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Paulette Jiles, Paulette Jiles: News of the World (2016, William Morrow) 4 stars

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, …

Review of 'News of the World' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Extremely evocative of an innocent, simpler time. Our guide and bearer of news from the world after the civil war, Jefferson Kidd, is a wise, brave, grumpy grandfather and widower. The diverse characters that come in and out of his life are intriguingly rendered by Jiles, to the point that she must satisfy the reader's curiosity, explaining the fate of them all in detail. And Kidd's sidekick, Johanna, is rendered in such detail that her internal, unspoken struggle brought me to tears as I read out loud to my parents. My mother and father had to repeatedly take over for me when I got choked up. And the intellectual linguist in you will delight at the intricate explanations of the Kiowa language and culture, not to mention the now arcane language of preindustrial Texas and the southeastern US. Normally this would be a 5-star for me. The only detractor is …

Peter Watts: Blindsight (Firefall, #1) (2006) 4 stars

It's been two months since a myriad of alien objects clenched about the Earth, screaming …

Review of 'Blindsight' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Probably the most mind-blowing book I've read this year. Difficult to untangle, but riveting and suspenseful. I hope Watts continues this thought experiment on intelligence and consciousness and new ways of thinking about thinking.

Review of 'The dog stars' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Suspenseful page-turner that explores what it would be like in the US if civilization collapsed. Unfortunately it seems to have been written by a billionaire prepper and private pilot with a love for guns. Adventure and romance with a John Wayne protagonist. Quick read. Very entertaining. Thought provoking about the nature of human ethics/values/morality when the **it hits the fan.

Anthony Doerr: All the Light We Cannot See (Hardcover, 2014, Scribner) 5 stars

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about …

Review of 'All the Light We Cannot See' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

As intricate and well-crafted as Helprin's Soldier of the Great War, or Sunlight and Shaddow, only more enthralling and accessible. Loved the skipping around in time and place, fullfilling the thesis that mind and spirit aren't restricted to the linear progression of time and can fly through the air like birds or radio waves.