Showing posts from October, 2020


Spin Robert Charles Wilson, 2005 Hugo Winner - 2006 Premise: Tyler, Jason, and Diane are watching when the stars go out. They grow up in a frightening time when the Earth is subject to mysterious outside forces. I read this book years ago, and l remember liking it then. I can't remember whether it took me a while to get into it the first time, but this time I was bored and impatient with the first half. (All 2020 book reviews should come with a big notice that the reader's reactions may or may not be typical.) The story bounces back and forth between Tyler undergoing a mysterious illness and his recounting of his childhood and life up to that point. I was somewhat bored with the beginning: his crush on Diane and the early story while the world was being established. This was partially because I remembered just enough about the final reveals, and without the mystery, the book held little tension. Additionally, I was turned off by Diane herself and thus the narrator's obsessi

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians Kevin Kwan, 2013 Premise: Romance meets riches in Singapore as a wedding brings relationships under tension in a sprawling wealthy clan. I saw the movie adaptation (sort of) last year, and I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. (I saw a version cut for TV while I was in the hospital for the birth of my daughter, so it was, shall we say, a nontraditional movie-watching experience.) There are some differences between the movie and the book (notably the resolution of the main plot), but having seen the movie really helped me follow the book in this case. I didn’t get sidetracked trying to remember all the side characters because I knew the main players and the major plot beats.  The result of all that? I really liked the book a lot.  I liked Rachel and Nick, the main couple, and while I liked their romance, I really liked how the book called Nick out more for being oblivious to his own wealth and how it would affect their relationship.  I liked Astrid a lot; I found her story

The Pursuit Of...

The Pursuit Of... Courtney Milan, 2018 Premise: At the Battle of Yorktown, a black American soldier comes upon a British officer who doesn’t seem interested in fighting, or at least in winning. It’s the unlikely beginning of a grand romance.  This... I just... I... How do you type a happy squeeing sound? I absolutely adored this. I loved both characters, how their differences fit together. I sometimes have trouble believing the attraction between romance protagonists, but this is compelling from the first page.  It is also hilarious. Laugh-out-loud funny, tense without being stressful, wonderfully sexy, and beautifully written.  John’s situation as a former slave isn’t softened or glossed over, but neither is it exploited for cheap drama. Henry has his own issues and a very un-British obsession with the Declaration of Independence. This combination means that the book grapples, if gently, with the space between myth and reality when it comes to the founding fathers. This novella was or