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« May, 2021 »
The Shooting at Chateau Rock

I’ve read a lot in this series, this one was a mishmash of local intrigue, too many cooking digressions, and a dog’s first breeding described as “losing his virginity” o_O Did not like it as much as most.


Not a sequel--Cipri has said they are happy to have that be the dominion of fan ficcers--but within the same dystopian interdimensional Ikea-ish universe as Finna. This is a short fun read about one person discovering things about himself and his environment and a LOT about work/life balance. It’s a weird romp and a masterfully woven little story.

Death at La Fenice

This book put a stop into my “sci fi’s greatest recent hits” reading. I have moved on from Inspector Bruno to Commissario Guido, and from the Perigord (in France) to Venice. So far so good, this was an entertaining mystery with a lot of Italian ambiance. You like the new policeman. You learn some things. You want to know more about what is going on. I’ll keep on with this series.

The Lost Pianos of Siberia

My partner’s best friend is from Siberia, as was my first boyfriend. How did I find this book? I am not certain. It’s a great companion to The Owls of the Eastern Ice. Looking for hard to find things in out of the way places, a search for some pianos with a story leads to the author learning a lot more about Siberian history. She has friends in Mongolia who are looking for a piano with a history and so she goes looking and digging. Doesn’t find as many pianos as she expects, possibly, but does turn up a lot of stories from out of the way places that many have not been to, or only hear the lore from.

Hummingbird Salamander

After really not liking Ambergris that much, I was hoping for a redemption with this book and I mostly got it. Such a poignant tale of a messy, compelled search for the source of a mystery as the world slowly falls apart. Unusual female protagonist who is not particularly likable. Cover features a different bird than the one in the book. More like Southern Reach than Ambergris with some unexplained weirdness and other mostly-explained weirdnesses.

Fugitive Telemetry

Heyyy more Murderbot! I found this one easier to follow than the last one. Fewer characters, especially ones with names the same. On the other hand, this felt more like the older novellas than the longer novel, so my main complaint was just: too short! It was good to see Murderbot back at it, solving mysteries and awkwardly trying to figure out how to interact with people. No ART or 3 which was too bad but that just means more to come.

Project Hail Mary

A lot more like The Martian (but w/ less poop) than like his second book. I enjoyed all the little science-y problems and seeing how they got solved. Would love to read an explainer about how was based on literal facts and not just extrapolations. And in a book that is all dedicated to the sciencey science stuff, it seems weird that there are a few areas where the narrator is just incurious. Don’t want to give away a bunch of spoilers but it was an odd aspect of this. The last part of the book gets a little bogged down in “Oh no YET ANOTHER wrench thrown into this that we have to science our way out of” but overall I enjoyed reading it.

The Body in the Castle Well

I’m getting a little tired of these, just as I am getting to the end of what’s been published so far, but they still hold up for low-end french food-and-cops books. This one doesn’t have a huge tactical shootout scene which is AOK with me though there is a little bit of a “Promising young woman gets killed in a somewhat brutal manner” aspect which does get old. Good mystery, some neat French history, not too much of the endless food narratives.