Here are some of the books I've read over the past two months.
Beguilement: The Sharing Knife, by Lois McMaster Bujold
This was a bit disappointing - only because I have such high expectations for Bujold's work. It was fun, but lighweight. I will read the sequels.
Outwitting History, by Aaron Lansky
The story of the founding of the National Yiddish Book Center. This was a book club selection, and everyone loved it! That never happens! Lansky took a dry story and made it funny and charming. Very good.
The Three Sisters, by Rebecca Locksley
Another lightweight fantasy, marred by typographical errors.
What Came Before He Shot Her, by Elizabeth George
This is a sequel, or prequel, to the frustrating With No One As Witness. Unfortunately, reading it was a complete waste of time. The plot converges with 'Witness' only at the end of the book. What Came is the story of the disintegration of a lower-class family, dis-spiriting and, what's worse, uninteresting. This can safely be skipped.
A Conspiracy of Paper, by David Liss
Another book club selection. A seventeenth-century detective story featuring a Jewish boxer. I loved it.
The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry
A riveting non-fiction account of the Infuenza epidemic. Very well-done.
The Machine's Child, by Kage Baker
Kage Baker returns to the best time travel series ever, The Company, and this time, she advances the plot. Yay! I thought she had lost her way in The Children of the Company. The Machine's Child made up for it. The narrative was sometimes overly complex, but there is plenty of (ehem) internal drama. Very enjoyable.
Guests of the Ayatollah, by Mark Bowden
Very good non-fiction account of the Iran hostage crisis.
Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman
So good it made me want to cry. From envy.
The Areas of my Expertise, by John Hodgman
Hilarious. I almost bought it for myself, because it's one of those books that I want to keep and leaf through every other day or so. Instead I bought it for someone else as a gift.
The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge, by Vernor Vinge
Vinge is a very imaginative author. I've loved his novel-length works. These stories were not always as ground-breaking, but there are enough gems to make it worthwhile.