Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Reading, Books 127-129

127) Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends by David Wilton

A quick, fun read that debunks almost everything you've ever read on Facebook about the origins of words and phrases. E.g. "Ring Around the Rosie" is not based on folk memory of the bubonic plague, a word which I will politely leave untyped (on Twitter I'm wont to use "rhymes with yuck!" when things go poorly for my chosen sportsball teams) is not an acronym of For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, etc. Little of it was new to me, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

128) Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

The first book in Kowal's Glamourist Histories fantasy series is very much a Austen pastiche--down to using old-fashioned spellings like "chuse" for "choose" and "shewed" for "showed." The characters and situations feel very similar, too. The heroine's parents are very Bennet-like, the villain reminds me of both Willoughby and Wickham, etc. I found myself wishing it was less Austenian in spots, since the voice made the occasional small anachronisms stand out more. That said, I enjoyed this book and plan to continue with the series.

129) Bruno and the Carol Singers by Martin Walker

A Christmas short story in the Bruno Courreges mystery series set in the French countryside. As a story it's quick, slight, and straightforward, but it was a pleasant visit with the characters and setting (these things are straight-up food and rural French living porn--reading them made me add the Dordogne to the itinerary for our Europe trip next summer). It also reminded me to search for any new full-length entries since I last read the series. There are two, and I'll be reading them soon.

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