My June reads:
- A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
- Wizard’s Holiday by Diane Duane
- House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
- Wizards at War by Diane Duane
- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Most of the above are sequels to books I enjoyed in my childhood. I had a hankering to return to Diane Duane’s Wizards (her Deep Wizardry remains one of the most surprisingly poignant books I’ve ever encountered) books. A Wizard Alone, which happens after the death of Nita’s mom, was slow-paced, but in a good way, delving deeply into themes of loss, grief and loneliness. The next two books return to the saving-the-world motif, with Duane really raising the stakes. Wizards at War left a plot thread dangling, so I anticipate a sequel–and it looks like A Wizard of Mars is due to come out in 2010. Woohoo (even though it’s not about what I thought it would be about)!
House of Many Ways is one of two indirect sequels to Wynne Jones’ utterly charming Howl’s Moving Castle. Unfortunately, neither of them lived up to their prequel. I want more of Howl and Sophie, and I’m frustrated that they are secondary characters in both books. I didn’t take to Charmain much, and the plot felt thin and trivial, probably because of my lack of emotional attachment. It was not bad, just not what I was hoping for. Your mileage may vary.
After only two renewals, I made it through my library copy of David Copperfield. I’m daunted by writing even a mini-review of a classic, so here in random order are my thoughts about it: I liked it; I thought it differed greatly from a modern novel and that a contemporary editor would turn the first third of the book into backstory; I’m amused by the fact that this serious classic was probably considered low-brow popular entertainment in its day; yes, parts of it did read like a soap opera, and it was awfully convenient that David happend to always be around to witness intense emotional drama. Dickens is undoubtedly a fine writer. I found myself chuckling over and itching to steal many turns of phrases, including Miss Murdstone’s steel purse that “shut up like a bite”. In fact, Miss Murdstone’s metallic appearance, quite in keeping with her character, just begged to be transported into steampunk.
Yes, that was a very profound review, I know.
So, what about you guys (and gals)? Read anything interesting lately?