DNF Roundup: July 2015

» 31 July, 2015 » Unreviewed Reads Roundup » 0 comments

DNF Roundup: July 2015

Unreviewed Reads Roundup (or DNF Roundup) is a feature that highlights books I didn’t formally review on the blog, as well as DNFs. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie This started off really well, and I was absolutely impressed with Shamsie’s prose, especially in the first 50 pages or so when Hiroko is still in Nagasaki. However, by the time Hiroko’s son became one of the major focuses of the story, the novel started to lose me. The plot becomes increasingly histrionic and theatrical, and I began to lose interest rapidly, even as I became frustrated. […]

Book Review: Vermilion by Molly Tanzer

» 28 July, 2015 » Book Reviews » 1 comment

Book Review: Vermilion by Molly Tanzer

Okay okay okay. So here’s the thing: Vermilion sounds excellent, but it’s even better in reality. I was completely blown away by this story, by Lou Merriwether as a protagonist, and by how author Molly Tanzer went about it. This book is a wonderfully diverse steampunkish paranormal adventure that was a delight to read—Tanzer really nailed everything here. So, firstly, our protagonist, Lou Merriwether. Lou is a half-Chinese woman living in San Francisco in 1870. She dresses like a man, smokes cigarettes, and cuts her hair short. Also, she’s a psychopomp—an exorcist—in charge of her […]

It’s Monday, July 27! What’ve you been reading?

» 27 July, 2015 » Wrap-ups » 0 comments

It’s Monday, July 27! What’ve you been reading?

Hmm hmm hmm. So this week was a thing. I honestly feel like I’m waiting around for August so I can start my Very Top Secret Super Special Reading Project. Which, honestly I guess I could have started for myself whenever since I’m the sole host and participant. Ah well. I also posted a few mini reviews this week—I’m trying them out. Not sure if I like them. I also have a new blog-related Instagram! Check that out. In terms of reading, I read good things. Which was good. CURRENT READ The Girl Who Saved the […]

Book Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

» 26 July, 2015 » Book Reviews » 1 comment

Book Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

When I was in middle school, I was absolutely in love with Jennifer L. Holm’s Boston Jane trilogy—it probably would have made all sorts of Favorite Books lists back in the day. A recent re-read has shown me how very excellent that series is even after several years, and I immediately knew I had to try Holm’s more recent novels (the Boston Jane books being over a decade old at this point). Enter The Fourteenth Goldfish, which has 100% cemented my appreciation for this author with its charm and wackiness and amazing relationships between family […]

Book Review: The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

» 25 July, 2015 » Book Reviews » 2 comments

Book Review: The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

In the opening chapter of The Night Guest, elderly protagonist Ruth calls her adult son to tell him she hears a tiger in the house; the next day, Frida arrives to take care of Ruth. This sets the stage for Fiona McFarlane’s suspenseful debut. This brief novel evokes mythic jungles and the tropics, and the way it dealt with Ruth’s mental state kept me uncertain until the end—is Ruth merely senile, or is there something more sinister going on? McFarlane’s prose is very good and a testament to her years of higher education and study. […]

Book Reviews: We Sinners & Minnow

» 24 July, 2015 » Book Reviews » 0 comments

Book Reviews: We Sinners & Minnow

A solid, brief read, looking at a traditionalist Lutheran family and how they interact with and relate to their religion. I liked how we got almost all the family members’ points of view, but wasn’t particularly moved by this. The text is supposedly based on the author’s own upbringing, so for me I almost wanted to get an actual memoir instead of this fictionalized account—that would be more interesting, in my opinion. As it is, We Sinners, with its episodic format, isn’t quite a story I can sink my teeth into, and there was something…off about […]