Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Reading, Books 49-54

49. Secrets of a Bollywood Marriage by Susanna Carr.

A quick, relaxing read that hit the spot during a stressful, busy time. That said, it's definitely a "fight-fight-kiss" romance, and the last fight came so close to the end of the book I wasn't sure I believed they'd learned how to communicate well enough for the kissing to be more frequent than the fighting in their future.

50) Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception by Claudia Hammond

If you like popular science or psychology books, I recommend this exploration of how we experience time. It's fun and readable without feeling dumbed down, and it closes with a practical chapter on how to better manage your experience of time, if not time itself.

51) Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear.

Epic fantasy (which I love) with a twist (something I also generally love). The setting is recognizably similar to our world--something like Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series in that the map will look really familiar, though the fantastical elements are more forward. However, rather than being set in an alternate Europe, this story centers on an alternate central Asia. It ranges across a large chunk of its globe through the eyes of multiple characters, but its focus is a young man named Temur, grandson of a Genghis Khan-like figure, though he's surrounded by a cast of strong women. I enjoyed it very much and plan to read the sequels.

52) Only Human by Gareth Roberts.

A Doctor Who novel, and one that felt like reading an average episode of the show...in a good way. Another fun, relaxing read as I fight my way through my current writing deadline.

53) Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood by Nathan Hale.

The fourth in this series of graphic novels about American history manages, at least in my opinion, to make WWI palatable and understandable for its middle grade audience without dumbing down the material or treating the war lightly. FWIW, my 10-year-old pronounced it good, though not as funny as the previous three. If you've got a child in the right age group, get them these books. Schools don't teach enough history these days, in my not at all humble opinion, and this series strikes the perfect balance of informative and fun.

54) The Marathon Conspiracy by Gary Corby.

This must be my week for just-released Books 4. I enjoyed this latest entry in Corby's series about Nicolaos, a fictional elder brother of Socrates solving crime in Periclean Athens. Especially recommended for fans of Lindsey Davis's Falco series, since it has a similar combination of humor and modern tone with rich historical detail.

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