A Wrinkle in Time – ★★½

A Wrinkle in Time

I always thought this was one of my favorite books as a kid but I’ve now given it multiple tries as an adult and I just don’t like it much at all.

I have specific fond memories of The Chronicles of Narnia but none really of Wrinkle in Time. I’m starting to wonder if I actually liked it when I was a kid or maybe something about it doesn’t just work for me anymore.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Crossposted on Goodreads
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Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales – ★★★★½

Other Ever Afters

A few of these seven LGBTQ fables were truly fantastic and overall the complete collection came together really well for me.

These aren’t just retellings of the same old fables but now with two princesses. Each story was generally thoughtful and subtle that did a great job of imparting a strong moral lesson in the end. Goose Girl and New Name were my faves.

Now I have to go bug my kiddo to see why she only gave it 3 stars.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Crossposted on Goodreads
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In Real Life – ★★★

In Real Life
by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

Good art and message but definitely aimed at a younger audience. The in game stuff and parts about labor movements and about not making assumptions about people in other situations/cultures was solid despite its shallowness but the IRL parts of Anda’s life were the weakest.

Rating: 3 stars

The Great American Novels

The Atlantic published a list of The Great American Novels from the last 100 years and I’m eager to see if I can try to make my way through it. I have read very few of these and barely heard of even the ones from the last five years so will be nice challenge and education.

The Tusks of Extinction – ★★★★

Tusks of Extinction

So do they ever explain why ivory is so valuable in the future?

Really enjoyed this animal conservation/climate change story and went along easily with the science fictiony parts, but was regularly distracted by the premise that in the near future ivory would become seemingly the most important substance on earth. One note about it being needed for future iPhones or something would have helped.

Between this and The Mountain in the Sea I’m now very interested in catching up to Nayler’s short stories and will definitely be excited for whatever he writes next. Great book covers too.

Rating: 4 stars

Crossposted on Goodreads
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Still Life With Crows – ★★★

A Psalm for the Wild-BuiltStill Life With Crows
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

So do the plot of these ever stop hinging on the world’s most moronic cops doing moronic things for moronic reasons to try to thwart Pendergast because they’re morons?

Rating: 3 stars

All the Light We Cannot See – ★★★★★

All the Light We Cannot See

I started and quit this book on Audible back in 2014, but after seeing me read Cloud Cuckoo Land by Doerr last year my 6th grader bought me the All the Light We Cannot See paperback for Christmas. Not 100% sure why I bounced off it so quickly in 2014 (it’s been 10 years and I’m old) but glad her urging made me finally pick it up and read it now because it was a great read that I enjoyed quite a bit.

Considering how recently I read Cloud Cuckoo Land it’s hard not to compare the two. In All the Light We Cannot See Doerr employs some of the same tricks (not meant pejoratively) of telling an interweaving story from multiple perspectives and timelines he would eventually expand on in Cloud Cuckoo. This story is much more grounded in World War II and the historical fiction genre though and lacks the science fiction elements and genre bending that made me really enjoy that made me like that book so much.

Still the fantastic writing and heart and characters (particularly Marie-Laure my goodness) made this a remarkably engaging and occasionally heartbreaking read. While I didn’t like it quite as much as Cloud Cuckoo Land, it was still one of my favorite recent reads and one that will stay with me for a while.

(I have thoughts/questions on how Doerr spent an entire book getting you to sympathize with some young Nazis and then eventually wrapped up that plot line but those are a bit too spoilery for this space.)

Rating: 5 stars

Crossposted on Goodreads
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Cloud Cuckoo Land – ★★★★★

Cloud Cuckoo Land

The storyline that takes place in the library made me take forever to read this. I’d get to those chapters and just not be able to continue because they made me so anxious.

STILL I gave this 5 stars now that I’ve finally finished it all this time later and it was interesting, heartwarming, sad, unpredictable, and I just generally was quite taken with the way the vastly different settings and time periods were woven together. Super glad my kid was able to finally bully me into finishing it.

Rating: 5 stars