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gavingrant

gavingrant

Currently reading

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Jeanette Winterson
Death of a Red Heroine
Qiu Xiaolong
Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee
James Tate
Fire Logic: An Elemental Logic Novel
Laurie J. Marks
The Ghost Soldiers
James Tate
Emma Tupper's Diary
Peter Dickinson
Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding
Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
Ninety-Five: Meeting America's Farmed Animals in Stories and Photographs
No Voice Unheard, Davida Gypsy Breier, Diane Leigh, Marilee Geyer
Twin Spica: Volume 12
Kou Yaginuma
Horse of a Different Color: Stories
Howard Waldrop

Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 4

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 4 - Fumi Yoshinaga, Akemi Wegmüller Enjoyed the back and forth in this but felt if was a bit more of a slog than previous books. I'll probably have to re-read it at some point before reading the next one to make sure I know what's going on.

Swastika Night

Swastika Night - Katharine Burdekin I wish I'd come across this when I read Animal Farm, 1984, or Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, or, I don't know, any dystopia along those lines, as I'd have really enjoyed it. That said, it is a great book. I think it should be on the reading list of any class that's reading the books above. Although it's a hard read, partly for the clunky parts, partly for the casual violence of the Nazis. The book is set 700 years from now where Hitler has been rewritten as a tall, golden-haired god, women are treated as nothing more than breeding animals (shades of Suzy McKee Charnas's Walk to the End of the World), and Germany rules half the world, Japan the other half. An Englishman is rewarded for his hardwork with a trip to the Fatherland and is given a secret history that may break the German hold over the English.

The Beast with Nine Billion Feet

The Beast with Nine Billion Feet - Anil Menon Nominally YA science fiction novel which I'd recommend to sf readers of all ages. Great stuff: programmable seeds, flying cars, post-flood geography and economics, and adults who are distinctly unknowable to the kids, which seemed very real. Good stuff all round.

Soldier of the Great War

A Soldier of the Great War - Mark Helprin It's a great book, but Helprin just can't help talking to the reader, which, some of the time, is ok, but sometimes it just drove me nuts. But I was expecting that, given the structure of the book (and old soldier lectures, teaches, and harangues a young man while on a long walk together) so I just passed ever faster through those parts. Helprin knows that he can write beautiful lines, beautiful stories, I just wish some of them were edited down a bit as it got a little too self involved and purpley in places. I suspect it's a matter of taste.

Blackwood

Blackwood - Gwenda Bond I didn't know much about the Lost Colony so I learned a lot while reading Blackwood. I really liked that Miranda, instead of being the Chosen One, is the Cursed One; many people hope that they're the former, but suspect they're the latter. Great fun.

Only Skin

Only Skin - Sean  Ford Really enjoyed this. Genuinely scary (although where are the outside law enforcement? Ok, ignore that), intense, and surprising. I'd read a few of the individual comics but hadn't kept up with the whole story—one of the reasons I love this what-dyou-call-it form. Graphic novel?

The Conquerors

The Conquerors - David McKee Love this book.

2312

2312 - One of the most enjoyable novels I've ever had the pleasure to read. Challenging, thought provoking, optimistic and pragmatic, Robinson is on top form as he inverts expectations and reconsiders everything from our genders to our politics, from how similar we are to how different we might be, from how we live now to how we might live in three hundred years. I look forward to reading it again some time.

I Do Not Come to You by Chance

I Do Not Come to You by Chance - Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani 419 scams, family hopes, money problems, a mostly fun book.

Zeitoun

Zeitoun - Dave Eggers A must read. If you are reading this review, I am talking to you.

Queen of America

Queen of America - Luis Alberto Urrea Not as strong as The Hummingbird's Daughter. Maybe too broad? Still a strong book (loved THD, see?) and a crazy tale that needs to be a fully annotated wiki or something (Ok, expanded ebook, whatever, although I don't know if I'd like stopping to watch videos or whatever.) given how much of it is based on real people.

GraceLand

GraceLand - Chris Abani A loose and baggy book that subject-wise often wasn't an easy read — and things did not exactly improve as time went on. Although it didn't take away from the book, the kid is oddly naive compared to absolutely every other character which seemed more like a plot device so that the author could tell us things or try to shock the reader rather than being true to the character. The one thing missing from this book is more dancing. Elvis is (just about) floating above the sandy beach when we first meet him but that's pretty much it. (But most books could do with more dancing, so there's that.) Bonus feature not found in all editions: It was fascinating to read this on a train ride while behind me a Nigerian writer explained to his seat mate some of the intricacies of life in Nigeria.

This is Shyness

This is Shyness - Leanne Hall A book not worried about solar mechanics. A slow read, but gripping and lovely in the end.

The Diviners

The Diviners - Libba Bray Even though I like her standalone novels more than her series, Libba Bray can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes. This book starts off running and takes off from there: there's a crazy evil escaped from wherever it has been damned to and a young woman who has to deal with it. Also: hot jazz, a quiet museum, and secrets, so many secrets.

Secret Weavers: Stories of the Fantastic by Women Writers of Argentina and Chile

Secret Weavers: Stories Of The Fantastic By Women Writers Of Argentina And Chile - Marjorie Agosín I got this on interlibrary loan to read the Angelica Gorodischer stories but the whole book was fantastic and I need to get the other books in the series. Highly recommended.

Twin Spica: Volume Eleven

Twin Spica: Volume 11 - Kou Yaginuma Ack.