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Book Review Backlog – Spring 2014

February 8, 2015

1. Kameron Hurley, God’s War (new, English): another book from the WFC book bag, and I can only say was that it simply wasn’t my kind of book. I guess there are people who’ll like it, but it’s just not for me. I’m a fantasy reader in large part for the majestic wild places, for the deep forests and high mountains, for the places that make feel like I can take a deep breath of clean air, and this book doesn’t have any of that. Quite the opposite. This book felt dark and gritty, like dust under my feet and crunching between my teeth, like dirt and crawling insects all over my skin. Especially the insects, because there were a lot of them in this book. I never quite figured out if it’s by magic or technology, but everything is powered by insects. And my mind seems to be so focused on all those insects that I can barely remember the plot. All I remember is that it’ set on some other planet, and the culture is based on Islam, which I found a refreshing change.

2. Mark T. Barnes, The Garden of Stones (new, English): a WFC book again, and another one I can barely remember. I think that was the one that annoyed me by throwing too many characters and fantastical creatures at me too early on, so I got quite confused… I spent so much time just trying to keep the characters straight that I never got formed any kind of connection to any of them… and if I don’t care about the characters, I can’t care about the book in general. So this is another one I won’t buy the sequel(s? I don’t even know) to.

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With The Garden of Stones, I reached my goal of reading my height in books. It took me from February 1st, 2013 to April 10, 2014. A year, two months and ten days.

3. Richard Gianfrancesco, Praxisbuch Selbstversorgung (Grow Your Own Food) (new, German): Clearly, I buy too many gardening books, because I don’t remember this one at all. Flipping through it now, it seems like a good book, although the instructions on when to do anything are a little vague, just things like “early spring”. For some reason, that annoys me. What do you mean by “early spring”? Give me months, like every other gardening book I have. (Although I suspect this might be so that the book will be useful for people in different climates. “Early spring” doesn’t happen in the same month everywhere in the world.) But apart from that, I think it was good, with detailed information on how to grow a wide range of plants – vegetables, herbs, fruit, nuts –, a bit of general gardening advice and a few pages on how to conserve your harvests.

4. Robin Hobb, Der Weitseher (Assassin’s Apprentice) (reread, German): I guess I reread that in preparation for Hobb’s latest book. I’ve reviewed it before.

5. Tad Williams, Der brennende Mann (The Burning Man) (reread, German): I read this for a group reread on the Tad Williams message board, but ended up not participating very much, because work was killing my brain. It’s nice to get another look at my beloved Osten Ard, but I’ll never love Breda and the other Burning Man characters as much as I love the ones of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. (Although there is one who appears in both, and I certainly love that one.)

6. Robin Hobb, Royal Assassin (reread, English), and
7. Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Quest (reread, English): Continuing my Robin Hobb reread. See the review at the link above.

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8. Chris Colfer, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (new, English): I read this as a favour to an acquaintance who insists on referring to it as “the next Harry Potter”. It wasn’t bad, for a children’s book, but… not on a Harry Potter level.

9. Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Quest (reread, English): I don’t think my list is correct, here. I wouldn’t have read the same book twice in two weeks. Wow, work was really killing my brain at that time!

10. Jay Kristoff, Kinslayer (new, English): I shouldn’t have read this book at a time when I spent far too much time working… because I know I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the first part, Stormdancer, but I don’t remember enough about it to say what, exactly, I loved. The one thing I can remember is that I’d just, before reading it, thought about how I wanted to see gay characters whose sexuality wasn’t a big, angsty part of the plot, but just a part of who they are, and Kinslayer had just that.

11. Tad Williams, The Very Best of Tad Williams (new, English): I’m generally not really interested in short stories, but I’ll always make an exception for Tad’s stories, because they’re always good. I just picked the book up again because I couldn’t really remember which stories are in it, and ended up rereading Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air in all its funny, absurd glory and now I wish I had the time to reread the whole book!

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Even though I’ve reached my goal of reading my height in books, I think I’ll keep the chart. It’s kind of fun.

 

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