Friday, October 08, 2021

What I'm Reading Now

 Naomi Novik, The Graduate

This is the second book in the series that started with A Deadly Education -- a magic school filled with monsters actively trying to kill the young sorcerers. Class politics and ethical question dealt with here. Is there ethical existence under capitalism, sort of thing.

These aren't exactly fun, but they're very much worth reading. I like that the main characters are three young women who are interested in their own lives, and their own work, rather than being focused like 110% on some guy.  The male characters are great, also. It's not like, an anti-male book. It's just realistic.(Just a tip in general, men who are trying to write women: women don't think about men nearly as much as you think we do. Or at all, some days.)

Also there's a great pet mouse.

T.L. Huchu, The Library of the Dead

A story about someone who can see ghosts -- which I'm a sucker for -- set in a near-future, dystopian Scotland. There's a mystery about missing children, which works as the spine of the book, but I am here for the magic library, the mouthy protagonist, and Scotland functioning without oil or jobs under an oppressive King.

This is clearly the first of a series, and I want more. Huchu had written some non-SF books, apparently. I will have to make due with those.

Tracy Kidder, Among School Children

TBH, I read this one because it was in large print and my library has almost no books in large print that I want to read. (Mostly westerns, romances, and inferior mystery novels.) Especially late at night these days my eyes get tired and it's hard for me to read regular print. Since my iPad died, I'm having to resort to large print or listening to the books available on YouTube.

But Tracy Kidder can certainly write. If you're interested in what public schools were like in Massachusetts in the 1980s, this is your source. Extremely readable, a deep five into a single classroom in a single school and the problems faced by both the teacher and the students.

Kit Whitfield, Benighted

This is a re-read. It's a werewolf book from 2006, which I haven't read since about 2009 (I think?). A quick check of Google shows me that Whitfield hasn't published anything since 2009. I remember she had a kid right about then.

Twitter tells me she has a book coming out soon! That's good news. 

Anyway, Benighted holds up -- it's sort of a mystery novel with werewolves. In this universe, 99% of those born are werewolves. Non-werewolves, or "nons," work for DORLA, which is a formerly religious and now secular organization that patrols during "the moon" to keep werewolves from killing anything, or anyone. The main character works for DORLA. When one of her fellow DORLA workers is murdered, she's involved in finding out who did it and why.

If you like heterosexual werewolf novels, this one is pretty good. (Most werewolf stories are heavily gay and trans coded, FYI.)


Jenny F. Scientist said...

Werewolf mystery! Yes please!

I read Jordan Hawk's latest a while ago (Unhallowed) and it was great. But no werewolves. Just sea monster things and weird magic.

delagar said...

Hawk looks interesting! I need to check him out.

nicoleandmaggie said...

How did I not know the graduate was out?!? But our libraries don't have it yet and it ends on another cliff-hanger, so I will put it on my amazon wishlist and hope someone gets it for me for Christmas. I thought the first book was great fun and also very funny. Which is interesting to me because I have so much of a lower thresh-hold for bad stuff happening, but A Deadly Education wasn't at all a problem-- there's plenty of warning and it's macabre and in the first book at least nobody is killed for Pathos reasons, really just for scene setting and plot.

Maybe I'll reread my Jordan Hawks after I'm done rereading Krentz's Harmony series. He's a lot of fun too, werewolves or not. :) (And you can often get bargains on sets of his older ebooks.)