These days, my fiction reading is largely confined to when I travel, but over the past few months I’ve traveled a bit and can report on a few books I found worthwhile in some fashion or another. One that surprised me was Anne Charnock’s A Calculated Life, a seemingly almost pedestrian novel about a “vat-grown” young woman who has been educated to be a truly outstanding securities analyst in Manchester,England, which, as I read it, became both more entrancing and quietly and truly frightening. Definitely not feel-good, but thought-provoking. I also finally got around to reading Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, and I frankly don’t understand either the rabid praise about the book or the furor it seemingly caused in some quarters. I thought it was a good book, but neither as great as those who raved over it nor as evil as those who hated it. I’ve heard a great deal about Catherynne M. Valente for the last several years; so I read an early novel of hers, Speak Easy, which was fun, although I did think that the language was more florid than necessary for what she was doing, but that could well be a matter of taste. I also read several other books, one of which I mentioned in my regular blog, and others which I don’t wish to mention, simply because they were all too forgettable, if fun, in one case.