avrelia: (Reading books)
So. I finished Ancillary Mercy (By Ann Leckie) , and it was very good. I mean I feel all warm and fuzzy and want to hug the book and keep it close by always. I guess I want an entire novel full of sentient ships and weird alien being drinking tea (and/or fish sauce), playing board games and being snarky. Intergalactic politics, crazy desperate plans, what makes one a person, all kinds of sentience – possible and not, imperialism and people, and the glorious feeling of infinity of mind – and infinity of mind-boggling stuff.

Not much of a review, just sharing of joy. ;)

on books

Mar. 31st, 2013 10:40 am
avrelia: (agent Dunham)
The fresh news of the week is that Amazon bought Goodreads. It's a logical move for both sides, of course, but I am upset as a reader, since I really don't want Amazon to own everything book-related. There have to be good independent hangouts for readers of books. And Goodreads was a good one, even though I never got to be a very active user.

of course, they promise that nothing will change, but...

LibraryThing in the wake of Goodreads news announced that they waiver one year's fee for anyone who joins right now:

http://www.librarything.com/blogs/librarything/2013/03/free-accounts-through-sunday/

so, yes, I joined. just because.

in more reading news, I've finished A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. It was very enjoyable, and not at all what I expected, based on her previous books. Must think up a proper review.

Wednesday

Mar. 7th, 2013 09:50 am
avrelia: Tuutikki rules (Tuutikki)
1) people are doing reading Wednesday posts. I - not only don't read enough to justify posting about it every week, I again started to question the purpose of reading. No, not in general, but any particular book, in any particular time. I do read a lot of books - five a day or so. But they are children's books, and while I enjoy reading them, it is a vicarious joy - seeing my son loving the books I used to love as a little girl.

2) I do read a book for my own fun right now. It is "The Natural history of Dragons" by Marie Brennan. First thing that caught my attention after the dragons - Tam River Valley. Still giggling.

3) Found this promotional portraits http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/03/catching-fire-capitol-portraits-roundup, and suddenly I am very excited about watching Catching Fire. And it is only out in November...

4) OUaT continues fascinate me without being too emotionally engaging, and I am grateful for it. I am looking forward to whatever comes next. Cora does need some killing. I do enjoy her being some evil and manipulative, but what kind of a future does she have in the narrative?

5) I need to do something important, but for some reason I am terrified of it. Please kick me friendly...
avrelia: (Carmenta)
1) Reading The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff I love how she always leaves me longing for her Canada - Way before I even thought about Canada (or knew about it more that "that large country north of USA where they like to drink hockey, play maple syrup, and make cool TV series Degrassi and such"), when I lived in Canada and looked for things and places she describes, now and ever... A very happy reading, indeed. Gale women are brilliant.

2) Studying Human Computer Interaction at www.coursera.org. I loved Model Thinking more, but that one is fun, too.

3) Making a website for P.'s project.

4) Growing tomatoes in the backyard.

My Pushkin

Jun. 7th, 2012 11:47 am
avrelia: (Default)
Перепост из другого моего дневника, поэтому под катом

Read more... )
avrelia: (Autumn in my heart)
http://io9.com/5916175/rip-ray-bradbury-author-of-fahrenheit-451-and-the-martian-chronicles

Ray Bradbury died this morning in Los Angeles, at the age of 91.

I guess, I was hoping he'll just keep living forever...

91 is a very respectable age, let us all get there, and frankly, most people I guess, didn't even realize he was still alive till now, so firmly he was in the past, classical age of science fiction. But he was also our tie between the past and the future. Between our childhood optimism and sad middle age, the warm bright flame in the dark thoughts about humans' future.

HE was one of the first science fiction authors I read as a child - along with Robert Sheckley, Clifford D. Simak, Henry Kuttner. He was translated and published and very beloved in USSR.

And when I think about him, I still feel the warmth, the magic, the wonder that I felt when I first read his stories.

Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.

Thank you for your books.
avrelia: (a girl)
1.Leave a comment to this post!
2. I will give you a letter.
3. Post the names of five fictional characters whose names begin with that letter, and your thoughts on each. The characters can be from books, movies, or TV shows

[personal profile] molly_may gave me K, which made me think for quite some time. Somehow I couldn't remember enough characters started with K that I wanted to write about.

But here is my final selection:

1)Korben Dallas. It is, just another shade of the same character played by Bruce Willis since before time, and I have some issues with him, just like with the whole movie Fifth Element, but I still love him and find him one of the best iterations. It probably comes from the fact that we watched that movie so many times that he is somewhat an old friend, who is occasionally cool, and occasionally ridiculous, but fun to have around.
2)Kara Thrace. I haven't watched much of BSG, but one cannot miss the awesomeness of Starbuck or the trace she left on our civilization.
3)Kate Sutton, the heroine of The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. I love that girl. She is stubborn, proud, fair and intelligent in the best way. She reasons very believably for her age and time. She wins by refusing to take the seemingly easy way instead of the right way.
4)Kenzi of the Lost Girl. She is smart, loyal, brave and fun. She is a great friend. She is also Russian, and it matters somewhat, but not a huge deal and it doesn't make her a ridiculous stereotype. I didn't even realized how much I needed such character on TV.
5)Kaylee Frye. I almost didn't include her, since she is a bit too good to be true, with endless cheerfulness and magical rapport with engines. Maybe she is the luckiest with the early cancellation – she didn't have time to break. Still it is difficult not to like her – I love watching competence and optimism.



I finished reading Mindy Kaling's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I don't watch The Office and I didn't really know anything about her. But I liked the cover and some excerpts, and I picked it up from the library and read in three days. It is a very enjoyable book even if you don't care at all about the author. The easy style, the right type of sarcastic humor, the unapologetically strong opinions on everything from pea-coats to romantic comedies. I loved it.

The most unexpected result of my reading was that I decided to write a memoir myself. Yes, I know it sounds very silly – I am not accomplished in anything, but I had some interesting times doing it, that I might as well share.

I know I won't have much of an audience, but that's not important. I want to right it for myself – to channel my hoarding tendencies into something useful, and for my son, or any other descendants I might have someday. I'd love them to pretend their matriarch was not a complete loser, and my stories might help them in it.

I also want to write it for my ancestors, because how else can I express my love for my family except by telling their stories.

And deep in my heart, I think, I've always wanted to write a memoir. From the early age that I remember I had a second voice in my head (not, not that kind of voice) describing everything I do in a dispassionate tone of an academic biographer. Of course, as I child, I thought, I shall become famous first, but now I realize that there is nothing to wait for any longer. And no point in losing more time. I am not doing anything useful anyway.
avrelia: (Zenobia)
1)I had a dream. Probably because I was on painkillers – ear stuff, very annoying. But. The dream was amazing: I was reading the most gorgeous, smart and witty graphic novel based on Wilkie Collins' novel Moonstone. With some science fiction/steampunk elements in it. And now I really want to read it in real life. And the adventures of Marian Halcombe (from Collins' Woman in White). Why didn't anyone written them?

2)I and P. finally watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, both parts. I liked the first part better than the book (nicely suspenseful), and the second part less than the book (the awe and the heartbreak in the book were more immediate, and there was more of Harry-unrelated Hogwarts Resistance). Now I feel the need to re-read the book immediately, and P. went and bought all eight movies (we didn't have them before).

3)I started to watch second season of the Lost Girl, and I am enjoying it very much. Now I finished episode 2.04, and... I am happy. I didn't know I needed it that much – weird Russian stuff that is not Random Weird Evil Russian Stuff, but character-related Weird Russian Stuff. Kenzi summons Baba Yaga – because she used to be terrified of her, and because she knows how (and because she is drunk and angry at Dyson, for Bo's sake). Of course, she ends up in Baba Yaga's hut, and has to defeat her herself, even though Bo and Dyson both are trying to help. We heard Kenzi speaking perfect Russian in the first episode, but while she doesn't hide it particularly, she doesn't advertize it, either. It's not a big deal. We can assume that she was born and learned to talk outside Canada, somewhere in former USSR – hence the normal Russian, but attended school in Canada – hence the perfect English. She grew up with Russian fairytales and silly kids' games. Summoning Baba Yaga this way was invented for the show, but we, at school at about 10-12 years did like to summon some scary stuff. Like the Queen of Spades and such. Using mirrors is also a good traditional way to stir some mystical shit. It is recommended to do only in twelve days after Christmas, though. But if you look in the mirror in the candlelight long enough, you could see your future husband or the devil (or your husband, the devil). So the fantasy stuff, while invented, felt organic to me. It also was genuinely creepy. But Kenzi dealt with it the best way possible.

4)Finished N.K. Jemisin's The Kingdom of Gods, the last book of the Inheritance trilogy. Liked it a lot, but I still think the second one, The Broken Kingdoms is my favorite of the three. I need to do a proper review, but when did I manage it the last time? If any of my friends want it, btw, it can be arranged. ;)

5)Watched Captain America. Was underwhelmed. I liked it – Steve, Old New York, Tommy Lee Jones, Fantastic Low-Tech, Peggy Carter... Except Peggy Carter was there just to be Steve's love interest, the only woman with more that one line of text. Other women were nurses or dancers. No female soldiers? Pilots? Whomever? Besides, I do always get a weird feeling watching movies about WWII where it seems that the war was fought by USA with their little helpers. I don't really expect anything from Captain America movie, of course, but it still feels weird – given the world domination plans of Agent Smith, to completely disregard the existence of the Eastern front. But the main underwhelming moment for me was that in the second half of the movie all the action became boring and perfunctory. It's like all the cool stuff was done, and they just had to fill up the time.

6)Looking forward to the new Sherlock Holmes movie. I don't care whether it's going to be good or just silly, I want to see Robert Downy Jr. And Jude Law enjoying themselves as Holmes and Watson.
avrelia: (a girl)
There is a meme going around about 100 science fiction books, as selected by some people somewhere (NPR, I know). I am not going to do it. There are lots of of lists of 10, 50 or 100 THE BEST Books ever, and they all look very random to me. I don't dispute them – all the books in them are good and they must be special to the people who compiled those lists, but I feel no connection to them. I cannot judge my reading history and my reading plans by some random people's moods and ideas. The big part of this disconnect is, of course, that all those lists are English-language centric. Which is natural, since I read them in English-language media, but they are always presented as “world-wide”, and even have occasional non-English author brought in. Again, fine for those who only read in English, but it doesn't reflect my reading habits. I read some of the books, and I haven't read many more, but I read other great books instead, that people who made those lists have never heard about.

I did jumped on the eruthros' suggestion to make our own, fandom list of speculative fiction works, and nominated ten Russian-language books. Just so they would be there.

And if you want to nominate anything - run, the nominations are open until August 19th.

Moving on somewhat – I have the most ridiculous problem ever. I need to stop reading library books. Because there are too many book out there, and I want them, but I have entirely too many books at home that I have been planning to read forever and never got around to. I mean, I bought them, I carry them around - some for eleven years and across the globe, but I haven't read all of them yet. Or I bought them a year ago and planning to read them any day, but there is always a book from a library that I have to return, so I read it instead, and then I get another book from the library. It has to stop. And I read way too slowly these days. I mean, ok, I cannot spend a night finishing a book any longer, but a month for a regular... it is way too much.
avrelia: (ёжик)
I am reading Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men" by Mara Hvistendahl.

Way scarier than Zombie Apocalypse. Mostly because it is already here.

on e-books

May. 19th, 2011 05:34 pm
avrelia: (Default)
I have made my first e-book purchase. Yay?

I've had e-books before, of course – from free sources and giveaways, but I couldn't bring myself to actually buy one. I hardly ever buy books at all these days – library yay! - and when I buy, it is the old-fashioned paperback or trade market. Yet I keep thinking that I should start buying e-books, and then I think what do I want from them. I've always dreamed of having a real library at home (and possibly getting lost there and staying in it forever.) But with our current nomadic lifestyle it is impossible – I have to cull my books regularly and leave only those I couldn't be without, or find people who would love a certain book as much as I did and giving my books to them. So e-books are an attractive option to keep my library with me in my travels.

The two problems are that I don't find them convenient to read – currently, on my iPod or desktop, and don't fully trust them. The first problem can be solved by purchasing a decent e-book reader. But: the cost of it and the books that I'll have to buy to justify the purchase is way more that I want to spend. If I read that many books and that fast – might be. But as now I can manage a book in two weeks, and I have a huge “to read pile” at home already plus a luge list of books I can get for free from the library... If somehow I acquire an ebook reader, than occasional purchase of a e-book would make sense to me. Which I think will happen eventually, just not soon. The second problem... has a lot to do with the pricing and the formats. I understand that from the point of view of the seller, it is basically the same product: the license to read a copyrighted object – a story. But when I buy it I am getting one bunch of rights or another. And I need to weight how much is each bunch is worth to me. In one case I am getting a paper book that I have to carry around to read and keep, that adds weight to my backpack and takes space on the shelf and in the box, but the one I can read anywhere and anyway I like (starting from the end, jumping back and forth). And after I am finished with it, I can re-sell it, or give it away, or just lend it to as many people as I like. With the e-book bunch I get a file that doesn't take much space, and I can store it easily and not think whether I have to get rid of it during our next move. There is also the factor of immediate gratification – I can desire for a book, buy on the spot and start reading it immediately. It doesn't really matter for me at the moment, but it is there. What are the limitations – I can read only in the specific way and using the specific device. I can keep it, but it is always under control of the seller whether I keep it on the server or download to my computer or other reading device. I cannot re-sell it or give away. There are some opportunities to lending e-books – but only some. Which is all a fine bundle of rights – except I don't want it. And I certainly don't want to pay the same price, since I am getting less rights valuable to me. So we are back to the “library yay” paean.

What price am I willing to pay, then? Well, as I wrote before, I've just paid $2.99 for “Ten Thousand Kingdoms” - the promotional sale price only good for May (http://www.orbitebooks.com/). I've read it, and I wanted to have it with me for the future. We'll see how it goes. I bought it here: www.ebooks.com, because they sell in multiple formats, but alas, all of them proprietary, bound on specific devices or software. Still, $3 is the price I can easily pay to risk the inconvenience, even though I understand it is not the price I can find a lot of books for.

There also was an interesting discussion at Jennifer Crusie's blog about the pricing of e-books: http://www.arghink.com/2011/04/22/apparent-value-whats-the-right-price-for-an-e-book/
avrelia: (Reading books)
I was happy to read this book. From the first page to the last page, even if there were happening horrible, scary things, even if occasionally I slowed down, something had kept me happy, something had made me run to the library to grab and devour the next book (just as happily), and now that something is making me jump in my chair waiting for the autumn release of the third book in the Inheritance trilogy. (The stories are self-contained, all right, they have different heroes and heroines, but they are all a part of the larger story). What was that something, then? The first heroine – Yeine, the short, dark-skinned warrior princess, the impossible odds she is playing, the emo gods she is dealing with (beside the humans with different degrees of meanness, ambitions and conceit. The wonderful world-building – the creation myth that feels both fresh and familiar, true. The language, not too fanciful and poetic, but rich and delicious just enough for my taste, the kind of language that does not obstruct the story, but makes it deeper. You just want more and more of it – and you get it, in the second book, The Broke Kingdoms: Another awesome heroine, Oree, a blind painter who can see magic, more emo gods, more horrors and heartbreaks and misery and beauty for everyone.
avrelia: (Ship)
http://io9.com/#!5782000/io9-book-club-reminder-weve-got-free-epub-copies-of-gods-war-this-months-selection

The io9 Book Club meets once per month to discuss a book, then chat with the author. In March, we're meeting on the 29th to discuss God's War by Kameron Hurley. We also have free epub copies of the book for you!

Watch for a post on the 29th announcing the book club, and jump into comments for discussion! There's still time to read the book, too. It's a fast read, and our pals at Night Shade Books are offering a free epub version of the book to anyone who would like to participate in this month's io9 Book Club.


it's available till March 29th, and all you have to do is to write to the publisher on the email provided in the io9 post.
avrelia: (reading is hot)
One of the first cultural surprises, that happened after coming to Canada, was looking at the giant map of Canada for the first time, and finding out that the Klondike Gold Rush that I read about in so many Jack London's stories happened in fact, in Canada, not in USA. It felt just so American, you know, that even if there were mentions of Canada we jumped right over them. Not that I knew – or cared to know - a lot about Canada before moving there. It was the place north of USA, the land of randomly cool TV series (Degrassi and Les filles de Caleb) so, naturally I had a lot to learn. Finding Dawson city on the map was one of the first surprises.

I didn't want to re-read Jack London for a long time though, and when I did, last year, I had another surprise: one of my favorite pieces, and the one that is extremely popular and well-loved in Russia, Smoke Bellew is virtually unknown here. It is a later work, published in 1911-12, and Jack London himself called it a hack work, written for money. And yet, it is, I believe, great. I mean, I've read later London's novels that were over-blown, over-melodramatic and rather impossible. Smoke Bellew is none of those things. In fact, it combines the best of both worlds. It is a collection of short stories tied into unity by the same characters (both main and secondary), same time ( Klondike Gold Rush) and same place (Yukon territory). It escapes the the soggy plotting and other problems with novels that Jack London had – most critics agree that Jack London was much better with his short stories than his novels- and yet still allows for character development impossible in a short format.

Read more... )
avrelia: (reading is hot)
I found a strange curse upon me – the curse of owning books. I have now small, yet reasonably cool library at home. Lovingly collected. Moved around across half of the world and several times through America. And a large part of it is yet unread. Not only it is unread, I have no idea when I get around to reading it.
There is always new books that I rush to read – free books from public libraries that I have to return in several weeks, so they always end up my priority reading. And when I finish them, another library book is waiting to be read immediately. I buy books occasionally – when I have some money to spend on them, I buy – to read at my leisure, to boost sales for the author, to own something I love. And that fabled leisure time never comes. The books remain unread. Or unfinished.
A year ago I cruelly culled my books, giving away to the local library and friends about one third of what I had. Now I shall have to do some culling again. I have no idea how to go about it. I need to read faster I guess.

There are too many delicious books to read and reread...

io9.com published their best sff list for the year 2010. I read one book from the list (The Windup Girl), and there are two that are in my giant to-read pile: NK Jemisin, The Broken Kingdoms and Cherie Priest, Dreadnought. Charles Yu, How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe looks very interesting, I may check it out.
Damn. Where is the time to read all the books I want?!
avrelia: (Default)
Book-wise the year was pretty interesting. I didn't read as many books as before, but I made an effort to read new books and see what is happening in sff now. In this I was lucky that New York Public library gets new books pretty fast. In fact, I could get books much faster than I could read them. I tried to review them as I read, but the review-writing was even slower than my reading. I still have several unfinished. I also read several new and old Russian books and re-read some old favorites.
I failed in the idea to read the books I actually have – it is the most awkward thing: I have wonderful books that I've never gotten around to read – and I carry them around across the world in hopes that some day... But I always get distracted by something new from the library that I have to finish write now... I don't do resolutions, but this one will be made: start “Read from my book shelf” project.
Genre-wise, it was mostly fantasy or science fiction. With some of old regular fiction and poetry. I read books on writing, and I read books on parenting and bilingualism. And cook books, but they don't count as such. Overall, I was rather practical and not very efficient.
Now, the list (English-language fiction only).
Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff (maybe in was the end of the last year, or not.)
Summon the keeper by Tanya Huff (re-read)
The Golden Key by Melanie Rown, Jennifer Robinson and Kate Elliot(re-read)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Insatiable by Meg Cabot
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
In Ashes Lie by Marie Brennan
A Star Shall Fall by Marie Brennan
Peter S. Beagle, "Mirror Kingdoms"
Smoke Bellew by Jack London
avrelia: (синичка)
I like short stories, but I have trouble to read any collection of it whole. No matter whether it is a themed anthology, or “best of”, or one-author collection, I start out excited and run through several stories, and then I my enthusiasm fizzles out and I have to make myself read on, and them there are always some stories that are left unread – not necessarily at the end of a book, since I rarely read them in order. There are exceptions, of course. But all my latest science-fiction and fantasy short stories reading followed the same pattern. And I've decided to make piece with it. Yes, I won't read the whole collection, so what? I'll still read several whole short stories and get my fun.
The last attempt is the collection of best short stories by Peter S. Beagle's Mirror Kingdoms. I have never actually read anything by Beagle before, so I came with no expectations except that it was supposed to be awesome. And it was – some of what I read, anyway. I started withMy Uncle Chaime, My Aunt Rifke and the Blue Angel . And... You have to read this, it's amazing, and possibly beyond amazing. It's a very stark, very simple story and it touches something - our sense of wonder, our hunger for mystery and some deep-seated sadness. It is my favourite type of stories – when in our regular world something wondrous happens. There are other stories in the collection of that type, but none had a similar effect on me. It happens in New York of author's childhood, and the details are so vivid that I can feel everything the boy narrator sees and feels – Beagle's stand-in, his uncle Chaim, the artist, uncle's friend, aunt Rifke, the rabbi, and the city they live. It's an amazing story.

After that – I was not reading in order, but by accident, I had a totally unexpected treat. You see, my parents had a book, a part of science fiction collection, that I loved to read when I was about 10 or 12. It was an anthology of magical short stories by foreign writers (foreign to USSR ) It was mostly translations from English, but I think there was a Japanese story and something else non-English. The thing is, it all being in Russian and me not caring about names as much as about stories I hardly remember whose stories I read and loved. But I remember the stories themselves. (I probably could research it on the Internet, but it was never urgent, just a delicious memory.) Back to the book: I open one page, and I see a story from that book, from my childhood! Very much the same, translation notwithstanding. Come Lady Death.

Then there were other stories – some I liked a lot, some I was kind of meh about. All worthwhile read. And I read El Regalo – which I liked, and realized that I am done with this book. I am leaving it in a very good place and hope to come to it again some day in the future. There are still unread stories there. I might even love them, but not now.
avrelia: (Reading books)
This is the book I was looking forward to love. It had wonderful reviews from people I trust, it had that lovely mash of ingredients I love, it had an interesting magic concept... I read and was underwhelmed, and now, a month and a half later I can hardly remember what it was about. It is a regency novel with magic in it. But it seemed that the regency part and the magic part were too diluted to give space for each other that that the whole book seems too empty. I liked the characters well enough, but they didn't look significantly different or memorable which makes me sad. There are definite allusions to Jane Austen – who else we start thinking about when reading a book set in early 19th century England? But comparison isn't flattering – for all their simplicity, Austen's novels are so rich – in details, in characters, in humour, in inner connections between everything. This story feels like an enchanted mural, an amusing illusion that would dissipate by the nest day, by comparison. But maybe it is supposed to?
So we have not-so young Jane, who is plain, but has a great talent for magic and art. And we have her young sister Melody who is very beautiful, but talentless. Both are somewhat resentful of each other and both have formed attachment to one gentleman (don't remember the name). There is also his very young sister, another dashing your officer, a disapproving viscountess with her long-nosed daughter, patient father, silly mother, and the regular assortment of figures one can find in any book set in the era. There is also an artist who is making a glamural for the viscountess and is angry with Jane for prying into his secrets. So we have all this fun ingredients – and nothing fun happens. Oh, the book moves smoothly from one chapter to another, with no loss of momentum, no straying of your attention everywhere, but when you get to the end, nothing much stays with you, either.
It is not a bad book. It is not uninteresting book. I probably suffered from my own overblown expectations. But I don't really feel like ever re-reading it.
avrelia: (Books are yammy)
This is the book I was looking forward to love. It had wonderful reviews from people I trust, it had that lovely mash of ingredients I love, it had an interesting magic concept... I read and was underwhelmed, and now, a month and a half later I can hardly remember what it was about. It is a regency novel with magic in it. But it seemed that the regency part and the magic part were too diluted to give space for each other that that the whole book seems too empty. I liked the characters well enough, but they didn't look significantly different or memorable which makes me sad. There are definite allusions to Jane Austen – who else we start thinking about when reading a book set in early 19th century England? But comparison isn't flattering – for all their simplicity, Austen's novels are so rich – in details, in characters, in humour, in inner connections between everything. This story feels like an enchanted mural, an amusing illusion that would dissipate by the nest day, by comparison. But maybe it is supposed to?
So we have not-so young Jane, who is plain, but has a great talent for magic and art. And we have her young sister Melody who is very beautiful, but talentless. Both are somewhat resentful of each other and both have formed attachment to one gentleman (don't remember the name). There is also his very young sister, another dashing your officer, a disapproving viscountess with her long-nosed daughter, patient father, silly mother, and the regular assortment of figures one can find in any book set in the era. There is also an artist who is making a glamural for the viscountess and is angry with Jane for prying into his secrets. So we have all this fun ingredients – and nothing fun happens. Oh, the book moves smoothly from one chapter to another, with no loss of momentum, no straying of your attention everywhere, but when you get to the end, nothing much stays with you, either.
It is not a bad book. It is not uninteresting book. I probably suffered from my own overblown expectations. But I don't really feel like ever re-reading it.

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