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« May, 2022 »
The Book Woman’s Daughter

This is a sequel to the earlier book, with the same general vibe. A LOT of rural poverty and ignorance-informed trauma including both of the daughter’s parents getting ripped away to prison and getting abused in prison for being an interracial couple. Some vocational awe in there too for good measure, about how noble librarianship is and how you should do it even at great cost to yourself because it’s so important. Some good facts about 1950s Kentucky including some information about Moonlight Schools, the Pack Horse Librarians and women serving as fire lookouts. A decent ending, a good read but not my fave.

Blue Mars

This was the most uneven of the pack, veering between a lot of complicated relationship stuff and walls of text about dust, weather patterns, the nature of memory, and then a tiny conflict wrapped up way too quickly. It follows the same general trajectory as the others but whereas the others, the final conflict is introduced significantly earlier in the novel, in here it felt jammed right on to the end. And the overall wrap-up seemed weird to me. Glad I read it, happy it’s over.

Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush

A pretty decent look at sex work in Alaska during and after the gold rush. Done in a sort of person-per-chapter format, with a lot of newspaper and other research going in to filling out some not otherwise well documented stories of these women in early Alaskan history. There are some photos as well so these are well-illustrated stories about many different women (and a few men) who contributed to the culture in important ways. This is as much a story about Alaska as it is about sex work. People who are up on present sensibilities about how we talk about sex work may find the language somewhat outdated and.or offensive.

Green Mars

I like where the worldbuilding is going in this series but this book has long passages of just geology/planetology even more than the first. I like the human aspects and how all of that interacts with the choices people make about the planet, but one person talking for five pages about a crater, is a LOT less my jam.

Red Mars

How have I gone this long without reading this? I like most of KSR’s stuff. This was a little more epic than I expected and could sometimes get bogged down in long Martian geography/worldbuilding passages, but overall a neat look at a possible Martian future. One of the things that is the most interesting about all of this is that we’re in a future world where we’ve traveled to Mars, but at the same time, there is ubiquitous network but... no social media? So some of the interactions which occur seem weirdly quaint now because in the actual world with both ubiquitous network AND ubiquitous social media it’s hard time imagine things unfolding the way they do.

The Temps

A weird story about a dramatic apocalypse and the only people left at the weird startup are the temporary workers who try to find a way to make things work out. And you’re not sure for a bit “Wait, did nearly everyone in the entire world DIE??” Not quite a romp but not fully serious either. I liked the main character but... he dies? I found the entire thing basically a black humor situation where I felt the author was maybe not entirely clear if he wanted to it be super dark or not so it wavered. The plot was interesting, the conclusion was unsatisfying.


This was on my Kindle forever, I finally got around to reading it. A guy is depressed because his startup got stolen from him. But they pull him back for one last job, building an AI to go inside a lifelike humanoid that... only speaks Chinese? And then you as the reader have to deal with this completely incomprehensible cyborg and it just didn’t land right with me. Like I liked the idea in general, but the execution and especially a few specifics (like the Chinese thing, come ON) made it a really uneven read.

Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1

I read Dune earlier this year and was looking forward to seeing a graphic novel treatment of it, but I gotta be honest, I wasn’t wild about this. There’s a lot jammed in there & I think I’d have had trouble following it if I hadn’t just finished the book. For a desert planet, there were a lot of blues and greens in the illustrations and the style just wasn’t to my liking. I found the book a lot more evocative and the graphic novel a lot more kind of standard comic book fare with really busty improbably built women and lots of brooding and.or evil dudes.


Once your generation ship makes it somewhere, then what? A really good exploration of the compromises that need to (maybe) be made in the name of survivability. A colony that is almost too small to survive, on a frozen ice planet, suddenly realizes they are not alone. Gets real creepy at the end in a surprising way. Mostly female characters, lots of interesting social dynamics.

Demystifying Disability

Emily is a great writer and a great Twitter follow who’s written a friendly and useful book about helping the non-disabled understand good, constructive ways to interact with disabled folks and what it really means to be a good ally. Well-designed with friendly illustrations and a positive attitude that you just have to make an effort, not always do each thing exactly perfect. Emily is very good at explaining how sometimes different disabled people can want different things out of interactions and talks about how to negotiate those interactions.