Thumbs up for Matched by Ally Condie. Young adult science fiction.

There’s no real violence in this, so it’s not so much a Hunger Games knock-off as The Giver redone as a romance. And done fairly well. (And if you don’t know what I mean because you haven’t read The Giver, what’s wrong with you? Go read it. I’ll wait.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson. Nonfiction/autobiography.

Jenny Lawson – aka The Bloggess – would be the first person to admit that she is absolutely insane. But if you’re going to be insane, you might as well do great things with it: Like making people laugh so hard they cry. People like me.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for One Shot by Lee Child. Suspense.

Do you like suspense? Even just an eensy weensy bit? Then go freaking read a Lee Child book. He’s the best in the world.

There were five guys. Any five guys will have one ringleader, two enthusiastic followers, and two reluctant followers. Put the ringleader down, and both of the keen sidekicks, and it’s over.

>> Read more

Thumbs up for Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything by David Bellos. Nonfiction/linguistics.

All the stuff you never think about translation. This was loaned to me by a professional translator, so it has enough depth to appeal to someone in the field; but it’s also very easy to read for the interested layman. It’s not a book of grand theories.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Divergent by Veronica Roth. Young adult science fiction.

Should we encourage the authors of Hunger Games knockoffs who write stories about underestimated, scrappy heroines who overcome intense personal danger, fight against a corrupt dystopian society, and find love with a hot boy? Well…if they’re Veronica Roth, we should. I couldn’t put Divergent down. Why do I have to wait until next month for volume #2?… >> Read more

Thumbs up for The Machine’s Child by Kage Baker. Science fiction.

It was nice to see Mendoza having the chance to be happy (for once). Also, Joseph is still one of my favorites. If you’ve gotten this far in the series, you’ll keep going. I certainly will.

Does he step out of a gleaming steel cubicle, flex his huge muscles, and pull on his skin-tight leotard?

>> Read more

Thumbs up for Quantum of Tweed: The Man With the Nissan Micra by Conn Iggulden. Humor.

I was in London in the Waterstone’s flagship store and I was in search of things that were very, well, English, and also vacation-suitable. A novella-length James Bond parody about a menswear salesman who accidentally becomes an assassin seemed to hit the mark. I expected to be amused; I didn’t expect to laugh out loud at length many times.… >> Read more