Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Artemis

I was soo nervous to read this since I loved The Martian so much. I was unsure that any follow up books by Weir could compare to that masterpiece, but I needn't have worried! This book was the bomb! I wish I could give it 4.5 stars instead of 4. This book is super different from The Martian, but also very similar. The lead character Jazz, is a twenty six year old Saudi Arabian living on the moon. She is a smart ass, sarcastic, genius. I love her. She has lived on the moon since she was six in the city of Artemis. She's not very high ranking in the grand scheme of things, she's at the bottom of the totem pole work-wise. She's stubborn and unwilling to use her skills to obtain a better job since she is still insistent on sticking it to her old man and making it on her own. She's a porter and in her spare time she smuggles illegal Earth items in for wealthy citizens. Her skills as an underground smuggler and her savvy business ethics lead one of the richest men in the city to hire her for a secret mission, from there, everything goes wrong. This book was soo funny and smart and I genuinely loved all the characters. The amount of world building in this is monumental and believable. I LOVED this!

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Power

Poignant, powerful, and wonderfully different for a change. For once, women are the power hungry, the dominant, the top of the food chain. Eerily reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale and other dystopian literature, The Power chronicles the female ascent to the top. Worldwide young girls are discovering that they have the power to release electrical charges, effectively shocking other people, sometimes to death. They also discover that when they shock older women they have the power to waken the dormant abilities. Soon women all over the world have this power and for once the men know fear. Told through multiple perspectives over a ten year span we see a female mayor aspiring to be governor, a young teenage girl with stronger raw power then anyone has ever seen, Mother Eve a prophet of the power, and a journalist, the lone male voice in this book. Together their panic, amazement, and greed tell the tale of how men became the weaker sex and the movement that changed the course of history forever, Wonderfully fresh and inventive. I loved it!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boston Jane

In middle school I was so enamored with this book that I read the whole book from start to finish EVERY night for a week. It resonated with me, I loved the characters, the plot, the romance, the adventure. I am soo pleased that even reading this book as an adult holds up. It is soo good! At sixteen Jane leaves her father behind in Boston and sails to the wild frontier of California to meet and marry William, a former apprentice of her father. When she arrives to the bay her betrothed is nowhere to be found. And the settlement is only a trading post and a local Indian tribe. With no other options she puts all her etiquette skills to use, mending clothes for the men, trading with the Indians, and trying to figure out cooking. All the while there is a handsome and rugged sailor who has his eye on her if she'd only notice. Lots of action, hilarity, and character development. I can't recommend this enough!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The 57 Bus

A pretty solid nonfiction book for teens that explores social justice (and injustice. Two teens are bound together after one horribly thought through mistake and their lives are altered. Sasha is an agendered teen who occasionally wears skirts, Richard is a black teen from the  crime ridden part of town who decides to get his friends to laugh. One afternoon while riding the 57 bus through Oakland, Richard sees a dude in a skirt sleeping at the back of the bus and thinks it might be funny if he got part of the skirt to smolder. His plan backfires horribly when the whole thing catches on fire in a blaze and endangers Sasha and the bus. He is arrested and charged with a hate crime, while Sasha must undergo multiple surgeries to save her legs. The 57 Bus tells both their stories and aims at getting the reader to think about justice and fairness, and even forgiving others.

The Blinds

A bunch of criminals who have had their memories erased live in a small secluded settlement in the middle of a Texas desert with no contact from the outside world. No one knows they're there and they themselves don't remember who they were. They're part of an experiment that wants to see if the mind can truly be erased and if hardened criminals can really change their stripes. For the seventy or so residents of The Blinds life is alright if not a little boring. It's always the same people to talk to, the same magazines and books to read. The only thing current is the news which they can watch to their hearts content. Fran is sick and tired of the same routine every day, she always think she might leave, but she doesn't have the money or the contacts to stay. When she was taken into The Blinds eight years ago she was pregnant and her son, the only true innocent, is the only child in the place. It's a lonely existence. Things gets shaken up when a resident is murdered at the bar. Suddenly everyone is on high alert. Was it the four new residents brought in the day before? Was it an outsider? Who knows who they really are? It's fast paced, unsettling, and raises great moral questions. A fun, inventive read.

Monday, December 4, 2017

American War

I literally read this book in one sitting this morning. I woke up, made coffee and did not move from the sofa until it was finished and I only had 20 minutes to get ready for work. This was an entirely engrossing read about arsonists and the county they terrorized. It's about love, hate, economic decline, and the American dream. A string of over 60 fires breaks out in a small county, the volunteer fire departments worked over time, citizens mobilized, and people feared for their property. For five and a half months people lived on the edge of their seats. Remarkably nobody was killed or injured in any of the blazes. Wonderfully told, this nonfiction novel will suck you in.

Killers of the Flower Moon

DAMN! This book was worth the hype! I loved The Lost City of Z, so I'm not surprised that I loved this as well. It's dark, disturbing, wonderfully researched and written. It's truly a marvel about a dark and bloody part of United States history. This book investigates the murder of dozens (the number is likely in the hundreds) of Osage Indians during the twenties as greedy white Americans tried to wrest oil rights from them. When some of the richest oil fields in the world were found in Osage territory, the tribe suddenly became some of the wealthiest people per capita. Try as they might the government couldn't force them to move or to take their oil away from them so greedy white neighbors hatched a plot to slowly kill them off. Local officials were crooked and it took Hoover sending over some of his investigators to help curb the deaths. It's a dark and sordid take that's worth remembering. I can't give this book enough praise.