Skip to main content

Reading report for April 2011

First I want to report an error in the report for March – I forgot to enter two books into my reading journal. One was Gigi by Colette, which I reread after having first read it many, many years ago. The other was a webcomic, The Phoenix Requiem (click on the link to start reading it) by Sarah Ellerton, which I discovered last year but which had then been running since 2007. Ellerton finally finished it in March, and is now working on a print project. I had already read another of her webcomics Inverloch and enjoyed it very much, and I was saving a third comic of hers, Dreamless, for later. I guess I'll read that now. And now we resume our regular programming:

I finished 18 books in April, which is pretty good considering I began the month while suffering from a very specific kind of reader‘s block: the inability to finish what I had started. I would grab a book, read the first few dozen pages and then I would need to go cook a meal, or go to work, and when I would return, I would have lost interest in the book. I solved it by devouring four volumes of short stories, which can easily be finished in one reading session, then moved on to a novella and finally a short novel.

At this point I realised I needed a change of genre and chomped my way through several romances, beginning with a chick lit book, moving on to supernatural romance and finally historical romances.

13 of the books were TBR challenge reads, which, along with some culling, brought the number of TBR books below my target for the year: 840. I am now going to raise the bar and aim for 820. I finished no other challenge reads in April.

The Books:
  • Mary Balogh: First Comes Marriage. Historical romance.
  • E.C. Bentely: Trent Intervenes. Short stories, mystery.
  • Agatha Christie: 13 for Luck, Parker Pyne Investigates and Problem at Pollensa Bay. Short stories, mystery.
  • Colette: The Cat. Psychological thriller.
  • Jennifer Crusie: Tell Me Lies. Romance, contemporary.
  • Eric Hansen: Orchid Fever. Non-fiction, flowers.
  • Emily Hendrickson: Drusilla's Downfall. Historical romance.
  • Georgette Heyer: The Reluctant Widow. Historical romance.
  • Tove Jansson: Moomin - The Complete Comic Strip. 5 complete comics in one volume.
  • Brian Lane, ed.: The Murder Club Guide to South-West England and Wales. History, true crime.
  • Erica Orloff: Spanish Disco. Chick lit.
  • Amanda Quick: Deception. Historical romance.
  • Julia Quinn: An Offer From a Gentleman. Historical romance.
  • Nora Roberts: The Sign of Seven Trilogy ( Blood Brothers , The Hollow, The Pagan Stone). Supernatural romance.


Popular posts from this blog

Book 40: The Martian by Andy Weir, audiobook read by Wil Wheaton

Note : This will be a general scattershot discussion about my thoughts on the book and the movie, and not a cohesive review. When movies are based on books I am interested in reading but haven't yet read, I generally wait to read the book until I have seen the movie, but when a movie is made based on a book I have already read, I try to abstain from rereading the book until I have seen the movie. The reason is simple: I am one of those people who can be reduced to near-incoherent rage when a movie severely alters the perfectly good story line of a beloved book, changes the ending beyond recognition or adds unnecessarily to the story ( The Hobbit , anyone?) without any apparent reason. I don't mind omissions of unnecessary parts so much (I did not, for example, become enraged to find Tom Bombadil missing from The Lord of the Rings ), because one expects that - movies based on books would be TV-series long if they tried to include everything, so the material must be pared down

List love: 10 recommended stories with cross-dressing characters

This trope is almost as old as literature, what with Achilles, Hercules and Athena all cross-dressing in the Greek myths, Thor and Odin disguising themselves as women in the Norse myths, and Arjuna doing the same in the Mahabaratha. In modern times it is most common in romance novels, especially historicals in which a heroine often spends part of the book disguised as a boy, the hero sometimes falling for her while thinking she is a boy. Occasionally a hero will cross-dress, using a female disguise to avoid recognition or to gain access to someplace where he would never be able to go as a man. However, the trope isn’t just found in romances, as may be seen in the list below, in which I recommend stories with a variety of cross-dressing characters. Unfortunately I was only able to dredge up from the depths of my memory two book-length stories I had read in which men cross-dress, so this is mostly a list of women dressed as men. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb. One of the interwove

Icelandic folk-tale: The Devil Takes a Wife

Stories of people who have made a deal with and then beaten the devil exist all over Christendom and even in literature. Here is a typical one: O nce upon a time there were a mother and daughter who lived together. They were rich and the daughter was considered a great catch and had many suitors, but she accepted no-one and it was the opinion of many that she intended to stay celebrate and serve God, being a very devout  woman. The devil didn’t like this at all and took on the form of a young man and proposed to the girl, intending to seduce her over to his side little by little. He insinuated himself into her good graces and charmed her so thoroughly that she accepted his suit and they were betrothed and eventually married. But when the time came for him to enter the marriage bed the girl was so pure and innocent that he couldn’t go near her. He excused himself by saying that he couldn’t sleep and needed a bath in order to go to sleep. A bath was prepared for him and in he went and