Happy almost Christmas! I’ll be doing a round-up of reading for the past year soon, but for today, time to look at recent reads for the last month of the year.
I’ve read a couple of very interesting nonfiction books. First, Deep Work by Cal Newport, about boosting concentration and focusing on priorities. It had some interesting insights, though the focus was a little narrow towards either academia or office work. Second, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Future by Dr. Steven Novella (what a name for an author!), a look at what the future might hold in science and technology. The book mostly looks at current science and scientific theories and tries to extrapolate forward, with some glances at science fiction ideas too. I liked that it was predominantly hopeful about the future – although I have to wonder if Dr. Novella doesn’t worry about mad scientists destroying us because he is one…!
I read a very good sci fi novel as well, Finder by Suzanne Palmer, a kind of heist story set in a very strange future landscape of asteroids and loosely connected space stations. A nice bit of humor, and I plan to read the sequel eventually. Good enough that I suggested it to my husband as a gift to buy a friend for Christmas!
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells (of Murderbot fame) was also very cool worldbuilding, though a fantasy world in this case. Centered around flying shapeshifters, they inhabit a lush world full of different creatures, and none of it looks like Earth! Good characters too, and an exciting plot.
After a good run of several books, I was bound to hit a bump – The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller was another reincarnation book with an intriguing premise that didn’t work for me. Though in this case it was more a romance issue than a plot or premise issue – I just disliked the love interest so completely that I was really, really hoping for a late-in-the-book twist to reveal he wasn’t actually her reincarnated true love – but alas, no.
Fortunately, I followed that up with an early Christmas reread of The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig. It remains one of my absolute favorite romances, sweet and funny and just lovely. Turnip isn’t “the sharpest vegetable in the garden” but he’s kind and sweet and funny and perfect, and watching Arabella find her voice is marvelous.
That brings us up to date! Have a wonderful holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate, and see you at the end of the year for a look at the past twelve months of reading. 🙂