dolorosa_12: by ginnystar on lj (robin marian)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
It's been snowing in much of the UK this weekend, although not in Cambridge. However, it has been freezing here — witness the frost as I walked in to the market this morning. I've just returned from a walk to and from Grantchester, and although it was around 2pm when I was out, much of the frost on the ground has not thawed at all.

Other than walking around in frosty landscapes, I've spent a lot of the weekend out — on Friday night Matthias and I went out to one of our favourite wine shops/bars for a few drinks and food truck dinner, and on Saturday it was my former academic department's annual black tie dinner. The number of current students/postdocs/lecturers I know in the department shrinks every year, but most of the time alumni come back for the dinner, so there's always a good handful of people I know to catch up with at the dinner.

My remaining spare time this weekend has been spent reading. As well as Roshani Chokshi's glorious The Gilded Wolves, which I finished on Friday and will probably review more extensively later, I devoured K.J. Charles's The Magpie Lord while lying in a pool of sunshine on the couch this morning. I know a lot of people in my circle are fans of Charles (if my Goodreads feed is anything to go by), and enough people whose reading tastes I trust seemed to have read some or all of her work, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was a sweet, undemanding m/m romance novel, a great blend of mystery, historical fiction and fantasy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It felt to me as if it could be an interlude within the universe of Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell — the way magic worked felt similar, as did the scaffolding of myth and folklore, although it lacked the literary-ness (and playful re- and deconstruction of the conventions of nineteenth-century novels). And it was just restful to read about fundamentally good and decent people being generous and brave, you know? As a bonus, the ebook also included a short story, 'Interlude with Tattoos', set in the same world, which temporarily fed my hunger for this series — although I suspect I will be buying the next two books in the series as soon as I've finished this blog post!

Other books I've read recently include Katherine Arden's The Winter of the Witch, which again I plan to review more extensively later, The Mermaids in the Basement by Marina Warner (a short story collection in the vein of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, in which biblical tales, stories from Greek myth and so on are given a second-wave feminist twist), and The Prince of Darkness, the fourth in Sharon K. Penman's Justin de Quincy stories (historical mysteries in which the protagonist is a private detective of sorts working for Eleanor of Aquitaine). Both these latter two books had been on my 'to read' list for a very long time, so I'm glad to have finally read them.

What has everyone else been reading this week?

Date: 2019-01-20 03:35 pm (UTC)
auroracloud: (book and tea)
From: [personal profile] auroracloud
Ooh, I've heard about The Magpie Lord, and I got really curious about The Gilded Wolves when I saw something about it on some website, I think And I'm really curious about The Winter of the Witch! I read the second book perhaps a month ago, and I just love that series so much. I need to see how soon I can get my hands on the third book.

I finished Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, which I loved so, so much. I feel like I'm the last person I know to have finished it, though of course there actually are others who haven't read it. Anyway, I loved it incredibly much and I already want to reread the series. Now I'm reading Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures, Tracy Chevalier's historical novel about the early 19th century fossil hunter Mary Anning.

Date: 2019-01-20 05:56 pm (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
I've been reading books on Jewish spirituality and catching up on my Torah portions (I fell behind after we finished Genesis, as I often do). The books themselves are nothing remarkable—the sort of thing that I'm glad to read and then glad to return to the library—but it's been nice to remember that I can read nonfiction.

Date: 2019-01-20 07:12 pm (UTC)
convenientalias: a painting i did a while back :) (Default)
From: [personal profile] convenientalias
Gotta love that cold! Where I am it's about -8 degrees Celsius today, was about the same yesterday. We have a lot of lovely snow, too!

The Magpie Lord is one of the few books I've read by KJ Charles, too, and I've been wanting to continue the series but I'm too stingy to buy the rest yet. I thought it was really fun, too, though darker than I expected! It would be interesting to read a crossover between it and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell... tho I guess if that many ppl were able to do magic, the world of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell would be kind of different.
Glad to hear The Gilded Wolves is good! I want to read that eventually.

As for me, I started reading the Criminal Intentions series by Cole McCade, mystery series with a slow-burn m/m romance in the background. I'm two books in and trying not to binge it all at once.

Date: 2019-01-21 03:22 am (UTC)
evewithanapple: tomas with marcus' hand on his face | <lj user="evewithanapple"</lj> (ex | the order of the soul)
From: [personal profile] evewithanapple
Pretty much all of Charles's fantasy books (the Magpie series and the Green Men) are actually pretty dark in terms of the magic systems - there's a big emphasis on the toll magic takes on the users, and the potential abuses of power. The only outlier is Jackdaw (which is set in the Magpie 'verse) in which an ex-cop and a somewhat reformed criminal move to the seaside together.

Date: 2019-01-23 11:21 pm (UTC)
evewithanapple: claude and berger are so high right now | <lj user="evewithanapple"</lj> (hair | take me for a ride)
From: [personal profile] evewithanapple
See, there are books by Charles that I absolutely would call fluffy (Band Sinister is a cotton-candy delight) and the Magpie series is definitely fluffier than straight (no pun intended) fantasy/horror would be, but there's too much blood involved for me to really call it fluff. You haven't even gotten to the book where someone has to cut their finger off and make a pen out of their own bones.

(Read the other two main Magpie books before you read Jackdaw! The protagonists get introduced in A Flight of Magpies, and it won't make sense if you read them out of sequence.)

Date: 2019-01-27 09:01 pm (UTC)
evewithanapple: jack and katherine share a smile | <lj user="evewithanapple"</lj> (newsies | baby if i got you)
From: [personal profile] evewithanapple
Band Sinister is SO good and SO fluffy. I loved it to pieces. And the hero's sister is a Gothic novelist!

Date: 2019-01-20 08:49 pm (UTC)
corvidology: ([EMO] EXHAUSTED)
From: [personal profile] corvidology
Proposals for an academic conference where I'm on the committee. Erm... woot?

I love and miss that sort of frost where the air is so crisp.

Date: 2019-01-23 04:38 pm (UTC)
corvidology: ([EMO] HOME)
From: [personal profile] corvidology
My house is poorly insulated and therefore freezing

You could have just said "I live in an English house." :D

Date: 2019-01-21 10:15 am (UTC)
merit: (Bear and the Nightingale)
From: [personal profile] merit
I've only read Charles' Band Sinister which is apparently on the 'fluffier' side her of her work. But I'm intrigued to start more of her work, when I finish a few others on my 'to read' list.

Really looking forward to reading The Winter of the Witch!

Date: 2019-01-21 03:18 pm (UTC)
maehymn: horns (Default)
From: [personal profile] maehymn
I am going to look up all of these books! So excited!

I've been reading Silver Silence, by Nalini Singh. I don't totally love the style of this type of romance, but it's been a pretty good book so far. I also just started Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson, for some light non-fiction.

Date: 2019-01-23 06:09 am (UTC)
aimedatthestars: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aimedatthestars
Oh! Have you read other of her Psy-Changeling works? If not, I will say Silver Silence is one of the "quieter" entries in the series, a style she usually keeps to the novellas and not the novels.

Date: 2019-01-21 09:01 pm (UTC)
vae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vae
I'm so happy to see more people discovering and enjoying KJ Charles' books! That fundamental decency and the determination that no one deserves to be judged for who they are (unless they harm other people) but to be treasured for it is what keeps me coming back to her work.

Date: 2019-01-23 06:12 am (UTC)
aimedatthestars: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aimedatthestars
Oh, I was just looking at the Kirkus Review of Gilded Wolves, and was thinking about it. I haven't read any of her work; is there any particular novel of hers you'd recommend starting with?

I'm currently reading Rachel Hartman's Tess of the Road. I really loved her debut novel Seraphina, and this is set in the same universe, but tonally and topically it's totally different. The first 80 pgs were a hard read for me (emotionally claustrophobic), so I'm hoping the road trip part will be less difficult to read.


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