“Comet Rising” by MarcyKate Connolly

Comet Rising is the second novel in the Shadow Weaver duology, a middle-grade fantasy story about a girl who can manipulate shadows. I read the first book, Shadow Weaver, last year and enjoyed it and was eager to read its sequel when I learned it was available.

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Series:

Shadow Weaver, book 2

Pubbed:

January 2019

Goodreads summary:

Something is very wrong with the sky…

Emmeline and Lucas are safe from Lady Aisling and her soldiers for the time being. The only thing that mars their peaceful life is Emmeline’s former shadow, Dar. Still shut in her cage, she constantly tries to manipulate Emmeline to set her free.

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“Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou

The first two nonfiction books I read this year are astounding. The first — Dopesick by Beth Macy, which I recently reviewed, — is about America’s opioid crisis and how the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma helped start it with its aggressive marketing of the opioid drug Oxycontin that many doctors overprescribed. The second I will discuss in this post. It was a shocking read and I’m sure my face was an expression of astonishment the entire time I read it because “How the hell was she able to get away with this for so long??”

Genre:

Nonfiction – true crime; business; science

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.

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“Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America” by Beth Macy

It’s the title that grabbed my attention, but I decided to read it after listening to an interview with Beth Macy on Longform Podcast in which she discusses working on this book and one of her previous books, Factory Man. Wanting something to listen to while at work, I took a gamble and decided to try the audiobook version of Dopesick.

My experience with audiobooks is hit or miss. It’s hard for me to pay attention to what’s being said much less recall what I heard. But this topic so fascinates me because it’s an issue I see in my community that I paid close attention to the narration. Plus, Beth Macy narrates the book herself and her slow, even tone helped to prevent my attention from swaying too often.

Genre:

Nonfiction – politics, history, health, current affairs

Pubbed:

2018

Goodreads summary:

Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of America’s twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs; from disparate cities to once-idyllic farm towns; it’s a heartbreaking trajectory that illustrates how this national crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched.

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“Wolf-Speaker” by Tamora Pierce

I could feel reading fatigue coming on after 900+ pages of Stephen King’s The Stand, so I searched my bookshelves for something simple and fun. I grabbed Tamora Pierce’s Wolf-Speaker, the second in her YA fantasy series the Immortals.

Pierce’s books are quick reads and were among my favorites when I was a teen. Similar to my plan for Stephen King’s books, I intend to read all of Pierce’s novels based in Tortall, and Wolf-Speaker was the next one due for a read.

Genre:

YA Fantasy

Series:

The Immortals, book 2

Pubbed:

1993

Goodreads summary:

When Daine is summoned to help a pack of wolves — dear friends from her old village — she and Numair travel to Dunlath Valley to answer the call. But when they arrive, Daine is shocked to learn that it’s not only animals whose lives are threatened; people are in danger, too.

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“The Stand” by Stephen King

Continuing on my ambitious goal to read all of Stephen King’s novels in publication order, I picked up The Stand expecting it to be as gripping as the previous two King books I’d read.

The Stand would be my fourth King novel and since the story and writing seems to get better with each book I read, I expected The Stand to trump The Shining and possibly become another of my favorites. But that didn’t happen. I was quickly let down and gave up on the book a couple hundred pages shy of its end.

Genre:

Horror

Pubbed:

1978

Quick summary:

It’s the early 1990s or late 1980s (couldn’t tell). A machine malfunctions and a weaponized strain of influenza is unleashed on the world starting on America’s west coast. Patient zero (he’s not called that in the book) travels to a small town in Texas crashing into a gas station with his dead wife and kid in the car. The guys at the gas station try to save him, but he dies and infects them all while doing so. The government moves in and shuts down the town hoping to stopper the spread of the virus and find out why some people aren’t infected.

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“City of Dragons” by Robin Hobb

Another Robin Hobb novel, because Emily at Embuhlee Liest and I are just knocking them out quickly. We’re that hooked on the story.

Dragon Haven, the second book in the series, felt like the story’s true beginning. We followed the characters’ quest up the Rain Wild River to seek a new location for the newly hatched dragons.

The dragons hatched malformed due to difficulties they faced as serpents in trying to weave a cocoon, and many others died before they could emerge from their cocoon. Others hatched so disabled that they were unable to survive long. However, Dragon Haven ended on a positive note with the dragons finally in Kelsingra and readers left wondering what will happen next now that they’ve arrived at the Elderling city.

Genre:

Fantasy

Series:

Rain Wild Chronicles, book 3
Realm of the Elderlings, book 12

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“The Diviners” by Libba Bray

This book has been sitting on my shelves for the past four years. If not for a buddy-read with Rachel from Life of a Female Bibliophile, it probably would still be sitting there unread.

We decided to call our buddy-read “Diviners in December” because we scheduled to read it in December. I thought it would make a great seasonal read; for some reason, I thought the story was set in winter and was probably atmospheric with lots of snow and cold. I was surprised not to find that and was even more surprised at how spooky it was at times.

I guess I was aware of this before, back when I learned of the book through Becky’s blog, but some details had faded from memory since then. All I remembered is that the story should be a good read. It was.

Genre:

YA Historical fiction; paranormal

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