Another one-book month, but it was over 400 pages! That counts for something, right?

Space opera, anyone?

After a string of serious books, I needed something different. But like a lot of things, we don’t know what we need until we go looking for it.

Somehow I found this list The Best Science Fiction of 2021: The Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist. I liked learning that there is this push towards fun science fiction writing, since, let’s face it, sci-fi tends to be dark and cold (like space!) Enter Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes.

It’s a quirky novel. The protagonist is Latina, like the author, so there’s lots of Spanish dialogue, something that probably would be extra rewarding for those two can understand both languages. Captain Eva is bold, brash, with a serious potty mouth, and it’s jam-packed with adventures, but the strange thing was I wanted to give up on it several times.

After the halfway mark, I enjoyed it more and finished it quickly. It’s well-written and the amount of detail was just right. But it was missing that special something. Have you ever read a book like that? It checks all the boxes, but there’s something that prevents it from really taking flight.

Although, I can honestly say that I’ve never read a book like it. And I can readily discuss my favorite part of the story. I’d give it a go, if you like light-hearted sci-fi or are looking to get out of your reading comfort zone.


Next month, I’m hoping to get back to my regular reading (and writing!) ways. Relocating to Lampang and working at a small international school has utterly taken up the bulk of my energy, time, and sanity. My next newsletter should be out soon, too, so stay tuned my dear friends!

Hoping your September was kind to you.

What are you reading these days?

18 replies on “πŸ“š Reading Roundup: September 2021

  1. So, CHILLING EFFECT was missing that special something. I know I’ve read books like that. I can’t think of anything at the moment.

    I hope you’re enjoying Lambang.

    I just finished reading APPLES NEVER FALL by Liane Moriarty, and I loved it. It’s a Sydney mystery that kept my interest all the way through. It’s very much character driven. It takes the whole book not only to solve the mystery but also to get to know the characters: the parents, the four children, their partners, spouses and boyfriends. Everyone had a story, and they all fitted together. They were a tennis family–teachers and high-level players. Some people may not like skipping around from character to character, but it worked for me.

    Before that, I read THE SOUL OF A WOMAN by Isabel Allende. I like her, but this non-fiction book was not great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apples Never Fall sounds intriguing. I saw that on your blog post. Thanks.

      Yes, I like Isabel Allende’s novels, but I’ve never read her nonfiction.

      You know I hate to give that review for Chilling Effect… there were lots of redeeming qualities but maybe it was stretched too long?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always like it when there are bits and pieces of another language in a book, especially in dialogue like you mentioned. Adds depth and dimension to the characters, and emphasises the context. I’ve read books where I didn’t mind reading but at the same time didn’t love or didn’t hate it. No issue with the writing or how the storyline turned out, but misses the mark because it’s just too vanilla and lacks pizazz all round for my liking, or nothing that captivates me πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? I can’t exclude my mood because I’ve been having a rough time of it at work, so it’s possible I was feeling finicky or wishy-washy about the novel, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to mix up the reading isn’t it. I’ve been trying to spread my myself a little wider too. Can’t recall too many book with comic elements beyond David Sendaris…so this appeals.
    Really need to put down what I’ve been reading. I was meant to do a quarterly reading round up but have only written once 😣 So much for the daily blog!
    Hope you’re doing great

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeremy. It’s good to hear from you. Miss your recommendations because we have similar tastes it seems πŸ™‚

      I can’t recall too many laugh out loud moments but it’s a fun novel – I can see it being a movie so it reads like that if that makes sense.

      Hope you are well too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Similar tastes indeed! I’m going to dump everything I’ve read from the last 6 months in a single post…no frills though just so I don’t forget what I’m reading. I do miss having a review/ summary of every book I read but I really don’t miss having to put them together!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m currently reading a (quite long) essay about the invention of books. It’s written by a Spanish woman and it got the National Essay Award here in Spain last year (it’s called Infinity in a reed and it seems it hasn’t been translated into English). I am absolutely loving being here and having access to a public library with books in Spanish hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 400 pages?!?! This is why I stick to short stories. I just finished reading Kokoro by Natsume Sōseki. Very melancholically nostalgic, but I liked it. Wishing you well in Lampang.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds not up my alley, honestly, but then I’m not really the reader for any sci fi. I hear you on the busy-busy front. I do love your pics up at IG. Feels like I’ve moved along with you. You have a great eye! Been swamped under work here. Need to figure out a change for the New Year. I’m in a seminar that’s reading Sigrid Undset’s Olav Audonsson: Vows (in translation of course), the first in a tetralogy, but I probably won’t read past the first book. I DNFed a couple books recently. I probably should just be working on my novel revision–finished the first draft in the spring and there it sits. Keep the pics coming of your new home and streets. And the books–at least I’ll hear about them secondhand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that’s the nice thing about reading reviews is that you get to file that away somewhere and maybe you can recommend a quirky space opera to someone else!

      I try to read from several genres, but I know that I’m not going to read a modern day thriller, for example, or a most popular fiction. But now that I’m no longer teaching online reading, I’ve got to do the stretching on my own!

      Trust me, girl, I understand about the book. My transition has been so bumpy and busy that my book sits, too, waiting for me. But I’m feeling the winds of change… Thanks for the update. Feel free to email me anytime! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well. Paying my annual fee reminded me that I was paying for something I had not used for nearly a year. For now I am just catching up with folks but as soon as I have the energy to write something longer than an instagram caption I will be back πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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