Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's Monday -- What I am Reading

This is my first entry of the year for the What am I Reading challenge. I'm getting back into the habit of blogging about what I read and cross-posting reviews with Safari and Amazon.com, because I finished my MLIS and now have a little bit more time to read. So here goes.

What I read:

"I Shall Wear Midnight" by Terry Pratchett -- I read this aloud to Olivia, my youngest daughter, who is a big Tiffany Aching fan, having listened two the other three books in the YA Discworld series -- "The Wee Free Men," "A Hat Full of Sky" and "Wintersmith." I really don't know how many more books Pratchett is going to write, but this seems to sum up the Aching series pretty well, although the book, like the earlier "Unseen Academicals," is pretty thin on plot compared with his earlier works, some of which I've read. This one is kind of a love story and, like "Thud" and other titles, is a plea for tolerance. It takes some pokes at religion, but Pratchett usually puts a character in his story that represents a tolerant Anglican parson (see one of the characters in "Nation," a non-Discworld YA title), which gives him a bit of balance. Aching is a great character for girls to learn about, far less drippy than Bella, and the book is very funny, thanks in part to Rob Anybody and the Nac MacFeagles (they pick up a Feagle that's a member of the Ankh-Morpork Watch). The villain is more of an ethereal menace than a flesh-and-blood villain (at least until the last third of the book), so the novel relies more on an atmosphere of dread and anger against the innocent and overworked Tiffany. It's a fun book to share with your (nerdy) kids.

What I'm reading:

"Making Money": Another Pratchett title, this one an adult book, that I'm reading aloud to Olivia. I'm not sure she's getting into it, however, because his adult books tend to be more complicated, and there's no Tiffany to identify with.

"Winning the Silicon Valley Sweepstakes": An academic book about the lack of competition among broadband providers; it's depressing and difficult to read, and it's hard to get as angry as the author is.

"Mr. Toppit": This English title, published late last year in the United States, is so far entertaining as an odd group of characters gathers after the death of an author who's about to become Rowling-level famous because of a series of children's books. The book takes place at multiple times and is told in alternating first- and third-person flashbacks.

"Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana": It's interesting that the main character in Umberto Eco's book about memory and loss read a lot of pulp fiction in the 1930s; the character is about the same age as my father, and my father's reading life started with a lot of those adventure stories, too. I'm listening to it, and unfortunately the books he describes don't resonate, but it's an interesting story nonetheless.

1 comment:

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Great reads - I am interested in knowing more about Mr. Toppit. Oh, and welcome to the meme. :)