Four New Books!

New books!

Four new and new-to-me books I've read this week:

Lock In by John Scalzi

"Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. 4% suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And 1% find themselves 'locked in' - fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

1% doesn't seem like a lot. But in the US that's 1.7 million people 'locked in' ... including the President's wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can fully restore the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, 'The Agora', where the locked-in can interact with other humans, whether locked-in ornot. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, allowing those who are locked in to occasionally 'ride' these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse..."

This book had such a fascinating premise, and I loved the questions raised by the characters and the possibilities the story explored. It's the first time in a long while that I've read a book that made me long for a sequel!

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

"Have you ever imagined a different life?

Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided? Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar?

From much-loved, international bestseller Cecelia Ahern come stories for all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change.

Witty, tender, surprising, these keenly observed tales speak to us all, and capture the moment when we all want to roar."

I always love Cecelia Ahern's blend of real life and the magical, imaginative world. These stories are so lovely and thought-provoking, that I'm trying to read them more slowly than at my usual pace, so that I don't rush the experience.

It's Good to have a Grandpa and It's Good to Have a Grandma, by Maryann Macdonald, illustrated by Priscilla Burris

I received copies of these through StoryMonsters, the literary resource for teachers and librarians

"'Grandpas don't mind if you comb their hair to look like a woodpecker.'

'Grandmas have time to catch lightning bugs, and to skip and blow bubbles.'

A grandparent's greatest gift to a child is love. This message comes through loud and clear in two new picture books by Maryann Macdonald and illustrated by Priscilla Burris: It's Good to Have a Grandma and It's Good to Have a Grandpa.

These books capture the special moments between grandparents and their grandchildren with warmth and love. Grandmas and grandpas of all ethnicities and personalities are shown doing simple, loving things with their grandchildren."

I love the illustrations in these books, with their delicate lines and happy expressions. The examples of all the good things that grandmas and grandpas share with their grandchildren are sweet, and varied, so that each child reader can find an example -- or more -- that resonates. The one sour note was the slightly disparaging reference to mothers in the grandma book (and there was no mention of fathers in the grandpa book!), but that doesn't take away from the overall sweetness and light of these books.

All that said, I haven't done very well on my ROW80 goals this week. Still working on editing my chosen action scene for the September writing exercise on thelitforum...

Which new books have you been distracted by?


Loved the idea of Roar and the Grandparent books. My reading this week has been poetry books by our last poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, But between times, when not looking after my disabled husband, I’ve boon editing my own children’s book. Very tiring đŸ€—
The first one sounds creepy. I can see that being a movie someday.
Hi Deniz - great to read about these ... love the thought of grandpa's hair to look like a woodpecker ... wonderful description. I have to admit I wish I had your ability to read and then be distracted by new books ...

Another for you to read: the science prize winner: Caroline Criado Perez 'Invisible Women' - exposing data bias in a world designed for men ..... seems to be an interesting book to read. Highly recommended ...

Cheers Hilary