Books Archives

Experiences with regular books

  1. Filter House / Nisi Shawl

    Cover of Filter House
    Filter House won the Tiptree award a few years ago. I attended the Wiscon where the award was presented, purchased a copy, and got Nisi Shawl’s autograph in it. As it turns out, Nisi lives in Seattle and we had mutual friends. I’ve since made her acquaintance. I mention all this because I put off reading Filter House for almost three years because of that friendship. I feared I would hate the book even though I like Nisi, and then what would I do? Thankfully, I don’t have to write a negative review about something by someone I like. I finally faced my fear and read Filter House on my…
  2. Shades Of Gray / Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge

    Cover of Shades Of Gray
    When last we left Jet and Iridium at the end of , they had defeated double agent Night but had also destroyed a transmitter run by Corp-Co that had subtly controlled all the superheroes in New Chicago. What had been revealed was that Corp-Co wasn’t just a benevolent superhero group manager. Quite a few superheroes are unstable without Corp-Co’s control. You might also remember that Jet was the good girl shadow power who struggled with shadow overcoming her mind, as apparently all shadow powers do. And Iridium was the jaded ex-superhero turned rogue Robin Hood. The two were formerly best friends from their school days but Jet now thinks of…
  3. Ganymede / Cherie Priest

    Cover of Ganymede
    Hi folks! Long time no blog! While the time-honored tradition of a dying blog is to start posting pictures of cats, I assert to you that I no longer have a cat. Ganymede is the fourth book in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series, the first of which was a breakout hit. I loved Boneshaker. While I didn’t enjoy the subsequent books quite as much as the inaugural book, they were all a lot of fun. Unless Ms. Priest really whiffs, I’ll continue to buy new entries in the series. I expect good adventure mixed with a fair bit of diversity in the cast. Clockwork Century lures the I don’t like…
  4. Defending Jacob / William Landay

    Cover of Defending Jacob
    William Landay comes out with a book of crime fiction about every 5 years, and they are always worth a read. His first was Mission Flats in 2002, and The Strangler came out in 2007. I don’t appear to have reviewed Mission Flats, though I did read it. Perhaps it was before I started writing little bits about books on my personal Livejournal in 2002. But I jumped on The Strangler when an A.R.C. was made available to the employees of the downtown Barnes and Noble at which I worked in 2007. . Another five years later, Defending Jacob became available through LibraryThing’s EarlyReviewers program. This is his best yet.…
  5. Salvage The Bones / Jesmyn Ward

    Cover of Salvage The Bones
    I’m back from months of travel now. I’ve posted a couple of times, but I haven’t had the time to catch up on book thoughts. I have a backlog, so expect a stream of posts ever the next couple of weeks. Salvage The Bones is another book I picked up through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. I grabbed this for two reasons: it has an awesome cover, and the novel is a little different than what I normally read. The week after I received it, Ms. Ward read at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, so I attended. Due to traffic, I arrived about 15 minutes late and missed the reading portion,…
  6. Death Of The Mantis / Michael Stanley

    Cover of Death Of The Mantis
    Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip form the writing team of Michael Stanley. They are native South Africans and are writing crime fiction series set in Botswana. Unlike the more famous one set in Botswana, the Detective Kubu series are police procedurals rather than cozies. LibraryThing’s EarlyReviewers had copies, so I grabbed one. Detective Kubu’s real name is David Bengu, but due to his size has received the Kubu nickname. That’s a Botswanan word for hippopotamus, though I don’t recall if the authors ever said which language the word comes from. This is the third book in the series, though he doesn’t make an immediate appearance. The murder happens at the…
  7. No Hero / Jonathan Wood

    Cover of No Hero
    Jonathan Wood wrote Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle (link is non-working; hopefully E.V. will get migrated over soon) which appeared in in Electric Velocipede’s Winter 2008 issue. I thought the story deserved to be in a Year’s Best anthology of some sort. Used to be when a reader found something good they would search for books that author had written. That happens still, but these days I more often find their blog or Twitter account and follow them. When they talk up their next project, if it sounds like something I would enjoy I will then pick it up. Mr. Wood’s book No Hero was on sale…
  8. Revenge Of The Spellmans / Lisa Lutz

    Cover of Revenge Of The Spellmans
    If you remember my review of the previous book in this series, you’ll remember I had a eureka moment that ruined the book for me. I didn’t identify that as what was bothering me until after I’d read Revenge Of The Spellmans. I held off on reviewing this to let the sentiment pass, but I still wasn’t particularly thrilled with the book. For those who haven’t read any of the series, the Spellmans are a family of private investigators. The schtick is that they have shenanigans mostly involving loving antagonism and mutual investigations of each other. Izzy Spellman is the main character. Her parents run the business, her sister Rae…
  9. Oryx And Crake / Margaret Atwood

    Cover of Oryx And Crake
    I hold a grudge against the term sci-fi. The term came to mean bad space-ship alien stuff. Though sometimes I read that sort of thing, I prefer higher quality books. I didn’t like that my science fiction got tainted by the crap that people called sci-fi. My dander really gets up when I see people refer to books as not science fiction because they are good. So I have a little bit of sympathy for Margaret Atwood wanting to distance herself from science fiction. She claims to prefer the term speculative fiction because the stuff in her books can actually happen, they just haven’t happened yet. She also claims that…
  10. 13 Little Blue Envelopes / Maureen Johnson

    Cover of 13 Little Blue Envelopes
    I can’t seem to find books I really enjoy lately. 13 Little Blue Envelopes has an engaging main character, but one big flaw that made it tough for me to really get into it. Virginia Ginny Blackstone lives in new Jersey. She used to visit her Aunt Peg in New York City a lot. Until Aunt Peg disappeared one day, never to be seen again. A few years later, Ginny finds out that Peg has died in London, and that her aunt has designed a quest for Ginny. She gets a posthumously delivered letter with instructions to pick up a package for her at a restaurant the two used to…