Friday, May 08, 2015

I was read to as a child; it made me a reader, not a priviledged idiot

Amazon is having a bit of a kindle book blow-out (h/t Tim Challies, who links to book deals every day). I wandered over to take a look at the mystery offerings.

(Gee, Diane, aren't you supposed to be reading at least two non-fiction books a month this year? Yes, and I am. So what's with the recent glut of fiction reading - three novels in the last week and a half, plus part of a fourth? Shut up. I needed a change of pace. The first one was on sale, and it's a series, so... That really helps with the backlog of non-fiction on the kindle, now doesn't it? Shut up. And...vacation. Vacation is coming and I should be able to read whatever I want on vacation! But vacation doesn't start for another two weeks. Argh.)

To my delight, most of the books by a favorite author are listed at ninety-nine cents a book. Margery Allingham wrote roughly during the 1920s-1950s, with many of her books centered around an Englishman named Albert Campion. While each book can be read as a stand alone, the characters do age, and life circumstances change; reading them in order makes all those things clear.

Campion, it is hinted, is the younger son of someone important (much like Sayers' Peter Wimsey, but much less stuffy). His manservant (the equivalent of Wimsey's Bunter, though the extreme opposite of Bunter in every way), Magersfontein Lugg, is a former burglar.

Campion, in fact, was originally created as a parody of Wimsey, it seems, but grew into his own.

They are wonderful reads, a steal at these prices. I restrained myself and only bought one, though it is early and the sale goes at least all day.

The science fiction/fantasy series I'm immersed is the Lunar Chronicles from Melissa Meyer. The first book, Cinder, was listed on someone's website, somewhere, and when I took a quick look on Amazon, it seemed interesting. We've colonized the moon, but a series of world wars and trouble on earth left the colony to develop on their own. The native of Luna now have the ability to manipulate how other people see them - "glamour" (term borrowed from vampire lore). Earth and Luna have a rather uneasy relationship.

In spite of the science fiction aspects (people can have multiple cybernetic parts, hover cars and spaceships abound), there are emperors, princesses and queens. The characters are roughly modeled after fairytale characters - Cinder(ella), Scarlett (little red riding hood), Wolf (the big bad) and others.

The worlds Meyer created hang together very well, setting the story in a place that is believable (we hates it when an author doesn't pay enough attention to the rules they've created for the world in which their story is set - I can spot the inconsistencies and it jars me out of what may otherwise be a wonderful story). My only regret is that the fourth novel in the series isn't due out until November (yes, I've preordered it).

Sometime soon I'll get up March and April's non-fiction posts...simply haven't had the kindle with me when I sit down at the computer (I many not remember non-fiction as readily as I remember fiction...)

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