Currently reading: Frog Music, Black Sheep, and some Lord Peter mysteries

I went out of town this weekend! And I only brought one paper book and my Kindle. Yay, restraint!
frog music
The paper book I brought was Emma Donahue’s newest, Frog Music. I’ve had it on my wishlist since November of last year, but it’s just now that I got my hands on a copy from my library. It’s a historical fiction mystery, set in 1876 San Francisco, with a burlesque dancer as the detective! I’m about 50 pages in and I already regret the death of the victim, because she’s amazing.

Meanwhile, I finished up two Lord Peter Wimsey rereads: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club and Murder Must Advertise. I had intended to reread the series entirely in order, but I skipped the two before Bellona and then went forward four or five books to get to Murder earlier because I had a craving to read that particular book for some reason. Maybe because it’s one of the funniest Lord Peter mysteries? (Except for the ending, of course. And how weird that the two LP mysteries I read this week BOTH had that same kind of ending? View Spoiler » I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.)

black sheep
I’ve also started another Georgette Heyer book: Black Sheep (which happens to be on the 25+ Club list). I’ve read a BUTTLOAD of GH books this year, and still I can’t get enough. I haven’t actually gotten to any of her murder mysteries, though, and that’s something I need to fix soonish. I adore her historical romances, though; they’ve become comfort reads, even when I haven’t actually READ the book before. I’m just starting chapter three now, and I’m already in love. Spinster aunts! Disreputable heroes! Lots of interesting fashion stuff! Yay!

What’re you reading this weekend?

Some recent reviews: Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano, The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan, El Deafo by Cece Bell.

REVIEW: Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano

REVIEW: Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille GuilianoWomen, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility by Mireille Guiliano
Published by Atria Books (2009), eBook, 272pg
Filed under: Business, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Got my copy from: Scribd
Buy your own copy at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate links | info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf.

three-starsthree-starsthree-stars

When Mireille Guiliano became a senior executive and spokesperson for Veuve Clicquot, she took the Champagne to the top of the luxury market, using her distinctive French woman's philosophy and style. Now she uses those same talents and savoir faire to help readers pop their own corks and get the mostout of life. Drawing on her experiences at the front lines and highest echelons of the business world, she gives women (and a few men, peut-être) the practical advice they need to make the most of work without skimping on all the other good things in life.

With lively lessons, stories, and helpful hints, Mireille teaches every reader how to identify her own passions and talents, improve her communication skills, balance work and life, cope with everyday stress, turn herself into a winning brand, and so much more. From acing a job interview or performance review to hosting a simple but elegant dinner party, Mireille tells it like it is as she shares her secrets for achieving happiness and success at any stage in business and life.

I choose to read this book mostly because of the cute cover, but also because I am becoming more and more interested in business-y books lately. I’m not sure why? I’m not usually a reader of self-help/advice books, but I suppose I must be starting my Grown Up life and that means I must read books that’ll help guide me down unknown paths. Or something.

So actually this is not that good of a book for work advice. Nope! Maybe if I were interested in becoming a CEO of an international corporation, and/or maybe if I had a full-time job with benefits and higher pay and could thus actually DO some of the advice. But for where I am right now and where I want to be in the future, this book and I are not a match. And then…

REVIEW: The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan

REVIEW: The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi CanavanThe Magicians' Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy #1) by Trudi Canavan
Published by Harper Collins (2001), eBook, 384pg
Filed under: Fantasy, Fiction
Got my copy from: Scribd
Buy your own copy at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate links | info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf.

three-half-starsthree-half-starsthree-half-starsthree-half-stars

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work--until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders . . . and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.

What the "Magicians' Guild "has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

While reading The Magicians’ Guild I kept comparing it to The Naming, which is basically the same story of a young girl with enormous powers being taken in by an older male wizard who has to fight to have her recognized by the ruling body of wizards. However, The Naming is a much better written book, style-wise, and it feels like a larger story with more consequences and whatnot. It’s expansive. It’s a real epic fantasy, one you can sink into.

The Magicians’ Guild feels smaller (no saving-the-world plotlines), and also less dangerous overall. The conflict comes more from class prejudice than anything else. And since we see both the magicians’ POV and the heroine’s, we know that they don’t mean each other harm (really) and that once they finally get together it’ll work out okay. And then…