Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

2016 Reading

I've envied my friends with a record of their reading, but I've had trouble getting started with it.

#1. My Tesla: A love story of a mouse and her car, by Joan C. Gratz
A children's book of one woman's story of Tesla ownership. (It was a stocking stuffer.) It was cute, but the protagonist is not always gracious about her Tesla ownership.

#2. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, by Dorothy Sayers
This was a reread. I'm terribly fond of Dorothy Sayers; she may well be my favorite mystery author. This is a great example of why; Lord Peter Wimsey deftly manipulates the situation to expose a secret murder, then teases out the thread of the crime with a subtle understanding of human relations. One thing I like about the Wimsey stories: the story doesn't end with the solution of the crime, but carries through to the resolution of the situation. I'm not totally convinced that the murderer would show the ethics after confrontation that this murderer did - but perhaps that's part of the book's interwar charm.

#3. Tesla Model S: Best Car Ever, by Frank von Gilluwe and Kim Rogers
Another Christmas gift, this one is a Tesla fan book for adults. I enjoyed reading it and learned a few things about the Tesla that I didn't know. Even though its copyright is 2014, much of the information about options and software is now outdated.

#4. Bone, by Jeff Smith.
at Stromberg recommended this to me when I asked for recommendations for graphic novels. Three Bone cousins leave Boneville to avoid troubles with a misguided mayoral campaign party and stumble into a heroic fantasy struggle.
I particularly liked the running thread of humor in the heroic fantasy (as with the quiche-eating rat-man), and the touch of heroism in the humor (such as the reason that Phoney Bone is a greedy scoundrel).
This was published over the course of 9 years. When I read such long-running serial works, I always wonder how much of the story was planned in advance and how much developed during the years of publication. One of the big constraints of a serial work is that you can't revise the beginning once you figure out the end.
Reviews of Bone I've read describe the book as "Tolkienesque", but if this were really Tolkienesque there would be much more backstory about the Bones as a race and culture.

#5. Something the Cat Dragged In, by Charlotte MacLeod
One in Charlotte McLeod's series of cozy mysteries featuring Peter Shandy, agronomy professor at Balaclava College.
I have a deeply ambivalent relationship with Charlotte MacLeod. I've read a dozen of her Sarah Kelling mysteries, and they feature both an engaging literate whimsy of characters and descriptions and appalling plot flaws that leave me fuming. (A warning to those reading the Sarah Kelling books: the first book is much much darker in tone than the rest of the books in the series. Liking one is not a predictor of liking the others.) This one is not terribly extreme in either direction, but it does presume a successful longstanding conspiracy among collaborators who seem ill-equipped to successfully organize a bake sale.
Tags: reading
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