's CBR8 Review No:25

A YA fantasy centering on a strong female friendship.

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard (Buy on amazon.com)


So on reflection this is probably one of those books that is a four star Ashley book, but maybe not a four star Everybody Else book. I’m just super susceptible to this kind of shit–shit the author described on her Reddit AMA as “Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Sabriel.” I mean, could you dangle that […]

's CBR8 Review No:24

Lord of the Flies meets American Psycho meets The Rum Diaries with just a dash of Seven Psychopaths

The Beach by Alex Garland (Buy on amazon.com)


The world is getting smaller. Thanks to the Internet that unites people across the globe and airplanes that can make journeys in hours that once took years, virtually nowhere on earth in inaccessible. Mostly, that’s a good thing. But for world travelers, I’ve heard this is a real bummer. That everywhere they go, they’re surrounded […]

's CBR8 Review No:24

“Oui oui, mon ami, je m’appelle Lafayette! The Lancelot of the revolutionary set!”

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell (Buy on amazon.com)


Guyyyyys this book. It took me almost three months to read it, when I expected to finish it in a couple of days! I just didn’t like it very much, and I’m not sure why. It might be that it was the first Sarah Vowell book I’ve listened to on audiobook, but I don’t think […]

's CBR8 Review No:4

When in doubt, assume it’s about politics

Heavy Words Lightly Thrown by Chris Roberts (Buy on amazon.com)


Have you ever wondered where some of our nursery rhymes came from, or what they really mean?  Some of them seem to be about pure nonsense, but there is more to them than meets the eye. After all, “nursery rhymes are full of sex, death, and cruelty” (xv).  The author makes a point that this […]

's CBR8 Review No:6

Every moment points toward the aftermath

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Mallard (Buy on amazon.com)


If you were asked to name every president who was assassinated, would you remember James Garfield? He was president for only a matter of months, part of a generally undistinguished cohort that served between Grant and McKinley. There is no great legislation that we credit to Garfield, no famous speeches or charismatic wife. On the surface, Garfield was […]

's CBR8 Review No:3

For the glory of Rome!

Augustus by John Williams (Buy on amazon.com)

John Williams was a professor of English literature whose previous novels dealt, In muted emotions, with the lives of very humble men. So it is with a little surprise that one picks up this book, his most critically successful novella, about the life of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, born Gaius Octavius Thurinus. Augustus (Ocatavian), […]

's CBR8 Review No:23

Vonnegut’s little war book.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Buy on amazon.com)


There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.” So basically everyone I’ve ever talked […]

's CBR8 Review No:10

This book was faintingviolet-nip

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell (Buy on amazon.com)

the dead duke

This book was like catnip to me. It was faintingviolet-nip. I have been having trouble the past few weeks sinking into books, which is why there has been an uptick in novella reviews from me. I have no less than three books currently sitting open at home, plus an audio book underway, but this Saturday […]

's CBR8 Review No:2

Not the Destination but the Journey

The Martian by Andy Weir (Buy on amazon.com)

the martian

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard anything about this book or its subsequent film, I’ll briefly summarize it for you. The Martian is the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut on the Ares 3 which is part of a series of manned missions to Mars. Due to an unfortunate series of […]

's CBR8 Review No:2

A Delightful Regency Fantasy Novel

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (Buy on amazon.com)


Sorcerer to the Crown is a Best Book of 2015 from NPR. I found it on their Book Concierge, and the description of the book, set in Regency England with magic, sounded delightful. The book tells the story of Zacharias Wythe, the Royal Sorcerer of England, who came to the post when his adoptive father, […]

's CBR8 Review No:8

The characters and story were fine. The editing? Not so much.

Winter by Marissa Meyer (Buy on amazon.com)


Now that Bunnybean is tearing her way through the Lunar Chronicles books, I figured I might as well try and finish up the last book (I don’t count the new book of “related short stories” that just came out), Winter. I wasn’t all that excited about reading it, to be honest. I loved Cinder and […]

's CBR8 Review No:13

Genre Mix and Match

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Buy on amazon.com)

all the birds in the sky

This is one of those books that defies categorization. It’s the messed-up, weirdo love child of sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and dystopian fiction. There’s no way around it; This book is weird. But in a good way. Mostly. And you should know in advance that there’s no way I can summarize it that will do it […]