Books read, July 2012
The shortness of this list makes it look like I didn’t read much last month. It’s true that I didn’t read a lot, but what the list doesn’t show are all the books I started and didn’t finish. Some of them were novels I put down because I wasn’t enjoying them enough, some were research books of which I only needed to read part, and some I will finish — just haven’t done it yet.
But as for the stuff I did get all the way through:
Mastiff, Tamora Pierce. Discussed in more detail elsewhere, but that was as part of a conversation on writing theory. General summation is that I found this one disappointing. The individual bits were well enough, but as a follow-up to Bloodhound and a conclusion to the series, it just didn’t pack enough of a punch. I had been hoping for better.
Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal. This, on the other hand, I enjoyed more than its predecessor, Shades of Milk and Honey. I wanted more oomph in that book, and the sequel delivered. But that inspires thinky thoughts in me, since I was on a panel with Kowal at Fourth Street in which we talked about “domestic” fantasy and novels that don’t resort to violent confrontation as a source of conflict, and well, this book is a lot less domestic than the previous one. Indeed, that’s why I enjoyed it more. Espionage! Napoleon on the march! Military applications of glamour! Fun stuff, but now I have to go chew on the issues we were discussing, and think about the changes Kowal made.
The Phantom Tollbooth, Normal Juster. Would you believe I’d never read this? I thought I had — assumed it, really, since it’s one of those childhood classics everybody seems to have read — but my brother (who hadn’t read it) had the book lying around, and when I picked it up I discovered that, nope, had never touched the thing in my life. Anyway, it was enjoyable, though (as when I read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, which is very much in the same genre) I had to read it in short bursts. I just can’t do large doses of whimsy at a time, you know? But Juster does the good thing, which is to have interesting points squirreled away inside the whimsy, so I’m glad I finally got around to reading this one.