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Tomes for the New Year

January 12, 2023

A new year is a great time to set some new reading goals. And I don’t know about you, but I love me some big books. Maybe this year, pick one of these monsters and get busy. You’ve got a whole year. If you break it down, that’s only 2 or 3 pages a day. Plus, think of all the exercise you’ll get carrying it around with you. Two New Year’s Resolutions - one great book.

I’ve been a fan of Stephenson for a while so when I saw that he had a new book coming out, I was here for it. Basic premise - a Texas billionaire has built a huge gun to shoot sulfur into the stratosphere in order to cool down a planet that is burning up. Because this is in the northern hemisphere, it should help the weather over the US, but it may have unfortunate consequences for other parts of the world - like stopping the monsoon in India. I must admit that I’m not usually the biggest fan of climate change sci-fi novels, but I found this one to be captivating. I checked out the audio e-book and it held my attention across all 22 parts. My only complaint is that all the fun weather events happened off screen. Sigh. Still a good read. Still worth your time. If you like this one, when you’re done you can check out some of Stephenson’s other works. All of them are large and in charge.

I read the first Outlander book a while ago and fell in love to the point that I’m still reading them, six books at 1000 pages each. Overall, I enjoyed this one. I got the audio book and between setting the reader to 1.5x normal speed and listening all the time, I managed to get through 43 of the 56 parts before my checkout expired. (Luckily, I was able to download the ebook to finish because the audio book expired in a fairly dire spot for Claire.) Jamie and Claire live in American, in North Carolina, as the shot heard round the world is fired and the Revolutionary War kicks off. This one got a little boggy in places because the girls kept getting kidnapped - apparently there wasn’t much else to do in the late 1700s. But I enjoyed how it ended and set up the next book. I usually take a break in between - after 1000+ pages I need a bit of palette cleanse - but in this case I might go right on to the next book (An Echo in the Bone). Check it out, see what you think.

If you don’t know, Robert Galbraith is actually JK Rowling, and this is the sixth book in the series. I must admit that I’ve enjoyed this series about as much as I did Harry Potter. I know Rowling has gotten herself semi-cancelled lately for her online comments, but she also channels that into her writing. In this one, a cartoon creator is being hassled and threatened online by a rogue group of anonymous fans. When she turns up dead, Robin and Strike need to find out who these fans are and who might have been capable of murder. I feel like maybe Rowling/Galbraith could have told the same story in 600 pages, but overall I enjoyed it.  

Ok, those are my big book recommendations for the new year. May your year be great and your books be amazing.

Happy toming...
:) Amanda


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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

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