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Joined 7 months, 1 week ago

Pronouns: he/him Reading is my escape. Books are my love language.

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Rainer's books

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Firekeeper's Daughter (2021, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)) 5 stars

Debut author Angeline Boulley crafts a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must …

Tense and unpredictable, great character development

5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I appreciated its representation of indigenous themes, characters, and settings. Readers should be aware though that there are scenes of murder/death and sexual violence in this book and one of the main themes is the destructive power of drug addiction. If you are able to handle that, then I think you will really enjoy this book.

Parenting Forward (Paperback, 2019, Eerdmans) 5 stars

A progressive Christian parenting book with a social-justice orientation

How do we build a better …

Don't Be a Shitty and Abusive Evangelical Parent

5 stars

As a Christian, I have so much trouble finding cultural artifacts that are instructive in any way. Most "Christian" books are just cultural tools and propaganda for Team Fash in the culture wars.

This book was really helpful in clarifying ways to be a parent in a way that respects children and raises them to love social justice and mercy.

Reading this book was very encouraging and instructive.

reviewed Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun (2020, Gallery / Saga Press) 4 stars

The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of …

Captivating story, engaging writing

4 stars

The character and world building in this book is phenomenal. I love that the author based a fantasy world on indigenous central american cultures and not medieval England (yawn).

I always appreciate a book that's got quality LGBTQ+ characters.

The book got pretty intense and violent in parts, which is why I'm rating it 4 stars. Readers who dont mind that sort of stuff might get a 5 star experience.

I finished this book last night and am excited to start the sequel tonight!

A Half-Built Garden (2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 5 stars

On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown …

Really wonderful speculative fiction

5 stars

Wow this story blew me away. The future that the author paints and the way that the dandelion networks operate is really a true work of art. I loved the characters, the themes, and the perspective of this book. It gave me a spike in my already-elevated levels of climate anxiety right in time for the Inflation Reduction Act to get passed, so it coincidentally made that win much sweeter (even though that bill isn't perfect).

Giving the book 4.5 stars instead ofb5 because I felt a bit of a disconnect between my reading style and the authors writing style that made it difficult to comprehend some sentences on a first read. Nothing too difficult, just a bit of a disconnect where I had to read sentences a few times and it knocked me out of the reading flow.

This book is really beautiful because it does what we need …

Sea of Tranquility (2022) 4 stars

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled …

Rich in wonder and relatability

5 stars

Content warning Contains slight spoilers after 1st paragraph

Across the Desert (2021, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) 5 stars

One girl sets out on a journey across the treacherous Arizona desert to rescue a …

Great plot and character building

5 stars

I listened to this one as an audiobook and, hoo boy, there were parts of this one that were TENSE! I loved it though. Highly recommended.

Also, content warning on this book - this book includes addiction and the difficult family dynamics that arise as a result of it.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Hardcover, 2021, Tordotcom) 4 stars

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; …

Another masterpiece from Becky Chambers

5 stars

My god, this was a delightful book. The only bad thing about this book is that now I really want to be a tea monk who travels around on a tiny home ebike. Everything else was splendid and fantastic.

The No-Show (2022, Penguin Publishing Group) 5 stars

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is …

Beth O'Leary crafts good characters and gripping plotlines

5 stars

I knew what was going to happen in this book (more or less), and was still pleasantly surprised when it happened. Read the last 30% in one long evening session as it really picks up more and more the further into it you get.

The Glass Hotel (Hardcover, 2020, Knopf) 5 stars

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip …

Sad, Poignant, Beautiful

5 stars

This book is so beautiful, so insightful, and so sad. This story is a deep-dive into the different worlds that we can often fall into. It's an examination of wealth, poverty, addiction, guilt/shame, stealing to get by, making art for art's sake, making art for ambition's sake, greed, dread, and so many more things.

As someone whose family was significantly impacted by the 2008 financial crisis (and let's be honest, whose wasn't), I found that entering back into the world of watching white collar criminals squirm was like a warm blanket. There are a few scenes in the book where various financial criminals are overtaken by waves of dread and it felt like such a balm to my soul to experience their suffering as a reader and then to remove myself back into the cozy world of my own little reading nook.

The Glass Hotel is not a feel-good book, …

Someone in Time (2022, Black Library, The) 4 stars

Anthology of inclusive tales of people through time looking for one another and for ways …

A Heartwarming Collection of Intriguing Stories

4 stars

This book was at times a delight, and at other times a slight burden. I really enjoyed all of the stories that were included in this book, and there are so many talented authors who contributed to this wonderful collection.

The stories made me cherish the relationships in my life. It's really a celebration of love in all its many forms. While some stories focused on romantic love, others focused more on the love that exists between family members.

The one thing that made this book feel like something of a burden at times is that each new story brings with it a large amount of world-building. Stories about time travel have a lot of context to establish in order to make the plot points seem believable. In a larger single-narrative story, much of this work would be done at the outset and then the reader could enjoy the development …

reviewed Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside (2019, Broadway Books) 4 stars

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a …

Entertaining, exhausting, and potentially triggering for some

4 stars

Trigger warning for this book at the end of the review

I really enjoyed this book. The world and character building were first-class, and I completely loved the way that the author integrated themes of class struggle and capitalist exploitation of the working/poor.

Having said that, there were a few things that lowered this book from my list of "best reads of the year" to the slightly larger pile of "meh, it was pretty good".

First, there were so many times that I found myself finishing a chapter muttering "oh goddammit" because of some unexpected plot twist. These are great if they're interspersed throughout a story at strategically important turning points, but it felt like Bennett was a little too generous with these unexpected narrative surprises. It felt like a constant struggle where the vast majority of the chapter would build the narrative one step forward for the characters, and …

A Warbler's Journey (Hardcover, 2022, Gryphon Press, The) 5 stars

With poetic language and lush oil paintings, children will cheer on the tiny but mighty …

Beautiful, timely, and fun adventure teaches kids about migratory birds

5 stars

In "A Warbler's Journey", Scott Weidensaul and Nancy Lane (illustrations) have collaborated to make a children's book that is an instant classic.

This book is so beautiful on so many different levels. Not only are the illustrations captivating, but it also introduces children to many important topics such as the interdependence of ecosystems and agriculture, the necessity of green spaces in residential areas, and the migratory nature of birds.

There are so many points in this book where readers can choose to stop and ask questions to help their child learn, such as "Do you know what abuelito means?"

I will absolutely be buying copies of this book for my little niece and her friends to enjoy!