What I read in January 2023
1. Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha: I gotta say the series’ name combining the words “Mercenary” and “Librarians” was what attracted me to this book. And I enjoyed it! Strong female characters, information brokers who just want to help people, near-future post-apocalyptic setting, super soldiers against the power of corporations, augmented humans, librarians, mercenaries, and romance. The characters grew on me, the plot was intriguing, enough, and the romance was NOT the usual “alpha male” dynamic. It made me want to read the next in the series.
2. Ancestral Night (White Space #1) by Elizabeth Bear: This book starts with space opera feels, then turns into a more introspective narrative inside the main character’s head. It’s a far-future society, people have implants that can record memories, search for information and communicate with each other. There are spaceships AI’s who can be citizens, implants that can regulate hormones on the fly and enhance or avoid certain feelings, alien technology, a problematic cult, personal trauma discussions, humans enhanced to live in low gravity, and pirates. There is a lot going on! Did I mention space alien giant whales and a mantis cop? Also, there are discussions about social freedom versus social responsibility. The pace of the book was uneven, and it felt super slow in some parts.
3. Still Life (Chief Inspector Gamache #1) by Louise Penny: I wanted to get more into mysteries, and this was a good start. This is the first book in the series, and I wanted to read it mostly because the story location is a small fictional town in the Eastern Townships region in Quebec. The detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, is a lovable character: he is kind and smart, but also firm when needed. I wasn’t sure who the murderer was until it was revealed. This book is very sensible as well, and we get to know what the characters are thinking and feeling, making them believable. I just wanted to hang out in the local B&B (brunch and breakfast) with them someday!
4. White Night (The Dresden Files #9) by Jim Butcher: Nice page-turner, with vampire courts conflicts, lots of ghouls, Harry Dresden working together with more allies (so it’s not himself alone against the bad guys) and a lot is happening in this book.
5. Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer: This book discusses how anxiety can become a habit we barely notice and suggests some ways we can get out of the loop. I enjoyed it because it focuses a lot on mindfulness practices, and how they can help in the process of noticing the anxiety habit. My main takeaways were: mindfulness meditation is an excellent practice to notice what is going on, loving-kindness meditation helps with resilience and well-being, and it reminded me to not fall into the “Why am I having these thoughts” question loop. It doesn’t matter why thoughts are happening, what matters is how we react to them.
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.