Calendar Girl (kirilaw) wrote,
Calendar Girl

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54. Oryx and Crake (Margaret Atwood)
This is Margaret Atwood's novel-length return to sf after the Handmaid's Tale (she has written a number of sf stories in between, but let that pass for now). Alas, I did not find it a satisfying return. I've been trying to put my finger on what it was about it that didn't quite work, and I've been having difficulty. There isn't a lot that's objectively wrong here… just not enough that's really right. None of the characters were even remotely sympathetic, which made it difficult for me to be really hooked in to the story, And it's more than a little frustrating to have Margaret freakin' Atwood producing a cardboard cut-out of a female character (and yes, I know, that was the point… but still!). I also had the feeling that this was supposed to be a fresh and new post-apocalyptic vision, but it ended up feeling like every other post-apocalyptic vision. Which is a shame. **

55. Tesseracts 3 (ed. Candas Jane Dorsey and Gerry Truscott)
Still no conclusions about the Meaning of Canadian SF. Some fabulous stories, though. A few that were less gripping for me, too, but you can't have it all. (I gotta stop reviewing these collections -- I never have anything new to say) ****

56. Flesh and Gold (Phyllis Gotlieb)
This is an… interesting book. It's very densely imagined -- there's clearly been a substantial amount of universe-building put into it. Unfortunately, I found it slightly unfocused -- there were almost too many different protagonists and points of view, too much universe-specific detail, and it began to feel slightly overwhelming. That said, the writing is very good indeed, and the plotting is intricate without being even a little unrealistic. ***

57. The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova)
I LOVED this book. It's a good 600 pages long, but I simply devoured it -- I can't count the number of times I almost missed my stop while reading it on the bus. It's a vampire story, mostly, but also a story about love and scholarly research. There is absolutely no reason it should be so captivating -- the vast majority of it is told through flashbacks and newly-discovered old letters, and the entire book is told from the perspective of an older professor looking back on her adolescence. It should have been dry and slow-moving. It was not. Kostova managed a delicate balancing act so that each of the nested stories, each of the time periods, maintained a level of tension and suspense. I don't know how she pulled it off, but this is a great read. *****

58. Y: the Last Man (Brian K. Vaughan et al.): vol. 8: Kimono Dragons
Violence. Death. Backstory. Mysterious connections. This series is becoming more and more a who-killed-the-men mystery... which is an interesting question, although it's starting to feel a little drawn out (mostly because the amazing coincidences are beginning to get to me). That said, this is a pretty good installment, although not as good as the last one (alas!). ***

1. Freud's Women (Lisa L. Appignanesi) ***
2. Practical Magic (Alice Hoffman) *****
3. What the Body Remembers (Shauna Singh Baldwin) ****
4. Serenity: Those Left Behind (Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, et al) ***
5. Y: the Last Man, vol. 6 -- Girl on Girl (Brian K. Vaughan et al) ***
6. In Her Own Time: A Class Reunion Inspires a Cultural History of Women (Maggie Siggins) ***
7. Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World (Nicholas Ostler) ****
8. V for Vendetta (Alan Moore and David Lloyd) *****
9. Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray) ***
10. Put the Book Back on the Shelf: A Belle and Sebastian Anthology (multiple authors) ***
11. Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman) *****
12. Bachelor Girl: 100 Years of Breaking the Rules -- A Social History of Living Single (Betsy Israel) ***
13. The Snow (Adam Roberts) **
14. The Snow Queen (Joan D. Vinge) ****
15. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill) Vol. 1 *****
16. In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challengeing the Cult of Speed (Carl Honore) **
17. Hard Time (Steve Gerber et al.) ***
18. Year's Best SF 2 (ed. David Harwell) ****
19, 20, 21, 22, 23. The First Chronicles of Amber (Roger Zelazny): Nine Princes in Amber, The Guns of Avalon, Sign of the Unicorn, The Hand of Oberon, The Courts of Chaos ***
24. A Song for Arbonne (Guy Gavriel Kay) ****
25. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill) Vol. 2 ****
26, 27, 28. The Fionavar Tapestry (Guy Gavriel Kay): The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road ****
29. The Obesity Myth (Paul Campos) ****
30. Astonishing X-Men (Joss Whedon and John Cassaday et al) Vol. 1 ***
31. Inkheart (Cornelia Funke) ****
32. Black Water: The Anthology of Fantastic Literature (ed. Alberto Manguel) ***
33. History of Sexuality (Michel Foucault) Vol. 1: An Introduction ***
34. Darwinia (Robert Charles Wilson) ****
35. The Meaning of Wife (Anne Kingston) ****
36. Fables (Bill Willingham et al) Vol 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) ****
37. Lord Byron's Novel: the Evening Land (John Crowley) *****
38. When Nietzsche Wept (Irvin D. Yalom) **
39. Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siecle (Elaine Showalter) ****
40. The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965 (Samuel R. Delany) ****
41. Y: the Last Man (Brian K. Vaughan et al.): Vol. 7: Paper Dolls ****
42. 1602 (Neil Gaiman et al.) ****
43. Lucifer (Mike Carey et al.): Vol. 1: Devil in the Gateway ****
44. The Salt Roads (Nalo Hopkinson) ****
45. Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson) *****
46. Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand (Samuel R. Delany) ***
47. The Big Over Easy (Jasper Fforde) ****
48. Green Arrow: Quiver (Kevin Smith et al.) ****
49. The War of the Flowers (Tad Williams) ***
50. A Paradigm of Earth (Candas Jane Dorsey) *****
51. Machine Sex and Other Stories (Candas Jane Dorsey) ****
52. Tesseracts Nine (ed. Nalo Hopkinson and Geoff Ryman) ****
53. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Bill Willingham et al.) *****
Tags: books

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