It’s time for March’s Recommended Reads! Here’s what we’re reading and recommending this month:
Megan is reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (again). She says, “It’s been about three years, but I think about it often, and it is one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. We know from the beginning of the book how the story will end, but the journey is like one huge mysterious knot that needs to be untangled. Rothfuss has a lovely way with words, and I never feel like he is padding out the novel, or adding text just for book length – everything feels significant. My commute is long, so I’m listening to the audiobook version narrated by Nick Podehl; it is very well done, and he does a good variety of voices so I can keep all the characters straight. I really enjoy this book and its sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear, and am eagerly awaiting the final book in the series, The Doors of Stone.
I also recently checked out Stack the Cats from the UHD library to ready to my daughter. It’s got adorable illustrations, and teaches counting up to ten. It should come with a “do not try this at home” label, though. If we tried to stack our cats on top of each other, I think we’d have World War Cat in our house.”
Steve is currently reading selections from The View from the Cheap Seats, Neil Gaiman’s collection of non-fiction essays. “Even though most of the essays originated as speeches, they read very well as prose. (I’m guessing he’s done some editing and tweaking.) I like that it’s easy to jump around the book – no need to read it in sequence.
Not surprisingly, my favorite essay so far is “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming: The Reading Agency Lecture, 2013″. In it, Gaiman tells stories of his childhood spent in libraries and the librarians who encouraged him to read. He argues that it’s important to teach and model the love of reading – especially reading for personal enjoyment – and that too often this is lost at an early age. If people don’t learn to love reading, and to read for pleasure, he argues they don’t grow into literate citizens. Even more, reading imaginative and speculative fiction increases our ability to dream and conceive of new ideas. He points out that everything we can see in a room, for example, was first imagined. He ends by linking reading for pleasure to the development of ideas that benefit humanity.”
Anne is reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. Here’s what she had to say:
Mae Holland is thrilled when she lands a job at the top tech company in the world. The Circle is working to create one online identity for every individual. One transparent account with one password that links a person’s email, social media, banking, and full medical history and real time data. The line between private and public becomes blurred and then completely obliterated. This book raises intriguing questions about personal vs. collective rights.
Library assistant Michael is reading Tu rostro mañana: 3 Veneno y sombra y adios, the third volume in the Your Face Tomorrow trilogy by Javier Marías.
From Publisher’s Weekly: “Marías concludes his enormously praised and disquieting trilogy with the last increment of Jacques Deza’s story, finding him recruited as a character analyst by a shady British intelligence agency. He’s working for Bertram Tupra, who welcomes Jacques into the intelligence fold by using him in his plot to assault a Spanish embassy employee. Soon, Tupra shows him horrifying blackmail videos gathered by the agency that poison Jacques’s soul. The effect of this poison becomes apparent when Deza returns to Madrid to see his father and his estranged wife, Luisa, who sports a black eye presumably inflicted by her boyfriend, Esteban Custardoy. Jacques begins to secretly track down Custardoy with the intent of persuading him never to see Luisa again, and when Jacques finally confronts Custardoy, Marias’s masterful depiction of the ecstasy of violence makes it difficult not to exult in Jacques’s barbarous behavior. The intrigue yet to come pushes Jacques into a crisis of conscience.”
Pat recently read Raven Stratagem, the second book in Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire trilogy, science fiction set in a world where weapon technologies are powered by pain and torture. The first book is Ninefox Gambit. “Although the world in this series depends on complex math and calendar observances, and the plot is complicated, I found myself being carried along by the wonderful characters and the excitement of the action aiming at the overthrow of an evil government. When you throw in that the main character is inhabited by the ghost of a centuries old master general who butchered his own troops, you have an amazing science fiction read. Ninefox Gambit won last year’s Locus Award for Best First Novel, and it was well deserved. Now I’m waiting for the third book to appear later this year with great excitement!”
Donovan is reading reading Asking for It by Louise O’Neill. It takes place in a small Irish town, and it focuses on an eighteen-year old girl named Emma O’Donovan. Not only is she very popular at school, she’s also very pretty. But, because Emma knows how attractive she is, she’s also snobby, arrogant, and apathetic. This leads to her being disrespectful to her parents, friends, and a neighbor boy whom she’s aware has a crush on her. Emma goes so far as to flirt with the boys that her friends like and even looks in the mirror every once in a while and tell herself that she is beautiful.
However, one evening after a party, Emma’s parents discover her on their doorstep bloodied, unconscious, unkempt, and discombobulated. She can’t recall what happened to her at the party or afterward, but when damaging photos of her appear on social media, she slowly realizes the worst has happened to her. Everyone who knows Emma, even her family, treats her differently, for better, or for worse. Once a criminal investigation is initiated, Emma finds herself in a dilemma of whether to come forth to the police to obtain justice for herself, or remain silent in order to preserve the reputations of those who are responsible for assaulting her.