Showing posts from February, 2020

American Gods

American Gods Neil Gaiman, 2001, revised 2011 Hugo Winner - 2002 Premise: Shadow is out of prison, but the life he thought he was returning to is gone. In its place, he is swept up into a shadowy world of arcane plots and gods living among mortals. So I re-read American Gods, and it was... fine? I guess? I first read this book either in college or shortly thereafter, and I remember liking it, but nothing else about it. I remember at the time I was reading quickly without thinking about it, so some of the character identities may have come as a surprise. But I don't know that there are many people in 2020 who can see a mention of "Low Key Lyesmith" in the first chapter and not know what they're in for. This was the tenth-anniversary edition, which is apparently a bit longer than the original. I'm not sure that's a good thing, it definitely dragged at points. Shadow floats along, witnessing but only occasionally being affected by the bizarre things

Two Girls Down

Two Girls Down Louisa Luna, 2018 Premise: When two young sisters vanish from a parking lot, a private investigator and a retired cop might be the best hope of finding them. (Content warning: graphic violence, discussion of sexual assault and murder, including of children) I borrowed this book from the library on a whim, based on an article that recommended it for fans of the show Broadchurch. Although l can see some superficial similarities and I think the book is well written, reading it mostly affirmed my previous belief that I don't really like thrillers. I was pretty bored by the first main character. A single dad and former cop forced to retire under complex circumstances, he's warm and practical, pretty uncomplicated and predictable. Alice Vega the PI is much more interesting. She's distant and analytical except when she's itching for a fight. She's good at manipulation and focused on results. It was only when l was writing this review that I realiz

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North Blair Braverman, 2016 Premise: A memoir about survival, independence, and dogsledding. Content warnings for sexual assault, rape, and animal injury and death (sheep). Blair Braverman was always drawn north. Always drawn to snow and ice, to the aurora and the darkness of the Arctic latitudes. This is her story. I had a little trouble following the narrative at first, but I think that's more a function of my scattered reading time and attention than a problem with the book. It flips back and forth between the "present" - an extended summer visit to a rural town in Norway - and all the adventures that lead up to it. Blair's determination leads her to take on great things, but it also causes her to not seek help: first when she's subject to unwanted attention while an exchange student and later in a toxic relationship. Ultimately, the book is about how she is able to balan