This is the clean up round, folks, just clearing the decks before I begin The Summer of Spies!
I'm finishing up a rather busy week, looking forward to some time on the weekend and next week to catch up on my library books. The weather here has been lovely, inspiring me to spend an evening wandering a local park with a cousin. And I've done a household purge, taking an enormous quantity of clothing, bedding, etc. as a donation to a charity.
Still to be done: I bought plants on the long weekend which I need to get transplanted into my balcony planters. One of my friends gave me a lovely bunch of rhubarb and I intend to make Ginger Vanilla Stewed Rhubarb either tonight or tomorrow. Plus all the usual household stuff that one has to attend to when one lives alone and can't delegate.
I wish you all a happy weekend of reading!
Like yesterday I remember the trial of John Leonard Orr as it was heavily covered in the Los Angeles Times at the beginning of the new century. It was truly unbelievable. John Leonard Orr was an arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department at the time of his arrest. Turns out that this very arson investigator was, in fact, the CAUSE of a huge series of fire that started wherever he happened to be. And who better to tell the story than Joseph Wambaugh, whose writing style is perfect for this particular true crime story.
And like a lot of us looking back on an incident with 20/20 hindsight, you can't help but feel the old cliche of "Why in hell didn't anyone catch on to this guy sooner? How was that possible?" Wambaugh shows you with his top-notch writing style how it was possible. Though I knew how the story would turn out, it was amazing the amount of suspense this book generated. It's been a while since I read a true-life crime story, but glad I happened upon this book. I really recommend it.
During a shift in which the crew is training a group of cadets an explosion suddenly tears through the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Though weakened and suffering from a shard of shrapnel lodged next to his spine, Spock refuses medical treatment as he launches an investigation into the cause of the blast. Enlisting Commander Scott's help, Spock traces a missing yeoman to a barren planet, where the two men encounter small parties of Romulans and Klingons before the three groups are captured by an previously unknown aggressive species. In the months that follow Spock undergoes arrest, imprisonment, and a succession of exploits that will end on the bridge of a Romulan warship as it prepares to destroy the Enterprise and his former crewmates.
Sonni Cooper's book starts off with a bang and never lets up, as she races her readers through a series of twists and turns, burning through plot enough for three novels in the hands of other authors. The pacing is so rapid that it is easy to overlook the problems with Cooper's plot and the lack of development of the secondary characters, many of whom are distinguished more by their names and physical descriptions than by anything distinctive that they bring to the story. In the end this is very much Spock's novel, and fans of his character likely will enjoy the many adventures on which the author sends him.
Wait, apparently Nils wasn't invited to the super secret meeting of heretical magic users, just to something nearby. Maybe? I'm confused. At any rate, he was in the area but not in as much danger as Mare. Or something. Parts of this book are way more confusing than they should be.
I have about 10 more days to go before this has to be turned in. I'm going to try really hard to finish it quickly, because I desperately want to move onto other things. Although this has two female POV characters who are polar opposites, plus a female captain of the guard and a powerful female politician, this is somehow yet another "not like other girls" book. I'm very tired of the way the characters keep viewing court gossip as a useless thing only silly court ladies do, rather than a potentially useful source of information. You can't tell me that taverns are the only place where people are talking about the Recusants and recent assassination and assassination attempt.
Dennaleia just told Mare "And no one but you lets me do anything useful anyway." The thing is, all Mare is having Dennaleia do is library research. Which is good, but I feel like the author's contempt for court gossip destroyed another option for Dennaleia, who has been raised to be quiet, observant, and, in theory, politically astute, to be useful. I'd have loved a line or two in which it dawned on Mare that, yes, dressing up like a guy and spying in taverns could be useful, but so could acting like a proper lady and talking to courtiers.