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.

0 Responses to “Books read, July 2012”

  1. edgyauthor

    I remember reading The Phantom Tollbooth as a kid! The teacher only had us read a few chapters in class, and I had enjoyed them so much that I ended up tracking down the book so I could read it in full. I really should figure out where it’s stashed in my mountain of books so I can reread it sometime….

    • Marie Brennan

      It’s possible it’s one of the books I avoided because teachers recommended it. (A habit which saved me from any number of books I wouldn’t have liked, but also meant I discovered some good ones far too late.)

  2. maratai

    I still haven’t read The Phantom Tollbooth, which no one ever believes when I tell it to them. Although I did read his delightful (much shorter) The Dot and the Line, and then fic’d it for Yuletide. 🙂

  3. mindstalk

    Welcome to the Tollbooth club. 🙂 Any other classics we should recommend?

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