Storia del nuovo cognome (L'amica geniale, #2)
by Elena Ferrante (2012)
Publisher review: Lila ed Elena hanno sedici anni e si sentono entrambe in un vicolo cieco. Lila si è appena sposata ma, nell'assumere il cognome del marito, ha l'impressione di aver perso se stessa. Elena è ormai una studentessa modello ma, proprio durante il matrimonio dell'amica, ha scoperto che non sta bene né nel rione né fuori. Le vicende dell'Amica Geniale riprendono a partire da questo punto e ci trascinano nella vitalissima giovinezza delle due ragazze, dentro il ritmo travolgente con cui si tallonano, si perdono, si ritrovano. Il tutto sullo sfondo id una Napoli, di un'Italia che preparano i connotati allarmanti di oggi. Della trama non anticiperemo niente. Storia e forza della scrittura fanno tutt'uno al punto che ci pare sconveniente guastare al lettore il piacere di leggere sorprendendosi a ogni pagina. Meglio dunque abbandonarsi a Lila ed Elena: conoscerle a fondo, riconoscersi sia nella tendenza alla conformità acquiescente sia nella caparbia determinazione a prendere in mano il proprio destino.
Started: Feb 16 2024
The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change
by Camille Fournier
Publisher review: Managing people is difficult wherever you work, but the tech industry as a whole is pretty bad at it. Tech companies in general lack the experience, tools, texts, and frameworks to do it well. And the handful of books that share tips and tricks of engineering management don t explain how to supervise employees in the face of growth and change. In this book, author Camille Fournier takes you through the stages of technical management, from mentoring interns to working with the senior staff. You ll get actionable advice for approaching various obstacles in your path, whether you re a new manager, a mentor, or a more experienced leader looking for fresh advice. Pick up this book and learn how to become a better manager and leader in your organization. * Discover how to manage small teams and large/multi-level teams * Understand how to build and bootstrap a unifying culture in teams * Deal with people problems and learn how to mentor other managers and new leaders * Learn how to manage yourself: avoid common pitfalls that challenge many leaders * Obtain several practices that you can incorporate and practice along the way
Started: Feb 21 2024
Heartstopper: Volume Two (Heartstopper, #2)
by Alice Oseman
Publisher review: Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie's gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn't. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family ... and himself.
Started: Mar 03 2024
Klara and the Sun
by Kazuo Ishiguro (2021)
Publisher review: From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
My rating: ★★★★★
Number of times I read it: 2
Finished (first time): Mar 03 2024
Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)
by Alice Oseman (2018)
I heard a lot of good reviews for this graphic novel, hence I decided to give it a try. I really liked it. And the graphics quality is quite remarkable: the artist is able to conjure deep emotions with a very small number of strokes.
This is the story of Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player. They meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more...?
Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn't been too great, but at least he's not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He's heard a little about Charlie - the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months - but he's never had the opportunity to talk to him.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner...
Started: Feb 19 2024 Finished: Feb 21 2024
We Travel the Spaceways
by Victor LaValle (2021)
I had previously read previous work by this author and I was eager to read this one when I heard it came out. I was not disappointed.
Grimace is a homeless man on a holy mission to free Black Americans from emotional slavery. His empty soda cans told him as much. Then he meets Kim, a transgender runaway who joins Grimace on his heroic quest. Is Grimace receiving aluminum missives from the gods, or is he a madman? Kim will find out soon enough on a strange journey they’ve been destined to share.
Started: Feb 12 2024 Finished: Feb 16 2024
Clap Back (Black Stars, #5)
by Nalo Hopkinson (2021)
A past struggle for racial equity could achieve a profound future victory in this audacious short story about technology, hoodoo, and hope by a Nebula Award–winning author. Burri is a fashion designer and icon with a biochemistry background. Her latest pieces are African inspired and crafted to touch the heart. They enable wearers to absorb nanorobotic memories and recount the stories of Black lives and forgiveness. Wenda doesn't buy it. A protest performance artist, Wenda knows exploitation when she sees it. What she's going to do with Burri's breakthrough technology could, in the right hands, change race relations forever.
This is a great story, even if I believe it would benefit to be extended into a full size novel.
Started: Feb 10 2024 Finished: Feb 12 2024
Go Tell It on the Mountain
by James Baldwin (2001)
I have heard about James Baldwin in the context of the struggle for racial equality, but I had never read any of his work. I am ashamed to say I did not realize he wrote fiction (I wrongly assumed his work was focused on non fiction). I read this book thanks to my work book club and... wow what an incredible work of art. He is clearly among the best of the best in American literature.
Go Tell It On The Mountain, first published in 1953, is Baldwin's first major work, a semi-autobiographical novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Baldwin's rendering of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone.
Started: Jan 29 2024 Finished: Feb 11 2024
These Alien Skies
by C.T. Rwizi (2021)
I had never read anything by this author before, and I am quite glad I did, because he is extremely talented. I need to read more of his work!
The story is set in the future. Two humans are sent to the far side of a star gate... but accident happens sometime at the wrong time: Copilots Msizi and Tariro are testing a newly constructed wormhole jump that presumably leads to unsettled habitable worlds. Then an explosion sends them off course, far from where they started and with little chance of ever making it back. Now they’re stranded on their new home for the diaspora. It’s called Malcolm X-b. But they’re beginning to wonder how many light-years from civilization they really are.
Great book, my only regret is that it's way too short. This should be expanded into a full length novel.
Started: Feb 06 2024 Finished: Feb 08 2024
2043... a Merman I Should Turn to Be (Black Stars, #3)
by Nisi Shawl
2043 is set in a neat feature where African-descended "USians" are obtaining their overdue reparations... underwater. They can get their body modified to live underwater and receive land to develop. Five miles off the South Carolina coast, Darden and Catherina are getting their promised forty acres, all of it undersea. Like every Black “mer,” they’ve been experimentally modified to adapt to their new subaquatic home, and have met with extreme resistance from white supremacists. Darden has an inspired plan for resolution. For both those on land and the webbed bottom-dwellers below, Darden is hoping to change the wave of the future. A good story that I enjoyed quite a bit, but maybe less strong of the other instalment of the Black Stars series.
Started: Feb 04 2024 Finished: Feb 06 2024
Uncanny Magazine Issue 56: January/February 2024
by Mary Robinette Kowal (2023)
This review is for Marginalia by Mary Robinette Kowal (goodreads keeps merging the story with the magazine where it was first published, even if it is available separately).
I had previously read and enjoyed this author's sci-fi work, but this is the first time I read one of her fantasy stories. There are clearly some of her signature themes mixed in, for example the exploration of gender roles, but it reads very different from her usual work. It's an enjoyable and good story, with an original "monster". Who needs dragons when you have giant acid snails?
Started: Jan 29 2024 Finished: Jan 31 2024
A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1)
by Arkady Martine (2019)
Every year I read all the finalists of the most prestigious science fiction awards (at least in the English speaking world): the Hugo awards. This story was a finalist in the Novel category a few years back but I did not managed to read the book before the voting deadline, and I am finally catching up now. The book won the award and I heard tons of good reviews about it, hence I was very eager to read it.
Despite some reading trouble along the way (I paused reading the book when I lost my kindle while traveling to Mexico, and resumed when I got my kindle back when it was found more than a month later), I really enjoyed and loved it.
Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court. Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation.
I strongly recommend this to everyone.
Started: Nov 23 2023 Finished: Jan 28 2024
System Collapse (The Murderbot Diaries, #7)
by Martha Wells
I really enjoyed the previous instalments of the Murderbot Diaries and I could not wait to read this one. I was not disappointed.
Following the events in Network Effect, the Barish-Estranza corporation has sent rescue ships to a newly-colonized planet in peril, as well as additional SecUnits. But if there’s an ethical corporation out there, Murderbot has yet to find it, and if Barish-Estranza can’t have the planet, they’re sure as hell not leaving without something. If that something just happens to be an entire colony of humans, well, a free workforce is a decent runner-up prize. But there’s something wrong with Murderbot; it isn’t running within normal operational parameters. ART’s crew and the humans from Preservation are doing everything they can to protect the colonists, but with Barish-Estranza’s SecUnit-heavy persuasion teams, they’re going to have to hope Murderbot figures out what’s wrong with itself, and fast. Yeah, this plan is... not going to work.
Started: Jan 10 2024 Finished: Jan 27 2024
The Visit (Black Stars, #1)
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I previously read and liked quite a lot We Should All Be Feminists
, a non-fiction book on feminisms, written by this author. When I saw she had written a sci-fi short story I knew I had to give it a try. I did not know what to expect.
The premise is simple: the story is set in the current world with a single difference: the genre roles are reversed. Matriarchy is the standard. In this world, two men—old friends—confront the past and future.
One night in Lagos, two former friends reunite. Obinna is a dutiful and unsophisticated stay-at-home husband and father married to a powerful businesswoman. Eze is single, a cautious rebel from his university days whose arrival soon upsets the balance in Obinna’s life. In a world where men are constantly under surveillance and subject to the whims of powerful women, more than Obinna’s ordered and accustomed routine might be on the line.
This is a great short story, that reminded me a lot of The Power
. It's quite short, so perfect to read while commuting or during a short break from your chores.
: Jan 27 2024 Finished:
Jan 27 2024
by Fonda Lee
Despite her numerous awards, I had never read anything by this author, but I came across a lot of good reviews for this book, and I could not resist. The story was described as an epic fantasy fable about the pursuit of obsession at all costs. I enjoyed the book, but probably because of its relatively short length, I would not exactly describe it as epic.
This is the story of Ester. Her family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family. Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated ruhkers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance.
Started: Dec 20 2023 Finished: Jan 09 2024
by Yoon Ha Lee (2023)
I really liked this author's Machineries of Empire and Thousand Worlds series. I was eager to read this short story by the same author. It was good!
This is the story of Commander Niaja vrau Erezeng, up against an enemy that doesn’t just destroy all the beings, ships, and planets in its path, but also consumes their greatest arts, somehow scratching them from existence everywhere.
It is a fun short read, but if you have not read anything by this author, start somewhere else, this is good, but their other work is even better.
Started: Jan 03 2024 Finished: Jan 05 2024