Now that I've started keeping track of what I'm reading each month, I'm surprised how quickly I forget books. Here's the best of my reading pile in January:
The Secret Life of Mister Roos by Håkan Nesser
Valdemar Roos wins a lottery, and this jolts him out of his quiet boring life. He buys a cottage in the woods and quits his job without telling his wife and daughters, and spends his days walking in the forest or napping in the sunshine. Until a girl on the run shows up, and his life becomes anything but quiet. Events just keep escalating until Mister Roos and the girl are on the run across Europe. This book is classified as crime fiction but I’m not sure that it really fits the genre. It’s well worth reading, though.
Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott
I’ve been waiting months for this one to show up in my local bookstore, and it was worth the wait. Unconquerable Sun is not one of those books you’ll zip through. The galaxy-spanning action, the political intrigue, and the large cast of characters all require some concentration to keep track of, but it’s well worth the effort. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next volume in the series.
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
Cara doesn’t seem to be very good at staying alive. In fact, she’s so bad at it that she’s almost unique – in over 300 alternate universes, Cara is dead. And that means she’s able to travel to these alternate realities. This ability has bought her a comfortable life in a walled city, but her past, keeps coming back to haunt her, in more than one universe. This story is as much about love, and finding out who you really are as it about the effects of privilege and discrimination.
Ever wondered how supervillains acquire their staff? Or thought about the terrible amount of damage might be caused by having a resident superhero in your city? Hench is about the collateral damage caused by superheroes. Anna is a very minor employee for a minor supervillain when she’s badly injured, and subsequently fired. Once she starts looking for other people whose lives were ruined by superheroes she begins to uncover the true cost of superpowers. Now she’s working her way to the top using only her own superpower – spreadsheets. I couldn’t put this book down – it was non-stop action and had me cheering for Anna the whole way.
Little Eyes by Samantha Schweblin
Would you let a complete stranger operate a webcam in your house? If you dress the camera up as a cute bunny or a dragon, apparently a lot of people would. Little Eyes follows the lives of a number of people and their experiences with the Internet-connected kentukis. At first the book reads like a series of short stories, but gradually the lives of the different characters intersect and intertwine. My favourite was the neglected kid in the Caribbean who just wanted to see snow, and set off on a virtual journey across a Norway town in the body of a tiny dragon.