Where do I come from is a deceiving question. It seems like there should be a straight-forward answer. For the siblings in C Pam Zhang‘s How Much of These Hills Is Gold, a question like… Read More »Place and Identity in How Much of These Hills Is Gold
If J.D. Salinger Wrote This Book: He would’ve never published it.
MacArthur Genius recipient and architectural phenom, Bernadette, escapes from L.A. with her husband Elgin to start a new life and family in Seattle. Fifteen to twenty years later, they have a ridiculously smart daughter, Bee, live in a crumbling building that used to be a school for wayward girls, and are planning a trip to Antarctica as a reward for Bee’s perfect grades. Combine Elgin’s high pressure job at Microsoft with Bernadette’s agoraphobia, general dislike of people, and feuds with the mothers of Bee’s classmates and it’s only a matter of time before the family unravels.
Reasons to Read
It’s funny. It makes fun of overly involved parents. It makes fun of Microsoft and Seattle. Bernadette is a great character. The book is pieced together through correspondence and told from Bee’s perspective. Minor characters are not forgotten, but change and develop as integral parts of the story. Virtual Internet assistants from India. The writing is accessible. It’s a bit of a mystery. Antarctica. Did I mention it’s funny?
Read More »Review: Where’d You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple
Snow Crash was written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1992.
The Mafia, the nation of Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong, a cyborg, a skateboarding kourier, and a pizza-delivering hacker who is the greatest swordsman of the world team up to stop a communications monopolist from releasing a virus that affects people and computers.
Reasons to Read
The main character’s name is Hiro Protagonist. Key book in the cyberpunk canon. Stephenson almost invented the word avatar. Dystopian, commercialized, libertarian world where laws basically don’t exist. Cyborg doggies called Rat Things. It’s hard to predict where the novel is headed. Ancient Sumerian religion and artifacts. It’s way, way, way better than the Cryptonomicon. Sword fighting. Hackers. And again, sword fighting.
Read More »Review: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Set in San Francisco, unemployed twenty-something, Clay Jannon, finds work in a mysterious bookstore that rarely sells books and checks out encrypted texts to its members. With the help of friends at Google and in the startup community, Clay tries to unravel the mystery of the bookstore using data visualizations, natural language processing, and crowdsourcing.
Read More »Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
House of Chains was written by Steven Erikson and published in 2002. Synopsis It’s sort of like kids playing king of the hill, but in this case, the hill is a fragmented warren of magic… Read More »Review: House of Chains by Steven Erikson
Memories of Ice was written by Steven Erikson and published in 2001. Synopsis Back in Genabackis, the supergroup of Dujek, Whiskeyjack, Caladan Brood and Anomander Rake wage war against the Pannion Domin, while the Crippled… Read More »Review: Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
If you’ve read the last two reviews (yes, I have a lot to catch up on), it would seem that I dislike the books I’ve read. Well, it’s more a problem with having taste for… Read More »Review: When the Killing’s Done by T.C. Boyle
Man, I wanted to like this book. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy was a wonderfully unique fantasy series. The premise of The Alloy of Law is interesting. It takes place in the world of Mistborn, but… Read More »Review: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
If you’re looking for an international, contemporary spy thriller, read about Edward Snowden. John le Carré’s A Delicate Truth is a disjointed novel that fishes for relevancy by focusing on military contractors like Blackwater Academi and what… Read More »Review: A Delicate Truth by John le Carré