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text 2019-08-04 08:57
BL-opoly: Playing the Robot Card #2
Provenance - Ann Leckie
The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis - Thomas Goetz
The Poisoned Chocolates Case - Anthony Berkeley
China Mountain Zhang - Maureen F. McHugh
Jenseits des Tweed - Theodor Fontane
The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker
A Woman of No Importance - Sonia Purnell
Becoming - Michelle Obama
Abaddon's Gate - James S.A. Corey
Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History - Erik Larson

I can´t be bothered to pick out ten new books from my shelves, so it´s essentially the same list as the last time in another order and Theodor Fontane´s travelogue about Scottland as a new addition.

 

1. Provenance

2. The Remedy

3. The Poisened Chocolates Case

4. China Mountain Zhang

5. Jenseit des Tweed

6. The Silence of the Girls

7. A Woman of No Importance

8. Becoming

9. Abanddon´s Gate

10. Isaac´s Storm

 

And the random number generator says:

 

 

The winner this time is:

 

The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker 

 

 

The Silence of the Girls is a retelling of The Iliad told from the perspective of the women in the war (and especially Briseis´ point of view). In the past I struggled with retelling of greek myths, so I´m curious if this book is going to work for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2019-07-31 21:06
BL-opoly: Playing the Robot Card
Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History - Erik Larson
Abaddon's Gate - James S.A. Corey
The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis - Thomas Goetz
The Poisoned Chocolates Case - Anthony Berkeley
A Woman of No Importance - Sonia Purnell
China Mountain Zhang - Maureen F. McHugh
Becoming - Michelle Obama
The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker
The Hotel On Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris - Tilar J. Mazzeo
Provenance - Ann Leckie

Okay! So I have two piles of books lying beside me, five fiction novels and five non-fiction books. The contestants are:

 

1. Isaac´s Storm

2. Abaddon´s Gate

3. The Remedy

4. The Poisoned Chocolate Case

5. A Woman of No Importance

6. China Mountain Zhang

7. Becoming

8. The Silence of the Girls

9. The Hotel on Place Vendome

10. Provenance

 

And I´m going to read .... drum roll, please....

 

 The Hotel On Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris - Tilar J Mazzeo  

 

 

 

Gosh, that book has been on my TBR forever. It´s about time that I read it.

 

On a side note: I changed this ugly cover of China Mountain Zhang to the actual cover (the wrong cover is truly hideous and I just cannot stand it). I would be super grateful, if a helpful librarian would confirm the change. Thanks :)

 

 

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text 2018-05-25 23:57
Fantasy Flights May Meeting - Nebulas
Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss
A Stranger in Olondria - Sofia Samatar
Who Fears Death - Nnedi Okorafor
China Mountain Zhang - Maureen F. McHugh
Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
All Flesh is Grass - Clifford D. Simak

Every month, I go to a book club that meets at a local taproom. Rather than reading a specific book, each month has a theme. May's theme was the Nebula Awards because, well, they are awarded in May. The Nebulas are one of those awards I've always been vaguely aware of from stickers on books, though I do enjoy Ceridwen's Blogging the Nebulas posts. I was a bit surprised to see how many previous nominees I'd read. I had to cull down to just a handful of recommendations. 

 

Here's what I ended up bringing from this year's ballot:

 

Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty. I wanted to read something on topic for the month, so I compared this year's Nebula and Hugo nominees. The overlap included Six Wakes, which I hadn't read yet, and is published by Orbit. The Hugo voter packet includes whatever publishers provide, and Orbit has traditionally included excerpts of nominees, not full books. Strategery! Turns out, I liked it quite a bit. 

 

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss. I read this one last year, and abso-fucking-lutly loved it. Great characters in an interesting concept, and there's a sequel out really soon. I was so happy to see it on an awards ballot. I won an auction for a signed copy that arrived a day before our May meeting.

 

I also decided, like I had when our theme was the Hugos, to bring some of my favorite losers. The awards hadn't been announced when we met, so I didn't even know my first two picks had lost. I would have brought Stone Sky, but I've rec'd to this group before. But here are some real losers:

 

A Stranger in Olondria - Sofia Samatar.  I adored this beautifully written fantasy novel about a book nerd's misadventures. The not-sequel is also amazing. Samatar's prose is just wonderful. My copy of this was signed here in Alabama, at a lecture she was giving MFA students in Tuscaloosa. Because if a master of the genre is going to make an appearance in my state, I can be a little late to work the next morning. Oh, since I'm late posting this, I can link to her recent AMA. This book lost to Ancillary Justice in 2014. But it did win a World Fantasy Award, a British Fantasy Award, and a Crawford Award. Samatar also won the Campbell Award for best new writer. Her blog has since become private, so I can't link to her post about the WFA, but more on that in the next book.

 

Who Fears Death - Nnedi Okorafor. My copy of this is technically a gift for my niece. I got it signed at Worldcon in Chicago. She's almost old enough to read  it. This is a different indictment/celebration of fantasy than Samatar's, but no less powerful or wonderfully written. It lost to Blackout/All Clear in 2011, and I can't even. It did win a Kindred, and a World Fantasy Award that year, sparking an essay that eventually resulted in a redesign of the award statue 5 years later.

 

China Mountain Zhang - Maureen F. McHugh. I read this so long ago I don't have a review for it. It combines a vast scope with a well done character study. McHugh has done a lot of outstanding work, and this is no exception. This lost to Doomsday Book in 1993, but won a Lambda, Locus, and Tiptree.

 

Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny. This is one of those books that starts off firmly a fantasy, but reveals itself as science fiction, and the author is a poet. One of my favorite books. My current not for load copy is the leather bound Eaton Press edition. In addition to being a piece of goddamned art, this book was the cheesy sci-fi novel used as cover for the Canadian Caper, aka, the CIA operation in Argo. It lost to The Einstein Intersection in 1968, but won a Hugo that year.

 

All Flesh is Grass - Clifford D. Simak. Simak wrote at least three versions of alien invasions that followed roughly the same plot. This is the best one. A small town finds itself cut off from the outside world and some purple flowers are revealed to be extraterrestrials. Creepy and weird, it's worth a read if you're visiting that era of scifi. It lost to Dune in 1966, making it one of the first losers.

 

Next month's theme is Urban Fantasy.

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review 2017-05-09 04:14
Review: Echoes of Us (The Hybrid Chronicles #3) by Kat Zhang
Echoes of Us - Kat Zhang

Initial reaction: That was a satisfying end to a good series overall. A few points for me had the narrative dragging but I enjoyed the journey overall.

Full review:

I'll admit I'm a little sad to be finishing this series with "Echoes of Us" for two reasons: 1. It took me a long time to pick up this final novel and 2. This is pretty much the end of the journey for Eva and Addie. I've spent three books following these characters and found myself invested in their fight for representation and non-erasure of hybrid souls. This book has Addie and Eva delving into an alternate identity once again by going undercover at a facility with hybrid children like themselves to expose the horrible treatment of the souls there, but it comes with a high cost.

It may be a better thing for those who are reading the series to read these books back to back because I did struggle a little in the transition between this book and the last for remembering certain details and characters (though the book does a fair job of highlighting some of the major events from the previous books that Addie and Eva were involved within). Once I reacquainted myself with events, I was okay for the most part. I wasn't expecting some major character deaths from the get go - when the action hits home, it definitely hits home. I definitely felt for Eva in the midst of the novel for the separation anxiety and loss she feels on multiple levels. The novel on the whole ties up the major conflicts in a way that - to me - was one of the strongest ends to a YA series that I've read in recent times. However, I feel like there could've been more time spent with respect to the character development and some of the plot points that really didn't have a lot of answers with them (i.e. the existence of hybrid souls vs. the general public and how that related to the international conflict). I can't complain on the whole though, this series collectively had me glued to see what would happen next in Eva and Addie's overarching journeys.

I'm going to miss following these two - wonderful audiobook narration by Kim Mai Guest and a unique YA dystopian trilogy that left me with great impressions. The only thing I wish in finishing the novel (and series) is that it could've delved a bit deeper.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

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review 2017-05-06 00:00
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Vol.1
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Vol.1 - Robbie Morrison,Dave Taylor,Alice X. Zhang Enjoyable comic! Love the Doctor comics.
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