Saturday, March 05, 2005

Harper Collins ARCs and What I'm reading

I just heard from Harper Collins "First Books" program that they are sending me the latest Lois McMaster Bujold book as an advanced reader copy (ARC) for review, as well as Mary Gentles latest, so I am in heaven anticipating those! I have loved Bujolds works since reading "Falling Free" back in the early 80s, and then falling prey to her magnificent Miles Vorkosigan books, which are, to my knowledge, the only science fiction novels with a handicapped hero who gets into and out of trouble on brain power alone. I will post my review of the books that I get here on the Butterfly Books blog, and hopefully, I will find a magazine willing to print my reviews as a freelancer. That would be ideal, as then I'd get paid for them.
I just finished reading Jennifer Weiner's "Little Earthquakes" which was a good book, but not a great one, like "Good in Bed" which was marvelous. There were some distinctly sappy and unrealistic endings in the book, such as Becky wanting to befriend and be kind to the mother-in-law from Hell, Mimi. I would have said good riddance to bad rubbish, as I am sure most women would have, if they'd been abused and treated with such disrespect and contempt by this appalling woman. I have an awful mother-in-law myself, but even she isn't as horrid as Mimi. She only contacts us on holidays, and otherwise, we don't have to deal with her, thankfully.
I am currently reading "Rose" by Martin Cruz Smith, which is a mystery, (I am not normally fond of mysteries unless they have a fascinating sleuth attached, like Sherlock Holmes) but has some great information on the "pit girls" who worked in British coal mines in the 19th century. So far, it's riveting reading, and I do hope the main character, who is an American, and therefore grouchy as hell, (because all Americans are bastards in the eyes of the English, right?) will survive the narrative. Yet I find him interesting in his very honest view of the hipocrisy of the English and the Church of England.
I've been getting the "Common Reader" catalog from the Akadine Press for years now, and have always loved their reviews and their selections of wonderful books from all over the world. I find a number of future reads in the pages of their catalogs, and their March edition is no exception.
I find there's a book called "The Reading Group" by Elizabeth Noble that I'd love to read, and one called "Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics" by William Donaldson that sound hilarious and lovely. Then there's "P.G. Wodehouse in His Own Words" which I am certain would be a marvelous read and extremely funny to boot. I would love to have a copy of "Switch on the Night," a childrens book by the master of the short story, and venerable SF author Ray Bradbury. I've been a fan of Ray Bradbury my entire life. His short stories are jewels of perfection, and his famed novels are classics for a reason.
There's a book called "Greenwich" subtitled "The Place Where Days Begin and End" by Charles Jennings that sounds interesting, because it delineates how Greenwich was chosen for the as the point of prime meridian. And finally, "The Prettiest Love Letters in the World" with letters between Lucrezia Borgia and Pietro Bembo (a typeface was named for him) sounds like great reading...I can only imagine what a Borgia would write in a love letter...or if she'd poison the ink she used to write it with! These letters were written in the 16th century, and the week before last I finished reading a book about a Jewish midwife in the 17th century that was amazing.
I'll write more later, but must dash to a garage sale now.

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