This is another one of those cross-genre sci-fi books, and I am here for it and for more. In the not-so-distant future, Mallory is one of only three humans living on the closest space station to earth. She’s there because wherever she goes a human is murdered and only she can solve the mystery. Where there are no humans, there will be no murders. Until a ship carrying the first load of humans from earth arrives, when chaos explodes. Mallory, with the help of ex-soldier, old-friend, and one of the other humans aboard the station, Xander, must figure out who the murderer is before all the humans are killed. This is a damn fine romp, mixing a good whodunnit with a crazy cast of out-of-this-world characters. Can’t wait for the next one.
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
So, I may have read this one once or twice or a hundred times before. But this version! This version has all of the letters in the book (19) handwritten and folded like real letters. I confess, this version made me giddy. It was as fun as the first time I read the book thirty years ago. I think I actually squealed when I got to Mr. Darcy’s long letter. So good.
The Man Who Could Move Clouds, by Ingrid Roja Contreras
A memoir that I started for one of the awards committees that I was on last fall. I didn’t have a chance to finish it before, but really enjoyed the beginning. And now, have enjoyed the whole book. I feel like this writer is the spiritual descendent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Even though this is a true story, there are magical elements, as Rojas Contreras is from a long line of curanderas in Columbia. The pacing is superb, releasing bits and pieces of information in a way that draws you in, and the language is gorgeous. I would recommend this one to readers who like magical realism or who may not be into memoir.
Southern Spirits, by Angie Fox
A romantic, cozy mystery with a MC that can talk and see ghosts? I’m in. I found a reference to this book on some list and had to order a copy, and it was terrific. A perfect potato-chip read. Verity is about to lose her ancestral home in order to pay off her former fiancé, when she accidentally binds the spirit of a former gangster to the land. With his help, she explores ways to save her home and helps to solve a thirty year old crime.
The Road to Gondwana, by Bill Morris
This is a book that will be published in the US in March by the publisher I work for. I don’t read every book that we put out, but this one caught my interest. While not as personal a natural history exploration as Why Fish Don’t Exist, I felt that the two books had a lot in common. Author Morris is inspired to research the fossil history of an extinct plant species known as glossopteris. By following the appearances of this fossil, scientists were able to discover the fact that the continents as we know them were once in a very different formation. This book explores how glossopteris was discovered in the early years of fossil exploration until the late 20th century when plate tectonic theory was confirmed. It is also a travel log of Morris’s travels to various places to see how the fossil record fits together. Really interesting book that explores paleobotany in a relatable way.
The Hollow Kind, by Andy Davidson
A horror that I picked up off the new table at the bookstore because how can you go wrong with Southern Gothic, Eldritch Horror? You can’t. Even though this story has more body horror than I would like, it was still an uncanny read (which is what I look for in horror). Nellie and her son are on the run from her abusive husband. When she is left her grandfather’s broken-down house and land, she jumps at the opportunity to build a new life for her and her kid. But the house and property are broken down for a reason. Something terrible lives there.
Wonder City, by Victor Fusté
I love the art in this graphic novel. Simple lines and watercolor fill is so expressive and pretty. The story was meh. Famous explorer father dies mysteriously, polar opposite teenaged daughters must figure out what happened. Secret, underground New York temple with its own subway. An artifact that can destroy the world. All the elements are there, but it just didn’t quite do it for me.
The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald
This was a delight! I listened to it (as I’ve never gotten around to pulling out my copy). It’s the story of Princess Irene and miner Curdie as the goblins that live inside of the mountain plot to get rid of the humans. This might just be a perfect story. Clever, poor boy and a princess who can help herself, what’s not to love.
Prime Deceptions, by Valerie Valdes
Captain Eva and her crew on La Sirena Negra are back and they get an offer they can’t refuse. Well, they can, but they also need the huge payout the job would provide. They are on the search for a rogue scientist that takes them to the one planet Eva vowed to never return to, Garilia, where years before she unwittingly caused a mass murder. This book is non-stop action and, also, one big Pokémon joke. It is hilarious and so much fun.