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Dammit, it was a busy month! I had political stuff that pretty much took up most of EVERY SATURDAY this month. And supporting/associated activities took up another half-dozen evenings. That, plus work and workouts really cut into the book-reading time. I only finished 2 (yes, TWO) books this month. Gym listening was confined to 7 more James Bond novels.

At least I leave Friday for my annual two weeks in Sint Maarten; two weeks of glorious beach reading. The iPad and Nook are primed and ready.

What I did finish this month:
04/05/2012    Diamonds Are Forever (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/07/2012    Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat with Steven Stiefel
04/11/2012    From Russia, With Love (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/15/2012    Doctor No (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/21/2012    Goldfinger (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/25/2012    Thunderball (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/28/2012    The Spy Who Loved Me (audiobook) by Ian Fleming
04/29/2012    Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers
04/30/2012    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (audiobook) by Ian Fleming

That's 7 Ian Fleming James Bond audiobooks, a memoir on the making of Fleetwood Mac's classic album Rumours by its co-producer, and Tim Powers's long-awaited new novel.

First, the Bonds. Well, they're nice and short. And deeply sexist, racist, and just about every other -ist you can think of. Fleming states at least twice in 3 books that women long to be raped. I'm not entirely sure that's true. No, wait, I'm sure that's complete and utter bullshit. Unless "rape" meant something entirely different a half-century or so ago. Nope, it was the same thing. Nobody would unironically write those words today, except to paint a character as a complete piece of shit. Progress!

Ken Caillat's Fleetwood Mac memoir was an interesting read. I might have included more about how particular sounds were achieved, and less about Lindsey Buckingham choking his girlfriends, but that's just me. It did send me back to the FM catalog. For an album I pretty much despised when it was new (mostly because you couldn't turn on KFXD back in those days without hearing a Fleetwood Mac song) I've discovered that Rumours, it's predecessor (Fleetwood Mac) and, especially, it's successor (Tusk) are truly amazing records. Hopefully Caillat will write a sequel about recording Tusk. There must be some great stories there -- certainly Lindsey must've had new girlfriends to abuse.

What to say about Hide Me Among the Graves..? It's beautifully written, with Victorian atmosphere dripping from every pore, but it never really engaged me. Tim has now covered the bulk of the 19th century in London, between The Anubis Gates, The Stress of Her Regard, A Time to Cast Away Stones, and Hide Me Among the Graves. Maybe there's just not that much left to surprise me with. Maybe it's because the Pre-Raphaelites mean absolutely NOTHING to me. Maybe it's because I read the first three of those four books over the last couple months, and the new one doesn't come close to matching the gonzo-manic intensity of The Anubis Gates. Which, lest we forget, is one of the books that defined "Steampunk" as a genre. (Of course, NOTHING matches Anubis Gates except possibly Declare. Or Last Call.)

Or maybe it was just because I was hoping Tim would take the opportunity to weave William Ashbless into the narrative, thus turning it into another accidental series, like Last Call/Expiration Date/Earthquake Weather.

It seems strange saying that a book that includes Queen Boadicea and John Polidori as Nephilim/Vampires, a reformed whore who had the misfortune of having one of a Vampire's "family" among her clients, a veterinarian aided by an army of the ghosts of his dead charges (cat ghosts and horse ghosts, for example) and the Vampire's "family" including the four Rossetti siblings, all inhabiting a milieu where there are skull-shaped caverns under the streets of London inhabited by the aforementioned Vampires... well, to call all that "not weird enough" seems churlish. Nevertheless, that was my reaction upon finishing the book last night. Compared to Powers earlier output, this was practically mainstream. **SIGH!** Maybe that will be good for sales.

Not sure what I'll be reading in May, apart from several books partially finished. Likely to be first up are:
Star Trek: That Which Divides by Dayton Ward
Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel R. Delany
The Alton Gift by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher Bennett
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Forgotten History by Christopher Bennett

Delany's new one is quite good, once you get past the coprophagy. I downloaded the ebook from B&N, then learned that the publisher had inadvertently left out an entire chapter. D'OH! With the help of an errata page and a .pdf of the missing chapter from Delany's agent (and an etext unencumbered by DRM) I was able to "correct" my copy in Sigil. Someone wagged that my ebook wasn't "Mint" any more. BFD. I'd rather have it correct.
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November 2012

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