Best of 2001

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Wed Jan 16 17:15:51 EST 2002


Ros:

>Yes. Often, though, I fail to finish a book not because I think it's awful
>but because for some reason, I don't feel like reading it at the time.

Yeah, but those aren't the books which go to Oxfam! :)  They'll be 
beside the bed, or under the bed, or in the stack which doesn't fit 
IN the bookcase, but totters perilously on top of it...  Somewhere to 
hand anyway, when the mood is right to try again.


>
>  > >[rest snipped to save space!] [ditto from me] [And now more snipped]

[_Passage_]

>. I'll now word it slightly differently: she's managed to
>give both their due without falling prey to the delusions of either. I like
>what you wrote about her offering a completely different vision.

Our Rector read us a quote once which I haven't *quite* managed to 
remember correctly, but loved nonetheless.  It was something along 
the lines of our fearing horizons because we couldn't see beyond 
them, and what was death but the ultimate horizon?  (Only it was in 
better prose.)

>
>I'm not sure, but I think what I've just said is that basically I agree with
>you. :-))

Lol.  I realised on reading your answer, that I'd forgotten to 
mention that I also incorporated all kinds of discussions of the 
book.  And I agree with what you said about CW avoiding the easy 
answers - in each discussion, the other person said or questioned 
something which I had thought I had all sorted out.  Amazing book.

>  > >Somewhat Disappointing Book: I'm going to have to disagree with what
>seems
>>  >like half the list here
>>
>>
>>  :)  Glad to see someone else doing this.
>
>Well, someone's got to do the dirty work. :-))

:)  And you do it so *well*, Ros, I'll be happy to leave it to you!

>
>>  >and say that I found _One for the Money_ by
>>  >Evanovich somewhat disappointing. I was told it was hysterically funny;
>it
>>  >made me smile but I didn't find it *that* funny. I enjoyed the romance
>>  >aspect of it--I often enjoy romances.
>>
>>  At least I can't be accused of having called any of them
>>  "hysterically" funny - wasn't me.
>
>No--a friend of mine claimed that.
>
>
>>  I think the quirky family humour
>>  grows a bit through the series.  But it's a long time since I read
>>  the first, and I lent it to someone ages ago and never got it back,
>>  so can't see how that one held up to rereading.  The "romance" is
>>  kept very involving (well, I find it so) - through the introduction
>>  of a rival to Joe.  (For those who have read the later ones, I'm
>>  rooting for the rival.)
>
>So you think it might be worth my while to continue reading the second and
>third?

Sigh.  I don't give flat-out recommendations like this all that 
easily (though I'm happy enough to go out on a limb for the Megan 
Whalen Turner ones, and already did).  As I said, I haven't reread 
the first one for some time, so I don't even know what I feel about 
it compared to others.  But some of the fun comes in the repetitions 
of incidents (Tough Guide in New Jersey?  Guns in handbags instead of 
swords - sorry, Swords.  And Incidents.  Silly of me.) through the 
series, imo.  And quitting after the first one, you wouldn't have 
seen enough mayhem in the funeral parlour, enough times when 
Stephanie's car was destroyed - wouldn't have met Lula, or Ranger, or 
The Mooner, or Bob the dog.  Oh dear, I think I need to go reread. 
Let me put it this way, this series I find perfect as a non-chemical 
mood enhancer, and the feeling has grown with each book I've read, 
which is not the same as thinking the books get "better".  So I guess 
I'd say with lower expectations, what have you got to lose? :)

>
>>  I still think _Sing the Four
>>  Quarters_ wins hands-down, as I expected more from a rec. by DWJ than
>>  from Charles de Lint.
>
>I'm going to have to be a renegade again and say that, contrary to quite a
>few people on the list, I really, really liked _Sing the Four Quarters_ (I
>completely forgot to say this in my list!). What did I like about it? The
>characters, the way they are *naturally* bisexual, without any hand-waving
>or fuss; the world it's set in with its magical system--I found the whole
>thing quite charming. I enjoyed the others in the series, too, though I
>found numbers two and three in the series a bit less enjoyable than the
>third and last. But the second and third contained that delicious idea of
>two souls inhabiting the same body (or something along those lines--my
>memory is a bit unclear about it).


Ok, since you're going against the herd *twice*, I won't bore on 
about what I disliked, but just say that I did like the music/magic 
system also. :)

>  > >
>>  >Book I'm Sure I Will Love When I Read It This Year: _The Tower at Stony
>>  >Wood_ by Patricia McKillip--which didn't get read during 2001 by sheer
>luck.
>>  >Next to be read, I think.
>>
>>  I really expected to love this to pieces, but didn't (nor did Becca,
>>  to whom I read part of it).  It doesn't qualify for disappointing
>>  book as it was a mood/reaction thing, not any kind of reflection on
>>  the book itself, and I'll try it again.
>
>I'll let you know what I thought when I've read it. You might have to remind
>me, as obviously my memory is not entirely reliable!

Ok!  But how will I remember to remind you?

[Northanger Abbey bit put into another post]

>
>  > I'll propose a new category, which I hope some others will at least
>understand:
>  > Book I Most Enjoyed While Thinking It Was Awful.
>
>I understand this category! Right at this moment I can't think of a book
>that fell into it in 2001 for me, though.

Glad you understood it, but I think I could have come up with a 
catchier category title.  Most Enjoyed Loathing?  That sounds 
disturbed, but at least it's shorter.

Hallie.
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