Thoughts on my March 2022 Reading

Technically it’s now spring, though I’m still adding extra layers of wool. The weather tempted me to find more moments to curl up with Dot, a blanket, and a book, also known as my preferred state. Last month it allowed me to finish reading nineteen books; they had an average page count of 357 pages, and were published between 1962 and 2022.

The Book List

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (1962), 640 pages, Fiction, Book & Library Audiobook.
It’s not the easiest of books. I read the first fifty pages or so multiple times over the years feeling as it’s one of those books I should finish. Now that I have, I’m happy to do have done so. It was finally the right time for me to read it.

Marked (2018), 354 pages. Fallen (2019), 296 pages. Forged (2020), 312 pages. Risen (2021), 323 pages. Alex Verus series (#9-12) by Benedict Jacka, Urban Fantasy, Library books & ebooks.
I still think Bound (book #8) is the best of this series. Some parts felt forced at times and didn’t quite have everything to really hook me in, other than my desire to see how it was wrapped up. I don’t feel the same attachment to characters as I do to Butcher’s Desden series, but I’m still thinking about the series weeks later, so that’s something and I may need to reevaluate my thoughts. .

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (2020), 496 pages, Sociology; History, Library book.
For reasons unknown beyond library book due dates, I hadn’t finished the last two chapters. If you haven’t yet read this, go get it. Read it. This post will wait.

Atlas of AI by Kate Crawford (2020), 288 pages, Artificial Intelligence, Library book.
A good cursory, but well researched & cited look into the politics, planetary, and people costs of AI today.

Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik (2022), 428 pages, Science Fiction, Starlight’s Shadow (#1), Library ebook.
I’ve enjoyed Mihalik’s other books and this new series is a fun read. The romance is a bit … obvious and its inevitable climax (sorry) felt forced, not as in rape, but as in oh the story’s about to end and this needs to happen. Luna, the not-pet pet was perfect feline-esque comic relief.

Recursion by Blake Crouch (2019), 329 pages, Science Fiction, Thriller, Library ebook.
Neuroscientist Helena Smith is driven and to record and relive memory. Detective Barry Sutton is investigating False Memory Syndrome. But everything keeps shifting and changing. This one really hooked me in. As to why — I entered college in 1997 expecting to study neurobiology and left with a degree in computer science.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (2020), 444 pages, Fantasy, Library audio & ebook.
Ooooh. This was absolutely lovely though it took me a few tries to get into it. While it may seem dull at times, the entire story needs those moments. Yes, it’s another book on left and memory, I have ideas as to why I am drawn to these types of stories.

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire (2022), 160 pages, Urban Fantasy, Wayward Children (#7), Library book.
We know I’m a McGuire fangirl. I really love this series and wonder where my door would have led, and where in my childhood universe I would have stumbled upon it. In this book we finally discover the Whitethorn Institute, and learn that not all is as it appears. I’m not the only one who loves this series, it’s a finalist for the 2022 Hugo in Best Series!

52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen by Faith Kramer (2021), 232 pages, Cookbook, Library book.
This book is surprisingly beautiful. The layout is easy to read (and skim) and the photos made me hungry. It includes side dishes and guidance on ways to build a menu for a more formal meal (side dishes, appetizer, etc) for shabbat. There are insights into ingredients and history. Be aware that it is meat heavy, though I found plenty of inspiration in them that I could adapt to plant-based. I wish this sort of book I wish existed when I was a young home cook and had no idea how to put together a meal — for shabbat or every day.

Omens (2013), 486 pages. Visions (2014), 448 pages. Deceptions (2015), 496 pages. Betrayals (2016), 416 pages. Rituals (2017), 471 pages. Cainsville Series (#1-5) by Kelley Armstrong, Urban Fantasy, Library ebooks.
Ok, I also now an Armstrong fangirl. This series ticked all the boxes for me that Jacka’s Alex Verus did not, though its ending was also obvious from a distance. Olivia fascinated me as a character. Cainsville enthralled me as a place, but that could be my own obsession with gargoyles. And how could I not fall in love with TC? Every book needs a feline.

Upgrade by Blake Crouch (forthcoming, 2022), 352 pages, Science Fiction, Thriller, ebook.
This is the title I was invited to read and review, the FTC wants you to know. What would you do to save humanity? Would the answer change if you lived every day with the consequences of your mother’s actions — that caused the ruin of many scientific careers? What if her actions set you on a collision course with your genetics and the answer that might save the world she destroyed? My complete review is posted at Netgalley. I’m still thinking of this story and how Crouch created a believable world. It’s made me a little twitchy days after I read it as all good thrillers should.

Current Reads

Yesterday at the library, I picked up the newest title in Kelly Armstrong’s Rockton series and I’m almost finished; the rainy weather today is perfect for it. Otherwise I’m dipping in and out of various books, waiting for the next story to hook me. There are a few stories on the Hugo finalist list I haven’t read yet.

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