Dune

Frank Herbert

Excited to finally read this after watching and enjoying the movie earlier this year.
Nov 2022 • ~40% complete; on hold

7 Seeds

Yumi Tamura

I think I will have to write a longer review/reflection at a later date. I first started reading this in 2014 or so, during a period of deep depression, dropped off it a few years later, before finally coming back to it now to finish. Even in a post-apocalyptic, hostile environment, the world is beautiful and worth living in.
★★★★★ • Nov 2022

Dead Silence

S.A. Barnes

I was excited about the premise, but it didn't live up to my expectations. There were some spooky parts, because I am easily spooked, but I disliked everything else—plot, characters, writing. Mild thematic spoilers: the romance was incredibly tiresome, the mystery was disappointing, and the in-universe ghost logic was confusing.
★☆☆☆☆ • Nov 2022

Spy × Family

Tatsuya Endo

★★★★☆ • Oct 2022 • reading

Field Notes on Science & Nature

Michael R. Canfield (editor)

An interesting collection of essays on the many notetaking habits of field researchers! I skimmed over much of the scientific details as a non-scientist. I liked the essay on birding, and the one on sketching.
Sep 2022
by recommendation of: James Somers, More people should write

Making Comics

Scott McCloud

Sep 2022

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

Scott McCloud

I liked the first few chapters more than the latter; I want to read more about craft now.
Aug 2022

And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie

Read this some years ago, and I forgot most details. Still fun!
Jul 2022 • reread

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Agatha Christie

Ooooooh
Jul 2022

Death on the Nile

Agatha Christie

Jun 2022

Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie

★★★★☆ • Jun 2022

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

Jun 2022

Cultish: The Language of Fanatacism

Amanda Montell

interesting, but I wish it were more academic
★★☆☆☆ • Jun 2022

The Magnolia Palace

Fiona Davis

Very slow, disliked the fairytale ending.
★☆☆☆☆ • Jun 2022

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

J.K. Rowling

Mar 2022 • reread

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

J.K. Rowling

One of the more enjoyable HP books, because Marauders and time travel.
Mar 2022 • reread

The Wake

Scott Snyder, Sean Murphy

Love the art. I enjoyed the first half, which was spooky and strange, a lot more than the second half, which was confusing.
★★★☆☆ • Nov 2021
by recommendation of: Alex

New Waves

Kevin Nguyen

Jan 2020

Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan

I wasn’t feeling this, but the historical setting is interesting.
Nov 2019

Remember It!: The Names of People You Meet, All of Your Passwords, Where You Left Your Keys, and Everything Else You Tend to Forget

Nelson Dellis and Adam Hayes (illustrator)

This is fun and interesting. The applicable parts I might use require committing and setting up a system and practicing, such as a number system for bus schedules. Maybe other applications will come to me later and a sophisticated system will make more sense.
Nov 2019

Women Talking

Miriam Toews

I thought this would be hard to read because of the subject matter (trigger warning: rape), but the book itself is about the philosophical discussions that come after.
I am already aware of that, says Mejal. Aren’t we all?

We are aware of many things, instinctively, says Ona quietly, but to have them articulated in a certain narrative way is pleasing and fun.

— Our freedom and safety are the ultimate goals, and it is men who prevent us from achieving those goals.

But not all men, says Mejal.

Ona clarifies: Perhaps not men, per se, but a pernicious ideology that has been allowed to take hold of men’s hearts and minds.

Nov 2019

Dark Matter

Blake Crouch

Mystery! Intrigue! Quick-paced drama! Like my previous review of his other book Recursion, my review for this one is ‘oof.’ I would watch a movie of this. To compare them: I liked Recursion more—I think the writing there is more sophisticated and the themes more compelling.
Nov 2019

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

sad, horrifying, violent
Nov 2019

This is How You Lose the Time War

Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Flowery, vague, flowery. It’s about two enemies that send letters back and forth. It’s light on the plot and setting—there’s a war happening and the mechanics aren’t elaborated on—and instead heavy (very very heavy) on the abstract and flowery language. Which, okay, I’m not into and I think it was a tad too much here, but this is an enemies-to-lovers narrative which is one of my favourite tropes. Also, WLW. So you know.
I wanted to say, your letter lives inside me in the most literal way possible, but didn’t—
Oct 2019

Frankissstein: A Love Story

Jeanette Winterson

I bought this to read on a four-hour train ride and ended up not liking it. It’s about ideas. Characters monologue about AI and bodies and robots. I did enjoy Mary Shelley’s sections though. I haven’t read the original Frankenstein, so I’m missing context as well.
Oct 2019

Recursion

Blake Crouch

Big oof. This was engaging and depressing with a side of fridge horror. I thought about it all day. Now I’m eagerly waiting for my library hold on his other book, Dark Matter, to come in.
★★★★☆ • Oct 2019

White Tears

Hari Kunzru

This was strange and surreal, and I’m still not sure what happened in the last bit. It gets very weird, very abruptly. I think I need to read it again.
Oct 2019

Wilder Girls

Rory Power

About girls! and lots of body horror, and girls and their relationships, and dying. And surviving. And girls who love each other. I want to read the sequel.
★★★☆☆ • Sep 2019

Regarding the Pain of Others

Susan Sontag

A short book that opens up a lot of questions about photography (particularly war photography), and what it means to take photos and view photos.
Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question is what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated.

I think this is an applicable question to any number of things—I now know about x injustice, so what will I do? It is not enough to have the knowledge. This was originally published in 2001 and updated in 2004; there is probably something new to be said about the scale of how news spreads today.

Sep 2019

Version Control

Dexter Palmer

veeeeery cool
★★★★☆ • Aug 2019
by recommendation of: Shirley

Commonwealth

Ann Patchett

I read this because of the cover, which stayed in my mind since when I first saw it. I kept reading it because the beginning was intriguing and I liked the writing. I found the rest of it slow and the ending unsatisfying. The narrative structure (told over 50 years, out of order) made me think a bit more about how long a lifetime really is.
★★☆☆☆ • Jul 2019

Hawkeye

Matt Fraction and David Aja

This was one of the first Marvel comics I ever read, way back years ago when I got into Marvel. It made me love Kate Bishop and the artwork of David Aja and Annie Wu. Years later, it’s just as enjoyable and touching as ever.
★★★★★ • Jul 2019 • reread

Fascism: A Warning

Madeleine K. Albright

goes through the history of various ~fascist~ leaders (what makes a fascist is discussed but not conclusively defined), which is mostly new information to me. the latter chapters are dedicated to looking at current events + US administration, which I found light on the analysis. also, it was uncritical of how the US is, well, imperialist and can hardly be held up as a moral standard, and I found this pretty glaring in the analysis (or lack thereof)
★★☆☆☆ • Apr 2019

My Sister, the Serial Killer

Oyinkan Braithwaite

★★★☆☆ • Apr 2019

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Timothy Snyder

Short & accessible, examples are drawn from European history
★★★★☆ • Apr 2019

Borne

Jeff VanderMeer

weirdness, inexplicable events, ecological horror. vandermeer loves his lush descriptions of an apocalyptic world and it was engrossing when I wasn’t impatient. and I really like borne the character
★★★☆☆ • Apr 2019

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton

nom
★★★☆☆ • Dec 2018

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Stuart Turton

yay: murder! very complicated (too complicated at times) mystery that was cleverly plotted out, the drama of it all

nay: no one is likeable, some incredibly awful fatphobia, the ending phase is pretty convoluted (on top of everything else), sometimes overly dramatic in prose

★★★☆☆ • Dec 2018

Persepolis

Marjane Satrapi

★★★★☆ • Nov 2018

i love this part

Tillie Walden

i cry
★★★★★ • Nov 2018

The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins

man this genre of thrillers
★☆☆☆☆ • Oct 2018

A Stranger in the House

Shari Lapena

★☆☆☆☆ • Sep 2018

The Martian

Andy Weir

★★★☆☆ • Sep 2018

Behind Her Eyes

Sarah Pinborough

Now that i zoomed through this I'm not really sure if i liked it. Mysterious, suspenseful, and aggravating characters making bad decisions
★★☆☆☆ • Jul 2018

Watchmen

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

there is so much that is beautiful about the artwork! the individual panels, composition and framing, use of shadows and light (silhouettes!!!), repeated symbolism, transitions, etc. etc. I want to own this so I can look at it all the time and study the way that it's put together. I wish I read this in class so I could sit with a bunch of people and dissect each page.
★★★★★ • Apr 2018

The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller

i read this because i just finished watching troy: fall of a city and i recall hearing good things about it. Achilles sulking in his tent and the standoff is as infuriating as u might expect, and I am less enamoured by themes of honour and glory when it comes to the character's own.

i want to give this 3.5 stars. i think i would give it more if there were more space to watch them be in love. that was what i came here for. but there was a lot of ground to cover—10 years of war! and childhood!—and this was a quick, easy read (albeit sad) to fill the gaps that the troy tv show did not.

also: best of the myrmidons!!! i think this was written very well

★★★★☆ • Apr 2018

The Shining

Stephen King

I can’t believe this book has dredged up my childhood fear of shower curtains covering bathtubs
★★★★☆ • Mar 2018

Acceptance

Jeff VanderMeer

leaves many questions to be answered. the whole series is slow and eerie and requires a lot of patience. something is always a little bit off. narration is interesting. will need to reread
★★★☆☆ • Jan 2018

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

interesting language that made the violence digestible, less interesting way of pondering free will
★★☆☆☆ • Dec 2017

Authority

Jeff VanderMeer

★★★☆☆ • Dec 2017

Annihilation

Jeff VanderMeer

entrancing and dreamy with a side of horror. actually, a lot of horror. everything is strange and there are only questions upon questions now. also, very enjoyable writing
★★★★☆ • Dec 2017

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Michelle Alexander

★★★★★ • Dec 2017

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

Nancy Isenberg

★★★☆☆ • Nov 2017

How Did We Get into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature

George Monbiot

I feel like this was way too surface-level
★★☆☆☆ • Nov 2017

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change

Ellen Pao

sad
★★★☆☆ • Nov 2017

Hiroshima

John Hersey

★★★★★ • Aug 2017