Bookworm – December Reading List


January 4, 2016 by rachelcmann

Read and Recommend

Closer to the Heart – Mercedes Lackey – I’ll read anything set in Valdemar and the series about Mags is no exception. If you’ve never read this blog before or never read Mercedes Lackey before…well then you have a huge backlog of reading ahead of you and I envy your ability to read it for the first time. I actually recommend starting with Magic’s Pawn which isn’t quite chronological but will suck you in.

London Falling – Paul Cornell – This book takes a few chapters to get you gripped and then it’s impossible to put down. Set in modern day London, a group of police detectives are exposed to an alternate reality London that overlays their own. Like a shadow demon world, this overlay dramatically changes their lives. The book is spooky and poignant and a little bit terrifying.

The Flicker Men – Ted Kosmatka – Wow. Just holy wow. I devoured this! And for a book that’s pretty technically heavy on quantum physics… I don’t know where to begin except to say that if you generally like what I like then you should read this. It’s going to seem a bit out there (and it is) and kind of slow at the beginning (just give it a minute) and then you’re going to stay up all night finishing it because you can.not.wait to figure out what happens next! Mind blown.

Seveneves – Neal Stephenson – I was a big fan of Reamde (definitely aseveneves.jpeg must read for geeks everywhere) but could not get into another of his books Quicksilver. But Stephenson’s latest was getting good reviews so I decided to give it a go. This book is pretty thick so it’s not exactly light reading, it’s basically a space ark story – the Earth is about to be destroyed and humanity needs to get off. So a two year race to populate space in a way that’s sustainable and all the crap that goes along with it. There is an oddly high amount of technical stuff, lots of detail about space physics and how rockets work etc. Those details really should have slowed this down to an unacceptable pace, but somehow it all works. I could easily see this becoming  a movie, the suspense just starts to kill you. And then they jump forward 5000 years and there’s basically a second book in there. I recommend this tome for folks who are into space and/or physics and/or complex character driven stories but it’s not a beach book.


No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness – Michelle Segar – I ended up skimming this but the general thesis of the book is ‘reframe your intention’ on going to the gym. Instead of thinking of it like you should or must, make it a part of a larger puzzle. The gym feels like punishment because you aren’t framing your reasoning in a good light. So, for instance, if you’re going to train for a triathalon instead of just to lose 25 pounds, your motivation will be stronger and you will go more often. Definitely gave me something to think about.

The Horologicon – Mark Forsyth – I’m a fan of words and this book is a fun hour by hour manual adding fun and occasionally useful words to your day. It’s a lot of read in succession so take the author’s advice and read it a chapter or two at a time. Definitely a laugh out loud kind of book.

Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be – Marshall Goldsmith – I was expecting this to be more self-help and less ‘look at all the success I’ve had.’ I don’t think the author intended for it to be a brag piece, but at least 3 chapters were just regurgitated previous chapters with extra examples from his past clients. So with that in mind, some of it was more useful/insightful than the rest.

An Ancient Peace – Tanya Huff – This reminds me a LOT of Honor Harrington, and that’s basically a good thing. About a former military officer who now runs a rag tag gang of good guy mercenaries (okay now it sounds like Firefly), the team is dispatched on a secret mission. Very enjoyable. However, there is so much alien tech/language/world to learn I had a hard time in the beginning. Eventually I figured out who was who (and what kind of alien they were) but I do think the author introduced too much too fast. It’s a common problem in this kind of novel which is probably part of the reason space operas aren’t my first choice most of the time. If there’s a second book I’ll probably pick it up but I’m not as excited for this series as I am for some of her others.

Without You, There is No Us – Suki Kim – I saw the author on The Daily Show with John Stewart some time ago and this has been languishing on me ‘To Be Read’ list for months. A young woman goes undercover as a Christian missionary teacher into North Korea. Her tale of what she experienced there, as controlled and confined as it was, is really remarkable. North Korea might as well be on Mars for all it has in common with the modern world. Unfortunately the book ends on a bit of a sad note and feels a bit unfinished but it is a fascinating read.

Unmade – Sarah Rees Brennan – I definitely enjoyed the final book of this trilogy more than the second book. {Middles are hard.} The heroine of the story grows up a bit but is still more of a martyr than I’d really like and the love triangle gets more tangled which is regrettably predictable.

Bloodmoney – David Ignatius – After enjoying The Director so much I wanted to read something else from this author. While I enjoyed this one, it didn’t have the same edge-of-my-seat quality and left me feeling wanting something more. I’m not sure what that ‘more’ is though. Perhaps this one is too similar, where I could practically interchange chapters and not realize the difference, and perhaps all his books follow this successful formula. But it did end up being a disappointment.


Look Who’s Back – I’ll come back to this book at a later date. Billed a comedy novel about Hitler waking up in modern day Berlin and becoming an overnight social media sensation it sounds like a homerun, but I just had a hard time getting started.


2 thoughts on “Bookworm – December Reading List

  1. […] Crash – Neal Stephensen – After Seveneves it was interesting to go back to Stephensen’s first book. A theme I’m noticing with his […]

  2. […] – Claire North – After reading another North novel recently I was excited to get my hands on another. And Touch did not disappoint. I […]

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About This Geek

I'm Rachel and I'm a geek. A nerd. A dork. Like most of us, I enjoy and consume a LOT of pop culture. This is my blog about things I like that I think you will like too.

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