Saturday, June 04, 2016

Light reading update

I left it way too long to update!

That said, there was a happy development that greatly simplified my light reading life for a spell: Brent did me a "solid" as they say by suggesting that I might enjoy Saturn Run, a space-exploration collaboration from John Sandford and the mysteriously named Ctein. I demurred at first - I very unfairly had lumped together Sandford with James Patterson and similar (I think having "Prey" in the series titles is off-putting, and at some point years ago I clearly conflated Sandford's protagonist Lucas Davenport with the utterly dreadful Alex Cross) - but then I read it and it was utterly delightful! Like the light-reading version of Seveneves or Aurora, two books I liked very much and that stayed with me - it has some of the same qualities as Ready Player One, another book that I resisted initially but gave myself over to with pleasure once I immersed myself in it.

Anyway - it then turns out that Sandford has published EIGHT Virgil Flowers novels (a very good spinoff from the Prey ones) and TWENTY-SIX Prey novels - there is one other spinoff that sounds a little more goofy and I think a few other little clutches of books, so I am pretty much done now (alas!), but I have basically been in light reading heaven, with the soothing fact THAT THERE IS ANOTHER PREY BOOK CUED (QUEUED?) UP TO READ NEXT to alleviate needless anxiety.

However I have just read the last one and it is now time to make my transition into proper summer reading, which actually for me sidelines the light reading somewhat and starts foregrounding more challenging stuff (about which more anon). So, anyway, Saturn Run plus 34 Sandford thrillers have gotten me pretty happily through the last month or so....

As the Prey series came to an end:

Joe Hill, The Fireman (not quite as much to my taste as Nos4a2, but still very good)

Before that happened, this:

Sebastian Faulks, A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts (I loved this one - beautifully written and unutterably moving)

James S. A. Corey, The Churn: An Expanse Novella

Nicola Griffith, Slow River (I perversely could have done without the split time narration, but it is really a wonderful book, I liked it very much indeed)

Sarah Rees Brennan, Tell the Wind and Fire (I might be the perfect target audience for this one - I really liked it - I like all her books very much)

Chris Pavone, The Travelers (I think I liked the other book of his I read a little better, but he is a very good writer)

Ian Rankin, Even Dogs in the Wild

Richard Kadrey, The Everything Box (not quite to my taste - if you don't find it really funny, the conceit falls flattish!)

Jessica Knoll, Luckiest Girl Alive (not sure the voice completely works, but it is well done and I do think it's a better book than Gone Girl in a not dissimilar vein)

Craig Schaefer, Red Knight Falling (Harmony Black #2)

The final installment of Pam Brondos' Fourline Trilogy

C. S. Friedman, the three volumes of The Coldfire Trilogy (good but not great - I lost steam as I got to the last volume)

The first two installments of Roz Kaveney's Rituals: Rhapsody of Blood books.

Seanan McGuire, Chaos Choreography: An InCryptid novel; Every Heart a Doorway

Patricia Briggs, Fire Touched

Kristi Charish, Owl and the Japanese Circus (I liked the writing, but the author doesn't have sufficient grasp of what makes a character likeable or not - the voice and the writing are very good, but the protagonist is so selfish and heedless of the situation of others that I found I just didn't care whether things came out her way or not)

Two Rhona Macleod books by Lin Anderson - not enough substance here to keep my attention.

Looking forward to getting into some meatier stuff - just started Knausgaard vol. 5 which somehow I missed when it actually "dropped" in April....

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