Well now, here we are at the end of May. How are things on your end? Here in my province and city there’s move towards a new normalcy: shops ad businesses slowly reopening, lockdown and emergency contingencies relaxing, but still monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases. We shall see what June will bring us. In the meantime, here’s what has been going on at my blog for the month of May:
- Books reviewed this month include Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor (review), Hannah Kent’s The Good People (review), and John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- No movie reviews or other review types posted this month. Here’s what else has been going on in my life, lol.
- The great catch-up continues here on the blog as I continue posting reviews from books read as far back as…late last year? Early this year? Also may post photos from my last trip one of these days/sometime this summer.
Until next time, hope you and your loved ones are well and that you are all keeping safe and healthy!
All the Birds in the Sky
By: Charlie Jane Anders
Format/Source: eBook; courtesy of Tor.com reading club
Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.
But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.
A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.
I’ve long been following io9.com back when Charlie Jane Anders was editor of the site. So naturally I was curious when I heard she had written a book and was stepping down from that site to write full time.
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
By: John M. Barry
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.
Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon.
People told me this might not be the best time to read this book given what’s going on around the world with COVID-19 but I thought there was no better time than now to read this book. There’s a lot of similarities mentioned between the two pandemics and it was something I didn’t read as much when I was in school, having always focused on the wider geopolitics.
By: Penelope Fitzgerald
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
From the Booker Prize-winning author of Offshore, The Blue Flower and Innocence comes this Booker Prize-shortlisted story of books and busybodies in East Anglia.
This, Penelope Fitzgerald’s second novel, was her first to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is set in a small East Anglian coastal town, where Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop. ‘She had a kind heart, but that is not much use when it comes to the matter of self-preservation.’
Hardborough becomes a battleground, as small towns so easily do. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. This is a story for anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.
Please bear with me in this review, I thought I had written notes down when I had finished reading it but I guess not. This book had been cropping up in my radar for some time and it sounded interesting so I decided to pick it up (also, in the event I ever get around to watching the movie).
The Raven Tower
By: V.E. Schwab
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Listen. A god is speaking.
My voice echoes through the stone of your master’s castle.
This castle where he finds his uncle on his father’s throne.
You want to help him. You cannot.
You are the only one who can hear me.
You will change the world.
A triumph of the imagination, The Raven Tower is the first fantasy novel by Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking fantasy masterpiece.
Ann Leckie writing a fantasy novel? Yeah, count me in! And isn’t the cover gorgeous?