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.

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