January and February Reads, 2011

ReadingRoundup_dsLong time, no post.  Sorry about that.  I’ve done a little bit of reading, here and there, as well as a little scrapping, but nothing’s near completion.  I really haven’t had that much time for it, or the inclination either, to be honest.  My mojo seems to have deserted me.  Right now, I’ve got a couple of kits on the back burner, and I’m reading Dawn of Empire by Sam Barone whenever I can steal my sister’s Nook (the library’s still having problems).  So far, so good, but I’m only on the fifth chapter.  I’m getting a Kindle for my birthday, so, maybe that will help.  Anyway, here are my reads for January and February.  Here’s hoping March will be better on both fronts.

January

  • Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by William Rosen – This was supposed to be a book about how the epidemic(s) known as the Plague of Justinian promoted, or sped up, the transformation of Roman Europe to medieval Europe.  What it actually was was an ode to the accomplishments of Justinian’s reign (i.e. the rebuilding of the Haiga Sophia, the victories of Belisarius, the promulgation of the Justinianic Code, etc.).  Only the last quarter or so of the book was about the plague, and a good deal of that had to do with how a harmless bacterium called Yersinia psuedotuberculosis became the horrifying Yersinia pestis, and how the disease worked.  I read this book expecting to find history, not chemistry.  There were just a few paragraphs about the toll it took on agricultural production and the innovations spurred by the dirth of labor.  Lots of stuff here about rats and fleas, and very little about people and its effect on them.  There were a few interesting moments, but, for the most, part, I kept wondering what the point of the first two-thirds of the book was.  Sure, he had to set up the scene, but not in that much detail.  Rating:  2.5
  • Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh – Elena is starting to annoy me with her “I can do it myself” attitude.  She is a newborn immortal, as it were, surrounded by other immortals thousands and thousands of years older than herself, and yet, she regularly gets pissed when someone tries to help her.  Being a tough-as-nails human Guild Hunter among human Guild Hunters is quite a different situation than being a weak angel just awakened from a year-long comma among angels and archangels unimaginably more powerful is quite another.  Maybe ambrosia deducts IQ points while it grows wings.  Despite her, I really enjoyed this book.  I know that Dmitri will be the first of the Seven to get his own book, but I really want to read about Illium.  Rating:  3.5
  • Crave by J. R. Ward – Okay, the ending was definitely a shocker.  Not the epilogue, because, well, duh, but the end of this “round” against Devina.  I thought they were right about the “who”, so I wasn’t expecting it.  The rest of the book was okay.  Pretty much your generic Black Ops/paranormal romance, but the game continues to intrigue me.  Rating:  3.25
  • The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent –  I just make myself interested in this book.  Martha just flat out annoyed me.  She didn’t strike me as being that thick in The Heretic’s Daughter.  A bit abrasive, yes, stupid with it, no.  The royal plot was a little interesting, but even that didn’t make me stay with this book.  Rating:  DNF
  • Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh – I commandeered my sister’s Nook to read this on, and liked it more than I did Archangel’s Kiss.  Partly, this is because Elena seems to regained those IQ points she lost.  I find myself fascinated by the world of the angels.  Its complexities and it’s subtleties.  Is she still crazy?  And which angel will go off the deep end next?  This series definitely has me hooked.  And I still want to read about Illium!  Rating:  3.75

February

  • The Horse, the Wheel, and Language:  How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David W. Anthony – Mr. Anthony makes some persuasive arguments in this book.  I, personally, agree with the Indo-Hittite hypothesis, although I think of the Anatolian languages as a sister instead of a cousin to Indo-European.  However, I’m a bit confused about his Semetic-speaking Old Europe.  I thought that the pre-Indo-European languages of the Aegean, including western Anatolia and Greece, were related to Etruscan.  I know that Lemnian, a language spoken on one of the Greek islands, certainly was, and it is thought that Minoan Cretan was as well.  Also, Hattian, the language of what would eventually become the Hittite “homeland” in Anatolia, was related to one of the Caucasian families, either Northeast Caucasian or Northwest Caucasian.  I can never remember which.  This book was certainly informative and educational, but I would not call it entertaining.  In fact, it was a bit dry, and I found myself getting bored quite easily.  Especially the page upon page devoted to bit-wear patterns on teeth.  Zzzzzzzzzzz.  Rating:  3

Also in February, I’ve been reading, and very much enjoying, Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series.

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