11

Kindred by Octavia Butler – A powerful historical/sci-fi; absolutely exceptional in every way

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Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.

Kindred is a truly outstanding book. Not only is it the first science-fiction written by a black author Рmaking it an incredible piece of black American literature Рbut it is an amazing book by its own merits. And there are many.

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26

Mini-Reviews: Short Stories, Vanquishers of Book Slumps

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I’ve figured out the secret. (Or, more accurately, I’ve been let in on a secret.)

Friends, if you ever experience a book slump, read short stories. They’re bite-sized, more often than not they’re truly incredible, and they will probably get you out of that book slump. I’ve managed to weather some book slumps by binging on short stories, so today, I’ll be sharing with you mini-reviews of short stories that I’ve read! (Note, I will not be doing mini-reviews for¬†The Terracotta Bride¬†and¬†The Paper Menagerie –¬†two short stories I loved, so I want to write more about them!)

I also want to take this opportunity to give a shoutout to Aentee from Read at Midnight, who recommends a lot¬†of the¬†short stories that I read. Thank you so much, Aentee!¬†‚̧

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42

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – The addictive and fast-paced read that you need

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Victor and Eli started out as college roommates‚ÄĒbrilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find‚ÄĒaside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge‚ÄĒbut who will be left alive at the end?

Vicious is a few things:

  • A¬†story about college roommates who discover that near-death experiences are the key to obtaining superpowers.
  • Bloody amazing.
  • Probably¬†that¬†book that will get you out of your¬†reading slump.

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27

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adam

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Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy¬†is a masterpiece – or, at least, I think it is.

For this book, I’m going to do something a little different. For this book, I’m going to set aside the ‘serious’ tone that I adopt for my reviews. This book is widely read and there are many reviews of this book – most more eloquent than I could ever hope to be! – instead of a conventional review, I’m going to¬†lay out¬†three reasons why you should read this science-fiction classic.

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50

Book Recs: Introduction to Dystopia

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All of you probably know how much I love books with dystopian societies. Last year, I dedicated a whole post to why I love dystopia and why dystopia matters, where I argued that dystopia matters because it is terrifying (and it should be), it draws our attention to important issues, and that it encourages critical thinking and raises awareness.

In the past, I’ve been asked what were some good books that had¬†dystopian societies, especially for people who were not familiar with the genre. So today, I’ll be recommending four books that are, what I regard as, cornerstones (or just really darn good pieces) of dystopian fiction.¬† Continue reading

31

Read This? Play This Game!

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Hi friends! As some of you may, or may not know, I like to play video games when I am not blogging. (Which, truth be told, is hardly ever nowadays.) I was listening to music from¬†Child of Light, and I thought to myself, ‘I know so many of my bookish friends would love this game‘. So, of course the the blogger in me immediately thinks, ‘I’M GOING TO WRITE A POST ABOUT IT.’

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10

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive ‚Äď alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

I went in reading¬†These Broken Stars¬†with an¬†expectation: that it would be an epic adventure set in space. I love the feeling of being so small in an infinite universe. There’s something about it that fills me with awe and wonder. Based on this, it would seem that¬†These Broken Stars¬†had everything going for it,¬†and reading its¬†grand and profound book summary, I believed that I would adore¬†These Broken Stars.

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