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Belatedly as always. And quickly.

  1. Craving by Esther Gerritsen (5/5) – This was a strange book. It feels fairly conventional to start, but takes a few turns along the way (I don’t really want to spoil things). Ultimately, the disparate parts work well together by the end of the book. I could stand to read this again at some point and that, in doing so, my assessment might change. I feel like the mind of the author was carefully managing every detail here. It reminds of non-scifi Atwood.
  2. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (4/5) – Part of the great Tolkien re-read. The hardest part.
  3. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick (4/5) – The story of the shipwreck that Melville apparently based Moby Dick on. An interesting read whether you care for that novel or not, but especially intriguing for me since Moby Dick is one of my favorites. Philbrick does a good job with a portrayal of the crew that feels both honest and fair.
  4. In Full Velvet by Jenny Johnson (5/5) – I do not feel especially qualified to comment on these poems without spending more time with them except to say that they are wonderful and complex and I fully recommend them to anyone who is looking for new poetry to read.
  5. Calypso by David Sedaris (4/5) – David Sedaris has been around for so long now and written so many books. What he writes now is less about being overtly funny and more about an honest – if offbeat – appraisal of how we all go about our daily business.
  6. Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls (5/5) – Picked this up on the strength of the first page and was not disappointed. It’s a short novel that slips immediately into science fiction/fantasy without acting as though there’s anything unusual about it. This is, rather obviously, the story upon which The Shape of Water was unofficially based, which I didn’t know when I picked it up. It does what I always want books like this to do, using that which is unusual to force us to question the usual.