Welcome back to the “Scott Challenge” where my husband is challenging me to read some of his favourite books and I provide some commentary. The two books this month couldn’t be more radically different, as one is a science fiction collection from 1997, the other a sweet fantasy story about immigration. Let’s dive in, shall we?
The Callahan Chronicals
by Spider Robinson (Published: Published October 15th 1997 by Tor)
I have a love-hate relationship with Spider Robinson’s writing. Often I love his characters, but the writing is too dry for me, lacking any sort of oomph. That is exactly the problem with The Callahan Chronicles, on top of it being a short story collection at as well. I do love books that involve space bars and weird patrons, and my favourite story in the book was one full of puzzles, which then Robinson at the end had to write a lengthy author’s note about how people were sending him solutions to this one puzzle, but he himself for the answer! I weirdly want to play the Callhan video game that was made in 1997, and I still might. Just wish I loved this more. 2.5/5 Stars.
The Golem and the Jinni
(The Golem and the Jinni #1)
by Helene Wecker (Published April 23rd 2013 by Harper)
The Golem and the Jinni was a book I heard a lot about when it released and one admittedly I just never got around to when it released. This beautiful fantasy novel is one I devoured on my weekend in Thunder Bay, because both the Golem and the Jinni were loveable characters just trying to blend into the world around them. This is a wonderful and different take on the immigration story, and even if you don’t like fantasy, this is still a book I’d recommend people give a whirl. It’s sweet, touching, heartbreaking, and more hopeful than one would image. 4/5 Stars.
My husband Scott is as much an avid reader as I am. He’s always encouraging me to try different kinds of books, while also picking buzzwords for items that he knows I will read and likely love. This year, I asked him to pick a book each month that he wants me to read, whether it’s a science or fantasy novel that he knows I’ve been meaning to get to, or something he’s recently loved and wants to share. Every two months, I’ll share with you my experience of reading books my husband selections for me.
by Joe Abercrombie (Published: October 23rd 2012 by Orbit)
I LOVE Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series, though hilariously I managed to skip this book and accidentally read Sharp Ends first. Red Country is, in a lot of ways, a weird Western, which I am a complete sucker for in a fantasy setting. Shy South may be my new favourite protagonist in the series (and her short story was my favourite in Sharp Ends), as she is full of gumption and grit. All the elements of a good Western are present in the story, from lawless cowfolk to gold rush fever. This book did take me awhile to get into just due to setting and style, but overall I quite loved it. 4/5 Stars.
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell
by David Yaffe (Published: June 13th 2017 by Sarah Crichton Books)
My husband knows I am a huge Joni Mitchell fan. I’ve read a few books regarding her bio information in the past, but Yaffe’s book seems to be the definitive text when it comes to creating a portrait of who Mitchell was over the years. Strong in personality, her songs are a reflection of her past and the world around her. She also comes across bratty, stubborn and even callous at times, which made this book all the more interesting to read. There was so much I didn’t know regarding her illness, her depression, and even reading about her marriages was fascinating stuff. I’m really glad my husband gifted this to me two years ago and only made me read it now! 4/5 Stars.
And that’s it for now! Next update will be in May when we find out what March and April’s reads are!