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« November, 2020 »

Children of War   book icon  
by Martin Walker (2014)

read: 27 November 2020
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I was looking for a pallet cleanser after Attack Surface, but I don’t think this was it. A good book about food and the French countryside but also some really horrific violence and questionable assertions about Islam. This book has what I felt was kind of a formula. There’s a local story, a “Let’s bring in the Brigadier” story and then some food and drink and other local traditions brought in. I tend to like the stories that stay a little smaller.

Attack Surface   book icon  
by Cory Doctorow (2020)

read: 21 November 2020
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I love Cory’s writing & have loved his other books but I wasn’t the right audience for this. It’s a great intro to the tech behind corporate/govt surveillance & also protestors/organizing. And yet, felt didactic & hopeless. Afterwords were the best part.

This Was Our Pact   book icon  
by Ryan Andrews (2019)

read: 15 November 2020
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, fiction

Such a great story! This one kept not going where I thought it was going to go and despite some pretty difficult circumstances, there’s a gentleness and warmth to it that fills it in. It’s an immersive slightly fantastic tale of kids and a mystery that turns into a lot of other mysteries. Talking bears! Weird bridge frogs! Stories about stars! Boys on bikes! Celestial fish! Just a joy all around.

Snapdragon   book icon  
by Kat Leyh (2020)

read: 14 November 2020
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, graphic novel

A remarkably rich graphic novel that covers a lot of territory while at the same time being something that a young adult would enjoy. A little bit magical, a little bit life-affirming, but also full of skeletons both real and metaphorical. From the creator of Lumberjanes which should tell you all you need to know. A great story. I particularly enjoyed the Jack character who is both a witch and not-a-witch and is a character shown with more compassion than you might expect.

The Daughters of Ys   book icon  
by M.T. Anderson (2020)

read: 14 November 2020
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, graphic novel

This was a re-telling of a classic Breton folktale and, like many folktales, is grim in a LOT of spots. If you like Frozen-style stories of sisters who don’t quite get along, this story from the guy who brought you Feed, should be up your alley. The illustrations by Jo Rioux were completely gorgeous. A little grim and dark for me as a story.

Machine   book icon  
by Elizabeth Bear (2020)

read: 11 November 2020
rating: [+]
category: fiction

This was the next in the series after Ancestral Night but has almost none of the same characters which was a bit of a disappointment. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much mainly because I was managing a toothache and the lead character was also someone who grappled with chronic pain. Which is good as a plot device--seemed realistic, gave the character depth etc--but may not have been right for me at the time. Still a compelling multi-species space opera story, this one set in more of a space hospital.

A Place for Everything   book icon  
by Judith Flanders (2020)

read: 5 November 2020
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

I was sent this book by the publisher I believe. This was a great look at the history of alphabetical order. Not how the letters of the alphabet came to be ordered that way but more like how people started using the alphabet for ordering. A lot of fascinating stuff to learn here. At the same time, in some cases a little TOO meticulous with the research and if you’re not someone really into historical books, this may be more info than you need. Come for the facts stay for the Dewey-trashing footnote!

Ancestral Night   book icon  
by Elizabeth Bear (2019)

read: 2 November 2020
rating: [+]
category: fiction

My fave genre, the female-captained cargo spacer with a bunch of different species interacting as they delve into a great mystery on the outskirts of the universe. Psychologically interesting without being entirely trauma-centered. This is the first of a series and definitely worth continuing.

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