Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Books I read in August and September

I was so late  I thought I might as well combine these, even though I expect to read a few more by the end of the month.

Changes (The Magic Jukebox Book 1) by Judith Arnold
You know what I thought of this one.

A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer
I reread a bunch of Heyer, because I wasn't well for a few days and a Twitter conversation sparked some nostalgia. I have reread this book at least twice because I didn't remember reading it earlier, which is not much of a recommendation. I get Heyer's going for how some life partnerships can be reasonable and practical rather than romantic and passionate, but fuck that. As usual, the heroine is much better and smarter than the hero, and she deserves a man who's wild about her, not one who is vaguely condescending and thinks she's not pretty and doesn't have the right background, but after all she's really nice and her father gave him a lot of money so he could continue the upper class life he's used to and even become a gentleman farmer because he's not one of those idle rich. 

The Corinthian, also by Heyer
I think I read this before too, long ago. But this was much more enjoyable -- a cross-dressing young heroine, an annoyingly arrogant and privileged but not thoroughly unlikeable hero, lots of adventure with just a bit of romance. I recommend it!

The Masqueraders, also also Heyer
One of my favorite Heyers. A cross-dressing brother and sister. The heroine plays her role as a man till nearly the end, and the hero doesn't patronize her (much) or lecture her (much). Very fun, though it has the usual tropes about men -- even fat men, like our hero -- needing to be macho and women -- even women like our heroine who convincingly masquerades as a man in society -- never being as strong or brave as men. Highly recommended.

Lady of Quality, last Heyer I promise
I've read this several times (I don't know why). It's all right, but definitely not as fun as her best.

I also found this series of reviews of Heyer books, and the reviews are excellent and I read them all.

The Ides of June by Rosemary Rowe
And because I was on vacation, I read another Rosemary Rowe. This was less murder mystery and more "this is how people used to travel when Britain was occupied by Rome", so -- fun, but a bit unsatisfying given what I was expecting.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling
The less said the better. I wish I could forget this exists or that I ever read it. It was the most boring, awful tripe.

Bicycle Dreaming by Mridula Koshy
This was an absolutely stunning book. I don't even know how to describe it -- read the description, and know that Noor is relatable and brave and normal and you root so hard for her to be happy. Ajith is pretty cool too.

Conversations that Make the Complex Sale
I read this because I thought it would be useful for work (I'm in marketing) but it was pretty meh. Moving on.

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
I finally got around to finishing this classic. Parts of it were brilliant, but her views on queer and trans people were pretty abhorent, and the book is so long-winded I was bored to tears through some of it. I'm glad I read it, nonetheless, and much of the book is pretty good (and there are surprising flashes of humour).

Dick Tracy by Max Allan Collins
I borrowed this from the hotel while I was on vacation, and it was pretty fun, with all the usual problems (especially sexism). It's based on the movie, funnily enough, and is a pretty fun standard crime-fighting thriller.

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