Showing posts from November, 2020

Christmas Special: Ming's Christmas Wishes

Crossposted from Ming's Christmas Wishes Susan L. Gong, 2020 New Release! A copy of this book was provided by Netgalley for the purpose of review.  I had to read through this children's book twice to understand it, but it definitely grew on me.  This short, beautifully illustrated children's book follows a few days in the life of a young Chinese-American girl in the 1930s. Ming wants a Christmas tree (this is related to a larger desire to fit in at school), but her mother won't hear of it.  The next day, Ming's father takes her to visit some family friends and some places his father took him when he was young. The trip connects her with her heritage, and they even come back with a tree to decorate - not a fir tree to cut down and discard, but a Chinese pine to keep in a pot.  That all sounds simple enough, but there's something distinctive about the way this book is written, and it's somewhat unsettling if you're expecting a stand

A Local Habitation and An Artificial Night (October Daye, Books 2 and 3)

A Local Habitation and An Artificial Night (October Daye, Books 2 and 3) Seanan McGuire, 2010 (both) Premise: Follows Rosemary and Rue . Toby handles a dangerous case involving diplomacy and technology, then a more dangerous situation dealing with a children's bogeyman who is all too real.  Being constantly home and also constantly busy is continuing to affect my reading habits. I want series content (repetitive characters, etc.) in a way I haven't in a long while, so I decided to finally dip back into this one. I really liked the first book, after all, but I just wasn't in the mood for more urban fantasy until recently. I liked these two books fine, but they didn't strike me as interesting or inventive as the first. For better or worse, there isn't much recap in terms of characters and relationships, so I struggled at first to remember how the vaguely feudal faerie world works and how it interacts with the mortal world. A Local Habitation is structured more like

Feet of Clay and The Fifth Elephant (Discworld)

Feet of Clay and The Fifth Elephant (Discworld) Terry Pratchett, 1996, 1999 When I started rereading the Watch books, I honestly forgot how many there were. I had kind of blocked out everything between the first two and Night Watch . (And now I'm realizing I skipped one, which is what I get for trusting the list on the library app.)  Feet of Clay is overall fine. The mysterious deaths and poisonings lead to more misleading clues and false villains than most Discworld books. The book is really about self-determination, in terms of gender, class, and, most significantly, personhood and free will in the case of the golems that the plot hinges on. I wish I had found the writing as compelling as the ideas.  It's also notable for the introduction of series regular Cheery. Her growing friendship with Angua is both realistic and super awkward - Cheery is desperate for female friendship as she is starting to experiment with her own gender presentation, but she also has a high level o