Category Archives: Book review

Post Captain by Patrick O’Brian

It’s the second book in the Aubrey and Maturin series. Tor ran a series of weekly posts on the series that talked in such glowing terms of the series that I had to start it. I enjoyed the first book enough to read it, and several others in the series.

Published: 1972

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 496 pages

Setting: around England, 1803

Summary: Short version: A reversal of fortunes for Jack as he hopes for a new ship appointment Continue reading

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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is a book a lot of people have raved about since it came out. I finally got around to reading it.

Published: 2018

Genre: fiction

Length: 370 pages

Setting: North Carolina, 1952-1970

Summary: Short version: Kya’s life growing up in the swamp and being arrested for murder Continue reading

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The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

A friend recommended the series to me. I was intrigued by the female archeologist. I was looking for something different to read from my TBR and this fit the bill at the moment.

Published: 2009

Genre: mystery

Length: 303 pages

Setting: the British seaside, present day

Summary: Short version: Ruth solves a long-standing kidnapping case while doing archeology Continue reading

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The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark

This is the last of the Hugo Award nominated novellas I was able to read. Just in time, because the Hugo Awards will be given out next week. I’ve put in my votes for the portions I felt comfortable voting for. (For example, I didn’t vote for editors, because I don’t know what makes a good editor. I did vote for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form because I’d seen several of the movies/series nominated. I didn’t vote for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form because I hadn’t seen those particular episodes yet, even if I’d seen some of the series.)

Published: 2019

Genre: fantasy novella

Length: 144 pages

Setting: 1912, Cairo inhabited by djinns

Summary: Agents Hamed and Onsi of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities are called in to investigate a haunted tram car. It takes some investigating to determine what exactly is haunting the car and how to exorcise the spirit. Continue reading

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Mountolive by Lawrence Durrell

This is the third book in the Alexandria Quartet.

Published: 1958

Genre: fiction

Length: 255 pages

Setting: Alexandria, Egypt, after WWII, covering the same events as the other books in the quartet

Summary: Short version: Mountolive’s diplomatic view of the Alexandria events around gun running Continue reading

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The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

This is Jemisin’s latest book. I’d read the prologue as a short story and was intrigued by the concept. Besides, I love her books. Of course I’d read her new one.

Published: 2020

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 434 pages

Setting: New York City, present day

Summary: Short version: The spirit of NYC manifests in avatars representing its boroughs, and has to fight an enemy Continue reading

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The Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris

I saw this on a Tor post about books that grab you. It’s a book about a long bike trip. I was interested since I’ve done some smaller bike trips. Also, reading about other people traveling is about the only way I’m going to travel this year. A bike trip along the Silk Road seemed like a perfect vicarious trip. I listened to this book on audio.

Published: 2019

Narrator: Amy Landon (she also narrated the Hunter trilogy I listened to a while back. I recognized her voice and had to search to see what I knew it from)

Subtitle: A Journey on the Silk Road

Genre: nonfiction memoir

Length: 300 pages

Setting: the Silk Road, present day. Harris rode through Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Nepal and India

Summary: Short version: Random thoughts and descriptions of a bike trip along the Silk Road Continue reading

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The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

This was a book in verse on the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s latest list of great YA audiobooks. I can never decide if it’s better to read a book in verse myself, so I can see the physical layout of the poems, or listen to the books so I can hear the rhythm of the poems. This one is read by the author, so I think the pleasure of listening to how the author thinks they should sound beats out the visual element.

Published: 2018

Genre: YA fiction in verse

Length: 368 pages

Narrator: Elizabeth Acevedo

Setting: Harlem, present day

SummaryShort version: Xiomara doesn’t fit her mother’s image of her, causing problems Continue reading

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Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

I put this on my radar because I saw it reviewed as an African Game of Thrones. Sign me up! It was in a small collection of books my library had for outdoor browsing so I picked it up.

Published: 2019

Genre: fantasy

Length: 620 pages

Setting: various locations around the North Lands, a pre-industrial society

Summary: Short version: Tracker shares stories of his adventures with an Inquisitor Continue reading

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The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Another Hugo-nominated novella to review.

Published: 2019

Genre: fantasy novella

Length: 166 pages

Setting: somewhere around the southern Atlantic Ocean, modern day-ish

Summary: Yetu is the Historian for the wajinru, a water people created from babies born to pregnant women (often African slaves) thrown overboard on ocean passages. Yetu has a hard time holding onto herself while she also immerses herself in the memories of her people. That is why she leaves everyone immersed in the memories during the latest Remembrance, instead of remaining to reclaim the memories. She makes friends with a person and eventually returns to her people. Continue reading

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