Posts Tagged ‘Lord John’

Between two lists

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Well, I’ve the first book of 2009 to report on, and I still haven’t finished the ones from 2008.

1. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon

It’s a bit of a cheat, since the first of 2009 is actually a reread of one from 2008 (last March, so not that recent), which I can’t do better than explain as I did on the Outlander board over at Ravelry:

I just reread Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (we were going to go to Coram’s Fields and the Foundling Museum, and I thought I’d share the bit about Dr Rigby’s Foundling Hospital – thankfully I skimmed it first and didn’t, as that is not a chapter to read out of context – suffice it (for those who’ve read the book) to say that that’s the chapter directly after the one entitled “Finally”, but anyhow I then reread the whole book) and noticed even more sly references to modern culture. There’s the obvious “She ain’t heavy, she’s his sister”, but has anyone else felt shades of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride from the last scene in the regimental offices?

Oh well, I definitely was going to reread stuff from last year (I’m just impressed at how this whole thing stopped me – mostly – from rereading stuff within 2008), so I might as well be upfront about it from the beginning.

And now to confuse you, let’s skip back and do some more of the last of 2008:

314. Transfused With Hope by B. Berger

This genre within Jewish non-fiction of inspirational biographies of families dealing with severe medical issues seems to be increasingly popular, but thankfully also increasingly well-written. It certainly inspired me to go back to my platelets donation (I’d only missed one month, but still!) even from the beginning (I finished the book during my session).

315. In the Dark by Deborah Guttentag

Another newly published book from the Orthodox Jewish publishers, but this is different from any I’ve read before, and very good. It kept me guessing right till near the end (some of my early guesses turned out to be right, but I couldn’t tell that for sure for a long time). The plot doesn’t always move along as fast as one might expect, but in many ways that adds to the realistic feeling.

316. Elephants on Acid by Alex Boese

I picked this up as a Chanuka present for my brother on the way to meet up with him, dipping into several chapters in the shop, and then sneakily going back to the beginning and reading it cover to cover very carefully indeed so I could still give it to him in pristine condition a few days later! It’s both amusing and thought-provoking (which I prefer to ‘educational’, as that could mean almost anything), and includes the classic horrific psychological experiments that went wrong, like the Stanford Prison experiment, as well as plenty of bizarre scientific experiments I never had. (All of the experiments included were written up as peer-reviewed studies.) People’s curiosity does lead them some strange places…

317. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I picked this one up at the same time as the Elephants above, after reading the comments of several school librarians on how popular they are with teenage girls, and discussions on the series’ actual merits. The nature of these discussions left me remarkably unspoilered, so I basically only knew it was a teen romance involving vampires, that apparently suggests sex should only take place within marriage.

Anyway, it was far better than I expected from that introduction, and I went straight out and got the other three in the series (so nice to come to a complete series, and not have to wait!). They’re not high literature, but I did find them thought provoking, and a step up in my reading mood from wallowing in classic children’s books I’ve read dozens of times before. You’ll see do I read them again anytime soon, however…

318. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Probably my least liked of the series, because depression is not a fun read, and it takes up a lot of the book.

319. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Hm, I liked New Moon least, but I can’t really remember what happened in Eclipse… (I lent the books on, so can’t remind myself.)

320. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

So no sex before marriage, then, but once marriage takes place, why think of anything else unless it’s life-threatening?

Reading Amusement

Sunday, 9 March 2008

66. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon

67. Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon

I finally finished my read of the whole Lord John sequence in order (the three stories/novellas in Hand of Devils sandwich the two novels) of which the last novella (“Lord John and the Haunted Soldier”) is the only one I hadn’t read before. This story is about the aftermath of one of the more minor events of Brotherhood, restoring that event to a significance even beyond the one Lord John thought it would have. There are rather a lot of major events of Brotherhood that aren’t referred to in more than passing, but it does need to be kept relatively short, and as Gabaldon has explained, she wrote these two at the same time, and was not given sufficient copy-editing time in between. The two books were published literally within days of each other in the USA, although annoyingly in the UK we had to wait months for Hand of Devils, for no discernible reason.

Anyhow, I was also checking through the silly number of programs I have on my computer, and noticing Family Tree Maker 2005 I wondered whether it would complain about Gabaldon’s time-travellers, so I made a new file and put in some of the characters from her main series. As I suspected, it didn’t much like someone from the 20th century getting married in the 18th, but not because they weren’t born yet, just because the bride was under ten years old! That made me giggle, anyhow.

Sewing up loose ends

Thursday, 28 February 2008

58. Sew What! Skirts by Francesca Denhartog & Carole Ann Camp

See, when it’s a craft I don’t do, I can read the book as a book. (I haven’t put down Search PressBeginner’s Guide to Crochet by Pauline Turner that I skimmed at work today, again because I don’t really read crochet books – just skim them for what might be new or interesting to me.) Anyway, this (the skirts book) actually reads quite well, unlike many craft books, and seems to give very clear instructions as to making, improvising and embellishing one’s own skirts, with good personal fit and fashion.

59. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon

I’ve read this a few times before, but am going back through all the Lord John stories now that I have the newest book (Lord John and the Hand of Devils) which includes the three shorter stories that sandwich the two novels. I like Lord John largely because he’s an interesting honourable man inside whose head we get to see. The mysteries of the stories are complete and engrossing, but not really the point for me (I amn’t someone who seeks the genre out).