supercheesegirl: (books - reading addict)
The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell: Finished on 3/5/17. I loved this book. It's been six weeks since I finished it and I'm still thinking about it.

Serafina and the Black Cloak (Serafina #1), by Robert Beatty: Read 3/11/17 - 3/12/17. I really enjoyed this odd little book. The Biltmore estate was nicely evoked, Serafina was a compelling character, and the big reveal about her identity was refreshingly different. Glad to see this is the start of a series.

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein: Finished 3/16/17. Yes, it was the first time I’d ever read it, and I only read it now because my book club insisted. I know, I know, what business do I have being a massive SF fan and only now getting around to Heinlein? Well, I hated it. I can see why it was so revolutionary and I found many of the ideas interesting, but man does the rampant sexism make it feel dated. (My book club buddy who was most interested in reading this couldn’t even finish it.) Many of the women were interesting characters, but the men were always primary - and discussed why it was good and right that they be the primary actors. Plus the treatment of the one character of color, the Muslim doctor, and the fact that he was the only character with a nickname (“Stinky”)? And the obvious discomfort with homosexuality, despite the sexual openness that characterizes the book. I can’t help wondering about (and actually hoping someone may write) what would have happened if “Valentine M. Smith” had been born a girl and how that could have totally changed the book’s dynamic.

I’m glad I read it, because I should educate myself about my genre, but reading it rarely felt like more than educating myself about SF history; it rarely sucked me in as a book should. I can appreciate that the ideas in this book may well have contributed to the social evolution that now makes it seem so old fashioned, but that doesn’t mean it’s still readable. Pass me the LeGuin, please.

The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman #1), by Neil Gaiman: First read in November 2005, reread 3/20/17. The first time around, I read the whole series so fast I didn’t have a sense of what happened in each volume, and I think I missed a lot. I really enjoyed the reread even though the gory bits seemed much gorier and darker to me now - more than 10 years later! Really enjoyed revisiting the beginning of Dream’s story (or, the story as Gaiman tells it, since obviously Dream’s story has no beginning or end...).

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Finished 3/26/17. Amazing, amazing book, truly was one of the best things I've read in a very, very long time. So smart, and the narrator's perspective on America as an American African (not an African American, and therefore as an outside observer of race in this country) was new to me. I feel like I learned a lot and also have a lot to think about. The ending for me (i.e., the resolution of the love story) didn't feel as earned as the rest of the book; it felt more like the character made certain decisions because the reader had come to expect it, not because we saw that character evolve into those decisions. But it's small quibble in a book that I think is likely to be generation-defining. And to be honest I still liked the optimism of the ending, and felt glad that it could still be optimistic.


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