I missed you, Internet; have some books

Hi, Internet.

While I was away another story came out, in Daily Science Fiction. It’s called “The Taking Tree,” and it’s sort of an evil sequel to The Giving Tree.

But enough about me. I want to tell you about some books I’ve read in the last few months. Writing reviews always makes me feel a little unsure of myself, because sometimes when I think I’ve uncovered (or stumbled upon, or been shown) a hidden gem, it turns out that everyone else in the world has already read it.

But anyway, here are some books that I liked. You should read them.

Near + Far by Cat Rambo — Beyond the physical awesomeness of this book, which is in the style of an old-timey double-header, Cat Rambo’s stories are amazing. From evil mermaids to living coats and far, far beyond, these stories cover a wide range. One of them was on the Nebula ballot! There are only two drawbacks to this book: 1) not being sure how to handle having two bookmarks while reading from both sides simultaneously, and 2) always having Grover’s voice in my head when I think of the book’s title(s).

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell — I almost put this down in the first few chapters because it seemed to be needlessly coy about basic things like what happened to Emilio’s hands, not to mention the central mystery of WTF happened on that other planet. However, once the story got going I was hooked. It’s a fascinating other world peopled with believable aliens and fun human characters, and though it’s been a few months since I read it it’s stuck with me. Plus, there’s about to be a TV series of it, so get in (slightly) ahead of the curve!

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan — Never has being a bear seemed so appealing. I am very fortunate that I was warned about this book’s beginning. A friend said that the unpleasantness was frontloaded into the first couple of chapters, and without that knowledge I may have given this wonderful book up due to said unpleasantness. Yet even when horrible things were happening, the writing was incredible, so perhaps I would have endured it. At any rate, this was a magical book. By the end it had me bawling.

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