Book reviews

Kathleen Jennings s368333 at
Mon May 5 23:57:58 EDT 2003

I've been going over my reading list this year so far (pitiful, only
averaging 4 books a month but then that is not allowing for the fact I was
writing a thesis for the first three). Surnames read: Birmingham, Paterson,
Patterson, Boston, Manley, Kelleher, Pratchett, Pullman, Jones, Jones,
Jones, Shakespeare, Jones, Jones, Pratchett, Jones, Jones, Jones, Jones,
Voigt, Voigt.

I noticed a definite trend and thought I ought to ease off a little on DWJ
(TMC not improved by reading it so close to DS). Actually, I can't get hold
of any more right now, but still thought I ought to diversify. I was going
to read the Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine, but left it at home and so
read Homecoming and Dicey's Song (Voigt) in one night and realised Dicey's
grandmother reminds me a lot of Polly's in F&H. Not in appearance or
background, but in approach to other people. Am now on the prowl looking for
something I haven't read yet.

Jennifer wrote:
> Eight Skilled Gentlemen, Barry Hughart
> A magical China that never was. Master Li and Number Ten Ox investigate a
> murder and find that magical bird-cages and demons are involved. Not as
> funny as Bridge of Birds, but very good.

For some reason this reminded me of Ruth Manley's The Plum Rain Scroll,
which is set in a mythical/mystical Japan and which I read earlier this year
on a friend's ardent recommendation. Has anyone else out there read it?
Maybe it's something that happens when an author appropriates the mythology
of another country, but it bears a striking resemblance to Alexander's The
Book of Three. I mean that, you can almost match character for character,
and some of the big scenes to scenes. Not a bad book, despite, but some of
the similarities were distracting.

Must go and finish making an oversized Cat-in-the-Hat Hat for my floor to
display at the college Mad Hatter's Ball. My fingers ache from cutting
through excessively thick corrugated cardboard.

And must track down a Gaiman book or two also, haven't read any yet.
Recommendations for first book?


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