Sunday, August 27, 2017

Lisa Reads 2017 - 52 Books Update

Well, it looks like my third quarter update gets to be my 52 BOOK SUMMARY as well! Cause I'm done guys!! Last year I completed my 52nd book on August 24. I beat that by one day! Ha!

So this post is going to be a little bit "third quarter update" and a little bit "project summary." Let's see what happens!

I only read 3 non-fiction books in the last two months (unlike my "cup runeth over with non-fiction" from the earlier part of the year). And they were all really good! But my favourite has to be Gulp by Mary Roach. I learned so much about our "alimentary canal" aka our mouth to bum system of our bodies. I was spewing (he he) out fun facts left, right, and centre. About farts, and saliva, and our stomachs. Really great, accessible science book.


As this is my favourite genre, I was super pumped to find so many excellent titles these past few months. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are both set in the Grisha universe, introduced in Ms Bardugo's earlier series, of which I am not the biggest fan. These two companion books take a different approach, add some new and fascinating characters, and quickly morph into a heist book with a fantasy background! And the heist was so well done. Double crosses, and side plans, and back up plans, and hidden plans. A daring rescue, an impenetrable fortress, and so many more adventures. "Swashbuckling" is a word I might use to describe this book. The characters are fierce, flawed, and genuine friends. The enemies are many, and you never know who is going to stab the group in the back or become a sudden ally. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed these books. Can't wait to see what else she comes up with!


If there was a trophy for this category it would be one of those huge ones, like as tall as a person, that they give out at cheerleading competitions. And there was no competition this month. I cannot get over the spectacular world that Ann Leckie has built in her Imperial Radch series. Holy shit balls. And it's her first novel! Double holy shit balls.

The Radch have been around for 3000-ish years, and all this time they just keep expanding and "annexing" other planets and their humans. Which just means absorbing them into their civilization and if some (aka alot) of folks die, then that's just the price they had to pay. Radch ships and space stations are all AI, and their consciousness is contained in hundreds to thousands of ancillaries, which are human bodies from those planets they have annexed. The human bodies that wouldn't just sit back and let annexation happen without a fight. We follow one AI ship in particular, Justice of Torren, as one of her lieutenants discovers a split in the Lord of the Radch...who is also made up of 1000s of cloned ancillary bodies. It turns out that the Lord herself is now operating as two separate beings and has been locked in a hidden civil war against herself for hundreds of years. Something happens to Justice of Torren, and It is left with only one ancillary body. It vows to get to expose the civil war to the citizens and force the Lord of the Radch to show her hand to herself, and to take personal revenge against the Lord of the Radch for something that happened in its past. All while spreading some pretty sweet social justice along the way.

To make it even more interesting, the Radch don't recognize gender, so everyone is "she". Their religion is super ritualistic, with a varied pantheon, and they have some interesting thoughts on purity and sex. It is a complex, amaze balls series, and I highly recommend it for the science fiction lovers out there.


Dark Life by Kat Falls > A dystopian fiction about a future where land is scarce, so people have moved below the water. They are called "Pioneers" and their children have a special gift: they can see in the dark!

The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World by Steven Johnson > You can tell it's a non-fiction by its behemoth title! Supposedly a "thrilling" historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London. So far, they are just telling me about poop. Which I still find fascinating! Listening to this one on my Overdrive app. LOVE that app!




I am on a roll this year for good books! There have been a few duds - as expected - but a lot of them aren't even recorded on my list because I'm pretty good at determining early on when I am not "into" a book - and won't get into it - and then moving on. Life is too short to read bad books!

I'm not sure I have any clever summaries or insights for this year's goal. I'm still just looking for books I like reading, women and POC authors, and great science fiction.

And I'm still on the lookout for recommendations for the next four months. You've seen what I've like so far, and I'm up for more of the same or something completely different!



For slightly more in depth book reviews and synopses of the books I'm finishing, as I finish them, please follow me on Instagram. I'm @sonotladylike over there. While I was looking up some details for this post, I came across a bunch of book review videos on You Tube. Yes, I live in a You Tube blackout zone and forget that there is a whole other world of rabbit holes out there for me to fall into! In fact, it has inspired me to maybe do my own video book reviews! Way easier than typing all these damnable words out.

xo

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