Friday, September 30, 2022

34. Normal People

By Sally Rooney (270 pp, ebook)

Look at me reading 6 books in one month -- even though one was a play and one was a novella -- still, I feel so accomplished.

I heard about this book because of the tv series and it looked like something I would like but I wanted to read the book first. Wow. At first I was a little put off by the writing style, I'm not sure how to describe it. Dry? Spare? But once I was drawn into the story, I didn't notice it. It's about two young people in Ireland, growing into adulthood and the strong, sometimes unhealthy, bond (obsession?) between them. The characters are so good, their pain and confusion about dealing with life feels real. They are terrible at a communication, however, and at times the dynamic of getting defensive and argumentative over a simple statement was aggravating. (But not unrealistic.)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

33. A Psalm for the Wild Built

By Becky Chambers (ebook, 160 pp)

If a book was a hot bowl of soup and a buttered roll on a rainy evening -- this would be it. I have read three other Becky Chambers books that I enjoyed, particularly A Closed and Common Orbit. This one is set in a earth-like world where robots became self-aware and disappeared. Humans have a technolgy free, but peaceful existence. The story is about a person who finds themself unhappy with life and decides to become a tea monk which is like a wandering therapist who visits different villages and makes tea and listens. They head into the wilderness and it is the first meeting between robot and human in ages. They are both delighted. It's super cute.

Monday, September 19, 2022

32. House in the Cerulean Sea

By TJ Klune (ebook, 393 pp)

This came highly recommended and I loved it. It's a kind-of Harry Potter world where magical children are managed by the government in terrible orphanages. The story is about an uptight bureaucrat caseworker who is sent to an island orphanage to sort-out what's going on there. It's very sweet and funny. Perfect reading for a long air flight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

31. Daisy Jones & The Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid (400 pp, ebook)

I have been wanting to check out this author and a book about a 70s rock band on the rise sounds like a perfect match. Unfortunately, it is told in the style of an oral history which is a format I am not a fan of. Parts of it I liked but at times it dragged for me and I had a really hard time connecting to the characters.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

30. The Piano Lesson

By August Wilson (136 pp)

I'm trying to learn about playwriting and Tracy recommended August Wilson for good character banter. This is set in Pittsburgh after the Great Depression and involves a family piano. The brother wants to sell it and use the money to buy the land his slave ancestors worked on. The sister doesn't want to sell the piano because it is an important family heirloom with family faces carved it by their great-grandfather when they were slaves. It is really good.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

29. Nightshifted

By Cassie Alexander (365 pp ebook)

I am not the best audience for paranormal/urban fantasy. I want to be but it seems like often it doesn't work for me. This book starts out super fun -- a plucky nurse who works in the secret basement of county hospital tending to vampires and were-creatures and gets sucked into a vampire mystery she needs to solve and crosses paths with shapeshifters and zombies and powerful creature families. I enjoyed reading it but after awhile I had a hard time keeping track of world-building. Would read another in the series.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Audiobook: Beastie Boys Book

By Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz

I rarely put my audiobooks on here but I have to mention this one because it is PHENOMENAL. I say this as a person who is not particularly a Beastie Boys fan and also doesn't love the oral history style of memoir. (I call it "lazy.") But I was a huge music fan at the time they were coming up and love hearing details about the music scene during this time. Their story-telling is so charming, the audiobook has so many cool narrators: Exene, Kim Gordon, Jeff Tweedy, Rosie Perez, John C. Reilly. They are so likeable and it's a great story. Makes you wish it was the early 80s again and you were starting a band.