Pick-a-Shelf discussion

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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly > 2020 - 02 - speculative-fiction - What did you read?

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message 1: by PAS, Moderator AC (new)

PAS (Mods) (pasmods) | 627 comments Mod
description

What speculative-fiction books did you read? Did you try something new? Did you pick up the next book in the series? Or find a new fave author?


message 2: by Amy (last edited Feb 09, 2020 04:06PM) (new)

Amy | 2144 comments I finished Strange the Dreamer last night and gave it two stars. I much preferred this author's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series.

I listened to the audiobook and kept losing interest. It certainly didn't help that this isn't a favorite genre for me, but other than the main character, Lazlo Strange, I just didn't care about anyone. By the end, I didn't much care about him either, likely because I had lost the plot about 100 pages prior...LOL.

Oh well, maybe I'll like my next read in this genre better.

I used this book for Bookopoly, Serial '20 and Just Read It - Prompt 1.


message 3: by Coralie (last edited Feb 06, 2020 05:28PM) (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I listened to Semiosis and I feel that I would have enjoyed it much more had I been reading it instead. I really liked the premise of intelligent plants. it was interesting to see how the relationship between the humans and the plants developed but I had trouble liking any of the characters. Without having written text it was hard to follow the generations and passage of time. I gave it 3 stars which might have been 4 if I had read it.

I used this book for seriously serial and Just Read It - Prompt 1.

I will nominate historical fantasy


message 4: by Ashley (last edited Feb 05, 2020 07:43PM) (new)

Ashley | 233 comments I read Fahrenheit 451 and I didn't like it as much as I thought I would based on a friend's recommendation. It was a short yet interesting story, but I would have liked a little more world-building. This is an older book and I usually read more modern fantasy, so maybe I'm just used to having more of a background and knowing more about what caused the dystopia. However, it was still an interesting premise and I liked how it demonstrated the power of books.

I used this in Bookopoly, MM, and Just Read It: Prompt 1.

I'll nominate supernatural.


message 5: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 470 comments I read The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. My ten year old and seven year old children are very engaged with this series and are excited for me to read along. The puzzles/clues are quite clever, but the plot often ends up relying too heavily on coincidence or too neat moments to move forward. Three stars.

I used this for Bookopoly and Seriously Serial.

I nominate nonfiction.


message 6: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 470 comments I read The Sagan Diary. This is really more of a long short story. It is part of the Old Man’s War series, which I’ve been enjoying. The story would not stand alone if you haven’t read the first two books in the series, but makes a nice addition if you have, giving insight into the thoughts of one of the main characters. Four stars.

I used this for Bookopoly and Seriously Serial.

I’ll nominate coming of age.


message 7: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Coralie wrote: "I used this book for seriously serial and Just Read It - Prompt 1."

Coralie, I wasn't sure if you wanted to nominate a shelf too?


message 8: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Amy wrote: "I finished Strange the Dreamer last night and gave it two stars. I much preferred this author's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series.

I listened to the audiobook and kep..."


ooh, most people seemed to have love the book. It was a bit strange lol


message 9: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
★★½

This is the third time I'm reading this but only because someone picked it for my f2f bookclub and that's happening this Saturday. I never loved it in the first place and I'm finding myself only half agreeing with my first-read's review.

I struggled with the first 100 pages - such slow set up and since it is a re-read, I know what's going to happen to such and such characters that I become even more impatient. And then, of course, I keep imagining the actors from the movies and it gets kinda irritating with one exception...

description

I don't think it's a spoiler thing to do these days but really once things started to hot up between these 2 characters, everything else seems to fade into the background. Or is it just me?

It's still a quick read and it was ok when things started happening. I still don't love it and I really really doubt I'd ever read it again though I can't give my book away cuz it's signed LOL

And here's a bit of cheese for you...

His eyebrows pull to the center of his forehead, and he grabs the hem of his T-shirt. In one swift motion, he pulls it over his head.
A patch of Dauntless flames covers his right side, but other than that, his chest is unmarked. He averts his eyes.
"What is it?" I ask, frowning. He looks . . . uncomfortable.
"I don't invite many people to look at me," he says. "Any people, actually."
"I can't imagine why," I say softly. "I mean, look at you."


🤣🤣🤣

Used for Seriously Serial '20.

Am going to second coming-of-age


message 10: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments Tien wrote: "Coralie wrote: "I used this book for seriously serial and Just Read It - Prompt 1."

Coralie, I wasn't sure if you wanted to nominate a shelf too?"


I'm still thinking about what shelf to nominate.

I didn't think much of Divergent either. I had serious issues with some of the assumptions. Some questions for your f2f bookclub -
What is the population and demographics?
How many of your group think they would neatly fit into one of those groups? What percentage of people would really be divergent?
(Sorry, just my little private rant.)


message 11: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
LOL don't worry, Coralie, I think half the group would be ranting right along with you!


message 12: by Tien (last edited Feb 07, 2020 01:23AM) (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Stone Mad (Karen Memory #2) by Elizabeth Bear
★★

I didn't enjoy this one as I thought I would. I guess in a way, this novella really is just a companion novel instead of a sequel. I loved this alternate-history world and also the characters. I still love them but there just wasn't that complex mystery as it was in the first book.

This book, if anything, is more about the progress of relationship between Karen and her wife. It picks up not long after book 1, Karen Memory. There is still a bit of excitement and adventure because Karen really couldn't help herself. One just had to stay true to one's character, right?! Of course, this is worked in a way that affects the relationship (oops, lovers' quarrel!) and the lesson they both learn (how healthy relationship should be, right?). Karen is very mature in a way and yet, she's also have a lot of room to grow.

I didn't mind this as a companion novel but I guess I expected something more so was a little disappointed.

Used for Seriously Serial '20, MM20, & JRI! (#1)

Nominating steampunk


message 13: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 470 comments I read Allegiant - the final book in the Divergent trilogy. I can't believe I finished this trilogy given how silly I found the entire concept of factions and the pointless fighting. I never loved the characters, so I guess I was somewhat satisfied with the ending. At least this final book made some effort to explain how the world was set up in the stupid faction-based way, but the explanation really didn't hold up. Good riddance to these books.

Used for Seriously Serial and Bookopoly.

Nominating magical


message 14: by Sassafrass (last edited Feb 07, 2020 12:46PM) (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 603 comments I read Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion and it was interesting. Looking at life through the mind of a zombie was certainly not the type of book I usually read. But there was humor, thoughtfulness and even hope that spun out of this tale. I will definitely continue on with the series at some point.

Date read: 2/2/20
Rating: *4 STARS*
Shelved "speculative-fiction": 25 times


This book used for: Just Read it! Prompt 1 and Seriously Serial '20

Shelf nomination: coming-of-age


message 15: by Jennifer (last edited Feb 07, 2020 03:32PM) (new)

Jennifer Oakley | 6 comments I read Weave The Lightning (NetGalley arc) and I really loved it. The book has a USSR-esque setting, except that there's magical lightning that can be used to imbue objects for better fighting, concealment, protection, nutrition, etc. But using that magic comes at the cost of risking your sanity.

The first 50 pages or so were a bit of a struggle while I figured out the world that the book is set in. The author just kinda drops you into the world and lets you figure it out organically. Once I got past those first 50 pages, though, I could not put this book down. Just everything about this book was absolutely en pointe.

Shelf nomination: steampunk


message 16: by Meg (last edited Feb 07, 2020 06:09PM) (new)

Meg (megscl) | 792 comments I read Hive by A.J. Betts
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a great book! Can't believe it isn't more widely known. Australian young adult dystopia; I read the audio.
Hailey is a teenage Bee keeper, her life is bounded by the walls and the ceilings and the 300 people who live in the world. There is nothing beyond the world, but then where could a drip in the ceiling be coming from?

Used for Bookopoly and seriously serial
I nominate Nonfiction


message 17: by Karin (new)

Karin | 802 comments Okay, well this has been shelved/tagged this speculative fiction over 40 times, so what the heck!

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was, for much of it, a lot of fun--interstellar politics, catastrophe forecast, humour, action, sex and some fun characters. The writing is solid, the characterization--well, it is space opera, so one takes some of the extremes with a tasty grain of salt, such as Kiva. There is no way to enjoy this unless you are willing to suspend your dis- or unbelief, but that is part and parcel for this genre.

One of the fun things about Scalzi is how matter-of-factly he had discarded the male dominated hierarchy--in his future power, corruption, greed, valour, integrity, brains or the lack thereof--all of it is well distributed. No aliens, no beaming, not centuries long lives and that is fine with me.

Again, I nominate Europe https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/...


message 18: by Lusie (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3114 comments Tien wrote: "Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
★★½

This is the third time I'm reading this but only because someone picked it for my f2f bookclub and that's happening ..."


lol Tien that quote 🤣 Thanks for sharing! I've read this book too and gave it 3 stars, but didn't write down my thought. I think you are right about everything fading to the background once they are more interested in each other.


message 19: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Joanna wrote: "I read Allegiant - the final book in the Divergent trilogy. I can't believe I finished this trilogy given how silly I found the entire concept of factions and the pointless fighting..."

yeh, had bookclub this afternoon and half the time, someone is ranting about just how illogical these factions & the whole Divergent world is LOL - half the group wouldn't bother continuing on while 1/4 have read previously & other 1/4 will try to keep on. So , ok response. Definitely not well-loved ha ha ha


message 20: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 603 comments LOL, I haven't read the books but my husband made me watch the first movie. that was enough. Although now you all have me curious. LOL


message 21: by Karin (new)

Karin | 802 comments Divergent is the best of the 3 books. Allegiant makes the entire thing pointless and inane on more than one level.


message 22: by Amy (last edited Feb 09, 2020 06:25PM) (new)

Amy | 2144 comments I read Shadowshaper and gave it two and a half stars. This was a YA book which I listened to on audio. The narrator did a good job with different voices, but the book was a tad too juvenile for me.

I liked the concept of using art to unleash spirits, but this isn't my favorite genre, so I wasn't overly absorbed in the story.

I used this book for Bookopoly, Serial '20 and Just Read It - Prompt 1.


message 23: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Scales of Empire (Dragon Empire Trilogy #1) by Kylie Chan
★★

I kind of struggle with this audiobook. I persisted to the end though because each time I thought that it's just boring & nothing happens, I thought something was just about to happen so I kept going. In the end, I did manage to finish but I have to admit that I'm not terribly keen on this book. I'm not a fan of the author's earlier series; I think I only read a few chapters of White Tiger & decided that it's not for me. I thought this book, being scifi & all, should be different and may prove interesting. But again, it's not for me. Even now, I struggle to formulate what I liked or not liked but it is proving to be kinda unmemorable except for the thing with "french fries". And I still couldn't decide whether I found that to be hilariously clever or ridiculously stupid.

Used for Seriously Serial 20, MM20, & JRI! (#1)

Nominating space-opera


message 24: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 470 comments Gnomon by Nick Harkaway
★★★★★

I adored this book. It's terribly hard to describe. It's a near-future utopia/dystopia with high surveillance and a genius idea that we've decided to do everything by direct democracy by essentially having everyone serve a certain number of hours on random decision-making committees. Governance by social media quizzes. But also, complete surveillance of everything all the time by an AI. Then the book turns into a murder mystery wrapped in a video game, with different characters all within the head of a single person.

The narrator for the nearly 30 hour audiobook was amazing. He also narrated An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography if you wanted to hear him in a totally different but also excellent performance.

I used this for Moving Mountains, Just Read It (Prompt 2), and Bookopoly.

Nominating strong-women


message 25: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Oakley | 6 comments Karin wrote: "Divergent is the best of the 3 books. Allegiant makes the entire thing pointless and inane on more than one level."
Allegiant made me want to chuck the book across the room. I can only spend so much time reading about how much Tris likes looking at/touching/kissing Four before it starts to really get on my nerves.


message 26: by Stacey (last edited Feb 14, 2020 04:26PM) (new)

Stacey (boydsmom) | 280 comments I just finished Fahrenheit 451 which for some reason I never read in school growing up -- not sure how I got away with that. :) I listened to this and the reader was very good, but I have to admit my mind wandered at times, and I'm not sure I got all the plot points. I found Bradbury's vision of the future eerie though, and way more accurate than it had a right to be. I'm going to try to put my phone down a little more often....

Used for JRI Prompt #1 (and finishing up PickNMix from last year)


message 27: by Coralie (last edited Feb 15, 2020 03:32PM) (new)

Coralie | 1606 comments I read The Black Company and wasn't terribly thrilled with it. I did succeed in finishing which was better than my last attempt. I found it to have too much fighting and not enough women. Too much of the fighting seemed to be just for the sake of fighting. I did not relate to any of the characters. The magic seemed too random. I think this book was just not for me.
I gave it 2 stars.

I used it for everything - LOST, moving mountains, bookopoly, seriously serial and Just Read It Prompt 1 (have I missed anything?)

I nominate historical fiction


message 28: by Susan (last edited Feb 26, 2020 07:53AM) (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I read The Power. I found it very tough going. I don't know why I kept at it - I thought about giving up many times. For one thing, I'm very tired of books which alternate among telling a number of different people's stories while, as a reader, I am frustrated waiting to see how they'll all tie together. In this book, that took a long time.

Near the end, when it finally began to happen, there were some gruesome, disturbing parts. I wish I could un-see some of them. But they served well to drive home the author's point.

The premise was ingenious: a power that suddenly begins to appear among women only. The author pursues what has happened to a possible logical conclusion, and what happens along the way is definitely thought-provoking.

It would be a good book to read with a group, so you'd be able to bounce ideas off each other, to try to figure out the confusing aspects. For example, there are letters at the beginning and end of the story purporting to be between the (male) author and a (female) friend. I'm not sure just what they mean. Nor can I really make sense of the interspersed drawings of "anthropological" finds and similar additional material.

I'm rating this a 3, as a rough average between 1 (I really didn't like it at all) and 4 ( I think it's an awful, powerful story.)

I used it for Just Read It! Prompt 1, and for a monthly shelf pass.

I nominate Time Travel.


message 29: by Tien (last edited Feb 15, 2020 09:19PM) (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8678 comments Mod
Acorna's People (Acorna #3) by Anne McCaffrey
★★

In this third instalment of the series, Acorna the Unicorn girl finally visited her people, the Linyaari, to learn of her nation's history and culture. While she's struggling at being seen at an outsider, other things are at play in the world at large that threatened the peaceful way of the Linyaari.

The first 2 books were kinda interesting due to the novelty factor of an alien unicorn-like girl but this book was just meh. The greedy was still greedy. The psychotic was even more evil. The good always fight for justice. Evil vs. Good and Good prevails. A pretty average read even if I did like a couple of new characters introduced here.

Used it for Bookopoly, SS20 & JRI! (#1)

Nominating space-opera


message 30: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 792 comments The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
★★★★

The Memory Police can make anything disappear (birds, books, smells), not just from the physical world, but from your memories. A strange and imaginative combination of dystopia and magical realism. I had extremely high hopes for this book (because I love this genre and her previous book The Housekeeper and the Professor). My expectations weren't quite met, especially as there was a bit of a slow start, but it was still very good.

Used for JRI 1 & Bookopoly
Nominate 2020 releases


message 31: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 470 comments A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Ok, so let’s be real. This is Twilight for grown ups. But, you know what? I liked Twilight even though I was well older than the target audience. And this was great. Academics and historians rooting around in libraries, but real vampires and witches (and daemons). Ill-fated love. I just ate this up, even though it was over 500 pages, it felt much faster. I’m immediately turning to the next book in the trilogy because I’m not ready to be done with these characters just yet.

Used for Bookopoly and Just Read It (Prompt 2)

I nominate witches


message 32: by Charity (last edited Mar 04, 2020 10:24AM) (new)

Charity | 545 comments I finished Oryx and Crake which was based off the end of mankind as we know it through a genetically designed disease, strategically spread to wipe out the entire population of earth. What's left is an immune man who is now the messenger and leader of a band of genetically altered human species. It was intriguing but part of a series so ends rather abruptly and with the posed unknown, as do most dystopian books.

I'll nominate Journalism


message 33: by Karin (new)

Karin | 802 comments The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
3.8 stars

Well, this was another fun book in this series. The emperox is still faced with the coming crises when the flow (allowing space travel between interdependent planets, only one of which allows humans to live and breathe on the surface) to various planets are going to collapse leaving millions to eventually die off of nothing is done to help. That said, most don't believe her, and of course being the new emperox who was not originally in line has opened her up not only to criticism, but plots and attacks on her life.

This is not a book with deeply developed characters and a great deal of soul searching, but they are a good set of characters for a space opera, and while I wasn't happy with every part of this novel, it worked well enough for me that I am rounding it up to 4 stars.


I'll nominate Europe a second time (link above)


message 34: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1400 comments The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

★★★★

I like tales of haunted houses so I was sure this book wouldn't fail me - and it didn't. The first half of the novel is quite slow-going (at least it was to me), but I guess this is intentional, as the author probably wanted for the tension to build slowly, as well as to let us know the characters, especially Eleanor.

Finally, in the second half of the book the tension explodes and we come to see the real creepiness, horror, and madness. This is not a gory book by any means, the horror is more psychological than anything - and this suits me, as it's the kind of horror I like most (while I hate gory books with all my heart).

The characterization is excellent and the writing style is superb. I'm glad I didn't give up on Shirley Jackson after the first book I read (much acclaimed The Lottery and Other Stories, for which I didn't really care). I loved both this and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which I read a few months ago.

*

My nomination: ghost-stories.


message 35: by Judy (new)

Judy | 170 comments Soulless

3 stars

I thought the author built an interesting world. It's a steampunk Victorian England with paranormals. The supernaturals (vampires, werewolves and ghosts) are known and part of society. There is a mystery regarding the disappearance of young supernaturals. My favorite parts were the steampunk elements. I want a pair of glassacles!

I listened to the audiobook. I bought this in a sale several years ago, and if I had listened to it then I would have rated it 4 stars. My reading tastes seem to be changing, so it got 3 stars now. It's the first in a series, but I've read reviews for the other books and think I will stop here.

I used this for bookopoly and seriously serial.

I'll second space opera.


message 36: by Lahni (new)

Lahni | 638 comments I read Xenocide.

I didn't like this one as well as the first two in the series. The heavy philosophical parts felt too long and got repetitive. And there was more bad language than I remember being in the other books. I really liked the side story line about the that took place on Path. I gave it 3 stars.

I nominate family

I used this for Just Read It Prompt 2


message 37: by LaurLa (last edited Feb 20, 2020 06:26AM) (new)

LaurLa | 1198 comments Book: The List ~ 02.11 ★★★

The List by J.A. Konrath
# Tags: 1
Review:
I kept putting this off because it was more thriller/horror than suspense, I thought, so I was pleasntly surprised to find while there was a bit of gore, there was no creep factor to make it a horror. It was more techno thriller and told with a fairly light hand. I'm glad I read it - the premise was interesting. I'm not sure I agree with the underlying premise for the cloning to have happened, but it was still an interesting read.

Challenges: Just Read It
Nomination: Conspiracy Theory


message 38: by LaurLa (new)

LaurLa | 1198 comments Book: Of Silk and Steam ~ 02.20 ★★★★

Of Silk and Steam (London Steampunk, #5) by Bec McMaster
# Tags: 1
Review:
I've really enjoyed this series. I've found I really like steampunk - some of the ways that authors come up with modern conveniences in a historical setting is sometimes ingenious. In this series, references to actual historical events but within the context of the worldbuild makes the story more 'believable', I guess. As for this particular book in the series, the female lead work through her trust issues in a realistic way. She didn't just 'fall' for the male MC and suddenly everything was okay. She struggled to let him in and yearned to be able to do so at the same time. The author did a great job building tension between them - not just physical tension but emotional too. There is a spin-off series that I'm looking forward to.

Nomination: steampunk


message 39: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Reid | 68 comments Allegiant
★★
Agree with others that read this book. I found my mind wandering and bored at times. The first book in the series I enjoyed, but glad I've finished.

I nominate non-fiction


message 40: by Meg (last edited Feb 21, 2020 02:37AM) (new)

Meg (megscl) | 792 comments The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
★★★★1/2

A fast paced, crazy ride! This book requires the solving of two mysteries. First, who killed Evelyn Hardcastle? Second, wtf is going on? A really well done combo of spec fic and thriller.

Used for Bookopoly
Nominate family saga


message 41: by Marina (new)

Marina (sonnenbarke) | 1400 comments Meg, I read that book recently and loved it! I'm glad to know you did, too 🙂


message 42: by Lusie (last edited Feb 21, 2020 03:59AM) (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3114 comments Meg, I liked that book too but thought it was very confusing which is I only gave it 3 stars. Good writing though.


message 43: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Oakley | 6 comments Meg wrote: "The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
★★★★1/2

A fast paced, crazy ride! This book requires the solving of two mysteries. First, who killed Evelyn Hardcastle? Second, wtf is going on? ..."


I almooooost picked that one up on a book buying spree a few months. Now you are making me wish that I had. Sounds really interesting. I'll get around to it eventually, though!


message 44: by Lusie (last edited Feb 24, 2020 12:02AM) (new)

Lusie (illusie) | 3114 comments I read Oathbringer [23-feb-20] ★★★★
Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3) by Brandon Sanderson

This is a fantasy book which I thought this book was very good. It's the 3rd book in a series. While it is a big fat book, the writing is light and not heavy at all. There are several plot lines which I enjoyed. What I like is that the characters each struggle with their own problems and show character development. This book has got action, romance and even suspense. All elements I like in a book. I'm looking forward to the next book!

Used for:
- Bookopoly
- Buddy Read
- Promt 2 big books
- Seriously Serial

Shelf nomination: asian-literature


message 45: by Ebony (new)

Ebony | 19 comments I read Ready Player One. I saw the movie when it came out and loved it. I liked the book too, but I think I actually enjoyed the movie more! At times the pop culture references got a bit cringy and almost 'look-how-much-nerdy-stuff-i-know-about' in its tone. Still a good read, I gave it ★★★★.

Shelf nomination: witches


message 46: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 470 comments I read To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers. I gave it ★★★.

I admit to having become a Becky Chambers fangirl. She writes optimistic science fiction where characters largely believe in creating a world where everyone gets along and treats all creatures with respect. I'm really needing a dose of that sort of optimism these days. All that said, this book suffered from occasional information dumps about the science of space exploration that made the interesting interactions drag at times. I'd recommend reading one of her other books first if you haven't experienced this author before.

I used this book for Bookopoly.

Shelf nomination: coming-of-age


message 47: by Karin (new)

Karin | 802 comments Home by Nnedi Okorafor


This rating is evening out what I think of this series, which is about 2.5 stars. The writing is quite good, but I really don’t care for this because there is more “magic” and fantasy in this than I prefer in my sci-fi reading. That said, Okorafor appears to have done a lot of research into the Him culture and customs; I am not an expert in this field, but I know they are not from Nigeria where Okafor’s parents come from.

Binti has spent a year in university on another world when she requests at trip back to earth to participate in a Himba ritual for women, so she flies back with an alien on the same fish ship she flew out there on. There is a lot of tension in her family and with those in her home area because the Himba are somewhat insular in that they stay in their homeland and live traditional lives even as they embrace technology. She is no longer marriageable material because she has left. I will say no more, other than that there are some interesting plot twists and if you enjoy this type of sci-fi fantasy, you will enjoy this book.

Shelf nominatio: Once again I nominate Europe, link above.


message 48: by Meg (new)

Meg (megscl) | 792 comments Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists
★★★★

This book was really cool. It was interesting reading about a near future Melbourne (my home town) in a climate change dystopia. There were also elements of time travel, meta-book- in-a-book stuff, and strange surrealism. I recommend to fans of spec fic.

Nominate: Victorian


message 49: by Lahni (new)

Lahni | 638 comments I read, well listened to The Host.

This book was not really what I expected. I liked that it was told from the perspective of the alien. That was interesting. And the premise of the book was very interesting. But the pace was slow. And some things just weren't explained very well while others were over explained. I would have preferred it to end Wanda's way. I liked Jeb and I wish Melanie had a stronger voice throughout. I started out giving it 3 stars but had to knock off a star so 2 stars.

I used this book for Just Read It Prompt 2.

I nominate family


message 50: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3451 comments Mod
I read The White Mountains. It was fine, but not so wonderful that I care at all about reading the other books in the trilogy. It was first published in 1967, and that shows. The plot and story-line actually still hold up fine. But there's something about the writing style of many early science fiction writers that begins to feel repetitive: it's a first-person narrative, so we know from the start that the protagonist will survive somehow; and it has a bit of the feel of a travelogue. The write-up sounds good, but it's not something I'd encourage a modern young-adult to read.

I used it for LOST and seriously serial.

I nominate Alternate History.


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