cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (hare by durer)
I had a tiny moment of rage on visiting the library to find that the young adults’ fiction section has two display stands, one marked “Girls’ books” and one marked “Boys’ books”. I did wonder if they were intentionally problematising this on the boys’ side by having Tanith Lee’s Piratica II and an Alex Sanchez about gay Christians (first two chapters like being hit over the head with a well-meaning brick, so I put it back), but all the girls’ titles suggested a distinct lack of irony. It occurs to me now that I should have put up my own selections, but at the time my inner seething got mixed up with embarrassment at having to pay my overdue fines with a credit card (internet banking timing problem). Maybe I'll sneak back.

Bil Wright, When the black girl sings. )

Lee Child, Bad luck and trouble. )

Haruki Murakami, After Dark. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
I’ve had shopping amnesia recently – every time I went to the supermarket I automatically bought eggs, and I only realised what I was doing once I had 3 and a half cartons. So, for the last week, it’s been eggs for dinner (scrambled, buttered, omletted, encaked...), and now things are back to more sensible levels.

Along similar lines, I’ve been finishing off all my library books before they, too, exceed their expiration dates…

The Hungry Cloud, Tom Ingram. Children’s fantasy, in a vaguely Scottish world where two children wait in a castle for their parents to return from holiday, and strange things start to happen. The Hungry Cloud. )

I’ve bounced off a lot of Cherryh’s stuff, and it took Cyteen (which I read for the first time about three years ago) to actually make me stick. Foreigner, CJ Cherryh. )

The Stormwatcher, Graham Joyce. The blurb disturbed me on this one. “In England,” it says, as if about to announce some bizarre perversion, “it is very common for groups of friends to vacation together…”. It then goes on to tell me that only one of the events in the story is unambiguously supernatural, and after finishing the book I’m still not sure which it was. Anyway. The Stormwatcher. )

Magic's Child. Tying up the series. Magic’s Child, Justine Larbelestier. )

Edwina Sparrow: Girl of Destiny, Carol Chataway. )

Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl. )

The Haunting of Lamb House, Joan Aitken. )

The Hard Way, Lee Child. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
The visitor.

Echo burning.

Without Fail.

Persuader.

The Enemy.

One Shot.

All by Lee Child, all in the Jack Reacher series (two more to go and then I’m all caught up). Somewhere, some time ago, I read a discussion of these, which included a bunch of people talking about how Child deftly sneaked literary references into hard-boiled thrillers. There’s a nice scene discussing Marxist theory in one of these, but apart from that either I’m missing something or I've misremembered the discussion. However, these are still good well-written thrillers, which avoid many of the obvious traps of this particular genre (idiot plots, cardboard characters, incoherent fight scenes, appalling female characters… I can go on, having been scarred previously).

More things they do well. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
My books-read-and-not-recorded stack is approaching ridiculous lengths. Leaving out books I want to discuss at more length, here are some catch-ups.

Blood Price, Tanya Huff. )

The Death of Dalziel, Reginald Hill. )

Bad Medicine, David Wotton. )

Snake Agent, Liz Williams. )

And some even shorter summaries...

Die Trying, Lee Child. Solid thriller, good characters, smart plot.

Killing Floor, Lee Child. See above. I worked out the gimmick to this one just when Jack Reacher did (a few pages ahead of the explanation) and liked it a lot. I do like thrillers where neither the good guys nor the bad guys are dumb.

Tripwire, Lee Child. Not quite as good as the first two, but I think he’s also setting stuff up for later books. The gimmick here was, unfortunately, much more obvious to the reader than the characters, which (for me, anyway), creates the wrong sort of suspense, where I feel that the characters are just being dim. A little unfairly in this case, as they know a lot less than the reader for much of the book.

Lady Friday, Garth Nix. Latest one in the series. I must re-read the earlier ones before the end, as it’s been a long time since Monday. Good and inventive, as always; slightly less complex than some of the earlier ones. Looking forward to the weekend…

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