At Least I Finished a Few Books in May 2020

To stick with the theme from March and April, my reading didn’t pick up much in May. However, I did manage to finish two books that I’d been working on for a few months. That made me feel a little more accomplished.

Last year I had a goal to read more books in series that I never finished. That is definitely something I’d like to keep doing. I still have several more books to read in the Parasol Protectorate series, for example. I also never actually finished the first trilogy of Kushiel books by Jacqueline Carey, let alone the two subsequent trilogies.

As I write this, I am still working on finishing the Complete Sherlock Holmes read by Stephen Fry. I’m within spitting distance of the end – only six hours left of sixty-plus! I’ll need something else ambitious to read next. Maybe it’s time to tackle Infinite Jest or Gravity’s Rainbow?

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

The premise of this book sounded really interesting, but the execution wasn’t great, and it didn’t hold my interest. I actually started reading it in early March, and finished it two months later.

The global pandemic certainly didn’t help with my attention span, but the truth is that this book has a very thin premise that the author drags out for as long as possible in an attempt to increase tension. I lost patience, but kept slogging through out of stubbornness because I guess I wanted to find out what happened.

The setup is that a young woman is ghosted by her boyfriend right when she is about to move into his apartment. She arrives ready to move in and everything he owns is gone. Things get complicated when she finds his phone dropped in a corner on the patio and she has a nasty run-in with an angry ghost.

The story jumps back and forth between her relationship during the good times and her attempts to solve the mystery of her missing boyfriend in the present day. The time jumps only serve to parcel out the revelations as slowly as possible, and the book ultimately feels like it would have worked better as a novella or a short story, just because the actual developments are slim-to-none.


Blameless by Gail Carriger

Blameless by Gail Carriger

This one also took me a while to finish, but I enjoyed it a lot more. I started reading it in February after reading the first two books more than a decade ago. (Amazon tells me that I bought this book on September 1st of 2010!)

The Parasol Protectorate books have a certain arch, mannered charm to them. Alexia Tarabotti is a very particular sort of character, and it’s fun to watch her bump up against other people and the mores of her very specific world.

In this volume, she adventures across the world after being rejected by her gruff werewolf husband for the indiscretion of her pregnancy (supposedly impossible due to his lycanthropy). Alexia runs from any number of people who are trying to kill her and a few who want to use her for their own nefarious purposes.

It all adds up to a rollicking good time. I’m glad I started this series up again, and look forward to reading the rest of this quintet very shortly.


Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches, Volume 16

Yamada-Kun and Seven Witches, Volume 16

You know the drill at this point. High school witches, what are they up to? Will Yamada ever figure out how to have a good relationship with Shiraishi? Tune in next volume to find out!