Lover of books, rats, and things that are nifty. Atheist, liberal, historian, scientist.

 

Just finished reading: Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight
Intriguing novel, sad and sweet. The story is told from two viewpoints, Kate and her daughter Amelia, and in three time periods - the present (Kate), the recent past (Amelia), and fifteen years past (Kate). The author did a fantastic job of knitting the threads together without leaving any loose ends or dropped stitches, creating only gracefully twisting cables and a leafy lace pattern that-
uh-
hmm… 
*gently places metaphor aside*  
Other than that, there were a few stylistic issues that rubbed me the wrong way. For instance, in Kate’s storyline, a lot of the narrative takes place inside her head. There was also some exposition that was shoved awkwardly into the narrative and slowed it down, and it probably would have served the story better if it weren’t there.
Also, the story left me wondering why people don’t just turn off text notifications when they’re trying to sleep.

Just finished reading: Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight

Intriguing novel, sad and sweet. The story is told from two viewpoints, Kate and her daughter Amelia, and in three time periods - the present (Kate), the recent past (Amelia), and fifteen years past (Kate). The author did a fantastic job of knitting the threads together without leaving any loose ends or dropped stitches, creating only gracefully twisting cables and a leafy lace pattern that-

uh-

hmm… 

*gently places metaphor aside* 

Other than that, there were a few stylistic issues that rubbed me the wrong way. For instance, in Kate’s storyline, a lot of the narrative takes place inside her head. There was also some exposition that was shoved awkwardly into the narrative and slowed it down, and it probably would have served the story better if it weren’t there.

Also, the story left me wondering why people don’t just turn off text notifications when they’re trying to sleep.

Reading now: Parasite Rex, by Carl Zimmer
Well-researched and entertaining overview of parasites, parasitologists, parasitology, and the history of parasitology.
I probably don’t have to say it, but if you’re squeamish, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK.
That being said, I was hoping for parasite pictures. :(

Reading now: Parasite Rex, by Carl Zimmer

Well-researched and entertaining overview of parasites, parasitologists, parasitology, and the history of parasitology.

I probably don’t have to say it, but if you’re squeamish, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK.

That being said, I was hoping for parasite pictures. :(

Reading now: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
When this book first came out, it seemed to me that it was just another formulaic mystery series with a cutesy hook to make it geared towards women. 
When I saw it at a library book sale a few months ago, I thought, what the heck, I’ll grab it up cheap and maybe read it, maybe not, who knows.
After just two chapters, I know that my original opinion is utterly and completely wrong, and I can’t wait to see what happens!
Oh, and there’s a tv series based on the book series.  *adds to Netflix queue*

Reading now: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith

When this book first came out, it seemed to me that it was just another formulaic mystery series with a cutesy hook to make it geared towards women. 

When I saw it at a library book sale a few months ago, I thought, what the heck, I’ll grab it up cheap and maybe read it, maybe not, who knows.

After just two chapters, I know that my original opinion is utterly and completely wrong, and I can’t wait to see what happens!

Oh, and there’s a tv series based on the book series.  *adds to Netflix queue*

Just finished reading: Dying of the Light, by George R. R. Martin
It may surprise you to learn that by the end of this book, approximately 3/4 of the named characters die gruesome deaths.
ETA: Oh yeah, forgot to say that I thought it was good. ASOIF series is definitely better, but this is a pretty good sci-fi story. I have a soft spot for rogue planets, and this is the only book I’ve come across that takes place on one.

Just finished reading: Dying of the Light, by George R. R. Martin

It may surprise you to learn that by the end of this book, approximately 3/4 of the named characters die gruesome deaths.

ETA: Oh yeah, forgot to say that I thought it was good. ASOIF series is definitely better, but this is a pretty good sci-fi story. I have a soft spot for rogue planets, and this is the only book I’ve come across that takes place on one.

Reading now: Night Film, by Marisha Pessl
Wonderfully dark and full (strange word to describe a book, but it fits), Night Film is the story of a reporter who is totally obsessed with investigates a reclusive film director after the director’s daughter is found dead.
If you like your mysteries lightly frosted with the supernatural, this book is for you.

Reading now: Night Film, by Marisha Pessl

Wonderfully dark and full (strange word to describe a book, but it fits), Night Film is the story of a reporter who is totally obsessed with investigates a reclusive film director after the director’s daughter is found dead.

If you like your mysteries lightly frosted with the supernatural, this book is for you.

Reading now: Dead Beat, by Jim Butcher
I got this from the library a few weeks ago but didn’t start reading it until last week right before the due date. Of course, there was a hold on it, so I had to return it before I finished it. Dammit.

Reading now: Dead Beat, by Jim Butcher

I got this from the library a few weeks ago but didn’t start reading it until last week right before the due date. Of course, there was a hold on it, so I had to return it before I finished it. Dammit.

ivoryandsalt asked
Saw your post on books! I was wondering if you'd read Nightshade City by Hilary Wagner? Talking rats! Rats not as the bad guys! Decent story! Part of a series! (though I haven't gotten the other ones yet) Conversely, books with dinosaurs are my weakness and if you have any recommendations, I would take them in a heartbeat.

Ooh, I haven’t seen that one before!  Definitely adding it to my list, thanks! :) My favorite of the talking rats genre of books is Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. I like the Redwall series too, but the rats are always the bad guys. 

I haven’t found too many good dinosaur books outside of the Jurassic Park series. Eric Garcia has a series of books in which the main characters are dinosaur descendents disguised as humans. If you’re into Star Trek, there’s a book called First Frontier in which the villains are dinosaur descendents (??  I think. It’s been a while since I’ve read it) who prevented the extinction of the dinosaurs and so the crew of the Enterprise has to go back in time to make sure humanity evolves. No, seriously, Star Trek + dinosaurs = awesomeness.  There’s also Dinotopia, which I haven’t read yet, but I’m totally in love with the illustrations.

I’ve been trying to find a book of dinosaur short stories I read a long time ago, but I can’t for the life of me remember the title, so I can’t tell you what it is. :(

Reading now: Sepulchre, by Kate Mosse (not Kate Moss)
This is the second in Mosse’s Languedoc series.  As the name implies, the books in the series are united by setting - the Languedoc region in the south of France.  Like in Labyrinth, the first in the series, the narrative of Sepulchre is divided between two time periods, 1891 and 2007. While the plot does rely on supernatural elements such as tarot cards, demons, and ghosts, what really drives the plot is the idea of family and how it defines who we are.
The writing isn’t bad, although it took two tries for me to get into it. But once I did, I couldn’t put it down.  I’m also quite impressed at the way Mosse goes about writing historical fiction. Too many authors feel the need to hammer home the fact that This! Is! Not! Set! In! The! Present! Mosse is equally adept at writing in the present and in the past. The narrative flows smoothly in both time periods, and the switch between the two is anything but jarring.

Reading now: Sepulchre, by Kate Mosse (not Kate Moss)

This is the second in Mosse’s Languedoc series.  As the name implies, the books in the series are united by setting - the Languedoc region in the south of France.  Like in Labyrinth, the first in the series, the narrative of Sepulchre is divided between two time periods, 1891 and 2007. While the plot does rely on supernatural elements such as tarot cards, demons, and ghosts, what really drives the plot is the idea of family and how it defines who we are.

The writing isn’t bad, although it took two tries for me to get into it. But once I did, I couldn’t put it down.  I’m also quite impressed at the way Mosse goes about writing historical fiction. Too many authors feel the need to hammer home the fact that This! Is! Not! Set! In! The! Present! Mosse is equally adept at writing in the present and in the past. The narrative flows smoothly in both time periods, and the switch between the two is anything but jarring.

prettybooks:

Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett @ Pretty Books
Rating: ★★★★
When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoiled, and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years. And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine. Continue to the review.Have you signed up to the 2014 Classics Challenge?

This was one of my favorite books growing up.  I really need to read it again.

prettybooks:

Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett @ Pretty Books

Rating: ★★★★

When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoiled, and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years. And when a friendly robin helps Mary find the key, she discovers the most magical place anyone could imagine. Continue to the review.

Have you signed up to the 2014 Classics Challenge?

This was one of my favorite books growing up.  I really need to read it again.

Just finished reading: Hit Me, by Lawrence Block
Finally, a book for the stamp-loving murderer-for-hire in all of us!
But really, Lawrence Block is an excellent thriller writer.  Plus, I really do collect stamps, so this book made my philatelist side tingle moistly.

Just finished reading: Hit Me, by Lawrence Block

Finally, a book for the stamp-loving murderer-for-hire in all of us!

But really, Lawrence Block is an excellent thriller writer.  Plus, I really do collect stamps, so this book made my philatelist side tingle moistly.

fat-spacebird asked
Heyyyyyy I've never picked up a Terry Pratchett book and I know you're a fan. Which one would you recommend to introduce me to his work?

The great thing about Pratchett’s Discworld series is that it’s really a bunch of little series tied together along with a few stand-alone books, so there are a lot of places to start.

Guards! Guards! is the start of the City Watch series-within-a-series, which is my favorite of the series-within-a-series.  Dragons, secret societies, virgin sacrifices, conspiracies, and an incompetent Watch headed by an alcoholic Sam Vimes abound.

My favorite of the Discworld novels is a stand-alone: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.  It’s about talking rats.

Here’s a nice chart detailing how the books fit together:

image

Just finished: Vulcan’s Soul: Exodus, by Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz.
It’s been years since I’ve read a Star Trek book.  O nostalgia… sixth grade… a book report… the end of my social life…  *sigh*
Where was I?  Oh yeah, Exodus.  Not the best writing, but not the worst. The plot took a couple of chapters to take hold, but when it did, it was pretty damn interesting.  The narrative alternates between two timelines.  The first takes place soon after the Dominion War and follows the centenarian crew of the original Enterprise as they investigate an incursion into Romulan space.  The second timeline tells the story of the exodus of the Vulcan people in the time of Surak.
Very good introduction to the trilogy; now I have to read the rest.

Just finished: Vulcan’s Soul: Exodus, by Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz.

It’s been years since I’ve read a Star Trek book.  O nostalgia… sixth grade… a book report… the end of my social life…  *sigh*

Where was I?  Oh yeah, Exodus.  Not the best writing, but not the worst. The plot took a couple of chapters to take hold, but when it did, it was pretty damn interesting.  The narrative alternates between two timelines.  The first takes place soon after the Dominion War and follows the centenarian crew of the original Enterprise as they investigate an incursion into Romulan space.  The second timeline tells the story of the exodus of the Vulcan people in the time of Surak.

Very good introduction to the trilogy; now I have to read the rest.

Reading now: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, by Jasper Fforde
It’s hard to describe a series of books set inside books whose characters are book characters, but I guess that’ll have to do.  If you haven’t read any of Jasper Fforde’s novels, I highly recommend them. 

Reading now: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, by Jasper Fforde

It’s hard to describe a series of books set inside books whose characters are book characters, but I guess that’ll have to do.  If you haven’t read any of Jasper Fforde’s novels, I highly recommend them.