These are the books I read in May. Fun times.
This is the latest anthology of Neil Gaiman’s short story collections.
It’s just a collection of stories he’s written over the last some odd years.
The stories are very different and some are basically just poems. I liked it. I
didn’t love it. There weren’t any stories that like blew me away. Although, he
has included the Sleeper and the Spindle, his take on Snow White and Sleeping
Beauty, and the story before it was a sort of poem about the witch from
Sleeping Beauty considering her future crime, and I loved that, weirdly. I also
bloody loved the Sleeper and the Spindle. It was amazing. I feel like I need
the book with the illustrations. I also really liked the Doctor Who story,
because it’s Doctor Who. I loved the Shadow story because I like Shadow and
American Gods. I think I’m willing to cut Gaiman a lot of slack, because I love
his writing, but none of the stories really grabbed me. I just sort of liked
This was weird, and fascinating. It’s about a young girl named Jess. She
lives in England with her English father and Nigerian mother. Jess has trouble
fitting into her life in England. She is scared a lot, and she probably has
some pretty severe anxiety. When it becomes too scary she starts screaming and
throws a tantrum. Her mother thinks it will help to go to Nigeria so they
travel to see her family. There Jess meets a young girl named TillyTilly, and
suddenly she has a friend who understands her. When Jess goes back home Tilly
shows up there and claims he’s just moved to England. There she starts behaving
in a way that terrifies Jess, and Jess starts to think she might not be such a
good friend after all. It was really creepy. TillyTilly just got more and more
menacing, and scary. And I really felt for Jess, she felt so trapped and
scared, and like she couldn’t explain to anyone, even people she trusted. It
was an interesting look at mental illness, and twins, and double-ness. I also
feel like it left some questions unanswered, which annoys me, in a good way.
This is the third and final book in the Slated trilogy. In this last
book Kyla is in danger from the Government and the terrorist group who tried to
use her for their own goals. Kyla is sent into hiding by Aiden and lives with
her birthmother who she was kidnapped from when she was little. She has to
learn how to function with her mother. It doesn’t go great, as Kyla’s mother is
a little too intense about them being together. Kyla still can’t let go of her
need to find out what the government is up to. She also wants to fight back and
she keeps getting dragged back into the fight. It was a good conclusion to the
trilogy. It was a bit meh, it felt like a lot was wrapped up a little too
neatly. I also felt like the twist concerning Kyla and her mother wasn’t that
surprising. I liked it though, there was action and adventure and some good
government oppression and shooting. The whole Kyla-Ben thing has sort of bugged
me through the whole trilogy, so I was both annoyed and pleased with how that
turned out. Anyway, those were my thoughts.
This was read as a book of the month for a goodreads group. It was
great. It was a totally okay fantasy book, and a good start to a series. It’s
about a young man named Kell, one of the last Travelers. He can travel from one
London to another. One London is Grey London, which is this world, where there
was magic, but the magic is gone now, one is Red London, where magic is revered
and used responsibly, this is Kell’s London, and there is White London, where
magic is seen as something you control and use, as a weapon. There is also
Black London, but they don’t talk about that. Kell is a Traveler, a magician,
and on the down-low, a smuggler. This gets him into trouble and he runs to Grey
London where he runs into Delilah “Lila” Bard, a pickpocket and aspiring
pirate. Now they have to work together to fix the problem Kell has gotten into,
and save the world. It was fun, the world building was good. Kell and Lila were
both interesting characters and their banter was fun. I thought the premise was
well thought out and interesting. Some of it was solved a bit too easy, but
there was also good stuff ready for book 2 and 3.
This is the second volume of Way of Kings, because it’s fucking massive.
It basically just finishes the first book in the Stormlight Archive, and it
continues the story of Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar. It’s fun, it’s exciting,
there’s so much stuff, so much confusion, religion and awesomeness. I’ve
written a whole review here, which is probably better than me trying to
remember what I thought.
First book by the third Brontë. This is Anne Brontë’s debut novel. It’s
about a young lady named Agnes Grey who grows up the relatively poor daughter
of a minister. When her family falls into difficult financial straits she
becomes a governess to a family with three horrible children. When this doesn’t
work out she is fired and she moves onto another family. For some reason that
felt very sinister when I read it back. I don’t know why. She there meets the
young parson Edward Weston, and sort of falls for him. It was sweet. It was
simple, and not a lot happens. Both the families she stays with are awful and I
wanted to shake them. Agnes was sweet, she was a bit pious, and she sometimes
felt a bit good about herself for being so good and pious and nice. While she
is arguably a better person than Rosalie and Matilda she doesn’t need to feel
so proud of herself. I’m a bit grumpy right now, I’m sorry Agnes, you’re very
sweet, and Rosalie is a horrible human being.
This I didn’t actually read, I listened to it on audio book. I’m not
good at audio books, I tend to do other things while I listen, so I need them
to really grab me or I’ll lose where I am, and what’s happened. This is sort of
right in my wheelhouse, because I love weird science. I love the mavericks of
science. This was written by a former NASA scientist who currently writes the
web comic XKCD. He is obviously very smart, and he gets a lot of hypothetical
science questions in his inbox, and he answers them. And a lot of them are
weird, and a lot of them are just very absurd. It’s funny, I love his theory on
what would happen if the planet was drained of water. His conclusion was, among
other things, that the Netherlands, no longer under the threat of drowning,
would take over the world. I love him. Wil Wheaton reads the book, and his
voice is sort of perfect for this, he’s a nerdy, snarky, sarcasm machine. I
think the book probably has some diagrams and stuff, but I did love Wil Wheaton
reading it. Some of it was way too complicated for me. I’m a science
enthusiast, but I studied social anthropology in University and I took Library
science, so my math and physics knowledge is fairly limited. So some of it was
just way over my head, but a lot of it was just a lot of fun and really
interesting. I like it when weird people ask weird questions about science and
really clever people try to figure them out.
I read this for the bout of books read-a-thon and it took me like 3
days. It was great. In this installment of the Fairyland series September is
14, she’s slouching around Nebraska missing Fairyland when she somehow finds
her way back. She is categorized as a thief and rebel and she is given a job
from a Blue Wind. So she goes to Moon to deliver a box. There she meets her old
friends, hangs out in a library, travels through time in a photograph and meets
a Moon Yeti. It’s beautiful, and exciting. I love September, watching her sort
of grow up and become a young woman. I love Ell, he’s lovely and weird.
Saturday is amazing, and he is also sort of faced with himself and his future,
and it’s very interesting and almost heart-breaking. There is also a fucking
Turing test in the book, performed by someone named Turing. I laughed out loud,
it was amazing. The book is beautiful and amazing and I’m excited to read the
Greg Proops is a stand-up comedian, improviser and podcast-er. He has a
Podcast called The Smartest Man in the World where he basically just talks
about the state of the world, music, film, politics, poetry, art, baseball and
ancient Rome, because those things naturally go together. The book is sort of
his podcast in written form. He writes about things he likes, baseball, Ancient
Rome, Music, Women, and film. There’s also poetry scattered around. It’s great.
This is going to be based solely on me loving Greg Proops and not giving a shit
about anything else. It’s funny, he writes a lot like he talks. The longest
chapters are about his love of baseball, and the Negro League, and I barely
know how baseball works, I have very little interest in it, and I loved those chapters.
I think it’ll be a bit weird, and possibly annoying. I loved it. It has flaws,
and it’s not perfect. I don’t care. It’s awesome.
WHY IS THIS TAKING ME A FUCKING ETERNITY? I LIKE IT, WHY AM I SO SLOW?
Anyways, still reading this. A bit frustrated. Not with the book, with me.