Novellas in November: Short Classics

The theme for Novellas in November week four (hosted by Rebecca at Bookish Beck) is short classics. Classics aren't something I normally reach for, and I have to make a real effort to include them in my reading. I'm finicky when it comes to classics, and there are a ton of popular ones I'm bored to tears by (see the question at the end of this post). When looking through past classics I've read, I found that I especially loved short stories by authors like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury. I did find some novellas, though—I enjoyed all of the books below (some are more on the "modern classics" side of things). The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (44…

0 Comments

Novellas in November: Translated Literature

The theme for Novellas in November week three (hosted by Cathy at 746 Books) is novellas that are translated literature. I gravitate toward Japanese literature (Haruki Murakami being one of my favorite authors) but I tried to branch out a bit here. Well, I did a 50% branching out, at least! The only book on this list that I haven't read yet—but it's on my TBR—is Troubling Love. I've been hesitating on reading Ferrante because I wasn't sure if I wanted to read her books in the original Italian, or as a translation. If I'm honest with myself, my Italian isn't where it used to be, and 2020 has sucked any willpower I might have had about doing the extra…

0 Comments

Nonfiction November: Book Pairings

The prompt for week 2 of Nonfiction November is "Book Pairing" (hosted by Julz of Julz Reads), where we pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. I've got three book pairings for you today! The fiction titles I've chosen have the same subject matter as their nonfiction counterparts. C and I have been reading through the young people's version of Neil deGrasse Tyon's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and are enjoying his goofy sense of humor and knack for explaining huge concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. I recently read To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu [my review], which incorporates a lot of astrophysics and quantum physics in its hard sci-fi short stories. Some of those…

0 Comments

Novellas in November: Contemporary Fiction

I know I'm already doing Nonfiction November, but I couldn't resist jumping in on Novellas in November, too. This event is hosted by Rebecca at Bookish Beck and Cathy at 746 Books. The theme for week one (hosted by Cathy) is contemporary fiction novellas. I found varying definitions of what "contemporary fiction" actually means, so I probably stretched it a bit with some of the speculative and sci-fi picks. I went more with a "fiction published in a contemporary times" sort of theme. . This World Is Full of Monsters by Jeff VanderMeer (38 pages) - Surreal, strange, and terrifying. This is the kind of story that doesn't get old because there's endless nuance for your mind to explore. If…

1 Comment

Creatures by Crissy Van Meter

I'm so thankful Algonquin approached me about being on the blog tour for Crissy Van Meter's novel, Creatures, because this debut was one of the best books I've read this year. The story centers around Evie, beginning on the eve of her wedding, and her dysfunctional family. We feel the long-lasting impact of growing up with neglect, abandonment, and parentification. How it affects a child's future self and future relationships. The deep, never-satiated ache for parents who aren't what they should be. The struggle to break the cycle. This is going to be a tough read for anyone raised by parents with addiction or Cluster B personality disorders, but wow, will those readers ever feel seen. I think, in a…

0 Comments

Aster’s Good, Right Things by Kate Gordon

Aster's Good, Right Things is an important book about kids dealing with seriously heavy issues that, in a perfect world, they should never have to deal with. But this is reality for some kids in our very imperfect world, and this book will make these kids feel less alone. It has real potential to provide a sense of hope as well. Oh, Aster. What a lovable character you are. I felt for her right from the start. Aster feels bad—not just bad; fearful—about feeling happy. She's 11 years old and living with an anxiety disorder, and though it isn't specifically named in the book, it reads just like obsessive-compulsive disorder (she acts on compulsions—doing good, right things—to manage her anxiety…

0 Comments

To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu

If you're in the mood for a hard sci-fi short story collection, To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu (translated by Joel Martinsen, Adam Lanphier, John Chu, and Carmen Yiling Yan) certainly delivers. Liu's writing style often makes these stories feel very present-day even when they're obviously not, and his prose is beautiful. Many of these stories read like fables reminding us not to underestimate humanity, showing us the larger-scale impact of seemingly small gestures and our (compared to the universe) fleeting lives. "The Time Migration" reminded me of all the philosophical stuff I love about Star Trek: The Next Generation, Doctor Who, and The Little Prince, but 10x more in depth. "Ode to Joy" is where sci-fi meets…

1 Comment

The Sacrifice of Darkness by Roxane Gay and Tracy Lynne Oliver

The world feels especially dark and heartless right now, which makes perfect timing for The Sacrifice of Darkness. This strangely hopeful, empowering graphic novel is a collaboration between Roxane Gay and Tracy Lynne Oliver, an adaptation of Roxane Gay's short story of the same title (from the collection Difficult Women), in which the sun's light has disappeared. This book is exactly what I needed to read at this moment in time. I found Rebecca Kirby's art and James Fenner's subdued colors both atmospheric and beautiful. I grew to care about the characters, and I loved the allegorical, speculative sci-fi feel of the story. The Sacrifice of Darkness is the kind of book you reach for when you need a breather…

0 Comments

Odessa by Jonathan Hill

In Jonathan Hill's Odessa, three siblings search for their mother in a post-apocalyptic United States, several years after a major earthquake has separated California from the rest of the country. Since this is the first book in a series, it spends a lot of time world-building and ends on a cliffhanger. The pacing felt rushed when it came to the conflicts and action that take place along the siblings' journey. Those moments resolved a little too quickly and neatly. The bickering between the siblings was a bit overdone and started to feel like filler. But the art is fantastic and the premise is cool. Odessa held my attention, and the book left me feeling like I must read the sequel(s)…

0 Comments

Murder with Oolong Tea by Karen Rose Smith

I was in the mood for a cozy mystery, and Karen Rose Smith's Murder with Oolong Tea delivered. I loved the tea shop setting and was glad to find recipes in the back. I don't normally jump into the middle of an unfamiliar-to-me series, but the author dropped just enough detail that it was easy to keep track of the characters' relationships and histories. The main character and amateur sleuth, Daisy, is not perfect - I found her kind of uptight and judgy at first - but she grows, and you really get a sense of her kind, loving nature. You know what to expect going into a cozy mystery, to some degree, but all the charm and twists I…

0 Comments

End of content

No more pages to load