Children of the Fleet, by Orson Scott Card: It’s been quite a while since OSC really impressed me with a book, and this is yet another disappointment. It’s basically Ender’s Game, only not remotely close to the brilliance of that novel. It’s set at Fleet School, which is what Battle School has morphed into after the 3rd and final Formic War. The story features a completely unlikeable main character, Dabeet, and I had to really push myself to keep reading. Sad after the greatness of the original quartet, and even the first couple Shadow novels were quite enjoyable. Continue reading “November 2017 Books”
Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire: This is a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway. It is the story of Jack and Jill and what happened to them when they wandered into another world filled with darkness and horror. Despite knowing what lies ahead for them in the next book, it was a twisty, excellent story. VGR
Young Jane Young, by Gabrielle Zevin: Zevin is a ridiculously talented writer. Her books are so varied, and they’re always interesting and well-written. I wasn’t wildly interested in Young Jane Young based on the synopsis – a young political intern has an affair with the much-older, married congressman she’s working for, a la Monica Lewinsky. And yet I couldn’t put the book down. Zevin tells the story in five distinct sections from different points of view – the intern’s mother, the intern herself (years later and having changed her name), the intern’s daughter as she discovers her mother’s past, the congressman’s wife (who stayed with him through the affair’s aftermath), and then, finally, the intern herself as she goes through the affair, in a unique choose-your-own-adventure section. Zevin’s insightful commentary on slut-shaming, feminism, and the challenges of being a woman are spot-on and never preachy, just an intrinsic part of the story she’s telling. VGR Continue reading “September 2017 Books”
Standard Deviation, by Katherine Heiny: This book was both funny and a little heartbreaking at the same time. Graham’s second wife, Audra, is the complete opposite of his first wife, Elspeth. Audra is outgoing, charming, and full of chaotic energy, and Graham adores her despite their messy life and the challenges brought by their son, who has Asperger’s. It’s hard to describe this book, because in the end it feels like nothing has really happened, but it was an interesting examination of marriage and relationships. Continue reading “August 2017 Books”
When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi: This slim memoir is written by a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in his 30s, while he was in his last year of residency. Although his love of literature and language shines through, I actually found the afterword by his wife to be the best writing in the book. That being said, this is still a moving and contemplative look at death from a man who was clearly both brilliant and a caring doctor. VGR Continue reading “April 2017 Reading Wrap-up”
March was a great reading month! I thoroughly enjoyed almost every book I read.
The Dark Days Pact, by Alison Goodman: Even better than the first book in the trilogy! Goodman has infused these novels with so much historical accuracy (England in the early 19th century), and yet it never feels heavy-handed. Lady Helen is coming into her Reclaimer powers, learning to dress and act as a man, fighting her feelings for Lord Carlston, and still dealing with the Duke of Selburn’s attentions. Great detail, great characters, great action, and an ending that packed an incredible emotional punch. I need the next book! VGR Continue reading “March 2017 Reading Wrap-up”
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Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson: This was an enjoyable sci-fi novel with fascinating science, a great premise, and excellent world-building. Intelligent beings have put the earth inside a type of bubble, making time pass on earth much more slowly than outside the planet. The main characters are twins Diane and Jason, and their childhood best friend Tyler, who is a little boring as the narrator. But the story rises above that and was a real page-turner. VGR Continue reading “February 2017 Reading Wrap-up”