Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tenth of December by George Saunders

I've not heard of Saunders nor read anything else of his before. This is my first time dipping my toes into his world.

Once again, I heard about this from Books on the Nightstand, and I decided I needed to rediscover my love of short stories. Thankfully, I just got a credit from Audible and went ahead and downloaded this book. After reading an article, on January 3rd, that this was the best book of the year already, I was doubly intrigued.

I have to say my one regret was listening to it rather than reading and savoring it. The author read the book but I felt he went to fast, although I understand why. The stories almost all called for some intensity, some rushed feeling. I wanted to read it instead simply because of the WTF moments. The "What did he just say??" moments. Saunders slips in these moments without blinking an eye, like they are the most natural things ever, and it takes a second, when listening, to realize what just happened.

Because hiring people to have wire strung through their brains and hanging as lawn ornaments is PERFECTLY logical and mundane.

What? Yes.

I don't recall all the names of the stories (another problem with listening to the audiobook) but I did enjoy them all and was pretty engrossed in each one.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I asked a friend, if I wanted to try Preston and Child, where should I start? He promptly handed me Relic. I'm actually surprised to learn, looking at Goodreads, that this was a Pendergast novel. I guess I'm surprised because, while Pendergast was a good character, I didn't think he would spin off into more. I was wrong, I guess!

I will have to say I enjoyed this one and will look for more books by Preston and Child. I'm a science-y type of gal and I found myself skipping some of the more science/plant/stuff to get to the meat of the book.

The Museum of Natural History in NY has become home to a beast of sorts that is fantastically killing museum staff. Fantastic as in GORY. Without giving to much away, the killings and beast are linked to an expedition many years past, whereas a "curse" was brought back to the museum.

In a weird way, everything made sense and seemed probable, which I liked, up until the Epilogue.  I really wish I hadn't of read that and just left it where it stood. For some reason, it annoyed me to have the magical stuff thrown in at the end.

Ah well.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

There are 5 Wool books and this little Omnibus puts them all in one collection. I heard about this from the CraftStash podcast and since it included knitting I'd thought I'd give it a try. WAIT!!! STOP!! It's not a knitting book! Come back.....

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside. (Goodreads)

This is a bizarre apocalyptic collection about people who live in underground silos because the outside world is toxic now. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in this silo and it's basically functioning world in there, complete with castes and people in their places. Mechanical in the down deep (over 130 levels below ground) and Law up top (first floor). The silo is so large there are "hotels" on several floors because it simply cannot be traveled in a day.

We start off with the current Sheriff, Holston, climbing to his death (really, this is the first sentence of the collection). We learn that he lost his wife 3 years prior and he's decided to punish himself with the capital punishment the Silo mets out. A cleaning.

From there we spiral down into a world that is just bizarre and frightening. The people in the silo learn things that they were never supposed to know -Truth spreads like a virus - and uprises are organized.

If you like sci-fi, apocalyptic works, I highly recommend Wool. Get the collection. If you don't, you'll instantly regret it when the first book leaves you hanging.