I didn’t manage a December reads as I decided to do a stats summary and that kind of got in the way. But I really do want to continue these as it’s a great way to make sure that I am really thinking about each book that I read.
The cat who came in from the cold by Deric Longden
I was given this for Christmas by my mum who said it was a book she loved and, being a cat-lover that I would love it too. I picked it up on Christmas day as it seemed like the perfect holiday read and it really was. It was funny, endearing and about cats. What’s not to love. Admittedly some of the language was very outdated (it was published in 1991) but the humour and the lovely cat personalities made up for it! A lighthearted, fun read for cosy days.
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
I’ve already dedicated a full post to my discovery of The Dragon Riders of Pern series so I won’t write too much here. Other than to say that these dragons are some of my favourites and it’s great to read a fantasy classic – I’ll be working my way through the rest of the series through the next couple of months. It’s a bit addictive so I don’t think it will take me long!
Love Letters of Great Women edited by Ursala Doyle
This is a lovely little compilation of, as it says, love letters of some great women brought together in one volume. Each letter is preceded by a bit about the woman and I actually found this more interesting than the letters themselves! A few women it made me want to find out more about were Nell Gwyn, Madame Rowland, Claire Clairmont. George Sand and Edith Wharton.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
This book promoted my thoughts on reading ahead of my own time. At first I was really enjoying it and found the satire well done and it was a good read. However it progressed so repetitively that I just got a little bored towards the end. The protagonist basically visits lots of different countries inhabited by all kinds of races, leaving his wife and children at home. I mean, this just got a little tired and I found it hard to care about a main character who voluntarily left his family for years at a time! Although I liked the way Swift holds a mirror up to society and humanity, again the message is just repeated so much it becomes tiresome and less effecting because of it. Also, I really couldn’t tell if the representation of women was part of the satire, or whether he really means it… ‘those who are condemned without any fault of their own to a perpetual continuance in the world, should not have their misery doubled by the load of a wife’ Hmm…
Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey
I can’t help but still have mixed feelings about these books. I really do love the story and the dragons are fast growing to be my favourite fictional dragons. But I can’t quite get my head around why McCaffrey gives the men so much power, and seems to hold the women in Pern up to the age old Madonna / Whore ideals. I was extremely uncomfortable in the first sexual encounter between F’nor and Brekke although I liked a lot about their relationship outside of that. The men are just given so much power both in the world and in their relationships with women and I can’t help but feel disappointed by these tropes. I know the books were written in the 60s / 70s but I still had much higher expectations from this author. However, all that aside I’m a bit on love with the story and I really, really want to know what happens next. I also took me a ridiculously long time to get to the bottom of the order I wanted to read these books – but now I have and will be picking up White Dragon in February for sure. I feel that there may be a follow up post to my thoughts on the portrayal of women in A Song of Ice and Fire, with one relating to these Pern books, as I still want to enjoy the stories whilst acknowledging the, frankly horrendous, gender politics.