Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Decalino

Decalino

Joined April 2016

review
Decalino
Wanderers: A Novel | Chuck Wendig
post image
Pickpick

Fans of Stephen King's The Stand should definitely check out this apocalyptic chunkster of a book. When something causes random individuals to sleepwalk in unison, the CDC is called in to investigate. That's only the beginning, as threads converge to trigger disaster. Hypochondriacs should probably stay away, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good stuff!

review
Decalino
Ninth House | Leigh Bardugo
post image
Pickpick

This suspenseful, gritty supernatural thriller actually lived up to the hype. Galaxy Stern, aka Alex, gets a nearly miraculous chance at redemption after being found unconscious and high on fentanyl at the scene of a bloody murder in LA. She has been recruited by a secret society at Yale, a select team who make sure the official houses don't overstep the bounds of their supernatural entitlement. A fascinating start--looking forward to more!

16 likes2 stack adds
review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

Ronan! He's such a great character, and I love that this new trilogy focuses on him and his brothers, Declan and Matthew, as well as introducing Hennessy, who brings new meaning to the trope of the tortured artist. This book explores aspects of creativity and identity while expanding the world of dreamers in ways both wonderful and terrifying. I loved it and can't wait for books two and three!

16 likes1 stack add
review
Decalino
The Dead Lands: A Novel | Benjamin Percy
post image
Pickpick

This grim, gripping post-apocalyptic tale will definitely appeal to fans of The Stand by Stephen King or The Passage by Justin Cronin. I'm not entirely sure why the author chose to name the characters after Lewis, Clark etc while using their epic journey as the backbone for the story. That may have been more distracting than enlightening in the end. Also, don't get too attached to the characters--Percy is pretty merciless.

vivastory If you ever get a chance to hear him read, I definitely recommend it. He has an unbelievably deep voice 3w
vivastory Also, the following book is great fun & I think a sort of manifesto in defense of genre lit (it does contain some spoilers though) 3w
Decalino Thrill Me sounds really interesting! Thanks for the tip! 3w
14 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
Decalino
post image

Look what just arrived in the mail! Yay! Now I just have to finish my current read super fast so I can start it.

blurb
Decalino
The Gift | Christine Young
post image

My husband went to New York for work and stopped by the legendary Strand bookstore. I'm more than a little jealous, but at least he brought me a present!

review
Decalino
Waste Tide | Chen Qiufan
post image
Pickpick

This grim near-future novel is set in a world of electronic garbage, sorted and handled by migrant workers who are treated as if they were garbage too. Mimi, one of the so-called "waste people," draws the attention of a local clan boss and suffers terrible, unthinkable consequences; meanwhile, the American representative of a global recycling conglomerate makes promises while pursuing a secret agenda. A visceral, disturbing vision of the future.

review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

I love the Bosch and Ballard team-up continued in this fast-paced and intricately plotted entry in the series. When Bosch receives a cold case file from the widow of a former partner, he enlists Ballard's help to track down a killer, uncovering secrets in the process. He also helps Mickey Haller with a case, earning him the enmity of the LAPD. I always read these books way too fast, but I just can't make myself slow down!

14 likes1 stack add
blurb
Decalino
post image

The movers came yesterday with our stuff--my first priority was, of course, filling the bookshelves! This is so much better than the sad empty shelves we've been staring at the past two months!

Caroline2 😍 1mo
15 likes1 comment
review
Decalino
Gentleman in Moscow | Amor Towles
post image
Pickpick

I read and loved this book a while ago, but today's book club meeting at the Metropol really brought it to life. Pink vodka, caviar, and an endless supply of tea. Quite an experience!

18 likes1 stack add
review
Decalino
The Absent One | Jussi Adler-Olsen
post image
Pickpick

Danish police detective Carl Morck takes on a cold case that literally appears on his desk one day, leading to a long buried trail of murder and assault. This Nordic-flavored police procedural was a suspenseful and well-plotted read, but it is also fairly brutal, including violence against women, animals, and people in general. This is the second book in the series, but it didn't seem to hurt that I hadn't read the first.

review
Decalino
Unfollow | Megan Phelps-Roper
post image
Pickpick

This extraordinary memoir gave me hope in a way that little has lately. The author was born and raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, a group known for picketing soldiers' funerals and spewing hate, especially toward the LGBTQ community. Leaving the church meant literally leaving her family; the story of how she made the journey from toxic certainty to doubt, from vitriolic hate speech to compassion and outreach is a gripping and necessary read.

16 likes2 stack adds
review
Decalino
Doomed City | Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
post image
Pickpick

In the City, Andrei Voronin is one of many volunteers plucked out of time to participate in the Experiment, guided by enigmatic mentors. Initially a devoted communist, Andrei faces challenges to his ideology as forces rise and fall within the City. What gives life meaning when your belief system crumbles? What is the true nature of the Experiment? Female characters are at best 2D stereotypes, but the philosophical concept makes it worth reading.

review
Decalino
Oblomov | Ivan Goncharov
post image
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this novel, although on the surface little happens; it takes forever for Oblomov to even get up off the divan where he spends much of his time. He should be easy to dismiss, but Oblomov is such a gentle-hearted and honest person, I hoped for his success. But what is a successful life? What is its true purpose, if survival is not at stake? (A question Oblomov's peasants, the source of his income, never have a chance to ask.)

BarbaraBB I liked this one so much, unexpectedly. 2mo
12 likes1 comment
review
Decalino
Children of Ruin | Adrian Tchaikovsky
post image
Pickpick

I loved Children of Time so much, I was worried that this sequel wouldn't live up to the original. Instead, I am awestruck by this author's stunning originality and world building. I loved this book. I kind of regret reading it in furious gulps over one weekend, because now it's over!

review
Decalino
Don't Die Before You're Dead | Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko
post image
Mehso-so

This novel focuses on the pivotal moment when anti-democratic forces attempted a coup against Boris Yeltsin in 1991. It was interesting but overstuffed with whimsical subplots (one entire chapter was devoted to a soccer game between aging Soviet all-stars and a Romanian team of amateurs; a python was prominently featured, and so was a hedgehog.) Even if it wasn't entirely my cup of tea, it certainly provided some historical perspective.

blurb
Decalino
Waiting | Ha Jin
post image

These empty bookshelves are breaking my heart. I can't wait for my books to get here! (Along with all our other possessions, but mostly I just want the books.)

TheSpineView They look lonely and sad! 😔 3mo
Decalino Hopefully not for too much longer! 3mo
17 likes2 comments
blurb
Decalino
Doomed City | Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
post image

I found my new favorite place in Moscow! Dom Knigi, House of Books! Here's my haul from my first visit: a classic SF novel by Russian authors, a guide to the amazing Russian metro system, plus a postcard and Dostoevsky notebook for my son in college back in the US.

review
Decalino
Pushkin Hills | Sergei Dovlatov
post image
Pickpick

I just moved to Moscow and this is the first book I've read start to finish since arriving. It should have been depressing, since it's the story of an alcoholic dissident writer struggling to eke out a living at a tourist site devoted to the writer Pushkin during the early 80s in the Soviet Union. Instead, it made me laugh more than once, mainly because of the narrator's ironic and observant sense of humor about his situation and life in general.

review
Decalino
Recursion | Blake Crouch
post image
Pickpick

In this compulsively readable SF thriller, a NYC cop uncovers the truth about False Memory Syndrome, a terrifying condition that convinces victims they once lived completely different lives. Meanwhile, a brilliant scientist must watch as her technology is used in ways that have increasingly disastrous consequences on a global scale. A fascinating exploration of memory, grief, regret and the nature of time itself. Good stuff!

review
Decalino
Half of What You Hear | Kristyn Kusek Lewis
post image
Mehso-so

Bess, a former White House social secretary, has fled DC after making a very public mistake. Taking refuge in her husband Cole's quaint hometown brings unexpected difficulties: Cole's catty ex-girlfriend and impossible-to-please mother, a school full of social pitfalls, and an eccentric former resident with secrets to share. I expected this to be more of a psychological thriller, so the slow burn of developments left me underwhelmed

blurb
Decalino
Fall, or Dodge in Hell | Neal Stephenson
post image

Standing room only to see Neal Stephenson at the Ashburn, VA Barnes and Noble! The space was way too small but the reading and book signing afterward were worth it. Can't wait to read the new book!

review
Decalino
Salvation: A Novel | Peter F. Hamilton
post image
Pickpick

This novel weighs in at 500 plus pages, containing intricate world-building, multiple timelines, a wide cast of characters, and stories within the story. As the last page approached, I was completely baffled as to how the book could end and feared a cliffhanger. Instead, my mind was completely blown by how it all came together. I will definitely be looking for the sequel.

review
Decalino
Early Riser | Jasper Fforde
post image
Pickpick

Jasper Fforde is such an extraordinarily inventive writer. I absolutely loved his novel Shades of Grey, and like that book, Early Riser brings to life a completely imagined, at times comically absurd, always utterly fascinating world. In an alternate universe Wales, most humans spend the frigid winters snugly hibernating, while a chosen few stand guard. Good stuff.

15 likes1 stack add
review
Decalino
My Squirrel Days | Ellie Kemper
post image
Pickpick

Any fan of The Office or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will enjoy this entertaining memoir. I learned lots of new details about Ellie Kemper such as that she went to Princeton (impressive!) and that she does not always wash her hands after using the bathroom (why would you tell me that?! Ew!) A fun, quirky read.

review
Decalino
Bangkok Wakes to Rain | Pitchaya Sudbanthad
post image
Pickpick

This beautifully written book draws on all the senses to evoke Bangkok past, present, and future, as seen through the eyes of multiple characters. The interwoven stories examine memory and identity in a city where water has always meant life, but rising sea levels bring inevitable doom. I lived in Bangkok for three years, so this was a particularly fascinating read.

review
Decalino
The Darkest Secret | Alex Marwood
post image
Pickpick

When wealthy developer Sean Jackson dies, his estranged daughter Mila reconnects with old family friends and long lost relatives, all haunted by the disappearance of Coco, one of Sean's twin 3-year-old daughters, nearly a decade before. This twisty thriller was highly readable, but full of reprehensible behavior by adults who should be focused on the children in their care. Also: fans of neatly resolved endings may not be happy.

BookDragonNotWorm I liked this one, but you're right about the ending. 😬 7mo
15 likes1 comment
review
Decalino
Little Man, What Now? | Hans Fallada
post image
Pickpick

This was an exceptionally observant and engaging book. Set mostly in Berlin in 1932, the story follows a young couple as they struggle to keep their heads above water during a time of increasing unemployment and economic uncertainty. Despite the financial tension, this is a warm-hearted tale with a thread of humor, although reading it today, it's impossible not to feel the weight of the terrible things to come.

review
Decalino
Terra Nullius: a novel | Claire G. Coleman
post image
Pickpick

As a story of colonization, this book was intense and powerful; as SF, it was less effective. I really wish the cover blurb had not compared it to LeGuin, Butler, and Atwood, three of my all time favorite authors, a comparison that was bound to disappoint. I am still counting it as a pick because it does provide a unique perspective worth reading, as long as you keep your expectations down to Earth.

review
Decalino
Mem | Bethany C Morrow
post image
Pickpick

This intriguing little book got off to a slow start, but ultimately ratcheted up the tension. It reminded me in some ways of Never Let Me Go (with a dash of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). A young woman in an alternate early 20th century Montreal has her own thoughts and feelings, even though she is a mere memory shed by her "real" owner. TW for grammar purists: dangling participle on page 9; just one though, so don't panic.

review
Decalino
Doughnut | Tom Holt
post image
Pickpick

I read this book in honor of the recently photographed black hole in the galaxy Messier 87. Appropriately, it's a wacky romp through the multiverse sparked by the explosion of a Very Large Hadron Collider. Physicist Theo loses everything in the blast only to discover his mentor Pieter van Goyen had not been entirely forthcoming, his brother Max might not be dead after all, and the rules of the universe are subject to change.

13 likes2 stack adds
blurb
Decalino
Elysium Fire | Alastair Reynolds
post image

Aargh! My dog ate my book while I was out this morning! She hasn't eaten a book in a long time--I wish she hadn't picked one from the library!

review
Decalino
Last Looks | Howard Michael Gould
post image
Pickpick

Many detective novels feature troubled heroes, but none is quite like former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo. A mistake he made in the early days of his career haunts him, but instead of following the more traditional route of alcohol and cynicism, Waldo has retreated to a life of isolation and extreme minimalism, limiting the sum total of his possessions to 100 things. This refreshingly different thriller was an entertaining and enjoyable read.

review
Decalino
Children of Time | Adrian Tchaikovsky
post image
Pickpick

This extraordinary book spans millennia, kicking off with an attempt to terraform a distant plant, an act of scientific hubris so extreme that it triggers a devastating war back on Earth. When refugees from Earth arrive seeking a new home, what they encounter is wholly unexpected. I loved everything about this book, especially the brilliant depiction of evolving cultures, the impact of received wisdom, and the challenges of first contact.

12 likes1 stack add
review
Decalino
The Friend | Sigrid Nunez
post image
Pickpick

How do you cope with the sudden loss of a dear friend? The narrator of this brief book speaks directly to the departed, a writer, never named, who has taken his own life. The result is an impressionistic and wide-ranging exploration of grief and loss, the impact of suicide, the life of a writer, the line between fiction and memoir, and the abiding love between humans and their dogs. This one will stay with me for a long time.

16 likes1 stack add
review
Decalino
The Collapsing Empire | John Scalzi
post image
Pickpick

This was a fast, fun and f-bomb filled tale of political intrigue in a sprawling empire run by powerful Guild families, the Church of Interdependency, and an ailing Emperor. I loved the characters and can't wait to start the sequel, The Consuming Fire. Good stuff.

review
Decalino
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
post image
Pickpick

What begins as a familiar coming of age story--a mistreated orphan tests into an elite military academy--gradually morphs into something much darker; a confrontation with the brutal realities of war and the all too human tendency to dehumanize one's enemies. Set in a world inspired by Chinese history and mythology, The Poppy War is a gripping, sometimes gory, ultimately devastating book. Fans of Pierce Brown may be particularly interested.

review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

This intense, brief novel traces the relationship between two university students from very different backgrounds. Will is a former evangelical teen who lost his faith; Phoebe is a party girl whose carefree manner masks personal tragedy. When Phoebe is drawn into the orbit of a charismatic preacher, Will's jealousy battles with his desire to save her, and Phoebe's newfound faith leads her to take actions no one could have anticipated. Haunting.

17 likes2 stack adds
review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

This was an interesting look at the ways our unconscious mind can affect decision making, an influence linked to our moods, unspoken goals, and even slight suggestions in our environment. Some of it was familiar but all in all a good read.

review
Decalino
How it Happened | Michael Koryta
post image
Pickpick

An FBI agent returns to the small coastal town in Maine where he once spent his childhood summers, called in to elicit a confession from a young woman who may know the fate of a vanished couple. This was an interesting and atmospheric psychological thriller.

review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

This brief novel was exceptionally well-crafted and ultimately deeply moving. An old man in a tiny jungle outpost in Ecuador must help identify a killer when a prospector turns up dead. As we gradually learn details of the old man's life, his pastime takes on a new and poignant depth of meaning.

blurb
Decalino
post image

So excited for this book! I can't believe my hold came in so quickly at the library, and just in time for a snow day! Oh, and the cover is beautiful.

review
Decalino
The Water Cure | Sophie Mackintosh
post image
Mehso-so

I read this for book club and it was not at all what I expected. Rather than a dystopia on a societal level, The Water Cure was the story of family dysfunction and madness on a mythical level. Three sisters live on an island, their only knowledge of the outside world derived from the brutal and cult-like lessons their parents inflict upon them, and make them inflict on one another. Should make for an interesting discussion, but it left me queasy.

review
Decalino
post image
Panpan

I loved The Post-Birthday World by this author, but this economic dystopia was as irritating as its many disagreeable characters. Shriver imagines a near future in which no one reads books and reputable news sources have ceased to exist, the Latino population has taken on a dominant cultural role, and the US economy has gone the way of Maduro's Venezuela. Ultimately, Ayn Rand fans might like this book. I didn't.

review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

At 686 pages, this hefty novel demands the reader's attention and finishing it felt like completing a mental marathon. Set in Jamaica & New York from 1976-1995, A Brief History follows the lives of Jamaican gangsters, a young woman who witnesses their assassination attempt on Bob Marley, an American journalist, a CIA agent, a ghost, etc. It's a lot, and definitely not for the squeamish. An absorbing story of power, violence and missed opportunity.

Pedrocamacho Loved this book! 10mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 I can‘t believe I just purchased this exact copy at the dollar store. My bargain of a lifetime..perfect condition! 10mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 There were 2! I was stunned! Of course, the library would be free, but I like to own big books bc I‘m not rushed. 10mo
19 likes4 comments
review
Decalino
Fever: A Novel | Mary Beth Keane
post image
Pickpick

This extraordinary work of historical fiction imagines the life of Mary Mallon, known to the world as Typhoid Mary. An Irish immigrant and a cook to wealthy families, Mary was identified as a "healthy carrier" of typhoid, symptom-free but sometimes capable of infecting others. In the interest of public safety, she was held on North Brother island for years, a prisoner convinced of her own innocence.

review
Decalino
Song of Achilles | Madeline Miller
post image
Pickpick

What a beautiful book! Miller has taken a familiar story of the Trojan War and transformed it into a moving and heartbreaking account of love and loss. Told from the point of view of Patroclus, sworn companion of Achilles, this version of the story is more than worthy of its source material. Now I really want to read Circe!

19 likes2 stack adds
review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

At its best, this book was a thoughtful and deeply engaging look at one woman's life. It's a long life, and a long book. Alma Whittaker is born into a wealthy family and devotes her life to botany and the study of mosses. She focuses on her own quiet gardens, often to the point of overlooking or misunderstanding the needs and sacrifices of those around her. Ultimately Alma proves to be a hardy and adaptable specimen, able to survive and thrive.

review
Decalino
Lethal White | Robert Galbraith
post image
Pickpick

I love Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacot, the detectives at the heart of this series by JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith. This is the fourth book, and at 647 pages, it is a doozy, chock full of clues, undercover work, and brilliantly realized characters. This is the perfect book for a snowed in weekend--if only book five were already available!

review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

In this third entry in the series, Claire DeWitt faces down a dangerous opponent in the present while we learn more about her past. Claire is brutal and ruthless in her pursuit of the truth, yet I spent much of the book deeply afraid for her. This series is so crazy and dark, a never-ending detective story where the ultimate mystery is identity itself. If existential noir were a genre, it would the perfect example.

readordierachel I just read her demon possession novel, Come Closer, a few months back and really enjoyed it. Will have to check this series out! 11mo
Decalino @readordierachel Ooh, I will have to look for that one! 11mo
12 likes2 comments