Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. Science fiction.
I think I’ve passed the point where I can read classic science fiction without noticing how much it creaks. I didn’t hate reading this, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it, either.
The person most immediately affected had been George Greggson. He could never forget his feeling of terror as Jean pitched into his arms.
… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern by Robert Morrison. History.
I was puzzled, at first, by this book: why in heaven’s name does it start with crime, punishment, and riots? The violent political backdrop of the Regency is certainly important, but starting there—in a somewhat academic style no less—immediately excluded this book from being what I thought it perhaps was: a narrative primer of the period.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Disobedience by Naomi Alderman. Literature.
Lesbian love amongst an Orthodox Jewish community in London. I stayed up late to finish this book. That said, it is a peculiar work. Told in sometimes-awkward but strangely-relaxing third person from the perspective of Esti (who has stayed in the community), alternating with the just-borderline-irritating first person narrative of Ronit (who has moved to New York and become relentlessly cosmopolitan), along with sections of…Torah mysticism?… >> Read more
I don’t habitually read romances, but last year I read a lot of them. Instead of posting my reviews as I read each book, I saved them all up for a massive Romance Review post. Even if you don’t want to read any romances you might, I hope, enjoy the reviews: I had a lot of fun writing them.
Contained within are lady scientists; death by carnivorous crab; questions about buttons; and every denomination of raciness from completely chaste to very very explicit. … >> Read more
Thumbs up for Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Philip Pullman.
Pullman writes with such clarity of both thought and prose, he is simply a pleasure to read. As with any book of essays, inevitably, certain sections will strike each reader with greater importance. If you are a storyteller of any bent, or perhaps an armchair philosopher, you will find a gem or two of wisdom that speaks to you.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Philharmonic Gets Dressed by Karla Kuskin, illustrated by Marc Simont. Children’s.
Three stars for the straightforward text, five stars for the charming, funny, vivacious illustrations.… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Bellwether by Connie Willis. Science fiction.
A comedy about a statistician trying to figure out the genesis of fads (specifically, 1920’s hair-bobbing). Plus a little bit of romance. This book seemed like it was made for me! And it was enjoyable, but…I wanted to be charmed more than I was. Academic/office politics satire is…well, it’s been done quite a bit, hasn’t it?… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang.
An incredibly charming tale of a young dressmaker with a dream, and a prince who likes to wear dresses. So, so adorable. If you’ve ever enjoyed a Disney film, I can guarantee you’ll love this.… >> Read more