Fiction: The Marketplace (Book One of The Marketplace Series) by Laura Antoniou – this was a freebie of a well-known book about dominance and submission. I’d read it back when it came out, but didn’t remember much. Anyway, Submission is not my kink, but reading about it in this book is interesting in that it feels like science fiction to me: I’m reading about a culture that is alien to me, and trying to understand the associated emotions of the characters, but I don’t have all the necessary…something…for me to really comprehend what it’s getting at, and how they feel. I’ve had the same experience reading other work in this genre. If you are into D/S and BDSM, I think you might really like this series.
Unhinge the Universe by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt – not sure how I feel about this one. This was a galley, which I picked up because of the topic: it’s a male/male romance, WWII setting, featuring a US Army interrogator and a young SS soldier. As expected, the concept made this an uncomfortable experience for me, but I was curious what approach the authors would take. They worked on humanizing the German character (more so than the American) and making him into an individual with human emotions, etc., which was fine and what I’d expected, but I kept running up against, “SS. He’s in the SS,” thoughts, despite the fact that it’s explained he joined that branch because his brother was already in the Wehrmacht, he’s proud of his country, blah, blah. Also, the interrogator was inappropriate (in a military sense) towards him more than once, which I guess was necessary because otherwise there would be no romance, but I was still twitchy about it, and not in a sexy way. So, an uncomfortable experience.
New York to Dallas (In Death, Book 33) and Celebrity in Death (In Death, Book 34) by J.D. Robb – the series is pleasantly formulaic at this point, and even the horrible crimes are somehow soothing, because I know the good guys will win in the end.
Nonfiction: Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies is focused on the 13th century, which is interesting not only for its subject matter but for what I learned about how that period was researched. The authors used a combination of specific types of documents and archaeological method, with occasional anthropological comparison to later and earlier periods.