I am now optimistically on twitter as accanz
, where I am noting down whatever I've read in the hope that this will make me catch up more quickly. Am currently doing long reviews of Cryoburn, the Jan Wong books and Ginn Hale; in the meantime, some briefer ones.
Elizabeth Hand, Ilyria. Madeleine and her cousin Rogan share identical twin fathers and a lifelong bond that becomes sexual in their early teens; the youngest members of a large, sprawling family with a famous actress for a great-grandmother, they meet in secret in the attic of one of her old houses, where they find a toy theatre that has its own inexplicable lighting and scenery. But tensions are developing between the two of them, from their families and themselves, and their involvement in the school production of Twelfth Night becomes both a way out and a breaking point.( Vaguely spoilery discussion. )
Lisa Lutz, The Spellman files. Isabel is the black sheep daughter of a family of private investigators. When she wants out of the family business (after a series of doomed relationships), she's given one last case to solve... Light-hearted, and I like the family dynamic, but the case is both obvious and clumsy, and the family jeopardy situation (and its resolution) doesn't quite fit with the rest.
Jane Chetwynd, Cloud Farm. Professor of public health medicine buys a derelict farmhouse and a huge section; discovers personal meaning in renovating both, gives up job, acquires probable girlfriend (nothing stated, so it's entirely possible that a strange woman moves into a one-bedroom house with her for entirely platonic reasons). Doesn't quite lift off - it's interesting in parts, but I think the author knows that it's something that is likely to mean far more to her than to the reader. And somewhere I read a chunk of a book about gorse as a shelter crop on the same part of the country, which was interesting and is now bugging me as to what it was from.
Christian Lander, Stuff White People Like. Book of the blog - similarly mostly mildly amusing, occasionally very spot-on. I am 30% white mainly because I am not American and don't like coffee, but it is talking about a fairly specific experience. Most useful for pointing out the invisible-by-privilege cultural expectations.
Jeanette Walls, The glass castle. Dysfunctional family memoir. Does a great job of showing the loyalty and expectations that can exist within a family that really isn't serving most of its members' needs, and the description of how Jeanette tries to take over and run the family while her mother's away (an attempt completely undermined by her father) is just heart-breaking. Well written, but I probably won't be charging out to re-read it.