This is a book about a young man and his girlfriend who go to live in Kiribati when she gets a job as a foreign aid worker. I picked it up because my former landlady used to live there and I was curious. Other than the title (racist, misleading and intended to be titillating?) this book had some interesting anecdotes but was ultimately, also racist. The author later “somehow” got a job at the World Bank and if you know that, you know a lot about this book.
I liked but did not love this book with a few interwoven story lines about a Europe (and world) falling apart and the people trying to get things done, track down the missing guy, and keep their heads above water. Getting crossed and double-crossed. Three female leads who felt somewhat interchangeable and were not well-described. Good plot that wrapped up in a way that was confusing (to me) with somewhat lightweight characters.
If you’ve ever had “burn it all to the ground” feelings and you’d like a book that also shared your deep hatred for empire and colonialism, but you also like novels, pick this up. A singular book. There’s magic in it, but not a lot, and it definitely doesn’t turn into one of those wizard vs. wizard things where it’s impossible to tell who has the stronger defenses. Long and deep with complex friendships and rivalries.
I was really looking forward to this one since Andrew is a local pal. It is a very good, well-illustrated history--Liptak includes many of his own photos--of how cosplay was started and evolved. And for a field that can sometimes suffer from a lack of diversity, Andrew really does the work to find people from all walks of of the cosplay world and the book is better for it. A lot of interviews with subjects and some real deep looks at some aspects of the craft, from someone who is not just a writer but a cosplayer as well. I really appreciated this window into a world I don’t know that much about but have always admired from afar.
I’ll read any book about a time machine. This was one of those books where I wasn’t sure if I didn’t get it or if it was bad at explaining itself. There are a lot of great poignant scenes in here, a lot of stuff about family and nostalgia, but they didn’t cohere into a narrative for me. Which was maybe the point but suddenly it was at the epilogue and I was like “Did it end?” Great premise. Very discursive. Like many books I don’t quite click with, maybe good for someone else?
A short YA-oriented graphic novel that looks like it’s going to be a Frankenstein story, but really isn’t. One of two sisters brings back her sister from a horrible science experiment accident. But she’s both the same person and also not the same person, and everyone tried to adjust to that. A short read, wonderfully illustrated.
This was a very long scifi novel about an extended first contact situation where there is one human “arbiter” who is the contact person with the new xenomorphs as they try to puzzle out their arrangement while at the same time searching for old generation ships previously thought to be lost. It’s a lively and interesting story with a few odd writing-style tics (odd conjugations that work different from what is normative in English) that were hard (for me) to ignore. This book went in to great detail in some respects and then other seemingly important plot points were glossed over. The ending came suddenly. This was a good nighttime book to read and parts of it were really well done but I’m not sure I would seek out more by this author.
A graphic novel about the three summers Delisle spent working in a paper mill in Quebec while he figured out what to do with his life. I’ve liked his other graphic novels and this one may be my favorite just because there are a lot of weird backdrops and a lot going on in each panel. The book oddly goes briefly into his relationship with his father and doesn’t mention his mother (who he lives with) at all. In fact I’m not sure if there is a single line spoken by a woman in this book. Not a major deal, just something I noticed after the fact.
An affluent White family is staying at a fancy AirBnB out on Long Island (I think, somewhere outside of NYC) and something happens to the NYC power grid (or worse, it’s unclear and there are a few red herrings) and the Black family who owns the house comes knocking on the door late at night seeking shelter. A very New Yorker-type story of the various kinds of unease you can have in uncertain times. Which was fine for what it was, but I felt like the book was teasing me with what was going on and then you never really figured it out. Not a big deal, it was still a good read but I thought it was one kind of book and it was really another. I was iffy on the story but it was beautifully written.
I remain not great at learning when to say when about books I am not enjoying. It is rare for me to say this, but I did not like this book. My best guess, since the author seems well-liked for his other works, is that it may have been an experiment that didn’t resonate with me. It’s told as a memoir in the sort of Lovecraftian “There is some kind of unbearable horror just outside of my perceptions” style (and in fact takes place in Rhode Island) but I disliked the main character and there was only one other real character who was... a bit of a cipher. I couldn’t tell if it was written with ironic cleverness or just cleverness that wasn’t working. Maybe good for others, bad for me.