Saturday, September 4, 2021

24. Solutions and Other Problems

By Allie Brosh (514 pp) Allie Brosh wrote an amazing blog that became a book called Hyperbole and A Half that came out in 2013. Then she more or less disappeared. I checked every now and then for updates and last time I checked, I learned that her second book came out last year and I totally missed it. Allie has written about dealing with depression and her stories are honest and sometimes hit that spot between really sad and really funny. This book is darker than the first and some of the stories don't work for me but still worth tracking down if you liked the first book.

Friday, September 3, 2021

22. 23. Twilight | Midnight Sun

By Stephenie Meyer (498 / 671 pp) I read The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer last month. I was having a bad day and needed something fun and easy to read so I decided to pick-up Twilight which I last read, and loved, in 2007. I figured I'd read a few chapters and put it back on the shelf. I was wrong. I have been meaning to read Midnight Sun which is the same story from Edward's point of view that came out last year. I read Midnight Sun on my phone while concurrently reading the paperback on my nightstand. It is ridiculous how much I enjoyed these books. Midnight Sun is long and feels long but there are some fun parts to see from Edward's perspective. Teen vampire romance = a million heart emojis. Edited to add: HAHA. I found my review of Breaking Dawn from 2008 where I say the book is "mostly dreadful" and claim I would not read another book in the series! I was wrong. And at this point, I would read another book in the series.

20. 21. How the King of Elfhame / The Lost Sisters

By Holly Black (125 / 47 pp ebooks) I listed to Folk of the Air trilogy as audiobooks. (The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King, The Queen of Nothing). I don't remember what led me to the first book but I enjoyed it but wasn't sure I'd continue the series. Then I had audiobook credits to use so I got the second one and the minute I finished it, I had to get the third. The story is about a mortal young woman named Jude getting involved with the High Court of Faeire. It's dark but really good. Recommend for fantasy fans. These are two novellas that I discovered after I finished the audiobooks. How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories is Cardan’s back story and in the The Lost Sisters, Jude’s sister Taryn explains some things that happened from her POV. Worth reading for fans of the series.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

19. Acceptance

By Jeff VanderMeer (338 pp) This is book 3 in the Southern Reach Trilogy. I zoomed through this so I could give the trilogy to my cousin to read. I feel like this series is a love it or hate it kind of thing. The story is so rich in details and connections but also strange and alienating. I don't think I completely "got it" but I enjoyed immensely. In Book 3 the entity that's been investigating Area X implodes and a bunch of different threads are somewhat tied together.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

18. Authority

By Jeff VanderMeer (340 pp) Book 2 in the Southern Reach Trilogy. These books are really wierd and convoluted because what is happening in the story is weird and unexplainable. Annihilation (I have to look up the spelling of that word every time) is about an expedition into Area X. This book is about Control, a new director of the entity overseeing Area X trying to figure out what's going on. Everybody is suspicious and seems to be hiding something. I love the descriptions of the environment.

Monday, July 19, 2021

17. Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir

By Amy Tan (368 pp ebook) I am a huge Amy Tan fan but this book was only medium for me. It reminds me of back in the day when a band had to fulfill a contract and would put out an album of "outtakes" and live versions that didn't add up to much. The sections about her family history were super interesting but some of it is journal entries and free-form ruminating that didn't work for me.

Friday, July 16, 2021

16. Writers & Lovers

By Lily King (324 pp) How great is it to get a book you know nothing about as a gift and end up loving it? I never would have discovered this on my own and now I have added this author to my list. This is set in the 90s and is about a 30 year old woman, who is also a writer, trying to get her life together with varying degress of success. The writing is beautiful. Great characters. The protagonist sometimes makes maddening decisions but is very relatable. Looking forward to sharing this with Mom.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

15. The Trespasser

By Tana French (455 pp) I dragged my feet on this one because it's the only Dublin Murder Squad (6 of 6) I had left and now it's done. I love Tana French but also the books always seem a tad longer than they need to be and there's often a whiff of implausibility to the murder part of story. In this one a young woman is found murdered and at first everyone assumes it's a slam dunk domestic violence. It's more complicated than that. But the story is also about the detective Antoinette Conway, getting her dream job as a murder detective and dealing with sexism and a crappy work environment that makes her second guess herself. Recommend all of Tana French's books.

Friday, June 25, 2021

14. Murther and Walking Spirits

By Robertson Davies (357 pp) Robertson Davies is such a great writer. I've had this book sitting around forever and I'm sad that I waited this long. He's funny. Amazing, detailed, and wonderfully flawed characters, one after the other. And I learned a lot about history (N. America). It's about a guy who is murdered (not a spoiler, happens in the first sentence of the book). He follows his murderer to a film festival where our protagist sees movies about his ancestors. If you've never read Davies, a good place to start is The Deptford Trilogy (I should probably read it again.) In this article Kelly Link tells you why you should read the Deptford Trilogy.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

13. Annihilation

By Jeff Vandermeer (195 pp) Wow! I got this book at the local little book library and became glued to it quickly. It's a creepy story about an expedition into an area taken over by a trippy creepy alien presence. The setting is so vivid and detailed and like another character. Really good. Now must run out and get other two books.

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.