Thursday, May 27, 2021

12. Fugitive Telemetry (Murderbot)

By Martha Wells (168 pp) I ordered this so I could have it the day it came out and then there was a snafu and I had to query the bookstore so I could go pick it up. Then it was just a novella. I've been dragging my feet because I can read it in a couple of hours and then no more Murderbot. In this one, Murderbot helps solve a mystery.

Friday, May 21, 2021

11. The Girl on the Train

By Paula Hawkins (326 pp ebook) I remember when this book was everywhere and I never read it so I grabbed it when the ebook was on sale. A woman scorned has a view into her previous life every day when the train passed her former home. A woman goes missing. Everyone acts terribly. It was fun and page-turny but following a deep-into-it alcoholic make terrible decisions isn't my favorite.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

10. Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children #1)

By Seanan McGuire (174 pp ebook) After reading those Robin Hobb books I'm reaching for short and fast read stuff. This is a novella with a really cool premise which is what happens to the kids who go one these adventures through the portal when they get back to their regular mundane life? They are kinda messed up and they end up at this boarding school trying to sort it out. This one's pretty dark with some murders.

Friday, May 14, 2021

9. Network Effect (Murderbot!!)

By Martha Wells (350 pp) This is a re-read. I ordered the new Murderbot from the bookstore so I could get it the day it came out but there was a snafu and I after a week I sent a plaintive note customer service because I really wanted my new Murderbot. Then I picked it up and it's only a skinny little novella. So I re-read the previous book so I could drag out the moment before I zoom through the new book in an hour. Murderbot is a dangerous security robot that has hacked its governor module so it doesn't have to follow orders. They are hilarious.

Monday, May 10, 2021

8. My Name Is Lucy Barton

By Elizabeth Strout (181 pp ebook) I love Elizabeth Strout - she's so good. This is the story of a woman recovering from what was supposed to be a simple procedure. She is mostly estranged from her family but her mom comes to sit with her and the story explores her family and past and present. I was sucked in instantly. Recommend.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

7. A Closed and Common Orbit

By Becky Chambers (364 pp ebbok) I read the first book in this series several years ago and enjoyed it but didn't make it a point to continue in the series. What a mistake. This book is tremendous! These books are set in space with different species and planets but it's really about the characters and this one is hard to put down and a real heart twister - in a good way. I recently recommended it to someone and said, "It's kind-of Expanse meets Ted Lasso." Tough to sum up - it's about trying to find your place in the world. Very highly recommend.

Friday, April 23, 2021

6. Children and Fire

By Ursula Hegi (272 pp) Hegi wrote a book called Stones from the River that was published in 1994 and later became an Oprah book so it was everywhere. I read it a long time ago but as I recall it was set in a fictional German village during the time leading to, during, and after WWII. This book takes place in the same village on a single day in 1934 with flashbacks and concerns a young school teacher dealing with her students and learning of her troubled history. Hegi is an incredible writer and this story is easy to read and completely devastating. Recommend.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

5. The Queen's Gambit

By Walter Tevis (244 pp ebook) I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this book as much if I hadn't just watched the TV series. I had such a strong visual as I read. It's about a girl who is orphaned and learns to play chess from a janitor at the orphanage. She busts ass to compete at the highest level. Thoroughly enjoyed both. Recommend.

Friday, April 9, 2021

4. Ship of Destiny

By Robin Hobb (789 pp) I thoroughly enjoyed these books but also when I got to the last 300 pp of this one I was ready to be done with the series. I made a joke about taking a day off work just to finish. But now that I'm done I've learned all kinds of details that I missed. I can't imagine reading them again now, but perhaps someday. All the threads of the story manage to converge in a thrilling series of events. Most of the characters get what they want but not in the way they expected. Great series.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

3. The Duke Who Didn't

By Courtney Milan (285 pp ebook) I read this on my phone on the bus -- I usually love Milan's books, especially the contemporaries, but this one, set in 1890 England, was soso for me. It was weird b/c I loved the setting and the characters but the story didn't click for me. It's about Chloe Fong who has a huge unrequited (or so she thinks) crush on Jeremy Wentworth who is the secret duke of the village where she lives. The best part of the book was the afterword where Milan talks about her family history and how it inspired the story.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

2. Mad Ship

By Robin Hobb (850 pp) I am loving these books but also feel they could easily be 200 pp shorter which after 3 books would be 600 pp, another huge book. Especially since after wandering about for 700 pages about 15 ginormous events happened within 20 pages. As the story continues, nothing is going as planned. Characters that seemed terrible at first are now stepping up or else, being terrible in different ways. Characters that seemed great at first are doing things you wish they wouldn't do. The security of the world is breaking down. Really good.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

1. Ship of Magic

By Robin Hobb (809 pp) I intended to read way more books in the pile before starting back into big fat Robin Hobb books. But I tried and could not get into anything. Like many people I found I kept getting stuck in these doom spirals of clicking around the Internet and my concentration was shot and nothing could hold my interest. Most of my giant backlog of books is electronic. So I went back to my pile of dead tree books and had to pick this one. Same world as Assassin's Apprentice but different geographical area. In this world families go into great debt to purchase a liveship -- which, like it sounds, is a ship that is alive. Complicated politics and economic turmoil shapes what people do and care about (but aren't boring). Everybody does things you don't want them to do. Really good. Already started the next 800+ tome.