I have been reading a lot of enjoyable books this past week, so a brief round-up for end of summer. I have no brains to write actual reviews today, but I liked them all and commend them to you. I’ll note that I think all of these have characters with a wide range of gender and sexuality identities, which wasn’t even something I was particularly looking for, but nice to see. Well-handled in all of them, I think.
– Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway — “Behind the titular doorway lie alternate worlds, some magical, some dangerous, and some both. The children, mostly girls, who go through the doors become irrevocably changed, many of them becoming mature beyond their actual years. When they return to the real world, their families and friends no longer understand them. And some, like Nancy, want desperately to return to their alternate world, where they felt welcomed and loved. Eleanor West was once a young traveler to those worlds, and now she runs a home for these wayward children, helping them adjust to reality.” (School Library Journal review)
– Casey McQuiston, One Last Stop — “McQuiston’s joyful sophomore romp mixes all the elements that made Red, White & Royal Blue so outstanding―quirky characters, coming-of-age confusion, laugh-out-loud narration, and hilarious pop-cultural references―into something totally its own…With all the fun and camp of a drag show (of which this novel features more than one) but grounded in the tenderness of first love, this time-slip rom-com is an absolute delight.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
– Becky Chambers, A Psalm for the Wild Built — “It’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend. One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered.”
– Becky Chambers, To Be Taught If Fortunate — “Climate change accelerated to a severe crisis that drained the ability and willingness of governments to support space exploration. Yet the drive to explore is not dead, and a private institute forms, to crowd-fund continued research and exploration. With contributions coming from anyone, anywhere in the world, who wants to support it, and all contributions, tiny or enormous, acknowledged, it works. This story follows Lawki 6, a mission to a red dwarf system with four planets that may be habitable. Five missions to other star systems were launched before them, but results from the first weren’t yet received when Lawki 6, ship name Merian, departs.” (from an Amazon review)
I also watched a pleasant movie on Netflix, The Last Letter from your Lover, if you’re in the mood for a sweet romantic historical: https://en.wikipedia.org/…/The_Last_Letter_from_Your_Lover