Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Books have been read, but not blogged, so let's do a catch up post:

Number 3 of the year is Some Great Thing by Lawerence Hill. Saw this book for cheap, and since I enjoyed his Book of Negroes, thought I'd give something else by him a shot. This book tells the story of the unlikely named Mahatma Grafton, a young, rather aimless black man who returns to his hometown of Winnipeg and gets a job as a reporter with the Winnipeg Herald. He doesn't partcularly care about the job, nor about Winnipeg, nor about his father's ambitions for him. Hat is like a lot of his generation, he just doesn't really care about much. But that changes over the course of the book as he gets involved with racial tensions and the entire Manitoba language-rights issues. It's a very interesting read because it's something I really knew nothing about. Oh sure I remember language-rights as an issue overall, plus of course the Referendum, but this book is a nice microcosm of the unrest that was happening over a lot of Canada at the time. The characters are all well done, and, despite being a large cast, quite memorable. There's some oddities that make it really fun (the exchange reporter from Cameroon for one) and overall, it's a very clever novel.

Number 4 of the year is Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey. Not a bad book. I definitely like books where Gwen isn't a whiny bitch, but this also felt like Lackey had watched that horrendous King Arthur movie (y'know, the one with Clive Owen) and decided that Warrior! Gwen needed some backstory. So yeah, this Gwen is a warrior, which is fine and dandy but doesn't really bring that much new to the character. I did like that Lackey brought the idea of the 'three Gwens' that Arthur marries into one tale (this is something that isn't dealt with much in most of the Legends) and I liked that she gave Gwen some interesting sisters. But overall, the 'Arthurian' part of the story isn't dealt with at all so the book actually feels strangely disconnected from what it should seemlessly be a part of. As a look at gender roles and equality in early Britain, it's a great book, as an Arthurian tale? Not so much.

Number 5 of the year is Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore. This is the first book of his tale of Jody and Thomas, and the one I should've started with rather than You Suck. So it was nice to get the backstory down and how it all got started. Fun as always, Moore is rarely disappointing. Best line? "He's doing rather well for a non-swimmer".

Ok, gotta get reading some more it seems.