Showing posts from October, 2022

The Book Eaters

The Book Eaters Sunyi Dean, 2022 Premise: Devon grew up only knowing the secret world of the book eaters, but to protect her son she'll find a way to revolt against her family, no matter who she has to sacrifice. This book came strongly recommended, and I enjoyed it, but I definitely didn't love it. The book eaters (and mind eaters) made for a unique spin on vampires; Devon's struggles and anguish about her role in the restrictive, sexist book eater world were vividly depicted. The multiple twists were fine, although I didn't buy into most of the red herrings, which meant I only pushed through to get to the next twist without feeling the intended tension. I don't know. I liked it fine, but something about the style or the characters didn't completely click for me. It's pretty gross at times, and extremely morally grey. It's about motherhood and monsters, and what you're willing to do for your child. It's very well written, but I just didn't f

Pickets and Dead Men

Pickets and Dead Men Bree Lowen, 2009 Premise: A memoir of being a climbing ranger on Mount Rainier. This was a prominent recommendation in a comment thread about books about mountaineering and women, and I definitely see why. It's a series of funny, frightening, visceral vignettes. As you read, you definitely understand why it was a life-altering experience, even if the author performed this job for just three summers.  Be warned, it is a little gross at times, and the author also chooses to highlight some moments of callous or posturing behavior that she felt at the time was necessary to hold her own in a testosterone-heavy field. The balance between action and personal reflection felt authentic for the job and the setting.  The job includes exciting rescues, but also body retrieval, assisting the wounded and lost, and the daily effort not to become one of the wounded or lost on the mountain. I have no aspirations to summit Rainier (although props to friends who've done it!),

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, Book 2)

The Obelisk Gate N.K. Jemisin, 2016 Hugo winner - 2017 Premise: sequel to The Fifth Season . Essun tries to figure out her next steps and we find out what happened to her daughter Nassun. It's been a while since I read the first book in this series, so there was a period of adjustment while I remembered the characters and the world. I think this is a worthy successor, but not as undeniably brilliant as the first book was. There are more shenanigans around narration (who is the voice of the text and why) in this book, which I found interesting, but not as interesting or emotionally compelling as the core narrative conceit in the first book.  It's probably important to note that I also read the first book while I was pregnant but not yet a parent. The violent deaths of both of Essun's young sons are revisited in this book, and I found myself keeping more emotional distance from the characters for my own mental health. This was a good read, but it does have a few flaws common