Wednesday…er, Thursday reading, 16 June 2016

I got so engrossed in my current read that I forgot to do this yesterday. Woops! At least I have a good reading-related excuse for forgetting to post about my reading?

Last book finished: An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear. I like the Maisie Dobbs books–historical mysteries are one of me things and the protagonist is great in these–and it wasn’t a really bad book, but it wasn’t a good one, either. It was a ‘meh’ book for me, with a few elements that felt a bit troubling because I don’t know enough to know whether the representation of the Rom was as problematic as it felt. Maybe I’m just overly sensitive to that, after seeing so many people talking about the bad depictions, but I felt uncomfortable in each scene because I couldn’t tell how good or wrong those parts were. The mystery plot was intriguing at times, but the resolution felt too easy and too clean. I did appreciate some long-running plots being tied up, giving room for new developments, and was what saved this book. Overall, it’s not awful, but not one that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Hopefully this is just a dip and the next in the series will be back to its usual standard.

Current read: Still working on Russian History: A Very Short Introduction. This will always be my status. Bribes still aren’t working. Maybe I need to put a reminder in my calendar, block out fifteen minutes a day for it.

I’m reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua and I’m loving it. It’s a book of joy and wonder. I can’t decide whether it’s the footnotes or the endnotes that charm me the most. Maybe it’s the way Ada Lovelace is firmly places as the heroine. I don’t know, but I cannot say enough good things about this. Hopefully it sticks the landing!

I should finish The Great Hunt soon. Maybe even this weekend. One of the things that fascinates me is that Jordan writes such fascinating, vivid women, all with agency and complexity, but the way his male characters think about them is so different. It’s a running theme that the men don’t know how to talk to women and constantly feel the need to protect them. And then we’ll get a chapter from one of the women’s POVs and they’re entirely capable of looking after themselves, thank you very much. The men have rather old fashioned ideas about the women, which can grate a little after spending too long in Rand or Perrin’s head. This may be why the chapters with Nynaeve, Egwene, or Moiraine are some of my favourites.

Or it could be due to this being Rand’s most tiresome book. Honestly, he’s not the brightest hero ever. Selene is clearly sign posted in every way possible as evil, but a pretty face is enough to turn Rand’s head. Maybe this is why Rand is my least favourite character. Thank goodness Jordan gave the other characters more and more chapters per book as the series went on. Too much time in Rand’s head is a recipe for frustration.

Next read: Seveneves just arrived at the library for me, so I guess that’s my next read. I’ll probably pick something fluffy and fun on my Kindle as an antidote for all that hard SF. Maybe a light F/F romance, that seems like a good thing to read right now.

What are you reading this week, and would you recommend it?

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