Back in May 2016, I wrote a post that rounded up the things that instantly attract me to or repel me from books. It’s time for an update—this time with links to books I’ve liked and reviewed.
My new booknips:
- Fiction or nonfiction featuring medical ethical problems as in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (review pending) and Five Days at Memorial.
- Books about weird medical history, like The Poison Squad or The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth.
- Daring adventures that involve traveling off the beaten path, as in The Oregon Trail and Lands of Lost Borders.
- Time travel books that question the nature of fate, as in Here and Now and Then.
- Joyful books about the quirks and beauties of languages, as in Babel.
- Goofy fantasy novels with anarchic plots, as in Peril in the Old Country and most of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
- Books that have unusual and unexpected takes on guilty and innocence, as in Paper Ghosts and The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.
…and my new book banes:
- Dystopias in which the population of women has dropped to the point where humanity’s future may be in doubt. The mere thought of this premise terrifies me.
- Any book described as containing “Joycean inventiveness.
- Science fiction or fantasy that is wildly inventive at the beginning but have boring endings.
- Books full of misery, abuse, and horrible things that have no payoff, where the characters don’t grow or learn, and where there’s no justice.
- Stories that attempt to blend genres without fully embracing them, i.e. historical fiction that has a tiny bit of unexplored fantasy elements for flavor or literary fiction that has science fiction for no apparent reason.