Reading For The Heck Of It

Gosh, I love books. I love the way they feel in my hand, the way they smell, the way they look piling up all around me as I drown amongst their pages...I really, REALLY like books.

 

Favorite genres: nonfiction (especially science), sci-fi/fantasy, classics, and children's literature.

 

Unread/unloved genres: romance and seafaring odysseys.

Gratuitous sex scenes

The Hunting Party - Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley was an absolute blast. Last year I went through several weeks where all I wanted to read were murder mysteries and this was the first one from the recommended reading list. The Hunting Party is a psychological thriller taking place at an isolated hotel in the middle of the Scottish countryside during a snowstorm. There are a multitude of characters in this book but they're all such distinctly different personalities that you're unlikely to get character fatigue. [A/N: Did I just invent 'character fatigue'? If you ever tried to read Casual Vacancy then surely you understand what I'm talking about.] Stuck out in the Scottish highlands with no way to get help, a murder puts a real crimp on the New Year's festivities. Backtracking from two days prior to our main event, the reader is introduced to a group of friends who have known each other since college. There are cliques within this clique and not everyone is likable (in fact I don't recall particular loving any of them). You're trying to work out who the killer is along with the rest of them and the craziest thing is that I wasn't even totally sure who was dead until the last 20 pages! O_O 

 

If you're looking for a real page turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat this is the one for you. 9/10 because the unnecessarily explicit sex scenes really turned me off.

 

Let me know if you worked out who the killer was before it was revealed. (I did but it was made harder by my lack of confidence in who was actually dead. You'll get what I mean if you read it.)

 

What's Up Next: We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Not lacking in characters

Disappearing Earth - Julia Phillips

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips had a great premise and sounded like it could be the Russian equivalent of Broadchurch which I found very excitingThe story opens with the disappearance of two little girls from a small community and the suspicion and unease which come about as a result. Unlike the TV series, the book introduces a cast of characters that did nothing to add or move along the narrative plot. [A/N: There's one character's story in particular that really made me question its addition. If you read the book you'll recognize her as the lady that visits the hospital. What was going on there?!] I can only guess that they served as a kind of backdrop for the area which the author took great pains to describe (and which I knew nothing about prior to reading this book). I can't fault Phillips' writing or ability to engage the reader because I was fully hooked by this story...that is until I realized (nearly at the end) that so many of these side stories (not to mention the main plot) had no real conclusion. I read quite a lot of mysteries and crime procedurals and my favorite part is generally the dramatic tying up of the loose ends of the case which you don't get with Disappearing Earth. Instead you get more questions than answers. (Why was Denis obsessed with aliens?!) So I'm afraid the overall rating suffered as a result and I can only give it a 6/10. (This hasn't stopped me from encouraging others to pick up this book though. I keep waiting for one of them to come back and rage at me because they're annoyed by the ending.)

 

Absolutely stunning cover. [Source: Amazon]

 

What's Up Next: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

What if they had used The Body Back on Spock?

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death - Caitlin Doughty, Dianne Drake

Answering questions posed to her from kids while touring, giving lectures, and living her day-to-day life, Caitlin Doughty has created another delightful book about death entitled Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death. [Yes, this is another book about death. I swear I'm going to space them out from now on.] While there is some rehashing of topics, Doughty manages to cover a wide array of interesting subjects like "What would happen if someone died with popcorn kernels in their stomach and then went into the cremator?" (I won't spoil the answer for you.) One of the best bits (in my opinion) was when she discussed different ways to dispose of remains like The Body Back which is a real thing developed for space travel. The premise is that if someone dies in space, this machine which is basically a giant robotic arm has the ability to shake the body (which has been freeze dried by the atmosphere of space) at such a speed that it's broken into small shards of ice. Heck yeah! Doughty also touches on burial laws and in particular those that concern pets. Are there pet cemeteries? Can you be buried with your pet? (Answer: It depends on your state and its laws.) Conclusion: A quick read that's a lot of fun to brandish on a crowded subway train during rush hour. :-P 8/10

 

What's Up Next: Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Too many robots?

Exhalation: Stories - Ted Chiang

When I read Stories of Your Life and Others in 2017 I was blown away by Ted Chiang's writing. It's unique to find a short story collection where so many of the stories are standouts (and memorable) but his first collection managed to do both. I found it mind-boggling that he hadn't written more so when I heard Exhalation was coming out I added it to my library holds list. With the memory of the stories from the first book still pretty fresh in my mind, I went into Exhalation with high expectations...and was slightly disappointed. This collection veered much more strongly toward artificial intelligence and existentialism while his previous work was varied (and exceptional). The best story from this collection was actually Exhalation which was about robots constructed with artificial lungs (yes, it's creepy). I can't really remember any of the rest except one about a robotic nanny which had a great philosophical bent to it. Quite a few stories were novella length which I think contributed to why it didn't feel as diversified as the first collection since not as many stories could be included. (A/N: Many of the stories were collected from various publications over the years and some are as old as 10 years.) That isn't to say that I didn't still appreciate his artistry as a writer because without a doubt he is a brilliant wordsmith but when you come out of the gate with such a winner like Stories of Your Life and Others it can be difficult to reach that height again. ¯_(ツ)_/¯  My overall assessment: 6/10.

 

What's Up Next: Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs by Caitlin Doughty

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Do You Mind if I Cancel? (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

If only there had been a plot...

Memoirs Found in a Bathtub - Stanisław Lem, Christine  Rose

Memoirs Found in a Bathtub caught my eye simply for the novelty of the title and that bizarre cover. This book is difficult to sum up or even to rate as it truly has no discernible plot. Lest you dismiss it immediately because of this fact, let me assure you that there's much to recommend this title. The word play and circuitous path of our main character (who remains nameless) is satire at its finest. Espionage, counterespionage, and counter-counterespionage abound in The Building where our character has been given a very important Mission...if only he knew what it was. He is continually beset by obstacles in the form of bureaucrats, winding halls with nondescript doors, and instructions that keep vanishing. What would happen if humanity was forced to abandon its cities and move into an underground bunker? Would society, culture, and technology survive and continue to advance?  Lem weaves a provocative tale of paranoia, confusion, and ultimately betrayal. 5/10 but would have been higher had there been a plot to follow. 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Absolutely brilliant sci-fi

The Cyberiad - Stanisław Lem, Daniel Mróz, Michael Kandel

Now The Cyberiad completely got me back on board the Stanislaw Lem fan train. It was absolutely hysterical. This is a collection of short stories all about the adventures (or rather misadventures) of 2 (in)famous constructors as they make their way across the universe. (These journeys are called sallies which is a detail I adore.) Our heroes, Klapaucius and Trurl, are constantly trying to one-up each other not only with their creations but also with their status as constructors and benefactors to the cosmos. These robots are constructed for all kinds of constructive and inane reasons like storytelling, poetry, making war, etc. And the words that Lem makes up! I'm trying to think of a better word than delightful to describe my reading experience but honestly it was a treat to read a bit of this every night before bed. (If you don't laugh at the depiction of 'palefaces' i.e. humans then you have no sense of humor at all.) An absolute 10/10 for me. (And wait til you read the twist. O_O)

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Stanislaw Lem: A Masterpost

Solaris - Stanisław Lem, Steve Cox, Joanna Kilmartin The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age - Stanisław Lem Memoirs Found in a Bathtub - Stanisław Lem, Christine  Rose

The premise is that a scientist is sent to Solaris (a planet with a space station) only to discover that the 3 inhabitants which he was meant to meet have been reduced to two. Our main character, Kris Kelvin, arrives hoping to crack the enigma of the alien ocean which comprises the whole of the planet (and which is sentient). Once he arrives, strange and disturbing things start to happen such as resurrection of the dead into corporeal beings. Is the entity aware of its cruelty? Is it conducting an experiment on the scientists like the ones that it has been subjected to over the years? Have they actually gone mad?! The overarching message that Lem seems to be making is that humanity continually seeks out new worlds and beings only to impose their own values and agendas to further their reach. (Think colonialism of other cultures and peoples.) He likens it to religion and the search for redemption. (Sci-fi and philosophy go hand-in-hand more often than not as most lovers of the genre will know.) For me it's a 4/10 as I found myself putting it down and grabbing other things to read instead.

 

Now The Cyberiad completely got me back on board the Stanislaw Lem fan train. It was absolutely hysterical. This is a collection of short stories all about the adventures (or rather misadventures) of 2 (in)famous constructors as they make their way across the universe. (These journeys are called sallies which is a detail I adore.) Our heroes, Klapaucius and Trurl, are constantly trying to one-up each other not only with their creations but also with their status as constructors and benefactors to the cosmos. These robots are constructed for all kinds of constructive and inane reasons like storytelling, poetry, making war, etc. And the words that Lem makes up! I'm trying to think of a better word than delightful to describe my reading experience but honestly it was a treat to read a bit of this every night before bed. (If you don't laugh at the depiction of 'palefaces' i.e. humans then you have no sense of humor at all.) An absolute 10/10 for me. (And wait til you read the twist. O_O)

 

Memoirs Found in a Bathtub caught my eye simply for the novelty of the title and that bizarre cover. This book is difficult to sum up or even to rate as it truly has no discernible plot. Lest you dismiss it immediately because of this fact, let me assure you that there's much to recommend this title. The word play and circuitous path of our main character (who remains nameless) is satire at its finest. Espionage, counterespionage, and counter-counterespionage abound in The Building where our character has been given a very important Mission...if only he knew what it was. He is continually beset by obstacles in the form of bureaucrats, winding halls with nondescript doors, and instructions that keep vanishing. What would happen if humanity was forced to abandon its cities and move into an underground bunker? Would society, culture, and technology survive and continue to advance?  Lem weaves a provocative tale of paranoia, confusion, and ultimately betrayal. 5/10 but would have been higher had there been a plot to follow. 

 

What's Up Next: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

 

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

The quest continues

5 Worlds: Book 3: The Red Maze - Alexis Siegel, Mark  Siegel, Boya Sun, Matt Rockefeller, Xanthe Bouma

5 Worlds Book 3: The Red Maze by Mark Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, & Boya Sun is the continuation of the series that I started back in December 2018. [Reviews for Book 1 and Book 2] It's such a fun read but because it's a collaborative project there's a long break in between publishing dates. Therefore, if you're waiting for the next book in the series you're going to be waiting until later this year for it.

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

When the past comes back to haunt you

The Invited - Jennifer McMahon

Straight away I want to say The Invited by Jennifer McMahon was such a fun reading experience! The book opens in the 1920s with a woman named Hattie who lives in a small house in the swamp with her daughter Jane. There's already friction with the local townsfolk but a tragedy occurs which results in an act of cruelty that resounds through history to the present day (2015 to be precise). And that's where we're introduced to Helen (a young woman who moves to Vermont with her husband) and Olive (a young girl who just wants to solve the mystery of her missing mother). It turns out that Helen is a history buff and she decides that she wants to use reclaimed objects to build a house on their newly purchased land...which is in the swamp. Yes, she and her husband are occupying the same space that Hattie had once called home and when they start using objects that tie back to Hattie Breckenridge and her kin weird (supernatural) things start happening. The unfolding of the plot is divided by the stages of the house's construction which I thought was really clever and further helped to make the novel feel more cohesive. While it ounces between different points of view it's done in such a way that it doesn't detract from the flow of the novel (which you all know is a pet peeve of mine). McMahon really knows how to weave a supernatural thriller/mystery with lots of intricate details and a host of characters. While I felt like I had a vague idea where the book was heading she somehow managed to keep throwing curve balls to lead me astray. Mystery fans and/or those looking for a spooky supernatural book will really get a kick out of this one. 10/10

 

What's Up Next: 5 Worlds Book 3: The Red Maze by Mark Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, & Boya Sun

 

What I'm Currently Reading: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Relevant and necessary

So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo is the kind of book that will have you really thinking about your actions and the way that they affect others. When I finished this book, I immediately passed it onto my manager to read because I wanted to continue the conversation. Oluo uses her own experiences as a person of color navigating our (you have to admit) white supremacist society here in the United States. So this is not only extremely relevant but also a necessary book about an incendiary topic. We (I speak as a collective here with a definite side-eye at my fellow white folks of privilege) need to do better and that starts with educating ourselves. Oluo uses this book like an instruction manual with vocabulary lessons on things like microaggressions, the school to prison pipeline, tone policing, intersectionality, cultural appropriation, and the model minority myth. It's full of talking points about how to successfully navigate uncomfortable talks about race, racism, and racial inequality. This isn't an easy book to read because the truth about our society and the way that we have been conditioned to act is a hard pill to swallow BUT it's important to face this head-on so that we can move on to all (hopefully) be better people. Lest you think this is directed solely at white people, Oluo also stresses the importance of people of color having affirmation that their feelings and hurt are valid. Basically, this is a great book that all people wanting to do better should read. 10/10

 

What's Up Next: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

2019 Book Roundup

Hi there, friends! It's time to put together the list of the books that I read in 2019. I really thought I would break the cycle and get all of my reviews finished before the end of the year but I didn't take into account how much busier my new branch was going to be. [Spoiler alert: It's super busy and my reading really reflects that.] Once again, I'm going to list out the rereads and I'll try to get another post out about the books that I did not finish (DNF) of which there are quite a few (if I can remember their titles). Without further ado, here's the list!

 

  1. My Side of the Mountain
  2. Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye
  3. The Library Book
  4. Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods
  5. Elfquest Archives: Volume 3
  6. Strange Magic
  7. The Thirteenth Tale
  8. I'll Be Gone in the Dark
  9. New Kid
  10. Remember, Remember
  11. Notes from a Small Island
  12. HiLo Book 5: Then Everything Went Wrong
  13. Once Upon a River
  14. Elfquest Archives: Volume 4
  15. Three Things About Elsie
  16. Adulthood is a Myth
  17. Big Mushy Happy Lump
  18. Herding Cats
  19. Excellent Books for Early and Eager Readers
  20. The Dreamers
  21. Dread Nation
  22. The Saturdays
  23. Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy
  24. Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max
  25. Lumberjanes: A Terrible Plan
  26. Lumberjanes: Out of Time
  27. Lumberjanes: Band Together
  28. Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
  29. The Doll People
  30. Redwall
  31. Born to be Posthumous
  32. Toys Go Out
  33. Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems
  34. Locomotive
  35. Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder
  36. The Right Word
  37. The Birthday Ball
  38. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy
  39. Amphigorey
  40. Amphigorey Again
  41. Amphigorey Too
  42. Ready Player One
  43. A Discovery of Witches
  44. Strange Sight
  45. The Hidden Witch
  46. The Witch Boy
  47. Our Uninvited Guests
  48. Stranger in the House
  49. When the Children Came Home
  50. Jambusters
  51. The Gods Themselves
  52. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
  53. Cool Japan Guide
  54. Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
  55. The Star Diaries
  56. So You Want to Talk About Race (review pending)
  57. The Invited (review pending)
  58. 5 Worlds Book 3: The Red Maze (review pending)
  59. Solaris (review pending)
  60. Exhalation (review pending)
  61. Will my Cat Eat my Eyeballs? (review pending)
  62. Disappearing Earth (review pending)
  63. The Hunting Party (review pending)
  64. We Were Killers Once (review pending)
  65. The Poet and the Vampyre (review pending)
  66. It Takes One (review pending)
  67. The 7th Victim (review pending)
  68. When Life Gives you Pears (review pending)
  69. Kindness and Wonder (review pending)
  70. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (review pending)
  71. The Toll (review pending)
  72. The Ride of a Lifetime (review pending)
  73. Miss D & Me (review pending)
  74. Fair Play (review pending)
  75. Inside Out (review pending)
  76. Cat Diary: Yon & Muu (review pending)
  77. When I Arrived at the Castle (no review - I just didn't like it)

 

And the reread books:

  1. 84, Charing Cross Road
  2. The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

 

That brings our total count to: 79 books.

 

I've once again included the links for the reviews of each of the titles but you can always use the search feature to look up any genre, subject, etc. to find your next book to kick off 2020. :-) Happy New Year!!

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

For fans of Isaac Asimov

The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy - Stanisław Lem, Michael Kandel

The Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem (another Swedish author!) came into my life due to an observant patron recognizing my Star Trek tattoo as the nerd alert that it is and recommending it to me. [Hallelujah!] The book is organized into short stories touted as the numbered voyages of Ijon Tichy. [A/N: Don't be thrown by the fact they aren't in order. Read my note at the end of this review for a better understanding.] The beginning offers an introduction which has the reader questioning the 'validity' of Tichy as a narrator and the last voyage really solidifies that doubt. [We are given to believe that these chronicles are studied by dedicated scholars and that Tichy is a great explorer.] We follow Tichy as he makes his way across the universe on a solo trip which ultimately turns into a philosophical journey about the nature of being and how he fits into the grand picture of the universe. One particular story was a standout for me (and absolutely terrifying) featuring robot monks, wild furniture, and a type of humanity that was horrifying for Tichy (and the reader) to behold. (Really dig into the underlying message here.) Lem, like most good sci-fi writers, is looking at what it means to be human by tapping into our curiosity for all things that are decidedly alien or other. Tichy is our lens into a world that is as ever changing as the various voyages that he makes. I absolutely loved it. 10/10

 

A/N: A note at the back of the book explained that the voyages were written out of order because Lem wrote the book over the course of 20 years and his writing style changed somewhat across the span of the stories.

 

I just love this cover. [Source: Goodreads]

 

What's Up Next: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Inside Out: A Memoir by Demi Moore

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Fact or fiction?

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History - Brian Kilmeade, Don Yaeger

About 3 pages into Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade I felt that the author had a real issue with Muslims and he wrote this book to denounce them through a historical lens. As he drew parallels to the Barbary Wars (what's detailed in this book) and present day conflicts, he made the claim that slavery was a unique and barbarous practice only perpetrated by Muslims against whites. (Duh that's not the case.) By the time I had finished the book my overwhelming impression was that this book was not only Islamophobic but a major piece of revisionist history. (I even checked other reader's reviews to make sure that I wasn't completely off the mark here and they back up my feelings pretty much across the board.) He makes a strong argument for a show of military strength over diplomacy. In fact, the Barbary Wars were what precipitated the formation of the Navy and Marines (the 'shores of Tripoli' ring any bells?). I couldn't even tell you if what he says happened really happened when such a large focus was on ideas other than the historical events of the moment. 0/10

 

And then to discover that this book which was recommended to me by a coworker was in fact written by a co-host of Fox & Friends made total sense after the fact. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

What's Up Next: The Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Inside Out: A Memoir by Demi Moore

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Why did I read this when I have no plans to visit Japan?

Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen - Abby Denson

I had high hopes for Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats, and Ramen by Abby Denson. Some of this stemmed from the fact that this was recommended to me from a trusted source but more so from the fact that I've so enjoyed the travelogues that I've read in the past (especially Lucy Kinsey's). Sadly, this book fell far short of the mark for me. While this is 'marketed' for a young adult audience the cat character that the authors use for Japanese vocabulary lessons (a great idea in theory) was childish in the extreme. The illustrations weren't anything to write home about either but I think they were secondary to the purpose of providing helpful information to the international traveler. In this the authors definitely succeeded although their advice should be taken with a grain of salt as some information could potentially be out-of-date. All in all it was a 2/10 for me although I did have a craving for ramen right after reading it.

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

A look behind the curtain

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets - David Simon

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon is a work of non-fiction about the Homicide Unit of Baltimore's Police Department during one year in the 1980's when he was a journalist for the Baltimore Sun. This book was actually the inspiration for the TV show Homicide: Life on the Streets so if you've seen that show you might recognize some of the characters (albeit with different names and ethnicity in some cases). Simon focuses on a few of the key cases that the unit investigated during the year he observed (although it was more like became entrenched in their cases and lives). He managed to both show the very best of what it means to be a sensitive, thorough homicide detective and the lengths that they were willing to take to close out their cases (it's often about the closeout rate). The dark underbelly of the city, its inhabitants, and the men (and lone woman) tasked with solving those most heinous of crimes is laid bare in stark detail. These men (and one lone woman who was rarely a focus in the novel) are distinctly human with foibles like all the rest. Vulgarity, racism, sexism, and a general callousness permeate the department. (Baltimore was none too pleased with the portrayal of their city by the way.) Simon shows that not all cases have a tidy ending and in fact could remain unsolved well past the detective's tenure with the unit. If you're looking for a neat police procedural then you'll be disappointed with this book but if you're interested in the investigative process itself you've hit the jackpot. 5/10

 

A/N: Keep in mind when this book was written because there are definitely some problematic issues such as racist slurs, derogatory attitudes towards people of color, sexist asides, and general ickiness that made me shudder. I can't be sure how much of this was a product of the times and/or how much is just a part of Simon's character but it was off-putting in the extreme.

 

What's Up Next: Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats, and Ramen by Abby Denson

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Miss D & Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis by Kathryn Sermak (with Danielle Morton)

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

A unique solution to the energy crisis

The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov

The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov is organized into 3 distinct parts. The first follows a young physicist doing research on the history of the Electron Pump which is a nifty invention providing unlimited energy for all of humanity. He comes to believe that the 'Father of the Electron Pump' is merely a puppet of the entities living in the para-universe (where the energy was being siphoned) and that the Pump itself poses a grave risk to our Universe. The second part occurs in this para-universe and follows a group of entities that are composed of an amorphous substance which allows them to merge with one another and form 'triads'. In this universe the Sun is dying which creates a ripple effect on the creatures which inhabit the planet. A member of this species (it's hard to describe these creatures) has a theory that the Pump they're employing is dangerous to them all and is the reason that procreation has nearly ground to a halt. [A/N: This might be the first instance where a description of alien sex is described in fairly explicit detail and as the alien beings are so different from ourselves it was super weird but certainly showcases Asimov's ingenuity.] And then we come to the third and final part which takes the reader back to our universe. We follow a (retired) scientist named Denison who has moved to the Moon where an entire society has taken residence (most of which are natives to the Lunar colony). Denison has his own suspicions about the Pump and believes he knows how to counteract the negative effects of the Pump but he soon discovers that the Lunarites may have their own agenda.

 

Overall, I didn't love this book but I did appreciate Asimov's writing (it's always cutting edge even though it was written decades ago) so my overall rating is a 5/10.

 

A scene from the third part of the book. Did I mention the Lunarites are a nudist society? [Source: tvtropes.org]

 

What's Up Next: Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon

 

What I'm Currently Reading: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Currently reading

Caging Skies by Christine Leunens
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert's Story by Debbie Tung
Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks
Do You Mind If I Cancel? (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Janetti, Gary
Book Love by Debbie Tung
And Four to Go by Rex Stout
The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
The Black Mountain by Max Allan Collins, Rex Stout