December Reading

I’ll do a proper round-up of my reading in 2013 (with numbers and everything!) in a day or two, but for now, this is what I read in December.


Nicola Griffith, Hild: Was excellent.

Ioanna Bourazopoulou, What Lot’s Wife Saw: Was excellent.

Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things: Was excellent in some ways, and less so in others.

Manjula Padmanabhan, Three Virgins: This needs a longer post–Three Virgins collects some of Padmanabhan’s recent short fiction along with a few older pieces and the results are a bit odd, but also frequently really good.

Jared Shurin (ed), The Book of the Dead, Unearthed: I’ll have a review of these (mostly of the first) in Strange Horizons at some point in the near future.

Loretta Chase, Lord of Scoundrels, The Last Hellion: Fluff, happy fluff. Everything is quotable and delightful, though as I’ve said before, regency protagonists who attempt social work tend to be a bad idea.

Nicholas Blake, Minute For Murder: Someone murders someone and it’s all very clever and (spoiler!) it turns out to all be the fault of a frigid intellectual woman (who is not the murderer) because bitch, I guess? Yeah. Bitch. At least the murderer had a warm and loving heart!

Georgette Heyer, Powder and Patch: I will always love this for the way it treats the heterosexuality as an elaborate game (I recommended it to an ex-boyfriend a few years ago; he did not appreciate this aspect of it) and its condemnation of Phillip’s unthinking dismissal of this; whereas I’m made really uncomfortable by the later parts of the book, in which Cleone is caught in an impossible situation and the general reaction of those around her is that she asked for it and must be brought low.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: Still great.

Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, Kennelmaid Nan: Wholesome, healthy girl who is no good at exams learns to be kennelmaid, has rival in bad girl who spends too much on beauty products. Bad girl turns out to be in love with a criminal … who is bribed to marry her in the end because being saddled forever with someone who steals, cheats and doesn’t love you is presumably better than being dumped by such a man.

Garth Nix, Newt’s Emerald: Magical regency romance with crossdressing. Not a big fan of the ugly, sinister maid actually being evil, but the rest of it was nice.

T. H. White, The Once and Future King: Perfect.

Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales: Perfect.


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