Chi Yu Rodriguez: No Two Ways

From other reviews, this short novel seems very polarizing: A bisexual woman and and a bi-phobic lesbian negotiate a mutual attraction. I found KJ Charles’ review very helpful; he praises this book not so much for its exploration of sexual identity but for not punishing its protagonists for hookup culture or binge drinking. Perhaps because I cameContinue reading “Chi Yu Rodriguez: No Two Ways”

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List

I absolutely adored Cohn and Levithan’s Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, a young adult romance partly set in The Strand, with a hefty epistolary component and a dash of screwball comedy. I didn’t enjoy Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List nearly as much, partly due to mismatched expectations. This was a rare case whereContinue reading “Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List”

Anneloes van Gaalen: Never Use More Than Two Different Typefaces: And 50 Other Ridiculous Typography Rules (Ridiculous Design Rules)

I was intrigued by van Gaalen’s forthcoming Indie Brands: 30 Independent Brands That Inspire and Tell a Story, recently mentioned with other interesting sounding books on Brand New. I looked for other books by van Gaalen and turned up this, which, sadly, is less interesting than it sounded. It presents, as advertised, 51 rules ofContinue reading “Anneloes van Gaalen: Never Use More Than Two Different Typefaces: And 50 Other Ridiculous Typography Rules (Ridiculous Design Rules)”

Daniel Pinkwater: The Neddiad

While I was reading it, The Neddiad reminded forcefully of two other authors’ works in a specific, if somewhat slanted way. The obvious one was Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, because Neddie Wentworthstein’s narrative voice struck me as similarly authentic and adolescent. The other eluded me for a while, but I finallyContinue reading “Daniel Pinkwater: The Neddiad”

Timothy Zahn: Night Train to Rigel

Night Train to Rigel‘s unusual premise sounds a little jokey, but Zahn plays it (mostly) straight: interstellar travel is accomplished with trains that travel along a sort of hyperspace railway. Frank Compton is an ex-intelligence agent who finds himself embroiled in one of those mysteries that’s bigger than it first appears, and which ultimately affordsContinue reading “Timothy Zahn: Night Train to Rigel”

Tom Standage: The Neptune File

In The Neptune File, Standage expertly balances personal drama and the intellectual excitement of a radical new idea. The new idea rests on the notion that the eccentricities of Uranus’s orbit can only be explained by the gravitational pull of another planet. What makes it so radical is that mathemeticians work out where the newContinue reading “Tom Standage: The Neptune File”

Sean Stewart: The Night Watch

I’ve never read anything quite like The Night Watch. It shares a background with Stewart’s earlier novel Resurrection Man, but it’s not a direct sequel; it takes place roughly a century later. Stewart’s novel is set after the cataclysmic return of magic to the world — the Dream — ended civilization as we know it.Continue reading “Sean Stewart: The Night Watch”

Carrie Bebris: North by Northanger

I probably wouldn’t write about Bebris again so soon if I hadn’t had somewhat harsh things to say about Suspense and Sensibility, the preceding volume of this series of sequels to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in which Lord and Lady Darcy encounter characters from other Austen novels (and/or their descendants) in a mystery/suspense context.Continue reading “Carrie Bebris: North by Northanger”

Mario Acevedo: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats

Several months ago, my eye was caught by an ad for the sequel to this vampire P.I. novel, X-rated Bloodsuckers. I thought it looked like trashy fun and I liked the implicit conceit of juxtaposing literal consumption of humans with the legendarily exploitive adult entertainment industry. When I looked up Acevedo’s name in the libraryContinue reading “Mario Acevedo: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats”