Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Book Reviews – the March Edition




I only read three and a half books in March (I’m counting the novella as one half of a book).   
 
1. The Switch, by Beth O’Leary. ★★★★★ Eileen is sick of being 79. Leena's tired of life in her twenties. Maybe it's time they swapped places...
 
The Bug Says: Eileen lives in a small village in Yorkshire and Leena lives in London. When they switch places shenanigans ensue. I enjoyed this book quite a lot – it was a nice light foil to all the murder books I read.
 
2. The Once and Future Witches, by Alix Harrow. ★★★★ In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters--James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna--join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.
 

 
The Bug Says: Oh my goodness – what a good book! You can see in my picture above that I had a nice satisfying cry when it was over. I really like how this author builds worlds and the characters she creates (she also wrote The Ten Thousand Doors of January). I highly recommend this one!
 
3. Fractured (Will Trent #2), by Karin Slaughter. ★★★★ Ansley Park is one of Atlanta’s most upscale neighborhoods—but in one gleaming mansion, in a teenager’s lavish bedroom, a girl has been savagely murdered. And in the hallway, her mother stands amid shattered glass, having killed her daughter’s attacker with her bare hands. Detective Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is one of the first on the scene. Trent soon sees something that the Atlanta cops are missing, something in the trail of blood, in a matrix of forensic evidence, and in the eyes of the stunned mother. When another teenage girl goes missing, Trent knows that this case, which started in the best of homes, is about to cut quick and deep through the ruins of perfect lives broken wide-open: where human demons emerge with a vengeance.
 
The Bug Says: You might recall that I read the first book in this series last month (Triptych). This one was also really good. I usually enjoy a good police detective book & this one did not disappoint.
 
4. Normal, by Warren Ellis. ★★★ Some people call it "abyss gaze." Gaze into the abyss all day and the abyss will gaze into you. There are two types of people who think professionally about the future: foresight strategists are civil futurists who think about geo-engineering and smart cities and ways to evade Our Coming Doom; strategic forecasters are spook futurists, who think about geopolitical upheaval and drone warfare and ways to prepare clients for Our Coming Doom. The former are paid by nonprofits and charities, the latter by global security groups and corporate think tanks.

For both types, if you're good at it, and you spend your days and nights doing it, then it's something you can't do for long. Depression sets in. Mental illness festers. And if the "abyss gaze" takes hold there's only one place to recover: Normal Head, in the wilds of Oregon, within the secure perimeter of an experimental forest.

 
The Bug Says: Someone gave this book to Dr. M to read and I decided that I might enjoy it. It sort of  has a spy novel flavor to it. The main character has a nervous breakdown and goes to Normal Head to recover, but then someone goes missing and he rouses all the patients to solve the mystery. It’s really more of a novella, but even at that there is a LOT of theoretical language from all the characters about their particular brand of strategy & their particular mental illness. I started skimming it because I frankly didn’t understand about half of what they were saying. I will say that the mystery was actually pretty interesting – I was surprised by whodunit.
 
I’m already almost finished with the 3rd Will Trent book – it’s pretty good too. After that, who knows? I might have to reread some old favorites until my next library book is available. Are you reading anything good these days?

9 comments:

  1. I'm currently reading Tuesday Mooney Talks To Ghosts (I'd give the author but then I'd have to get up and go look and the dog is laying in my lap). It seemed very young adultish though it was in the adult section. apparently it's an homage to a young adult book. I'm about halfway through and enjoying it. a rich guy dies unexpectedly but he had already set up an elaborate treasure hunt for his fortune, leaving clues scattered across Boston.

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    1. Ooo - I'll have to check that out! The plot sort of reminds me of Ready Player One (but without all the online game playing I assume).

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  2. going to see if I can get the Once & Future Witches now!

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    1. I had to wait FOREVER to get it from the library, then I didn't finish in time & had to wait another age to check it out again!

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  3. OK, lemme just say, it sounds like the author of "The Switch" stole that idea from "Freaky Friday"!

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    1. I thought the same thing when I read the description, but they don't actually switch bodies - grandma actually moves to London & granddaughter moves into grandma's house in the country.

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  4. For me, Fractured sounds like something I could get into.

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    1. I have the actual hard copy - it's yours if you want it!

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2022 Project 365 – Week Twenty

This has been an absolutely lovely weekend! My cousin’s daughter got married and the wedding was gorgeous – stay tuned for lots of pictures....