Tag Archive: i-want-to-read-again



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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My Melancholic DiaryMy Melancholic Diary by Iva Kenaz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to thank my GoodReads friend, A.S. Johnson for recommending this treasure to me. She was right, I did love it!

Once I got the recommendation I found that I could get it through Kindle Unlimited so I set about getting it right away. I already had tons of books ahead of it on my ‘currently reading shelf’, but I got around to it finally. So glad I did!

Where was this book when I was growing up? Oh, yeah, the author probably wasn’t born yet. What a great way to learn how fanciful a diary could be! When I was a young teen I had one of those diaries that had a little lock on it. Why I needed a lock always made me laugh. I rarely wrote anything in it beyond “I breathed in and out today.”

That a person in grade school chose to stay the last year of grade school with her eccentric father in the countryside near Prague in the Czech Republic so that she and he could iron out their differences, shows the maturity of the main character, Lisa, who is 14 nearly 15. But the book is full of mature themes but not in a preachy way. I think there is so much depth in this book that anyone of any age would find something to glean from it.

Lisa, the diary writer, the main character, of course, has a romantic heart and the adolescent inadequate self-esteem. Not too different from most people her age, but when you are that age, you don’t realize that. In fact, I wonder how many people outgrow that?

So seeing Lisa’s musings of her life and loves didn’t feel far from most people I know. Except for the fictional character that becomes alive for her. At first, that is shocking in such a mature girl, but as you watch the rest of her life you see that this ghost from another book guides her as much as she guides him. It is the one relationship that is working for her. What a grand idea! We should all have our own fictional hero/heroine who can speak to us while we write out the character’s destiny. Oh, yeah, we who write do just that! That is if we are writing daily. Gulp. We should be writing daily. Note to self…

Anyway, I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think even males will like it.

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Tell Me WhyTell Me Why by Trista Hendren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another amazing gem! This one was dedicated to the author’s son and the male community at large. Still there was a lot of wisdom to be inhaled by all.

Once again, this was one I couldn’t afford right now but when I saw I could get it through Kindle Unlimited, I just grabbed it up and gobbled it down. The illustrations by Elisabeth Slettnes were breathtaking. The quotes by wise ones worth rereading over and over. That’s why I must buy this one once I get paid. Not only do I want the whole series on my Kindle, I want the tree copies to highlight and meditate over.

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Review: Mars Rising


Mars Rising
Mars Rising by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am SO SAD! This is the end of the series. I could live in this series forever. I want to be Jess, or Harpreet. They are my favorite characters. Both are pilots who fly between Earth and Mars and globally on either. Oh, include the moon in that for Jess.

REAL science fiction. Real research involved in the science. These things are all possible and hopefully the space travel will be something we do.

Mars as a colony is grand! Its a believable world peopled according to what is possible in the beginnings of populating another planet.

Creepy things have taken over the political system of Earth. Such a marvelous planet to an outsider. Rain, oceans, breathable air. But recycling bodies? ‘Rebodying’. Ew. Although some of the science might be worth looking into for incurable diseases.

I know. You are looking at what I am saying and wondering what in the world I am talking about. Sorry. I should stick with reviewing. I try so hard not to make spoilers that I find relaying what the book is about nearly impossible. Meanwhile, these are the books I would have died to have to read when I was a kid. Still they hold up for me at 64. Though a little heavy in males, I find that the author has included all ages and sexes which is refreshing. And they learn from each other.

Okay, there is a bit of romance, but Jess isn’t all googly she holds on to herself and the couple completes each other intellectually and emotionally. That, too, is refreshing.

Cidney Swanson, also took a chance an included a sibling that has a disability. Jess’s brother, Ethan, seems to be a bit of a savant or has autism or Asberger’s Syndrome. She never labels his differences as such, just describes him with his assets and problems in ways that he is just human like all of us. Ms. Swanson is amazing in how she portrays this character.

In fact, the writing of these books is fantastic. I think I found an editing oops, but it was so minor that I can’t remember it at all. THAT’s how an author writes!

The series ended very well. I was glad to stick it out to the end. I didn’t have that incomplete feeling I often feel at the ends of books. Even still, I feel I will have to reread them all again and again! I recommend everyone who is a sci-fi buff to read them all. By the way, The first book, Saving Mars, is free right now. But for once I don’t feel bad about spending the money on the rest of the series. I think Ms. Swanson’s promotions of her books are very well done. Please, find these and enjoy them like I did–do.

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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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Review: Unbreakable


Unbreakable
Unbreakable by Joann Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is there anything that befalls womankind that doesn’t appear in this series? Whew! Don’t get me wrong, as much as is covered in these books, these are not thrillers. Suspense is there, but you have a confidence that it will work out. Love seems to pull the characters and reader through it all.

This second book is even better than the first, if that’s possible. The characters are wonderful. I love them all. Well, that is, except the bad ones and even they are believable. This book had more the stresses of life as a rock-star and cop couple who happen to be lesbian. In this book we see the stresses of married life, fertility treatments, adoptions and so much more.

Erotica peppers the two books, but I feel it is fun and a natural part of being a couple. Spice of life, you know?

My favorite parts of the books, aside from the above fun, was the child, Calista. I fell in love with her in the last book, starting with sandcastles and that love continues into this one.

Although I have watched the reality show with Guiliana and Bill and the troubles they had with IVF treatments, I think climbing into the minds of Lynn and Alexis gave me a better appreciation of what women, couples, go through to get and stay pregnant.

That was on top of the bigoted treatment the couple had sustained in their individual lifetimes. When others can’t find it in themselves to love you in spite of the fact that you don’t fit their idea of what is normal and acceptable, yet all you want is love.

Gosh, I miss Lynn and Alexis! Though the author didn’t leave us on a cliffhanger, there were enough threads to let us know we were not finished. I can hardly wait to read book three!

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The Saving Mars Series
The Saving Mars Series by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh. My. Goodness. I love, love, love this series! Oh, how I wish this would have been around when I was a young adult. I think it would have been the motivation I needed to pursue being an astronaut, math skills be damned!

Don’t be afraid to read it if you are a little younger than a “young adult”. I think even as young as a 10 year old could read it as this is a fairly benign story. Still it is a great adventure with space travel and futuristic life on Mars and Earth. I’m 64. I can’t get enough of these books. There are older characters to relate to in the story, too.

Speaking of characters, as much as I love the girl from Mars, Jess, her brother, Eth, is even more fascinating. He is a highly functioning autistic person or maybe he has Asberger’s syndrome. The author never applies a label, which I find refreshing. Eth uses what he knows and plays the role he is assigned in the mission even through his own disabilities. But then the rest of the crews does the same thing. Each character has their own short-comings and strengths. That is why the series works so well.

As I have stated in the reviews of the first two books, I think guys would like this as much as the gals as there are characters they can relate to, and the action and adventure just keeps coming.

On this, the third book for me, I found it a little less action and more setting the stage for more to come. I can hardly wait for the next book, but I have to wait for my next paycheck as I have spent my allotment for books for this month. By the way, this three volume set is still $.99.

I think everyone, especially science fiction buffs will love this series. The author has done her homework and even gives websites for Mars fans to look up all they need to know about Mars and spaceflight. Enjoy!

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Review: Under the Dome


Under the Dome
Under the Dome by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being an Under the Dome TV series addict, I knew I had to read the book.

 

 

I have only read one other Stephen King book and that was On Writing, which I loved.

Cover of "On Writing:  A Memoir of the Cr...

Cover of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

 

 

I have avoided SK because I don’t do horror. I get nightmares. But since I loved this so much I may have to read his other, less scary books. I already have The Stand in my personal library, but I would rather have Large Print or Kindle version and the Audible version to help me along.

Cover of "The Stand"

Cover of The Stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The narrator, Raul Esparza, was amazing! He is the first male narrator that did believable women and children voices without sounding fake in my experience. He had many accents to throw in for good measure. What I felt the most unreal was there were few Maine accents and many southern types. But it didn’t make the story less interesting, it did help keep the population of Chester’s Mill individualized.

A warning, outside of the same main characters and a couple incidences, this book is not like the television series. Still, I can’t wait to see what gets thrown into the mix.

It is nice to know that the man who wrote a book on writing writes a heck of a book!

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