report on recommended reading

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at katspace.com
Wed Aug 7 17:49:44 EDT 2002


On Wed, Aug 07, 2002 at 12:25:41PM -0600, Robyn Starkey wrote:
> Catherine Asaro - about half way through the series now, and I loved the 
> book about Quis (The Last Hawk). What a fantastically interesting idea - 
> the dice game that operates as collective consciousness. The others are 
> keeping me reading, but they aren't as interesting conceptually. I am 
> getting a bit tired of the heavy load of "scientific" explanations which 
> appear to be cut and pasted Babysitter Club style from one book to the 
> next. I am also a little impatient with the way the author is packaged - 
> why is it soooo important that she is a physicist, and why if her 
> scientific qualifications are paramount, is there a picture of her looking 
> like a Romance author inside the back cover?

Ah, the above comment is not reassuring... I've been wondering whether
to poke into Catherine Asaro or not...
I would suspect that there is a picture of her looking like a Romance
author inside the back cover because all the front covers I've seen look
like Romance novels?  Y'know, beautiful women and hunky men?  She's also
highly recommended on the SF-Romance site (darn, I can't remember the
URL) so, well, maybe some think of her stuff as more Romance than SF?
 
> Passage by Connie Willis was a compelling read, but why do I always feel 
> like I would never reread her books when I have finished them? I have been 
> trying to quantify the problem, but I don't seem to be able to be more 
> specific. Books I love I would read over and over.

I know what you mean, and I can't quantify the problem either.  I
haven't read Passage myself, but other ones I've enjoyed, like "To Say
Nothing of the Dog" and "Belwether", I don't feel any great desire to
read again either.  The words "enjoyable fluff" spring to mind, though
that isn't quite fair, because it isn't as if they weren't full of good
ideas too.  But then I don't tend to *re-read* books for their ideas.
Things that make a book re-readable are the characterisations and the
style, I think.  Because you may want to relive that stunningly poetic
passage, or re-travel that road with characters you love... as distinct
from characters you like, perhaps?  Or maybe it's a question of
character growth rather than likableness.  I'm really not sure.
The odd thing is that the Connie Willis book I'm most likely to actually
re-read is "Water Witch" and she co-authored that with Cynthia Felice.
So the style, or the something, is quite different.

Kathryn Andersen
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