Tag: Georgette Heyer

Top Ten Tuesday

Posted May 26, 2015 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “beach books”. Which is not something I really do, so instead I shall pick the kinds of books I like to relax with. Whether that looks like your beach reads or not, I don’t know!

  1. Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal. Or anything in that series, but the first one is the lightest and closest to Austen and the like.
  2. This Rough Magic, Mary Stewart. Or any of her mysteries — they have an amazing sense of place, it’s like going on holiday without leaving home.
  3. The Rose Garden, Susanna Kearsley. Another one with a great sense of place, this one in Cornwell. It’s not all happy, but the romance is sweet and it has a happy ending.
  4. The Grand Sophy, Georgette Heyer. I have a huge soft spot for these romances. I loved Sophy in particular, though I’m also a fan of…
  5. The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer. Which is more of a mystery/adventure than some of the primarily society type ones.
  6. Magic Bites, Ilona Andrews. Light and compulsively readable.
  7. Have His Carcase, Dorothy L. Sayers. Okay, I think you need the background of previous books, but I love the first line and the rest doesn’t disappoint: “The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people seem to think, repose upon a manly bosom. Much more efficacious are honest work, physical activity, and the sudden acquisition of wealth.”
  8. Gaudy Night, Dorothy L. Sayers. For Harriet Vane in the prime spot, with her final answer to Lord Peter’s proposals at the end of the book… Plus, tons of smart women in academia.
  9. Jhereg, Steven Brust. It’s a fun first book of the series, it raced past me, and it’s really easy to read.
  10. Soulless, Gail Carriger. Fluffy fun with werewolves.

I don’t think that’d be a bad selection for the beach, right?

Tags: , , , , ,

Divider

Top Ten Tuesday

Posted March 3, 2015 by in General / 10 Comments

This week’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is “Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years”. Which is a cruel one, I think, because argh, there are so many, and how can I remember when I read them all? But here’s a rough guess. These are, of course, books I’ve read in the last three years, not books published in the last three years, because I say so.

  1. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. C’mon, you called it.
  2. Among Others, Jo Walton. This might be a bit out of the range now, but I’ve reread it in the last three years!
  3. Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge. I might shut up about this, someday.
  4. Behind the Shock Machine, Gina Perry. So much research went into this, and it’s a fascinating view on a very famous experiment.
  5. The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence. Lots of issues that fascinate me, wrapped up in an emotional book.
  6. The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford. Man, this took so much digging through layers of stuff. I loved it.
  7. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, Allie Brosh. Because <3.
  8. The Grand Sophy, Georgette Heyer. Heyer is awesome, okay.
  9. The Carpet Makers, Andreas Eschbach. I remember this blowing my mind!
  10. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern. Gorgeous. <3

Tahdah! Now I daren’t look at other people’s lists, you’ll make me want stuff…

Tags: , , , , , ,

Divider

Review – Bath Tangle

Posted September 25, 2014 by in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Bath Tangle by Georgette HeyerBath Tangle, Georgette Heyer

I’m not entirely sure how to rate this, because I did enjoy it a lot, but it’s still not on par with The Talisman Ring or The Grand Sophy for me. Having finished it, I was just a little relieved that all the tangles of the love interests were sorted out, and that everyone got to where they intended to go (though, I would almost have enjoyed it more if someone had made an irrevocable mistake, even if it were just Gerald and Emily; the way it came out was too good to be true, and Rotherham far too in control of the whole situation).

You’ve got to like that this isn’t just a story with a tempestuous male character pulling everyone along; Rotherham may well remind the gentle reader of Rochester from Jane Eyre with his manners. Lady Serena is no Jane, however, and she gives as good as she gets. I liked that their romance is not some insipid mutual regard, but something real and passionate.

I especially like that Heyer manages to bring in a spread of characters across social class and attitudes. Obviously, Lady Serena and her cohort are privileged as heck and don’t know it, but I don’t really expect an older book like this to really deal with that aspect. I liked the realism of Serena’s indifference to class while Fanny, equally likeable, has more difficulty with being snobbish. The way Heyer handles show-don’t-tell is pretty instructive, too; scenes like Serena holding the thorny flowers, or Fanny and Kirkby, etc.

Of course, the situation itself is one of Heyer’s typical tangles, with Serena’s father putting her under the guardianship of a man she jilted. It could be pretty creepy, to be honest, but Heyer handles it well — Rotherham never takes advantage of the guardianship, and is prepared to let Serena make her mistake if necessary, even if he is manipulative.

Rating: 4/5

Tags: , ,

Divider

Top Ten Tuesday

Posted September 23, 2014 by in General / 4 Comments

This week’s top ten list prompt from The Broke and The Bookish is “Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list”. Which is a little difficult for me, because I don’t really sort my books into appropriate seasons or anything. I just have a perpetual, massive, glorious to read list. But here are some books I’m looking forward to getting round to…

  1. Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal. This is actually a reread of a book I wasn’t wild about the first time round, but now I have this urge to reread it and read the rest of the series, and I suspect I’ll like it more this time around. We’ll see, but I’m hopeful.
  2. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. This is a reread, too. I know I’m going to love this one because I always have before, though I somewhat over-read it so that I could virtually quote it, and thus have given it a couple of years’ rest.
  3. River of Stars, by Guy Gavriel Kay. I’ve had this since it came out, but it’s at the end of a long list of rereads of GGK’s work, so I can watch his craft developing. I started pretty well but stalled on A Song for Arbonne, which is funny, because I do like that book and it covers exactly the sort of historical period I’m very familiar with and have done work on. So hopefully I’ll get through them all and get onto this new one sometime this fall.
  4. Friday’s Child, by Georgette Heyer. Because I haven’t read it yet, and it’s Heyer.
  5. Blindsight, by Peter Watts. Because it’s been recommended to me a couple of times, I got a free copy, and it’s been mentioned quite a bit in one of my book groups.
  6. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. Because it’s about bloody time.
  7. Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean. Ditto. And the opening, with starting at university and settling in and all of that, it seems a good time of year for that, even if I’m not a student this time.
  8. Possession, by A.S. Byatt. Speaking of scholarship and stuff, I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time.
  9. Little, Big, by John Crowley. I’ve had this book around far too long, and I’ve been meaning to read it. I just… never seem to have found the time. About time I fixed that.
  10. Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson. I generally enjoy Sanderson’s work, and this one includes superheroes. So very sold.

What about everyone else? Comment, link me, you know the drill.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Divider

Stacking the Shelves

Posted September 20, 2014 by in General / 18 Comments

I have lots of excuses for a big haul this week, I promise. Reacquiring books I want to reread but have given away, ARC requests being granted all at once, book vouchers, etc. I won’t bore you with the excuses, but I promise, I’m still actually 0/10 on my until-November acquisitions allowance, and even my partner agrees. I will probably ruin that tomorrow, going shopping with my sister. Ah well!

Library

Cover of Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn Cover of The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth Cover of Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer

Because hey, Georgette Heyer. I’ve actually read two of these already — The Wild Girl is the only one I haven’t touched yet.

ARCs/review copies

Cover of Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor Cover of Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes Cover of The Human Age by Diane Ackerman

Cover of The Galaxy Game, by Karen Lord Cover of The Amazing Tale of Anna Himmel Cover of Bad Grrlz' Guide to Reality by Pat Murphy

Cover of Fair Play, by Josh Lanyon Cover of The Lord Won't Mind by Gordon Merrick Cover of The Younger Gods by Michael R. Underwood

A very mixed batch, I know! Some of them I really didn’t expect to be approved for, like Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters. I still haven’t read The Shining Girls… ach. But yeah, some I’m very excited about here: Josh Lanyon always works as brain candy for me, though I need to pick up Fair Game first… Such a hardship, heh.

Reacquired to reread

Cover of The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan Cover of The Novice by Trudi Canavan Cover of The High Lord by Trudi Canavan

Cover of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder Cover of Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder Cover of Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

Cover of Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb Cover of Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb Cover of Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb

Cover of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I’ve enjoyed Trudi Canavan and Maria V. Snyder’s work as light reading whenever I’ve tried it, but I gave away all my copies a while ago. Now I have them on my Kobo! And Robin Hobb, well, I haven’t given away my copies of her books, but I haven’t got the heart to get my dad to drag them all down from where I grew up to where I live now, either. Besides, having copies on my Kobo is no bad thing. Ditto for Good Omens, plus, I was reading my paperback copy to bits.

And finally, what you were all waiting for…

New acquisitions

Cover of Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear Cover of Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas Cover of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Yep, I finally gave into the hype. Sarah J. Maas and Stephanie Perkins better be as much fun as you guys tell me! Mind you, Throne of Glass was only 99p on the Kobo Store, so it’s not like it was a major investment, particularly for a book everyone seems to adore.

What’s everyone else been getting their hands on? Link me, chat to me, let me know what you’re thinking. (Aside from the bit about my blatant addiction to books. You don’t know the half of it, guys.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Divider

Review – Beauvallet

Posted September 19, 2014 by in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Beauvallet by Georgette HeyerBeauvallet, Georgette Heyer

This certainly wasn’t my favourite Heyer novel so far, given the hero’s grabby hands and ego, but at least the heroine was a match for him in many ways, and it is a fun set up. It’s not a Regency novel like most of Heyer’s others, but one of the more historical ones, and honestly I could’ve dispensed with the romance for more of Nick swashbuckling his way around Spain as a spy. That plot, I liked: I wonder what Heyer would have done if that was her focus.

While this isn’t as amusing as most of her work, and the romance wasn’t exactly to die for, I did enjoy it well enough. It’s only the fact that I know Heyer also wrote The Talisman Ring and The Grand Sophy, both of which I love, that means this rather pales in comparison.

Rating: 2/5

Tags: , ,

Divider

What are you reading Wednesday

Posted September 17, 2014 by in General / 2 Comments

What have you recently finished reading?
Georgette Heyer’s Beauvallet, which I still need to review. Fun, but definitely not my favourite of Heyer’s so far, and I don’t like Beauvallet and his grabby hands half as much as I think I’m meant to. Different times, different sensibilities, I know, but still. Before that, Peas & Queues by Sandi Toksvig, review upcoming — generally pretty fun.

What are you currently reading?
As usual, too much. There’s A Game of Thrones, of course, and various other things I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, plus Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, which is about mindfulness meditation and is helpful so far, though I don’t know if I’d give it to a beginner, and I obviously don’t agree with everything/find everything useful.

What are you going to read next?
Nary the faintest idea, really. I’m actually feeling tempted to read the Harry Potter books and actually finish the series — I only ever got up to The Goblet of Fire — but I’m not sure if it’s been long enough since a) everyone wanted to force it on me and b) I studied it at college and university several years in a row. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to see the pure genius that other people see, but it would be good if I could just enjoy the books for what they are.

I’m also contemplating closing my eyes and pointing, and reading whatever book is in line with my pointy finger. Just for the sheer unpredictability of it.

Tags: , , ,

Divider

Top Ten Tuesday

Posted August 5, 2014 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is “Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X”. This is kind of a tough one, because I’m not really sure what to go for. My taste is pretty broad, but I know most people’s isn’t, so… (On the other hand, if I picked comics, it’d be Batgirl, Captain America, Spider-man and Young Avengers, and then I’d be running out.) So instead I decided I’d go for ten different values of X.

  1. Regency romance: The author is unquestionably Georgette Heyer, but which book…? Well, I started with The Talisman Ring, and adored it: I was a convert on the spot. I also enjoyed The Grand Sophy very much.
  2. Superhero comics: Ultimate Spider-man. It’s fun, you don’t need to know any back story, and it does start to bring you into the Marvel universe, with appearances from other characters like Daredevil, the X-men, Human Torch, etc.
  3. LGBT YA: David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy. So bloody adorable.
  4. Medieval-ish fantasy: While I love Tolkien, I think I have to award this spot to the more accessible Robin Hobb. She has a great narrative voice and a knack for characters you will love. Start with Assassin’s Apprentice; you may wish to skip the Liveships trilogy entirely, as I found that more uneven and full of characters I didn’t want to spend time with.
  5. Renaissance fantasy: Yep, ha, a technicality. Scott Lynch is my recommendation here, especially if you like the loveable rogue. Main downside is how long it takes for us to even see the most important female character of the series: she isn’t in the first two books.
  6. Golden Age crime fiction: Dorothy L. Sayers is my pick, without a doubt. I found that I needed to read a few books to get really into the character of her detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, which may be a problem. I might almost suggest beginning with a later book, perhaps Strong Poison. But if you’re willing to let a character grow on you, start at the beginning with Whose Body?
  7. Alternate history: Jo Walton’s Small Change trilogy wins hands down. Farthing is, for bonus points, a loving pastiche of Sayers’ work, although it is also a serious and harrowing tale of appeasing the Nazis and the world that creates.
  8. Speculative fiction: I’m going to go for something a little off the beaten path here. Try The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach. It completely enchanted me.
  9. Cheesy space opera: Philip Palmer. Or at least, Debatable Space, Artemis and Version 43. High octane fun! I found a lot of fault with these, but I also had a whale of a time.
  10. Non-fiction (science/history): The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The ethical issues this raises are well worth grappling with.

Somewhat random list, I know…

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Divider

Top Ten Tuesday

Posted December 17, 2013 by Nikki in General / 1 Comment

Some other blogs I follow do this meme, every Tuesday, and it seemed like a good idea. So! This week the top ten theme picked by The Broke and the Bookish is “top ten new-to-me authors in 2013”. This is pretty hard — I’m rubbish at picking top tens — but hey, with this one I just need to use Goodreads and look among my four and five starred books for this year, and hopefully I should be able to figure something out. They will not, I warn, be in any particular order.

  1. Cassandra Rose Clarke. I loved The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, which reminded me of a more daring, personal The Positronic Man (Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg). All sorts of themes which I love, and there’s something so powerfully sensual about it, too — there’s a physicality to it that surprised me and moved me.
  2. Georgette Heyer. I think I may technically have read one or two of her detective novels in 2012, but I kept away from her Regency romances, because I thought that was obviously not my thing. How wrong I was! The Talisman Ring, The Reluctant Widow and The Grand Sophy were probably my favourites. Heyer’s romances are actually way more fun (for me) than her detective novels, and often wickedly funny too.
  3. Karen Lord. I’ve only read part of The Best of All Possible Worlds, but I’m enjoying it, and I really loved Redemption in Indigo. Folk-story type narration and structure, awesome female characters, etc.
  4. Martha Wells. I’ve only read City of Bones, but I loved it. Non-traditional gender stuff, avoids the easy way out, lots of tasty, tasty world building. I think I’ve bought almost all the rest of her books as a result.
  5. Franny Billingsley. Oh my goodness, Chime. Just, oh my goodness. I loved the narration, the magic, the things it said about abuse and surviving and living again. I also enjoyed The Folk Keeper and Well Wished — less so, and they’re less touching/heavy subjects, but they’re a lot of fun too.
  6. Arthur C. Clarke. Yeah, I know, I’m a bit late on this one. But I really enjoyed 2001: A Space Odyssey. I didn’t realise that I’d enjoy his writing style so much — I had him sort of filed away as maybe like H.G. Wells, interesting for ideas but not quite entertaining. Wroooong.
  7. Lord Dunsany. Yeah, again, I know. I read Time and the Gods and am determined to spend more time reading his stuff: it’s just the sort of mythic, rich stuff I can really dig into.
  8. C.J. Sansom. I’ve been meaning to read his stuff for quite a while, but this year I finally got round to it. I enjoy his writing style, and while there are bones I have to pick with the Shardlake books, I do enjoy his way of portraying that time period and his choice of protagonist.
  9. Chris F. Holm. About time another Angry Robot author showed up, doncha think? I love Dead Harvest, etc: it’s funny, it’s a good pastiche of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett et al., and the covers are amazing. I just had so much fun reading these books.
  10. David Weber. He and Aliette de Bodard fought a fierce battle for this last spot, but he won. I loved On Basilisk Station, despite many flaws I could find in it. I mean, ten pages of exposition slap bang in the middle of an epic space chase/battle. WHAT. But still. I love Honor and I’m looking forward to reading more of the series.

I’m being good and sticking to the letter of the law: only a top ten. The top ten books I read in 2013 is coming up not next week but the week after: goodness knows how I’ll manage with that. But for now, off I go to bury my nose in the pages of I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley).

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Divider