Recent reads – magic, urban fantasy, Chinese sci-fi.

Ok it has been forever since I actually talked about the books I read recently. So while I have the willpower and the kids are taking a break and playing Lego, here are some thoughts!



Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country – Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer 

I adored this epistolary story that was written separately by the two writers, in a kind of writing exercise – they didn’t plan out the plot, and Wrede wrote as Cecelia, Stevermer as Kate. And here, I have to add that I wish the title were different. Kate is just as an important character here, why doesn’t she get into the title?? Or just not put any of their names in the title and call it something else, like Sorcery & Crumpets; Sorcery, Tea, & Biscuits. At any rate, if you’ve never heard of this book, it’s set in 1817 England and there is magic. It was the first time I’ve read anything by either author, and am curious to see what else they’ve written. Let me know if you have a recommendation.


Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) – Rebecca Roanhorse

I’ve been drawn to more speculative fiction lately, escaping from our current reality you say? Why yes indeed. Roanhorse is another new-to-me author and she has set this series in the Navajo nation, with most of the world drowned beneath the rising tides. Maggie is a powerful monster slayer who lives alone, far from anyone else, but she needs help from a young and handsome medicine man as there is a strange new monster threatening her people. Maggie takes a while to grow on the reader, emerging from her isolation and learning to accept others. The introduction of Navajo magic and legends was quite fascinating, the pacing of the story was quick and just what I needed as a distraction from the world.



The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin

I had a really hard time with this book. Parts of it was quite fascinating but a lot of the science went way over my head and many times I wanted to give up. But at the same time, I wanted to know what was going on. It was clever and thought-provoking but honestly a bit too much of a slog for me at the moment. Will I continue with the rest of the series? I do not know at the moment. Definitely not in the near future…my brain is not ready. I need to read more fluffy floofy things.









  1. Is floofy like an extended version of fluffy? LOL

    It’s good to know that the Chocolate Pot book was fun; it’s been on my list forever.

    A book for younger readers that I’ve really enjoyed recently is Monica Furlong’s Wise Child. It has a prequel too, Juniper, and both are stories about girls whose mothers have not been very motherly (to keep things vague), who have been raised, instead, by women who lived alone and understood the curative properties of plants, and those relationships grew into complicated and sustaining forces. I love that kind of story and the stories about women healers in particular. Both were good, but I really loved Wise Child, and now have to figure out a way to get the third book (while the libraries are closed)!

    Good luck with the floofy options! 😀


  2. I was hoping you would review the Three Body Problem when I saw it on your page recently. A slightly odd friend of mine gave it to me for my birthday because all her family had enjoyed it (they are all very clever mathematicians). Now my friend Hollie and I were talking about this recently. We are good fellow readers because we only give each other books we think the other will enjoy. Whereas we have found that most people want to give you books that they liked, without having any regard to your taste at all. Three Body was Ok. You are right, it was clever, and the cultural thread elevated it a little higher than average. However I found the language/translation to be very basic and it lacked human warmth. It was far from being an Ursula Le Guin, or John Wyndham, or Philip Pullman (sorry for being fussy, I know those are high standards.)


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