What I’m reading


I visited the secondhand bookstore in Mapleton with Naomi on the weekend (I find it terribly hard to just walk by secondhand bookstores without even taking a little look) and bought a few things:
War Crimes by Peter Carey, which is a collection of short stories I read last year and loved. I’m fairly sure it’s out of print, and I wanted my own copy.
The Dark Room by Minette Walters, because I enjoy her crime novels/thrillers.
Behold, Here’s Poison by Georgette Heyer, because I recently read and really enjoyed Cotillion, one of her Regency romances, and wanted to try one of her mystery novels.
Half the Day is Night by Maureen McHugh, because Culturally Disoriented put McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang on her list of Eight Great Science Fiction Books for Women, and I’ve been wanting to read something of McHugh’s since reading that list.


I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books recently, and it seems to have kickstarted my reading again for the year. What with driving and cleaning and the logistical challenges of transforming a junk room into a baby’s room (ie. where does all the junk go), I seem to have had more time for listening to books, rather than sitting down and reading.

I read the first book in Dan Wells’ trilogy about a teenage sociopath (who is trying to avoid turning into the serial killer he thinks he’s destined to be) a while ago, and recently listened to the second two as audiobooks. They’re not great choices for audiobooks, at least not to me – hearing someone narrate horrible deaths and torture quietly into your ears is a bit unpleasant. But they were enjoyable well paced thrillers with a supernatural bent, albeit just on the edge of my acceptable level of horror (which is not all that high).

I then listened to Cotillion, my first Georgette Heyer book (and a much more relaxing choice for an audiobook, being a fun and jolly romance with matchmaking and hijinks) and I’ve now decided that I must read more of Heyer’s books. Cotillion was tremendously enjoyable in a fun-and-jolly-romance sort of way.

At the moment I’m listening to The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, which is a book I’m reading for a bookclub and therefore know nothing about (apart from the fact that it’s set in North Korea). I’m about halfway through, and at the moment would tentatively describe it as “epic literature” – but who knows what direction it’ll head in before it ends.

Ordinary, Everyday Reading

And as for normal books-on-paper, I just finished (and wept over) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, which features women pilots and spies in WWII and is about female friendship and integrity and bravery and is just a really wonderful book – the Book Smugglers’ review tells it much better than I could.

I’m also reading (not on paper, but on Kindle) Kameron Hurley’s God’s War, which is a fairly brutal sci-fi novel with bounty hunters that begins like this, which if you’re me sounds fairly irresistible:

“Nyx sold her womb somewhere between Punjai and Faleen, on the edge of the desert.

Drunk, but no longer bleeding, she pushed into a smoky cantina just after dark and ordered a pinch of morphine and a whiskey chaser. She bet all of her money on a boxer named Jaks, and lost it two rounds later when Jaks hit the floor like an antique harem girl.”

2 thoughts on “What I’m reading

  1. The first line of God’s War is still one of the best first lines I’ve read this year. Someone selling their womb? I’m in!
    I’ve been meaning to read the Code Name Verity ever since the Book Smugglers did their review… but I’m worried it’ll make me cry. And I don’t want to cry! Nevertheless, I must gather my courage…

  2. Oh, do gird your loins courageously and tackle “Code Name Verity”, it is really very good – it’s possible I wouldn’t have cried had I not been pregnant, my teary threshold seems to have changed dramatically. Perhaps you will finish it with a cold and indifferent shrug! Probably not, but it’s possible 🙂

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