redheadedfemme: (books. cats. life is sweet.)
Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst [library book, young adult, Arabian Nights-style fantasy]. (I wasn't sure about this book at first, but it drew me in and hooked me. This is an Arabian Nights-style fantasy with a woman of color for the protagonist, along with an unique mythology and well-drawn characters.)

Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire, Paula Guran [library book, young adult anthology, dystopian]. (Dystopias, post-apocalyptic, teen romance--what a combination! Except for the final story, which I did not like, there are some outstanding stories here. Especially notable are Elizabeth Bear's "The Salt Sea and the Sky" and Diana Peterfreund's "Foundlings.")

Trapped, Kevin Hearne [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]. (This is the fifth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, and it shows satisfying growth for both main characters. Atticus, in particular, is nowhere near as juvenile as he used to be. You don't usually think of urban fantasy as being humorous, but this series is--I laughed out loud at several points. Recommended.)

Year-end review coming soon.
 
redheadedfemme: (books. cats. life is sweet.)
 Dust Girl, Sarah Zettel [library book, young adult, fantasy]. (I have several of Sarah Zettel's science fiction novels, and adore them. This is her first YA book, and has all her trademarks: complicated plots and characters, and descriptive powers that make the Dust Bowl in 1935 Kansas sound like an alien planet. This book also tackles weighty issues like classism and racism. Recommended.)

Pegasus, Robin McKinley [library book, young adult, fantasy]. (This is a beautiful story, despite its painfully abrupt ending. I'm sure some people will find it slow and boring, but its exploration of a nonhuman intelligence and culture is exceptional. Where's the sequel, Robin? Please hurry.)

Shadow Rising, Yasmine Galenorn [purchase, urban fantasy]. (This is the twelfth book in this series, and I must say, I'm not at all sure it's holding up. I'm beginning to want to read the Last Battle and get it over with. But there's still a few books between now and then, including this story of Menolly the vampire and her wedding-mixed-with-demon woes. Also, we're getting way too many characters here, I think.)

Hunting the Corrigan's Blood, Holly Lisle [purchase, fiction, space opera]. (This book offers a unique twist on the undead--space-opera vampires created by nanites! The story suffers somewhat from a bleak ending, but it demonstrates the author is not afraid to torture her characters.)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan [library book, young adult, zombie apocalypse]. (I've now read all three books in this trilogy, and all I can say is: Don't give these books to a teenager [or anyone] who is prone to depression. The world Carrie Ryan has created is bleak, bleak, bleak. I suppose that's to be expected in a zombieverse--a few billion flesh-eating undead should realistically mean the end of civilization and even humanity itself. This particular book is not helped by the fact that the protagonist isn't terribly likable.)
 
redheadedfemme: (books. cats. life is sweet.)
Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity, David Kirby [library book, non-fiction, marine mammals]. (After reading this book, I can come to only one conclusion: There are at least two species [humans and orcas] that should never be in captivity under any circumstances. I know I will not visit SeaWorld again.) 

Cold Fury, T.M. Goeglein [library book, young adult, thriller]. (This is a very peculiar book. It's a combination of a mob daughter on the run [with some nifty details about Al Capone and the Chicago mob] mixed with a psychic power said daughter has that everyone wants. The two genres don't mix very well. I don't think I'll be reading the sequel.)
redheadedfemme: (books. cats. life is sweet.)
Legend, Marie Lu [library book, young adult, dystopia]. (I'm a sucker for a good YA dystopia...unfortunately, this book is not one. The two first-person narrators are almost identical, and the world is not well explained. Also, I hate hate hate the gimmick of having one main character's chapters be printed in a cutesy gold font. Talk about ripping you out of the suspension of disbelief.)

The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater [library book, young adult, fantasy]. (This book is fantastic. I'd never read the author before, but she's going to the top of my Instant-Buy list. This is a fantasy--or maybe a subtle blend of mythology and magical realism, with rich, beautiful, evocative writing. The conceit of two alternative first-person narrators works, because the character voices are so distinct. Buy it. You won't regret it.)

Endgame, Ann Aguirre [purchase, fiction, space opera]. (The last book in the Sirantha Jax series brings her story to a satisfying close. It's better to have read the other five books before this one, and you'll want to read them anyway. Highly recommended.)

Unraveling, Elizabeth Norris [library book, young adult, science fiction]. (A neat YA story about resurrection [literally!] psychic healing powers, multiverses, and worlds colliding. The hero comes off as a young Dana Scully [indeed, the parallel is explicitly drawn]. The story and writing suffer somewhat from first-book syndrome, but this is a new writer to watch.)


redheadedfemme: (Default)
  Blackout, Mira Grant [purchase, science fiction, zombie apocalypse]. (The conclusion of the Newsflesh trilogy. This series tackles zombies with very much of a science-fiction instead of a horror perspective. The main character was killed in the first book, and brought back to life in this one via cloning! Very good wrapping up of all the threads, although the conspiracy plot seems way more convoluted than necessary.)

The Dark and Hollow Places [library book, young adult, zombie apocalypse]. (This is the third book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy. I own the second in the series, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and the only thing I can say about this book is "disappointing." The characterization in Waves was far richer and deeper. One thing about these books, they are a bit more realistic in that they do admit a zombie apocalypse would basically mean the end of civilization and the human race. Which makes this book even more depressing, now that I think about it.)

Enclave, Ann Aguirre [library book, young adult, post-apocalyptic]. (Ann Aguirre is one of my favorite authors, and Enclave does not disappoint. While it is obviously the first book in a series due to the questions left unanswered at the end, it is gritty, thought-provoking and fast-paced. It's also amazing how nearly all of these post-apocalyptic types of stories are set in New York. This city seems to have quite a hold in the human zeitgeist.)

Chime, Franny Billingsley [library book, young adult]. (I will be honest: I did not finish this book. I couldn't. I don't often throw books down on my bed in disgust, but I've decided I'm too danged old to waste my time reading a book I don't like. This book is stupid. It's populated with unlikable characters, written with a twee British pretentiousness and a jarring, jittery style that I simply could not stand. Bah. 'Nuff said.)

The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network Into a Propaganda Machine, David Brock et al [library book, non-fiction, politics, media]. (If I was Bill Gates, or could persuade him to part with a spare billion or two, I would buy Fox News lock, stock and barrel--every station, every contract--and shut that mofo down. It would give me great pleasure to personally deliver pink slips to Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly. Read this book. It will enrage you.)

Deadly Spin, Wendell Potter [purchase, non-fiction, politics, health care]. (Written by a former insurance company executive, this book lays bare the poisonous practices of for-profit insurance companies. It makes a great case for single-payer universal health insurance.)

Welcome to Bordertown, Holly Black and Ellen Kushner [library book, fiction, anthology]. (A shared-world anthology "set in the urban land of Bordertown, a city on the edge of the faerie and human world, populated by human and elfin runaways." It boasts a fairly good selection of stories, poems, and songs.)

Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done, Susan J. Douglas [library book, non-fiction, feminism]. (I actually read this book two years ago, but it's the kind of book that deserves a reread. I especially appreciated the chapter on Xena and Buffy, and the chapter describing the cesspool of reality shows. [Why anyone, especially a woman, would want to go on a reality show boggles the mind.] This book shows that feminism is still desperately needed.)

Ghost Story, Jim Butcher [purchase,fiction, urban fantasy]. (Thirteen books in, the Harry Dresden series is better than ever. This book is action-packed, but it's also a reflective, soul-searching story, as befits the complete change in the protagonist's life. Harry Lives!)

An Edge In My Voice, Harlan Ellison [library book, non-fiction, essays]. (This collection of Harlan Ellision's essays, despite being thirty years old, is as relevant today as ever. I really wish Uncle Harlan felt up to writing a political column today. I would love to unleash his savage, eviscerating wit on today's Republican Party.)
redheadedfemme: (Default)
The Worst of Times, Patricia G. Miller [non-fiction, reproductive rights, abortion]
Partials, Dan Wells [fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]
Divergent, Veronica Roth [fiction, young adult, dystopian]
The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa [fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]
Robopocalypse, Daniel H. Wilson [fiction, science fiction, post-apocalyptic]
Tricked, Kevin Hearne [fiction, urban fantasy]
Blackout, Mira Grant [fiction, science fiction, zombie apocalypse]

As can be seen from the above list, I'm rather partial to end-of-the-world stories...although what comes after that is, to me, most interesting, as the remaining humans try to survive and rebuild. "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (I think that's the one where a dying Charlton Heston sets off the cobalt bomb--somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) and "On the Beach" are not really my kind of thing. It's easy to kill everyone off; what's difficult is having them live, and try to figure out what to do next. 

Having said that, the most harrowing of this set of books has nothing to do with apocalypses and dystopias. It's simple history: the history of reproductive rights in this country. The Worst of Times relates a horrifying story of when abortion was illegal and women bled and suffered and died because of it. Nurses and doctors who tended the septic abortion wards and watched women die tell their stories, along with the untrained people who performed abortions on desperate women who were bound and determined to terminate their pregnancies, even if it killed them...and many times, it did. 

This actually happened, folks. It should never be forgotten. I think this book is out of print, which is a shame. It should be required reading in every high school and college, to show what happens when misguided people (usually of the male persuasion) try to control another person's body. 
redheadedfemme: (Default)
The Worst of Times, Patricia G. Miller [non-fiction, reproductive rights, abortion]
Partials, Dan Wells [fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]
Divergent, Veronica Roth [fiction, young adult, dystopian]
The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa [fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]
Robopocalypse, Daniel H. Wilson [fiction, science fiction, post-apocalyptic]
Tricked, Kevin Hearne [fiction, urban fantasy]
Blackout, Mira Grant [fiction, science fiction, zombie apocalypse]

As can be seen from the above list, I'm rather partial to end-of-the-world stories...although what comes after that is, to me, most interesting, as the remaining humans try to survive and rebuild. "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" (I think that's the one where a dying Charlton Heston sets off the cobalt bomb--somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) and "On the Beach" are not really my kind of thing. It's easy to kill everyone off; what's difficult is having them live, and try to figure out what to do next. 

Having said that, the most harrowing of this set of books has nothing to do with apocalypses and dystopias. It's simple history: the history of reproductive rights in this country. The Worst of Times relates a horrifying story of when abortion was illegal and women bled and suffered and died because of it. Nurses and doctors who tended the septic abortion wards and watched women die tell their stories, along with the untrained people who performed abortions on desperate women who were bound and determined to terminate their pregnancies, even if it killed them...and many times, it did. 

This actually happened, folks. It should never be forgotten. I think this book is out of print, which is a shame. It should be required reading in every high school and college, to show what happens when misguided people (usually of the male persuasion) try to control another person's body. 
redheadedfemme: (tea/book)
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, Theda Skopcol and Vanessa Williamson (current affairs, politics)
Life Itself, Roger Ebert (memoir)
The Dead-Tossed Waves, Carrie Ryan (young adult, zombie apocalypse)
Devil's Punch, Ann Aguirre (urban fantasy)
Back Rooms: An Oral History of the Illegal Abortion Era, Ellen Messer and Kathryn E. May (current affairs, reproductive rights)

The most harrowing of this batch? The first. It's a damning portrait of the white ultraconservative Republican bloc which has remade the party in its image, and is threatening to do the same to the entire country. When the people on one side of the aisle don't recognize the other side to be legitimate (or that their party legitimately elected a President, for that matter) you've got trouble. 
redheadedfemme: (tea/book)
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, Theda Skopcol and Vanessa Williamson (current affairs, politics)
Life Itself, Roger Ebert (memoir)
The Dead-Tossed Waves, Carrie Ryan (young adult, zombie apocalypse)
Devil's Punch, Ann Aguirre (urban fantasy)
Back Rooms: An Oral History of the Illegal Abortion Era, Ellen Messer and Kathryn E. May (current affairs, reproductive rights)

The most harrowing of this batch? The first. It's a damning portrait of the white ultraconservative Republican bloc which has remade the party in its image, and is threatening to do the same to the entire country. When the people on one side of the aisle don't recognize the other side to be legitimate (or that their party legitimately elected a President, for that matter) you've got trouble. 
redheadedfemme: (Books. Cats. Life is sweet.)
Books read so far this year:

Hounded, Hexed and Hammered, Kevin Hearne (urban fantasy trilogy)
Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Max Blumenthal (current affairs, politics)
Undone Deeds, Mark Del Franco (urban fantasy)
Shaded Vision, Yasmine Galenorn (urban fantasy)
I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum (current affairs, music)
The Mortal Bone, Marjorie M. Liu (urban fantasy)
Selected Poems of William Butler Yeats (poetry)
Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords (memoir)
Fateful, Claudia Gray (young adult)
Raven Cursed, Faith Hunter (urban fantasy)
River Marked, Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
Soft Apocalypse, Will McIntosh (science fiction)

See this page on my website for capsule reviews.
redheadedfemme: (Books. Cats. Life is sweet.)
Books read so far this year:

Hounded, Hexed and Hammered, Kevin Hearne (urban fantasy trilogy)
Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Max Blumenthal (current affairs, politics)
Undone Deeds, Mark Del Franco (urban fantasy)
Shaded Vision, Yasmine Galenorn (urban fantasy)
I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum (current affairs, music)
The Mortal Bone, Marjorie M. Liu (urban fantasy)
Selected Poems of William Butler Yeats (poetry)
Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords (memoir)
Fateful, Claudia Gray (young adult)
Raven Cursed, Faith Hunter (urban fantasy)
River Marked, Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
Soft Apocalypse, Will McIntosh (science fiction)

See this page on my website for capsule reviews.

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
23 45 678
910 1112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Words To Live By

There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away. ~Emily Dickinson

Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. ~Neil Gaiman

Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. ~Stephen King

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. ~Mark Twain

I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way. ~Walter Tevis

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. ~George R.R. Martin

Most Popular Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:59 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios