Friday 23 August 2019

Book Review: Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck read by Clarke Peters

Of Mice and Men Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck read by Clarke Peters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this read by Clarke Peters not realising to begin with who this name belonged to - as soon as I heard his voice it was distinctive and recognisable. Yes, we know him from The Wire and many other movies and he has one of those voices which I love and boy does he narrate this one well. It is a well known story, one I had not reread since John Steinbeck was my chosen author to study for my Higher English exam, some 50 years ago!

ashramblings verdict 5* it is a classic story what more can be said except to give this one a 5* for narration as well. Highly recommended

Sunday 18 August 2019

Booke Review: Semiosis by Sue Burke

Semiosis (Semiosis Duology, #1)Semiosis by Sue Burke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An ingenious and intriguing first novel having plant based alien society called The Glassmakers with a chemical language being encountered by distant descendants of humans settled on a planet they have called Pax, named for the peace they had been seeking.

ashramblings verdict 3* The novel is uneven in its pace, slightly too long for my liking, telling the Pacifists story over several generations before they actually encounter the Glassmakers. Once they do the novel matures into what it should be holding out hope for Book 2 Interference continuing in this vein.

Friday 2 August 2019

Book Review: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am not a lover of books which are mostly dialog, they often feel like the author should have just written the script. This books suffers from that in my opinion, although it makes it ripe for a movie/TV series pick up. Having said that, I listened to the author narrate it and read along, that really helped, and did enjoy that depiction of the struggles against the gender, race based misogyny of men as depicted in this alternative post 1950s, post imagined meteorite strike history as Man is propelled to the stars to find a new home.

I came to it having read the author's 2014 Hugo Award winning short novella/ long short story The Lady Astronaut of Mars ( available at ) which is set towards the latter years of progagonist Elma York's life. The character caught my imagination in the short story and I picked up the book, my first readings by Mary Robinette Kowal so I have nothing to compare them to. The space race theme is of course very topical when I was reading these with the 50th anniversary of the landing on the Moon. This is the first book in her series and it takes in many of the themes explored in movies like The Mercury 13 ( ), Hidden Figures ( ). 

ashramblings verdict 3* On the whole I found the book's pace a bit slow, but its premis and characters intrigued me and held my attention well enough to consider picking up the subsequent in the series Articulated Restraint and The Fated Sky.

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