28 April 2004

Reads & Listens, April 2004

Reads:

The Story of Mrs. Lovewright and Her Purrless Cat by Lore Segal (illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky)
Beautifully illustrated and so very funny. Unfortunately, out of print, but you can probably get a copy through your library.

Pigs, Pigs, Pigs! by Lesléa Newman (illus. by Erika Oller)
Really cute rhymes and illustrations -- if you liked Cats, Cats, Cats! you'll like this one, too.

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs! by Lesléa Newman (illus. by Erika Oller)
As usual, the illustrations have lots of detail to keep the little ones fascinated and the rhymes are good for those just learning to count.

Angelica by Sharon Shinn
Set way before the other Samaria books, this is the story of Susannah the Edori and Gaaron the Archangel Elect and loads of other people. Like the last few Samaria books, the endings just ... happen. Things are moving along and everything is all so very interesting and then it's all very hurry up and tidy up for the ending we're done. I am left thinking "But wait! What about x and y and how ..." Still, very enjoyable. I look forward to reading Angelseeker.

On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill
Eh. Novel tried to be too many things and none of them well. Probably, okay as a two episode teevee drama.

Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger 
You know, I'd been waiting to get my hands on this book for a while and when it finally showed up at the library with my name on it I was damned chipper. While I was still pretty bemused when I started the first story, the feeling didn't last. India is just a backdrop, most of the characters are unsympathetic, and the stories are completely unengaging. I don't know ... maybe, it was just all too subtle for me.

Emma Brown by Clare Boylan (based on a manuscript by Charlotte Bronte)
Only the first 20 pages and some random bits are Bronte's. The rest are pure Boylan and, you know, if you want to read about the seamy side of Victorian England, I'd stick with Sarah Waters.

Listens:

Marrying the Mistress by Joanna Trollope (read by Lindsay Duncan)
Hmmm. Not a bad listen. The ending is a bit weak and I never really got a "feel" for some of the characters, but there are some really beautifully worked scenes which more than make up for the book's faults.

I Thee Wed by Amanda Quick (read by Barbara Rosenblat)
Pretty formula driven (if you've read other Quicks you pretty well know how this one will work out), but some of the dialogue is quite charming and it is all nicely read by Rosenblat.