Hello again friends! I’m sorry about the radio silence lately, but between a vacation, a cold, 2 training sessions at work, and a new position at work, I’ve been insanely busy for most of the month. I made it through all of one book! (I did read a little of the half dozen other books I am in the middle of, but I only finished one.) So, onward to my review!
Sourdough by Robin Sloan – 4.5 stars. I liked this book a LOT. As in, I finished it and brought it with me on vacation so I could shove it at a friend is normally 3000 miles away from me so she could read it too. Let me start off by saying that this is a weird, quirky, contemporary book, so if that is not your style you definitely won’t like this one. Our main character is Lois. She’s a stressed out, overworked programmer in San Francisco, putting in 80+ hours a week at her job and hating things. One day she comes home and finds a menu from a new place on her door. She calls and orders dinner and falls in love with the food. When the owners of the restaurant have their visas revoked and have to move back to their homeland, they gift Lois with the starter for their sourdough bread. She starts baking her own bread and quickly learns that there is more to the starter than meets the eye. Hijinks ensue, all the while poking fun at the bay area, tech companies, liquid food, and the culture of work needing to be the most important thing in your life.
As I have a lot of friends in the tech industry (and am tangentially in it myself) I adored the portrayals of tech bros, the pressure to work every moment of your life, and the idea that hobbies are weird things no one should have unless they can profit from them somehow. The kind of hipster food trends also get lampooned a fair bit and that was always good for a laugh too. There are some good ideas on finding things that make you happy and taking time for yourself to take away. If you are a foodie, getting some of the science on how starters work, and the best ways to make bread were fun too!
Overall, if you’re looking for a lighter read, some hilarity, and a sourdough starter with a mind all of its own, I highly recommend Sourdough.
August was a pretty productive month for me. I read five novels and three graphic novels for a total of eight books. Thanks library card for giving me deadlines and upping my reading. If there are any books you’d like a more in depth review on, let me know in the comments!
- We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (5/5) – This book. I can’t say enough good things about this book. I checked it out from the library and now it’s on my Buy-This-ASAP-to-Annotate List. The story takes place over a period of 4 days with flashbacks to the last year. Our main character Marin has left her hometown in the Bay Area of California for college in New York and has isolated herself from everyone. At it’s core it is a book about grief changes us and our relationships before and after something big. I saw so much of myself in Marin and I already want to reread this.
- The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (3/5) – This was an enjoyable, if slightly predictable contemporary novel. I have a total weakness for books about books and/or bookshops. I guess it’s my bookseller heart still. It was cute and fluffy and an easy to read in one shot book. The writing was beautiful at parts, but suffered from some “oh he’s rude, he likes me!” and a plot you saw coming from a mile away.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (5/5) – I was a little worried that this book wouldn’t live up to the hype, but it did. I have a mini review of it in my weekly progress post, but suffice it to say if you haven’t read this book yet, you need to.
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (4/5) – This book also has a mini review on my progress page but it was a cute YA contemporary featuring two Indian-American teens. I listened on audio and both narrators were solid. The plot had some wonkiness in parts, but overall it was so stinking cute that I was willing to overlook things. It was also nice to get a perspective that isn’t seen often.
- Alex + Ada, Volume 1 by Jonathan Luna (4/5) – This was a reread for me. I picked up this volume digitally through a humble bundle about a year ago. Now one thing you have to know about me is that I absolutely LOVE robots and androids in pretty much any form. If there’s a robot or android in a movie it will probably be my favorite character. This story is set in a not too distant future where Alex has been given an android by his grandmother. These androids are so lifelike they can only be identified by their tattoo. Alex soon realizes he wants more than a perfectly compliant android and he finds a way to alter her programming to make her sentient. It’s a solid start to the series and I was left wanting to read more.
- Alex + Ada, Volume 2 by Jonathan Luna (3.5/5) This was a pretty decent follow up to the first volume. It follows Alex and Ada after Ada gains sentience and their relationship navigating the world after bans on android/robot sentience has been banned. There were some weaker parts to this volume and it kind of suffered from 2nd book syndrome but overall it was still enjoyable and I definitely wanted to finish the series to see where it wound up.
- Alex + Ada, Volume 3 by Jonathan Luna (4/5) The last volume in this comic had a lot to say about tech and AI and where is the line of personhood. I won’t spoil anything but I enjoyed the wrap up even if parts of it broke my heart a little.
- Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (5/5) – I was looking forward to this book so much. I read Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson last year and it was one of my favorite novels. I didn’t love this book quite as much. but it was still a solid showing. It is set in the nearish future but parts of the story take place in the past as well. Our main-main character, Adri is a teenager who is getting ready to be shipped out to help colonize Mars after America has suffered the effects of climate change. She gets sent from her hometown of Miami to Canaan, Kansas to stay with her elderly aunt, who is her last remaining family member before her journey. She finds correspondence in the home from the owners in the 1930s and starts diving in to who these people and how they fit in with her and her family. It was a solid story and a good luck at how important knowing your history can be.