That’s a weight off

Goodness, but choosing to DNF a book can be a liberating experience.

Dr Joe’s Science, Sense and Nonsense

Dr. Joe's Science, Sense and Nonsense: 61 Nourishing, Healthy, Bunk-free Commentaries on the Chemistry That Affects Us AllDr. Joe’s Science, Sense and Nonsense: 61 Nourishing, Healthy, Bunk-free Commentaries on the Chemistry That Affects Us All by Joe Schwarcz

I lost my place in this, and when I tried to find it, found an essay telling me all the things about my life as it stands that made it more likely I was going to get cancer. Yeah, nah. Not in the mental health place for that either (I just DNFed Persepolis Rising for different mental health reasons).

It’s going back to the shelf and back into a box in storage. I need different things to read right now.

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Persepolis Rising

Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7)Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey

I’m choosing to call this a DNF. It’s not a bad book, but it isn’t interesting SF adventure for me now – it’s splitting up my favourite characters while awful people do awful things because they think they know best. I’m not in a place to read that.

I’ve just cheated and read the plot summary on the Expanse Wiki and while at least there is progress against the oppressors, I don’t feel up to reading all the pages required to get there the long way round. It sounds like the next book is more about the aliens and the protomolecule etc, rather than just people being horrible to people, so I may try that one when it comes out. I’ll see how I feel then.

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Trading Futures

Doctor Who: Trading FuturesDoctor Who: Trading Futures by Lance Parkin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars (6/10)

This was an easy read, but just felt average. It’s a runaround with a few too many factions (showing the status of the book series at the time, I think). It was fun seeing Fitz being taken for the Doctor, but the Doctor himself isn’t James Bond. I’m not sorry I read it, but I wouldn’t have missed something special if I hadn’t.

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The Au Pair

The Au PairThe Au Pair by Emma Rous

My rating: 3 of 5 stars (7/10)

The first person present tense had me worried at first, but it’s only half the book as there are two POV characters and the other one is first person past tense.

In the end, I liked it a lot at the start and devoted both ends of the mystery, but was disappointed at the end. I wasn’t sure why, thinking it was the lack of resolution about one character and what she did or didn’t do. Later, I checked my Feedly and SBTB had a review. The reviewer said her problem was also with the end, that the revelation wasn’t executed well and was needlessly complicated. Also that she had guessed the answer. I agree that there were only so many variations on what happened and who was who. Roux got me to change my mind on which combination to go with a couple of times, but overall there weren’t any surprises. This is a first novel and shows Emma Roux has a lot of potential, and hopefully she can only improve.

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The Thirteen Problems

The Thirteen ProblemsThe Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (8/10)

I got this from the library and was excited to see it was an old hardcover, well read and with a battered plastic cover rather than a modern, shiny one. “Yay!” thought I. “Another old book from the stacks.” Sadly no, I looked up the copyright information and it’s a 2005 facsimile edition. Oh well, it’s the same stories that I’ve read before and I’m enjoying them all over again, even when I remember the solution.

Indeed, now that I’ve finished, I liked the stories all over again, even when I could remember the solution. I wonder if the 19th century version of Miss Marple ever made it to screen. I’ve only ever seen adaptations set later.

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Ball Lightning

Ball LightningBall Lightning by Liu Cixin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (9/10)

I jumped to this one with 2 books left in my summer/holiday TBR when I realised it had auto-borrowed itself from the library and was ticking away my borrowing time.

I found the beginning interesting, although the prose felt a little more “blocky” than I am used to (especially after recently reading McKillip and McKinley). That could be the author, the translator or a combination of both.

Today, I picked it up at 22% and just kept reading through to the end. The explanation offered for ball lightning is fascination, as are the possibilities that leads to. I was a bit concerned that we would lose that as the story diverged into war and weapons, but it worked through that hurdle and ended up in a interesting and fascinating place.

I understand that the unexpected idea introduced at the end leads into “The Three Body Problem”, but happily it’s in a way that is interesting but absolutely doesn’t require the reading of that book and its sequels. I don’t know if I’ll try to read them or not, but it is good to see my library has all the as ebooks.

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