WWW Wednesday (May 23, 2012)

After skipping last week, due to “no change since week before syndrome,” I will now carry on.  I haven’t been spending a lot of time reading, but at least I do have stuff to show that I haven’t already shown before.

From shouldbereading:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

First, a library ebook loan, A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness.  This one started off great. I loved the Oxford setting, the ongoing research in “Bodley’s Library,” the Ashmolian tie-in… it was smart and fun. A tenured professor from Yale is researching in Oxford. She is a witch denying her magic, but it seems magic will not be denied. She puts in a request for an obscure text, Ashmole 782, and it comes. And every witch, daemon and vampire in England seems to descend upon the library in an attempt to get it.

I’m in the middle now and it’s feeling more like a romance novel. This is actually somewhat in Twilight-territory if you consider that the heroine  is now in deep trouble, and a vampire has made an unhealthy connection with her and is determined to protect and save her.  In this case, however, the witch does not allow herself to be carried around like an infant, ahem.  I won’t say I’m not still enjoying it.  I am. But as I said, it’s feeling more like a romance than a straight fantasy, so if that’s your thing, you’re gonna love this one.

As for audiobooks, I’m listening to Anita by Keith Roberts. This is from the Neil Gaiman Presents collection on audible, and he says he chose it because, Anita is an almost forgotten novel by one of the finest UK writers. It works on two levels. The stories are a product of the 1960s – they come out of a swinging world and a ‘Georgy Girl’ time, and Keith Roberts, then a young art director, has captured that feel. At the same time, it’s about a teenage witch being brought up her Granny. He writes about her falling in love, getting her heart broken, about change and growing up and compromise, about what magic is and how you can lose it sometimes and how you can get it back.”

• What did you recently finish reading?

I finished listening to Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs, Book 2 in the series), by Jacqueline Winspear.  Maisie (and for some reason that sounds like an old woman in Brooklyn to me, not England) is a private investigator between the World Wars. She served in a field hospital (and was injured) during WWI, where she also lost her fiance. She’s seen a lot. I find these books difficult to judge because I do enjoy them. I enjoy the worlds, the characters, the era–but then, is anybody surprised? England. Need I say more?  I was bothered in this one by the fact that our pov character finds things or does things while leaving the reader in the dark, which is manipulative and a cheat from the author.  It wasn’t enough to ruin the book for me, but it was enough for me not to give it highest marks. It may have been a little less annoying because I think this is true of early mysteries, so it felt a little bit “period” in the author’s handling of these things, and I forgave it. Mostly.

It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. But what seems a simple case at the outset soon becomes increasingly complicated when three of the heiress’s old friends are found dead. 

The mystery itself was rooted in the tragedies of the Great War, and was fascinating as it unfolded.  There are plenty of shady suspects around, as well. My guesses at the secret in the past came nowhere near the mark. Anyway, if you like British mysteries you should check these out.  Winspear has won a number of awards including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs,  according to her Amazon page.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

From what I’ve been reading lately, you’d assume something with witches.  If so, it might be The Hedgewitch Queen, by Lilith Saintcrow.

Vianne di Rocancheil has been largely content to play the gawky provincial. As lady in waiting at the Court of Arquitaine, she studies her books, watches for intrigue, and shepherds her foolhardy Princesse safely through the glittering whirl. Court is a sometimes-unpleasant waltz, especially for the unwary, but Vianne treads its measured steps well. Unfortunately, the dance has changed. Treachery is afoot in gilded and velvet halls. A sorcerous conspiracy is unleashed, with blood, death, and warfare close behind. Her Princesse murdered and her own life in jeopardy, Vianne must flee, carrying the fate of her land with her

Or it might be something entirely different.  I guess we’ll all know next week!  (Okay, I’ll know before you do. Because I have the Power to Choose.)

What about you? What are your WWWs? If you post on your blog, leave a link below! Otherwise answer here.

Note:  My notifications aren’t working. If you leave a comment, I will reply to it! But you won’t know unless you check back to see. Sorry. I’m having wordpress issues!

 

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11 Comments

Filed under Books, Library books, Reading, Review, WWW Wednesday

11 responses to “WWW Wednesday (May 23, 2012)

  1. I liked the same parts of Discovery of Witches–the library and academia were wonderful. The romance? Not so wonderful. But I’m looking forward to book 2.

  2. I just read The Tea Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly, a rollicking, whopping 1900s saga with great characters. It’s the first in a trilogy. It’s set in London and New York.

    I’m now reading By Invitation Only by Jodi Della Femina.

    I’ll soon be reading book two of Donnelly’s Rose Trilogy, Wild Rose.

  3. A great mix of books for you this week, happy reading! 🙂

    Here you can find my WWW post for this week:
    http://www.peekabook.it/2012/05/www-wednesdays-may23.html

    Valentina
    http://www.peekabook.it

  4. An interesting mix of books. I’m not a huge fan of audio, but I think I’ll check out the book that Neil Gaiman recommends. Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday.

    • My favorite Neil Gaiman audio is Anansi Boys. He said he wrote it with Lenny Henry in mind, and the way Lenny Henry reads it is just magic, itself.

  5. denise

    not much has changed since the the last WWW

  6. Pingback: And the winner is… | planetpooks.com

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