FF: Pigs, Priests, and Pegasi

If it weren’t for audiobooks, I’d have had trouble getting my “book fix” this week…

A lovely summer read

A lovely summer read

The Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include either short fiction or magazine articles.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  Three excellent stories.  The “frame” in which they were presented also worked well.

The Sky Chariots Saga Book 1: Restless Earth by Emily Mah.  Part one of a serial, so this was mostly set-up and presentation of characters.  Setting is an alternate southwestern U.S.  May be an alternate future, despite the fantasy elements.  Includes pegasi, but a very different take.

The Father Brown Mysteries.  Audio.  Radio dramas based on the stories by G.K. Chesterton.

In Progress:

Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Mustache Mary by Wendelin Van Draanen.  Missing treasure and family feuds provide the backdrop for more serious questions of friendship and peer pressure.  More mature concerns like boys and substance abuse enter for the first time in the series.  A very large pig provides humor.

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  This one seems to be a prequel to the “Miles” stories.  Focuses on the genetically engineered “quaddies.”  (I’m guessing at the spelling since this is an audiobook!  Just started getting tense.

Also:

Almost done proofing Curiosities, my forthcoming short story collection.

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9 Responses to “FF: Pigs, Priests, and Pegasi”

  1. Jay M. Says:

    Very little reading this week since I moved back from Beijing China to the USA. I did manage to finish “Police at the Funeral” (Campion book 4) by Allingham and begin “Sweet Danger” (Campion book 5), but when I say “finish” and “begin”, we’re talking just a few chapters. This was not a week for reading.

    Next book after this will be F&SF, because I’ve gone too far into the mystery genre for a while. Maybe a McDevitt book, like the ones you’ve been discussing.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Couldn’t you read on the plane?

      • J.M. Says:

        Reading on a plane is not without difficulties, the cramped seats being one and motion sickness when I read in a moving vehicle being another. Add it being a night flight, taking off at 6 p.m. and flying for 13 hours, with my inability to sleep on planes, and the whole trip has a blurred, dreamlike quality.

        *shrug* Fodder for writing a story in the future.

  2. Chad Merkley Says:

    Sky Chariots and Sammy Keyes sound like fun. I’ll have to hunt them out.

    I discovered another Diana Wynne Jones book hiding in the local library: Deep Secrets, It was hidden with the adult SFF instead of the young adult. Great mixture catastrophe and humor and amazing characters. Switching between two POV characters works very well, here.

    A couple of non-fiction books: The Shepherd’s LIfe by James Rebanks. I enjoyed the details of animal husbandry the most, but he also includes discussion about the meaning of the Lakes District to England, and how differently it was perceived by different groups of people. As a shepherd himself, the author is continuing traditions in that area that go back well over a thousand years. The wild, unspoiled, country of the early romantic poets has been inhabited and modified by humans for millennia. Some of his statements remind me of the problems created by the Indian Reservation system here in the U.S.

    I also read The Man who Would Not be Washington by Jonathan Horn. It details with Robert E. Lee’s relationship to George Washington and his legacy. Lee was married to the granddaughter of one of Washington’s stepchildren, and was an executor in the probate of part of Washington’s remaining estate. The author also quotes extensively from REL’s correspondence, and digs quite deeply into his views on slavery, secession, (he was somewhat opposed to both), his concepts of morality and duty, his relationship to his sons and daughters. A very interesting book, fairly short, but thought provoking.

    Jane, 2 questions. How will your story collection be published? E-book and POD or traditionally? And in all the Bujold books you’ve been reading, have you read The Curse of Chalion and its sequels? Some of my all-time favorite novels.

  3. janelindskold Says:

    CURIOSITIES will be published e-book and POD. I’m hoping to have it ready by the end of August, for Bubonicon.

    I believe I read THE CURSE OF CHALION but I’m not sure. I’d need to go look up a description.

    I’m wondering if parts of FALLING FREE were publishing in another form, since there are times the novel seems very familiar and other times not… I’m still enjoying immensely.

    What do you think of her prequels dealing with Mile’s parents? I’ve been shying away because I’m not much for romance novels. Romance sure, great, but it’s got to be leavened with a heavy mixture of something else.

    • Peter Says:

      I really enjoyed them. Definitely long on “something else” (I’m honestly not sure how they get tagged as “romance”.)

    • Chad Merkley Says:

      Shards of Honor and Barrayar are way deeper than just romance. Some of the events include mutiny, political intrigue, assassination attempts, daring raids, daring escapes, a couple of wars, a fish tank used as an impromptu interrogation tool….Lots of characters who show up in the later books get some interesting screen time: Bothari, Koudelka, Lady Vorpatril, and so on. The romance does not hold center stage at all. Very much worth reading.

  4. Paul Dellinger Says:

    I’m waiting for the POD version of “Curiosities” to be published. I’ve read many of those stories…but I want to READ THEM AGAIN! (Plus those I’ve missed.)

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