I love Bloggiesta for reminding me to brush up and take of my blog, and doing it "in community", so to speak, makes this housework a little more fun.
Given my earlier whining about feeling out-of-it with my blog, I'm really excited there's a mini-event this coming weekend in which I can do some backend work here.
My to do list is pretty simple: make a top 10 of 2016 post (even if it is just a list!)review the book I just finished!I'd like to start 2017 without a backlog of reviews, so it feels important I keep up. We'll see if I'll tackle my 2016 backlog. (Perhaps for another Bloggiesta!)
Okay, since it's really clear I'm not going to power through and write the fifteen plus reviews for my unreviewed 2016 reads, I'm going to attempt some mini-reviews because honestly, these books shouldn't linger here un-reviewed. They're all so great! I might try longer reviews once I get past this block, but in the meantime, quick thoughts about some of the books I read last year.
Genevieve Cogman, The Invisible Library
Literally an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink kind of fantasy book: an otherworldly Library where librarians try to collect one copy of every book from every universe/world.
Amazing premise, but between the overloaded plot and annoying lead characters, I was pretty ambivalent the entire time I was reading (also I'm not into men so pale you see veins; why is this a thing??). It was okay-to-good upon finishing, but despite having books two and three on hand, I've not bee interested enough to pick 'em up, so I guess that says everything.
First line: I recently experienced the perfect summary of my career at a Build-A-Bear store inside a suburban mall in Lancaster, California.
I only know Felicia Day from The Guild but I find her so funny, charming, and sweet, so when I needed a short audiobook to listen to while doing chores around the house, I settled on hers. I don't know what I was expecting -- Hollywood gossip, I think? some gossip about kissing Nathan Fillion?!?! -- but this memoir instead felt like a plea for some to understand her humanity.
Which isn't a bad thing, but is certainly heartbreaking.
In these post-Weinstein days, it was impossible for me not to hear it as that. Being an actress introduced harassment into her life (she shares more than one icky story of casting harassment), but her connection with gaming and the "geek" world meant an increase in horrible harassment and threats. When she weighed in on #gamergate, it just got worse.
I really ought to have loved this speculative short novel but I didn't, and it bums me out!
Set in an alternative now, where the US is broken into smaller countries -- Five Civilized Tribes, which is a conglomeration of US Indian/Native American tribes (I believe), the industrialized Tejas and puppet state of Albion, among others -- the story follows a Jamaican secret agent, Desmond Coke, who has smuggled a young boy from Jamaica in hopes of keeping him safe from a variety of nefarious forces.
It takes most of the novel to learn why they're being pursued and it's an intriguing premise. Desmond's work is hampered by geopolitical drama and some good old-fashioned double crossing, and with the 'Old West' ambiance and technology, it has the feel of Firefly or other weird West style stories.
And yet...I wanted more. I think were this a full length novel, it would have worked; the novella format didn't serve the setting or characters. (Full disclosure: I've …