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Joined 1 year, 4 months ago

Bookish sort that enjoys long bus rides for the people watching, scenery, and solitude for reading.

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2023 Reading Goal

37% complete! Blair has read 15 of 40 books.

Riddle-Master (Riddle-Master, #1-3) (1999) 4 stars

Confusing and disjointed

3 stars

Morgon is a prince of Hed, a small, unassuming, and peaceful island. Morgon is a riddle master`that refuses to be acknowledged as such. When confronted with destiny, Morgon does nearly everythin he can to avoid it within the first book. The second book focuses on the women that care about Morgon searching to save him. The final book follows Morgon’s path to his final destiny.

I believe the overall story is intended to show Morgon’s growth, but feel that it falls short. Morgon’s growth is often the result of other people’s actions, and less on his decisions.

Often the story introduces people and then forgets them. These weren’t McKillip’s first books, but I felt that they were written by a relatively new writer, or questionably edited.

Overall, it just works. But just. It isn’t as cohesive as it could be, and feels confused and disjointed.

True Biz (Hardcover, 2022, Random House Publishing Group) 3 stars

A transporting novel that follows a year of seismic romantic, political, and familial shifts for …

Dead culture would like a word with you

2 stars

Novic highlights American Deaf culture in True Biz, primarily following three people: Charlie, a new student at River Valley School for the Deaf (RVSD); February, headmistress of the school; and Austen, a deaf student from a deaf family in the area.

Charlie’s suffered most of her life with a malfunctioning cochlear implant. She hasn’t been afforded an opportunity to learn sign language, and is fairly behind students her age when she transfers to RSVD. February wants the best for her school and students, but seems to be losing the battle against the school district administration. Her marriage seems to be in shambles. Austen’s sister is born hearing, causing a bit of an identity crisis for him.

To me, Charlie and her friends are the most interesting parts of the book, as the book treats her story as a sort of coming-of-age. She undergoes the most growth in the book, whereas …

Digital Minimalism (Hardcover, 2019, Portfolio) 4 stars

Digital minimalists are all around us. They're the calm, happy people who can hold long …

I remain unconvinced that Newport's tactics are safe

2 stars

Cal Newport wrote Digital Minimalism after he received many comments from readers of his previous book, Deep Work, sharing that they struggled with the role of new technologies in their lives. Newport’s goals for Digital Minimalism are to provide a case for minimising tech’s role in our daily lives, and to teach how to adopt his philosophy of digital minimalism.

The book is divided in two parts (twos feature predominantly throughout the book): part one focuses on how technology captures our attention, introduces digital minimalism, and proposes a 30-day “digital declutter,” a detox-but-not-quite-a-detox program. The intent of the 30-day digital declutter is to effect a rapid transformation in digital technological consumption. I’m not convinced that this is any more effective than a 30-day crash diet.

The second part of the book ostensibly demonstrates four themes of practices to help grow a digitally minimal lifestyle: spending time alone, engaging with people, …

Olga Dies Dreaming (2022, Flatiron Books) 5 stars

Enjoyable peek into a contemporary Puerto-Rican family in New York

4 stars

Olga Dies Dreaming occurs in recent contemporary America, specifically within the Puerto Rican diaspora living in Brooklyn, New York, through the view of Olga and her family.

Olga was essentially raised by her brother Prieto and her grandmother. Her father was largely absent due to drugs, and then death. Her mother absent to be a revolutionary.

Olga tries to navigate life as Puerto Rican descendant within a rich white person’s world. Her brother is trying to represent Brooklyn in US Congress. Both experience mixed success, and always with the remote judgment from their mother, who shares her thoughts on their progress through untraceable letters.

Gonzalez touches on family, belonging, love, and abuse. She’s never particularly heavy-handed, and I feel that she realistically portrays struggles that descendants of minority immigrants face within contemporary America.

This was a book club pick, and a fairly good choice, in my opinion. I enjoyed it …