Thumbs up for:
Family Man, Volume I by Dylan Meconis. Fantasy.
Alabaster: Wolves by Caitlin R. Kiernan, illustrated by Steve Lieber. Fantasy.
Monstress, Volume I: Awakening by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda. Fantasy.
Yes, Roya by C. Spike Trotman, illustrated by Emilee Denich. Erotica.
A batch review here. Family Man is the hardest to describe of the bunch: Um….Half-Jewish Theology student in 1768 Germany makes some bad thesis decisions (Spinoza, atheism) and…academia…and hot librarian…and werewolves, kinda.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Outsider in Amsterdam and The Sergeant’s Cat and Other Stories by Janwillem van de Wetering. Mystery.
I’m not a mystery reader, generally, but there are three or four authors whose books I love. The books of Van de Wetering – globetrotting Dutchman, erstwhile Zen monk, and part-time member of the Amsterdam Police Force – made me exceptionally happy when I read them in my teens, and they continue to make me happy as I’m rereading them now.… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Gogol. Short stories.
“Taras Bulba” – an adventure novella about the father and two sons of a Cossack family – is a fun historical swashbuckler which does a fine job of evoking a time and place: the landscape, the culture, the individuals. This is, mind you, assuming you can overlook the rampant anti-Semitism and various other bigotries, which were so pervasive that even I – used to putting up with a lot of offensive stuff in old books – found it difficult to squint past.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. Romance.
I am terribly conflicted about this book. To be clear, I enjoyed it overall and will try other books by the author. Penny Reid writes what she bills as “smart romances,” and yes, she is both very smart and very funny – I bookmarked many pages that made me laugh out loud, mostly pertaining to the heroine Janie’s hilarious habit of running off at the mouth about trivial facts when stressed.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Obscurely Obvious: A Collection of Short Stories by Robin Lythgoe. Fantasy short stories.
So, background. Robin and I share a fan (hi Dorkas!) who told us to read each other’s books because she knew we’d like them. Robin beat me to it and she wrote a fantastic review of one of my books, which got me off my tuchas to read her work.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee. Science fiction.
Another book by Yoon Ha Lee means more strange space battles, more snappy dialogue, more abstruse politics you will never understand, and more hilarious sociopaths arguing about music, playing card games, petting cats, eating sweets, cosseting onion plants, and racking up death tolls in the tens of thousands. (But mostly off-screen.)
Jedao was grinning at her.
… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren. Children’s.
Charmingly illustrated, but not a substitute for reading the full stories in The Children of Noisy Village.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for A Whole New World by Liz Braswell. Young adult fantasy.
I am among the minority of people who thought this book was great. Aladdin is one of my favorite movies (and I’m not a Disney buff in general) so I was curious to see how it could be twisted. This retelling begins at the same place, but skews into alternate-universe ground a few chapters in when Jafar, not Aladdin, is the one who summons the genie.… >> Read more