A Week to Be Wicked, by Tessa Dare. Sweet, funny Regency romance in which a female geologist with a fossilized dinosaur footprint runs off with a rake with a trauma-related sleep disorder; hijinks ensue. Avoid if you're looking for realistic period attitudes, grab if you want adorable escapism. The psychological and trauma-related dynamics, however, are quite believable, which certainly added to my enjoyment.

Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia, by Dennis Covington. Narrative nonfiction by an Appalachian journalist who starts out covering a news story about a Pentecostal pastor's trial for attempted murder by rattlesnake, and ends up snake-handling himself. Extremely strong opening, fascinating subject, excellent prose, but it ends up adding up to somewhat less than I expected. I think it needed either a bit more introspection, or a bit more larger-picture analysis, or both. Worth reading but not quite revelatory. Incidentally, how in the world do people drink strychnine and survive? Is it tiny doses, or what?

Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, by Robert Johnson. Meh. Ridiculously unsourced. If you're going to say people in ancient India had the practice of choosing a year-king, I would like a cite for that or I'm going to think you read in The Golden Bough.

Outcast, by Rosemary Sutcliff. Solid historical about a baby washed ashore from a shipwreck and raised by a British tribe; they eventually exile him, whereupon he goes to Rome, gets enslaved, and eventually ends up on a slave galley. The depiction of the galley ship is horrific and vivid, and the section after that, which I won't spoil, is quite moving. But I didn't like this as much as I did some of Sutcliff's others. The protagonist was a bit too everyman for my taste.

This one is now up on Kindle, but several of her others are no longer available in that format. Weird.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

If you're going to say people in ancient India had the practice of choosing a year-king, I would like a cite for that or I'm going to think you read in The Golden Bough.


Sand Mountain was good, yeah, but had a tiny bit much of the Reporter Seeing how the Holly Rollers Roll for my taste (not a terrible amount - unlike some NPR story where the reporter was sent to some town where they prayed! everywhere! and for her! and it so obviously freaked her out. WTG NPR). I had distant relatives who handled snakes and drank strychnine and, yeah, I dunno. The only thing I got is that my relatives are possibly descended from people who used to supposedly include strychnine for brewing in moonshine (no, really). The no-cebo effect? Compensatory adrenaline? Acquired immunity? I dunno.
jinian: (chiyo)

From: [personal profile] jinian

A Week to Be Wicked is really entertaining and reflects some of the ways I think I am fun in bed, so weirdly validating too. :) Thanks!
ext_110: A field and low mountain of the Porcupine Hills, Alberta. (Default)

From: [identity profile] goldjadeocean.livejournal.com

I make sense of Tessa Dare by saying she's actually writing in a wholly secondary fantasy world, but realized it could be handwaved close enough to a Regency to be more marketable that way. Because other than the fact that this is obviously not 19th-century England, I adore her books.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I almost called it a fantasy Regency, but then people would expect magic. Secondary world nails it: it's not quite modern people in period dress, and it's internally consistent, but it's not remotely actual world Regency either.

From: [identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com

That snake-handling one sounds fascinating--too bad it ends up losing impact.

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