Stuff, and some Nonsense
I started a new job in the city (San Francisco) a month ago, which has been eating up the majority of my time, aside from the week where I flew out to Minneapolis for 4th Street. Which was great, but also exhausting in its own way.
One consequence of all this activity was that I didn't finish my book post for May in a timely manner, which is sad, because I got to read a whole bunch of books I liked. But I just didn't have the concentration and mental energy to spare-- not if I wanted to juggle scheduling stuff for 4th Street and get to work on time and have some small iota of concentration left to write letters and play games and actually read things to keep myself sane.
I don't know if I'll ever go back to do a full book post for May, but here are the books I read, with abbreviated commentary:
Elizabeth Bear, Shattered Pillars - An excellent follow-up to Range of Ghosts (which I nominated for every award I was allowed to).
Robert Jackson Bennett, Mr. Shivers - I can see why the horror community didn't think it was horror; mostly horror doesn't do quest narrative.
Dorothy Dunnett, To Lie With Lions - Iceland! Volcanoes! Moral outrage from characters with absolutely no ground to stand on!
Dorothy Dunnett, Caprice and Rondo - I suffered through The Unicorn Hunt - and two more books of shenanigans - to get to this emotional resolution. (Which probably should have showed up at the end of Scales of Gold, but hey, Dunnett.)
Faith Erin Hicks, Friends with Boys - High school comic + a ghost. I found the premise for this one more credible than that of Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, honestly.
John McWhorter, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue - McWhorter beats a personal hobbyhorse until it's pulpy, though not without being entertaining.
Anthony Price, Here be Monsters - Debrecen List shenanigans! Not a good starting point for the Audley series, as a fair amount of its spear shaft is in previous books.
Anthony Price, For the Good of the State - Polish & KGB politics, and Audley vs. Panin. There was good stuff here, but the machinations verged on being card tricks in the dark in places.
Greg Rucka, A Gentleman's Game - First of the Queen & Country novels. Suitably gritty.
Greg Rucka, The Last Run - Last of the Queen & Country novels, and a worthy capper to the series. Does more with its antagonist POV than A Gentleman's Game or Private Wars (though not as much as Alpha).
Greg Rucka (with Matthew Southworth), Stumptown, Vol. 1 - The most notable thing about Stumptown is that it's set in Portland. As Rucka's work goes, it's on the slight side.
Dorothy Sayers, Murder must Advertise - *Far* more fun than Five Red Herrings, this is up there with The Nine Tailors as far as quality Sayers novels go. Still not a patch on Gaudy Night (but what is?).
Ian Tregillis, Necessary Evil - Tregillis wraps up an unflinching series with just as much authorial ruthlessness as one would expect. There were some bits where I would probably have handled things differently, but still, a worthy conclusion to the Milkweed Triptych.
I may do this again in a day or two with the books I read during June.