Book catch-up, part 1

Posted by barb on Jul 23, 2006 in Books |

I took a bit of a hiatus from reading in December, but I have been reading since then – I just haven’t been keeping up with my book diary. Here’s half of the books I’ve read since my last entry.

by Gregory Maguire

This is not your mother’s Wizard of Oz. In fact, that’s clear from the first page.
“She [the wicked witch] was castrated at birth,” replied the Tin Woodsman calmly. “She was born a hermaphroditic, or maybe entirely male.”
As with Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, this book is fairly dark. Elphaba was born green and with sharp teeth. Is it any wonder that life was hard for her? Her father was ashamed of her, but doted on her armless sister. In school (yes, Shiz, just like the musical), she found a cause – the rights of Animals (where the capital ‘A’ denotes an animal who is sentient and intelligent). But when she brings her cause to the Wizard, she finds that he’s behind the villification of the Animals. He created them as an enemy to unite the different factions of Oz. Her crusade goes wrong, and everything she touches seems to go wrong. Is it any wonder that she became “wicked”?

Great book, highly recommended

In Search of the Big Bang
by John Gribbin

I didn’t actually finish this book, but that’s because the content wasn’t what I expected, not because of the quality of the book. In fact, as usual, Gribbin takes a very difficult subject and makes it manageable for laypeople. he tells the story of how scientists came to devlop Big Bang theory and some of the ongoing investigations into refining the theory.

I was looking for a book that told the story of the COBE spacecraft and its results. Since COBE is depicted on the cover, I don’t think I was foolish in thinking that I might find it here. Sadly, COBE was only mentioned in a paragraph or two of one chapter. Sigh.

Undead and Unemployed
by Mary Janice Davidson

The subject on the spine says “paranormal romance”. What more could a girl want?

Betsy Taylor is Queen of the vampires. She got this title just a couple months ago when she died, though most vampires don’t acknowledge her as Queen yet. In fact, several of these vampires are now out to kill her…er…again. During all this, Betsy secures a job at Nordstrom’s shoe departement at the Mall of America. So, at least her shoe-fetish is satisfied among the death threats.

There’s not much substance here, of course, but the book is rather fun while it lasts.

Twilight Rising, Serpent’s Dream
by Diana Marcellas

I’ve been anticipating this book since The Sea Lark’s Song. It’s Marcellas’ third in her series that started with Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea Brierly grew up wondering if she was the last of the shari’a, a race of witches which had long ago been killed off. But then Brierly found a young fire witch after Brierley fled the Duke’s dungeon. In this book, we found two forest witches, a girl and her twin brother (usually the shari’a abilities are passed down to the girls in a family, but if a girl has a boy twin, he may get some of the abilities as well). The forest witches have been awaiting The Finding – an event that will only happen when one of each type of witch gather (fire, ocean, forest and air). However, no one is quite sure what will happen at The Finding. Perhaps the abilities of the witches will change/grow. Perhaps new types of witches will come about. But it seems clear that the shari’a will find a rebirth at The Finding.

Wonderful book – up to the high standards set by the previous two books in this series.


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