Saturday, August 15, 2020

read: Murder in the Sentier (3 stars)

Murder in the Sentier (Aimee Leduc)Murder in the Sentier by Cara Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the story was interesting, the main character, Aimee Leduc, was engaging and a reasonably reasonable detective, and the setting in Paris was enchanting. On the other hand, the supporting cast was difficult for me to track, the constant barrage of French-in-italics was distracting, and the incessant descriptions of locations, buildings, characters and Aimee's thoughts were just a touch overwrought. Taken as a quick, vacation read, this could be quite enjoyable.

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

read: Stories of Your Life and Others (4 stars)

Stories of Your Life and OthersStories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A consistently excellent and enjoyable collection of short stories. All of them are fascinating investigations into mythologies and world views. Several follow completely unscientific beliefs to somewhat inevitable conclusions: actually building a tower to the vault of heaven, a clay-punk Victorian England with actual golems and a terrible idea involving preformation theories and a soul searching examination of God, angels, heaven and hell. Several stories play with language and ideas and time and memory in twisty ways that challenge the reader as much as the characters in the stories. I was especially moved by "Story of Your Life", which made so much more sense than the film inspired by it, "Arrival". Recommended.

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