Hello, it’s me again!
I can’t process that it’s already the end of December. I feel like I’ve been writing this non-stop in 2021 but things have been hectic again. A lot of projects for work are due by the beginning of 2022 which means that I’ve been cramming quite a bit since November. Also, my graduation happened at the beginning of December and then I got sick (not covid, just a plain old flue followed by a superinfection). Nothing that couldn’t be handle by rest and antibiotics but let’s just say it wasn’t the best conditions for reading and/or blogging.
Now I’m resting at my grandparent’s home in the South of France for a few days. I haven’t seen them for a year and a half so I’m glad I was able to visit during the holidays. I haven’t read a lot in November but I’m starting to find my reading groove now that I feel better.
Last week, I read Ted Chiang’s Exhalation, his second collection of short stories. I usually take my time reading collections written by a single author because stories can start to blend into one another if I read them too closely. However, I read the nine stories of the collection in a few days! I really enjoyed the themes explored in Exhalation and I thought all the stories had distinct aspects and qualities. It’s not the best collection I read this year (the title is held by Friday Black) but I will definitely read Chiang’s other collection.
I’m now reading Perhaps the Stars by Ada Palmer, the long-awaited finale to her Terra Ignota series. I’ve been reading it since the end of October and I’m finally making good progress with it. I don’t think Perhaps the Stars is her best work. Some parts are painfully dense and complex but others are brilliant. I don’t know if I’m enjoying the experience or not, it feels like a fever dream so far.
On a different note, I’m loving Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, a literary fiction novel following three siblings who are all trying to deal the dark legacy of their jihadist father. The writing is superb and I think it deals with a lot of complicated issues with care. It’s a rare story where we can read from very different perspectives, all the characters have different views on the situation and while I’m having difficulties understanding some of the characters’ decisions (especially Parvaiz who decides to follow his father’s footsteps for the most ridiculous reasons), I can still empathize with them. I was expecting to like Home Fire but I can’t put it down.
I’m hoping to finish both novels tomorrow and then I will probably pick up Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie or The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson. I’m in the mood to finish up some series before the end of the year!
On the blogging side, I’m still struggling with writing reviews. I’ve tried multiple times to write a review of The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez, a book I absolutely loved this year, but for some reasons, my brain is unable to come up with anything. I hope my reviewing slump will end soon, it’s starting to be very frustrating.
Anyway, I hope you are all well and enjoying the holidays! How are you? What are you reading? Please let me know! 😀