Showing posts from June, 2018

Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga)

Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga) Lois McMaster Bujold, 1994 Hugo winner - 1995 This is the third Vorkosigan novel that I've re-read specifically for the Hugo winners project, and once again, I'm surprised how much I discovered about this book by reading it in isolation from the rest of the series. I had thought this was a good book, but often on re-reading it I have sped through the beginning out of a sense of anticipation and awkwardness around knowing the more dramatic plot elements that were coming. After reading it with more care, I feel confident saying it's a fantastic book. This is a book deeply concerned with identity. On the obvious physical level, there are numerous mirrors. Both Miles and Mark see themselves in mirrors at the beginning, establishing their current statuses, tying their paths together, and calling back to their first encounter in Brothers in Arms. Mirrors and cameras, self-image and projected appearance all play critical roles in piv

Island of the Mad (Mary Russell, Book 15)

Island of the Mad (Mary Russell, Book 15) Laurie R. King, 2018 New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Premise: Sequel to The Murder of Mary Russell . Russell and Holmes are off again, this time in search of a friend's aunt who may have run from an asylum. This series continues to merely limp along, and yet, I can't quite walk away. At least this entry didn't have the problem that many of the recent books have shared (namely, that Russell wasn't the main character). It just has other problems. The bones of the story and the characters are good. Reintroducing Mary's friend Ronnie and her extended clan works well, and most of the early investigation about the whereabouts of the aunt is interesting. However, there's a huge digression early on which strained the bounds of my credulity too far. Russell does something quite dumb and dangerous to go undercover to get information which she could plausibly have

Remnant Population

Remnant Population Elizabeth Moon, 1996 Read Harder 2018 Challenge: A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 Premise: Ofelia is tired. Tired of living in a company colony, tired of expectations, tired of her son and daughter-in-law's attitudes about what older women should and shouldn't do. So when the company tells them they're shutting down and moving, she decides she's going to follow her heart for once, and stay on the planet alone. It's a mark of how compelling the setting and main character of this book are that I was bothered when it started to have a plot. Ofelia had just gotten some dang deserved peace and freedom, and now there was going to be a plot in this book? I was perturbed, honestly. It all turned out alright, though, because the plot is pretty great. This book isn't shy about what it's trying to say about social attitudes about curiosity, learning, freedom, and what (or who) is "useful," but it never feels

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller, 2018 Read Harder 2018 Challenge: A one-sitting book Premise: John Oliver's prank on Mike Pence turned charitable-children's-book sensation.  Okay, we all know the very existence of this book is hilarious. If you didn't buy a copy, you might just be in the minority at this point. We had to wait a month for our copy because the publishers didn't print nearly enough for demand. However, did you also know it's adorable? It's sweet and wholesome and just overall like a warm hug. With soft, colorful illustrations and gently repetitive text, I'd say it's appropriate for any kids who are old enough to understand a book with a simple plot. There are a few allusions to the actual VP having a boring job, and the villainous stink bug who objects to our hero's happiness is obviously modeled off the same. However, these blend into the background, leaving you with a charming st