Check it out here:
This week has been killer–not just in terms of surviving the frosty New York weather but also in terms of getting any sort of creative work accomplished. Luckily last weekend proved more fruitful as I finished the second round edits on Chapter 2. During the week, all I managed to achieve was a write-up for The Fly Tower’s long overdue series page. Tentatively, I’m referring to the series as the Consortium Chronicles but that might very well change. I hope to get the book page up early next week…it’s basically done, it just needs a little more smoothing out and a touch more moxie before I post.
In the meantime, check out the series page:
Whether it is a dark and magical romp as in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern or a hard-hitting scifi war novel as in The Forever War, I’ve definitely been spending most of my time immersed in fantastical worlds. So, in an effort to diversify, I’ve chosen other fiction or nonfiction titles amid a run of scifi/fantasy ones. How’s it working out? Not so great. Maybe it’s me or maybe it’s the books I’ve selected but overall my recent experiences branching out have been a bit lackluster.
My latest selection was The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny. To be honest, it sounded just like the kind of book I’d enjoy. It centers around Dr. Gabriella Mondini, a formidable young women who (gasp) practices medicine in 16th century Venice under the mentorship of her father who is also a physician. Ten years into an extensive journey, her father writes her letter stating he never plans to return home. Not only has her father abandoned her, but without his mentorship, her position in the medical world is threatened by those less than enlightened male doctors. Therefore, she decides to set a course to find her father and bring him home. The remainder of the book follows her exploits as she zigzags across Europe.
A woman doctor bucking the system in a male dominated establishment way before the bra-burning Women’s Lib took effect 400 years later! This is my kind of lady. It really should have been a great read.
Unfortunately, I was never able to really connect to the work. I had read some reviews warning that the plot was slow-moving but most agreed it was well worth it–though for me, I really wish I had heeded my own internal warnings and cut my losses about 1/3 of the way in.
Don’t get me wrong. The book is beautifully written–all accounts are lyrical, whimsical, and poetic. The medical details and historical contexts are very well done. Part of the plot revolves her undertaking to complete a book about various maladies and cures. I found it interesting to learn about early medical treatments for mental disorders and to discover how the medical field viewed mental illness in the 1590s…the causes were varied, some even believed melancholy was derived from a blue moon. These simple, superstitious beliefs are truly representative of early medicine and this author’s ability to showcase these ideas is wonderful.
However, the book contains absolutely no real action. Everything interesting that happens is described rather than shown. So many great moments felt stilted and cold because I couldn’t identify with the main character or her plight. She is a woman traveling alone (except for a couple of servants) during a very dangerous time in history–religious inquisitions, witch trials, and women’s rights abuse just to name a few things. Several times she has to pose as a man to avoid all manners of harm. Horrible tragic events happen to her and those around her. Yet the troubles are not palatable. Often, I found myself thinking “well that sucks” and moving on without any further consideration. I really, really wanted to love this book. I just didn’t. That said I have no doubt there are people who loved this book and had trouble putting it down.
To give this book a read, you can find it at any of your local online retailers including Amazon, B&N, and iTunes:
As February draws near, I am getting pretty excited for a ridiculous surplus of new book releases. Some are continuations in a coveted series, others are the first in a brand new series, and a few are even stand-alone titles. Last year, there were a few titles that I eagerly awaited but mostly I spent the year searching for that great next book, or better yet, book series that would inspire and obsess me. Sadly, I was disappointed with a number of the books I read though I must confess there were a few notable exceptions but that’s for another post.
And now, finally, here are the books that I hope will thrill and obsess me this year.
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (Finishing School #1)
Release date 2/5/13
Fuse by Julianna Baggott (The Pure Trilogy #2)
Release date 2/19/13
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy #2)
Release date 6/4/13
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2)
Release date 6/18/13
The 3rd As Yet Untitled Book from the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
Releases Fall 2013
The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke (Immortal Empire #2)
Release date 2/5/13
The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
Release date 2/12/13
Brilliant Devices by Shelley Adina (Magnificent Devices #4)
Release date 2/28/13
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Release date 4/2/13
Equilateral by Ken Kalfus
Release date 4/16/13
The Red Plague Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (Bannon and Clare #2)
Release date 5/21/13
Tempest Reborn by Nicole Peeler (Jane True #6)
Release date 5/28/13
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Release date 6/4/13
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #6)
Release date 7/30/13
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
Release date 8/1/13
Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire (October Daye #7)
Release date 9/13 (details to come)
(These books are not in any particular order, except for Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage and Ilona Andrews Magic Rises both of which I am dying to read! Oh yeah, and I separated my list out by YA vs Adult for those of you who don’t read or particularly care to read YA books.)
I’m positive I will be adding to this list in the next few months as new book release dates start to appear on Amazon, so check back for updates as year continues.
If you have any book suggestions, please feel free to post. 🙂
I’m getting really excited for all the new book releases in 2013 but I wanted to take a moment to document the still unread books from my current to-read list. Some of these titles have been waiting for me to read them for almost a year; others are new. I plan to make a point to read each of these books this year. Fortunately, I have a number of trips planned so I’ll have some great reading (I hope!) for the plane and any moments of quiet I can find in the midst of exploring other cities.
1. In the Garden of Iden (The Company series) by Kage Baker
2. The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
3. Innocent Darkness (The Aether Chronicles) by Suzanne Lazear
4. Touch of Steel: A Novel of Clockwork Agents by Kate Cross
5. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
6. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1) by Naomi Novik
7. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
8. Blood Rights by Kristen Painter
9. The Native Star by M. K. Hobson
10. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
11. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
12. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
***Books are listed in no particular reading order.