what happened to 2016? Can I have some time back? A do-over? I'm kind
of stunned we're less than a month from Christmas and that I'm going to a
holiday party in just a few days. ARGH. I'm already fighting off the
stress of the season. Deep breaths.
My work schedule remains crazy, which means very little print reading is getting done, although audiobooks still rule the roost around here. I started and finished two audiobooks since last week and I'm about a third of the way through another. I'm hoping to squeeze in some extra reading time in December, but we all know I'm just kidding myself.
What I Listened to Last Week
- The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid (Simon & Schuster Audio) involves cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and politics set in the distance future. The action was intense, though I began to question the continuous twisty plot ploys. Still, an enjoyable listen while I was cooking and cleaning for the holiday. Narrator Candace Thaxton was only okay for me, mostly because she had a regular cadence which became wearying.
- Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (Listening Library) was as much fun as I expected it to be. Humor, action, and good characters. I loved seeing the Norse gods in a new light and am excited that the ending promises a cross-over with Percy Jackson and with the Apollo books. Narrator Kieran Culkin nails Magnus's personality, keeps the characterizations consistent, and has great pacing, which made me forget he didn't read the first audiobook in the series.
- The Fate of Tearling by Erika Johansen (HarperAudio) is the final installment in a popular fantasy series involving some magic, politics, human rights, and a tough female lead. In the last book we learned something of the Tearling's past, and I'm curious how everything will tie together. Polly Lee is the third narrator for this series, and although her performance is fine so far, she has yet reel me in.
Looking at December
December isn't a huge month for publishing and hot releases, but I still managed to add a few new books to my reading list. Here are a half dozen titles that crossed my threshold.
- Bad Boy by Elliot Wake (Atria): A transgender protagonist who must face the truths of gendered behavior, especially in relationships. Billed as romantic suspense.
- Eight Flavors by Sarah Lohman (Simon & Schuster): An examination of flavorings (such as spices, sauces, garlic) that have become American standards. I would describe it as food history meets ethnography.
- The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel (Viking): All about the women who were the photo and data analysts for the male astronomers at Harvard's observatory, starting in the mid-1800s. Celebrating forgotten women scientists.
- League of Archers by Eva Howard (Aladdin): A retelling of Robin Hood's fate starring a young girl caught up in a murder mystery. Familiar characters in a new action-packed adventure for middle grade readers.
- Mincemeat by Leonardo Lucarelli (Other Press): An anthropologist/cook's journey to becoming a professional chef outside the universe of television and celebrity status. Food memoir set mostly in Europe.
- The Twilight Wife by A. J. Banner (Touchstone): A marine biologist struggling to regain her memory after a diving accident begins to wonder whether she can trust her husband and friends. Psychological thriller.