November Reading

Things I read last month:


Caroline Stevermer, Magic Below Stairs: This is set in the same world as Stevermer and Patricia Wrede’s collaborative Sorcery and Cecelia novels but it’s Stevermer writing alone. It feels both younger and more slight than the ¬†earlier works, but it was enjoyable anyway.

Joyce Dennys, Henrietta’s War: I wrote about this here.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: I began to write up my notes from this particular reread and about 2000 words later (more than half of which I subsequently deleted) gave up and went to bed. But that’s a forthcoming post, I suppose. It is still the best of Tolkien’s works, though I’m in a minority for thinking so.

Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat: I reread this, it was very funny. That is all.

Sam Thompson, Communion Town: I wrote about this here.

Balaraba Ramat Yakubu, Sin is a Puppy That Follows You Home: I wrote about this here.

Terry Pratchett-as-Felicity Beedle, The World of Poo: This is a book about poo in the Discworld. So while it includes information on what cow and dog excreta looks like, it also tells you about gargoyle faeces. It’s beautifully designed to look like an old-fashioned children’s book (I wonder how many of Pratchett’s fans even grew up with old-fashioned children’s books? I didn’t). But it’s more a parody of a book than a book itself- though we can debate the line between the two until I agree that it it doesn’t really exist.

Karin Tidbeck, Jagannath: I wrote about this for the Left of Cool column, which will be on the blog in a couple of days.

Grace Burrowes, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight: I love Burrowes’ three books about the Windham brothers because they do something that most regency romances do not- they create worlds in which men have genuine relationships with the people around them. I’m less enamoured of the Windham sisters books where that sense of familial closeness and just being part of a society is missing; I don’t know whether this is because I have lower expectations for the depiction of male characters. Which is to say that Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight is a perfectly decent romance novel, but that’s about it. With Burrowes, that feels like a disappointment.

Andy Runton, Owly: The Way Home and The Bittersweet Summer: My fondness for owls is a bit of a joke among friends and family. This was a birthday present from a friend. It’s absolutely wonderful and warm and glowy and did things to my heart.

Sarah Caudwell, The Sirens Sang of Murder and The Sibyl in Her Grave: I had forgotten many wonderful things (though not, tragically, the identity of the murderer) about The Sirens Sang… – though I remembered the delightful helicopter rescue attempt at the end of the book I had little recollection of the excellent story-within-a-story. The Sibyl in Her Grave, on the other hand. I said in this piece that it was darker than the others, but I’d not realised quite how dark it was. What a bitter, heartbreaking end.

Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade, Carpe Jugulum: I had many serious things to deal with this month. I reacted to them by taking refuge in books I know. I had a craving for Agnes Nitt so I read all the Discworld books with her in them, then read the rest of the Witches books (except Witches Abroad, because I’d reread that earlier in the year) and felt a lot happier about the world.

Agatha Christie, The ABC Murders, Nemesis, Taken at the Flood, The Secret of Chimneys, Dead Man’s Folly, One Two Buckle My Shoe: See above. I then moved on to whichever Agatha Christie books I could find lying around. I remembered who did all of them. I had forgotten how dismissive every other character in Nemesis was about rape, however. I wish I hadn’t had cause to rediscover this.


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