Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Reading

The weather has definitely turned fall-ish here in the Northwest. We had a lovely summer, and now we are having a rather chilly fall. The leaves are turning amazing shades of red and gold, and the sky is most often overcast and the temperatures are dropping. It is a perfect time for reading! Here is what I've been reading lately...

Lock in by John Scalzi
I was eager to read Scalzi's latest, as I'd read two of his previous books and really enjoyed them (Old Man's War and Redshirts). I found Lock In to be more technical than the other two. I loved the characters in Old Man's War and loved loved the whole premise of Redshirts (such a fun read, especially if you have ANY knowledge of Star Trek at all). This one was a little more clinical...and perhaps that had to do with the premise of Lock In. There was a lot to explain here (Haden's, which is what they called people who contracted a particular form of meningitis and ended up "locked in" their bodies, Integrators, who were able to allow others to use their bodies, threeps - nice Star Wars reference there -, and the Agora...) I did like Chris Shane, the main character and narrator, who was a Haden FBI agent. Interesting for sure, and not my favorite of his.

Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage
Molly Wizenberg writes of her husband's quest to open a pizza restaurant. Not just any pizza restaurant, but one that serves absolutely amazing pizza. She is hot and cold about his project, wanting to support him, and, at times being completely overwhelmed with the huge endeavor. I enjoyed reading about their quest to make the perfect dough, find the perfect location, and to finally be able to finally open their doors to the public! She is a good writer, sharing the food and herself and their endeavor engagingly with the reader.

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio
Jio imagines a possible back story for the writing of Goodnight Moon, the beloved children's book. Through her main character's inheritance of her great aunt's bookstore in Seattle, we follow as June comes to terms with her past, comes to some difficult decisions about her future, and as she discovers much more than she anticipated in the bookstore.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman is a geneticist. He is deliberate and careful in how he lives his life, planning everything to the minute. He thinks that he should find a wife, and, with the help of a few friends, develops The Wife Project. It's not hard to see where this is going (ahem, read the title), I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Don, while dealing with some social challenges, is vivid and likable. A fun read!

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
It took me way too long to read this. I'm not a big laugher (or cryer) when I read, so when a book makes me laugh (or cry), that is saying something. There were parts where I was laughing so hard I was crying. Her drawings, while seemingly simple, capture emotions and moods brilliantly. I LOVED her chapters about the dogs.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
This is the story of a family told through the lens of the death of the eldest and favorite daughter, Lydia. Lydia is dead, and no one knows why. Was she murdered? If so, what was the motive and who would kill her? Was it suicide? If so, why would Lydia kill herself? As we read, we learn more about each member of the family and their relationships with each other. The novel embraces us in the family's quiet devastation. It was quite lovely.

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
I love Reichl's food writing, my favorite of her books being Garlic and Sapphires. Delicious! is her first foray into fiction, and I must admit that my expectations were low. I have found that some of my favorite non-fiction writers who attempt fiction have been disappointing. They do the non-fiction so well, and I've wondered why they even attempt fiction. And yet they do. Delicious! has been a pleasant surprise. Food certainly features prominently, and Reichl's gifts for describing food, even if it is fictitious food, is evident here. The story has not been predictable...I had ideas about where the story was going, and I have been pleased that she has taken the story beyond my expectations. I'm not quite done with this book yet, but have very much been enjoying the read...and gotten hungry while reading!


My partner and I are getting away for a few days next week for some badly needed R & R. We will of course be taking books! I'll be bringing Craig Thompson's Habibi, Bridge of Birds: A Novel of the Ancient China that Never Was by Barry Hughart, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, and Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thompson. Looking forward to some down time for more reading!


What have you been reading and loving this fall?

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