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« April, 2019 »
The Library Book

Oh this book! Saw it on a table during National Library Week and had to have it. I’d heard about it and wasn’t sure there would be anything in it for me... don’t I know all the librarian stories? I DO NOT. This was a great tale of the fire that gutted LAPL but also a history of the library itself, all lovingly told by Orlean who loves libraries. I enjoyed every minute I got to hold this book which was itself a nice work of art, great attention to detail spent on the binding, end pages and everything else. Made me want to go look things up. Such a great book. Best of this year.

Granite and Cedar: The People And The Land Of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom

This is a book of photographs that has a story by Howard Frank Mosher running through it. I say that even as I feel it’s sort of a Howard Frank Mosher story that is illustrated with photos. But the pictures came first, hardscrabble Vermonters living way up north, looking into the camera from decades ago. And a story about a few things that happened when the highway went through, Fiction, but not that different from reality. I’ve missed Mosher since he died and it was great to find a little slice of him here.

Nemesis Games

I went through this whole book thinking the title (which is just grey on black in my Kindle Keyboard edition) was Nemesis GATES which made more sense for this story of, in a lot of ways, the end of the world. Our heroes are split up for a lot of this and terrible things are happening everywhere. While it’s not quite so much of a slog as the gradual worsening of the last book, there is a lot of terrible stuff happening and you learn a lot more backstory for one of the characters. Still enjoyable. I feel like I’ve read a lot this month.

Cibola Burn

Each of these books seems to get a little more intense and I keep thinking “There is no way they are going to make it out of THIS” but they seem to. This is another interesting story of planet colonization (one of my faves) with the wrinkle this time that there are competing colonizers: one group of scrubby colonists and one giant megacorporation with a bit of an army. And then things go wrong. We see a few characters from previous books and there’s a whole lot of activity and action. I enjoyed it but it was nailbiting at the end.

The Big Burn

I loved Egan’s book about the Dust Bowl and I loved this lone only a little less because it seemed a little more like one of those giant New Yorker pieces that got fleshed out into a book. The central story is the fire but also how the US got to that point (a giant swath of timber, overseen by very few poorly funded people). And there’s a LOT of how they got to that point, maybe too much I enjoyed learning about Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot and how they set up national forests but I spent a lot of time wondering how it was going to connect to the larger story. And maybe selfishly I was hoping for more pictures? In any case, this story was still great but a little longer with a little less fire story to it than I was hoping for.


I try to read every thick graphic novel my library gets. Enjoyed this one which was a tough look at middle school bullying with a sympathetic (though spacey and very relateable) main character who has trouble coming to terms with his own bullying. A lot going on in this book including the fact that many bullies are battling their own demon, and a lot of school nonsense (dress codes, censoring the school paper, cliques and mercurial friendships). Very well done with a wide range of characters.

Abaddon’s Gate

Continuing to enjoy this series. This one gets a little weird (for me) with the injection of religion and a bit too much (again, for me) ruminating of the nature of evil and forgiveness and whatever. The rest of it continues to deliver although I can sort of see the writing on the wall, people you know and like in the series are going to die and get ready for it. Looking forward to see what happens next.

Golden State

Easier to read than Underground Airlines which was a worthwhile book but this one seems a bit more ... for me? Near future dystopian novel where we’ve forgotten our past. Or... these people did and now the penalties for lying are stiffer than the penalties for doing actually bad things. And everyone is spied on at all times and record keeping is NUTS. As you may imagine, interesting roles for librarians here. I loved this story but the framing of it (confused a little as to who the narrator was in the very beginning who set the whole thing in a sort of “this is our origin story” sort of setting) but nonetheless, great and fun in a Dickian way without being by Dick.