Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer reading: pre Dance With Dragons edition

A Dance With Dragons hit my Kindle at midnight, so there's a good chance that I'm somewhere with Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, or Daenerys Targaryen right now. Which I guess is a spoiler that all three survived the first four books, for those of you who've only seen the show...or maybe it isn't. They could be undead. Stranger things have happened. You'll just have to find out for yourselves.

Anyway, I continue to plug away at the Seattle Public Library Adult Summer Reading Program. I want to win that Nook, dang it. Not that there's anything wrong with my Kindle, but as an e-published author I need to be familiar with multiple formats, don't I? Or maybe I'm just competitive.

Last week's books:

1) A Reluctant Queen, by Joan Wolf
Genre: Inspirational historical romance
Format/source: trade paperback, library

A biblical novelization, but one that isn't particularly preachy or literalistic in its approach to the source text. Really, it's almost an alternative history, in that Ahasuerus is Xerxes' brother instead of another name for the same man. The action takes place between Marathon (490 BCE) and Thermopylae/Salamis (480), and as a bit of a Greek history geek I couldn't help wondering what's going to happen to, oh, world history in general and western civilization in particular if Xerxes isn't the Great King and the 480 invasion of Greece either doesn't happen or is better led. And the text invites those questions, since one of the topics the characters argue over is what to do about those troublesome Greeks. Still, I enjoyed the book. Sweetly romantic, I liked how Haman and Mordecai were humanized, and the details of Persian court life felt well-researched.

2. Ladies of Waterloo, by Charlotte Eaton, Magdalen de Lancey, and Juana Smith
Genre: Nonfiction (history)
Format/source: trade paperback, bought

Three women's experiences living through Waterloo, not at the battle itself but as friends and wives of men who were involved. Research for the WIP.

3. A Cook's Tour, by Anthony Bourdain
Genre: Nonfiction (food/travel)
Format/source: Kindle, bought

Companion volume to Bourdain's old Food Network series. Made me long to go to Vietnam, France, Morocco, and the French Laundry (where I have promised to take my husband if I ever make the NYT bestseller list). Cambodia, not so much.

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