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WiB Summer Edition, Week 16

September 4, 2010

I guess since my daughter starts school Tuesday, this is the last “summer” WiB post I’ll be making.

Don’t worry, it ends on a high note.  And I’ll still be reviewing what I read during the week–I like this weekend posting thing.  It just won’t be the Summer Edition anymore.

Let’s see…what did I read this week?

I started the week with two off of my to-read bookcase, Julie Garwood’s The Bride and Saving Grace.  They were both rereads for me, but ones that made me happy–along with Jude Deveraux, Garwood was the queen of anachronistically feminist ’90s romance.  The books are similar enough to be comforting, and different enough to be interesting.  The issues with the heroine in The Bride are cleared up by Saving Grace, but the latter has a bit of speechifying in that which makes it a little clunky there at the end.  These are by no means perfect books, but they are fun, and I am keeping them.  (Thanks, T.)

I also read some more Dresden Files, although I’m still not completely caught up.  This week I read Backup, a novella so short it may as well be a short story…but it focuses on Thomas, which is fun.  Inside Thomas’s head is a bit nerdier than I expected, and I don’t know if that’s Butcher or the story.  I also read Blood Lite, an anthology of short stories that includes another Dresden File.  This was even more painful than some of the other collections I’ve read just to get at Harry Dresden, and if this is the cream of the horror crop, I’m glad I’m not a full-time reader.  The book is crammed with juvenile men and women-hating, and most of it is written so poorly that the authors give the impress they’re the misogynistic ones, not their characters.  Even Kelley Armstrong’s story disappointed me, in that the end seemed needlessly nasty.  (Oh weird, I just opened up the book to point out a few of my favorite stories and realized that I somehow missed an entire one.  BRB, readers.  Okay, I’m back.  More women-hating.  What a shock.)  But I did enjoy Christopher Welch, Don D’ammassa, Mark Onspaugh, and–again I say this–Charlaine Harris’s stories.  What is up with that, Harris?  You’re going to get me to read those darn Sookie Stackhouse books after all, aren’t you?  And me behind in True Blood again.  (Sigh.)  Oh, and to the person on Goodreads who called the one story “future speak,” I believe–but am not positive–that the term is “shamus,” or what my fiance calls goonspeak.  It’s the way bookies and mobsters speak when they’re being lampooned.

I also read The Walking Dead, Book 7: The Calm Before, and I have to tell you, Kirkman is hitting his stride.  I am so damned impressed by this comic I begged my fiance’s friend to bring over his trades so I could read them while the two of them head out to a birthday party.  More on that next week (I’ll be caught up to 10).

Last, and certainly best, thanks to Sarah, I FINALLY READ MOCKINGJAY.  I don’t want to get too detailed because it’s my book club selection of the month and I want to save my opinions for that venue, but it was flat-out fantastic.  I noticed when I was rating it on Goodreads that people took some issue with it, but it seemed to me that most of the time they were arguing for something that the main character could not do (take control of her destiny, entirely).  I feel that Collins’s work is exceptional because there are no Hollywood spins and flat-out happy endings; each decision bears a mark on the main character.  And, in the end, the resolution of the love triangle is not only appropriate, it is what it has to be to be true to the characters.  I shipped for the wrong team, but the reason I know it’s the wrong team is because Collins shows the readers this without being blatantly obvious about it.  Someone else said too many decisions were taken out of the main character’s hands, but…um, wait a second, isn’t that the point?  One person can only do so much, and there was never a time in the earlier books where Katniss wasn’t being manipulated one way or another, by one person or another for their own agenda.  Never hers.  Why should this change because the stakes are higher?  Answer: It shouldn’t.

But anyway, awesome, awesome book.  Loved it.  Happy to read something that ends after three books without filler, too.

Next week: More Dresden, more Walking Dead, some dick lit I’m struggling to get through (“Wahhh, I don’t WANNA commit”).  Who knows what else?

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