Book Review | Moonstone by Sjon

Moonstone by Sjon
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux on August 2nd, 2016
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction. LGBTQ,
Pages: 142
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): The mind-bending miniature historical epic is Sjón’s specialty, and Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was is no exception. But it is also Sjón’s most realistic, accessible, and heartfelt work yet. It is the story of a young man on the fringes of a society that is itself at the fringes of the world–at what seems like history’s most tumultuous, perhaps ultimate moment.

Máni Steinn is queer in a society in which the idea of homosexuality is beyond the furthest extreme. His city, Reykjavik in 1918, is homogeneous and isolated and seems entirely defenseless against the Spanish flu, which has already torn through Europe, Asia, and North America and is now lapping up on Iceland’s shores. And if the flu doesn’t do it, there’s always the threat that war will spread all the way north. And yet the outside world has also brought Icelanders cinema! And there’s nothing like a dark, silent room with a film from Europe flickering on the screen to help you escape from the overwhelming threats–and adventures–of the night, to transport you, to make you feel like everything is going to be all right. For Máni Steinn, the question is whether, at Reykjavik’s darkest hour, he should retreat all the way into this imaginary world, or if he should engage with the society that has so soundly rejected him.  Continue reading

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Audiobook Review | Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Published by: MacMillan Audio on September 5th, 2017
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Food and Drink
Pages: —
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): In his much-anticipated new novel, Robin Sloan does for the world of food what he did for the world of books in Mr. Penumbra s 24-Hour Bookstore

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer s market, and a whole new world opens up.

When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan s Mr. Penumbra s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer. Continue reading

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Monthly Wrap Up | January 2018

The first month of reading for 2018! I have set my Goodreads challenge this year to 75 books which translates to roughly 6 books a month. Yikes! Certainly doable as some months I keep picking up books that I can’t put down. I think I could have managed more this month but for some reason I keep starting books then putting them down. I think I have 3 or 4 that I read a pretty decent chunk of and then picked up another. Not a great habit. Anyways, here are the 5 books that I read this month.

# of books read: 5

# of pages read: 1,629

Average book length: 325.8 pages

Goodreads 2018 Challenge: 5/75 Continue reading

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Book Review | The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Published by: Avon Books on September 1, 1969
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 327
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to collect organisms and dust for study. One of them falls to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona. Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town’s inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks. Continue reading

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Friday Book Beginnings & The Friday 56 | #45

Friday Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and the Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.

So Friday Book Beginnings you choose the book you are currently reading or the one that is closest to you and share the first few sentences. For the Friday 56 you simply turn to page 56 or 56% on your e-reader and share a sentence or two that you enjoy. Then just add maybe a synopsis about the book in case others are interested. That’s it!

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Chocolates for Breakfast by Pamela Moore

Published on: June 25th 2013 by Harper Perennial but first published in 1956

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Summary (from Goodreads):  Considered America’s answer to the French sensation BONJOUR TRISTESSE (also published by Harper Perennial), CHOCOLATES FOR BREAKFAST follows Courtney Farrell, a classic disaffected, sexually precocious fifteen year old. Courtney splits her time between Manhattan, where her father works in publishing, and Los Angeles, where her mother is an aging actress. This wild coming-of-age story, scandalous in its day, is also the story of Courtney’s close and ultimately tragic friendship with her boarding school roommate Janet Parker. Continue reading

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Book Review | Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Published by: Alfred A Knopf on June 7th, 2016
Genre: Histprical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Cultural,
Pages: 300
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed from the library

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Summary (from Goodreads): A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer. Continue reading

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Yearly Wrap Up | 2017

In 2017, I set my Goodreads Challenge goal to 60. Previous year I had set it to 50 and went passed it so I thought I would have no problem this year. At the end of 2017 I had read a total of 89 books! A part of me wanted to push myself hard and read 11 books in December to get to 100 but I ended up deciding to take in the holidays and spend time with friends and family. I realized it’s not about the number but the content.

Goodreads put together a nice collection of stats on all the books I read in 2017 and I thought I’d share the numbers over here on my blog.

Pages read: 27, 432

Books read: 89

Average length: 308 pages

Average rating: 3.6/5 stars

Shortest Book Read: The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn (64 pages)

Longest Book Read: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (565 pages) Continue reading

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