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« July, 2017 »

Watch Me Disappear   book icon  
by Janelle Brown (2017)

read: 31 July 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

This is a tight little “what’s going on” missing person story. I sort of resent that it’s labeled Women’s fiction but that’s my own issue with the world of publishing I guess. This is a story about a mom who does missing... or does she? Figuring out what is going on is the job of her husband and 15 year old daughter as the time runs out on being able to declare her legally dead. This story went more places than I expected it to and I appreciated having some somewhat unreliable narrators in there to help me get perspective on what I thought was going on. A lot of interesting ruminations about family and togetherness as well as some nostalgia stuff for 90s era radical Seattle that rang very true to me.

Scientific Conversations   book icon  
by Claudia Dreifus (2001)

read: 28 July 2017
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

A neat but weird collection of interviews with scientific people. Some of these are people you have heard of and many are not. It’s mostly dudes. I was interested to learn Dreifus’s techniques which she talks about in the beginning, and also interested to read her often brief follow-ups with her subjects. The book still holds up 16 years later though as more of a “wow, we thought that then” and less as an idea of what is true in science right now. I would love to read an updated version of this with the subjects who were still available.

The Space Between the Stars   book icon  
by Anne Corlett (2017)

read: 28 July 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I am a sucker for space exploration books, especially post-apocalyptic ones. Even moreso “Something is wrong with the earth and we have to go elsewhere” narratives. This book was, at its core, about a woman and her relationships to other people, particularly her family and herself. The space stuff is a bit of background scene setting but I think this worked out fairly well. Would have liked to have read more about the weird caste system and some of the pre-history to this novel, but I enjoyed this for what it is as well.

War Dances   book icon  
by Sherman Alexie (2009)

read: 26 July 2017
rating: [+]
category: collection

This was a great collection of poems and short fiction and what I think are essays by Alexie. They are all good, mostly make you think and all show off his great writing sense and his humor. I’m not sure how I missed this when it first came out but I am glad I found it.

Water Knife   book icon  
by Paolo Bacigalupi (2015)

read: 22 July 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

This is an interesting dystopian thriller about the near future when water rights are the thing most worth fighting for in the American Southwest. This was a little on the too-gruesome side for me (some torture, some mayhem) bvut I found the characters so compelling I pushed on through it. Great plot and a lot of ideas about how a drastic water shortage would really work. A great page turning read.

The Earth is Near   book icon  
by Ludek Pesek (1974)

read: 7 July 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

This is one of those books I don’t know how it made it on to my Kindle but it was just there on my laptop. It’s a “mission to mars” type of book, as written by the ship’s psychologist. It’s really interesting, though not exactly lively. It wasn’t until I had suggested it to another friend that I realized the book was nearly as old as I am! It’s a great mix of big ideas about travel and space and the day to day grind of being on a hostile and even somewhat foreign planet with the unknowns and sudden shifts of fate. Very much enjoyed it.

The Bug   book icon  
by Ellen Ullman (2003)

read: 1 July 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Actually I read this book years ago but I somehow forgot to write it down. I really liked it. Its a story about tech development and (sort of) start up culture or what passed for it in 1984 and the havoc it wreaks on the psyche of the main character.

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