Snow Day Book Love

We are in the path of a bulldozer of a storm, apparently — it’s going to snow Yetis, as I’m told — and so I figure that leaves today as a very good day for you to come over here and drop into the comments. Your purpose? To recommend a book you’ve read recently that you liked. Tell us the name, who wrote it, and why you dug it.

Feel free to throw in comics you’re digging, too, because comics are rad.

DO THIS NOW FOR GOOD BOOK KARMA.

For the rest of you in the path of the snowstorm, good luck, may your power remain forever on, and don’t eat each other like the guys on that soccer team who crashed in the mountains. Also, beware your microwave, because I hear that motherfucker can spy on you, now. Goddamn microwave, WE ARE WATCHING YOU WATCH US.

*microwaves a bunch of forks to punish it*

118 comments

  • Over hear in South Dakota land where the blizzard has already blown by, I have just wrapped up “The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit” about that dude in Maine who lived through blizzards in MAINE for 27 years without a FIRE. Controversial author, journalist Michael Finkle, and the writing is good but the true story is way better. Excellent book to read when there’s a blizzard blowing through!

  • My most recent 5 star favorite is The Guineveres by Sarah Domet. Four teen girls, who share the same name, are abandoned in a convent in war time. The Catholic humor is brilliant and irreverent. I read this story with a gnawing sense of angst that kept me worried and second-guessing if/how things would work out for these girls. I’ve tried to reread it to analyze Domet’s writing style, but the story sucks me in every time. Love when that happens!

  • I just finished Deadpool Monkey Business (Author: Daniel Way Illustrators: Carlo Barberi, Dalibor Talajic) and I think that entire comic is just gold. Copious amounts of SpideyPool, a Hit Monkey, Deadpool cross dressing. . . By far my most loved Deadpool comic that I have read to date.

  • The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m on book #2. It’s like crack.

    The perfection of her writing makes me hate her. The story is fresh and unpredictable. And the tension between the characters is finger licking good.

    Plus, car porn.

  • Two from me:

    Graphic Novel: American Vampire Volume #1, by Scott Snyder and some schmo named Stephen King?

    Prose: I’ve recently discovered Jack McDevitt and am working my way through his Priscilla Hutchins series – I started with the most recent (Starhawk), but have since gone back to the beginning. This is some really good science fiction with a pretty convincing human core. (Even if all the women are wish-fulfillment good looking.) Lots of interesting tech for the next generation of scientists to work on…and underlaid by a frighteningly plausible track for humanity’s progress over the next 150 years.

  • Superior by Jessica Lack. A LGBT+ (m/m) YA romance about a superhero’s intern and a villain’s lackey. I’m currently reading this and already loving it. The writing is so charming. The cover made me think it was a graphic novel. It’s not but I’m not fazed.

    As for recent reads I’ve loved- Ghost Girl in the corner by Daniel José Older. A gripping, heartbreaking but still beautiful novella based in his Shadowshaper world. It focuses on Tee and Izzy and a crisis wrapped in a mystery. It has a couple different types of love in it too. Check it out.

    Both recommendations are novellas. I realised this as I’m writing this. I think that makes them perfect for snow days.

    If looking for full length novels:

    The Hate You Give by Angie (A.C. Thomas) is a gut-wrenching but beautifully written book that was born out of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s told from the perspective of Starr- Carter a teen girl who was present during her black male friend’s murder at the hands of a white cop. It follows Starr as she navigates two worlds while dealing with the aftermath of that fateful night. Heavy read but so worth it and necessary.

    And American Street by Ibi Zoboi is a gorgeous (from the cover alone) tale that deals with the coming of age of Fabiola Toussaint- a teenage black girl who migrated to America from Haiti and has to quickly adjust to her new life, not at all in the way(s) she planned. The ways in which Ibi weaves in the beauty and culture of Haiti in this novel in service to the plot and larger story is so organic, I must applaud it.

  • I just finished Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. It’s a few years old now, an epistolary novel about the devolution of language as letters of the alphabet are stricken from use. I don’t typically enjoy epistolary novels but this one was engaging enough I finished it in one sitting.

    As for comics, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Valiant’s new run of Faith. Faith is fun and nerdy and has been a very enjoyable read each month.

  • I’ve been sick in bed for three weeks now, so I’ve got a couple to recommend:

    “Ghosts & Ashes” by FT Lukens, YA lbgtq sci-fi. 2nd in a series (the first is “The Star Host”) Brilliant plot, outstanding writing – I’m giving this to every sci-fi fan I know for their birthday.

    “Lunch With The Do-Nothings At The Tammy Dinette” by Killian Brewer. Sweet, charming, heartwarming & funny – a book that makes you feel good to read it.

    “Storm Season” by Pene Henson. LESBIAN PARK RANGER. Need I say more? (I could go on & on about this one.)

    “Bruno: Chief Of Police” by Martin Walker. Just all-around satisfying read. Excellent description of life in southern France, very interesting insights into French history & culture.

    “The Travelers” by Chris Pavone. (I’m halfway through this one.) Fast-paced, entertaining read so far. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but it feels like the author has all these story lines well in hand, so I’m not feeling like it’s a runaway train about to wreck. Looking forward to finishing it!

    • Oh, this does look intriguing. I read Enemy Women some years ago and loved it. No surprise the author is a poet as she has a lyrical touch. Thanks for the rec!

  • March 14, 2017 at 10:12 AM // Reply

    Most recent book I read was AUNTY LEE’S DELIGHTS by Ovidia Yu. Cozy set in Singapore about a fiesty old lady who owns a restaurant. Fun, quick read, and the warm setting (and spicy food!) are the perfect counter for a snowy day.

  • Brother by Ania Ahlborn is the sickest book I’ve read in a very long time. I couldn’t do anything else until I finished it. I also recently enjoyed Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I’m excited to read the whole trilogy. Loving Thunderbird right now.

  • A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr. A masterful story about Nazis in postwar Argentina, and about prewar Germany, as the Nazis rise. Wicked insights and uncomfortable resonance with today

  • I have 15 pages left in Ulysses that I plan to finish on this NE snow day. The book is every bit as brilliant as its reputation suggests, and every bit as difficult. I read it along with the Ulysses course from The Great Courses (I’d be so lost without it). Very rewarding experience.

    And after recently falling in love with “Parks and Recreation,” I bought the audiobook of “Paddle Your Own Canoe” by Nick Offerman. Hilarious and insightful. I’d suggest it to every “Parks and Recreation” fan out there. And even though we’re talking books and not TV shows, I’d recommend “Parks and Recreation” to everyone who hasn’t seen it. Seriously. Watch. Parks. And. Recreation.

    I’m also about 20 pages into The Cormorant by some guy named Chuck Wendig.

  • Most recently I have read Snake Eyes by Hillary Monahan and the two Rupert Wong books by Cassandra Khaw. I am loving Gods and Monsters series and hoping for a wildcards-like mashup. There are just so many cool things that can be done with this world.

  • Is it okay if I rec more than 1 book? Because I’ve read a lot of awesome lately and it’s hard to pick just one!

    The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin is fucking phenomenal. The characters and their relationships are amazing (if fraught) and the world-building/magic system is dazzling. It’s the follow up to Hugo-award-winning The Fifth Season. So good!

    Basically anything ever by Daniel Jose Older, but I just finished Salsa Nocturna, a short story collection in the world of the Bone Street Rumba series (which starts with Half-Resurrection Blues). Older’s characters are stunning and he masterfully weaves multiple first person POV narratives together. The world-building is cool and there is music in his prose. And of course, a certain death-seeing anti-heroine we all love may or may not make a cameo in the Bone Street Rumba.

    And in comics, I just read Delilah Dawson’s Ladycastle and it filled me with joy.

  • Dammit, I forgot one. The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley because LESBIANS IN SPACE! Also, I really dug the hopeful tone at the end.

  • We’ve had our snowpocalypse times (7 or maybe 8 separate snow/ice storms over the past 3 months, a record for Oregon) and I’ve survived them by digging into my “need to read sometime” list.

    I was shocked to realize I’d never read a huge series by one of my favorite authors, CJ Cherryh, so I hit up both the used bookstore and the library during a break between storms in January and started reading her Foreigner series. Wonderful sci-fi with complex world-building and awesome aliens, loaded (as her books always are) with politics and deep, deep thoughts on humanity. I’m currently on the third trilogy — each set of 3 books has a central theme/plot as well as being part of the whole big series plot. The third book in the 6th trilogy (book 18) is coming out in August. Long series are great storm reads since it’s hard to run out of books before the storm ends.

  • Currently reading “The Sudden Appearance of Hope” by Claire North. Ostensibly it’s about a woman whom no one remembers. It’s not really about that, though. It’s set roughly now (ish) and is a riveting look at finding meaning and how we do it.

  • I’m listening to (rather than reading) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larson, which is quite intriguing and holds my interest. I even think about it when I’m not listening, trying to figure out how it will play out. I might check out the book to see how he accomplishes some of what he does. Definitely well written and an awesome tale, I think, depending on how he ends it. I also like the insights into and sounds of Swedish culture.

  • March 14, 2017 at 11:23 AM // Reply

    I’ve been enjoying Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks. It’s very good, but I wouldn’t call it “light” reading, if that makes sense.

  • In honor of the upcoming BBC adaptation I’m re-reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman for about the fifth time. Might keep the new adaptations theme going with IT by Stephen King.

  • Voices from Chernobyl. The title lends itself nicely to the content. You will be taken in, taken back and return satisfied yet unsettled. The burden you carry after reading Voices from Chernobyl is a testament to its greatness.

  • Since I’m a freelance book reviewer (no brag, just fact), I’ll go with the last three read-for-me books.

    Queen of Iron Years by Lyn McConchie and Sharman Horwood. SFnal time travel centered on Boadicea, LGBTQ+ oppression and the Roman invasion, and every bit of it works. I cried at the end. The authors are acquaintances of mine, but they are fine writers all the same.

    California Twist by John A. Connor. Brit-born PI in California takes a missing person case which winds up being far more than just that. Connor is also a friend, but again, the writing stands on its own. Great lead character in Harry Rhimes, just enough of all the right elements for a great PI mystery without all the sexist crap of noir. I think this is his first published book. Just go read it already.

    Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones. Truly a heart-novel, about modern werewolves, beautifully written and an elegant portrayal of a family on the edge of life. There is not enough good to be said about this novel. I won this in a book giveaway, and I was not disappointed. This one goes direct to the re-read shelf.

  • Today’s the kind of day where I need to bury myself under my warmest fleece blanket and revisit the Castle Waiting comics by Linda Medley. Still my favorite book/comic series ever, even though it was never finished. The artwork is awesome, and the characters are so lovable! Whenever I hear someone ask, “Which fictional setting would you want to live in: Narnia, Hogwarts, or Middle Earth?” I’m always like, “Uh, none of the above. Castle Waiting, duh.” Which is saying a lot, because I love HP, LoTR, and The Chronicles of Narnia enough to have a mashup tattoo of all three series on my shoulder. Castle Waiting is SO underrated. I wish more people I knew would read it so I could gush over how much I love it with them!

  • I just finished Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Totally Kingsolver, totally fabulous. And because it’s pretty much about the storm of summer, I think it’s a rebellious and clever snow storm read.

  • Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run. Bruce pulls back the curtain and digs deep into his troubled relationship with his father, the burdens and pleasures of rock’n’roll, the joys and trials of marriage and parenthood, his motivations to create his own better future… He’s not only a great songwriter, but also a fine prose stylist. Even if you’re not into his music, worth worth reading.

  • It took me months to finish it, due to lack of energy in the evening which is my favorite reading time. It’s an awesome book if you love to get your mind blown. Characters are great. Their different voices might get you confused at first but you’ll get the hang of it. It’s a thick, intense, breathtaking, intrusive book that will use you as it pleases.
    Story begins, takes you in another time and other places, and by the time you finish the book, the beginning got completely lost in your memory. First thing I wanted to do when I finished it was reading it again. It’s a great loop. I love those loops. They drive me insane.
    It’s Ken Kesey’s “Sometimes A Great Notion”.

  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown, and The Shining by Mr. Stephen King. Ashamed to say I’d never read the book before now. Crucify away, if you must. I’ll take my lashes.

  • The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak. With a really funny set of New Jersey teen boys in the lead roles, it could have been YA. It’s set in the mid 1980s. For me, it was like mainlining nostalgia. It’s got mix-tapes,Catholic school girls, floppy disk coding, Commodore 64’s, and more. Feels like a John Hughes movie or a Spielberg kids-on-bikes thing without the aliens. I hate the “chicklit” label, but if there’s an equivalent for guys over 40, this book is it.

  • March 14, 2017 at 4:54 PM // Reply

    Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of London (and the subsequent books in the series). This is a police procedural with magic. Peter Grant, a young, mixed-race copper in London’s Metropolitan Police, has his world turned upside down when he meets a ghost and discovers that he has the potential to do magic. Ben Aaronovitch gets the character voice just right. An excellent mixture of serious and amusing.

  • Last month I read The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 1, ed. Neil Clarke. A few of the stories I’d read when they came out originally, but most I hadn’t. If you’re into short SF, I recommend this highly.

    Specifically, despite having read them about three weeks ago, I still remember (without cheating by picking up the book to check the TOC) two stories, “Hello, Hello” and “The Audience.” That’s out of my head. I remember the titles, and what the stories were about, and that I really loved them. To stick that firmly into my brain-bits, these stories have to have been truly awesome. Read ‘em.

    Angie

  • Ah Master Wendig, we got off lightly last night in the storm. It was alternately raining and snowing. This simple math equation equals a day off for students as ICE is the formal answer. We usually have a 2 hour delay for federal employees but the new administration is giving a three hour delay which puts it thirty minutes after the mass transit systems quits for the day.

    To read or not to read has never been a question in my house. I’m reading a book full of morals and high-faluting ideals by Ursula K LeGuin called Four Ways To Forgiveness. It is not an easy read as she ties different stories into a timeline none of which was defined for the reader in advance. I’m really loving it and probably there will be no school tomorrow because of ice refreezing on the backstreets.

  • Jean Johnson – Theirs Not To Reason Why’ and ‘First Salik Wars’ series … bloody brilliant military SF with a kick-ass female lead. :D
    May all your Yeti’s be melt-y ones.

  • Fellside and The Girl with All the Gifts by ML Carey. Dear Goddess, the prose! The characterisation! The plot! The complicated moral compasses! Literary horror at its best.

    I turned many pages like they were un-exploded ordinance. Read, enjoy, survive.

  • Just finished The Hum and the Shiver, A Novel of the Tufa, by Alex Bledsoe. These secretive and powerful people have lived in the mountains of east Tennessee since before Europeans came to the Americas, and maybe before the American Indians arrived. A bonus that came with finding these books is learning about the group, Tuatha Dea, who have several songs based on the book titles. Theirs is an Appalachian, folk, Celtic, rock mix. Lovely singing and playing.

  • Upstate NY got buried in Yeti-poop. Re-read K.M. Herkes Controlled Descent and Flight Plan. Dystopian, and familiar enough to be scary. Good, strong shit-kicking female characters! They’re quirky, damaged, and so relatable. Nicely possible tech. And just a good, chewy interesting read with funny bits and naughty bits and – Knitting. And Explosions. And plane crashes. And meals together.

    This is a new author to keep an eye on.

  • I have just finished ‘The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room’ by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, and it’s flippin’ brilliant. Are you familiar with ‘The Room,’ Tommy Wiseau’s self-funded vanity-project that has earned the dubious ‘honour’ of being the worst film ever made? (So bad it’s practically genius.) This is the story of Tommy Wiseau, the bonkers entrepreneur behind it, told by his best friend and co-star in ‘The Room’ (“Oh Hi Mark…”) It could so easily have just been one long snark-fest about a deluded and clueless wannabe, but instead this is an insightful and compassionate tale from a young actor who never stopped trying to accommodate and understand his complex and emotionally damaged friend. Not many books actually make me laugh out loud as I’m reading them, but it’s also a book with heart.

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