Books

Book 546: All Systems Down (The Cyber War #1) – Sam Boush

When the publicist reached out to me with this way back in December I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to read it.* At the same time, I knew I wanted to try to read a little broader this year so I said yes anyway. What I didn’t expect was to start this at 9pm one night and finish it by noon the next day on my lunch break at work!

This book starts with a bang and then continues with a series of gripping chapters that keep you engaged. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect, you could tell this was a debut novel, but there’s definitely more to come from Boush.

Continue reading “Book 546: All Systems Down (The Cyber War #1) – Sam Boush”

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Books

Book 538: Quakeland – Kathryn Miles

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one when the publisher reached out to me about a few books way back in August of last year.* Quakeland caught my eye for the very reason any of those disaster movies (TwisterThe Day After TomorrowSan Andreas, Volcano, etc.) speak out to millions of people every year. We’re fascinated by the potential destruction and yet completely disbelieving that it could happen to us. Fun fact, it can and will at some point (maybe not the Volcano story line) but according to this and a lot of scientists earthquakes could!

The book started off a little slow after a powerful forward, but picked up pace the further I got into it, which was weird because the amount of science seemed to increase and I usually fall asleep when books get too technical.

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ARC, Books

Book 508: Chemistry – Weike Wang

I first heard of this book through a friend, who also happens to be friends with the author. After reading the blurb I reached out to the publisher for a copy and here I am.* It of course didn’t hurt that the book was set here in Boston at an unnamed University and I’ve started to see it everywhere around the city either!

Chemistry is the tale of an unnamed narrator and her exit from the academic world that has ruled her life and her various reactions to things going on in her world. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s what I boiled it down to. I’m still mulling over many parts of the book, particularly the “conclusion,” but in general I found this to be a wonderfully engaging read.

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Books

Book 462: The Courtesan – Alexandra Curry

curry-alexandra-the-courtesanWhen Dutton reached out to me about a copy* of this book for its new paperback release I jumped at it because of my trip to China this summer! What I didn’t realize was that it was predominantly set in two of the cities I visited: Suzhou and Beijing! It was really neat to read through the fictionalized life of Sai Jinhua and actually feel like I know what and where she was talking about for the post part!

This is a debut novel that I probably would not have read just because I don’t read too many, but with my trip to China, the cover and having someone reach out to me about it, I figured I would give it a chance and I’m glad I did. Add in that the book also featured a subplot line about the one non-English classic from Asia I chose for my Classics Club list: Dream of the Red Chamber and it was well worth the read.

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Updates

June Recap 2016

2016 06-29 Walking AgainI’d say where did June go, but it’s pretty obvious when you spend two weeks out of the country and then two weeks playing catch up!

We had a great time in China and then spent almost a week readjusting to being at work and back on Eastern Standard Time.

I’ve tried my best the last two weeks to keep up the walking that happened on vacation. We walked upwards of five miles every day, even when we were on the three-day river cruise! The first week I didn’t walk much, but this week I’ve managed to hit my step goal every day which is great for me as it’s been too long since I’ve done that!

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Random

你好蘇州和上海 | Nǐ hǎo sūzhōu hé shànghǎi | Hello Suzhou and Shanghai!

2016 06-03 Chinese YuanWhen this goes live, we will be in the Chinese city of Suzhou, but we’ll be leaving for Shanghai, by way of Wuzhen, a historical scenic town on the Yangtze River tomorrow!

I’m really looking forward to the Shanghai Museum tour and the free time we’ll have to shop on Nanjing Road! You know I already have bookstores in mind to visit! There’s at least one foreign language bookstore I’m aware of, but I’m also looking for copies of  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (哈利·波特与魔法石) and Wuthering Heights (呼啸山庄) in Mandarin/Cantonese (I’ll take either). Either way, I can’t wait to get back and share the amazing photos I’m sure I’ve already taken!

Random

北京歡迎你 | Běijīng huānyíng nǐ | Welcome to Beijing

2016 03-24 Freaking Out About ChinaI have no idea if the characters in the title will post or not, but I wanted to do a similar post to last year, Bienvenidos a Madrid! I failed miserably at learning any Mandarin, but what I did find out is that even if people speak different dialects they can still read the formal written characters. How interesting? I guess it shouldn’t be that weird, but that’s about as far as I got in the book.

By the time this posts, we will have been in Beijing for a few days after flying from Boston! I hope the 15 hour total flying time (with a short layover in Chicago) wasn’t as long as I thought! And I also hope we’ve adjusted to the 12 hour time difference by now!

I think I’m most looking forward to the three-day river cruise down the Yangtze later this week where we’ll get to relax a bit on the boat. There are some excursions planned where we’ll go ashore to see a few villages and get an up-close view of the Three Gorges (Wikipedia link). After that we’re off on the high-speed train (SAY WHAT!?) to Suzhou where we’ll spend a few days. I’ll have another post next week that tells you about Week two!