Author Archives: natalieinne

About natalieinne

A reader of many books.

Smiley’s People by John le Carre

I picked this book up at the library’s book sale. I had enjoyed The Spy Who Came In From the Cold so I figured this would be a safe purchase.

Published: 1979

Genre: thriller

Length: 388 pages

Setting: Europe, 1960s Continue reading

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Code to Zero by Ken Follett

This was our latest American History Club book. I was looking for a book about the space race between the U.S. and Russia, and it was harder to find than I thought. Even though this was a bit longer than I typically choose for American History Club, the topic seemed to fit the bill.

Published: 2000

Genre: historical thriller

Length: 356 pages

Setting: 1958, Washington and Cape Canaveral, and 1945, Cambridge Continue reading

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State of Decay by James Knapp

This book has been on my To Be Read list so long I’ve forgotten why I put it there in the first place. I was looking for some science fiction or fantasy to read, and decided to get something that’s been on the list for a while.

Published: 2010

Genre: science fiction

Length: 370 pages

Setting: near future, a big American city Continue reading

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Short Stories by John Zaharick

This is the last group of stories from the 2014 Campbellian Anthology. It’s only taken me three years to finish – so I’m a slow short story reader.

Dysmorphic

Published: April, 2013 in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Earth, near future

Summary: Lisa is a sensory network array controller. She feels much more comfortable controlling the robot arrays than in her own skin. She finally feels comfortable in her body after returning her consciousness from an array in the Gulf of Mexico.

Final thoughts: I feel like I’m missing something in this story. We get flashbacks of Lisa’s life and how uncomfortable she is in her skin and then suddenly, she’s fine? What was so special about that particular assignment that allowed her to slip back into her skin and be happy in it for the first time ever? I don’t know, so I end the story unsatisfied.

Title comes from: The narrator was unhappy with her body shape, and the author used the term dysmorphic to describe her state of mind.

Ghost Gardening

Published: January, 2013 in Lost and Lonely

Genre: fantasy

Setting: generic location (felt like the U.S. but not really specific), present day

Summary: Our narrator plays a game with their significant other – find the strangest book you can in a used bookstore and buy it for your partner. They’ve found the best one yet – A Guide to Ghost Gardening. Alternating with snippets from the book, we learn the partner has died and the narrator has had a hard time getting over that death.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed the contrast of the crazy gardening book (if you’re trying to make a ghost garden, you need to get the proper energies in the ground to attract ghostly elements) with the more mundane reminisces of the narrator. For a bit, the narrator seems to have found a haunted house with a ghost garden already in existence (there are salamanders everywhere), but then they move on.

One interesting point I only noticed as I started writing up the review was the gender of the narrator and their partner is never mentioned. I read it as having a female narrator, but I think that’s only because I am female. I wonder if it would feel male to a male reader?

Title comes from: The title of the strange book the narrator found and was excerpted throughout the story.

 

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Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton

This is the seventh book in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series that I read in a previous year.

Published: 1998

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 392 pages

Setting: Saint Louis, soon after the events of The Killing Dance Continue reading

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The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Back when Modern Mrs. Darcy was thinking about recommending books to her readers based on what they liked, she did a test run on her website. I got my books in early and she made some recommendations to me. This was the last book in the list of recommendations that I had yet to read.

Published: 2012

Genre: fiction/historical fiction

Length: 369 pages

Setting: France, 1917 and London, 2002 Continue reading

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Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce

This is the second book in the Immortals series, that started with Wild Magic. Miss Adventure downloaded the audiobook and played it for me on the way to gymnastics practices. I ended up finishing it on my own.

Published: 1994

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 182 pages

Setting: the province of Dunlath within Tortall, soon after the events of Wild Magic Continue reading

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