The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

This was both an astounding read, and a disturbing one. It’s not a book I can say I enjoyed wholeheartedly because it deals with some very serious stuff, and yet there were parts that were bewitching, and fascinating, and enticing. There was no point at which I felt I’d have to put it down, but there were points at which I wish I could have done. In case I’m not making myself clear, I feel very conflicted about this book. I think, on the whole, it was good. Byrne’s two unreliable narrators, telling their stories a generation apart, are compelling, … Continue reading The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

Chalice by Robin McKinley

After the utter grimness of A Clockwork Orange I needed to read something comforting, familiar and beautiful. And Robin McKinley will ever and always be the author I go to for that combination. The Hero and the Crown, The Blue Sword, Beauty, Spindle’s End, and Sunshine are some of my favourite curl-up books, but somehow I missed Chalice being published back in 2008 and bought it earlier this year to plug the gap. The actual story is small – a young woman is unexpectedly given a significant responsibility she thinks she cannot live up to, but does it well (if … Continue reading Chalice by Robin McKinley

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The idea of censoring and banning books both flummoxes and fascinates me. The concept of protecting others from challenging ideas by denying them access seems odd to me because I associate challenge with growth – how can I become more than I am now if I am always given the easy path? Additionally, my job is all about making information freely available to all in the interests of empowerment. It is a job that rests upon the belief that to learn is to grow. There are some really crappy aspects to my job (contrary to the popular belief that library … Continue reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding

“Welcome to the crew of the Ketty Jay … You ain’t a member till you’ve caused at least one major catastrophe.” This is my favourite Ketty Jay book so far. It has more of everything I’ve enjoyed in this series and a whole lot less of the stuff that was irking me. After the fairly grim happenings in The Black Lung Captain the crew are back on form here, quipping their way through a fast paced adventure involving an ancient relic, a deadly curse and a lost city. It’s dieselpunk Indiana Jones all the way, baby. What I liked most about The … Continue reading The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding

The Binti trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

I first heard of Nnedi Okorafor back in 2014 when I read about her novel Lagoon. I was hugely excited at the prospect of a book in which aliens landed in Africa and immediately added it to my list. I am ashamed to say I then did absolutely nothing about getting or reading it. When people started talking about the Binti novellas I didn’t even connect Okorafor with Lagoon at first. This dreadful inability to retain stuff frustrates me more than I can say. I want to know and read everything, but as a result I end up knowing and … Continue reading The Binti trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

  Reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was like reading a warm fuzzy hug of a book where the point was not to get into world-altering life-threatening situations but to make friends and find a place where you could be yourself. Like iyashikei manga it was a celebration of things that give comfort: companionship, food, and home (wherever that may be). Yes, there was drama, but really the reader knew everyone was going to be OK. Chambers is a glass-half-full writer, interested in the good that can be found in people and in life, and I enjoyed … Continue reading A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

    This is a two-part Book Bingo post – category: Read a book then watch the movie.   Part 1: The Book Read 22nd – 25th May 2018 Oh my goodness, this was just the BEST book. I think it may actually be a perfect book. I was completely enthralled by this intense 195-page story so be prepared for nonsensical gushing from here on in! (Being as it was originally published back in 2014 I’m going to assume that anyone reading has a fairly good idea what it’s about, but I’ll do my best not to spoil anything). But … Continue reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

  If there was ever a SFF-lovers’ equivalent of a holiday read, this book is it. The Shambling Guide to New York City is light and funny, and as long as you’re not looking for anything more than that, it’s a blast. The basic set up – 30-something Zoë gets new job working for unique publishing company creating first travel guide for supernatural visitors to New York City – is promising, as is the ethnic cast list. It’s not all vampires and werewolves (zzzZZZZZ), (although, yes, the CEO of Underground Publishing is a vampire), we meet a broad spectrum of … Continue reading The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

Flying Witch (volumes 3 & 4) by Chihiro Ishizuka

  It’s a gorgeous, sunny PM here and that lovely afternoon quiet has descended on our little corner of the world for the time being. I don’t feel like catching up on the housework (let’s face it, I’m never going to be caught up on the housework), I don’t feel like sanding down the woodwork as I planned to do. Instead I’ve been rereading the next two volumes of Ishizuka’s Flying Witch (I wrote about volumes 1 and 2 here) and wallowing … luxuriating, even … in the harmless, peaceful, adorable world of Makoto and her friends. I have only … Continue reading Flying Witch (volumes 3 & 4) by Chihiro Ishizuka

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron edited by Jonathan Strahan

I can’t always decide what to read. I know I’m not alone in this. But sometimes … *takes deep breath* … there’s just so much to choose from and if I pick one book then I’m rejecting a whole heap of others will their feelings be hurt? what will I be missing? what if I die before I get round to reading the one I didn’t choose? and I’m not achieving the numbers I should be and I just can’t quite calm down about the whole thing. I know, I know, First World problems. So when I get all overcome … Continue reading Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron edited by Jonathan Strahan