Goodreads sent me one of its periodic emails this morning, and a couple books caught my eye, not exactly in a good way. (Goodreads is not that great at predicting what I might be interested in, but to be fair, I’ve really fallen down on the job of posting reviews to Goodreads for, goodness, the past two years at least, maybe more.)
Look at this, in the Fiction category:
What do you think? I think the title is hard to read and, bonus, repulsive. The image isn’t that easy to make out either. As a side question, can the author’s name truly be “Cypher?” Here is the entry on Goodreads. In a Pacific Northwest hospital far from the Rummani family’s ancestral home in Palestine, the heart of a stillborn baby begins to beat and her skin turns a vibrant, permanent cobalt blue. Sounds like magical realism in at least this respect.
How about this one? It’s horror.
The title is almost as hard to read and turns me off almost as much, in a completely different way. Told from the perspectives of four flawed, fascinating women, The Insatiable Volt Sisters is a lush, enthralling fable about monsters real and imagined and the sometimes painful bonds of sisterhood. I’m not much for horror as a rule and I don’t think this sounds like my cup of tea. Also, I hate the word “insatiable” here. However, here’s a Goodreads review that makes this book sound a lot more inviting: Jumping into books blindly is such an adventure. I was expecting a book about two sisters on a mysterious island, and I ended up with a book about two sisters, a mysterious island, and honest to God monsters. Fantasy and horror elements aren’t usually my jam, but hats off to the writer for creating a twisted, imaginative modern-day fable. Honest to God monsters, really? That sounds much better.
And here is where I said to myself, seriously? SERIOUSLY? Who thought scribbling over the title was a good idea?
Anyway, here: As a self-described “not white, mostly Black, and questionably Asian man,” Chin-Quee knows that he doesn’t fit easily into any category. Growing up in a family with a background of depression, he struggled with relationships, feelings of inadequacy, and a fear of failure that made it difficult for him to forge lasting bonds with others.
I seldom like memoir and nothing about this appeals to me. But here’s the Goodreads page if you’d like to check it out.
Not much catches my eye in a good way in this particular mailing, but I do like this, in nonfiction:
How would Saturn’s rings look from a spaceship sailing just above them? If you were falling into a black hole, what’s the last thing you’d see before your spaghettification? What would it be like to visit the faraway places we currently experience only through high-powered telescopes and robotic emissaries? Faster-than-light travel may never be invented, but we can still take the scenic route through the universe with renowned astronomer and science communicator Philip Plait.
On this lively, immersive adventure through the cosmos, Plait draws ingeniously on the latest scientific research to transport readers to ten spectacular sites, from our own familiar Moon to the outer reaches of our solar system and far beyond. Whether strolling through a dust storm under Mars’ butterscotch sky, witnessing the birth of a star, or getting dizzy in a technicolor nebula, Plait is an illuminating, entertaining guide to the most otherworldly views in our universe.