Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading Update

I was quite stressed out a week ago this time because of all the reading I had on my plate.  I am feeling a bit better now as I've gotten through two of the books I need to read for the YA panel discussion I'm organizing.  Whew! 

I also last night finished reading The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey.  That review will go up tomorrow.  It was a really good read and refreshed my love of Richard III.  It also made me realize just how dependent upon chance people are.  Honestly, it's easy say with hindsight that "if this had happened, then X wouldn't have been able to do this and the course of history would have been completely changed."  And maybe it's not always true.  But it's so fascinating to think about and explore.  I think there is a series of books called "What if?" or something like that in which historians go over what they think would have happened if key moments in history had gone differently.  "What if America had lost the Revoutionary war?"  "What if Napoleon had succeeded in Russia?"  Those kinds of things.  I should look those books up.

I started reading Soulless by Gail Carriger last night.  It is a lot of fun and has a great deal of witty dialogue.  However, it also uses a lot of terms I am not familiar with, not really being "in" with the vampire/werewolf literary crowd.  So I felt a little out of my depths.  I think it is a book that will take much more concentration and much more time to savor the banter than I have to give it at the moment.  I was reading it now because I wanted a short book to read before picking up Helen Hollick's huge Arthurian novel, The Kingmaking.  However, as I was reading Soulless, I started thinking that I should have been reading Hollick's novel, and then I wasn't really enjoying it, so I put aside the one for the other and now I'm about to go back to Wales in the Dark Ages.  I'm reading Hollick's novel with Linda, so that should be fun!  Also, Cara gave me my copy of Soulless to read- thanks very much :-)  Yay, reading friends!

Hope you're all doing well with your reading, too!  What's up for this week?


  1. Yay :) Yup it will be fun. I just finished Wolf Hall today so I am ready for Hollick.
    Soulless is sure fun but you might have a point, it's not as easy breezy read

  2. I really hope you enjoy Helen Hollick! I am feeling a bit of pressure just in case you don't!

  3. I've been reading a bunch of "junk food" books, so I think I'm up for a big serious book. Although it's hard to give up junk food! :--)

    We have some of those "what if" history books. They're really not as enjoyable as the "what if" novels - usually located in sci fi, such as by Harry Turtledove, the so-called "Master of Alternate History." I haven't read too many, but I loved "The Guns of the South" in which the Confederacy is supplied with AK-47s from future racists.

  4. YAY! A copy of The Daughter of Time is on its way to me right now via Bookmooch :D I'm even ore excited now I know it has the Aarti stamp of approval!

  5. Blodeudd- So excited to read the book with you! I'm starting it tonight :-)

    Marg- I'm only about five pages in right now, so I can't tell you my thoughts yet. But I didn't realize until today just how BIG the book is. The font is slightly smaller and less bold, and it's a pretty big trade size. I am excited to sink my teeth into it, though! It took me a while to get back into a chunkster after Wolf Hall, but now I feel ready.

    Rhapsody- I'm sad to hear that about the "what if" books. Good thing I like speculative fiction, I guess ;-) I will have to look into Harry Turtledove. Thanks for the tip.

    Nymeth- Yay! I'm excited to hear what you think of it, too! I hope you like it. It's small but packs a punch.

  6. Aarti, If you haven't read it already, there is a book out there called The Years of Rice and Salt, and it's all about what could have happened, if history had gone a bit differently. You might check it out if you are interested. Glad to know that you are not feeling so pressured with the reading and that you got some stuff finished as well!

  7. I'm still waiting for my copy of Wolf Hall to come in from my LIBS. I was reading a ton of Henry VIII era books but now I'm reading Tana French's contemporary Irish mysteries.

    I've got a What If edition. It's pretty entertaining but it's huge! And there are more. Harry Turtledove and Eric Flint both have alt history books - HT's are more different choices, different outcome whereas EF's has 2000 West Virginia landing in 1632 German provinces but they're both interesting.


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