Singer Distance, by Ethan Chatagnier
This is a gorgeous book that is more insightful than sci-fi. I’m not going to attempt to give a plot summary as there is too much going on to do it briefly. The story follows Rick, an MIT grad student, as he longs after his girlfriend, the math genius Crystal Singer. It’s about the fallout from being internationally famous, the longing for the one who is too brilliant, and making family where you find it. A meditation on family, genius, and longing. It’s more of a cozy sci-fi than actual sci-fi, and that’s why it was really great.
The Witches of Moonshine Manor, by Bianca Marais
A fun listen about five elderly witches who are facing eviction from their storied mansion and property. Each lady has her issues and there are deep secrets from these lifelong adopted sisters that work against them. But sisterhood bonds are stronger than any of the outsiders that seek to do them harm. Fun and funny, I love to see old ladies having a blast.
Augusta Hawke, by G.M. Malliet
The beginning of a new mystery series, Augusta Hawke is a famous mystery writer whose neighbors go missing. She and her friend, the head of the neighborhood committee, decide to investigate the disappearance themselves. When their hijinks turn serious, Augusta uses her extensive knowledge of crime and crime fighting skills to save the day. A fun mystery that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Daughters of Harriet, by Cynthia Parker-Ohene
More poetry. I’m trying to add more to my reading list. This work had some great poems and then a lot of experimental stuff that didn’t quite gel with me. There were two that really stuck out for me. One about Virginia Woolf’s servant with no room of her own, and one about the author’s mother working as a school lunch lady then having to take care of her own family. Overall an interesting work.
The Bishop of Hell, by Marjorie Bowen
Horror stories from an early 20th century writer. Some great stories in this collection which was originally published in the 1940s. My favorite was The Derby Crown Plate, but there were others that were fun to read and a little subversive, that I now find myself thinking about. The horror is fairly mild. Definitely worth a read.
The Pallbearers Club, by Paul Tremblay
I was really looking forward to this new book by Tremblay, but it was a bit of a letdown. It’s written as a memoir about a decade’s long friendship by a man, Art, who starts the Pallbearers Club in high school to make him stand out on his college admissions. A strange girl joins his club and they become fast friends, until Art freaks out thinking she’s a vampire. Decades later, they meet again and rekindle their friendship only to fall out again. What makes this story interesting is that the friend is reading Art’s manuscript and making notes of her own, telling the story as she sees it. The overall story was good, but I would have liked a little more horror than in the last five pages.
Nothing but Blackened Teeth, by Cassandra Khaw
A horror novella that was good, but not great. This one got a lot of buzz when it came out, but for me, the story felt forced. A group of friends who are all fans of horror, gather at a historic haunted house in Japan to have a wedding. Tensions run high between the friends as they wait for the legendary ghost of a bride. When elements of Japanese folklore begin to appear, they are in for much more haunting than they expected.
Sweet Valley Twins: Best Friends, by Francine Pascal (Nicole Andelfinger)
A sugary sweet graphic novel to end the month. I loved Sweet Valley High books as a tween, so thought I would revisit Jessica and Elizabeth in this graphic novel about their middle school years. It was a nice story. One that will definitely be popular for the kids who like Babysitter’s Club series and Raina Telgemeier books.