Since we last talked:
Thanks for the info. I have been hoping she'd write another.
Well, Water Mark
is available now. If you read it, will you PM me and tell me the Mickey/Cordelia outcome?
J. M. Redmann is now on book #7. I finally finished Water Mark
, but only after putting it down several times. I’m hopeful about the next volume in the series, though. I read an advanced review of Ill Will
a couple of weeks ago, and the reviewer claimed it was one of the better books in the series. On the other hand, she also said Mickey’s friends don’t feature in it much—a plus for the reviewer, a negative for me, as I liked the first two books specifically because of the friends.
The lesfic discussion boards are all abuzz with excitement over Sophia Kell Hagin's Whatever Gods May Be. Next time I need to reward/bribe myself, I might order it.
I did order (and read) the Sophia Kell Hagin’s book. Two literary thumbs up (aside from the protagonist’s odd last name and the persistent repetition of one phrase). Definitely one of the better novels I’ve seen from that press.
My favorite book with a lesbian-ish main character last year was Vanessa Veselka’s Zazen
. Not at all surprised that it showed up on the finalist lists for the Oregon Literary Arts’ Oregon Book Award Ken Kesey Prize.
Second in line for last year was Valerie Miner’s After Eden
. (I know it’s been out for several years, but that whole “finish your dissertation” thing got in the way of my fiction reading.) It’s completely different from Veselka’s work, but I felt like both authors were telling stories firmly grounded in the west coast landscape (emotionally and physically).
Bywater Books has been doing good things for me lately. Sally Bellerose’s The Girls Club
is really well written—partly a story about coming out in the 1970s, partly a story about the grittiness of working class families, really about the challenges of having a body, I think.
If you like romances, Georgia Beers’ 96 Hours
hits all the requirements of the genre. It was fine, although I suppose I expected something more from a story set in the middle of 9/11.
Also out of Bywater is Val McDermid’s Trick of the Dark
. I know she has a couple of popular crime fiction series, but I’d never read her work before this week. I may have set this one down without reading it, but I noticed that she thanked Manda Scott in her acknowledgments. Since I loved M.C. Scott’s early work (Hen’s Teeth
trilogy and No Good Deed
; I heard a rumor she might be finishing Absolution
, the follow-up to No Good Deed
), I had to check it out. At any rate, I really loved the way McDermid wrote it—the language and structure of the novel. I know the bar has been set pretty low for writing in the lesbian fiction world, but even if it had been set abnormally high, this book would have safely made the leap to the other side.
Also nicely written was Ellis Avery’s The Last Nude
(based on the life of Tamara de Lempicka). Structurally, the book just didn’t work for me, but since that only affected the last 10% of the book, it didn’t matter that much.
I think Nina Revoyr’s Wingshooters
came up on the ‘So what have you read lately’ thread. I liked it quite a lot, but the fora reviews seemed mixed.
Finally, in the romance genre, I’ll say that Karin Kallmaker’s most recent, Rollercoaster
, is probably one of her best. I wish she didn't cling so tightly to structuring metaphors, but other than that, it was a nice book--interesting characters, smooth writing. Stepping Stone
was also a fun read, particularly if you like romance or Hollywood.
I really, really liked Dodici Azpadu’s Living Room
. I wish there were four more volumes with the same protagonist. I like flaws and complications (which may explain my positive feelings for Val McDermid's book). Felicia Donovan’s The French Girl
was a good read up until the ¾ mark and then it lost me. The honesty of the opening evaporated into a fairy tale ending. I’d still recommend it, though. Also enjoyed Ann McMan’s Dust
, more of a political thriller than romance. An unexpected pleasure because I didn’t finish her first book, Jericho
Other than these, I think I’ve caught up on all of Ivan Coyote’s work. What should I read next? I heard that Carol Anshaw is releasing a new novel--has anyone read it?