Dragon Keeper – Robin Hobb

The Rain Wilds Chronicles #1 Dragons have been reintroduced to the Rain Wilds, but the newborns have emerged stunted and deformed. A group of young people agree to take the dragons to a rumored upstream city of long-gone Elderlings. I’ve read all of Hobb’s books, and enjoyed them all quite a lot. There are few authors so consistent. Perhaps it’s because she saves the books I don’t like for her Megan Lindholm persona. I usually…

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Madouc – Jack Vance

Lyonesse #3 The changeling Madouc is King Casmir’s rightful heir, but he sets a near-impossible quest for her suitors, so she takes matters into her own hands. I liked Madouc more this time than the first time I read it. Still, it failed to work the usual Vance magic on me. Effectively, it mostly provide more of the same (as was in the first two books). Usually, with Vance, that’s more than enough. I’m not…

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La Hojarasca – Gabriel García Márquez

Macondo #1 La historia de una familia y su relación con un médico que viene desde fuera de la ciudad. (‘La hojarasca’ se refiere a los recién llegados que reviven la ciudad durante un breve apogeo como centro de banana). [English below] La Hojarasca me la mencionó una colega escritora hace unos meses durante un debate sobre el realismo mágico. Finalmente localize una copia electronica y me la puso a leer. No pudiera decir que…

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The Green Pearl – Jack Vance

Lyonesse #2 Aillas, King of Troicinet on Lyonesse, takes extreme steps to protect his holdings. The Green Pearl is a much better book than I recalled it being. Perhaps that’s because we spend some time in an alternate world, and Vance is thus freed from the constraints of Earth. Perhaps it’s because the storyline is simpler, following primarily Aillas and Glyneth. Aillas, King of Troicinet and South Ulfland, spends a fair amount of time haring…

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Titus Groan – Mervyn Peake

Gormenghast #1 The first book in Peake’s beautiful, classic story of a crumbling, tradition-ridden society. I’ve been (re-)reading Mervyn Peake, Jack Vance, and Robert Silverberg, all at the same time. I was surprised by the similarity between Vance and Silverberg, but more on that (and Silverberg and Peake, for that matter) in my eventual review of Lord Valentine’s Castle. I expected some similarity between Vance and Peake, who both leave the impression of dense, intricate…

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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void – Mary Roach

A fascinating look at the practical mechanics of space travel. I first saw Mary Roach on an episode of the Daily Show, promoting some other, later book. I’d never heard of her, but my wife and I were immediately impressed, and agreed that we should pick up some of her books. Soon afterward, happily enough, I was given this book. It’s great. It fulfills its promise, and is just a lot of fun. Roach shows…

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