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Trisha’s January roundup

February 4, 2008

Geek High by Piper Banks
Miranda’s romance writer mother is going to England to do research, leaving Miranda behind with her father, whom she’s had little contact with since her parents divorced, and a stepmother and stepsister she does not get along with. Plus, not only is Miranda blackmailed into organizing her brainy school’s unpopular winter dance, her crush appears to be falling for her stepsister, Hannah. But Hannah does have a cute male friend who just may be interested in Miranda…

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I thought this was going to be a very lightweight, insubstantial read. It wasn’t, not as much as I was expecting, at any rate. But it was still the perfect post-Cybils read—entertaining, well-written, and, thank god, no one died or was abused.

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
I won’t say much about this one because I’m afraid of giving away too much of the story. (But if you want to talk, particularly about the denouement, I am so up for a chat about it.) And really, where hasn’t this been reviewed? I think it was even the lead book review in People a couple of weeks ago, if I remember correctly. I will say that there was enough to the story to satisfy me, and I absolutely love the last line of the book.

Also, I came up with a playlist for Gemma last year, around the time the book’s publication was first announced. But after reading the book, it changed significantly, so here’s what is currently on my TSFT playlist:

  1. Incantation – Loreena McKennitt
  2. Hope There’s Someone – Antony and the Johnsons
  3. Woman King – Iron & Wine
  4. To Let Myself Go – Ane Brun
  5. Miracle – Craig Armstrong
  6. It’s In Our Hands – Björk
  7. The Mystery of Love – Marianne Faithfull
  8. Maybe Not – Cat Power
  9. Sé Lest – Sigur Rós
  10. Icebound Stream – Laura Veirs
  11. Faded from the Winter – Iron & Wine
  12. Misery and Mountains, Arrows and Bows – New Buffalo

I realize I’m totally breaking a playlist rule with two Iron & Wine songs on the same playlist but I was unable to pick just one, and I think the sequence of “Icebound Stream,” “Faded from the Winter,” and “Misery and Mountains, Arrows and Bows” works perfectly, so there you go.

TSFT was reviewed by: Angieville, Becky, Bookshelves of Doom, Oops…Wrong Cookie, among others.

Reading Resolutions update:
Tea: The Drink that Changed the World by Laura C. Martin was the non-fiction book I read in January. Let’s see, I like tea, I like microhistories… Is it any surprise I picked this up? But as fascinating as I found it, it was too brief for my tastes, so I plan on reading The Story of Tea and Liquid Jade, as well.

And, as mentioned earlier, the translated book I read was The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett. In 1999, a Norwegian detective makes a potentially embarrassing mistake. Transferred to a new department and position, he comes across a report that piques his interest. Full of twists that never feel forced, this book had me totally hooked, especially after the first World War II scene. There were occasional mentions of events that I am sure occurred in the previous (not yet released in the US) book, which once again really makes me wish publishers would bring these series over *in order*, like it appears Vertical is doing with Shinjuku Shark. (February’s rapidly becoming translated-from-Japanese month for me, since I’ve already got five such novels checked out/on hold.)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2008 2:42 pm

    I absolutely loved The Sweet Far Thing. My review for it will be going up sometime this month, I think. A little late, yes, but better late than never.

  2. February 4, 2008 10:22 pm

    Jia – Ooh, I’m looking forward to your review. I forgot to mention it above, but for my money, TSFT was last year’s best concluding volume of a series. Okay, so I can only recall reading one other concluding volume. Still, compared to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, TSFT was a lot more satisfying and engaged in less sentimentality. (Meaning I hated the HP7 epilogue, whereas I thought TSFT ends beautifully.) Didn’t love TSFT, but I don’t think I could have asked for more.

  3. February 5, 2008 1:11 pm

    Love your TSFT playlist. I think I’ll check out Geek High as well. It does sound like a fun post-Cybils read.

    And even though I didn’t love TSFT, I definitely agree with you on the ending.

  4. February 27, 2008 2:46 pm

    I loved the playlist too! I’ve never done that but maybe I’ll try one of these days. Oh, and I’ve added Geek High to my wishlist – thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

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