Tag Archive: cheryl-recommends



A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I give this book 20 stars? This is MY kind of sci-fi! No wars and shooting and one-up-manship. We get to know another social order, the good and bad of it. We watch someone growing up within and without that order. We get to know other beings. We get to travel in space. There just happens to be males and females. In this case, a female lead but it could as easily have been a male. Good choice to have a female to have the adventure. YAY! Male in the story, not necessarily a romantic counter point. A friend. Believe it or not!!!!

Though this is book two in the series it could stand alone. But if you get the chance to read the first book, do so. It was fun, too! You can find my review of the first book in GoodReads under The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

What I think I liked best about this book is how the author took us into a young girl’s thoughts without making us feel childish or talking down to us. And how well she matured said girl through the years helping the reader feel that maturity and sense of growth. How a sense of time alone doesn’t become boring as it might if we lived it, but a chance to learn and explore ideas and abilities.

Oh, and one of my favorite reasons for reading sci-fi is to learn new philosophies or enjoy those we might have left behind for a revisit now. I think Becky Chambers may be my new favorite sci-fi author!

This book is now on my gotta buy the Kindle and Audible versions so I can reread it soon!

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Stars Come Out WithinStars Come Out Within by Jean Little

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an Inter-Library Loan. That meant I only had two weeks to read it. Yikes! And the font… well, it was darker and good sized, but the lines were too close together. That made it difficult for me to read, but not impossible. Under really good lighting and short sips of the book, I managed to finish. Yay! I thought often, that Jean Little, herself, would have had a hard time reading this. My eyes aren’t nearly as bad as hers were, but I have similar problems. I have two eyes that operate independently from each other. Tracking is a big problem for me. In fact, I mostly read with one eye. The other goes on vacation. Its function is for far away. When I was young I had to hold the books really close. Not so close as to get print ink all over my nose, but near enough. As my eyes age, they let me pull the book away a bit.

With floaters, diabetes, and macular degeneration, I have deep fears of blindness. On the other hand, I have a great fascination with how people deal with it. I have always been amazed at abilities the disabled people portray. I remember reading about Helen Keller when I was in grade school. The week I got to see Miracle Worker on television, I walked around my house pretending to be blind to see if I could do it. After all, my great grandmother was blind. She made pot holders on her sewing machine for everyone in the family. She managed to get around her house just fine. No one lived with her. She had no guide dog, that I know of. And she never complained. Her conversations were like normal, none drew attention to her blindness. She could whip out her harmonica and play us all tunes. She was amazing. I could see and I couldn’t sew or play the harmonica.

Anyway, back to the book. This is the second part of Ms. Little’s autobiography. Her eyes were getting worse. That’s bad for a writer. Especially for back then. Her way of writing a book was with a typewriter. How, if you can’t see, do you go through the editing process? Granted she had a good support group with family and friends. People would read to her. She was already established with an editor and publisher, but she was also a bit of a perfectionist, as we should be at that stage.

As Jean Little goes through all these setbacks you see her honest reactions. No, she isn’t always graceful in her acceptance of her disability or the ways around it. I loved the fact that she was able to show her grumpier side, or the parts when she did feel sorry for herself. She let us see her faults, her humanness. That was what kept me reading, I think. That and the dog. Oh, I wanted to hug that dog!

Within these pages, Jean sprinkled in poetry. Hers and others. She gives us clues into her reading life, her favorite authors and books. For those who love childrens’ books, it is fun to see titles or authors of much adored reads of the past.

Now that I have finished reading the book, I want to see a part three. I want to go read her childrens’ books and those she admired that I didn’t read as a kid or mother. I understand she has a website. I am off to go research. I hope you enjoy this autobiography as much as I did.

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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Libraries, bookstores and friends (family) the true gold of this world. At least for me. Family fits in there, too, but to me, they are friends with common DNA. Just like books in the bookstore or library, a friend/family member is there to lend their uniqueness to your life. Gold.

I borrowed this book from the library. I was lucky that they had it in Kindle form and that text-to-speech was enabled. I think I will have to buy this book in Kindle form and see if there is an Audible version. That would make the book even more golden.

Thank you, my good friends, for recommending this book so highly. Though it fits none of my criteria for my reading goals of ‘books by women with strong female protagonist’, it still has a couple women that are smart and goal oriented. Still, it wouldn’t pass the Bechdel Test http://bechdeltest.com/.

Look, for many of you the title will dissuade you from reading the book. It, frankly, sounds dreary! But as I was telling my husband, it feels as intriguing as Da Vinci Code (sorry, I never read that one–not my kind of book). There are codes to solve and mysteries to unravel all against the background of San Francisco and New York. For me, the best part is that there is no blood and guts to worry about. Yet the story keeps you engaged, wondering what is going to happen next.

I would like to read it again. I look forward to the second book.

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