Thumbs up for Wrapt in Crystal by Sharon Shinn. Science fiction.

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read Sharon Shinn: indeed, on revisiting her work, I realize I was overdue. This was not quite as good as her Samaria series, or my (perhaps idiosyncratically) personal favorite, Heart of Gold, but that’s a relative sort of thing. Wrapt In Crystal is a murder mystery, a romance, and a speculative fiction novel.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. Fantasy.

I had heard good things about this trilogy from various sources, so when a copy of the first one showed up at work I took it home with the thought of sampling a few pages. 71 pages later, I looked up and realized it was past bedtime. The main character is a woman convicted of murder who is offered, instead of execution, the chance to become the local dictator’s food taster.… >> Read more

Thumbs up (provisionally) for I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Romance.

A Jane Austen “one of us had better marry for money, and damn soon, or we’re all going to starve” story set in the thirties, narrated in diary format by a young woman who wants to be a writer. I have a problematic relationship with this book. I first read it years ago – pre- or early teens.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Matched by Ally Condie. Young adult science fiction.

There’s no real violence in this, so it’s not so much a Hunger Games knock-off as The Giver redone as a romance. And done fairly well. (And if you don’t know what I mean because you haven’t read The Giver, what’s wrong with you? Go read it. I’ll wait.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Science fiction/romance.

I’m not sure if it’s just my coworkers and I, or if other used-booksellers also have a visceral aversion to reading books that have been fads; suffice it to say when this book was at the height of its popularity you could not have made me read it if you’d held a gun to my head: I was tired to the point of fury about being asked for it every ten minutes.… >> Read more

Jewels of the Sun: The Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy (Irish Trilogy, Book 1)

Thumbs up for Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts. Romance.

I like the idea of romance novels, but I can’t stomach any modern romance unless it is liberally mixed with something else (science fiction or humor). Nevertheless, as I said, I like the idea, so I sample them now and then. After spending two days organizing the gargantuan Nora Roberts section at the bookstore where I work, it seemed only fair I try one of hers, since she is after all supposed to be The Best.… >> Read more