Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2013

Like everybody else, I’ve been suffering through the heat of July and actually caught myself looking forward to the excellent AC at the office (versus the electric fan at home). I have the feeling I didn’t read very much this month, but what I did read ranged from wonderful to terrible.

Books read: 6
Pages read: 2 232
Series started: The American Fairy Trilogy, The Bookman Histories
Series continued:
Series finished: Tiffany Aching

Other news: I supported the anthology Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism & Beyond via indiegogo. It sounds fantastic! N.K. Jemisin, Lauren Beukes, Tobias Buckell, Junot Díaz, and a ton of authors I’ve never heard of but would like to read… if you have a dollar or two to spare, head over there and donate. 🙂

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THE BEST:

Terry Pratchett – Nation  9/10

nation1A wonderfully think-y book about identity, belief, friendship, loss and rebuilding, science and religion, and tons of other deep themes. In Terry Pratchett’s voice, everything flows beautifully, the characters are lovable and memorable and I already miss spending time with them on the Nation island. A book that begs to be read and re-read and then re-read again, out loud.

Terry Pratchett – I Shall Wear Midnight  9/10

i shall wear midnight2Tiffany Aching is way up there with my favorite fictional heroines of all time. The practical young witch deals with growing up, doing dirty jobs that nobody else wants to do (or knows how to) and, of course, a horde of drunk and insane Nac Mac Feegles. The entire series comes highly recommended and made me love Terry Pratchett even more.

Todd McCaffrey – Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern   8,5/10

dragonwriterA collection of articles, memories, and anectodes about the woman we know as the Dragonlady. Her Pern books have enchanted me as a teenager and this tribute made me cry on several occasions. The range of topics is astounding, every one of them is written with heart, and makes Anne McCaffrey come to life. A must-read for fans and a big recommendations for those who aren’t quite sure if McCaffrey is right for them.divider1

THE WORST:

Lavie Tidhar – The Bookman  3/10

bookmanA massive amount of ideas, all piled on top of each other. Sadly, the pale protagonist is joined by even paler side characters on an adventure that feels forced, badly constructed and, ultimately, boring. Add to this clumsy writing and you have my answer: No more Bookman Histories for me, thank you very much.

Bennett Madison – September Girls  3/10

newbirdA book that attempts to be feminist but ended up being incredibly sexist and misogynist, at least the way I read it. The story is bland, the characters are (at best) two-dimensional, the narrator whines his way through his rich white boy problems. The only redeeming part are the short chapters out of the Girls’ point of view which do show feminist ideas and good writing. They weren’t enough, though.

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THE REST:

Sarah Zettel – Dust Girl  6/10

dust girl 2A nice, quick read that offers some wonderfully creepy moments but loses the grip on its ideas around the middle. Good characters, good language for kids to read, too many ideas and an ending that leaves almost all of the mysteries unresolved. Only read if you don’t mind or want to commit to the entire series.

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FOLLOWING ME INTO AUGUST…
… are these lovely books, in various states of half-read-ness or anticipated only-read-chapter-one-ness. Some I’ve been dragging around since early June (poor Warchild, and it really doesn’t deserve it). The plan is to finish these before the Bout of Books read-a-thon, so I can start with a fresh set of books. But even I don’t know what books I’ll want to pick up randomly throughout the next weeks.

  • Lauren Beukes – The Shining Girls (35%)
  • Scott Lynch – The Republic of Thieves (50%)
  • Terry Pratchett – Maskerade (41%)
  • Anne McCaffrey – The Ship Who Sang (36%)
  • Karin Lowachee – Warchild (57%)
  • Iain M. Banks – Consider Phlebas (8%)
  • Mira Grant – Feed (1%)

3 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2013

  1. Carl V. Anderson says:

    I’m looking forward to picking up a copy of Dragonwriter, even though I have way too many Pern books to read first before I dive into it. I was able to see the original painting that Michael Whelan did for this cover while at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 this past May. It was awesome. He also told the story behind its creation. It was originally the description of the image McCaffrey wanted for Weyrs of Pern but Whelan had a dream the night before of the image that became the wrap around cover and McCaffrey liked it so much she decided to go with his idea. I love that this image is his tribute back to her.

    Like

    • Nadine says:

      That story is in the collection and it was one of my favorites. The cover embodies McCaffrey’s stories perfectly. A dragon, yes, but inside a spaceship! What could be cooler?
      Also, I’m super jealous that you got to see the original painting (and Michael Whelan, of course).

      And don’t worry about that pile of Pern books. I’ve only read them (in publication order) up until Nerilka’s story and it really didn’t matter. The collection is more about Anne McCaffrey as a person than about specific events that happen on Pern – with the exception of the spoilers for “Moreta” and “Dragonflight”. They are given away, assuming that readers of this book have read the two Pern novels (or don’t care about the spoilers). 😉

      Like

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