Comfort Reads

Comfort Reads

Do you have comfort reads or a comfort genre? I love science fiction. When I was a kid my dad would always take us to the bookstore. I remember it being one of the few places where my sister and I could just go in and have free reign. Of course we always went straight to the kids section but when we were ready to leave we would look for my dad. Without fail he would be perusing the science fiction and fantasy section. We always made fun of him, thinking he was so nerdy. But lo and behold I would fall into his footsteps. As kids, books were the only thing my dad would buy us no questions asked. He’s definitely the reason I’m the reader I am today. I’ve expanded my genres but sci fi will always be one I fall back on if I’m in a slump or just need to relax.

Pictured are the three books A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (gifted by the incomparable @nerdtasticnoms ) Record of a Spaceborn Few, and Nemesis Games.

A Big Ship was wild fun. Boots Ellseworth is a fantastic hero and I love the character arc of her and Nilah. I love a rag tag crew and this one hit all the right marks. I’ll definitely be checking out book 2 because I’ll be too sad it’s over.

In Becky Chambers we trust. I loved Record of a Spaceborn Few. Completely character driven. Only she can write these space stories that feel so intimate and warm. I’m not ready to read the last book in this series.

Nemesi Games is book 5 in the expanse series. It’s not something I recommend to everyone but it’s dear to me. With any series this long (and books this long) some parts do drag but I love Holden and crew too much and I’m too curious to see where it’s all going.

#ScienceFiction #TheTruthIsOutThere #ComfortReads #Bookstagram #TheExpanse #beckychambers

The Memory of Police

The Memory of Police

I didn’t necessarily like this book, I found it kind of boring and difficult to get through. But I can’t stop thinking about its central theme. Memory. How easily we forget things. Sometimes I wonder how true that is. Do we forget things? Or do we just bury them deep so they’re harder to find? Maybe it’s a mixture of the two.

My son can name hundreds of ocean creatures. He can also tell you the names of countless bugs. When he does this sometimes I wonder how long he will remember. Will those things still be around for him to enjoy when he’s my age? Will he remember? Should I tell him about the leviathans that swim in the oceans or should I help him forget? You can’t miss something you have never known, but is that true? Don’t we all pine for things and memories we never had and never got to make, whether it is with the people we love or memories of the people they could have been?

Listen, I’m not trying to like spout deep thoughts but this is just where my mind went as I was reading it. The experience of reading this book was strange. I don’t think I was meant to connect it with our current climate crisis, but I couldn’t help it because it’s something that always haunts the corner of my mind. I don’t want to forget, but sometimes I am grateful as he gets older he won’t know any different. Maybe it’ll make him stronger. I don’t know. And I think I’ll always remind him too. This world is magic, and there is still so much we can protect, so much to fight for. I don’t want to forget.

#TheMemoryPolice #ScienceFiction #bookstagram

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

A MASTER OF DJINN

A MASTER OF DJINN

P. Djèlí Clark

Wow! This was a fun one! A MASTER OF DJINN by P. Djèlí Clark was an absolute ride and wild adventure. A perfect mix of a propulsive plot and meaningful character development. The cast of characters was truly original (cantankerous Djinns and badass female bandits to name a few) and helped make this world so rich and satisfying. Definitely a read that left me grinning from ear to ear.

Taking place in a post-colonial Egypt in 1912, this story follows Agent Fatma, the youngest woman to work for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchanments, and Supernatural Entities as she solves a mysterious murder whose alleged perpetrator threatens the destruction of the world.

It’s steampunk, action packed, a fun mystery, and a delightful alt-history that was so much fun to read that in writing this I kind of want to start it over. It’s been awhile since an adult fantasy truly surprised me. This is definitely a new favorite. I feel like this is a great book for those who may not read much fantasy. Clark is a wonderful storyteller and has created something I think everyone here would enjoy. If you’re looking to mix up the genres you read, and rarely pick fantasy may I recommend this one?

[ID: The book A MASTER OF DJINN resting on some dirt. There are two free bushes framing both sides.]

#AMasterofDjinn #Fantasy #Steampunk #AlwaysReading #LosAngelesReaders #Bookstagram #Bookstagrammer #Fantasy #sciencefictionfantasy

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

Popisho

Popisho

This book is extremely my jam. It was weird, original, uncanny, funny, sad, and magical.

Reading this book gave me the same feeling I had when I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I say that not to compare the two authors and those stories, but to showcase how the best authors know how to strike that balance between the fantastical and human. They’re able to create these beautifully imagined worlds and highlight something special about what it is to love and grieve. They have us ruminating on what success actually means and what it feels like to reflect on our failures.

Set on an island called Popisho, which is heavily influenced by Jamacain culture (where Ross grew up), you can tell there is such love for these characters and the community, I felt wrapped up in the island’s warmth throughout my whole read. But this is more than just a beautiful, magical island, of course. Wealthy men hold most of the political power, although women are largely in charge of helping people navigate their cors, or magical powers. The cors are as imaginative as you can get, from a woman with four hearts distributed throughout her body or the ability to know when someone is telling a lie. Xavier Redchoose, the protagonist, makes the best meal you will ever have in your life that is unique to you, and the chosen macaenus does not serve the Indigenous or poor population (please see author comment below: not Bc he doesn’t want to, but Bc of their own principles!!). He is grieving his wife who died by suicide and trying to overcome his addiction to moths that get you high in different ways depending on which kind you eat. This is definitely a book I hugged close to my chest when I was finished and immediately passed off for someone else to enjoy. Please note it is called ONE SKY DAY in the UK.

[ID: The book POPISHO by Leonne Ross resting on a wooden dock over dark green, blue water.]

#Popisho #ReadCarribean #LeonneRoss #Bookstagram #fiction

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun

This is my first time reading a book by Kazuo Ishiguro, and although this one left me unmoved I know I will read more of his works. This follows Klara, an Artificial Friend robot, or AF, as she keeps her friend Josie company as she grows into young adulthood. Klara’s musings on loneliness were interesting, but overall this was just an okay read for me.

I was more fascinated by the background of this world than I was in Josie and company. I also loved the beginning when Klara was at the front of the store taking in the Sun, observing the world around her with her robot friend, Rose. It started off really strong, before Josie’s story began to unravel. The things that took place after Klara was adopted as Josie’s AF were interesting, but I didn’t really get attached to any of the characters beyond Klara so I just couldn’t get invested. I understand that that wasn’t the point, but it was all very confusing. I really love sci-fi and reading books with AI characters. It brings up great questions about what makes us human, but this one missed the mark for me. I was probably expecting something more sci-fi but this definitely falls more into the literary fiction category. I probably came into this with my own expectations, and in the end I was left feeling what the heck did I just read and not in the good way. After talking to a friend that has read his other works, it seems this is one I probably shouldn’t have started with. I still appreciate this novel and its genre bending feel, and maybe I will come back to it when I have a greater understanding of Kazuo Ishiguro, but also maybe not.

[ID: Viv holding the book KLARA AND THE SUN by Kazuo Ishiguro up in the air over a dirt path lined with big trees in the background. It is sunset so the sun is glowing softly over the book]

#KlaraAndTheSun #SciFiBooks #LiteraryFiction #ArtificialIntelligence #KazuoIshiguro #Bookstagram #alwaysreading

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

Library of Dead

Library of Dead

An absolute delightful first book in a planned series, THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD by T.L. Huchu is a perfect, creepy summer read.

The protagonist, Ropa, is a 14 year old teenager living in a dystopian Edinburgh. She can talk to dead people and will communicate the messages to the living, for a fee of course. A particular ghost asks her to look for her missing son, and eventually Ropa decides to take up the mission. Danger ensues, chaos reigns and the city starts to spill a few more secrets.

Ropa is an amazing character and I loved following her around in the city on her different jobs. I also really liked the world building in this one. It happens slowly and you pick up tiny snippets of what happened in the past. Clearly there was a kind of disaster that shaped Ropa’s world, but we don’t know yet what happened, just that something catastrophic certainly did. We also have barely scratched the surface of what the Library of the Dead even is, but I’m sure these mysteries will unfold in the next books. I’m excited because I also loved her friends and family and can’t wait to get to know them better. The groundwork here has been laid for a fantastic series, and I will definitely check out book 2.

If you’re into science fiction/fantasy books that feature ghosts and magic, with a funny and loving main character and an A plus supporting cast you will probably enjoy this one.

[ID: The book The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu resting on a library shelf with many books.]

#TheLibraryoftheDead #TLHuchu #ScienceFiction #Fantasy #SFF #BookSeries

amari and the night brothers by b.b. alston

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