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Sibyl's Cave
Catherine Padmore
The Cloudspotter's Guide
Gavin Pretor-Pinney, Bill Sanderson

apparently i'm officially collecting copies of pride and prejudice now? oh, dear.

The River Wife

The River Wife - Heather Rose i'd like to give this an extra half star -- somewhere between 'i liked it' and 'i really liked it'. stronger in the second half than in the first, beautifully sad at the end, it still strayed sometimes into twee, lists that went on a little too long; it felt somehow like something unfinished. i found the illustration intrusive, coming as it did, seemingly at random. i want to like it more than i do; i like it less than i feel i ought.

Ceremony in Death (In Death 05)

Ceremony in Death - J.D. Robb i really wish roberts would stay out of the whole wicca religion. she doesn't use christianity or judaism as a plot device, so i don't know why she thinks it's okay to do so with wicca.

Loyalty In Death

Loyalty In Death - Nora Roberts (Writing as J. D. Robb) peabody/mcnab FTW!

Conspiracy in Death (In Death 08)

Conspiracy in Death - J.D. Robb though the plot and storyline of the central characters is great (and we meet louise!), i can still only give this one three stars for a couple of reasons. firstly, the melodrama. the whole 'hearing the narrative voice of the killer' is annoying and overdone. i wish she'd stop doing that as it's one of the reasons i've gotten tired of this series as it's gone on. secondly, falling back on "mental defectives" is so fucking lazy. not every criminal is crazy, nora. mentally ill people are tired of being used as your plot devices.

Guardians of the West (The Malloreon, Book 1)

Guardians of the West (The Malloreon, Book 1) - David Eddings i've never before realised just how boring this book is, also how ridiculous. after spending the entire belgariad convincing us that belgarath and polgara et al have been working for thousands of years to get everything in place according to the prophecies for one event, starting a whole new series predicated on completely new! and unsuspected! prophecies that were apparently in the mrin codex all along is pretty ludicrous.i will, however, persevere for the 2010 reread. and then i might just get rid of these books altogether, since they're taking up valuable shelf space i could be using for something else more worthwhile.

Unveiled (Hqn)

Unveiled - Courtney Milan I'm astonished at the average rating for this book. I suffered through 50 pages of it before I couldn't take anymore, and only because it had been recommended to me. Otherwise I would've thrown it across the room at page 21, when I read this:His eyelashes were unconscionably thick. They shielded eyes so dark she could not distinguish pupil from cornea.Seriously? Were both the author and the editor asleep on that page? The cornea is translucent for heaven's sake. This is basic biology.I can't believe I wasted $2.50 and half an hour of my life on this.
"There are no simple words. I don't know why I thought I could hide anything behind language."

Patricia A McKillip, The Book of Atrix Wolfe

The Story Sisters: A Novel

The Story Sisters - Alice Hoffman Hoffman is one of my favourite authors, but this novel disappointed me. It felt too much as though she was recycling many of the themes from previous novels without finding anything new to say about them. One of the hallmarks of her writing for me is a depth and an emotional honesty that I felt was missing here. The characters of the sisters felt hollow, and I was more emotionally involved with the secondary characters of Pete, Annie and Natalia. Even Madame Cohen was more compelling for me than Elv or Claire. I wanted to be reading those stories instead.This isn't a bad book. If it were by another author I might've liked it better. But coming from Hoffman it's just so much less satisfying than much of her other work.

The Anthologist

The Anthologist - Nicholson Baker this book crept up on me. crept up on me and then hit me over the head. i didn't like it at first. i wondered at around chapter 6 or 7 if i oughtn't stick it in the "didn't finish" pile and move on. for some reason, though, i didn't. perhaps because i was almost halfway through and it seemed a waste to give up now. and that's when it got me. i suddenly found that i wasn't bored, but charmed. thoroughly charmed by paul chowder and his voice, which is a lot like my own voice in my head, except his knows a lot more about poetry. and mine is less fond of rhyme. this book is a love story and a love letter about language and poetry and human connection. there is a wonderful abundance of odd and exquisite metaphor. there are made up words. there are little humming snippets of tune. it's a lovely, trickling, marvellously enthusiastic and tender book. if only the cover weren't so ugly. a green shuttlecock, simon & schuster? really?

Independent People

Independent People - John A. Thompson, Halldór Laxness i'm not sure i've ever hated a book so much in my life. by that i don't mean it's bad (surely one cannot be awarded a nobel prize for having written badly) and i don't mean it's not worth reading. what i mean is that there is just enough in this novel that is gripping to make it impossible to give up, and yet the entire time i read it i passionately wished to be doing almost anything else. this is a horrible book filled with horrible people and horrible history. it is bleak and unrelenting and absolutely no one in the entire damn thing is likeable. the conditions these characters live in are hideous, utterly abject poverty. they are in every way pitiable, but particularly every soul who is born to or caught up in the life of bjartur. his misogyny and the way he treats his children are appalling. his livestock is literally more important to him than any other person. he's completely devoid of anything approaching compassion or love, and while one can hardly blame him, given the life he's endured, i certainly can't forgive him. his pride is what keeps him alive and ensures everyone else's destruction. his pride is his folly and his downfall and everything that makes him ridiculous. i wish i'd never met him and his blight.

The Plague of Doves: A Novel (P.S.)

The Plague of Doves - Louise Erdrich parts of this were astonishing, and other parts simply foundered. i kept being reminded of toni morrison's paradise and unfortunately the comparison left this wanting. there is too much left undone for me to be satisfied, too many characters who only exist to be the windows onto other characters. it all feels unfinished.

Grace and Truth

Grace And Truth - Jennifer Johnston why does this book have a photograph of the author in place of the cover?

Advice for Strays

Advice for Strays - Justine Kilkerr i really didn't expect this to break my heart.

King of the Murgos (Malloreon)

King of the Murgos - David Eddings less mind-numbingly boring than the previous, but not by much.

Enchanters' End Game Book 5 of the Belgariad (Enchanter's)

Enchanters' End Game  - David Eddings i started rereading this series because of a story i betaed for yuletide that was set within the mallorean. since i'm a pedant, i couldn't just go and reread the mallorean first.it's very sad to find that something you once loved is terribly flawed, which is exactly what i've found with this series. racism, heteronormativity, ableism, and sexism abound. and then there's the writing.i'm almost afraid to try and reread the elenium now, since that was my favourite of eddings' series.