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« June, 2019 »

I know there are sci fi books that are more complicated than this one, but this one hits about the edge of my complexity-meter where it’s worth trying to puzzle it out, but not so hard that I feel stupid and confused all the time. Like his last book, Crouch is taking on themes of multiple timelines. In this case a person building a device that allows you to... sort of... go back in time. Intended as a device to help her mother avoid the terrible downsides of Alzheimers, it instead turns into a whole bunch of new terriblenesses and is deals with the implications of all the other people whose timelines are affected, and who aren’t quite sure what is happening. Interesting to read and the main characters are likeable and make human decisions, errors and choices.

The Library of Lost and Found

On the new shelf at the library. A sweet not-too-complicated book about a librarian who finds a secret in a book that reveals something about her family. You think it’s going to go one way and then it goes... a slightly different way. I enjoyed it, was a light summer read. Relatable librarian.

The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English

Reports that American English are ruining English English have been greatly exaggerated. This fun and informative look at the differences between the two languages (and the hows and the whys behind how they came to be thought of as so very different) is the subject of this book by American-born UK-living linguist Lynne Murphy. She does the research and looks into the claims and concludes that, hey, both languages are good and bad in different ways but it’s certainly not true that American changes to the English language are in any way the only negative influence on how people speak today.

A Memory Called Empire

Since I’m done with The Expanse I really wanted more “epic spacers” This is a good book that has a lot to do with... alien diplomacy for lack of a better world. A woman come to the new planet where she is to be ambassador only to find that her previous ambassador has likely been murdered. And there’s a succession battle happening on the planet. And she gets caught in the middle of all the drama. A very good and readable book but I wanted a little more in the human relations category and a little less of the “palace intrigue” variety. Enjoyed it but won’t be picking up the sequel.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames

Sedaris is a writer I’m glad I didn’t try and discard earlier in my life because I think I can find him and his “secretly I am kind of a bad person” humor a lot more relate=able at my age than I would have earlier. This is another collection of his, the best essay is probably the laste one which is all about him trying to quit smoking and learn Japanese. But there is another one which is about his relationship with a terrible neighbor which also just hit me in all the feels. Not all humor, exactly, but you can manage to see the bright sides of some of these interactions. Less family stuff, more husband stuff, a medium amount of France, a small amount of body horror. Enjoyable.

Communes and the Green Vision

I really really like books about alternative lifestyles and yet I could not do a thing with this.


Picked this up at a library booksale and was looking forward to it since I like Alvarez’s work. It started out difficult “This woman sounds weird and I totally get why her sisters dislike her...” but then it got deep and complex and I was totally sucked in and won over by the end of it. Not necessary to read the other book before this one, but it can help.

The Bookshop of Yesterdays

Books on the cover! Expected to like this book more, a story about a woman who inherits a bookstore and there are a series of clues left by her deceased relative that give her clues about her life. While I did appreciate the satisfying (if pat) ending, I found a lot of times the characters were doing things that, to me, did not make sense. There’s a lot of drama, a lot of “things seem to be going fine and then one person flips out” interactions. Two-dimensional characters, including the main ones, led me to believe that maybe there was something deeper going on but no, the people were just two-dimensional. Plus there’s a librarian who does offer some good information but is basically shown as a woman reading at her desk. What? There were a lot of odd plot holes (man died and headstone is all there and carved in three days, impossible!) that just took me out of the story. I did read it til the end, but would probably not recommend it to anyone.