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review 2017-08-04 08:00
Hell's Teeth
Hell's Teeth - James Fahy

Dr. Harkness is thrown into a lot of mess in the dystopian world of New Oxford as her supervisor goes missing and the only thing that is left of her is, surprisingly, her teeth. Harkness turns out to be a great main character as she guides us through her world with a lot of wit, which made this book so nice to read.

The world is filled with Genetic Others, Vampires and the like, which has of course been done a lot recently in the genre, but it still somehow feels fresh in Hell's Teeth. I should really pick up the second book in the series soon!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2017-08-03 21:03
The New World - Patrick Ness  
The New World - Patrick Ness

12/31/16
Nothing else was really grabbing me, you know? I saw an ad for the film Monsters of Men, which brought me to Ness and thinking it's been too long since I read it, because when I was recommending the series to Natasha as truly excellent sci fi, I couldn't remember much except lots of twists in the spaghetti. In fact, while I remembered that the series was Chaos Walking, I managed to choose the wrong title as first in the series three times in a row. There are only three novels in the series you understand.

personal copy

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review 2017-07-31 02:10
Take the Cannoli
Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World - Sarah Vowell

A collection of Vowell's essays culled from several magazine/newspaper columns and This American Life, this is one of those books that is difficult for me to rate.

 

On the one hand, I found her dry humour entertaining, but on the other, I'm not a fan of cynicism in general, and Vowell's weaponised form often taxed my patience.  

 

She and I are the same age, but our childhoods did not share much in the way of common experiences, and we definitely don't share a common political view.  I was, in fact, incredulous that she referred to perjury on the part of a president as a "fib".  But we do share a deep, abiding love for our country even when it disappoints and horrifies us.

 

The essays I connected with, or enjoyed most were the ones where she was able to put her disaffected persona to the side (or at least mute it) and talk about those experiences common to most everybody: battles with insomnia, her experiences at the rock and roll camp, learning to drive.  There's an essay about Chicago that is brilliant and even though I think she let herself get in her own way, her piece on the Trail of Tears was devastating and moving.

 

So even though I can't say I loved this work, it's only because I was unable to find enough common ground to do so.  But I do think Vowell is an excellent writer and I'd happily read more of her work; she has a book on famous assassinations I've had my eye on for some time now that I'm definitely going to hunt down.

 

I read this book for my final Free Friday read; it was 209 pages.

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text 2017-07-28 01:18
Free Friday Read #6
Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World - Sarah Vowell

Given the way my rolls went last night (3 books!), they might represent my final moves of the game, although I'm going to power through and squeeze as much as I can in before the 31st.  So I'm going ahead with a Free Friday read too.  It's a shorter one and promises to be fun.

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review 2017-05-31 14:26
Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World - Sarah Vowell  
Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World - Sarah Vowell

I can already tell I'm going to want to read this again. Essays, I love them. Plus, in my mind, I can hear Vowell as she must have sounded on This American Life, which is where most of these began. There's a few bits of growing-up interspersed throughout, a lot of history, the blackest of humor. Great stuff, perhaps especially on the Trail of Tears and how many different emotions that trip spawned.

So much humor, though.

On the one hand, I think Vowell would be an awesome friend to hang with, laughing at Choo-Choo and working it into every comment because of the way it sounds ("spleen" is a personal fave) on the other, she would someday drag me along on the least appealing road trip ever. Hotspots of the Teapot Dome scandal? Tippecanoe? Some other phrase I only dimly recall from American history, but can't actually place in time or space? She's already done The Hall of Presidents, so I'd be clear of that one. Yet no matter how little the idea would appeal to me, she'd make it fascinating: full of humor and humanity. Maybe we can just get her and Kate Beaton and Bill Bryson to filter all of history for us?

Library copy

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