the Little Red Reviewer

Recent reads, new books, and the typewriter

Posted on: August 7, 2016

Hey friends, it’s been a while.   I’ve been reading, I’ve been doing, just haven’t been doing anything worthwhile on the interwebs. While all ya’ll were out getting your ten thousand steps and playing PokemonGo, I’ve been sitting on my butt playing Candy Crush and reading dumb stuff on Buzzfeed.


But, I did get some reading done, and got some beautiful new books.

necessary evil

I finished reading Necessary Evil, by Ian Tregillis, and wow, what a punch to the guts! This book, what the characters go through, just wow.  when I do get around to writing the review, be warned, there will be plenty of spoilers. So much crazy stuff happens at the end of book 2, and this 3rd book in the series is such an emotional juggernaut that I’m gonna have spoil stuff that happens in book 2 and spoil some stuff that happens in book 3 to write a halfway decent review.  If you’ve read the entire trilogy, you know exactly what I’m talking about.


I was head over heels for N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season last year, so I’m super excited to read the next book in this series (duology? trilogy? open ended? I have no idea), The Obelisk Gate.  I loved the worldbuilding of the first book, I loved the “twist” about the main characters, although it wasn’t much of a twist, maybe more a creative way of presenting information?  I liked the little boy who ate rocks.  As soon as I’m done with current read, this is mostly likely the book I’ll pick up next.

long way to planet

My current read is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers.  After the Tregillis, it’s an adjustment to be reading something this light hearted. Do you remember the movie Titan A.E.? If  Firefly and Titan A.E. had a baby, it might be something like this book.  The alien crewmates are a lot of fun.

bear czerneda


Remember how much I loved Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Radio?  I finally found a copy of the sequel, Darwin’s Children.   It’s not like this book is hard to find, it’s just that i hadn’t really gone looking until yesterday.   Do I read the Bear, or the Jemisin next? arrgggh, I can’t choose!! Also,  check out the gorgeous cover art for Julie Czerneda’s forthcoming Clan Chronicles novel The Gate to Futures Past!  isn’t it pretty?  I’ve been very slowly savoring this book, I’m about half way through. I’m pretty sure what’s going to happen is that next weekend I’m going to finish it, and then spend about 10 hours straight reading it again.

hearne and scalzi arcs

Some beautiful new books that arrived recently include the novella The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne, and Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi.  I’m excited for the Hearne because the first two Iron Druid books are some the funnest and funniest urban fantasy I’ve ever read, and this new novella is from the dog’s point of view! squeee! The Scalzi looks fun, especially since these stories are mostly 2500 words or less. I can read one while I’m waiting for the coffee pot to finish gurgling. I’ve already read two, one of them was so hilarious that I made my husband read it.  Scalzi really shines in short format.  Novellas are great because it’s much meatier than a short story and I can get through the entire thing in less than two hours (i’m a slow reader!), and very short fiction is super fun, it’s like those little fun sized Milky Way candy bars that people give out for halloween.


but what’s really been taking my time and attention recently is this baby right here:


Not sure if I’ve mentioned this new baby on the blog before? I know I’ve put pictures on twitter. Circa 1938, she’s lighter than she looks.  Got her for a song, and have been tinkering with her.  Some mineral spirits, a bunch of q-tips, and about an hour and a half got her keys (hammers?) all gleaming, and I think the feet have worn down over time, so I’ve been experimenting with lifting the entire carriage up to keep the keys (hammers?) from skipping.  Pica, by the way.  I’m part of Michigan Typochondriacs, we’re a bunch of crazies who like to play with typewriters.  Most of the members are serious collectors, I’m probably the only member who only has one machine.


9 Responses to "Recent reads, new books, and the typewriter"

The Purloined Poodle – oh yes, that will be good I think – and look at the crazy cover.
How do you find it typing on your typewriter? More to the point can you even get ribbons for those these days?
Lynn 😀


Ribbons can be ordered online, but no one is making the innards parts anymore, so if you break something inside you have to find a specialist who can cannibalize it from another machine or make it for you. Typing, believe it or not, is a lot like playing a guitar – fun and satisfying, but your fingertips hurt until you’ve built up some muscles.

isn’t that Hearne cover art adorable? I love that it looks like a painting.


I loved Long Way to a Small Angry Planet! And I also hope to start Obelisk gate soon!!


I want the Hearne and the Scalzi. Looking forward to their releases!


The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne does sound fun. Interesting that several of the covers look almost vintage…while your vintage typewriter looks almost gleaming new! I’m glad if I get 4,000 steps a day and NO PokemonGo for me. [My internet poison is Hidden Memory.]
Hope you have a good week!


hi Martha! So long as there isn’t too much rust, typewriters clean up surprisingly easy, especially if their previous owners stored them in a carrying case. I don’t know if the carrying case this one came with is the original, but it’s pretty bashed up on the outside. Luckily, the machine inside was in perfect working order, and just needed a teensy bit of cleaning up!


Cool, thanks for sharing a picture of the typewriter. The books sound pretty interesting, but I’m trying to read what’s on the shelves, not buy more. Sigh.


i have got 2 to 3 boxes of books to trade in at the used bookstore….


I’m also super excited about The Obelisk Gate. My copy came in this week, but I haven’t started it. I am so curious to learn more about the rock people!


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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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