Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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Books that I read in September

Books that I read in September

46. Weber, David. The Short Victorious War (Honor Harrington, vol. 3) (376 p.)

47. Cook, Glen. Dreams of Steel (The Black Company, vol. 5) (346 p.)

48. Moon, Elizabeth. Engaging the Enemy (Vatta's War, vol. 3) (398 p.)

49. Moon, Elizabeth. Command Decision (Vatta's War, vol. 4) (372 p.)

50. Moon, Elizabeth. Victory Conditions (Vatta's War, vol. 5) (403 p.)

51. Sayers, Dorothy L., ed. The Omnibus of Crime (1177 p.)
Introduction, by Dorothy L. Sayers.
Part 1: Detection and Mystery: The History of Bel (from the Apocrypha); The History of Susanna (from the Apocrypha); The Story of Hercules and Cacus, by Publius Vergilius Maro; The Story of Rhampsinitus; The Ebony Box, by Mrs. Henry Wood; The Ace of Trouble, by Hadley Barker; The Mystery of Marie Rogêt, by Edgar Allan Poe; The Adventure of the Priory School; by Arthur Conan Doyle; The Ghost at Massingham Mansions, by Ernest Bramah; The Secret of the Singular Cipher, by F.A.M. Webster; Th English Filter, by Bechhofer Roberts; The Clever Cockatoo, by E.C. Bentley; Prince Charlie's Dirk, by Eden Phillpotts; The Absent-minded Coterie, by Robert Barr; The Face in the Dark, by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace; Mr. Belton's Immunity, by Edgar Jepson and Robert Eustace; The Cyprian Bees, by Anthony Wynne; Diamond Cut Diamond, by F. Britten Austin; A Happy Solution, by Raymund Allen; The Adventure of the Fallen Angels, by Percival Wilde; Sir Gilbert Murrell's Picture, by Victor Whitechurch; The Hammer of God, by G.K. Chesterton; The Long Barrow, by H.C. Bailey; The Hanover Court Murder, by Sir Basil Thomson; The Gioconda Smile, by Aldous Huxley; Her Last Adventure, by Mrs. Belloc Lowndes; The Wrong House, by E.W. Hornung.
Part 2: Stories of the Supernatural: The Open Door, by Mrs. Oliphant; Story of the Bagman's Uncle, by Charles Dickens; The Trial for Murder, by Charles Collins and Charles Dickens; Martin's Close, by M.R. James; How Love Came to Professor Guildea; The Open Window, by Saki; The Novel of the Black Seal, by Arthur Machen; Tchérapin, by Sax Rohmer; The Monkey's Paw, by W.W. Jacobs; The Hair, by A.J. Alan; Mrs. Amworth, by E.F. Benson; Moxon's Master, by Ambrose Bierce; The Dancing Partner, by Jerome K. Jerome; Thrawn Janet, by Robert Louis Stevenson; The Avenging of Anne Leete, by Marjorie Bowen; August Heat, by W.F. Harvey; The Anticipator, by Morley Roberts; The Brute, by Joseph Conrad; Where their Fire is not Quenched, by May Sinclair; Green Tea, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu; The Misanthrope, by J.D. Beresford; The Bad Lands, by John Metcalfe; Nobody's House, by A.M. Burrage; The Seventh Man, by A.C. Quiller-Cough; Proof, by N. Royde-Smith; Seaton's Aunt, by Walter de la Mare; Lukundoo, by Edward Lucas White.
Part 3: Stories of the Human and Inhuman: The Gentleman from America, by Michael Arlen; The Narrow Way, by R. Ellis Roberts; Sawney Bean (traditional Scottish tale); The Squaw, by Bram Stoker; The Corsican Sisters, by Violet Hunt; The End of a Show, by Barry Pain; The Cone, by H.G. Wells; The Separate Room, by Ethel Colburn Mayne.

September total: 3,072 pages
2011 total to date: 15,180 pages

Woo-hoo! I reached both of my annual targets (50 books & 15,000 pages) in one month!

And wow, is that ever a that monstrously long contents list...

Weber: It's an early Honor Harrington book, and therefore is some good military sci-fi. I'm a little hesitant to read the later novels or the spin-off series, as I prefer reading about Honor herself, as a starship captain, right in the thick of things, and I don't see how the later books can deliver that. That said, if I happen across them, I know I generally like Weber's writing, so I'd probably read them anyway. And there's apparently now a movie deal, and if it's done even remotely well, I'd happily pay money to see that, if it manages to get past development hell.

Cook: I really, really like the character of Croaker. I think Cook had some good ideas here and I usually like his writing. But I'm also annoyed that this is part 2 of what turns out to be a 4-book story, with absolutely no sense of closure between books, and with near-Eddings levels of frantically accomplishing nearly nothing towards the completion of the main plot for entire books at a time. I'll slog through the remaining two books, but unless the last (and longest, -sigh-) book has one heck of a payoff to make this all worthwhile, I think that after this I'll consider The Black Company to be a trilogy and pretend the later books never happened.

Moon: I originally picked up v. 1 of Vatta's War when it first came out, in part because I generally like Moon's books, and the premise sounded interesting. And it was billed as a trilogy. Then I got book 2, and it had changed from a trilogy to an "ongoing series". At that point, I started procrastinating picking up book 3, as book 2 was good but not good enough to hook me on a yet another interminable SF/F series where the actual plot doesn't move for books at a time. Then I saw books 3, 4, and 5 for 70% off in the local Border's going-out-of-business sale, noticed that book 5 was the final book, and decided that at that price it was worth it to get them. And for that price it was. It should've been condensed down to a trilogy, though; far too much interesting but nearly-pointless asides and the stories of tangental characters, to the point where the whole story starts to sag under its own weight. Taken as a whole, it's a decent read with some interesting characters and ideas, but having read both these and an Honor Harrington book in the same month, the Honor Harrington series definitely contains the better female-protagonist-spaceship-captain-at-war stories.

The Omnibus of Crime. Whuf. This book is the reason my August total was so low. Sayers started out compiling a tour of the history of the formation of the mystery genre and the development of its various subtypes, up to her own time-- and, unlike many other omnibus compilers, managed to resist the temptation to include any of her own mystery stories, just her introductory essay analyzing the history and development of the genre and how most of these stories fit into it. Then she bolted on two more books' worth of stories, one selecting stories about ghosts, witchcraft, vampires, Frankenstein-like stories, possession & the living dead, inevitable doom, and nightmares and insanity, and the other selecting stories of disease and madness and man's inhumanity to man. There are some really, really good stories in here (just look at how many top-notch authors are represented) including some classics I hadn't had the opportunity to read before this, as well as some clunkers (you wouldn't think a short story could drag on interminably, but a few of these manage it). Many or most of the stories are now out of copyright and are probably available online, so if you can track them down, I do recommend doing so.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: books, reviews

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