (I liked it a good deal - coming-of-age story featuring return of young Black American woman to Nigeria in the 1980s).

Henry Marsh, Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery, which is alternately enthralling and dispiriting (it certainly does not make one wish to be working in the present-day NHS). But - BRAINS!

And last, a novel that I am only sorry to have read because it means I will never read it again for the first time, certainly one for my top ten of the year: Neal Stephenson's absolutely amazing Seveneves. SO GOOD. I think I loved it almost as much as I loved Anathem, which is saying a great deal; his last novel was enjoyable but minor, and I was very glad to see this return to absolute top form.


  1. Felt the same about Life Drawing. Would have told you not to read if you'd asked. Not that there's anything wrong with it, there just isn't enough right.

  2. Have a wonderful day ahead. Good site