[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] thelittledog
The acquisition of books is a never-ending process. It seems.

Many years ago, when I was a member of a writers' board called Backspace, one of the members was Sara Gruen, and there was a lot of chatter about her book Water for Elephants. It never struck me as a book I wanted to read, but when I saw a copy on sale on the Co-op's charity table the other day, I picked it up. Only 50p, so what the heck.

Water for Elephants cover

Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.

By morning, he's landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he's in love.

As I say, doesn't really sound like my kind of thing. But we'll see.

50p, remember.

I also bought a book by Philip Reeve that I thought was on my wishlist, but it was one I'd already read. I gave it to other half for their school library, so it wasn't a total waste. Only 50p, again.

In pursuance of my goal of reading, or at least attempting to read, all the books on Ian Sales' SF Mistressworks list, I bought another four books from Awesome Books, of which three have arrived.

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Memory cover

This turned out to be a hardback, which is nice in some ways, but a tad annoying in others, as I find them more difficult to read. Their corners dig into my hands. Yes, I have supersoft hands, thanks not to Fairy Liquid, but to a regimen of moisturising to keep my eczema at bay.

Mind you, no book has caused me as much pain as the paperback of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was so large and heavy it made my hands and wrists ache.

Anyway, back to Memory. Remember that? (Yuk Yuk)

Forced to abandon his undercover role as leader of the Dendarii Mercenaries, Miles Vorkosigan persuades Emperor Gregor to appoint him Imperial Auditor so he can penetrate Barrayar’s intelligence and security operations (ImpSec).

This is the tenth book in the Vorkosigan saga, and to be honest I'm not quite sure why Ian picked it for the list. I think I've read a book in this series before, and didn't become an instant fan. Still, I'm willing to give it a try.

Polar City Blues by Katharine Kerr.

(The title of this book always makes me want to start singing, "Union, Union, Union City Blues." But I digress.)

Polar City Blues cover

A handsome paperback this one, with a good cover.

Polar City: capital of Hagar, one of a handful of worlds on which the tiny, human-dominated Republic sits, uneasily squeezed between the powerful Interstellar Confederation and the enormous Coreward Alliance.

I have to say, I hoped it would be a city in Antarctica, so there's a slight measure of disappointment here.

The quote from Locus on the back doesn't inspire me, either: "There's cops, there's drugrunners, there's whores and pimps...." Uh. Good? How...original.

I probably need to go into this book with a more optimistic mindset than it's given me reason for so far.

Queen City Jazz by Kathleen Ann Goonan.

I observed recently on Twitter that there are a lot of SFFnal books with "City" in the title. Someone should look into that someday.

Queen City Jazz cover

In Verity's world, nanotech plagues decimated the population after an initial renaissance of utopian nanotech cities. Growing up on an isolated farm, she finds her happy life changing course when Blaze, the only young man in the community, and Verity's best friend, is shot.


I felt obliged to insert a comma into that description. You may guess where, if you like.

That's it for the Mistressworks books for now. There's plenty to come, however--it's a long list.

Sister Noon by Karen Joy Fowler.

My niece from America came to visit us recently (I think her parents were there as well) and gave me this book once she'd finished reading it. "I don't recommend it," she said, which isn't a great recommendation, but hey, a book is a book.

Sister Noon cover

I see I had no idea where to shelve this book, so it went in "General Fiction". Maybe I'll have a better idea once I've read it.

I have read other KJF books and enjoyed them, particularly Sarah Canary and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, but then there was The Jane Austen Book Club, so.... We'll see.

Lizzie Hayes, a member of the San Francisco elite, is a seemingly docile, middle-aged spinster praised for her volunteer work with the Ladies Relief and Protection Society Home, or "The Brown Ark". All she needs is the spark that will liberate her from the ruling conventions.

Pointing From the Grave by Samantha Weinberg.

Pointing From the Grave cover

A charity shop find, this one, picked up for "future reference". Maybe one day I will write the crime novel I've got all these research materials for.

Pointing from the Grave is not only a riveting true-crime story but also a fascinating history of the development of DNA research and its role in forensics, taking the reader on a virtual history of DNA with hard science presented in a very accessible and exciting way. It is also an unforgettable story about an unforgettable woman.

That's all the ones I can find for now. Books appear from every crevice, so there's undoubtedly more.
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