February 23rd, 2007

Reading List 2007 (6/48)

This week’s reading:

The Best of the Best, ed. Gardner Dozois
The Best of the Best 2, ed. Gardner Dozois
Twilight of the Superheroes, Deborah Eisenberg
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel
Fer-de-Lance, Rex Stout
Right to Die, Rex Stout

Reasonably good reading this week, though I’m shocked at how little I actually managed to read given that I was home sick three days of the week. Mostly my head hurt too much to have my eyes open!

The Dozois anthologies were excellent, but unfortunately I’d read a whole lot of the stories in them already (Swanwick, Chiang, Reynolds, Willis, Kress, etc.). The new stories I discovered were great, but I do rather wish I’d had two whole thick books of them to play with instead of only part of two wonderfully thick books.

I’ve always been meaning to read the Nero Wolfe books, and they’re just right for recovering from the crud of doom. They’re light, sure, but the dialogue is great and Archie’s inner monologue is priceless: big-hearted noir that always ends happily.

The others were, well, not particularly memorable. I picked up the Eisenberg largely because of the title, and the title story was indeed excellent. Unfortunately, many of the stories were of a type I particularly don’t enjoy - the inconclusive vignette that Leads You Deep Into the Character’s Inner Life. Sigh.

The Mogel book is one I’ll come back to if I ever choose to have kids. It was recommended to me as a book which approached Judaism from a psychological/ethical perspective, and it was indeed that, but it was all about how the lessons of Judaism help raise good kids. It got me reflecting on my own childhood and what lessons I’ve taken from it, and I thought it was perceptive and well-written. However, I don’t have kids in my visible future, so I’m putting it on my shelf to come back to later.

Creative act coming imminently; after that, it’s Shabbat Shalom, folks!