What sort of book do you like to curl up with when you don’t feel your best or definitely need a pick-me-up? Yes, some turn to chocolate, others to adult drinks, however, I’ve discovered that, for me, a nice long fantasy series fits the bill. I finished some rereading parts of two this past fortnight and will continue them as I can.
It was not all magic and mayhem however, I finished a few other interesting titles.
Blood, Iron, and Gold
by Christian Wolmar
I love trains, but have not really been able to find more than coffee-table books about them. What is their history, how did they impact life as they rolled out across the landscape, and what is their legacy today? Do they have a future in today’s car centric society?
Wolmar’s book answers many of my questions in an informative and intellectual tone. It covers considerable ground chronologically and in distance. He has done well to keep it all manageable to the reader. However, at times the accounting of various aspects of construction bogged the narrative down, but I enjoyed the ride of how railways spread across the earth and impacted life. I would have enjoyed more on social impact and engineering feats and less on the management of the books, but this title greatly expanded my knowledge. Furthermore, the end notes are quite expansive and also included is a selected bibliography.
I look forward to reading his other books on railways.
Past Lives, Present Tense
Edited by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
I’m unsure why I allowed this collection of short stories to sit on my to-read pile for a few years after I added the slim paperback to my shelf. Each story has good points and bad, but overall I found the concept of taking past, bringing forward, and merging quite fascinating. The world and character building for each story was unique and yet fit well together. I’m struggling to select just one favourite. I think I would like to invite each past life in present tense over for tea. What other compliment can I offer?
The Women of Windsor: Their Power, Privilege, and Passions
by Catherine Whitney
An interesting read that filled my girlish American desire to know more about the Women in the British Monarchy, but at times I felt Whitney could have gone further in depth without causing disruption or distress or turning it into a full gossip rag.
Last but not least, I recently listened to Podcastle #116 – Paper Cuts Scissors by Holly Black. I don’t want to spoil it for you but any story that quite skillfully combines all the elements Black has in one fun read wins lots of alcolades from me! Oh and as per PodCastle: Rated PG: Contains Books, and one of the Coolest Personal Libraries Ever. They’re not kidding.
So what did I curl up with? Some more Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey of course. I have a tempting stack of Norton and a desire to acquire some Moon, but that will have to wait for my book budget to automagically replenish or for wishes to be granted.
Scribbles for those recent reads forthcoming. I’d like to step away from the keyboard and get my nose back into some books.
What book(s) can you not keep away from this summer?