Last night I finished gobbling up Kate Ross’s Cut to the Quick, the first Julian Kestrel mystery.  And you bet I’ll be grabbing next one as soon as I manage to clear a few other things off my to-read shelf.  I should really say shelves, because now I have one at home and one at work, and I’m constantly surprised to see what’s on each shelf.  Anyway, Julian Kestrel – the perfect combination of character-driven mystery (although the plot wasn’t too shabby), period setting, snark, and the occasional moving, touching moment.  Quite nicely told, and it came recommended by the ever-reliable Bookshelves of Doom.  I love the line that Leila quotes:

“You’re cynical.  I thought you would be.  Can you sneer?”

“With terrifying effect.”

And there were a few other good ones that I forgot to write down as I gobbled.

At the moment I’m listening to the second volume of the Octavian Nothing books in the car – the reading is excellent, as was the first volume, but I’m in that claustrophobic, mad with inaction section in the middle where nothing seems to happen and they’re living off half-rations of salted pork gone bad.  I love rereading because you notice new things each time, and listening to these books brings out qualities of the language that you don’t necessarily notice on the page, but it’s not a fun, easy listen.  After this, I have a few audiobooks lined up – the third Mistress of the Art of Death book, Grave Goods, which I’ve been looking forward to, and then the new Richard Peck, A Season of Gifts, and then Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, which is on this year’s list for the Mock Printz.  It looks like a tearjerker, and I had quite a run of tearjerkers earlier in the year, so I’d been staying away from it, but I’ve got until January.

I picked up Frances Hardinge’s The Lost Conspiracy last night, and I’m just getting hooked – I’ve heard such good things about it, plus I enjoyed her earlier books.  I’m kind of hooked by Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World, which is full of fascinating characters and digressions into the past, to the extent that the present-day plot has been completely forgotten.  It’s absorbing when I pick it up, but it demands a fair degree of focus in order to relish the language and soak it all up, so I keep putting it down in favor of slightly easier, more plot-driven things.  I will get back to it, though.

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