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text 2018-06-03 22:44
May Musings

Still haven’t been feeling the urge to review as much, so here’s another quick month-end summary. I read 4 pieces of fiction and parts of 3 non-fiction books during May.

 

Fiction:

 

A is for Alibi - Sue Grafton 

 

A is for Alibi is the first book in the long-running “Alphabet Mysteries" series. While the novel was originally contemporary, it now reads as a period piece from the days before cell-phones.  While there were some wobbles, I’ve been looking for a new mystery series and I’m curious to see what kind of writer Sue Grafton matures into.  Ms. Grafton, unfortunately, died at the end of 2017.

 

Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee 

 

Ninefox Gambit was the winner of the 2016 Locus Award as wells as being nominated for the 2017 Hugo, Nebula And Arthur C. Clarke Awards. I read Mr. Lee's first full-length novel because the sequel was nominated for the 2018 Hugo Award.  The start of Ninefox Gambit was very confusing start as you are thrown headlong into a very inventive world.  But I very much enjoyed the story once all the players were in motion. I’m likely to re-read this since I feel like I missed a lot of the nuance.

  •  
  • All Systems Red - Martha Wells 

 

I’ve been seeing  glowing reviews of All Systems Red  on my feed for a while, and was able to download the ebook for free from Tor.com in April.  The story won the 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella. I'm glad I spent the time with Murderbot and I hope that my local library makes the sequels available.

 

The Protector's War - S.M. Stirling 

  

Meh.  See stand-alone review of the The Protector's War  

 

 

Non-Fiction:

 

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot  A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup  

 

I finally finished I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, which was the March selection from the Flat Book Society. The story of the microbiome was interesting, but for whatever reason, I found it hard to maintain the attention needed to follow Ed Yong’s well-researched summary.  I love that, while I Contain Multitudes was clearly written for a general audience, the back 20% of the book was still footnotes and citations of primary documents.

 

My IRL book-club read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for our mid-May meeting.  I’d read it several years ago as an audiobook.  I didn’t start until a week before the meeting and had finished about the first 1/3 by our discussion.  After the meeting, I just didn’t feel like taking the time to finish, so moved on to other things.

 

I read a few chapters in A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie  by Kathryn Harkup, which was the Flat Book Society selection for May.  As a non-Christie reader, I didn't find it all that compelling and chose not to finish.

 

Happy Reading!

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text 2018-04-05 01:10
February and March 2018

Round-up of books read in February and March that I don't intend to write standalone posts for.

 

The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemisin  The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) - N.K. Jemisin  

 

My favorite of the books I've read recently were probably Books 2 & 3 of N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy.  I typically don’t like to read books by the same author or in the exactly same genre right in a row.  But this trilogy benefited from keeping the characters and situations very fresh.  If you like speculative fiction, I definitely recommend 2016 Hugo Winner The Fifth Season and the solid sequels The Obelisk Gate  and The Stone Sky.

 

Cast in Shadow - Michelle Sagara West,Michelle Sagara  Cast In Courtlight - Michelle Sagara  Destroyer - C.J. Cherryh  

 

I restarted the Cast In ____ series by Michelle Sagara and continued the reread of C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner Series with volume #7.  Ms. Sagara’s writing isn’t anything extraordinary, but I’m enjoying the multi-species world and their interplay (with DRAGONS!).  Cast in Shadow and Cast In Courtlight  are definitely light reading unlike the convoluted language used by Ms. Cherryh in Destroyer, but there's a place for both types of books.  

 

We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie   A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - Ishmael Beah 

 

And while I haven’t made much progress on I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, the Flat Book Society selection, I’ve read some non-fiction during February and March including:

 

 

  • Ishmael Beah’s  A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, which was assigned to my 10th grade son.  I think A Long Way Gone was groundbreaking when first published in 2007, but I found it rather dry and not particularly well organized,  As the world continues to spiral with horrors, I hope they can come up with something better edited to represent the child soldier experience. 

 

I'm currently on-pace for my goal of 52 books read this year, despite my other responsibilities, which makes me happy.

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