Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (left to right):

  • A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum - from Hatchette for review via Shelf Awareness
  • My Coney Island Baby by Billy O'Callaghan and 
  • The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal - both from HarperCollins for review
  • The Black Panthers Speak, ed. by Philip S. Foner,
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela V. Davis, and
  • The Speech by Gary Younge, all purchased from Haymarket Books for Black History Month
  • Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas - from Avon Books for review

What a fun stack. I remembered, after I ordered the three Haymarket Books, that I have Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom, but it's about the size of a brick so I could not possibly have read it in a single month. I think I'll put it on my challenge list for 2020. Yes, I'm already coming up with plans for next year's challenges. I've only got one remaining title from my first Haymarket Books order (a Holocaust diary) and all three I've read were terrific so I'm really looking forward to this batch.

As to the rest, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is by the author who wrote Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, which I loved, so I'm excited about that. My Coney Island Baby is by the friend of a friend. I have not met him, but my friend has gushed about Billy O'Callaghan, so I was excited to see that one of his books had come up for review. And, A Bend in the Stars takes place during the run-up to the first World War. Until a few years ago, I really had not read much at all about WWI but I've increasingly become intrigued by stories set during WWI. I briefly felt like I had an understanding of how that war began, after one of the books I read, but I guess I'll have to reread it because I really can't remember a thing about the series of events that led to war (besides the assassination).

Devil's Daughter was unsolicited but I love reading a romance, now and then, to shake up the reading so I'm looking forward to it. Avon has mostly gone to electronic review copies and I'm a failure at reading e-books, so I can't request them all that often and enjoy it when one shows up unexpectedly.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Hedy Lamarr's Double Life by Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu
  • Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley
  • The Girls at 7 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

Of those, the Hedy Lamarr bio (a children's book) is my favorite because I love bios of women in STEM but The Girls at 7 Swann Street is also excellent. Late in the Day was disappointing. I'll tell you why when I review it.

Currently reading:

  • The Free Speech Century by Stone and Bollinger
  • The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

I said I wouldn't mention The Free Speech Century again till I finished it, but since I'm only reading two books at the moment . . . well, whatever. I'm still reading it, obviously. I tried to add a third book but it didn't stick, so I may try another addition, tonight. I want to get started on a book for Black History Month, so I will try to devote more time to finishing The Free Speech Century, as well.

The Feed is an apocalyptic novel about a near future in which people have a chip implanted in their brains that allows them to access something akin to the Internet without any kind of keyboard or screen. Then, something happens -- no idea what, exactly, as of p. 53 -- that thrusts the world back back into a dark age. No power, no infrastructure or government, animals going wild, people trying to figure out how to grow food to survive. Those who have the chip in their brains are at a disadvantage because they didn't learn how to think the way the older people did and can zone out unexpectedly. I'd like this book better if the author would drop a hint or two about what caused the Feed to go down and the world to shatter. I don't like not knowing anything at all about the reason. I suppose that will be revealed in time, but I'm feeling impatient. Maybe I'll just try to read faster.

Posts since last Malarkey:

Not a bad reviewing week, although I went sput . . . sput . . . sput around Thursday. Just couldn't get myself to sit at the computer. So, what normally would have been my Friday post was moved to Saturday. I'm getting close to finishing up January reviews! Woot!

In other news:

I feel bad admitting this but I'm getting a little bored with Victoria. I won't stop watching it, though. Even though it's starting to feel like the same mini plots are regurgitated (and the death of a character I like broke my heart, last week), I can't bear the thought of missing it. I do need to figure out what the heck Feodora is up to. She's clearly shifty but what's her purpose? Obviously, the broad-shouldered footman is the new downstairs love story hero, but I just don't get Feo.

I know there was something else bookish that I wanted to mention but . . . no idea. If I remember it later, I'll come back and update. Happy Monday!

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