Saturday, December 26, 2020

42. Trinity Sight

By Jennifer Givhan (292 pp ebook)

I can't remember how I first heard about this book but I think this quote sold it for me: "Rooted in indigenous oral-history traditions and contemporary apocalypse fiction..." The main character is a very pregnant anthropologist who "comes to" with the world in chaos and her family missing. She ends up with various others on Zuni rez and the story begins to feel like an indigenous teachings lesson. I really wanted to love this book. It started out fun and page-turny but then it got bogged down in the middle and never quite recovered. As I was reading I thought the author was indigenous but from reading her bio, this appears not to be the case. I find that problematic given the story material.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

41. The Accidentals

By Sarina Bowen (316 ebook)

After the heaviness of Barkskins, I needed something light and fun and this YA fit the bill. A teenaged girl's mom dies and her estranged rock star dad swoops in to help and try to repair the damaged relationship.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

40. Barkskins

By Annie Proulx (714 pp) ebook

I am a huge fan of Annie Proulx and this is an amazing book but also very long. I was goofing off reading 20 pages here and there. I had to commit or I would be reading this until next June. She creates one vivid character after the other, some only lasting a few pages. This is a story about two families in the timber working business beginning in the 1600s in what was called New France and goes all the way up until the 2000s. (I just searched online for a map and found one that refers to certain lands west of New France as "unsettled" and "unclaimed." Stay adorable colonizers!) It's super interesting and well-researched and shows how harsh that time was but also the story demonstrates just how devastating the greed for natural resources has been to the environment and to indigenous people particularly the Mi'kmaq. The book was really good and I enjoyed it but it was also a bummer after awhile watching these terrible people scheming to amass more for themselves at any cost. Still big recommend from me.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

39. The Dry

By Jane Harper (410 pp) This was recommended for fans of Tana French. The author is Australian and the story is mystery set in a fictional small town north of Melbourne. The detective Aaron Falk goes back to the place he was raised to look at the murder-suicide of his childhood friend's family. Of course Aaron left some secrets behind when he moved away. The rural setting is like a character in the story which I loved. Page turner. Recommend.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

38. When No One Is Watching

By Alyssa Cole (352 pp) This is a thought-provoking thriller about gentrification. Seriously. It's a fun page turner but with serious story matter based in things that really happen. The MC Sydney finds her Brooklyn neighborhood changing overnight. Historical research for a walking tour reveals more unsettling information. Things get weird and dangerous. Recommend.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

37. Assassin's Quest

By Robin Hobb (757 pp) I was trying to hurry up and finish this trilogy to hand it off to another reader while I was visiting my mom. I failed my goal by about 250 pages. But I finished when I got home. These books are complicated and sad and happy and aggravating and completely wonderful. The Internet informed of the reading order -- I've got another trilogy for my Christmas wish list.

Friday, October 9, 2020

36. Royal Assassin

By Robin Hobb (675 pp) I love a big fat mass market paperback. More books should be published like this. Book 2 in the Farseer Trilogy. The bad guys are winning. Our poor hero Fitz makes a lot of sacrifices for his king. Things are looking grim but a small loyal circle keep the hope alive. Book 3 is up next.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

35. Assassin's Apprentice

By Robin Hobb (435 pp) I'm not sure how I picked it but I got an audiobook that features this main character much later in his life. I felt like I needed to know what came first so I tracked down this early trilogy. It's about the bastard son of a prince in a troubled kingdom. There is a little magical element but mostly the story is about the people and all their flaws and misunderstandings. Great book. Thrilled that there are so many books by this author.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

34. The Stone Sky

By N.K. Jemisin (398 pp) This is the final book in the trilogy. I struggled a teeny bit with this one but I was reading in the middle of the wildfires and hazardous air quality (strangely appropriate to the story) so my concentration was impaired. Amazing world building, complicated characters who don't do what you want them to do and a big build-up to the end. Recomend the series.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

33. The Obelisk Gate

By N.K. Jemisin (391 pp) Book 2 in the Broken Earth Trilogy. Glad I didn't start them until they were all finished. Already into Book 3. It's tough to sum up in a couple of sentences. The world has been broken by giant seismic event. Things do not look good. Our hero hasn't found her daughter, makes some friends-ish, and learns all kinds of stuff. Huge recommend on this series.

Friday, August 21, 2020

32. The Secret Place

By Tana French (518 pp ebook) I like Tana French books but they always get to a point where they feel long. But also I can't stop until I finish. In this one the murder takes place in a girls' school. I liked the detectives, too.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

31. The Fifth Season

By N.K. Jemisin (449 pp) This book is amazing! I could hardly put it down. I had insomnia and I was glad because I could get up and read some more. I don't even know how to describe it in a sentence or two. It's a fantasy set in a far future earth where the earth is unstable. Leaders rely on orogenes--people with power to control earth surface(ish) to calm earthquakes and volcanos. This is a severely lacking description. Better if you don't know what you're in for when you start. Highly recommended.