Tag Archives: didn’t finish

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

I needed a book to read and saw this in the new book section of the library. I’ve heard it mentioned on the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s podcast and decided to give it a try.

Published: 2017 in Nigeria, 2018 in the U.S.

Genre: fiction

Length: 223 pages

Setting: Lagos, Nigeria, present day

Summary: Short version: The relationship of two sisters in Lagos Continue reading

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Best and Worst of 2018

I finally finished writing up 2018’s books, so it’s time to look back on the best and worst of the year. I’m going to list all the reviews I tagged as “highly recommended” and put them in a bit of logical order. Apparently I didn’t love any fiction books this year, but I only didn’t finish one book this year so it evens out. Links go back to my original review.

Short fiction:

The Tea Dragon Society is a short graphic novel. The images and the story are both sweet and gentle and I want a tea dragon for myself.

The Smoke Job was a fun short story about a dragon thief and a vampire trying to trap the dragon.

All the Colors You Thought Were Kings is another short story, but this time about space opera and an assassination attempt. It’s available free online, so if you’re into space opera, you should check it out.

Tattoo is a novella whose premise is your life is tattooed on your body. When someone shows up without tattoos, she forms the start of a new religion. A quick read that sticks with you and makes you think what would show up in your tattoos.

Here’s the Deal is another novella. This one is a humorous retelling of Exodus (the book of the Bible), emphasis on the humor. Having grown up in a strongly Christian family and moved away from the faith, I loved the irreverent take on the Bible.

Middle grade or YA:

Thunderhead is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe series. I loved the first book (Scythe), and the second didn’t disappoint. We get some character growth and a major confrontation between the good guys and the bad guys. I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a fun middle grade romp through books and puzzles

Scifi/fantasy:

Skin Game is currently the last book in the Dresden Files. I love the whole series – the big battles, Dresden’s moral challenges, the side characters. Such a great urban fantasy series.

The Broken Earth trilogy duly deserved the Hugo awards three years in a row. I liked the first two slightly better than the last one, but I read them all in a month, which is high marks for me. It’s all about life in a geologically unstable Earth with some people who can control geological energy.

In the Labyrinth of Drakes is my favorite Memoir of Lady Trent book so far. They journey to a Middle Eastern-equivalent country and add a bit of romance and archeology to the ongoing biology of dragons.

Didn’t finish:

The only book I didn’t finish was a book of short stories, Dancing After Hours, recommended by a friend that I just found boring and depressing. I don’t read to be depressed by humanity. There’s enough of that in real life.

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Dancing After Hours by Andre Dubus

A friend gave this short story collection to me to enjoy. I read a story in between books.

Published: 1996

Genre: fiction short stories

Length: 234 pages for the collection, 2-40 pages for the short stories

Setting: various generic American (it felt like) locations, present day

Summary: Short version: A collection of melancholy stories Continue reading

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Best and Worst of 2017

One last post to look back on 2017 and I’ll be ready to post new book reviews. Let’s start with my favorite books of the year. I’ll group them by genre to give them a bit of focus and link to my original review:

Fiction:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a book club choice and a reread for me. I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first. Beware the epistolary nature of the book.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I’m a sucker for books about bookstores, and this book didn’t disappoint.

Science fiction/fantasy:

The Three-Body Problem was some hard science fiction set in China that dealt with first contact with aliens. That reminds me – I want to finish that series this year as well.

Norse Mythology was a beautiful retelling of the Norse myths just begging to be read aloud or consumed via audiobook.

Station Eleven was a lovely addition to the post-apocalyptic oeuvre. Almost everyone has died of a virus, but we still need entertainment. We follow a traveling theater group around on their wanderings.

YA:

Scythe was set in a world where death had been conquered, but people still needed to die. A job was created to kill a portion of humanity on a regular basis, and what happens when you give people that kind of power? The next book in the series is coming out this year, and I need to pick that one up as well, for me and Mr. Curiosity.

I devoured Carry On and then made Mr. Curiosity read it. Miss Adventure has even read it several times. A slightly more mature version of Harry Potter that I didn’t get annoyed at the adults as much when reading.

Middle grade:

Tuesdays at the Castle was a fun read about a young girl that had to save her royal family, with the help of a half-sentient castle.

Wonder was just as good as I’ve heard, and made me cry while I was reading it to my kids. I can’t wait to see the movie.

Stella by Starlight was a beautiful description of how racism can affect black families, while still being hopeful so it’s perfect for tweens.

The Hammer of Thor was the second book in the Magnus Chase series that focuses on Norse mythology. The third book came out at the end of the year without me realizing it, so I’ll be finishing that series this year as well.

Graphic novel:

Ghosts was a story about not being afraid, while adding diversity to graphic novels with a character with a chronic disease (cystic fibrosis) and a celebration of the Day of the Dead. Perhaps something to read after watching Coco.

March: Book One, Two and Three. This is a bit of a cop-out since I read the first book the previous year, but I love the whole series. If you want to read about the Civil Rights movement and are too old for Stella by Starlight, read this graphic novel series.

And now for the worst books of the year. Again, I did pretty well and only had three books I didn’t finish:

A Light Between Oceans was a book club choice and I just couldn’t get into it. I even read 150 pages (when I usually only give 50) and I just didn’t care to finish. I’m not even sure why I didn’t like the book because on the surface, it seemed right up my alley.

Sleipnir was boring military fiction, which I didn’t think was possible to write. The author probably tried to be too realistic for the soldiering since it was a lot of standing around doing nothing.

Bridget Jones’ Diary was a bit too much in the lines of a woman’s magazine, focusing on losing weight and getting a man. Not my cup of tea at all.

Overall, not a bad reading year. I’m hoping I can find more good stuff to read this year!

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The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

This was my library book club’s choice for September.

Published: 2012

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 362 pages

Setting: Australia, 1920s Continue reading

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Sleipnir by Linda Evans

When I first got a Kindle, my husband loaded it with a bunch of ebooks published by Baen books, and this was one of them. I needed a random book from my Kindle to read while we were on another bike trip. I picked it solely based on the title.

Published: 1994

Genre: military urban fantasy

Length: 336 pages

Setting: a cave in Scandinavia in the 1990s and the Middle East sometime before that Continue reading

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Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

This is #75 of the BBC’s The Big Read books, compiled in 2003. Every once in a while I choose a book of the list for some British literature.

Published: 1996

Genre: fiction

Length: 267 pages

Setting: London, England, 1990s Continue reading

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