Showing posts from February, 2017

The Cold Eye (The Devil's West, Book 2)

The Cold Eye (The Devil's West, Book 2) Laura Anne Gilman, 2017 Premise: Sequel to Silver on the Road . Isobel continues to ride the Territory in search of things to make right and in search of knowledge. She needs to know more about her own powers and position if she's to be ready for the coming storm. It didn't take me long to sink back into this world after my long-preordered copy of this book appeared on my Kindle. I still love Isobel and her teacher Gabriel; I love this version of the West, full of bargains, new customs, and old magic. My only complaint is that it had some weaknesses common to second installments. The Cold Eye had a central plot, but despite the power and danger of the trapped spirit involved, the book was more about getting our characters to where they would need to be (emotionally and magically) for the next parts of the larger world plot. The larger plot only advanced a little bit. That said, I still really enjoyed this book. Isobel i

In the Country We Love

In the Country We Love Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford, 2016 Premise: Actress Diane Guerrero shares her family's experiences with being undocumented in America. When Diane Guerrero was just fourteen, her parents were deported. She was overlooked by the child welfare system and stayed with friends and neighbors until she finished high school. There are the bones of a really fascinating, moving story here, but that isn't quite what this book ended up as. There were parts I really liked. I found her parents' lives interesting. It was moving how hard they tried to become American citizens, although all the while the knowledge of their status stole some of the joy from their lives. I was moved by her feeling pulled between two worlds, especially after her parents were deported. She is an American citizen, and America was her only home, and her parents both knew that and were happy for her and at the same time wanted her with them in Columbia. All of the chapt

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Becky Chambers, 2014 Premise: Rosemary joins the crew of the Wayfarer, a long haul tunneling ship, just before their biggest job. I have been hearing good things about this book since it came out, but I still enjoyed it far more than I anticipated! It's a delightful character-driven sci-fi story that's more about people and relationships than about action or adventure. It's like the talking, feeling parts of Star Trek, only with more realistic characters and more interesting questions about sapience and alien cultures. All of the species on board Wayfarer are interesting, and any could probably sustain a novel on their own. Although Rosemary is initially presented as the newcomer, and therefore serves partially as the audience stand-in (the person everything can be explained to), she has her own past and secrets and character arc to handle. The book is a true ensemble piece - no one character is really the 'main'

Winning Marriage

Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits - and Won Marc Solomon, 2014, afterword 2015 Premise: The behind-the-scenes details of the fight for marriage equality from one of the key players. Author Marc Solomon was the executive director for MassEquality from 2006 to 2009, and he then became the campaign director for the nationwide group Freedom to Marry. In short, he is uniquely qualified to tell this story. The details in this book were fascinating; everything from the personal stories that touched the hearts of Massachusetts legislators to the internal politicking in New York to the testing that went into campaign ads and PR spending. It also includes some moments that were both big picture and largely unseen by the general public - when, how and why advocates decided to make marriage the key of the argument (rather than civil unions) as well as when, how, and why they decided to push President Obama on the issue. I