• The Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 7/16/21 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Down Comes the Night, a young adult fantasy story featuring magical healing and warring kingdoms; Fugitive Telemetry, the newest book in Martha Wells's science fiction Murderbot series; and Black Bottom Saints, Alice Randall's immersive tribute to fifty-two Detroit heroes and heroines large and small--with a cocktail recipe inspired by each.

Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?

01 Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

I love the setup of Saft's romantic young adult fantasy novel, Down Comes the Night.

Wren is a loose cannon, a fierce soldier, intensely loyal, a magical healer, and with an uncontrollable spirit--and she's niece to the queen, who would like to be rid of her altogether.

Hal is from a neighboring land and is known as the Reaper of Vesria. He's known to be cruel, ruthless, and he's Wren's sworn enemy, a deadly force who has destroyed her countrymen and women in the wars that seem constant between the kingdoms.

When the two are unexpectedly thrown together, it becomes clear that Hal isn't precisely who Wren thought. She must determine whether to abandon the force of her formidable healing powers and leave him to die or let go of her long-held anger. Meanwhile she's desperate to solve the mystery of her fellow soldiers and friends who keep disappearing on patrols between kingdoms.

02 Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

Have I ever mentioned Martha Wells's Murderbot books and how much I love them? Oh, I have?

Was it when I reviewed books 1 through 3 of the series? Or when I reviewed the next book, Exit Strategy? Or Wells's next one, Network Effect?

Well, it's good to be back with grumpy Murderbot on Preservation Station. In Fugitive Telemetry, Murderbot attempts to solve the mystery of a murder--while generally annoyed and hindered by the slow humans and frequently dopey robots all around it.

Fugitive Telemetry is full of wonderful passages in which Murderbot is flummoxed by humans' social conventions; protects various parties from certain destruction with instantaneous decision-making and astute threat assessment; and retreats from overwhelming interactions to watch its favorite show, The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon.

03 Black Bottom Saints by Alice Randall

My book club heard Alice Randall speak last year at Verse & Vino, our local library foundation's annual fundraising event (during the pandemic it was held virtually). We like to include books by some of the authors we hear to our reading list for the coming year. (That's how we ended up reading Kevin Wilson's unique Nothing to See Here and Alice Hoffman's The World That We Knew--featured in the Greedy Reading List Six Great Stories about Brave Women During World War II--last year, and that's how we came to read Black Bottom Saints this year.)

Through the voice of the fictional Ziggy, a dance instructor and key connector of various figures in the storied Detroit neighborhood of Black Bottom, Randall offers short sections about fifty-two mostly real-life characters who influenced the area over a period of decades. The structure and tributes are based on Catholic Saints Day books, and Randall sets each scene with rich detail.

The book includes a recipe for a cocktail inspired by each person featured in Ziggy's account.