muccamukk: Lt Bush salutes ironically. (HH: Salute)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries Series) by Barbara Goldsmith
This series seems to be short summaries of people's achievements, but even given that I really liked this book. It didn't have room to get very technical or go into great detail on any given era, but was well written, interesting and didn't idolise its subject.

The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah E. Harkness, narrated by Kate Reading
This is going to be one of those books that makes me annoyed at a lot of other books. I've read a fair bit about the scientific revolution, and this is all completely new to me to the extent that I'm now irritated at all the other books I've read for not including any of it.

It's a wonderful exploration of scientific culture in the late 16th-century, including pushes to increase mathematical literacy for national economic development, collecting-comparing-publishing findings from experiments, in fights over priority and credit, and government support of large-scale scientific projects, mostly focusing on how individual practitioners fit into all this. The idea that this was all going on, and that Francis Bacon (who the author dislikes!) was more or less whining because he didn't get to be in charge of it and gentlemen shouldn't get their hands dirty doing actual work, was frankly a little mind blowing.

Really good, very enjoyably read by Kate Reading, would recommend.

Desire Wears Diamonds (Jaded Gentleman #6) by Renee Bernard
So I haven't read anything else in this series, but clearly stumbled on the best one anyway. The author sets up the intro pretty well, and then I just spent the whole book drawing hearts around Michael and Grace, so who cares about the big arc plot (other than Michael is angst about it! Oh noes!) Michael just wants to atone by dying for his friends! But then he might have to die for his wife! And he can't do both at once! It's a challenge! Grace just wants a room of one's own.

I'm not sure if I'll back read, since idk if Michael will be in them enough, and I wasn't as invested in any of the others. Will keep an eye out for Bernard stuff though.

Four Wars of 1812 by D. Peter Macleod
I think this must have made a very fine museum exhibit, but in terms of trying to get a handle on the war, it just didn't have enough information in it. The art and pictures from the display were very interesting though, and I always appreciate an O'Brian reference.

(Speaking of [as the book also mentioned Forester], just watched Captain Horatio Hornblower, RN with Nenya, since I'd seen it ten years ago, and she hadn't at all. To conclude: "Ioan Gruffudd grew up to be Gregory Peck. Bush got less gay and slightly less hot. But it works amazingly well in continuity.")

Tropical Tiger Spy (Shifting Sands Resort #1) by Zoe Chant
Fun read. It was a bit slow to start, but once the action plot kicked off, I really enjoyed it. I liked how resourceful Amber was, though Tony's agency should seriously hire her, because she's way better at spy stuff. The action (and the "action") was very well written. Could have used a little more angst.

Tropical Wounded Wolf (Shifting Sands Resort #2) by Zoe Chant
Oh there we go. THAT one is angsty enough. Enjoyed it even more than the first one (because angst!), though the plot itself was a little slower. However, I appreciate trapped in peril plots, and both characters were very likeable. I'm curious what's going on with the resort though, so I hope Zoe writes more of these. Oh and the gazelle. Really great setting for a series.

(I was saying to Nenya, having just read Diamonds and Wounded Wolf back to back, is that the fantasy with heroes with massive self-esteem issues doesn't seem to be that you'll find someone who will tell you you're good, but that someone will tell you you're good, and you'll believe them.)

Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean by Adrian Tinniswood, narrated by Clive Chafer
Okay, look, I came into this researching English relations with pirates in the 1600s, which is what this book is about, and had the information I needed, and the Anglo-centrism STILL annoyed the crap out of me. I know that the author's area of study is England, but 100% of his sources are English, and he appears to have put zero effort into finding contemporary sources from any of the actual pirates or people who lived near them (unless they happened to be English), or anyone other than the odd note from the Venetian Ambassador to London , which leaves this book MASSIVELY one sided.

There's a lot of acknowledgement that okay, yeah, the English perspective is happening here, and that's not the whole story, and pointing out how the English were wrong about things, but very little quotes from primary sources from any other country. And we're talking Ottoman Empire here, so it's not like this stuff doesn't exist, they LOVED records.

So a lot of the information was interest, but the whole book was incredibly frustrating.

What I'm Reading Now
Audio: My Mother's Wars by Lillian Faderman about Faderman's mom living in NYC in the '20s to '40s. It's very engaging so far, though I just started it.

Library: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer, which I'm about 100 pages into and the war hasn't started yet. It's well written but also super depressing because genocide.

What I'm Reading Next
I have the next Selection book as a library e-book, so I'll probably buzz through that. I'm not sure for audio. Maybe that new romance novel about US Civil War spies.

Date: 2017-03-29 05:15 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
I WANT that book about Elizabethan science, wow.

How do you do audiobooks? While you're just sitting there, or doing something else? I really like them, but I tend to use old favourites to put myself to sleep or get out of a depressive funk, and I find it hard to just sit there and focus, but if I'm doing something else I miss a lot of stuff.

Date: 2017-03-29 05:55 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
I don't tend to do a lot of housework because my wrists are fucked up....hmmm, maybe using them to go on a walk would work. I used to love being read aloud to, and audiobooks seem lie the perfect thing, I just don't want to keep falling asleep!

Date: 2017-03-29 07:42 pm (UTC)
genarti: ([misc] mundus librorum)
From: [personal profile] genarti
SAME. I've added it to my Want To Read list on Goodreads, so hopefully I'll even remember to get my hands on it! (Always the difficulty.)

Date: 2017-03-29 05:40 pm (UTC)
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)
From: [personal profile] watersword
Ooooh, The Jewel House sounds fascinating!

Date: 2017-03-30 01:13 am (UTC)
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] staranise
Yep, I'm adding it to my to-read pile.

Date: 2017-03-29 11:23 pm (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Lieutenant Bush looks down contritely (Hornblower Bush looks down)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
Does the science history one come in visual reading versions? It really sounds amazing.

Ioan Gruffudd grew up to be Gregory Peck.

He REALLY DID. I'm still extremely impressed. Paul McGann's failure to be in this movie so he could snog/smoulder at Gregory Peck is really my only disappointment here. Though the het was p smouldery for a Hornblower movie, so. That door-leaning kiss! The sitting by her bedside nursing her back to health! (Then brushing it off like o big deal!)

Yeah that was pretty great. ❤ Definitely continuing to ship the Horatio/Barbara/McGann!Bush threesome.

Date: 2017-03-30 12:38 am (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Eighth Doctor looking pretty and vulnerable (DW Eighth Doctor prettiness)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka

Oh yeah, I'd heard someone in book fandom talk about that kink in the books. Which kind of does make sense for Horatio. But not my kink so I'm happy with movieverse.

I'm glad they didn't recast Maria (I guess she was in that one painting on his wall) bc it means almost nobody got recast except Bush (played by McGann's time-travelling understudy I guess).

Date: 2017-03-30 04:41 am (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (Default)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
Hmm well the one fic I read for it ages ago had Horatio/Barbara married, and Bush comes to visit and Horatio/Bush has been/is an ongoing thing when they're at sea. And Horatio thinks Barbara doesn't know about it and wouldn't understand, but she pretty much takes one look at Bush and goes "Aha," and gets out the good wine and proposes a threesome.

So I could see it going either way really.

If we're going on the assumption that the Peck movie comes after the Gruffudd series, of course, Horatio/Bush definitely comes first (and may or may not precede his marriage to Maria, depending how & when you envision them first hooking up).
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