So, I read Mademoiselle de Scuderi and it was kind of a slog but that may have been the translation. The plot was kind of Law and Order: Louis XIV which was interesting but not really much with the detecting. What little there was led to wrong conclusions, the truth only came out (to the extent it did) from heartfelt confessions and people believing in the power of virtue and suchlike.
Part of me wants to jump back and reread Oedipus Rex but that would definitely mean finding a good translation. Does anyone have a favorite to recommend?
Or I could just go ahead with Bleak House, which is pretty conveniently available although there are certainly multiple editions of the audiobook and I am thinking switching between audio and print might be good for that book, or even doing the simultaneous thing which I tried out when I could not concentrate on . . . something . . . I guess it didn't help with the long term retention but it did seem to help in immediate comprehension at the time!
[link] came out in 2018 but I am reading it right now and it is really good. I read The Ramshead Algorithm when it was published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2011 and it blew me away, but when I googled the author to find more to read there wasn't really anything available. I have been slowly reading through Some of the Best of Tor.com:2019 edition one story at a time in between everything else for ages (since 2019, probably, I don't remember (it's not like I decided to do this, it is just thing that has somehow come to be)) and came to Water: A History which was very good and then the About the Author that followed it mentioned this collection and the title lit up all those YOU HAVE TO FIND THIS AND READ THIS NOW neural pathways that had been prepared way back when. There are 10 "other stories" and I ajust finished number 4 because I need to stop and think about each one after I finish it - they are all wonderfully weird and cryptic and yet feel complete, as if I will be able to understand a lot more that is hidden within them if I can just ponder them a little longer - but I wanted to come and recommend it now anyway. So good.
So if anyone needs a ridiculous romp of a book set in a queer-gender-fluid fantasy world that vaguely resembles Victorian England if there were magic and trolls and a skeletal mouse who says "BONG," I highly recommend "The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry" by C.M. Waggoner. I didn't realize there was an earlier book set in the same world ("Unnatural Magic," which I just started reading), but it clearly wasn't necessary for context since I zipped right along. Wonderful queer love story mixed with a bit of a detective subplot. I enjoyed the heck out of it.
Thanks for the rec, Pix! I decided to read Unnatural Magic first because why not and they are both a lot of fun. I hope to see more in this world, it's got a lot to explore
Thanks, Pix! I've put it on hold.
I ended up not liking "Unnatural Magic" as much. It was fine, but it wasn't the joyful romp that I loved in the other.
I can see that, they are different in tone and such, and the plot of Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry is, I would say, more satisfying. I liked them both, and what I like most is the world they take place in, it's very thoughtfully put together with a lot of different cultures and religions and languages and Waggoner is clever about having different POV characters think in pretty identifiably different voices without being precious about it. More, please.
I went from those to The Wisteria Society for Lady Scoundrels which is also pretty fun but completely different, or maybe not completely but much more different than I subconsciously supposed by the similarity in title construction and cover art so that I had to do some reminding myself that THIS IS NOT THE SAME SERIES early on but once I got that thoroughly clear I quite enjoyed it
I get a number of recommendations from the Smart Bitches (not to be confused with Spike's Bitches) - they have a daily list of three or four e-books on sale - that I use to try out authors that are new to me. It's kind of hit or miss - some I've loved and gone on to go for an author's backlist, some I haven't finished or, if I did finish, deleted the book and decided to ignore that author. (One made me so mad over a historical inaccuracy that I'm not only avoiding that author, I'm still angry.) One of the wins was "The Huntress" by Kate Quinn - I don't normally go for WWII stories, but this one .... It's about hunting down war criminals and specifically one woman. One of the people hunting her down is a Russian who was one of the Night Witches. It was hard to put down and I plan to get more of her books.
Yes, and if I don’t feel like buying things I use their recs for library book holds. Sometimes the ones on sale are backlist that are available right then at the library!
I figure if an e-book is $0.99 I can afford to give it a try.