the Little Red Reviewer

Reading update #?

Posted on: September 27, 2020

Autumn is nearly here!  I can tell, because the maple tree on my street has got a beautiful orange blush on its crown.  The tree goes from red-orange-gold on the top, to grass green on the bottom. and across the valley I can see oak trees starting to change color.

cooler weather means the season is upon us for chilis, stews, baked bread, baked potatoes. This is the beginning of the time of year when I want to have the oven on for hours on end, when I want soup stock simmering for hours on the stove.

And speaking of cooking,  this is the cutest damn book ever:

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher (a.k.a. Ursula Vernon) was easy to read, funny, adorable, and not too deep. I loved it so much I basically forced my husband to read it, and even he said it was adorable.  We both love Mona, I need a #TeamBob t-shirt.  I’ve also been convinced to never, ever make a sourdough starter.  but I am totally craving Pizza Hut style breadsticks, so there’s that.


Now that Ursula Vernon has me all super craving escapism, I finally (finally!) started reading Sheri S. Tepper’s The Family Tree, which came highly recommended by my friend Kristin.  Only a few chapters in, and yep, this is totally a Tepper book, but it’s also fantastic escapism and I already love all the characters I’ve met so far.


I’ve been on a biology kick lately,  thanks to the This Podcast will Kill You podcast.  Have I listened to an episode lately? Nope. Also haven’t listened to an episode of Lexicon Valley or Marketplace.  Those were “driving to work and stuck in the car for an hour” activities, and I’m working from home right now. Why I can’t just listen to podcasts at home is a whole ‘nother thing involving minimizing sensory input. so anyway, thanks to the Erin’s and my repressed obsession with “how things work”, I want to know how my insides work.  What is an enzyme and how does it work? what the hell is a sodium channel?  how does sensory input work?  why the hell does a papercut hurt so damn much, and what exactly is happening in there when my stomach rumbles?

A while back, I read Gut by Giulia Enders, and loved it, and that got me even more hooked on the gut-brain connection, that who we are and how we react to things is very related to what we’ve eaten, or not eaten.  Gut biome sounds super disgusting and totally awesome!  I’m full of little creatures that aren’t me, but they make me, well, me.  Thanks to Jeff Vandermeer, I’m all like “ooh, i’m colonized? that’s so cool!”.


anyway, picked up these two biology books the other day:

Haven’t had a ton of time to get into them, but the 10% Human one really has my attention.  Science is so cool!


I did a book cull abut a month ago, and have found yet more books that need to be re-homed. The friends-of-the-library isn’t currently taking donations.  I had a ton of fun mailing random books to random peeps when I did a giveaway on twitter, so if you’d like some random books in the mail, and you live in the US,  send me your mailing address,  my e-mail is .

I’ll basically mail books until I run out of bubble envelopes.

11 Responses to "Reading update #?"

It’s definitely autumn for me: yesterday, I left sunny and hot Crete, and today, I‘m here in cold and rainy Germany. Brrrr, my blanket is hugging me and I‘ve a tea warming me from inside. That’s autumn.
I‘ve read Grass from Tepper, and that was awesome SF horror. I wouldn’t come back to that world because of horror but I‘m glad to have read it. Here’s my review:


quite a climate change you’ve been through! yes, keep the blanket and tea handy.

Oh yes, Grass is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read! For what it’s worth, the other books that take place in that same universe, Raising the Stones and Sideshow, are not horror at all, and are two of my all time favorite science fiction novels. For a long time I was in denial that someone who wrote something as pastoral and beautiful as Raising the Stones was also the same woman who wrote Grass, a book that gave me nightmares for weeks. I did recently reread Grass, and did OK with it, i think I had made it scarier in my mind than it actually was.

Liked by 1 person

I didn’t go for the other two books in the trilogy because of the horror in the first one. So, maybe I should? Or rather a different book from her? Hmmm.


I do highly recommend Raising the Stones. Sure, it’s got some villains who do violent things, but nothing horror-ish. or give The Family Tree a whirl! I’m whipping right through it, it’s fun and easy to read! has nested stories, great characters, humor. a couple of people who are jerks, but nothing (so far) approaching horror.

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No way, I love T. Kingfisher! I gotta get my hands on that book!


she had to self publish it, because it was “too weird” for a real publisher, can you believe it? I was able to get a print copy through Amazon. it was SO CUTE!!!!


I really want to read that Kingfisher book–I think I have a copy in my ebook pile…if not I have to check LOL.


did you find your e-book copy? SO worth the read!

Liked by 1 person

No! It must be one I keep meaning to buy then haha. I’ll have to do that.

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I’m reading Ron Chernow’s GRANT. At over 1,100 pages, it’s taking a LONG time! So many facts and details, and footnotes, it can’t be hurried through. I’ve been on it since early September, and I’m only 300 pages in. I have tons of books lined up to read,

THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT just came from the library, so that’s next.

Liked by 1 person

1,100 pages? darn right that is LONG. but? You’ll get to enjoy it for a long time, instead of zipping through it in a week. There’s something to be said for books that take a long time, and a long of concentration to read.

I’ll be interested to know what you think Baru Cormorant! It was one of my favorites.


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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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