Saturday, August 1, 2015

Books Read in April

I'm reading at a rate beyond blogging capacity. My reading rate vs. my blogging capacity, anyway. Between college, grad school, and adjuncting, this is the first year of the blog that I've worked >60 hours/week. Since timely reviews of all books read are no longer plausible, system adjusts will be made.

Numbers of books I've read/year is still a primary personal reason for keeping the blog, but perhaps I'll move to monthly lists and let those books that speak the most earn featured reviews. Or perhaps I'll move more toward theme posts, as that seems to be the current direction of the book blog wind.

In the meantime, some quick reviews of books read in April (May, June, and July to follow):

33. Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

So, the first year that I don't make reading books in translation a goal, I'm on a roll with books in translation (or, at least, this is the fourth, which is better than I've done in the past few years I've been keeping track. I DO read more books from other countries in general, but they tend to be already written in English). Go figure.

Anyway, Night Watch is translated from the Russian, it's wacky, it's weird---read it for a new take on the supernatural, a Russian take on life, and a native's eye view of Moscow.

34. The 100 by Kass Morgan

One of the few books I've read because of a TV show, I enjoyed The 100 more than I expected. It's clear where the show's teenybopper roots originate, but like the show, the book's themes and characters mature into some dark and serious sci fi territory. Although the premise is the same, 100 juvenile delinquents dropped onto a post-apocalyptic Earth to determine if it's safe for the law-abiding on the space station above, the book and the show turn in different directions. Both entertain thoughtful ethical questions, and while I prefer the show, because it goes into darker, deeper places, the book doesn't slouch from social commentary. It's fast-paced, character-focused YA but with an intriguing core of ethical sci fi.

35. Course Correction by Ginny Gilder

I received this for review from LibraryThing, but I was interested under the pretense that it was about a struggle to form a Title IX rowing team. Unfortunately, I misunderstood the subtitle/summary (though I think it's an understandable mistake and likely encouraged for marketing purposes). This is the autobiography of Olympic rower Ginny Gilder, with a focus on her days rowing for Yale. When Ginny gets there, the women's team is already established. Yes, there's some tension about not being treated as well as the men's team, but really, it's about how Ginny deals with her parents' divorce and her own homosexuality. Recommended if you really like rowing or are really interested in Ginny Gilder's life, but it's a niche book that wasn't up my alley.

36. hypocrite in a pouffy white dress by susan jane gilman

A girl I knew in high school loved this book, and I've wanted to read it since I heard her extol it. In that sense, it was a disappointment, but it's still an amusing memoir about a girl growing up at an interesting moment in Manhattan history. There's also a fabulous Mick Jagger anecdote I won't spoil. Gilman will keep you engaged till the end, so if you're a fan of memoirs, here's one to check out.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This Long Vigil by Rhett Bruno

Rhett Bruno, author of The Circuit: Executor Rising, has a short story, "This Long Vigil", published in the June 12 issue of Perihelion SF online magazine. Click the link to read the story; it's free!

Don't want to say too much to spoil it as it's only 11 pages long, but just like The Circuit: Executor Rising, it has a slightly different, gritty-yet-hopeful take on the human race in space. Deals with ethical issues of transporting populations across vast times and distances; reminds me of movies like Interstellar (2014) and Moon (2009).

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last Ten Books That Came into My Possession

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! I'll start with the most recent and try to work backward from there. Not sure if I'll get it exactly right, but I'll try!

1. Grad's Guide to Graduate Admissions Essays by Colleen Reading

Received from LibraryThing Early Reviewers

2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss audiobook

Borrowed from the library

3. The Art of Sleeping Alone by Sophie Fontanel

Received via Bookmooch

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Borrowed from my great aunt

5. The 100: Day 21 by Kass Morgan

Borrowed from my brother

6. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Received via Bookmooch

7. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Received via Bookmooch

8. hypocrite in a pouffy white dress by susan jane gilman

Received via Bookmooch

9. Course Correction by Ginny Gilder

Received from LibraryThing Early Reviewers

10. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

Bought with B&N giftcards; along with a few others.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

This is a bit of an easy one for me, as I don't read a lot of hyped books.

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

3. Fifty Shades of Grey etc. by E.L. James

4. Twilight Stephanie Meyer

5. Anna and the French Kiss etc. by Stephanie Perkins

6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

7. 11/26/63 by Stephen King

8. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

9. The Martian by Andy Weir (I'm planning to read it, though people have opposing opinions on whether I would like it or not).

10. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen