First Four Books of 2019

Formation: A Woman’s Memoir of Stepping Out of Line, by Ryan Leigh Dostie

While Formation covers a large swath of Ryan Leigh Dostie’s life, I think the most important subjects it covers are Dostie’s rape by a fellow soldier while she was in the Army, her silencing by Army commanders, and the resulting PTSD she is forced to live with. I think Dostie’s experiences are an important addition to the #MeToo movement, and parts of her story touched me personally and deeply. I received an ARC of Formation through a contest on Shelf Awareness–it will be released on June 4, 2019 by Grand Central Publishing.

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, by David Lagercrantz

Meh. I can tell Stieg Larsson isn’t writing the Millenium series anymore–the plots aren’t all that intricate now and although I didn’t dislike this one, I wasn’t all that into it, either. It could be that I’m just over it as a series, but I stand by my initial thought that it’s obvious the series has a different writer now. I’m also a little annoyed that the title of this one didn’t have anything to do with the story…or did I miss something? I don’t know. But I wasn’t impressed overall. I think I’m done with Salander’s story.

Severance, by Ling Ma

I really, really enjoyed this one. I’m a big fan of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and Severance is satirical apocalyptic fiction, which is always fun. I appreciate good satire. So there’s a plague called Shen Fever–caused by some kind of spore–sweeping around the world and causing people to become somewhat zombie-like (but no, this isn’t your typical zombie-pocalypse story). The book revolves around 20-something Candace Chen, daughter of recently-deceased Chinese immigrant parents, who lives in NYC and has a pretty mind-numbing office job. When Shen Fever turns NYC into a ghost town zombie town, she finds ways to survive. My description doesn’t do Severance justice, though. If you’re into this kind of thing, just read it.

The Fireman, by Joe Hill

More apocalyptic fiction! More plague caused by a spore! Kind of funny that I read Severance and The Fireman back-to-back, not remembering that this one also features a spore-causes-apocalypse theme. I knew I was going to love The Fireman as soon as I learned that the main character loves Mary Poppins. I mean, Joe Hill is a great storyteller and I already enjoy his books, but the Mary Poppins love is an added bonus. Also, the Fireman is British and knows lots of fantastic British swears. Also also, the spore in this one is called draco indendia trychophyton and JKR is one of the people to whom Joe Hill dedicates the book. What’s not to love? The plague in this book causes people to spontaneously combust, often in groups, and there is SO MUCH FIRE. And honestly, Joe Hill makes Dragonscale (what people end up with as a result of the infection) sound beautiful. Another recommended read for people who are into this kind of thing.

(All book links lead to Goodreads where you can read more detailed descriptions of the books.)

4 thoughts on “First Four Books of 2019

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