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« September, 2021 »
Save Me From Dangerous Men

Picked this book up at the library because I thought the author of this book about a female bookstore owner and also sometimes-private-eye was a woman. It wasn’t, but it was still pretty ok. The plot has a lot of vigilante justice and mystery solving as well as a lot of mysteries in the past of our female protagonist. Also there is some good bookstore content.

The Spaceship Next Door

I had really liked Doucette’s book Apocalypse 7 and this book follows a similar arc. Takes place in a riverside mill town in Massachusetts, which was a familiar setting. The loose plot is: a spaceship arrives in the town but then does nothing. People learn to adapt to it, then something changes. Lots of quirky characters including a plucky female heroine, and a plot worth reading about.

Solo: Life With An Electric Car

Dartmouth professor Noel Perrin got an electric car intending to drive cross-country in it, in 1991. This was as a result of a student chiding him somewhat for being an environmentalist who still drove a car to work that relied on fossil fuels. This is that story. It’s amusing, fact-filled and a great peek into what we thought electric cars were going to do for us back in the 90s and just how hard it was to learn about them, maintain them, or even find ways to buy them.

Perrin isn’t an environmental purist, though he does have a few tics that get annoying after a while of reading (he refers to suburban mall environments as eczema as if this is clever, he also maintains two households and does not live with his wife which is another carbon footprint aspect that goes unaddressed) and ultimately he does not drive his electric car across the country for reasons he explains at length. I enjoyed this book as well as his previous books about his rural life.

The Scent Keeper

Pretty good for a book I randomly grabbed off of the library shelf. Loose story about a girl who grows up on an isolated island away from everyone else, with an eccentric dad who has a lot of secrets. Poignant, some of that good Maritime rurality, not too awful, some good things to say about family and how far the apple falls from the tree. A lot of discoveries though the end of the book felt somewhat rushed and there is a lot of random bad behavior. Evocative.

The Madness of Crowds

A post-pandemic Gamache story featuring unpleasant eugenicists, the usual favorites, a Malala doppleganger, a New Year’s Eve party and some “things you find when cleaning out parents' houses.” All content that felt close to home. You get a little less of that nudging “saying a thing without saying it” aspect of Penny’s writing that I don’t like so well--like really, no one knows if the house pet is a dog or a guinea pig?--and more exposition about people being complicated and stories being complex.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

A person and a robot meet and get to know each other. But it’s so much more than that. The latest Becky Chambers in a new non-Wayfarer series is nicely contemplative, lushly descriptive and rings with some nice ecotopian notes. Basically there’s this future where a lot of the world is off-limits and wild. And this has to do with a robot uprising that happened and then... a deal was made. These two entities come toegther because they’re both slightly edge-case versions of their species and what they manage to do and find and make is nice to watch.

Surrender New York

I had read a lot of bad reviews of this book and it was... not great but it was okay. Some iffy forensics (and that’s the books main THING), implausible scenarios, and a telegraphed ending. Bunch of male gaze stuff that I wasn’t expecting. The book just seemed so weirdly old-fashioned but it was written fairly recently. I think Carr’s real strengths lie in more period-type pieces. This one bordered on the implausible in many places. I didn’t mind it but wouldn’t recommend it.

Calm and Sense: A Woman’s Guide to Living Anxiety-free

Not my usual, but read it for review purposes & was surprised how sensible it was. Many good techniques for managing anxiety. Very non-prescriptive (not telling you what to do, not anti-meds). A useful guide to a lot of anti-anxiety actions you can take and a useful outlook that encourages you to keep trying other options if what you’ve been trying isn’t working. The author herself manages anxiety (and has had a lot of health problems that she discusses candidly) and definitely comes across as a trustworthy source for this information.