A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Book 'em!

Monday night we got back from a trip to the UK. Trip report will be forthcoming (so watch this space). While on travel, I read a few books, so just a few sentences about each:

  • Storm Front - Jim Butcher: The first book in the Dresden Files series. Harry Dresden is a wizard, consulted by the Chicago PD whenever there's something...unusual...in one of their cases. In this case, a double-homicide.
    This book, the first of 11 (soon to be 12, I think), was a lot of fun to read. Good brain-candy, in a way. There was also a short-lived Sci-Fi Channel series based on the books, also called The Dresden Files. You can find the series up on YouTube. Well worth checking out, on both counts.

  • The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde: The first in the Thursday Next series. Set in an alternate England where literature is a big deal, temporal/spatial anomalies are common, and messing with classics (forging originals, faking works by well-known authors, etc) is a big deal, Thursday Next is a detective trying to figure out who is kidnapping major characters from classic novels.
    This book was decent, and definitely had an infusion of puns and absurdities in it (think Shakespeare's _Richard III_ being performed in similar fashion to _Rocky Horror_ with audience participation), but for some reason it didn't really engage me. And I wanted it to. Not sure why. I don't begrudge the time reading it, but I don't know that I'd pick up the rest of the series.

  • Catherynne Valente's "Orphans Tales" duo: In the Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice": A young girl has been exiled to a palace garden for her strange mark - on her eyelids are tattooed multiple stories.
    These two books, telling stories within a story, is very similar in fashion to the Arabian Nights, and many of the tales lead to other tales (so you sometimes have a story within a story within a story within...well, you get the picture). The prose was beautiful, the tales wove together well, and I found it very enjoyable. Definitely worth reading for lovers of fantastic tales. (This was also #3 completed on my 101List :)

  • Inkheart - Cornelia Funke: First book in the Inkheart trilogy. A young girl's father has the unusual ability to read aloud such that he can bring characters to life. Literally. When her father is kidnapped by one villainous character he's read into being, the quest begins to rescue him and stop the villain.
    One of the more recent entries into epic children's fiction, I read this in its entirety during the long layover in Atlanta, and enjoyed it. It's not tremendously high fantasy, but it was a fun read. I can also definitely relate to the book-obsession displayed by several characters in the book. This book has also been made into a movie, apparently, but I've not yet seen it.

    So, dear readers - what is on *your* summer reading list?
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