This was a very interesting week reading-wise. I ended up taking a few days off work because of my antidepressants (they are making me SO tired wtf), so I caught up a bit with some of the reading I wanted to do (in the limited hours I was conscious, that is) and I’m quite pleased with the variety of books I picked up – a Brazilian one (translated), two WP books, one classic, and a DNF read.
About the latter – It really caught be my surprise. Once I heard that Andy Weir was coming up with a new book, I immediately added it to my most anticipated list. Which is funny because I did NOT enjoy Artemis a whole lot, but apparently I had blissfully forgotten that and was so happy when I received an eARC for Project Hail Mary. But in the end I had the same issues with Project Hail Mary as I had with all this other books: women characters are written so awkwardly, actually ALL characters are awkwardly and cliché-like, the author does an amazing job at research – you can tell because he never, never shuts up about all the techy tech and speculative science-y stuff. I normally LOVE books that go into detail about their tech or science, but…. gosh, it was insufferable to read. [MILD SPOILERS FOR PROJECT HAIL MARY] There was a scene where the main character brings an alien object into the ship and the FIRST thing he does is remove his helmet and be like “oh wow I could have died from that ha-ha but oh! smells like ammonia! A clue!” and the SECOND thing he does is remove his EVA and TOUCH the alien stuff with his bare hands, which nearly causes a burn (and then he was like “oh but since my reaction was a fraction of second, the temperature must have been 100 degrees Celsius! Anther science-y clue! Haha I’m so quirky and funny and dumb lmaooo but also smart!). [END OF SPOILER] I just could not do another few hundred pages of this. The narrator voice was basically The Martian’s, also the concept is very similar, it was like reading The Martian but not nearly as good and more full of clichés. I think with 2 books out of 3 being flops for me, I’m afraid this might be the last I read of Andy Weir, for the time being. I adored The Martian, but it might have been the exception rather than the rule. Sorry if this sounds mean, but I think Andy Weir might be a bit of a one-trick pony.
Ohhh I watched an adaptation of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and it was SO good. It’s the BBC 2015 mini-series adaptation, which kept the original ending (I did NOT remember it and oh my god). Each episode is an hour long and I highly highly recommend. For the record, this was a recommendation by my mom & dad, so if you watch it, let me know so I can tell them they’re totally influencers. In these pandemic times, it’s always nice to have something new to watch!
Weekly Wrap Up
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller / physical copy / 3 stars
This ended up being a bit of a disappointment. I have very mixed feelings about this book, but my biggest feeling was of relief once I was done with it.
Passing by Nella Larsen / ebook / 4 stars
I wanted to pick this up as soon as possible to do sort of a comparison with The Vanishing Half, and I enjoyed it very much! Nella Larsen’s writing style is both timeless and elegant, and it was interesting to see two different stories with a similar premise: two Black women who can pass for white choosing to live their lives in different ways; one as a Black woman and the other as a white woman. This slim mystery novel was incredibly interesting, and touched on many aspects of the lives of Black women in the US in the 1920s. The ending was a bit sudden but as I kind of saw it coming, so it was not really a disappointment, but I wish the author had chosen a different way to end the story.
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha / audiobook / ongoing
I am LOVING this. I have an ebook version of this in original Portuguese but I saw the translation available on Scribd and decided to take my chances on the translation. And it’s done really well! This is a family drama story set in Rio in the 1940s about two sisters who decide to live very different lives. This is a very fun read and I love the many narrators (of which Eurídice is the main one) which bring so much life into this book.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir / ebook galley / DNF
Do I need to say anything more? Just check my long rant above.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi / physical copy / 4 stars
I was not going to pick this up initially from the longlist for the WP this year, but a lot of bloggers I trust said this was amazing, so I, with little to no resistance, succumbed to my FOMO and picked this up. And! It’s so good! My review just went live, if you’d like to read it, I was quite proud of it.
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse / ebook galley / ongoing
Ok so technically I tried to go back to reading my eARCs with Project Hail Mary but got super disappointed. THEN I tried reading The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor but found out I never downloaded it (lmao) so this is my THIRD attempt at reading an eARC this week. So far it’s a good book but not really great. I’m about a third through and lots has happened but I am not loving the writing style nor the characters. But I am LOVING the atmosphere, a mix of The Hunting Party and The Glass Castle, so I have hopes for it and it actually reads super quick, so I hope to be done soon!