Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I've been reading

I'll get back to the economic pedagogy posts later tonight, but I wanted to briefly note what I've been reading in the last year. I'd meant to do a best books read in 2010 post, but it looks as though I may not find the time. All of these are things I'd like to come back to and write more about, at some point.

All of these, and the ones listed below, I liked well enough to endorse here.

Plain Kate, by Erin Bow: okay, this was my favorite book of 2010. It'll get its own post soon.

StarCrossed, by Elizabeth Bunce: first book in a new series, looks as though it's going to have an interesting and complex take on politics and religion.

The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer: best surprise of 2010, because I had seen the Enola Holmes books in the bookstore, and reacted to them with the contempt that only someone who started reading ACD in 5th grade can manifest. "Who needs stupid books about Sherlock Holmes' kid sister?!" But then I read the w00t list over at Book Yurt, and was intrigued, and tried the first one, and was blown away by the balance of plot, strong character writing, and feminist thought that's so well integrated that it didn't feel didactic. I wish I'd been able to read these when I was 11 or 12; I really needed them then.

Behemoth and Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld: read on the plane ride back from London, which is usually gloomy since I am traveling in the Wrong Direction, and they were so much fun that I was cheered up and less inclined to mope. Mostly.

The Miracle Stealer, Neil Connelly: well-written portrait of conservative Christian culture (or at least, the version that I grew up with) that neither condemns it nor smooths it over. A good story, too.

All Clear, Connie Willis: I fully agree with the issues raised by Dame Eleanor, here, and yet, what struck me after I finished this was that for at least 48 hours, I would intermittently wonder what Polly and Merope were doing right now in 1940; and then have to remind myself that they weren't real. And in getting me to think that, I think the book did its job.

Monsters of Men, Patrick Ness: best/strongest ending to a trilogy EVER. In my experience. Needs its own post.

A Fistful of Sky, Nina Hoffman
A Mathematician's Apology, G. H. Hardy
Just Kids, Patti Smith
An Artificial Night and A Local Habitation, Seanan McGuire
Blameless, Gail Carriger
Rampant, Diana Peterfreund
The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
Naked in Death, J. D. Robb
Tongues of Serpents, Naomi Novik
The Housekeeper and the Professor, Yoko Ogawa: I like stories about math. This is a good one.
Changeless, Gail Carriger
Enchanted Glass, Diana Wynne Jones
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures, Carl Zimmer
My Mother Was A Computer, N. Katherine Hayles
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor: you should read this.
Silver Phoenix, Cindy Pon
Stealing the Elf-King's Roses, Diane Duane: unexpectedly wonderful urban technofantasy -- not what I was expecting from the title.
I Am Not A Serial Killer, Dan Wells: very good, and I need to find time to read the sequels.
Alcestis, Katharine Beutner: read this if you would like an expansion of the Persephone myth and/or stories about women with sexual desires/agency
The God of the Hive, Laurie R. King
Feed, Mira Grant
Ash, Malinda Lo
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson: I liked this, but I think it's telling that I haven't rushed out and read the other two books in the series.
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, Alan Bradley: somehow I didn't love this quite as much as I expected to. Might be me, and not Flavia.

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