Books finished relatively recently:

Tove Jansson: Fair Play and Finn Family Moomintroll. These two have little in common except that in each book, each chapter is a different episode, and that they're both about people who like each other. Jansson is best-known, at least outside Finland, for the Moomin series of children's books. I thought I'd read all of them when I asked the library for Finn Family Moomintroll, but there are things in there I think I'd remember if I'd read it before, including the Hobgoblin's Hat, and Too and Ticky showing up and becoming part of the household. Fair Play is an adult novel, or series of stories, about two women, an artist and a writer, who live separately but in the same building, and ongoing events in their relationship. (It's at least somewhat autobiographical, and was written long enough ago that it could be read as a platonic friendship, absent the known context, which includes that the "about the author" on all her books falselu said she lived alone, rather than mentioning her long-term partner.) I'd recommend both of these, if you're at all open to both mimetic fiction and playful fantasy about non-human characters.

Marjorie Allingham: Look to the Lady and Policemen at the Funeral. This is two-thirds of a kindle "box set" of Allingham's Albert Campion stories. Look to the Lady is plot-driven rather than character-driven; not so much that it feels as though the characters are moving around to fit the needs of the plot, as that they're somewhat flat. Policemen at the Funeral is weird, in ways that I think would be spoilers even to hint at, so have a cut: This is complexly plotted, but I am inclined to agree with Detective Oates, who said, near the end of the book, that this isn't reasonable, in terms of motivation--"the murderer was crazy so of course his actions don't make sense to you," at a time where psychology was a very new field. I reached the point of suspecting that the solution was going to be that Cousin Kitty was right and the family's problem was a demon/evil ghost.

Alma Fritchley: Chicken Run. This was recommended by [personal profile] rachelmanija and is, as she said, a cozy lesbian mystery about a chicken farmer, set in England a couple of decades ago. It's at least as much about shifting relationships as about the mystery, and the pacing of the plot is weird in terms of that genre. I enjoyed this enough that I have a sequel waiting for me at the Somerville Library.

Charlie Jane Anders: All the Birds in the Sky. This one is weird, and I'm not sure I'd say I liked it. The first part of the book is emotionally difficult, parallel/intertwined stories of two children/teens who are being abused by their parents and school systems. There's witchcraft and science/technology, the latter with a sort of hacker ethos, and a character who I'm fairly sure is based on Elon Musk, with the riches and intelligence and egocentricity. It's hard to really like either group or their cavalier way with everyone else's future, even realizing that they're dealing with a series of escalating natural disasters.

Currently reading:

Nick Lane: Life Ascending: the ten great inventions of evolution. Bits I've enjoyed so far include the discussion of how the DNA-->amino acid coding isn't random, and the explanation of how the two photosystems that make up oxygenic photosynthesis work, and how such an odd-seeming thing could have evolved.
minoanmiss: Bull-Leaper; detail of the Toreador Fresco (Bull-Leaper)

From: [personal profile] minoanmiss

That last book sounds intriguing.
replyhazy: (Default)

From: [personal profile] replyhazy

I've tried several times to read the Campion books, and I always give up. There are too many characters in them that act in bonkers ways -- they are so unpredictable that it makes me confused.
carbonel: (Default)

From: [personal profile] carbonel

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was kind of ambivalent about All the Birds in the Sky. I wanted to love it, but the high body count of non-player characters really bugged me, and I had trouble believing either the magic or the sufficiently advanced technology that behaved a lot like magic.

It got great reviews from people I respect, so I mostly tend to think of it as a failing in me rather than the book.
otter: (Default)

From: [personal profile] otter

I read Fair Play a couple years ago. I still would like to read the Moomintroll books.
coyotegoth: (Default)

From: [personal profile] coyotegoth

I have fond memories of the Moomin books.

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