Monday, December 20, 2010

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Under HeavenUnder Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Read: 29-10-10 to 20-12-10

I'm not quite sure what I think of this book.

I liked it, but it wasn't prefect. The prose was beautiful and so was the setting. But something about it just didn't seem to flow properly for me. It was beautifully put together, but it seemed to be lacking narrative flow.

All the different points of view sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. Some of the characters are introduced and never seen again. I wouldn't have understood the shifts of first person POV if I hadn't heard a podcast with the author, explaining it.

(All the first person POV is for female characters, because in such times they had to be powerfully in the moment to have an impact on the world.)

I've still given this a high rating, because it's a beautiful book and I really enjoyed reading it, but it isn't perfect and I find myself left with a slightly puzzled feeling.

I read this with a book group and about half of the commenters loved it and half were disappointed. I find myself somewhere in the middle, and it is clear different readers have very different responses, so read it for yourself and see what you think.

View all my reviews

Sobering but important

This video was made by Laurel of Dreams at Stake who has very severe CFS. Because of that it took her over 4 months to make.

It is well worth watching.

As always with You Tube videos I post on the blog, it doesn’t fit my template, so please do click through at watch it either at Laurel’s site or You Tube.

Saturday, December 18, 2010



pie It’s the scientist in me, but I think that’s totally brilliant.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My November Reading

Considering that my main reading focus remains Janny Wurts’ Wars of Light and Shadow series (of which I am up to book 4 and which I am still loving), I’m pleased with what I managed this month.

Seabiscuit was finished this month, but certainly wasn’t all read this month. It’s been my “take a break” book over the last few months and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. I will be reading Laura Hillenbrand’s new book, Unbroken, when life (and my reading schedule) eases up a bit.

As well as dragging me into the Wars of Light and Shadow, Beyond Reality is also to blame for me reading some short fiction this month (and next as well). I don’t usually find short stories an easy read and only pick ones that are filling in pieces of bigger series I already read. But the group has been picking 2 stories a month and so far I’ve managed to read them all. I found that if I copy the story off the internet and turn it into an ebook I can read on my phone I find it much easier to manage, so that is what I’ve been doing. So far, some have worked better for me than others, but I’m looking forward to continuing with the challenge. I’m not sure just when I read the shorts, so I’ve just added them to the end of the list (links are to the stories themselves, not to reviews.

  1. Indulgence in Death – J. D. Robb (373pp)
    Eve Dallas, Book 38; Futuristic Mystery; eBook; 8/10
  2. SeabiscuitLaura Hillenbrand (453pp)
    Non-Fiction; 8/10
  3. Bonds of Justice – Nalini Singh (348pp)
    Psy/Changeling, Book 8; Paranormal Romance; eBook; 8/10
  4. Guardian of the DeadKaren Healey (348pp)
    YA; Fantasy; New Zealand; 10/10
  5. Fugitive Prince – Janny Wurts (576pp)
    Wars of Light and Shadow, Book 4; Fantasy; eBook; 10/10
  6. How Do You Tuck in a Superhero? – Rachel Balducci (208pp)
    Non-Fiction; Library Book; 6/10
  7. Paper Cradle – Stephen Gaskell
    Short Story; Web/eBook; 6/10
  8. A Study in Emerald – Neil Gaiman
    Short Story; Web; 7/10
  9. Hokkaido Green – Aidan Doyle
    Short Story; Web/eBook; 5/10

Best book of the month = Fugitive Prince
Biggest disappointment of the month = Hokkaido Green

November Reading:
Books read this month = 6
Short Stories read this month = 3
Total reads this month = 9

10/10 reads this month = 1
DNFs this month = 0
New reads this month = 9
Rereads this month = 0
paper books : eBooks = 3 : 6 = 33.3 % : 66.6 %

Pages read this month = 1994

November Challenges Progress:
Flashback Reading Challenge = 0
Big Book Challenge = 1

November List Progress:
eBooks read = 6
SFF books read = 6
Library Books read = 1
Audiobooks listened to = 0