Monday, June 6, 2011

A couple of half-baked book reviews...

Since my boss went dark on all things interwebs, I've read a bunch of stuff.

Except that I didn't take notes and now I'm trying to catch up.

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal: Great! I really liked the mixture of regency and magic. And the true-to-form combination of wit and brooding. Downside: the diary. Upside: glamours. Definitely enhanced by having known Mary and what a mixture of whimsy and propriety she is. Her book so beautifully reflects her.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: GAH! I was so addicted to these. So believable and dark and addictive. I know I was the last person in the world to read these, and I'm very glad I did. Wish I could start all over again.

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen: Oh, I like her. They've gone from whimsical to a tiny bit guilty pleasure, but I like her voice nevertheless. This one was a bit fluffy, but I did like how the man in this one was non-butch. Not many mainstream writers extol the appeal of androgynous men.

Somewhere in there I re-read Jane Eyre. Reinforcing (again) how I would never ever have married in that era based upon her portrayal of male behavior. I've loved this book since I first learned to read, but DANG, Rochester gets worse upon every read. And St. John? Mother of all things manipulative. Ugh!

What else...? I've stayed up late a handful of times finishing books. I'll have to think harder about what those were...

1 comment:

  1. re: book review request by award-winning author

    Dear Rebekah,

    I'm an award-winning author with a new book of fiction out this fall. Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about childhood published by West Virginia University Press.

    Can I interest you in reviewing it?

    If you write me back at, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:

    My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:

    Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
    Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

    For more information about me, please visit:

    Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


    John Michael Cummings