September Reads?

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September Reads?

Ott 1, 2021, 9:34pm

I haven't had a month with this few reads in ... forever? Real Life seems to have gotten in the way, not only eating up reading time, but also leaving me so frazzled that when I sit down in the evening for my pre-bedtime reading, I fall asleep in just a few minutes!

But here they are, and there are a couple of choice titles in this very short list.
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, by Julie Phillips: A
This may be the best biography I've ever read. If you're at all interested in science fiction, gender expectations, or the feminist movement of the 1970s, it's a must-read. For everybody else, it's "only" highly recommended!

Wild Life, by Molly Gloss: A
This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, as it segues from a fairly straightforward tale of life in Washington state in the early 1900s into something that's either fantasy or magical realism or a tale from an unreliable narrator. But the journey is so intriguing that I couldn't put it down.

The Heap, by Sean Adams: B+
Part parable, part cautionary tale, this semi-fantasy (?) about the aftermath of the collapse of a huge (500 story) condominium and the efforts of the "diggers" who are tasked with removing the remains has something to say about hope and gullibility and where the line between them ought to lie.

The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World, by Laura Imai Messina: C+
Group read. An oddly constructed novel about the ways in which people deal with grief.

Red Sun of Darkover, Marion Zimmer Bradley & Others: C
This collection of short stories set in MZB's Darkover universe was largely written by fans and probably is of interest mostly to fans of the series.

How was your September? Did you find any hidden treasures?

Modificato: Ott 3, 2021, 2:37am

>1 LyndaInOregon: What you didn't read in September, came by way, Lynda! I read more in September than I have ever before--25 books!

The best:
One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow A novel about survival on the Wyoming plains circa 1880-1890s(?) 4*

The Radetsky March a great pre WWI novel about the fall and decline of the Trotsky family as it mirrored the Hapsburg Empire. 4.5*

The Second Empress A historical fiction read about Napoleon's 2nd wife, Marie Louise of Austria. 4.5*

Of Plimouth Plantation William Bradford (likely author) The real story of the Separatists who landed in Plymouth in 1620. 5*

I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammantiti billed as a psychological horror, not so much--but a real psychological bore! 2.5*

The Two Baronesses This was one of H.C. Andersen's adult fiction forays, he should've stayed writing fairy tales! 3*

The Rifle and Hound in Ceylon Don't know why this was on my shelf--at least 20 years old! I'm not a big game hunter so this was appalling. 2.5*

Ott 3, 2021, 2:42am

In September I enjoyed reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman - excellent book. I also read Edgar Wallace's The Joker which I found lying around on an old bookshelf. Good, but probably not his best work.

On my Kindle I read Isaac Asimov's Foundation after seeing a newspaper article about it and thinking it might be worth a look. It was OK, but I'm not rushing to buy the later books in the series. Also a couple of Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope detective series, which I always enjoy.

Plus a fair bit of rubbish just to pass the time while travelling - thrillers mainly.

Ott 3, 2021, 8:30am

>1 LyndaInOregon:. I really enjoyed James Tiptree, Jr. The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon and Wild Life. I think that I have read all of Molly Gloss's novels. She's really terrific.

My standout September read was My Dark Vanessa. Very well crafted for a deeper understanding of teens who have been sexually abused.

Modificato: Ott 3, 2021, 6:10pm

Matrix by Lauren Groff. Meh. As historical fiction it is muddled and occasionally anachronistic. I don't think she's going for historical accuracy, though exactly what her theme is eludes me. A page turner despite defects. May be too maddening if you know a lot about Eleanor d'Aqitaine or the Plantagenet-Angevin dynasties generally. Fairly anti-Catholic, though, I'm used to the requisite rants against the patriarchy.

Certain Dark Things, one of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's genre-busting efforts. This one is vampire noir horror with bits of Aztec mythology. Not great lit, but always interesting.

Best of the lot was Claire Luchette's Agatha of Little Neon. Nun story that manages to be pro-faith and anti-patriarchy at the same time. Lovely and bittersweet. Reminds me of some of JF Powers's stories about priests in the Midwest in the 1950s.