[I've been 

The Last Astronaut   book icon  
by David Wellington (2019)

read: 1 November 2021
rating: [+]
category: fiction

A very Watts-ian outer space first contact story that also had good/interesting characters including one who was a woman about my age. The author is usually known for his horror writing and it shows. Creepy and thriller-y--there’s a lot of non stop scary stuff happening--while also talking about space politics and tough decisions in tougher times. Not a super deep book but an interesting look at what aliens might be like.

The Fallen   book icon  
by Ada Hoffman (2021)

read: 27 October 2021
rating: [0]
category: fiction

I waited a long time to read this (it felt) after reading the original. A sequel, mainly about nine neurodivergent genderfluid people navigating past and present trauma set against a backdrop of a ruined world and avenging angels. There was really just a lot of trauma, people getting more trauma, people healing from past trauma, people trying to be mindful of others' trauma. It was definitely too much for me, more fantastical chaos magic than scifi and nothing got wrapped up.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2020   book icon  
by Michio Kaku (2020)

read: 25 October 2021
rating: [+]
categories: collection, non-fiction

A really interesting and eclectic set of essays, possibly none of which were on the pandemic? I read this series from time to time and often there is a lot of gloom and doom writing about climate or about diseases or some such. No big deal, I get it, but this collection is more varied than most. Not too samey, not too grim. I learned some things and enjoyed reading it.

Marked Man   book icon  
by Archer Mayor (2021)

read: 19 October 2021
rating: [+]
category: fiction

This October’s book by Mayor is pretty good in that none of the usual suspects is imperiled, there’s a side-jaunt to Rhode Island (coffee milk!) and I saw a cameo from one of my favorite librarians. It’s all about some super-wealthy people in Vermont who live in an improbable arrangement. And there’s a mafia side-story, kind of. Otherwise, it’s about what you’d expect. Good, but maybe not great.

The Thursday Murder Club   book icon  
by Richard Osman (2020)

read: 15 October 2021
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Taskmaster is clearly taking over my entire life. This is a really great debut novel from TV producer Richard Osman. It’s interesting with a good mystery at the core. The plot centers around mostly elderly people, a group of friends, who live in a retirement home without being saccharine or treacley. They like to look at cold case mysteries for fun and then suddenly find one that is not so cold. It’s funny without playing people’s lives for laughs.

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