On the nightstand

Book Blog

March 15, 2020

The Little Paris Bookshop (Review)

ot this one for the wife a Christmas or so ago, a little romance chick-licky story about a fifty-year old somewhat sexy but inwardly dead guy who sells books from a boat on the Seine River in Paris, who lives a zombie life, who has an empty room in his apartment he hasn’t gone into, and who gave a table from said room to his sexy but equally extinguished female neighbor which came from that reluctantly breached room, and who forgot about the letter in the table from the woman who broke his heart and left twenty years past. Yes, […]
March 8, 2020

New York 2140 (Review)

picked this one up at that Madeira Beech bookstore I mentioned in another review. The cover shows New York, but if you think about the name of the book and look closely, you’ll see that a lot of the forefront buildings are actually standing in water (with boats moving about them). So yes, this is a tale of what it’s like to live in the Big Apple when it becomes the Big Sea Grape in a century and a half. Global warming a reality. The result of our sins. And actually, New York has largely recovered. Where streets were once, […]
March 1, 2020

God’s Not Dead (Review)

kay, so I know how angry one can get when marginalized. I ride bikes. Rode them as a commuter for twenty years and now to keep in shape. And I’m well aware of the boundless animosity drivers show towards us. Back by the old trope of “seeing a cyclist go through a stop sign”, they overlook that cars do it on a regular bases (as well as speeding, reckless driving, tearing through school zones, all that). So, see? It pisses me off. So I get where the author is coming from in God’s Not Dead. As the subtitle notes, the […]
February 23, 2020

Tiamat’s Wrath (Review)

nd with this, the eight book of the Expanse series (or is that The Expense?), I’m caught up. Now, like everyone else, I’m going to have to wait for the next one. There aren’t unread Expanses on the bookstore shelf anymore. The worlds (all 1300 of them) were pretty screwed. In the last book, the Laconians (a break-away fleet from Mars that discovered alien-tech shipmaking platforms) had sent a battleship through their gate. They trounced Medina Station (which held the hub in a Gibraltarian grip) and then munched the massed fleets of Earth and Mars with their spooky ironclad. And […]
February 16, 2020

Predator’s Gold (Review)

ook 2 of the Mortal Engines series, a steampunky little tale about Tom Natsworthy and Hester Shaw beating about the world in their stolen red airship, of the city of Anchorage grinding about on black northern ice, and of dark science reanimating a character lost in the first book. So, yes, lots going on here. The mark of a good sequel is when an author gives us something new and Philip Reeve did just that, putting us out in the far northern climes. It’s been two years since Tom and Hester escaped London and they are actually growing into a […]
February 9, 2020

On Desperate Ground (Review)

kay, I’m a pretty good historian and know some of the flow of history, but this one I was not really aware of. In late 1950, the North Koreans were pushing south, just kicking the stuffing out of their southern counterparts. Then General MacArthur had a bold plan of landing at Inchon. This broke the North Korean rear and sent them streaming up the continent for safety. Attempting a bold follow-up, MacArthur sent his Army and Marine units pushing for the Yalu River, the border with China. As long as the Chinese kept in their own backyard, he’d have the […]
February 2, 2020

Mortal Engines (Review)

uring a family vacation down in Madeira Beech, I happened to find a supper-massive used bookstore (Haslam’s Book Store). While stuffing loot into my bag, I came across the YA Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve. Looked interesting so I picked up the first four from the five part series. Good for me. Mortal Engines is a book set in the far future (after the Sixty Minutes war). This war was so intense that it shook the very planet’s tectonic plates together. Cities of survivors, in danger because their locations were known to those who would prey on them, decided […]
January 26, 2020

Persepolis Rising (Review)

t’s been thirty years since Captain James Holden sent the last fleet of the Free Navy into a strange unknown using instabilities of the ring gate. Everyone’s getting old. So old, in fact, that Holden and his companion Naomi are cashing out their share of the Rocinante and retiring. Everyone else is sticking to it (with Bobby Draper as the new Captain) except poor Clarissa Mao who is dying from her leaking implants. So they make their plans. And you know about plans. It is then that through the gates sail two ships of the long missing Martian effort to […]
January 19, 2020

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Review)

his book is the words and work of an Indian Writer, Sherman Alexie, and the collection that won him the National Book Award. It’s an odd collection of short stories (Biographical? Fiction? Hard to tell) about life on the rez, the hopelessness, the alcoholism, the despair. Really, I got about ¾ of the way through and had to take a break. Too many Indians escaping the rez yet falling back in. Too many lives turning dark. Look, I’m a liberal softie and I always get depressed when a bunch of tough settlers shoot the shit out of a war party […]
January 13, 2020

North to the Rails (Review)

o I was in the middle of a book of collected short stories, thoughtful pieces about reservation life by an American Indian. After a while, the hopelessness and despair of it all got to me. I needed a break. So, what, I read a cowboy book? A bit incorrect. But it’s Louis L’Amour, and nobody does chaps and six-guns like Lou. It’s escapism at its best, just wide-open spaces and all that. In North to the Rails, Tom Chantry comes west to save his soon-to-be-father-in-law by getting a herd of desperately-needed beef to the Union Pacific railhead. Of course, he’s […]