needs more demons?

irreverent opinions on books

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Entries from Jan 2013

Julian Fellowes: Snobs

27 Jan 2013 · 1 Comment

I like Julian Fellowes’ TV series Downton Abbey quite a bit, but unfortunately I bought this book before I realized that relatively little of what I like about the show is about the writing, particularly the plotting. It’s almost uniformly excellently acted, and the production design is gorgeous. Certainly some of my emotional investment in [...]

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Tags: f-author · fiction · s-title

Joe Meno: Demons in the Spring

16 Jan 2013 · No Comments

One of the things that impresses me most about Meno is how adept he is at both naturalistic and magical realist* fiction. Two of my favorite stories in this collection, “Miniature Elephants are Popular” and “Airports of Light” explore striking, original, and emotionally resonant metaphors for grief and loss. (I thought the similarly themed “The [...]

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Tags: d-title · fiction · m-author

Jo Stanley: Bold in Her Breeches: Women Pirates Across the Ages

07 Jan 2013 · No Comments

A history of female pirates faces formidable challenges: career criminals tends to be systematically sensationalized and mythologized, pirates were overwhelmingly from a socio-economic class virtually ignored by traditional historians, and the doings — or even presence — of women is likewise ignored by many historical sources. A handful of female pirates left a verifiable history [...]

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Tags: b-title · c-author · history · m-author · s-author · w-author

Jim C. Hines: The Stepsister Scheme

03 Jan 2013 · No Comments

I first heard of Jim C. Hines via his project of challenging the objectification of women on “urban fantasy/paranormal romance” book covers by painstakingly (literally) re-creating the poses with himself in the starring role. Like much of my favorite activism, it’s funny and serious at the same time. (He even tackles a book where I [...]

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Tags: fantasy · h-author · s-title

favorite books of 2012 and stats

02 Jan 2013 · No Comments

I read 54 books in 2012, including:

works by 32 male authors/editors and 26 female authors/editors
46 recent (this millennium) and 8 older books
45 works of fiction and 10 of nonfiction (1 double-hitter)

The fiction included:

3 single-author short story collections and 42 novels
18 works marketed to young adult (or pre-adult) audiences
27 books you might see filed under science [...]

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Tags: 2012