Monthly Archives: June 2017

Five Books Fifty Pages!

As you can probably guess my TBR Pile has actually grown so much that it is a living breathing sentient being and desires world domination…. but that’s another post entirely! This post is about how I was inspired by my friend The Little Red Reviewer to select five books from my TBR Pile, read the first fifty pages, and decide if I want to read them now, later, or never! Time to find out which books were YAY, which were NAY, and if any were MEH! The books I selected were:

Norwegian By Night by Derek B Miller

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The Vorrh by B Catling

The Depths Of Time by Roger MacBride Allen

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Norwegian By Night by Derek B Miller is interesting! I saw the cover and was immediately intrigued. A Crime Fiction that follows an older Korean War vet named Sheldon as his last surviving family member takes him away from NY to live in Norway. Sheldon is possibly suffering from dementia, he is xenophobic, he is combative, and he is out of his element. Yet he opens his door to help try to save a lady and her child from a violent crime which leads to an unexpected adventure. This book was really captivating. Sheldon isn’t a good person or a bad person; he just is a difficult person with uncomfortable views that have been negatively reinforced through the years, but he’s a person that you want to get to know and see how he might develop! Will I continue reading? Yes!

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes is a book that I have wanted to read for ages! I’ve heard only good things and rave reviews for this book. I picked it up excitedly andddddd forced myself through 50 pages. There is a house that time travels and it has selected a killer to travel through time and it wants him to murder people? It’s an interesting premise but I’m not impressed with either execution of the premise or the characters. I sadly found the book quite off putting. Will I continue reading? No. 

The Vorrh by B Catling was a book that captivated me as soon as I saw the cover! It was a gift from my lovely wife, and I went in knowing that it’s an odd story, but I don’t think I was prepared for exactly how odd it was! This is one that needs to be a solo focused read. Will I continue reading? Not now, but one Winter I’ll read this odd book!

The Depths Of Time by Roger MacBride Allen is a SciFi that has to do with the spread of humanity through the galaxy via time travel through closely guarded worm holes. It starts with a grand premise and then quickly gets lost in the weeds. Way too many little details that slow down the story and make it an unappealing read for me. Will I continue reading? Nah. 

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell You should stop whatever you’re reading and get this book now! A near future SciFi in which we’ve discovered alien life, and while humanity is deciding how to approach and contact them: The Jesuits do what they’ve done throughout their history and send their own mission to make contact. This book is so smartly written! The characters are fully realized, the style of writing creates a mystery that draws you in, and the author’s writing is a joy to read! Will I continue reading? YES!

In the end: Yay, Meh, or Nah:

Norwegian By Night Yay!

The Shining Girls Nah!

The Vorrh Meh…

The Depths Of Time Nah!

The Sparrow YAYYYYY!!!! 

Have you read any of these? Would you Yay, Meh, or Nah any of these? Also: I’d love hearing from you if this post has inspired you to try the five books fifty pages method yourself! Let me know about the results!


Hyperion Summer!

Starting on June First my friend Sadie and I hosted a Group Read of Hyperion by Dan Simmons who I knew of from his SciFi and Sadie knew of from his Horror. When we both realized we enjoyed his work we knew we wanted to do a Buddy Read and when we told folks we were going to read his famous book Hyperion we discovered a lot of folks wanted to join in! So we announced a group read and had over twenty other readers join in! #HyperionSummer was a go! 

As a SciFi reader I had seen Hyperion around for ages! So I was already in love with this distinctive cover. I had a difficult time finding it so I turned to the wonderful Collectible Science Fiction and they were able to locate exactly the book I wanted! And what an awesome looking book it is! 

So now I had the book, I had reading buddies, and I had a start date. There was no turning back from my journey to Hyperion! Time to find out what all the hubbub was about! 

I won’t keep you in suspense. I enjoyed the book. BUT I didn’t enjoy the author’s tendency to show off his own intelligence. Dan Simmons is obviously a smart man. It just feels like he has to waste a lot of time in his books proving that. It’s been the same way in every book I’ve read of his. Kind of off putting for me. Also he realllllllllllllly likes dragging things out. To read his work I find that I need to be ok skimming the pointless distractions he fills his stories with. I hate skimming books. All that said it was a good book! Ok now we have the high points out of the way; now to delve more deeply into the book. This will be mostly non spoilerly as I hate spoiling books but there’s a chance something might be too revealing so read on at your own peril!

Hyperion is broken into several back stories featuring the tales that brought the main characters together on a pilgrimage to the planet Hyperion. In the background is an interstellar war, but although you think you know the sides in the war you realize quickly that there is more to the story than you realize at first.

The Priest’s tale was told in a journal style. I have to be in the mood for a story like that. Honestly it wasn’t bad, but this story was the weakest link in the book and should have been edited down 75% as it dragged on way too much. 

The Warrior’s Tale was…. unexpected! It THRUSTED you into the action…. ok silly joke but if you’ve read it you’re hopefully laughing now! 

The Poet’s Tale was intriguing! You get a picture of how the future developed and what happened to Earth and where Hyperion came from. 

The Scholar’s Tale was quietly horrifying. Putting yourself into his shoes is terrifying. Very well done. 

The Detective’s Tale was boring and drawn out. Glimpses into who the real enemy is, but honestly this is one of the worst Detectives ever. The author has had her asking the most pointless questions this whole book. If he didn’t tell you she was a Detective you wouldn’t know. 

The Consul’s Tale. Best. Tale. Period. 

Then right when everything has built up to a huge climax…. you run out of pages. The end. Disappointingly so. Which leads to you buying and downloading the second book while away on vacation because you just have to KNOW, you know? Or is that just me? Anyone? Bueller? 

So how did I like The Fall Of Hyperion? Well that’s another story so I’ll tell you in a future post! 🙂