April 2018 archive

Apr 30 2018

Snow by Night Volume 2: Dissolution by Eric Menge & Brittany Michel

Devoured this in one sitting. I’m a huge fan (and personal friend) of Eric Menge’s and I strongly believe that Dissolution builds on the terrific first volume to really immerse us in the fantasy world of Corthis. This book contains chapters 5 to 8 of the excellent webcomic, as well as five vignettes that give …

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Apr 30 2018

Snow by Night Volume 1: Calcination by Eric Menge & Brittany Michel

Several things to admit: first, I’m friends with the creators of this excellent webcomic. Despite this friendship, and my knowledge that Eric Menge is a brilliant writer, I’m absolutely wretched at keeping up with webcomics as they publish, even his. I get sidetracked and forget to check in, and while I’m not one of those …

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Apr 28 2018

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

What an incredibly annoying book. Imagine, if you will, a family where the parents ignore two of their children but place all their hopes and dreams and crushing projections on the one daughter who winds up dead soon after her sixteenth birthday, after which the parents learn to become better parents, and maybe better partners …

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Apr 25 2018

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton

This book has such amazing world-building that I absolutely went and put a hold on the next book in the series as soon as I was done with this one. I mean, Western gunslingers meets Arabian Nights? Sign me up! The land of Miraji is a stand-in for the Middle East in this terrific alternate …

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Apr 25 2018

A Sorcerer and a Gentleman by Elizabeth Willey

A Sorcerer and a Gentleman. One character who is both? Or two characters and one of each? Elizabeth Willey’s second novel, set in the same multiverse as The Well-Favored Man, offers numerous candidates for each appellation. She starts her story with an unknown person and the “proverb, often quoted but seldom applied, that all a …

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Apr 23 2018

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

The Secret Lives of Color fairly leaped off the display table at me. Once I had it in my hands, I had to own it. The book itself is an argument for books as tangible objects, thanks to the efforts of designer James Edgar and the production team at Penguin who all made it such …

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Apr 22 2018

How Not to Be a Professional Footballer by Paul Merson

Absolutely cracking depiction of the lifestyle of a professional English footballer in and around the 1990s. Paul Merson is an Arsenal legend whose off-the-field antics were just as noteworthy as his sporting accomplishments, tho perhaps in a far different context. Merse is a larger than life figure who was as well known for his ebullient …

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Apr 20 2018

Thud! by Terry Pratchett

Thud, like The Last Jedi, was much better than it had any right to be: deep into the series, with the previous outing in need of tightening up a bit (Star Wars: The Third Death Star needed much more than that, but nevermind). Thud also embodies a particular hazard of a long-running series: an item …

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Apr 19 2018

An Interview With Alice Blanchard, author of A Breath After Drowning

Author photo of Alice Blanchard.

Q: Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did A Breath After Drowning evolve? A: I was haunted by the image of a mother abandoning her daughter in the waiting room of a psychiatric hospital—silver crosses draped around the young girl’s neck and …

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Apr 17 2018

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple

I read The Gatekeepers, a book about White House chiefs of staff, like the grad student and extremely minor Washington insider that I used to be: acknowledgments first, then scan the bibliography, then a look at the notes, then the main text. In this case, I also read the last chapter, which is about the …

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