February Books

Revisiting Narnia: Fantasy, Myth and Religion in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles edited by Shanna Caughey : I found this an uneven collection of essays. Some of them were extremely intelligent and argued well (regardless of whether I personally agreed with their premise). Others seemed almost superficial. Still, it was interesting to see the various opinions. As a die-hard fan of the Narnia series and many works of Lewis and the other Inklings, this certainly broadened my view.

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang : If I never read another collection in my life, I can die happy. This is very similar to what I said after I had dinner at Jean Georges. I did eat again, and I probably will read again. But this was an amazing collection of stories. My favorite stories were “Story of Your Life,” “Seventy-Two Letters” (I have a weakness for the golem mythology) and “Liking What You See” (which apparently inspired Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, which I have just begun to read).

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch : Given what I’d heard from friends I really wanted to like this more than I ended up liking it. I loved the world-building and the characterization was very strong. However, structurally, all the character history bits didn’t blend as well as I wanted them to and I kept seeing them as almost an interuption to the narrative.

Graffiti Girl by Kelly Parra : Makes you want to go out and tag something. I loved the multicultural aspects of this, and thought they had a nice balance with the normal girl-angst of choosing between the “out of your league guy” and the “bad boy.”

Poseur by Rachel Maude : High concept=”Project Runway meets Gossip Girls.” Review=too much boyfriend, not enough fashion. And coming from me that’s sort of sad. Even though this was well-written enough prose-wise, the story just took too long to get into motion.

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