A smattering of books…

A Picture of a eBook

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Well, I’ve discovered the magical wonderland of library e-books and audiobooks.  Books!  For free!  And I don’t even have to walk the two blocks to the library! (I know, it’s sad.) 

It’s not for everyone, I’m certain – some of the books are formatted to work with the Kindle, but others have to be read on the iPhone (or iPad, which we don’t have) using a special app.  Still another format (Adobe digital) has to be read on special software, on your computer, although there may also be an app that I just haven’t discovered yet.

As an added bonus, you can also check out audio books online, which can be played through the same application on the iPhone (although some have to be downloaded through a PC, then transferred through iTunes to the phone, which is rather convoluted).

I have recently read the following:

Frost, Jeaniene – Halfway to the Grave; One Foot in the Grave (Library ebooks)

Holy crap.  No, really, it’s crap.  The writing was terribly juvenile, as is the heroine. I simply gave up halfway through One Foot in the Grave.  I couldn’t take the inane, childish arguments orchestrated between Kat, the dhampir heroine, and Bones, her (200 year old whiny bitch of a) vampire lover.  Blech.

Harrison, Kim – Dead Witch Walking et. seq.

I read the first five or six books in this series – the early ones were enjoyable, but the ‘interpersonal conflict’ quickly becomes repetitive. There are several more books in the series, and once I start a series I usually tear right through, but these I’ve put on hiatus.

Briggs, Patricia

I read a number of Briggs’ books – all of the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series (set in the same universe), Masques and Wolfsbane, and I listened to Dragon’s Blood.  This woman is a great writer.

She puts me in mind of my all-time favorite author, Robin McKinley (all time favorite book? Deerskin) Masques and Wofsbane, particularly, are set in a kingdom of magics and mysteries reminiscent of McKinley’s work.  The Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series are more in the line of straight paranormal fantasy, though Mercy Thompson skews more to mystery than romance.  The best thing about Briggs is that she is very, very funny – all of her main characters have a wry, sly, self deprecating humor.

Herendeen, Ann – Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander: A Bisexual Regency Romance (Library ebook) –

Holy mackerel.  I thought this was a joke, or a satire, but it’s (more or less) an honest-to-goodness regency romance about a lady, her husband, and his lover(s). Parts of it are quite thought provoking and well drawn, but the second half of the book devolves into farce, relying on a lot of bawdy humor and a spy plot which makes no sense, and seems to come out of nowhere.

Hunter, Faith – Mercy Blade; Blood Cross (library ebook); Skinwalker (library ebook)

I’m a glutton for a good urban fantasy series.  I enjoyed Hunter’s narrative of Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skin-walker-cum-bounty-hunter-private-security-guru.  These three books were set in New Orleans – Hunter’s a native, so there was none of the faux-Orleans travesty of The Big Easy.

Freethy, Barbara – Taken (library ebook)

I thought this was going to be a mystery/suspense novel, but it was a cheesy romance in disguise.  I have nothing against a cheesy romance, and this book was perfectly serviceable in that capacity. It had aspirations of being a mystery/thriller in the DaVinci Code/Talented Mr. Ripley model, but the villain just isn’t that smart.  Still, it kept my interest.  I’m going to give some of the author’s other works a try.

Riordan, Rick – The Lightning Thief (Library audiobook)

Book one of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians saga – this is YA fiction, but it was diverting (due in no small part to the excellent narrator).  I found myself thinking that the story was derivative of Harry Potter, but then, Potter is derivative so so many other stories, that’s probably not a fair criticism. This is definitely a book I’d recommend to B when he’s older.

Traister, Rebecca – Big Girls Don’t Cry – The Election that Changed Everything (library audiobook)

Traister is a columnist for the online (left leaning) magazine Salon.  She’s written an interesting account of her experience of the 2008 elections, as a reporter and as a feminist.  I was an Obama girl all the way, and totally fell for the media interpretation on Hillary – Traister does an excellent job of showing (with plentiful examples) how Hillary was sabotaged by a sexist media – on both the left and the right.  She also tackles Elizabeth Edwards, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Obama.  I don’t know if I would have read the whole thing, but I was able to listen to all of it, in good size chunks, over the last two weeks.

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