I just finished reading the entire Serrano Legacy series by Elizabeth Moon, and I’m experiencing fiction letdown syndrome. You know, when you’ve been totally engaged in a marvelous world that’s so believable, and then suddenly, it’s over! It’s hard to come back to this world afterwards.
Moon mixes spaceships, horses, high-tech medicine, fencing, space battles, and religious fanaticism to create an amazingly believable universe. The Familias Regnant is a far-flung entity whose citizens follow many different belief systems. Its planets are tied together by ansibles and FTL ships, and protected by the Regular Space Service (aka the Fleet). Other societies mix more or less peacefully with the peoples of the Familias — Altiplano, The Benignity of the Compassionate Hand, various competing Texan worlds, and more. There are pirates, mutineers, assassins, and more, giving our heroes plenty of opportunities to shine.
Give this series a read. You will not be disappointed!
I’m having a little trouble figuring out a rating for this, the 26th (!) book in the Anita Blake series.
On the plus side, the book kept me engaged to the point of being a distraction when I needed to do other things. Also, Hamilton dealt with my main complaint about the series quite nicely. I’ve found that the explicit sex scenes take up too much of the books now, and they’re not want I read for–if I wanted explicit sex I’d go seek out some erotica or porn. With this book, she’s finally figured out how to “fade to black” at the right time.
On the minus side of the equation is the fact that she left out a vital piece of information about the key murder. I can’t explain more without spoilers, so I’ll just say prepare to be disappointed. And once again, her characters engage in emotional processing to the detriment of the plot. In fact, one of the key characters points out that they’re getting into a “therapy session” instead of dealing with the crime at hand. I’ve lived polyamory, and it is complex, and it does require loads of communication between partners at all times. Poly people do frequently end up explaining our lives to outsiders when we’d rather get on to other matters. But there are limits, and every little bit of that doesn’t need to be shown up front in the book! Finally, she seems to have bought in to the Robert Heinlein school of ending a book. It feels like she went, “Oh crap, I’m approaching the number of words I’m contracted for! Better wrap all the plot threads up with a bow!” Things are paced well until suddenly, it’s all hurtling toward the finish line.
So a three-star overall, and I think I’m being kind.
I just finished this book, which I listened to while driving. I find myself wishing that I’d read it on my Kindle, instead, in order to be able to take some notes. It’s a rich read, full of mentions of people and studies that I’d like to have been able to look up.
I don’t know that I completely agree with Hari, who posits that the vast majority of people are depressed without any sort of biological cause, but instead due to various types of disconnection. I can see that each of the connections he points out are important, and improving them could certainly help depression. However, I’m fairly certain that we’ve got a chicken and egg issue here. From what I understand, even if you don’t initially become depressed due to a lack of certain neurotransmitters or what have you, being depressed can lead to the biological differences that can be treated with antidepressants. That’s why those medications do work for a fair number of people who try them. He does talk about neuroplasticity, so maybe my quibbles are semantic.
The seven ways we are disconnected, according to Hari, are from: 1) meaningful work; 2) other people; 3) meaningful values; 4) childhood trauma; 5) status and respect; 6) the natural world; 7) a hopeful or secure future.
He does address how to reconnect on each of these issues later in the book. He also acknowledges that some (most?) of these issues are due to societal rather than individual failings. The fixes are beyond many people because of that, but the more we become aware of them the more we can work on fixing our society.
I found the book very good, and certainly thought-provoking. It isn’t an easy read, but it is put together quite well. I recommend it!
This is the sixth book of the Laundry Files, and the first to be narrated by Mo instead of her husband. The plot keep me thoroughly engaged, and I enjoyed Mo’s voice — it was a nice change. I finished the book utterly wrung out, and I think that is probably a common experience due to Stross’ skill at bringing the reader into sympathy with the speaker. I think this is the fourth Stross piece I’ve read in the past couple of weeks, and it probably isn’t wise to immerse one’s self so deeply in this particular world! I’m going to have to step back and read something else for a bit as a breather.
First, let it be known that I am an unabashed fangirl when it comes to Lee and Miller. That much has long been established. Should they care to publish their grocery lists, I would most likely purchase and read them.
That said, Neogenesis is an amazing book, even among their other marvelous works. I just finished it, and already I am planning a re-read. It isn’t a good entry point for their universe, admittedly, for it ties together many different plot threads that were first spun out in earlier volumes. Lee and Miller tie up those loose ends masterfully.
I am tickled to have this be my first book purchased and read in 2018!
This book represents a major change from the Iron Druid series, so I worked hard to set aside my expectations of Hearne based on loving those. A Plague of Giants is every bit as well-written as that series, maybe even better! Still, I didn’t come away truly caring about the characters. That could have something to do with the way the story is presented, but I can’t be sure about it.
The book just ends, very abruptly, with the notation, “Continued in volume two, A Blight of Blackwings.” That put me off somewhat. I like reading series, but with each volume I want a largely self-contained story, one with a beginning, middle, and ending. I understand leaving some plot threads unresolved, so as to build interest for the next book, but there’s just too much left unresolved here. Will I read Blight when it’s released? Maybe — but I’m unlikely to rush right out and buy it.
Lots of knitting. Lots and lots of knitting. (If you’re on Ravelry, you can see my finished projects.) My hands ache from the knitting, particularly the left, because I knit Continental. I think I may have to learn to knit English just to swap off on occasion.
We’ve been going out to hear more live music — three house concerts this fall. I love me some house concerts! In fact, I need to write some music reviews. I’m also in a couple of RPGs each week, one Dresden Files and another 5th edition D&D. And I’ve been doing a little consulting on the side.
I haven’t found anything I’ve enjoyed reading enough to write about recently. That takes love for the subject matter. I am still reading (it’s like breathing for me), there are just more articles, and listening to more podcasts and fewer books. I’m missing the fiction I usually consume, but I’m sure I’ll be back to it soon enough.
The need to re-do my web sites is present again. Know anyone who does good custom WordPress themes?
I’ve been look back on my web content, wanting to update it. Much of it was written when I wasn’t working. I mean, I had plenty of work to do, because I was a SAHM to three kids and we entertained frequently. But I wasn’t working for anyone outside the family. I love working, but it takes up most of my energy, so I just don’t have it to put into the web anymore. I don’t want to give up the site, though — there’s a lot of history in technomom.com, going all the way back to 1995.
A most satisfying entry in the Liaden Universe series, number 20 begins and ends with plenty of action. Indeed, the reader hardly has time to take a breath for all the action! The characters themselves must be exhausted — I feel so in their behalf.
I enjoyed this part of Theo’s story rather more than previous books about her, perhaps because others played a larger part in the story. She isn’t my favorite of the series’ protagonists, to be honest, but then I still hope for more of Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza.
FINALLY! The cliffhanger at the end of Bad Blood is resolved, or of course there would not be a #21. It’s been so long (over four years!) since I read #20, though, that I had to go back and re-read the last bit of it to understand the beginning of this novel. That wasn’t happy-making, and it had a negative effect on my ability to just dive in and enjoy the book.
Once things got going, though, everything was good — it’s still a five-star read. Kate is in fine form, although as usual she is definitely affected by recent events. We see a lot of Jim Chopin here — in fact, he figures as largely as Kate does. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Stabenow has always done a good job of showing us a Niniltna that grows and changes with the times, with people coming and going, being born and dying, which is realistic. That hurts at times when you’re attached to the characters. I don’t want to get into spoilers, but you’ll see when you read it. And you should definitely read it!
This is an excellent audiobook. I enjoyed the presentation, and the information was absolutely fascinating. I’m going to have to go back and read (instead of listen to) some of the sections and take notes, but I’m definitely interested enough to do so!
I’m particularly interested in the science-backed techniques Fredrickson recommends for improving one’s positivity ratio. I’ll be tracking mine as I try these techniques to see what happens. I strongly recommend the book, especially to anyone who is interested in combating negativity or the science of positive psychology.