March 1, 2017 by rachelcmann
Read and Recommend
describe it! A young woman takes a chance on leaving her home planet to go to university. She is the only one of her kind on the ship. And then disaster strikes and she finds she must continue to be brave. The story is well told and thought provoking. Highly recommend.
But What If We’re Wrong? – Chuck Klosterman – What if we tried to look at the present the way we look at the past? Certainly our ancestors thought they were right about things that have proven to be ill advised or just plain terrible. And we’re not even talking about ancient history and early medicine. Even things like literature and music can be looked at through a lens of future history. Klosterman does an excellent job asking questions that we just don’t think to ask, and trying to find a path to what our ancestors will see and say about our life and times in 500 years. Very intriguing read if a bit dense in spots.
Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake – For Young Adult books, Blake writes very dark stories (I read Anna Dressed in Blood last year). This book follows three sisters, raised separately with the intention of having one of them become queen, by showing her power and killing the other two sisters. It’s twisted and heartbreaking in some sections but very well done. I think there is another one on the way which I will definitely be picking up.
Honor’s Knight – Rachel Bach – The second in the series takes a bit of a dark turn but the writing is still solid and I devoured the story. It has a little bit of that ‘ordinary person discovers they are the one true savior of the universe’ vibe which I find annoying sometimes but this is unique enough that I am able to handle it so far. In this installment, our hero has to face the fact that she is hallucinating, and even what she thinks of as reality might not be true anymore.
Heaven’s Queen – Rachel Bach – The last book in this series that I’ve been blasting through is a treat. These would make a great movie trilogy! The odds against success are stacked higher and higher and the hero has nothing to lose, so I stayed up way too late finishing it. I appreciate the author’s attention to detail when wrapping up all the story lines and Bach does a great job of painting the battles. Highly recommend this series!
Biting Cold – Chloe Neill – The Chicagoland Vampires continue their quest and as expected the stakes (harhar) get higher and higher with every volume added to the series. But I don’t remember the specific details of this book versus the others, sorry! They are fun and fluffy and don’t make my brain hurt too much. What more can I ask for from my escapist fiction?
Wild Things – Chloe Neill – To be honest, these books are starting to blend together. To make things feel fresh our vampire friends go live with the werewolves for a little while. This is, of course, fraught as not all shifters are fans of vamps. And then the protagonist saves the day. The end. LOL
The Regional Office Is Under Attack! – Manuel Gonzalez – I had high hopes for this book, it seemed to have aspect of Rook that I was looking forward to. And it did, but I was left wanting at the end of the day. The story is told from an odd point of view and it gets a little hard to track who you’re following. It’s an action story, and has some very cool scenes. A secret organization under attack by an even more secret organization! It’s layers of spies! At the end of the day though, it just didn’t bring it all the way home for me.
Daring – Elliot James – I read the first one of this series last month and really enjoyed it, imagine my surprise when I had to slog through the second book! Granted, the author chose to separate the main characters (building drama-check!) but then it just became about this guy with an expansive inner monologue. It did pick up towards the end but I won’t be continuing with the series.
The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire – Molly Harper – Oh these Half Moon Hollow books. That’s all I want to read these days. I have this pile of fiction books on my dresser and I keep opening them and starting the first few pages. And then I wrinkle my nose and put them down. They feel overwritten and self important. Blech. Anyway, this book picks up with our gang about 5-7 years after the last book and that’s okay. When you’re a vampire 5 years is nothing right? Keep ’em coming Harper.
City of the Lost – Kelley Armstrong – I’ll give anything Armstrong writes a chance, but nothing will ever top her Women of the Otherworld series. She has seemingly moved away from the supernatural, or at least is playing it down, in recent series, focusing more on mystery. In this first book of a new series, she focuses on a cop who chooses to ‘disappear’ from her life and move to the frickin wilderness (kind of like Witness Protection). There she encounters enough detective work to keep her far busier than a cop of 200 people should have. The book is good, the setting is intriguing and characters are developed.
A Life Discarded – Alexander Masters – My To-Be-Read list is so long that sometimes I don’t know when or where I’ve added things (I’ve started putting in the date I add an item but I’m not perfect). So this book, a sort of biography, landed in my pile and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Masters does a good job weaving a story around 148 diaries that were found in the trash. A story of a life told to paper with no intention of it ever being read. The journey he goes on to discover the author and what he finds along the way is intriguing although a bit self involved sometimes.
Little Elvises – Timothy Hallinan – I read the first book in this series some time ago so it took me a few chapters to catch the thread. A former/current burglar also hires out as a sort of detective for criminals. It’s a cool concept and well executed. This book seems to drastically increase the danger and complexity of the story, which is a lot of fun. If you like quirky mysteries with a lot of snark check this series out.
The Devil You Know – Mike Carey – I love the set up of this, a freelance exorcist in a world where ghosts and zombies are a fact of life. Felix Castor is called in for a job at a historical society with a weird history. Since his job is nine-tenths detective and one-tenth magic he spends a great deal of time tracking down the ghosts origin. I enjoyed the story but it did drag for me a little bit and I don’t love the character enough to keep reading the series.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight – With the hubbub over The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up not quite died down, it’s a perfect opportunity for a parody. I found KonMari to be more obnoxious than sagacious but that’s just me. Imagine my delight at finding a book that takes the spirit of ‘sparking joy’ in your life and turning into something useful – like saying no to shit you don’t want to do. The book is brash (if you couldn’t tell by the title) but it also includes some solid advice on how to be firm and polite and still say no. Which is something everyone I know could use.
From Sand and Ashes – Amy Harmon – In February I joined the Once Upon a Bookcase monthly subscription club to give it a try. The concept includes a book along with several gifts that you open along the way. Cool right? So the book I received was From San and Ashes and it’s a love story based in WWII Italy. About halfway through the book I got the first ‘gift.’ Separate from the gift experience, the book was quite good. I wouldn’t have ever picked it up on my own but I did enjoy it. The trouble comes with the gifts that are sprinkled through a book about the Holocaust. It feels wrong to get a cute little wallet with papers inside that go with the story, when a paragraph later the person carrying that wallet is shot on the street by an SS agent. So I’m going to take a break from the box, and stick with regular books for the time being.
We Should All Be Feminists –Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – One of my social activism book club reads, this very short book is actually the printed form of a TED talk. It’s short, sweet and poignant. I underlined several passages that I want to hand out to people when they act as if feminism is a dirty word. I am woman, hear me roar.
One of Us – Alice Dreger – I’ve had this on my reading list for a long time. And I guess I’d sort of forgotten what it was about. In my imagination it was about conjoined twins and their story. But in fact it’s more of a review of conjoined twins and other anatomical anomalies and their interaction with history. While interesting, and the author makes some very good points about what’s ‘normal’ it was ultimately not enough to keep my interest.
How to be a Woman – Caitlin Moran – Moran is one of the leading feminist writers of my generation, and I’ve enjoyed her articles. But this book didn’t hold my interest even through the prologue. I don’t need to read another woman’s story of puberty, I just don’t care! So I’m going to check out another of her books instead.