Books Read- 203 Books to Read-282 Percent Complete- 41.86%

Just Finished (For the third time) - 'Mirror Dance' by Lois McMaster Bujold

Monday, January 28, 2013

I've  been reading 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell' for the last couple days.  It's turning out to be much better than I expected.  For some reason I thought it was something along the lines of a Harry Potter book.  I guess I just saw that it was really thick, discussed magic, and came out around the same time as the Potter books, but this thing has nothing in common with Harry Potter, and despite weighing about ten pounds it's actually a pretty light and fun read.  There's a lot going on in this novel, and it was a little slow going at first.  The book starts off following the character of Norrell, and though the book describes him as dull and uninteresting, it's still something of a shock to find out they weren't lying.  The novel picks up quite a bit once Jonathan Strange shows up.

I was going to write a review for 'The Yiddish Policemen's Union' by Michael Chabon, but I didn't really like the book and got rid of my copy.  For writing a review I really wanted to look up a few specific passages from the novel and I'll need to get a new one.  Plus, the last few reviews I've written have been for books I didn't really care for and I'm getting tired of sounding like a jerk when I write these, I want to review something that I can unequivocally say 'I enjoyed it, It was good.'  So I started thinking about Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series, which is just a really fun, really fast read.  As you can see I haven't done it yet but that's where I'm leaning.  Either that or 'Stand on Zanzibar' by John Brunner, which is a masterpiece whose day has come and gone.  I wish I could recommend Zanzibar more but when an author writes 'near-future' SF they know what they're getting in for, the novels are almost always obsolete twenty years down the road.  And Zanzibar was written over forty years ago.

I've said before that even though I'm trying to read all the Hugo and Nebula Nominees there's no way I'm going to read them in order.  I want to jump around so I don't spend six months reading only novels from one decade.  I want to have some variety in the type of SF I read and many decades have certain themes that run through them, like the Cold War in the 50s and 60s.  I also try to jump around in the style of SF I read.  There are a lot of serious, dense, SF works out there that I kind of need to be in the right mindset to read, like 'Gravity's Rainbow,' or The Mars Trilogy, or even 'Stand on Zanzibar.'  Strange and Norrel I thought was going to be one of these, but it's turned out to be much less work to read than I thought and very light for a book that's so long.  Even though it's going to take me a little while longer to read this than I thought, mentally I'm already gearing up to grab one of those more difficult novels when I finish this off.

I'm pretty sure that anyone who reads a lot of SF makes sure to save a little mind candy for right when they finish off a difficult book (I'm looking at you 'Glory Road').  Well I'm all mind candied out and I think it's time to take on something tough.

I'll get a new review up pretty soon, I'm just afraid that if I start reviewing the Vorkosigan saga then I won't be able to stop reviewing them, the same thing happened when I started reading them.  Whether it's Bujold or not I'll have a new review for something up soon.

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