My life has been weirdly busy lately, meaning I haven’t been able to read as much as I would like to. However, I have still been able to make my way through books- I am 90% done my Goodreads goal of 75 books this year! What have I read lately?
Armada, Ernest Cline
This is the follow-up to Cline’s Ready, Player One but is not a sequel. I again listened to the audiobook (voiced by Will Wheaton), great for the commute to work. I’m still not hugely in love with 80s culture; however, the story is still interesting. Cline does a good job of creating sympathetic characters that you actually want to win. At times, the gaming talk gets a little tedious, but that is what he likes, I suppose. Overall, a good read/listen- 3.5/5.
Fool Moon, Jim Butcher
I also listened to this audiobook recently- I read the first book in the Dresden Files quite a while ago. I have to be in the right mood to listen/read these books, apparently I was. It’s a short book, meaning you won’t have trouble remembering what happened 15 hours of listening ago. I found this one to be quite gory, so I had to turn it down quite a few times. Most of the urban fantasy I have read is set in London; this is set in Chicago. I found it hard to picture the story, as I only spent a few days in downtown Chicago (no time in the suburbs). This earned a 3/5!
The Great Christmas Knit Off, Alexandra Brown
Alexandra Brown, author of the Carringtons series, is one of my favourite chick-lit authors. She is exceptional at the light, English chick-lit- it transports me away and lets me escape the stress of adult life, usually in some sort of kooky, retail-related scenario. This is not part of the Carringtons series. TGCKO is about a woman escaping London, including her job which she royally screwed up and her fiancé who ditched her for her twin sister. She finds herself in a small village that has a little haberdashery that needs saving, annnd sets about saving it. I loved it, as I love all Christmas books. My one qualm was that it seemed to end abruptly. Certainly still worth reading, though! I’m going to go ahead and give this a 4.5/5!
The Vintage Girl, Hester Browne
When I found out that there was a book by Hester Browne, my other favourite chick-lit author, that I hadn’t read, I was SO. EXCITED. And it did not disappoint whatsoever. Evie is an antique appraiser, and goes up to a family castle near the border of Scotland to see if there is anything that could be sold to raise money. It is a charming story that takes you away to the Scottish borderlands where you get lost in the castle, and its past, with Evie. Her sister is a weird, distracting character, but this is an otherwise FANTASTIC book. I would recommend this to anyone who is even remotely interested in chick lit- 5/5!
My good friend Amelia thoughtfully sent me this for birthday present. I have slowly been researching the different Royal ballet companies of the Commonwealth, and I don’t know much about the Royal New Zealand Ballet- this could not be more perfect. Normally I am a voracious reader, but I purposefully took my time reading this. It is comprised of stories and brief pieces from former dancers, artistic members, teachers, crew members, and supporters from the very beginning forward. Reading a handful of stories at a time really allowed me to build the history of the RNZB in my head. If there are any ballet companies looking to do a history, this should be your example. Because you heard so many different voices, you are presented with an incredibly complex and exciting history (something missing from an “official” history of a company, which usually has political motivations at some level). This is a wonderful book, and I will certainly be re-reading it throughout the years! 5/5 without a doubt.
Everybody Rise, Stephanie Clifford
I have seen this book touted as “the book of the summer” in numerous places- I don’t know why, because IT WAS AWFUL. MIND-NUMBINGLY, ANGERINGLY, TERRIBLE. I am just happy I borrowed it and didn’t pay money for this, because I would have demanded my money back. None of the characters are sympathetic, you pretty much want to punch everyone. It is anti-climactic, dull, and nothing makes logical sense. If the power hadn’t been out for 6 plus hours, I wouldn’t have finished it. Who is picking these “it books”, publishers who printed too many copies?? 1.5/5. Don’t bother.