Thumbs up for Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. Children’s graphic novel.
A girl whose mother won’t talk about why she emigrated from India discovers a shawl that transports her to a magical version of the land. Cute, but I wish the characters had been more deeply developed. (I think that would have been possible even granted this was marketed toward children.) This seems to be the author’s debut as a graphic novelist, which seems about right.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Young adult historical romance.
It’s 17– and Monty’s in love with his best friend Percy. Joined by Monty’s sister Felicity, they go on the Grand Tour of Europe. Everything that happens after that would be spoilers. I was expecting a sarcastic teen romance with historical trappings which I would put down after ten pages.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Cotillion by Georgette Heyer. Romance.
This is my third Georgette Heyer. I always feel that I should like her more than I do – that’s why I keep trying. And this one, like the other two, was perfectly enjoyable. I just find them…pleasing, not riveting.
Mr. Westruther drew his snuff-box from his pocket, and flicked it open. “If someone would have the goodness to inform me whether I am assisting at a tragedy or a farce I should be grateful,” he said sardonically.
… >> Read more
Thumbs up for:
Family Man, Volume I by Dylan Meconis. Fantasy.
Alabaster: Wolves by Caitlin R. Kiernan, illustrated by Steve Lieber. Fantasy.
Monstress, Volume I: Awakening by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda. Fantasy.
Yes, Roya by C. Spike Trotman, illustrated by Emilee Denich. Erotica.
A batch review here. Family Man is the hardest to describe of the bunch: Um….Half-Jewish Theology student in 1768 Germany makes some bad thesis decisions (Spinoza, atheism) and…academia…and hot librarian…and werewolves, kinda.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Outsider in Amsterdam and The Sergeant’s Cat and Other Stories by Janwillem van de Wetering. Mystery.
I’m not a mystery reader, generally, but there are three or four authors whose books I love. The books of Van de Wetering – globetrotting Dutchman, erstwhile Zen monk, and part-time member of the Amsterdam Police Force – made me exceptionally happy when I read them in my teens, and they continue to make me happy as I’m rereading them now.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Smells Like Finn Spirit by Randy Henderson. Fantasy.
A satisfying tying-up of all the loose ends from the first two books! And it retains the humor of the other books, thank goodness. I do wish it had been about fifty pages shorter: there did seem to be an awful lot of running around from one fight to another.… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Gogol. Short stories.
“Taras Bulba” – an adventure novella about the father and two sons of a Cossack family – is a fun historical swashbuckler which does a fine job of evoking a time and place: the landscape, the culture, the individuals. This is, mind you, assuming you can overlook the rampant anti-Semitism and various other bigotries, which were so pervasive that even I – used to putting up with a lot of offensive stuff in old books – found it difficult to squint past.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. Romance.
I am terribly conflicted about this book. To be clear, I enjoyed it overall and will try other books by the author. Penny Reid writes what she bills as “smart romances,” and yes, she is both very smart and very funny – I bookmarked many pages that made me laugh out loud, mostly pertaining to the heroine Janie’s hilarious habit of running off at the mouth about trivial facts when stressed.… >> Read more