Category: Books


Review: Transcription

Posted 25 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Transcription
By: Kate Atkinson
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.

Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.

Picked this book up on a whim; I greatly enjoyed reading her books Life After Life (review) and A God in Ruins (review) and the premise of the novel sounded interesting.

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Review: Melmoth

Posted 23 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Melmoth
By: Sarah Perry
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now, in Sarah Perry’s breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.

It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy.

But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . .

I’ve seen Sarah Perry’s books around for the last few years but just never got around to picking them up. I ended up picking up this title because it was recommended in a list of recommendations on some website…I was in the mood for something Gothic, as well as a story about friendships, and look! it’s set in Prague, so I ended up picking up this book. Plus, look how gorgeous the book cover is! 😀

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Review: History. A Mess.

Posted 21 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

History. A Mess.
By: Sigrún Pálsdóttir, Lytton Smith (Translator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

While studying a seventeenth-century diary, the protagonist of History. A Mess. uncovers information about the first documented professional female artist. This discovery promises to change her academic career, and life in general . . . until she realizes that her “discovery” was the result of two pages stuck together. But she’s already reached the point of no return, and she goes to great lengths to hide her mistake—undermining her sanity in the process. A shifty, satirical novel that’s subtly funny and colorful, while also raising essential questions about truth, research, and the very nature of belief.

I picked up this book after a fellow book blogger featured it on his Instagram. It sounded interesting–the main character is a protagonist! The author is Icelandic!–so I snatched it up right away.

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Review: The Consuming Fire

Posted 11 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Consuming Fire (The Interdependency #2)
By: John Scalzi
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilization may go with it—unless desperate measures can be taken.

Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, is ready to take those measures to help ensure the survival of billions. But nothing is ever that easy. Arrayed before her are those who believe the collapse of the Flow is a myth—or at the very least, an opportunity that can allow them to ascend to power.

While Grayland prepares for disaster, others are preparing for a civil war, a war that will take place in the halls of power, the markets of business and the altars of worship as much as it will take place between spaceships and battlefields. The Emperox and her allies are smart and resourceful, but then so are her enemies. Nothing about this power struggle will be simple or easy… and all of humanity will be caught in its widening gyre.

Yaaaaah, book two! I enjoyed the first book in the trilogy, The Collapsing Empire (review), so I was curious to see how things panned out for the characters after the end of the book. Contains some spoilers ahead!

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Review: Normal People

Posted 9 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Normal People
By: Sally Rooney
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Connell Waldron is one of the most popular boys in his small-town high school–he is a star of the football team and an excellent student, and he is never wanting for attention from girls. The one thing he doesn’t have is money. Marianne Sheridan, a classmate of Connell’s, has the opposite problem. Marianne is plain-looking, odd, and stubborn, and while her family is quite well off, she has no friends to speak of. There is, however, a deep and undeniable connection between the two teenagers, one that develops into a secret relationship.

Everything changes when both Connell and Marianne are accepted to Trinity College. Suddenly Marianne is well liked and elegant, holding court with her intellectual friends, while Connell hangs at the sidelines, not quite as fluent in the language of the elite. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, falling in and out of romance but never straying far from where they started. And as Marianne experiments with an increasingly dangerous string of boyfriends, Connell must decide how far he is willing to go to save his oldest friend.

Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a novel that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the inescapable challenges of family and friendships. Normal People is a book that you will read in one sitting, and then immediately jump up to share with your friends.

I’ve been eyeing this book for a while now, ever since it hit the circuit and everyone was raving about it. Almost picked it up on a few occasions but for whatever reason never went through with it until it went on sale over the summer on Kobo. Seemed to be on the short end so I decided to read it for a change of pace (I was reading a lot of economics towards the end of summer). Contains some minor spoilers ahead!

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