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July 9th, 2010:

Hogfather & All She Was Worth

A couple of mini-reviews of the books I’ve read lately:

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

The 20th book in the Discworld series (and yes, I’m reading them in order – I find they tend to make a little more sense that way), about average Discworld length, possibly a bit longer than that, and focuses on Death (and his granddaughter, Susan). I tend to prefer the books involving Death, so that automatically makes it interesting for me, but I found Hogfather to actually be a bit creepier than most of the Discworld novels I’ve read. I can’t quite pinpoint why (although it might’ve been Teatime). Reading it now gave an additional “Christmas in July” feel so I’m not sure if it would have seemed less strange and/or more appropriate if I’d read it in December XD;

All She Was Worth – Miyuki Miyabe

This book was written by an author I’d never heard of previously, but happened to pick during a particularly ambitious book-buying spree on amazon. (I have two more books by completely new authors still waiting for me.) I don’t quite remember how it got recommended to me, I imagine it was through a (Haruki) Murakami page. ASWW is a fairly straightforward detective novel, in the sense that the protagonist is a detective and spends the entire time trying to unravel What Happened. Naturally there are some additional scenes, giving background on the protagonist and his life, but that’s generally overshadowed by the investigation and the information learned about the subject’s life and personality. I was a little disappointed that there was no shown confrontation at the end, as it felt a bit like things were left hanging. I suppose you can come to the conclusion that everything unfolded just as the detective had discovered it, and I suppose the motive for the actions was clear enough… but I somehow still prefer to hear it straight from the character’s mouth. It wasn’t a bad ending, just not my preferred one. (Also, the fact that there were at least three or four blank pages at the back of the book didn’t help any, but that’s a publishing/printing choice, I believe.)

I should note that I read these two books in quick succession, as I seem to always do. Hogfather at least took a couple nights to work through, but All She Was Worth was read from beginning to end last night XD; That was unintentional, but not unprecedented. I’m wondering whether to wait a bit before starting on In the Miso Soup or Out (I’ve also got Kinki Lullaby and Jingo but I’m saving those, one because KL’s the last Billy Chaka book and Jingo because, well, I just read a Discworld book.)

I always welcome book recommendations and questions about books that I’ve read! Feel free to leave a comment here, or on my 2010 book list page :hee:

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