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review 2018-04-21 02:34
Invisible City
Invisible City - Julia Dahl

First in a series is tough. Making the jump from journalist to novelist is tricky. 

 

Invisible City is a solidly plotted murder mystery that reads more like a police procedural than a cozy (though our main girl is a journalist not an officer of the peace).   While better than many first novels, there's plenty of room for growth.  In particular, I felt like the book was a hodge-podge of thinly veiled elements from a number of recent sensational news stories rather than being fully original. 

 

Like the main character, author Julia Dahl has a Jewish mother and a Christian father.  While it's always difficult to write about insular communities without a true in, I felt like a lot of Ms. Dahl's personification of the Ultra-Orthodox characters was built on stereotypes.

 

I'm counting this as an IRL bookclub read because Julia Dahl will be speaking in my community about book #3 in the series (released about a year ago) on Sunday.  I read Invisible City because Conviction was checked out of the Library and I wanted to have read something by the author before I went to brunch.

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review 2018-04-09 03:19
Wild
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed

I did not like Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail very much.  I just couldn’t get past Cheryl Strayed’s unpreparedness for long-distance hiking and found her a distasteful person who I didn’t particularly want to spend time with.  I also found the narrative disorganized and the insights she gained from her journey pedestrian. If Wild hadn’t been the selection for my office book club, I probably would not have finished the book.  As it was, partway through I stopped reading and started skimming.

 

Several of my co-workers also didn’t like Wild very much either, including one person who said that she expected much more from the author of Tiny Beautiful Things (which I have not read).  A number of others hadn’t finished, but had seen the movie, so we spent as much time comparing the book to the movie and discussing other wilderness journey movies as discussing the book itself.

 

In other news, the office book club appears to be turning into a book-to-movie club, which isn’t actually such a bad thing. Our first selection was Room, our second was Wild, and our next choice is The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a re-read for me (I listened to the audiobook a few years ago). I’m looking forward to re-reading it and  I’m interested to hear what the others think. And we’ll see how the scheduling goes, but we’re also starting to kick around the idea of a movie night where we watch the movies and talk some more.

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quote 2018-03-08 20:50
"Faith in not rational. Do you know what a cathedral is, Chief Engineer?"

"A kind of church," she said. "A big church."

"A church that took centuries to build," he clarified. "And could cost hundreds of lives in the building. A church that represented an absolutely absurd investment for a medieval lord. And yet they got built anyway. For the glory of God."
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

Grail, p. 292, by Elizabeth Bear

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quote 2018-03-07 18:22
"Don't look at me. Just because the puppeteer's hand is up your ass, it doesn't mean you know what they are thinking."
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

Gavin, p.276

Chill / Elizabeth Bear

 

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text 2018-02-28 23:20
Abandoned (may come back to) at 46%.
Chill - Elizabeth Bear

I'm sorry.  I really tried because a bookclub read.

 

I just cannot face still yet another character or set of characters traveling to another part of ship.  Where they find a new environ with new genetic mutations.  To leave to find a new environ with ... POV changes so more characters can wander into *holds breath* new environment with new genetic ...

 

I may come back to because did get pretty far along and because it may have been too much reading this one back to back with the first in series, Dust - Elizabeth Bear .

 

Doubt I'll carry in to last book unless some amazing ending to Chill (if I return to finish it someday) or y'all reassure me all the traveling to new environs is finished or actually goes somewhere with the story or the worldbuilding.

 

Reading for booklikes' Virtual Speculation book club at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/50/virtual-speculation if anyone wants to see the group read or join.

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