The To-Read Pile Just Keeps Growing

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The To-Read pile of books in my library is growing by leaps and bounds.  I feel like that little girl to the left when I look at it, wondering what I'm going to read next.  I have oft touted the awesomeness of the website that is BooksFreeSwap, because I can sometimes get relatively new books, in mostly new-ish condition, for super cheap.  It's how I managed to get the three books in the Chemical Garden series, and now I'm just waiting for The Lunar Chronicles to actually come through (I had a copy of Cinder in swap, but apparently the sender cancelled or didn't respond in time.  Oh well).  I also bought a bunch of books from Amazon (pictured here), and a few from the Goodwill, and now and then Chris will come home with books for me...

On top of all of that, I'm addicted to the Goodreads Giveaways page and enter to win like a crapload of books every week.  Of course, I never win (and haven't for over a year, but that's another rant).  But in the meantime, my To-Read list keeps growing and growing (I am at 1019 and counting).

So there are genuinely piles and piles of books in my library room just waiting to be read.  I'd shelve them, but then I'd forget about them.  If they're in a pile, I know I'm supposed to do something with them.  This has been my logic my whole life - if it's out, I can see it and know where it is and that it needs to be read.  (This philosophy has, however, contributed to the loss of many books over the years, as they tended to get "misplaced" before I could read them.  I've been missing a couple of my Katharine Kerr books since I moved out of Dunkirk, and the hardback of Ilium, and The Golden Compass was misplaced sometime in undergrad.)

While I figure out what to read next, I've forbidden myself from checking books out from the library (*gasp*) because I have so many at home to read.  This means that I'll have to wait to read some books I've been anticipating for months, and other books I've been trying to win, and maybe even stuff that has gone out of print.  But hey, at least I'll never run out of reading material, right?

Review: Code Name: Atlas

Code Name: AtlasCode Name: Atlas by Tony Evans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.


It's hard to know where to begin with a book like this. I was intrigued by the storyline, pulled in by the quick pacing, but also confused by the end and unable to reconcile the entire book with the very last few pages.


The book begins almost at the end - the main character (were we ever given his real name? I don't remember it being mentioned before he's given his code name) is being held prisoner, among his "men," for something the reader is apparently left to figure out. This kind of tactic, revealing the near-end of a book in order to start a story, doesn't always sit well with me. Primarily, it's because we're told what's going to happen, and then told the story of how it happened. I would rather have the story build to the climax, and have it happen in order, so that I don't sit reading the entire book going "Yeah but..."


There are spoilers after this point so... Click here to read the rest of the review


While I didn't love the book, I did like the story and the ideas it proposed. I wasn't attached to the characters, though, and was almost happy when *spoiler - click the link above to read* and if there is a sequel I really hope that it delves further into character development. If you can look past spelling/grammar errors, and don't so much care about writing style as much as plot, then this book is a good read and an interesting and semi-original sci-fi plot. I appreciated the military and scientific background that came through, as the author mentions in the afterword, and it wasn't too much that the average layperson couldn't follow (Kim Stanley Robinson has the problem of being too high-minded for the average person to follow, this book was much more on equal footing with people who aren't versed in science).


Overall, 3 out of 5 stars for the experience, the story, and Atlas. Get rid of the plot holes, the format errors, and such and it would have been 4.

An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer

Image credit: Kimberly Butler
This past weekend, I dragged my husband along down to Bard College to spend an evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer (his wife - and what a cute couple they are!).  It was a lovely night with a pretty full crowd, made up of college students and the general public.  I noticed a few children, which was an odd sight to me.  I'm wondering, did those parents realize that Neil Gaiman isn't exactly a children's author?  I mean, I know he's written books for kids, like The Graveyard Book, but his adult stuff is about sex and monsters and there's a lot of the f-word involved.  I'm curious if the children went home saying "What a fucking awesome time, Mommy!  Thank's for fucking bringing us to this fucking reading!"  As much as I advocate for free reading and giving children the opportunity to see great writers in person, I don't know that I would have taken kids under 10 to this kind of thing.

Anyway...

I had such a great time hearing Amanda's music for the first time, experiencing the two of them as newlyweds, and experiencing several readings from works Neil has never read out loud to an audience before.  It felt intimate, and special, even though we weren't that close to the stage.  Neil's personality certainly came through in his readings, his conversations with Amanda, and even the songs he sang (yes, he sang for us!).

Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary Pearson

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes. ...