Friday, October 29, 2010

29. All Clear

by Connie Willis (641 pp)

I've read a lot of giant books this year. I feel like I should make a list with page counts. This is the conclusion to Blackout that I read in February. It's about time travelers from 2060 who go back to WWII London and everything goes wrong. It's a tad long but I really liked it. I kind-of want to reread both together now to fill in some of the bits I missed but I've got other stuff to read now so I'll save it for another time.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

28. Epitaph Road

by David Patneaude (266 pp)

This book did not work for me. It's YA and the premise is interesting: what if 97% of the male population was wiped out by a virus? However the story that came out is completely implausible on a number of counts the biggest one being that all the women in the entire world sign off on the idea of carefully controlling any future male population growth. Yeah, sure it's YA, but seriously, a huge majority of women on the entire planet don't care about getting laid? I also found the characterization weak and the story relied to much on info dumps at the beginning.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

27. The Windup Girl

by Paolo Bacigalupi (300pp)

I read this book while I was in Orleans last week. It's a future story set in Thailand and there isn't much energy and the food supply is all farked up and everything is unstable. There are bad guys and super bad guys and a lot of stuff going on. Overall I recommend although I did have a problem with it which has nothing to do with the writing and everything to do with me as a reader. This book is set in an altered universe and has its own vocabulary plus a bunch of character threads and political/social background. I have a hard time holding it all in my head. If I can read quickly (meaning not on the bus or a little bit before I go to bed each night) I can usually keep up and that was the case with this one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

26. Super Sad True Love Story

by Gary Shteyngart (331pp)

I don't even know where to begin with this book. It's set in a near-future New York City and it's simultaneously funny and disturbing. It's about a 39 year old man who works for an anti-aging firm and he gets involved with a much younger and superficial woman. It felt a tad long at times but I enjoyed it. Recommend.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

25. The Magicians

by Lev Grossman (402 pp)

So I still haven't finished Super Sad True Love Story. That's no reflection on the book. I'm enjoying it. It's just timing. I had to spend a bunch of time on planes and in airports this week and I wanted something that was easier to carry and not half finished.

This is going to sound like an iffy recommendation but it's not. I really liked this book. However, the entire time I was reading it I felt like I was on the verge of falling wildly in love with it. It was going to be another book that I buy more copies of and shove in people's faces and demand that they read right away. It kept falling short of that. It's about a mopey guy from every day reality that gets chosen to go Magician school. All sorts of things happen, many of them grim. Can't say more or risk spoilers. Recommend.