30 June 2002

Reads & Listens, June 2002


Pages for You by Sylvia Brownrigg
Highly seductive and bittersweet coming-of-age novel. I am a little worried by my own indifference to the age difference and power imbalance between the characters -- if Anne were a male TA or professor, I know I would have been repulsed by the whole affair. Instead, all I could think of was the achingly long hours I used to spend in lectures with women I really, really, wanted to make love with. A good read for a lazy summer afternoon.

Upstairs, Downstairs by John Hawkesworth
This is a novel based on the television series so mostly just a cludged together version of the scripts. Therefore, it is even less a real book than some of the romances I've read lately. It might even have negative literary value. Regardless, it was light, amusing, and a good advertisement for the series.

Sarah & Rebekah by Orson Scott Card
These are the first and second books in a trilogy about women of Genesis. While these books spend a fair amount of time fleshing out these women's childhoods and early married years, as soon as we enter into the known scripture stories everything becomes very rushed and choppy. It's as if Card is saying "oh, you know this part all ready so I'll give you the Cliff Notes version." Also, these books follow the Mormon interpretation of scripture and so some events (and characters) seem a little distorted to me.

Poetry Speaks narrated by Charles Osgood
Mmmm ... wonderful book. Great poems and essays as well as amazing recordings on the poets reading their own works. Now I know how "anyone lived in a pretty how town" should be read. However, I wish the editors had decided to clean up some of the early recordings as they were nearly unintelligible without the read-along text. Is that Tennyson or static I hear?

Falling to Earth by Elizabeth Brownrigg
Falling is a wonderful little novel -- a weirdly delightful blend of mysticism and realism. This book is marketed as a lesbian novel, but I think many readers might be disappointed because the books does not focus on Alice's lesbianism. On the other hand, why should the book focus on her lesbianism if it's not important? The book was, for me, about trying to let go of the safe predictable life to rediscover one's creative self.

Freeze My Margarita & Strawberry Tattoo by Lauren Henderson
"Miss Marple crossed with weedkiller." Sexy and wicked.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
Fast paced and generally well written YA. Mel and her brother Bran make a promise to their dying father that they will free Remalna from the oppression of King Galdran's rule and uphold the Covenant. Unfortunately, their rag-tag army is more of a nuisance than an actual threat. Mel is repeatedly taken hostage again and again by Shevraeth whom she detests, but ... do I sense an attempt at romantic tension?

Court Duel by Sherwood Smith
The romantic tension in Crown Duel comes to a head in this book. Unfortunately, so much of it reads like a watered down romance novel. The whole secret admirer scenario was so obvious, I wanted to smack Mel with a clue stick.