Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

20 Books of Summer 2019: Book 1

I added Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver to my shelf the same time as Uprooted. Though both books are worthwhile, I don’t recommend reading them a few months apart (maybe not even a year apart). There’s plenty of rich foreshadowing in Spinning Silver, but when I predicted a key bit of the ending, it wasn’t based on anything from this book. There are a couple characters here that are strikingly similar to characters in Uprooted and it seemed like they were on the same trajectory. (They were.) This cheapens the ending in a way that’s hard to explain. For reasons I can’t get into without spoilers, I’d recommend Spinning Silver first if you plan to read both. If you plan to read one, Uprooted is the better book. read more

Review: The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle

Reading Ireland Month 2019: Book 2

I misread this title. I mistook it for something whimsical or slightly fantastic, but the first chapter reminded me that walking into doors is a euphemism for domestic violence. Roddy Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked into Doors isn’t the cheeriest book, but it’s well-written so I recommend it anyway. It has a unique cadence, so an actor with a good voice could turn the audiobook into genuine art. read more

Review: The Green Road by Anne Enright

Reading Ireland Month 2019: Book 1

So much better than The Gathering! You may recall that I was critical of the “lit sex” in The Gathering. This criticism didn’t stem from prudishness, but because the absurdity of these scenes made me laugh and check out from the story. In The Green Road, a tighter narrative and more interesting characters kept me engaged even though a few lines made me laugh: read more

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I told one person I was looking for fantasy recommendations and received a massive reading list. Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series was also recommended, but I won’t review all nine books here. Most books in a series share common strengths/pitfalls so I’ll do a big round-up post if/when I finish. In the meantime, I read Novik’s Uprooted which is wonderful for being a single, self-contained book and not another series. At 439 pages, it’s not even long for its genre. read more