What I’m reading: Catching Up on 5 Months Worth of Books


Yes, it’s been a few months since I’ve written and I apologize.  Been busy at work and getting wrapped up in the craze that is the lead-up to Starz’ production of the series based on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books. I never thought of myself as a “rabid” fangirl; I always saw myself as more of a quietly-follow-the-news fangirl.

However, with the advent of the Starz series, one of my favorite book series is now going to come to life on the small screen. I joined a few groups on Facebook and quickly became caught up in the frenzy. It’s amazing to be able to Tweet at Diana Gabaldon and Sam Heughan (starring as Jamie Fraser) and receive replies. Twenty years ago I never would’ve heard from a favorite author or actor, not to mention within minutes. Ain’t technology a wondrous thing?

So I re-read the whole series from Outlander  to A Breath of Snow and Ashes, not to mention all of the novellas and short stories.  I’m Gabaldon’ed out for the time being. Turning my attention to some of my other favorite authors, Nicole Peeler and Kevin Hearne both had novels releasing earlier in the summer.

Nicole Peeler’s Tempest Reborn was a great end to her Jane True series. Yes, I cried. Yes I laughed. Yes I cheered and cussed. I won’t spoiler-it for you… but you should read it. A lot. And then move on to Kevin Hearne.

I love Kevin Hearne. If I were a male fanboy, I’d be Kevin Hearne. His writing style jives so well with my sense of humor, I can’t stand it. He makes pop culture references that only a fanboy/fangirl could love. His characters are developing beautifully into loveable people with whom I want to drink many adult beverages. Hunted, book 6 in the Iron Druid Chronicles, Atticus is on the run from another god (he has bad luck with gods of all stripes) and Granuaile (girlfriend and fellow Druid) and Oberon (faithful Irish wolfhound companion). Mayhem ensues as the trio makes their way across Europe. I also won’t spoiler anything here because you also need to read this one.

Last big read for this summer was Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane.  Another fairy tale-esque offering from Gaiman introduces us to an adult reminiscing of his youth and small town when he lived down the road from a rather odd family of women. Suffice it to say that all is not as it seems at the Farm at the end of the lane. Most especially when the young girl is able to reach across worlds and turn a small pond into an ocean… But as we all know, reaching across worlds can often have the drawback of bringing something unwanted with you. And that’s where things get squicky.  To find out what happens, you’ll have to read it. I’m not one to give away a good story.

After the three must-reads, I moved on to “Oh wait, I still haven’t read you yet?” reads from Jeanne C. Stein. Her Anna Strong novels (the last one is coming out shortly) are another addition to the enormous library of urban otherworldly fiction.  Anna Strong is a typical bail bondswoman who happens to be raped and bitten by a bail jumper turned vampire.  Throughout the novels, Anna struggles to hold on to whatever humanity she can, while embracing a fate that she didn’t know existed before she was turned.  I really enjoyed these because of the location- they take place in San Diego and Anna frequently hops across the border to visit supernatural friends.  While some of the stronger characters start to fade out in the later books, Anna starts making new friends that can embrace her new nature more fully.  These will definitely tide you over for a bit.

Almost forgot- I also read Earth Afire by the one and only Orson Scott Card. Yes, he of the “Ender” books.  EA is a prequel to Ender- introducing us to the Earth that discovered the buggers.  I think this book felt a lot more real than the Ender books because it takes place in the not too distant future.  There were very many similarities between the book’s time period and our current society.  Yes, there was more space exploration and deep space mining, but China still had villages that were dependent on getting their news from the local library.  The sense of urgency builds throughout the novel as first “noticers” try to make others believe an invasion is imminent… and then when the first “responders” encounter the aliens- it’s quiet a picture.  I found it really helped explain a lot about Ender’s world and why it was so important for him and his classmates to do what they did.

And now on to the current read- The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker.  I’m not that far into it yet, but I’m already hooked.  Heck, I was hooked at the title.  What could two creatures from mythology have in common with each other? What set of circumstances could put these two creatures in the same space so that they would interact with each other?  Those circumstances have yet to be seen, but the stories leading up to this meeting (if there will be one) are quiet fascinating.  Wecker truly weaves a magical tale by making two extraordinary creatures anything but extraordinary.  The Golem is commissioned by a very slimy man who wanted female companionship. The kabbalist who created the golem was less than thrilled to do it, but did so for a hefty fee.  And what a golem she is! You’ll have to read more to learn more about her.   The Jinni is also an intriguing character, released not from an oil lamp, but from a brass container, he is bound to his current form and in need of assistance from the tinsmith who releases him.  The characters are drawn very well- I can picture them in their individual settings- and the plot moves at a steady pace.  I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

I think this is enough for  catching up post. I promise I’ll be on more regularly.  Until then, “Dinna fash, and use a spurtle.”

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About Jeannie

NYC born and raised. Bibliophile and ailurophile. Aspiring writer and singer of karaoke masterpieces. Humongous fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. 2013 Reading Challenge Jeannie has read 77 books toward her goal of 100 books. hide 77 of 100 (77%) view books
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2 Responses to What I’m reading: Catching Up on 5 Months Worth of Books

  1. Ethan says:

    You’re such a fan girl! While I couldn’t get into those books, I can appreciate your fandom. To a lesser degree, I get all excited with there’s new “Ice and Fire” / “Game of Thrones” news to be had.

    And, uhh, what’s a “spurtle”? Do I even want to know?

    • Jeannie says:

      Lol. It’s a wooden tool used for stirring porridge. It acquired legendary status when Sam Heughan tweeted that he was going to cook breakfast for the cat & crew of the movie he was making… And then the girls went nuts over a guy who cooks breakfast.

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