Showing posts from November, 2017

The Man Who Invented Christmas (crosspost)

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holidays Spirits Les Standiford, 2008 Premise: The story behind the story of A Christmas Carol. This historical Christmas book included both some really interesting parts and a few things that I've read a dozen times by now. Overall it was pretty enjoyable. If you are a literary type and you want to read only one Christmas history, this would be a great choice. Read the whole review on Mainlining Christmas


Indexing Seanan McGuire, 2014 Premise: Fairy tales don't stay on the page, but only the agents from one secret organization are protecting the public from their dangerous impact. Does police procedural/urban fantasy/fairy tale sound like the best mash-up genre? Then this is the book for you. I really liked the world, although I'm hoping there's more about how "the narrative" interacts with "the real world" in the sequel. The short premise is that fairy tales are real, and anyone who skirts too close to an archetype (abusive stepparents, etc.) can be effectively controlled by it, driven to carry out the tale. All of the main characters have narrowly avoided being drawn in or found a way to cope with fairy tales in their lives. For example, the first thing we learn about the main character, Henrietta "Henry" Marchen, is that she hangs netting over her windows in an attempt to prevent bluebirds from smashing into them trying to reac

Sins of the Cities (An Unseen Attraction, An Unnatural Vice, An Unsuitable Heir)

Sins of the Cities (An Unseen Attraction, An Unnatural Vice, An Unsuitable Heir) K. J. Charles, 2017 Premise: A lodging-keeper, a taxidermist, a crusading journalist, a scheming medium, an enquiry agent, and an acrobat. Six people find romance after being brought together in London by lies and murder. I'm quite a fan of this author's period romances, and these are particularly nice. I like the balance between romance, sex, and action. I don't read enough romance to know whether this is common, but I also really like the way this trilogy solves the potential contradiction of writing a romance series. Each book ends with its requisite happy ending, but each features a different couple in a set of interlocking stories. The background story (involving a secret marriage, blackmail, and murder), which affects each of the three couples differently, isn't solved until the third book. This series also features a high number of untraditional traits in the leads, ev

Bird Box

Bird Box Josh Malerman, 2014 Premise: Malorie is finally bringing the children to what she hopes is safety. The only problem is, she can't look. I remember there being a good amount of buzz for this book early on, and then some backlash. So I know I'm not saying anything new when I say this book was rather disappointing. The idea is intriguing. Something mysterious is causing people to go mad, and you can only protect yourself by not looking, so people are barricading themselves in buildings and learning to navigate by sound. The book is intercut between Malorie's journey trying to bring two young children to possible safety, with all of them blindfolded, and how she came to be alone in a house with two children. The story is interesting and tense, but not especially scary until near the end. Of course this leads to a situation in which humans are worse to each other than the monsters are and some sections that were unnecessarily gross in my opinion. I unders