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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: a week of vacation 
20th-Aug-2011 12:18 am
Before I forget completely, I owe my blog a week long book report. Yay vacation!

Home Improvement: Undead Edition; Summers at Castle Auburn; "Kin Ties;" Flying Blind

Books to report

8/11 - Home Improvement: Undead Edition.  I had been nibbling away at this anthology for a week before rushing through the end.  In my haste to depart on vacation, not a lot of the stories stayed with me.  A few were notable, though, including the Seanan McGuire story about Toby taking over Wintergreen, the story titled "Rick the Brave," the story about real estate agents for the non-humans in New York City, and the excellent and happy-ending last story about an irreverent necromancer who knows the true value of her work.

8/12 - Summers at Castle Auburn. This was a vaguely cyclical story, where the biggest plot movements were telegraphed far in advance. The main character was a bastard child of a highly-placed, now-deceased lord whose brother decided his niece should come to the high castle every summer to visit her legitimate sister and learn about high society and the people therein.  I admire Shinn's slow and sweeping character evolutions that fill the background and deepen the interest of the secondary characters while I bounce and jounce along though every painful growth spurt that the main character suffers.  

8/13 - "Kin Ties" short story by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller was an interesting and complicated closure (or second act...?) to "Changeling," the story of how Ren Zel dea’Judan became a Pilot of Korval.

8/16 - Flying Blind, by Deborah Cooke.  This was a YA novel about a girl who is supposed to be the next Wyvern of her shapeshifting-dragon species, but she can't shift and can't figure herself out.  Then she loses her temper when her best friend is picked on at gym class, sprouts a dragon claw in the chief mean girl's face, and is promptly shipped out to Minnesota for spring break to learn how to be a dragon.  But of course it's all treachery and lies and infighting and Grave Danger (tm) ... and the obligatory crushes on the hunky boys.  Hey, it's a teen novel.  I give it one star out of five for originality, but four out of five for vacation-level entertainment.  I don't want to think very hard; I just want to be amused.

Other things I read this week include an Economist, Sharing Knife: Beguilement, Magic Bites, the second half of of Carpe Diem, Magic Burns, and pieces of Paladin of Souls.

I also did a jigsaw puzzle and watched the movie Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchette.

-- New-to-me books read in 2011 (as opposed to re-reads) --

Little Dee vol 2
Little Dee vol 3
Unusual Suspects
Harvest Moon
The Black Stallion (yes, I know, I should have read it with Black Beauty)
Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name, with a pre-finished commentary here
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Fang Bangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love
Must Love Hellhounds

Dark and Stormy Knights
Tortall and Other Lands
River Marked (2/28 - it arrived a day early)

Questionable Content, vol 1
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Magic Bites
Skinwalker, A Jane Yellowrock Novel
Running with the Pack
Magic Burns
Blood Cross

"Skyblaze" Adventures in the Liaden Universe #17
Kings of the North
Goblin Tales
Do Not Sniff the Bees, Two Lumps book 6
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds
Mercy Blade
The Initiate Brother

City of Pearl
An Artificial Night
Late Eclipses

After Hours: Tales from Ur-Bar
Magic Slays
Ghost Ship (e-ARC)

Quarter Share
Half Share
Full Share
"Intelligent Design" (short story in the Liaden Universe, published online at Baen)
Heroes in Training
Serenity: Better Days
Serenity: Those Left Behind
Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
Tiger's Curse
Calamities of Nature, vol 1
Troubled Waters
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
In Fury Born

Naked City
Unnatural Issue
Home Improvement: Undead Edition
Summers at Castle Auburn
"Kin Ties"
Flying Blind

-- Books abandoned rather than completed in 2011 --

Sing the Four Quarters, by Tanya Huff

-- Books Still in Progress --
These are books that I haven't totally given up on, I've just... put them aside... for now. And gee, look at how many of them are non-fiction!
The Brand Within
If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails
Swords and Dark Magic
Wise Man's Fear
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