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« January, 2019 »

On A Sunbeam   book icon  
by Tillie Walden (2018)

read: 26 January 2019
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, graphic novel

This book started as a webcomic but I picked it off of the library shelf because it was LONG and it was a graphic novel. It’s great. There are no boys or men in it, though there is one character who uses they/them pronouns. And the gender balance isn’t really central to the story which is more about growing up and space travel and figuring out what you really want out of life. Also it’s lush and lovely despite having an oddly restricted color palette. An excellent read.

Planet Funny   book icon  
by Ken Jennings (2018)

read: 26 January 2019
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

I wanted to read this book so badly I ILLed it and was happy I did. Why is everything so FUNNY nowadays? Jennings looks into this and the history of humor in a way that is amusing but not really “look at me” wacky. The wrap-up talks a little bit about why it needs to be this way and it was written late enough in the #MeToo movement that there are a lot of references to things like gender balance and people complaining about having to be too politically correct. I loved it all the way through and will have to pick up more of Jennings' other books.

Severance   book icon  
by Ling Ma (2018)

read: 25 January 2019
rating: [+]
category: uncategorized

My friend told me to read this without telling me anything about it which was probably good. Since if she had said “It’s about a disaffected Millennial who becomes one of the last people on earth and fights zombies sometimes” I might not have read it at all. But the book is oddly affecting and very well told and also includes some of the protagonist’s quirky immigrant upbringing along with all the other “Gee it’s weird to be one of the last people on earth” things.

Children of Time   book icon  
by Adrian Tchaikovsky (2015)

read: 23 January 2019
rating: [0]
category: fiction

I both loved and hated this book. Under the best of circumstances I have a hard time with books where alternating chapters are told by different people. I have an even harder time when one of those narrators is compelling and one is totally not. This book has half of it written by what is basically a sentient spider race. And while there is a great thought experiment here “How would a community of spiders who achieved sentience go about evolving?” I just did not care about it and wanted to get back to the humans on the giant ark who were having some real problems. So, this is a great book and well-written and all the rest, but I sort of hated half of it and loved half of it. The ending is satisfying and I am pretty sure I will not read the sequel.

Scrawlins   book icon  
by Rusty Dewees (2007)

read: 23 January 2019
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Sometimes I just want folksy just-so Vermonter stories. This one had a sekrit love letter essay to my town’s music hall tucked in the middle. Rusty does an old-timey Vermonter voice in a way that helps you sympathize with perspectives you might disagree with.

Foundryside   book icon  
by Robert Jackson Bennett (2018)

read: 12 January 2019
rating: [+]
category: fiction

A haves and have-nots tale of a world with “industrialized magic” and the dangers of consolidated power. Told from the point of view of a former slave turned gritty thief. Lots of funky workshops (did not know this was a thing I craved, and yet...) and muck. I think a lot of books really aim to create a cool shady underworld where poor people hang out and there are no rules, but I feel like this messy favela-type place really felt real.

Toilets of the World   book icon  
by Morna Gregory (2009)

read: 11 January 2019
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

This was a fun little picture book with images of toilets from all over the world. While I might have liked to know a little more about the selection process (did the authors go to some of these? any of these?) and I am a little curious about some of the assertions they made about non-Western cultures, I did like seeing all the different ways people relieve themselves.

Fake Blood   book icon  
by Whitney Gardner (2018)

read: 6 January 2019
rating: [+]
categories: graphic novel, ya

I picked this up because it was thick and I had no idea part of it was about Transylvania. What fun! It’s all about being a sixth grader and the good and bad that can happen in a lot of different directions. I enjoyed it, I liked the characters and the illustrations were lively and colorful and compelling. I’ll go abck and try to track down Gardner’s other novels.

Semiosis   book icon  
by Sue Burke (2018)

read: 5 January 2019
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I was glad to see that this was part of a series because it ended somewhat abruptly. Usually I get confused and irritated by multiple perspectives in a book, especially scifi for some reason but it works here. This is a story told over multiple generations of the people who settled Pax after the Earth had become unlivable. I liked getting to sort of read along as the settlers discuovered what worked and what didn’t, and how that played out over multiple (seven?) generations. Also there are some sentient plants, and some existing settlers.

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