April 2021


The Reading Continues… 2015 Books 48 to 57

48) The Evolution of Ethan Poe – Robin Reardon: This is actually a reread of a book that I bought a couple years ago (and in paper!) – I reread it because I read Educating Simon (2015 book number 42) by the same author and couldn’t remember this book. It was a good book about a teenager struggling with being himself, his brother, a political fight, and more. Robin Reardon has the teen angst novel down pat – and she works for me. I’m not Ethan Poe, nor was I Simon – not even close for either one, but her books struck a chord. I have one more to read – before I have to go find more.

49) Sons for the Return Home – Albert Wendt: I picked this book up at the American Samoa Community College bookstore upon the recommendation of the employees. It was the first novel by a Samoan writer and it explores what it was like to be Samoan, living in New Zealand, along with the racism involved therein. It’s actually a pretty heavy novel – not physically – that makes on think a lot about how people relate to people – as well as to some other issues that are still (sadly) issues today.

50) Phallological Museum – Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson: This is a short academically written, yet easily understood by idiots like me, treatise on the Islandic Phallological Museum. I bought the book a few months ago as a part of the early planning process for a trip to Iceland, which will, naturally, involve a stop at the Islandic Phallological Museum. The book is a whimsical, yet serious, take on what it is to have a penis museum, where it fits into society, what messages it sends, and what it includes. This is an amusing academic tomb.

51) Smoky Mountain Dreams – Leta Blake: This is an overly complicated, trying to express a diverse set of hang-ups, gay romance novel. It’s probably better written than the average gay romance novel, but not by much. It did, however, give me a break from some of the more serious stuff I’ve been reading.

52) Skyfaring – Mark Vanhoenacker: This book is pure poetry about the magic and awesomeness that is flying. The author doesn’t say who he works for, but it’s clear that he’s a pilot for British Airways – and through his book, he manages to convincingly share why flying is the most amazing thing ever. He describes how flight works, what it’s like to be on the move constantly, and… well, the book is just poetry.

53) Dorm Game – Daryl Banner: This is an average gay romance novel. To be frank between the time I read it and when I went to type this up, I’d forgotten what happened in the book. That probably describes what I think of the book….

54) The Gully Snipe – JF Smith: I like JF Smith’s books. His previous books have all been gay romance novels, of sorts – that I absolutely love and love to reread. This new book has some gay moments, but it’s not a gay novel. Rather this is a new series (and this is the first book in the series) that is building an epic fantasy world of sorts. I’m not normally into this genre, but he’s managed to suck me right into the world and I am looking forward to part two.

55) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – David Shafer: This is a currently popular (I do believe) novel, a sort of dystopian near future in which technology is about to take over the world. (It reminded me of Kingsman, the recent movie, to be honest.) It’s an engaging book without an ending. I was fine with the fact that the book has no ending, but reviews I glanced at on Amazon seem to disagree, violently. Will there be a sequel? No idea, but the ideas put forth in this novel are worth thinking about – and it brings back the notion that if you’re not paying for something on the web, then you are what is being sold.

56) The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins: This is, as many people note, the next Gone Girl. Reading this on Kindle was a bit confusing because each chapter comes from the view point of a different character – which I realized immediately – but at radically different moments in the calendar – which I did not realize immediately. Once I realized that I was jumping forward and backward in time, I got a better handle on what was going on. I can understand why this is a compelling, popular novel – but it isn’t great literature.

57) A Gathering Storm – Jameson Currier: Basically this is a fictionalization of the murder of Matthew Shepard – moved to a different location, with some different details – but the meta-picture is the same. It’s not especially well done, for what it is, but it was worth reading, at least from my perspective. It’s probably not, for most people, worth the time.

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