A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie || Book Review

β€œπ•Žπ•™π•–π•Ÿ π• π•Ÿπ•– π•žπ•’π•Ÿ π•œπ•Ÿπ• π•¨π•šπ•Ÿπ•˜π•π•ͺ π•œπ•šπ•π•π•€ π•’π•Ÿπ• π•₯𝕙𝕖𝕣, π•₯𝕙𝕖π•ͺ 𝕔𝕒𝕝𝕝 π•šπ•₯ π•žπ•¦π•£π••π•–π•£! π•Žπ•™π•–π•Ÿ π•€π• π•”π•šπ•–π•₯π•ͺ 𝕔𝕒𝕦𝕀𝕖𝕀 π•₯𝕙𝕖 𝕕𝕖𝕒π•₯𝕙𝕀 𝕠𝕗 π•₯π•™π• π•¦π•€π•’π•Ÿπ••π•€, π•₯𝕙𝕖π•ͺ π•€π•™π•£π•¦π•˜ π•’π•Ÿπ•• 𝕔𝕒𝕝𝕝 π•šπ•₯ 𝕒 𝕗𝕒𝕔π•₯ 𝕠𝕗 π•π•šπ•—π•–β€

Lord grimdark, ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a while since I posted a fantasy review, and boy did I decide to come back with a good one.

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie is the latest book in his First Law series, the beginning of The Age of Madness trilogy. Let me start off by saying, even if I make this book sound as amazing as it is, you have to at least start with the original trilogy, if not all the standalone novels too (which I did skip). But I’ll try to keep this mostly spoiler free.

This book picks up 30 years after the Last Argument of Kings, and we’re seeing the next generation pick up the mantle as they deal with problems both old (war, money, power) and new (industry, class revolt). While society had β€œprogressed” with its technology, evil is still evil, the poor will still suffer, and power still corrupts.

But not once in my reading did the suffering and bloodshed seem gratuitous. That’s Abercrombie’s skill. Sure, you might disagree about the conclusion’s he’s made about the nature of humanity, but at least he’s consistent. If you have hope, it will be crushed. If a character doesn’t look out for themselves, they’ll be worse for wear.

β€œπ™΅πšžπš—πš—πš’ πš‘πš˜πš , πš πš‘πšŽπš—πšŽπšŸπšŽπš› πš–πšŽπš— πšπšŠπš•πš”πšŽπš πšŠπš‹πš˜πšžπš πšπš›πšŽπšŽπšπš˜πš–, πšπš‘πšŽπš’ πš—πšŽπšŸπšŽπš› πš›πšŽπšŠπš•πš•πš’ πš–πšŽπšŠπš—πš πšπš˜πš› πšπš‘πšŽ πš πš˜πš–πšŽπš—.”

Which brings me to the characters β€” you need a bright light to get you through a story that can at times get bleak. I feel hook line and sinker for these characters, both ones connected to the ones we are familiar with in the original books and those new. Without spoilers, I’ll just say the apples didn’t fall very far from the familial trees with these new kids. And it’s honestly refreshing to say my two favorite characters were the women, Savine and Rikke. It’s not every fantasy book where you can have female characters each with their own personalities and struggles and motivations that are completely separate from how they relate to the men in their lives. I Stan Savine so much, and can’t wait for more from her in the future books.

And it’s with these great characters (Orso and Clover included, to not neglect the fellas) that I’m able to push through this grim tale, because it’s the humor they bring to the table to that makes this fantasy (without much magic) such an enjoyable read.

Mary Roach Collection: Complete

I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a completist. I’m fine to give up on series I’m not enjoying or DNF books I’m not feeling. But sometimes finishing something is just so satisfying πŸ’—

I read my last unread traditional Mary Roach book last year, with Packing For Mars. I was going to call that done. But then my boyfriend happened to find My Planet, a collection of her humor columns that ran in Readers Digest starting in 2002, at this month’s library book sale. I of course snatched it right up πŸ“š

Now, would I say this addition to the Mary Roach bibliography is necessary for fans to read? Absolutely not. If you’re familiar with her style in her β€œcurious science” books, you’ll know she loves a good aside or side joke. This collection is like 200 pages of extended jokes and asides. Being short magazine columns, it’s to be expected that she can’t go into much depth. You get a fair bit of fun tidbits about life with her husband and her thoughts of things she finds funny or strange, but for the most part this collection is pretty forgettable.

So glad I can finally, truly say I’ve read every Mary Roach book, but as far as My Planet goes, don’t go rushing out to find yourself a copy! My favorites of hers remains Stiff and Grunt (her first and last books), the curious science of cadavers and the military respectively.

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo | Nonfiction book review

β€œOur humanity is worth a little discomfort, it’s actually worth a lot of discomfort.”

I come to this book as a white woman from the poor South (πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Hi nice to me you) So it should come as no surprise that I’ve found myself struggle-busing my way through a lot of difficult conversations with various friends/family members β€”both β€œwell meaning” and those definitely not.

So when Ijeoma Oluo opens this book with an argument that I’ve had at least a dozen times, I ~knew~ this was a book I needed and will shove into even more hands. She tackles everything from the β€œbut what about poor white people/can’t we just solve poverty first?” in those first pages and goes on to intersectionality, privilege, microaggressions, the model minority, being called racist and so much more.

Oluo tackles everything in ways that are so personal to her. You hear her exasperation dealing with her white mother; her care in raising her son; her frustration when she struggles to be heard as a black woman writer. And at the same time explains things in a way so useful to a wider audience, in a memoir-guidebook mashup. She delivers her arguments passionately with a straightforward humor as if she was a friend grabbing your hand and saying β€œYea, this if f*cked up but you can do this.”

These are conversations we should all be having, as we examine our privilege and blindspots and work on anti-racism efforts. And whether you start with the basics with this book, or pick up one like it (White Fragility, How To Be An Antiracist, My Time Among the Whites among others (I’ll be picking more of these up myself soon)), it’s worth sitting in our discomfort to try to make the world better one conversation at a time.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn | Mini book review

I first put the Sharp Objects audiobook on hold on Sept. 3. But because adaptations are the bane of my existence, I didn’t get it until this year. /endrant

If you’ve lived under a rock and somehow missed the synopsis, this book follows a reporter Camille who goes back to her hometown to investigate the case of a murdered girl and a newly missing girl. Family drama and small town antics ensue.

So, to start with the positive, this book was compulsively readable. I’ve read the rest of Gillian Flynn’s bibliography, so I knew I got along well with her style, but this was her first book, so you never know. It’s no surprise at all that someone read this book and thought β€œThis has to be a TV show.”

But, saying that, there were times in here where the made-for-TV dramatic scenes came with a side of β€œwell that’s crazy and intense, but why is it happening? How did we get here?” Looking back at the all the twisty dark scenes after finishing the book, I realize several of them seem to serve no purpose other than to elicit a β€œWTF?” response. They didn’t serve the plot or even character development. We already knew our characters were deeply flawed.

Overall, I think I’ve seen a season (*cough* or 13) too many of crime procedurals to be shocked by anything in here. On top of that the annoying AF bad journalist tropes had me eye rolling so much they almost got stuck. I’d still recommend reading it for a β€œfun” thriller, if only to compare it to the TV show.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friday reads | Footnotes No. 1

I was feeling the Friday afternoon slump at work today, so I snuck in some audio while waiting for my next meeting 🀫

What are you reading this weekend? I’m hoping to finish The Prey of Gods, which is a sci-fi/fantasy story set in a future South Africa that I’m really enjoying so far. You follow a bunch of different characters from a young girl coming into new abilities, a delightfully ruthless demi goddess trying to reclaim power, and several characters who experience a new hallucinogen sweeping the country. I’m eager to see how all of these storylines come together!

PS: I’m trying out a new posting format. Sometimes I find that posting during the week can be stressful to manage with work etc., so I thought quick thoughts and photos would be a great way to connect with you all more often. Let me know what you think! Like it/hate it/that’s what Bookstagram is for/ anything at all!

My Favorite Books of 2018 & Reading Stats

2018 was a massive year for reading for me. I read 218 books! Some of those were graphic novels and novellas, but there were also some massive 1000+ page tomes. Out of those, I gave 50 books 5 stars. That’s way too many to put in a favorites list (but if you’re interested in them all, check out my Goodreads. So I’ve narrowed it down by picking a favorite (or 2) from each month

Continue reading “My Favorite Books of 2018 & Reading Stats”

My 5-Star Predictions | Books I think I’ll love

We’d all like to believe that we expect to love every book we pick up, but that’s just not the case. On this fall Friday I’m bringing to you my 5-star predictions. If you haven’t seen this going around, it was started by Mercedes of MercysBookishMusings on Booktube. She took a look at her shelves and the books on her TBR and guessed which books would get 5-stars once she read them. So I’m doing the same, and I’ll hopefully do a follow up post to see how accurate my predictions were.

Continue reading “My 5-Star Predictions | Books I think I’ll love”

Audiobooks I regret listening to | Discussion

You’d think a new blog that focuses on audiobooks would start off by talking about the audiobooks they just love, right?

~Well that’s not how I do things.~

I love audiobooks. They’ve gotten me from reading about 20 books a year to reading more than 100, they help ease my anxious tendencies and they are just plain fun to listen to. BUT that does not mean all audiobooks are created equal.

Continue reading “Audiobooks I regret listening to | Discussion”