Book Reviews: January 2016Posted: January 27, 2016
It was a slow month, book-wise. I reread a lot of stuff, but for some reason I didn’t feel like picking up any new books. So in the end I only read two new books. Both I appreciate, but I’m not crazy about either:
The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith:
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series as well as the TV show adapted from it, and given that I like a detective story with a twist, I decided to give this one a go. It’s about a woman who sets up a (what else) detective agency in Botswana, where she uses her skills to solve problems from missing husbands to rebellious daughters. The characters are engaging, but since I was expecting an actual detective story, I was kind of disappointed, because it’s not a mystery book at all. It’s simply a drama about a woman who overcomes personal tragedies and does everything she can to help people. Sweet and warm and charming, but not my kind of book. 3/5
The SEA is Ours, edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng:
I first heard about this collection of Southeast Asian steampunk short stories from their Kickstarter campaign. Being a Southeast Asian and a fan (and occasional writer) of steampunk myself, I contributed to it and received a copy of the book in return. The stories are certainly interesting; they incorporate the Southeast Asian culture and history that I don’t even know about, though some are more effective than others – but this is due to the stories themselves, not because I’m not familiar with the mythology. I’m also proud to see two Vietnamese writers in it, but I can totally tell that they haven’t lived in Vietnam for a while (they’re both US-based, I think) because some of Vietnamese words they drop in the dialogue are misused, which is a shame. But, if nothing else, it’s inspired me to get back to my writing. Who knows, maybe I can submit a story to the next collection, if there is one. 3/5
I’ve been so busy and the weather has been so nasty that I missed two major end-of-the-year book sales (*sobs*), but I do have a ton of ebooks on my Kindle, so here’s to a livelier review and discussion for February!