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I Have Done More Than Twittering!

For one thing, I have sev­er­al draft posts sit­ting around here, but I haven’t been able to stay focused long enough to fin­ish any of them.

Sam caught some kind of flu-like crud, which Katie and I both caught, of course. Now he seems to be get­ting it again, which is gross­ly unfair. Poor bear!

The girl is final­ly feel­ing a wee bit bet­ter, but she still had a fever last night. We aren’t with my fam­i­ly today, because we’re too wor­ried about get­ting the twins sick. They’re still so tiny!

I should be stitch­ing. I want to be stitch­ing. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it seems that I need to add a good mag­ni­fi­er to my Ott Lite, and maybe get my eyes checked/glasses changed, too. My eyes go all wog­gly every time I try to focus on the linen now. Very annoy­ing!

One of the few things I have fin­ished late­ly is lots of library-enabled read­ing. That has includ­ed Bone of Con­tention and Chains of Fol­ly by Rober­ta Gel­lis, the third and fourth books in her Magde­lene la ¢tarde series. Magde­lene is a whoremistress in medieval Eng­land whose House is reg­is­tered on the tax rolls an Embroi­dery shop. She and her women do, in fact, pro­duce and sell fine needle­work, but that isn’t their main source of income.

This is one of two series I learned about when I was read­ing rec.crafts.textiles.needlework. I’m glad, as would have been very unlike­ly to run across them with­out the rec­om­men­da­tion.

I have some­thing to con­fess: I am guilty of judg­ing some books by their cov­ers. And if I’d seen Chains of Fol­ly first, with­out already know­ing that Gel­lis is a good author and I enjoy this par­tic­u­lar series, I wouldn’t have had any rea­son to pick it up for a look. I might have tak­en it for a text­book edi­tion of some­thing fre­quent­ly assigned to lit­er­a­ture class­es (read: bor­ing!), but not the lat­est vol­ume in a good series by an estab­lished, award-win­ning author. Tor/Forge pub­lished the first three, and they were of much high­er qual­i­ty than what Five Star Books has put out.

That Tor/Forge didn’t buy book four tells me that Gel­lis prob­a­bly had a con­tract for a tril­o­gy, but it didn’t sell as well as the pub­lish­er hoped, so they weren’t inter­est­ed in more of that tale. Still, I loved the first two books, and was def­i­nite­ly pay­ing atten­tion to see if there was a third, but didn’t hear that it was actu­al­ly out until recent­ly. It was pub­lished in 2002! I know that Gel­lis is one of the authors I put in my Ama­zon “Eyes” list (which seems to have stopped work­ing at some point), and I didn’t hear a thing. I have to won­der if the pub­lish­er just didn’t both­er to mar­ket the book at all.

These days, Gel­lis is bet­ter known for co-author­ing fan­ta­sy books with Mer­cedes Lack­ey. That’s too bad, as her his­tor­i­cal fic­tion is rich­ly detailed and authen­tic. Lackey’s name has been used to sell so much crap that I just don’t both­er any more, even if I like what the co-author has done on her own. Any­thing Lack­ey has touched in the last decade, at least, is for­mu­la­ic and trite. There were some good points in some of her ear­li­er books, which I might even be able to re-read some day—but after the first few trilo­gies they were just too pre­dictable.

I also read two books by Vic­ki Pet­ters­son this week, the lat­est book in Tanya Huff’s Con­fed­er­a­tion series, and Her Roy­al Spy­ness by Rhys Bowen. That last jumped off the new book shelves at me because of the cute name and nice cov­er. I don’t know that I’ll read any­thing else by Bowen, but it was an inter­est­ing depar­ture for me.

I’ve got sev­er­al books of poet­ry and some non-fic­tion in the mix, as well. I tend to read those in lit­tle nib­bles, as I like to think about the poems rather than rat­tle on through them. I’ll share some of that soon.

2 comments to I Have Done More Than Twittering!

  • I will resist the new, won­der­ful-sound­ing series. Real­ly. I’m resist­ing.

    Real­ly.

  • cyn

    Ah, but which one? 😉

    I also learned about Mon­i­ca Fer­ris’ books from RCTN, and I have the first few signed from a trip Ms. Fer­ris took to a local shop years ago. I’m a vol­ume or two behind on that series, though. They’re cozy, but not as com­pelling as Gel­lis’ work for some rea­son.