Sunday, July 19, 2015

Reading

Reading, reading, reading. Now that I can see fairly well again, I've been gorging on books. My speed is way down because of the vision problems but I'm still reveling in story.

Here's what I've read so far this month.

Orbiting Jupiter will be out in November and is not to be missed. It is a heart wrenching and heart warming story of a fourteen-year old father and foster brother (yes, a kid who is fourteen years old, in foster care, and has a child) that has gone to the top of my best books of 2015 list.

The Gilded Hour is historical fiction featuring female cousins, both physicians, in the 1880s. My review is in Booklist.

Dark Orbit is by a new to me but by no means new author who is accomplished at telling the kind of "what if" tale that made me a fan of science fiction in the first place. The depiction of a society that has no visual references is fascinating.

I loved Queen of the Tearling last year, and really enjoyed the direction this sequel/prequel interwoven story takes.

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is an enjoyable and nuanced teen romance with real world issues. It's one I would have nominated were I currently serving on the Best Fiction for Young Adults committee.

While I've loved some of Kim Stanley Robinson's other books and have repeatedly referred to them, Aurora, a book I can definitely recommend to readers of hard SF, just didn't captivate me. I'm glad I purchased it for my library's collection but I didn't connect with it like I thought I would. I did like that it went in directions I didn't expect. Always a good thing.

Since it has been so long since I've updated here are the books I read last month... some with my eyes and some with my ears.
Enchanted August is enchanting women's fiction and a perfect vacation read. The Darkness Rolling is the first in a great new historical mystery series set in the southwest just after WWII with a mixed race Navajo/Jewish sleuth.  MARTians is the quirky kind of unique story that Blythe Woolston does so well and Lair of Dreams is the long awaited sequel to The Diviners, an enticing blend of mystery, horror, and teen romance in a vividly imagined 1920s setting.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pandora's Gun by James Van Pelt

Van Pelt, one of the finest short story writers of our time has written a YA novel. It has a kind of sweet old timey feel to it. A boy, who likes scavenging in a rural dumping spot, finds a bag with a strangely molded gun shaped device inside. Along with his former best friend and the girl next door, he explores what this "gun" can do. Meanwhile, strangers come to town, some claiming to be FBI and  conducting an investigation at the high school.

I will admit I am somewhat biased as I hold a special fondness for Colorado authors, especially those on the Western Slope but I really did enjoy this short novel that asks lots of wonderful "what if" questions in the traditions of classic science fiction. It will be out in August, published by Fairwood Press and is currently available for preorders. Teen Bistro Book Club members will get a shot at the ARC tomorrow at 3:30.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book of the Week - Not Always a Saint by Mary Jo Putney

Not Always a Saint
Putney, Mary Jo
Kensington 9781617739064
294p. $27.95 2015 - May

Dr. Daniel Herbert has devoted his life to helping those in need. After stitching up a badly beaten young woman he and his sister started up a shelter to help victims restart their lives. When disease sweeps death through a country house party held by a distant relative, Daniel unhappily inherits a title and must take on duties of managing his properties and serving in the House of Lords. Jessie Kelham has always been too beautiful for her own good but being married to an elderly baron had kept her safe. With his death and the news her daughter inherits the title through an ancient barony of writ she knows she must find a husband who can keep her and her child safe from her husband’s nephew who had expected to inherit and will, if anything happens to young Beth. In London for the Little Season, the two are brought together by mutual friends. Jessie
tries to keep her distance because she believes she is not worthy of Daniel (who also happens to be a member of the clergy as well as a thoroughly good guy) and doesn’t want to use him. Putney captures the flavor and feeling of the Regency era beautifully in this heart warming romance that is part of the Lost Lords series. Exquisite!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book of the Week - Double Vision by Colby Marshall

This very readable page turner, the second in a series (I didn't read the first one) is an enjoyable diversion. Dr. Jenna Ramey, an FBI profiler who is forensic psychiatrist also has synesthesia. She sees colors that tell her a lot about the people she encounters. When there is a mass shooting at a supermarket she discovers that the youngest witness, Molly, a young girl has an ability with numbers that is as unusual and helpful as her own synesthesia. Meanwhile, Jenna's lover and former partner who has been relegated to being an emergency dispatcher due to the loss of his leg, finds himself enmeshed in a dangerous plot when he becomes too involved in the case of a battered woman. Marshall's strength lies in creating likable but flawed characters who have huge issues to overcome but who have an inner kindness and decency. The relationships between her characters are also rich and satisfying. While the plot and action may be a little far fetched in places they do make for enjoyable
entertainment.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book of the Week - Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos

Melanie Denison has spent most of her life, the last fifteen years, living in a small single wide with her aunt and uncle. Home schooled until twelfth grade and not allowed to go much of anywhere or do much of anything, she has obeyed because the family is in hiding. She knows that when she was two and a half, her father murdered her mother and disappeared which is why the Denison family disappeared into the Witness Protection Program with the toddler formerly named Meg Miller. If her father finds her all will be lost. After graduating from high school she begins to steal a few hours here and there from her schedule at a nearby junior college and her job to go off on her own which is how, at age 17, she finds she is pregnant. An epiphany in math class about fractals makes her decided she is not going to let her baby grow up in hiding, sending her on a quest to find her father before he finds her. Along the way we meet a dying journalist for whom the case has been his white whale and go back into the lives of her parents and those who knew them.

What I really liked about this twisty tale of suspense was that it kept surprising me. Just when I knew I had it figured out something else would divert my suspicions.