Welcome to the weekly round-up of what the BookNerd is reading and how many points I scored (or lost) in Library Chicken. To recap, you get a point for returning a library book that you’ve read, you lose a point for returning a book unread, and while returning a book past the due date is technically legal, you do lose half a point. If you want to play along, leave your score in the comments!
It’s a short update this week. You’d think that would mean that I was super-productive and got a lot of other things done since I clearly wasn’t spending all my time reading, but nah, not really.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
In this Booker-nominated novel, the Sisters brothers are sent to San Francisco during the Gold Rush era on a mission of murder. The younger brother, Eli Sisters, narrates their travels, during which they drink, learn about dental hygiene, and commit the occasional horrifically brutal act. Normally a book described as “startlingly violent” would not be my cup of tea, but I was completely captivated by Eli and the surprising sweetness glimpsed every so often in his musings and life story. I’m looking forward to reading more by DeWitt.
(LC Score: +1)
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
Steampunk in central Africa! During King Leopold’s brutal regime in Congo, a group of white Europeans, black Americans, and local Africans come together to oppose him and build a settlement. They get a technological boost from balloon-lifted “aircanoes” and prosthetic hands that can be switched out for weapons. Shawl tells the story in bite-sized chunks, rotating through a large cast of narrators and skipping around in location and time, which moves the pace along briskly and allows her to cover a lot of ground. An unfortunate side-effect (at least for me) in this otherwise enjoyable book was that I sometimes felt like I was reading edited excerpts of a novel instead of the novel itself.
(LC Score: +1)
So here’s the thing: I love Brit Lit. I love Austen and all the Brontes (except for that ridiculous wuthering one) and Dickens and Trollope and Collins and Lady Audley’s Secret (have you guys read Lady Audley’s Secret? you totally should because it’s awesome) and the whole pack of ‘em. I was looking forward to Evelina, especially since it’s an epistolary novel and we have established that epistolary novels are Perfect and The Best and Give Them All to Me. I loaded it into my Kindle as my official “stuck waiting somewhere and forgot to bring a book” book, and then, at 38% in, I came to an important realization: life is short. And if I have to read one more page about the horrible Captain Mirvan playing “pranks” on the horrible Madame Duval while everyone else sits around and shrugs genteelly I will poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick. So I’m closing the Kindle and crossing this one off the TBR list and I don’t even feel badly about it. (Still going to read that Burney bio, though.)
(LC Score: 0, read on Kindle)
Library Chicken Score for 6/13/17: 4
Running Score: 50
On the to-read/still-reading stack for next week:
Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (magic via mixtape in 1980’s Mexico City)
Version Control by Dexter Palmer (time machines from the author of The Dream of Perpetual Motion)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale (middle grade Squirrel Girl novel co-written by Newbery Honor winner Shannon Hale)