Reading Wednesday 3 August 2016

What I just finished reading

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (library book) – I’d been meaning to get onto this one for years because people kept mentioning that it was one of the books that kicked off the urban fantasy genre, and I do often like my fantasy urban. There was a lot to enjoy about this and some of the faerie stuff still feels really fresh. In here are none of the fantasy creature archetypes and clichés that have overcrowded the genre. I liked the way Bull melded the fantasy elements with the everyday elements of making rent and buying food, as well as the particular kinds of problems and joys musicians face. There’s lovely description of the magic in music.

The romantic entanglement that develops between the main character and one of her new faerie acquaintances is delightful. It is not merely based on physical passion, though the physical awareness is masterfully built up between the characters throughout the book, but also on respect for and delight in each other’s personalities.

However, it is a bit dated. Some of the 80s clothes described I imagine to be delightful but even describing all the clothes in such a way felt very 80s. I liked some of the 80s elements so much (synth!) but the particular kind of casual racism of the times, such as when Eddi looks in a mirror and drags her eyes out to imagine what she’d look like Chinese? Yeah, no. This in spite of a racially diverse cast of characters, granted, and I didn’t notice any unfortunate stereotypes. So some of my reaction to this is a bit mixed but I did enjoy it.

Music Business for Dummies by Loren Wiseman (library book) – I imagine much more useful if you are actually a musician. Some of this was useful; some of this was utterly garbage marketing/promotion advice. Contains almost no actual specifics of the music business though I imagine someone really needed that advice on politeness, posture and healthy touring. Still better than that one for Dummies book I read about Wicca that claimed that Wiccans believe in Karma (…no, we don’t. That’s a Buddhist concept).

What I’m reading now

Only research materials right now, in an attempt to reach the home stretch on the book, sadly. Oh, and half a dozen home decor magazines at work.

What I’m reading next

Every book I’ve put aside while trying to finish In Tune #2 (and I’ll leave my whining about that to another day).