Wednesday, February 22, 2017

More pre-pubs

I'm getting a little crazy with my NetGalley downloads.  Every time I go to leave a review, I find three or four new things to read.  And even though they clearly have their self-archiving dates, all really well in the future, I feel like I must get them read now-ish.  Although that probably has more to do with the fact that if I don't read them now, I never will, and that's why my completion rate is currently 48%.  I'm really trying to clean it up now.

The space between the stars by Anne Corlett.  This turned out to be a middling after-the-end-of-the-world story.  The main character is much older than she seems; the reader is reminded several times of her advancing age and her ticking biological clock, but she acts like a teenager.  It was hard to like her very much.  The disease that starts the story is rather contrived: it seems outside of scientific possibility for a human body to turn instantly to dust, no matter the virus.  It is a sad and convenient way for the character to not have to deal with decomposing bodies; dust is so much easier.
3 stars, would neither recommend nor purchase.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman.  Despite his incredible popularity, I haven't read any of this author's work, although I certainly ordered plenty of it.  I did read bits and snippets of A man called Ove before using it in a program, and I've also recommended it to some people.  So I was excited to get this galley.

This book is two parts; the first is a happy but honest discussion of people who don't always have it easy.  The second is an honest and less happy examination of real-world feminist topics.  Although the story flowed fairly smoothly, I would have slightly preferred a more integrated structure, but I can imagine why it's organized the way it is-- it allows the reader to get to know the town and most of the characters pretty well before bigger issues come up.

There were way more characters than I can usually manage, but they are all distinct personalities.  I have no idea how the author managed it.  There were only a couple I tended to trip over: two adults who were involved with the local sports team and had been coached by the same mentor, and two current players who both were the muscle and their names started with the same letter.

I was upselling this to all my coworkers today.  It is probably my favorite book of the year so far.  There are so many amazing things, sentences that can be interpreted so many different ways, writing that carries the reader along.  I alternated between reading as fast as I could, to eat it all up, and reading as slowly as possible, to savor it.
Highly recommended, maybe even 5 stars.

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