Mining the Depths

I'll read almost anything and love what captures my imagination. Best of all is responding to books in the larger cultural sense, loving or loathsome. Literature should have a place in the wider world.

 

And I'm another GoodReads refugee. 

Transparent Lovers

Transparent Lovers - Scott Nicholson This doesn't work nearly so well as the other two Nicholson books I just finished. Between the shallow, stereotyped so-called Los Angeles and the unexamined misogyny (not to mention the lack of anything resembling characterization) it didn't give me much to connect to. Also, I read The Big Sleep just two days ago, and this is a shameful example of the genre, having finally read the original.You may be wondering what the second star is for... well, so am I. Even the concept was carelessly handled, and there were some Clare-worthy similes, and so I can't excuse the writing. Guess I'm just feeling generous... it's just a silly little story, and short, so if you like the style and can get it cheap (like I did), pick it up.
Burial to Follow - Scott Nicholson The concept is strong, but the story might have benefited from just a little tightening. I saw it coming a little too early and some of the vividness is drowned by the details.
Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang How many times can I rate this five stars? I haven't been so moved by short fiction since Ursula le Guin's. For the next few weeks, should you meet me in the street and talk about books, because I will follow you around until you agree to read this.

The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four - Ian Caldwell, Dustin Thomason Four stars after all those status updates! But even though I didn't like the narrator, or his philosophy, the other characters had some interesting stuff going on behind the scenes and the plot was just insane enough to be fun, especially for the more literary style of the writing. Went with the subject.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline I'll have to type this when I'm not on my tablet, but. If it weren't for everything about oy that I hated, it was really pretty good. Um.
Cult of Crime - Franklin W. Dixon Guess what I found at Powell's? This very book! one of my favorites in the days I read this series. I've actually hung onto my collection because they've never been easy to find. But I ask you, who doesn't love goofy spy thrillers with populated by teen heroes? (Well apparently everyone but me, but I'm OK with that. I even liked that Abduction movie the Twilight actor did.)Back in the day I liked this one, but never could find it for sale and the local library had to send out for it. But there it was, in the bestest bookstore in the world. I don't regret my fondness foot it either. The book is as silly as any in the series, but it does touch with some sensitivity on real issues. Clearly a decent ghostwriter. So I'll hang on to it this time.
The Dark Volume - Gordon Dahlquist OK, this was on sale at RiteAid for five bucks and it had a pretty cover and is hardcover and the author is from the Pacific Northwest. And in spite of the two author blurbs by authors who didn't impress me, I bought it anyway.
The Dragon and the George - Gordon R. Dickson I first read perhaps all of these books back in high school, and from that era, they're the only genre series I've actually come back to and still liked. Not that there aren't issues: there are plenty.But that's why I've just added a guilty-pleasures shelf, because it's far too late for me to actually come up with reasons why I like them so much. I'll have to come back to it later (maybe after I check out the second book, tomorrow).
Pictures That Storm Inside My Head - Richard Peck A decent collection of poems*, but this was at the local middle school and many of them likely wouldn't resonate with most kids now...especially when it touches on what they're doing for spare time.*Typo'd as "problems", which although many of the pieces might be classified as "problem poetry," most wouldn't qualify as problems. So that was unfortunate.
Deadheads  - Reginald Hill I opened this wondering if it was new to me—which yay, I loved the characters way back in high school, but no, I have read it before.Well, the real it, not the simplified version. Which...I don't get why it needs, but people like to trim, much as the character Patrick does.

Endgame (Voluntary Eradicators, #1)

Endgame (Voluntary Eradicators, #1) - Nenia Campbell I will I will I will review!
The Viking Funeral - Stephen J. Cannell A more honest book than Foster's [b:Interlopers|35178|Interlopers|Alan Dean Foster|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1168575840s/35178.jpg|35115], which I still have to review.
In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Alvarez Finally another one off my to-read shelf, and it was beautiful.
Front-Word, Back-Word, Insight-Out - Smoky Zeidel Added because I love the title. Between the cover, the description and the price, it's not one I'm going to make much effort to acquire.
A Beautiful Blue Death  - Charles Finch Finally!
Dance of Death - Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child I did not like this one nearly as much as the others. I mean there were points like when Smithback took the diamond that reminded me why I've been powering through the series, but I simply didn't connect to any of this.Mostly, I suppose because it turned out to be an excuse to get all the sidekick characters from earlier books into a reunion. But also because this book is about Pendergast colliding with his evil brother, and quite honestly I don't read these books for Pendergast, because characters he interacts with tend to be far more interesting. They have flaws, they have passion, and they're generally brave. Pendergast though is your generic Sherlock expy, except I get less of a sense of humanity from him. And I don't really remember the villains from the other books. Mostly because they aren't nearly as compelling or well-drawn as the sidekicks, and it's the 'supernatural' element that's the real threat, the real driving force of the novel(s). The big bad of this book has no particular paranormal element, except for being a Pendergast, but didn't inspire any thrills in me. Really, he's a younger, ginger Moriarty. I mean, at one point he's described as "almost effeminate." Really book? That's terribly cliche, and a killer whose goal, whether "Kill all of my brother's friends for giggles" or "steal ALL the diamonds!" simply doesn't inspire the fear of beings that randomly slaughter anyone they come across beyond all normal human conception.

Currently reading

The Well of Ascension
Brandon Sanderson
Progress: 325/781 pages
Steelheart
Brandon Sanderson
Progress: 26 %
Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy
Daniel Abraham, Robert Redick, Saladin Ahmed, K.J. Parker, Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear, Ysabeau S. Wilce, Ellen Klages, Jonathan Strahan, Jeffrey Ford, Trudi Canavan, Glen Cook, Ellen Kushner, Kate Elliott
Progress: 57/395 pages
Dracula
Leonard Wolf, Bram Stoker
The Guermantes Way
Christopher Prendergast, Mark Treharne, Marcel Proust
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present
Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Phillip Lopate
Mad Ship
Robin Hobb
Pitch Like A Girl: How A Woman Can Be Herself And Still Succeed
Ronna Lichtenberg
A History of Pi
Petr Beckmann
English Creek
Ivan Doig