Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by Tazmo, Mar 31, 2012.
devil on the cross by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
I read Artemis today by Andy Weir (the guy who wrote The Martian).
The feel is similar except this story takes place on the Moon with a female protagonist. Unlike The Martian the year isn't specified, but it's implied to be further in the future than The Martian (if they even take place in the same continuity). Because of location and time period, Weir is able to more freely leave the distractions of today's unfortunate social pickles behind. Some examples being: the main character (Jasmine) being a lapsed Muslim and her father being a Muslim yet nowhere in the book is there anti-Islamic sentiment, multiple characters are gay but the only contention thats presented with this is a character's infidelity and even then because it's central to the plot, no nationalist ranting or 3rd world bashing despite Kenya being the main country that the Artemisians associate with, etc. In regards to the location, I can see the reason being that everyone is an immigrant to Artemis so everyone is in the same boat. In regards to the time, I can see the reason being that society has moved on from those prejudices. It's interesting though that while there aren't tensions between the races on Artemis, many of the races work and live with their own kind. The Saudis (Jasmine's nationality) are welders, the Romanians some sort of metal workers, the Vietnamese (can't remember where they worked).
Something that I was really intrigued by was the "currency" system that people on Artemis used, because I never would have thought about it. SLGs (pronounced Slugs) which are all-digital points that measure grams. It's important since weight is crucial for shipping supplies and people up to Artemis. For instance an apple weighs 100 grams, so it would cost 100 SLGs. The book does a remarkable job of explaining this.
Weir also does an incredible job in explaining problems that we would encounter in space that most people wouldn't think about, as he did in The Martian. We see this in Jasmine's problem solving (she is a latent prodigy). Although I have to say the climax was a bit tough to follow for me. If The Martian was all about Biology and Math then Artemis is definitely got Chemistry fanatics.
This is really the first time we get to see Weir's characters interact in a non-work environment since in The Martian virtually all of the dialogue was focused on saving Mark. It's believable and Jasmine Bashara is even more sarcastic than Mark Whitney was. Her attitude is actually alot like Jessica Jones.
All in all I would rate the book 8.8/10. Check it out if you get he chance.
An Alien Heat (Michael Moorcock)
Wicked Kiss by Rebecca Zanetti
Wicked Bite by Rebecca Zanetti
"With Malice" by Eileen Cook. This is a thriller. It’s about a teenage girl named Jill, who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened to her. She suffers from retrograde amnesia and aphasia as a result of the car accident that she was involved in. In my opinion, the narrator has an amusing way of looking at things. She’s observant and sarcastic by nature.
Jill is horrified and baffled when she finds out that her best friend, Simone, was with her when the automobile accident occurred and died. The accident happened in Italy. Jill and Simone were both participants in a so-called “Adventures Abroad program” that gave them the opportunity to travel to Italy in order to learn about art and history. Jill describes herself and Simone as, “Siamese twins who share a heart and can’t ever be separated or one would die”
Simone was apparently a rebellious, confident and bossy daredevil. Jill, on the other hand, was a studious, shy, precocious and smart bookworm. They were both popular, but in different ways.
The media has a distorted view of the girls’ friendship. They paint Jill in a negative light, by making her out to be a cold-hearted and stuck-up bitch who was insanely jealous of Simone’s outgoing and confident personality, henceforth labelling her as the prime suspect. They think that Jill and Simone fought over some Italian dude and that Jill killed Simone in a jealous fit of rage or in order to eliminate her competition.
One of the main themes in this novel is the media's influence over public perception of a suspect's guilt or innocence. The way each little piece of a person's life can be taken out of context and manipulated to mean whatever the media chooses, is actually quite terrifying.
This novel reminded me how different people can perceive a certain situation differently, based on;
1 Their personal opinion of the people involved in the incident.
2. How much information they have regarding the incident in question.
3. Their personality traits. An impulsive and impatient person will jump quickly to all sorts of conclusions. A person who is skeptical by nature will think long and hard before reaching a conclusion.
My attention never dwindled while reading it and I would recommend it to people who enjoy reading thrillers.
Blood Fury by J. R. Ward
Norse Mythology (Neil Gaiman)
I finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night.
"Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. This novel is, as expected, told from several different perspectives. There’s never just one narrator in Jodie Picoult’s novels.
It’s about how a school massacre affects an entire community; Victims of the perpetrator, parents of the victims, the authorities who work to bring justice to the victims and even the perpetrator himself. But most importantly, it gets to the root of why school shootings occur and what part society plays in the making of a school shooter.
I liked how informative this novel is when it comes to the characters’ occupations. We get to know how they genuinely feel about their jobs and what they do during work.
Tears welled up in my eyes and a lump formed in my throat more times than I can count while reading this book. Picoult is an expert at creating memorable characters that the readers can easily sympathize with. We get to know them on a deep level, just the way I like it. I was hooked right from the start. The author never sides with any of the characters and has even claimed that for her, the whole point of writing is to get people to talk about and reflect on various dilemmas.
Even though the novel revolves around an incident that happened in high school, it’s not a young adult novel.
Finally jumped on the bandwagon and read A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It was really good though I am still bummed out about the ending ugh
Dearest Ivie by J. R. Ward
Star Maker (Olaf Stapledon) and The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss)
The Thief by J. R. Ward
Dark Queen by Faith Hunter
Wyrd Sisters (Terry Pratchett)
James Hadley Chase's We'll Share a Double Funeral. About to finish Raymond Chandler's the deep dream and move onto some Queen finally. There are two certain books I just want to buy but they can't be found anywhere other than amazon.
I have recently done only some re-reading, so the latest was another round for The French Lieutenant's Woman by Fowles. And it was amazing again.
Station Zero (Philip Reeve)
Finished Ellery Queen's the dutch shoe mystery and Ellery Queens Kill as Directed (re-read, very mediocre compared to the Queen works) about halfway through Carr's the case of the constant suicides which is very decent with how it utilizes characters, they are very lively...
The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
The Last Continent (Terry Pratchett)
Finished the Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen. First time ever that a book fell from my hands due to the shock. My gosh. I'm tired as shit from reading this one - in a good way though.
Vampire's Faith by Rebecca Zanetti