Hey all! Since I’m still not feeling up to a full review, here are a few mini-reviews for books I felt worth recommendation. 🙂
Hotel Andromeda (Edited by Jack Chalker) – Sci-Fi, Anthology
Description from Goodreads: At the grandest hotel in the universe, star-crossed lovers cross paths with the woman who rules the earth, a shape-shifting madame fulfills the needs of extraterrestrials, and a thin-skinned human fights cosmic assassins.
Short Review: This was a fun little book. It contains several short stories that all take place in a hotel in outer space. All the stories are written by different authors and have different characters/plots, but they all have a nice similarity to them; the writing styles flow well together and the similar location of the stories gives them a nice connection. I enjoyed every story in this collection, which is quite a feat!
The King’s Hounds (Martin Jensen) – Mystery, Historical Fiction
Description from Goodreads (condensed): The newly crowned King Cnut of Denmark has conquered England and rules his new empire from Oxford. The year is 1018 and the war is finally over, but the unified kingdom is far from peaceful. Halfdan’s mixed lineage—half Danish, half Saxon—has made him a pauper in the new kingdom. When he finds an unlikely ally in Winston, a former monk, he sees no reason not to accept his strange invitation to travel together to Oxford. But when the pair’s arrival in court coincides with news of a murder, the king has a brilliant idea: Why not enlist the newly arrived womanizing half-Dane and the Saxon intellectual to defuse a politically explosive situation?
Short Review: I enjoyed this book overall. The plot was interesting, though a bit slow and kind of absurd. The verbiage seemed a bit too modern as well. I did enjoy the characters though: Halfdan was quite humorous and affable, Winston a bit more introspective but enjoyable. I think they were supposed to be slightly like Sherlock and Dr. Watson, though they didn’t quite meet the mark. All around a fun little mystery, but stick to the cheapest version you can find. 😉
Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks (Andrea Lankford) – Non-Fiction, Memoir
Description from Goodreads: For twelve years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes. Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.
Short Review: I really enjoyed this book. It’s a slightly fictionalized, non-fiction about Andrea and some of her co-workers while they were working for the National Park Service (USA). All the stories are true, she just rounded out some of the dialogue and thought processes. The stories range from humorous to nerve-wracking to sorrowful. You come to really care about every person in this book and really feel for what they go through. The stories do a wonderful job of humanizing the authority figure of a Ranger and I came out of it feeling a lot more thoughtful of what it means to be in their position.
The Little Paris Bookshop (Nina George) – General Fiction, Romance (kinda)
Description from Goodreads: Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.
Short Review: This was not my usual read. I’m not generally fond of romances, though this wasn’t quite like a regular romance novel. This book is more of a journey novel. Each character in it is trying to find something: a lost love, a muse, a friend. The pace is slow and introspective, but not boring. I found myself getting quite attached to Monsieur Perdu and his motley crew. This is a sweet book that will leave you with a sense of cozy-happiness.