Thursday, October 14, 2021

Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

This was a very interesting collection of concept-driven science fiction short stories.  I found it strange--but somehow fitting--that most of the stories had some sort of indirect narrative structure.  We had a man telling the story to a caliph, a woman praying her story to God, a scientific record, a warning to future generations, a catalogue entry for a museum exhibition, and a journalist's essay.  The literary devices kept me a bit at a distance from the characters, but I really enjoyed them anyway.  

Sometimes Ted Chiang's stories reminded me of Asimov's.  And for me, that's high praise indeed.

Rating:  4.5 stars.  Thought-provoking and unusual.   


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Love that Dog, by Sharon Creech


I'm not a huge fan of poetry, to be honest.  At least not the opaque, hoity toity kind.

So I totally sympathized with our protagonist, a young boy who at first thinks poetry is stupid and that only girls write poems.

Over the course of the short novel--written in verse, of course--he slowly and adorably changes his mind.  

I smiled.  I cried.  I felt happy about good teachers and about kids who discover all the worlds they can unlock through the written word.    

It was creative and well-written, and I think it might help lessen some young readers' poetryphobia. 

Note: the poems referred to in the novel appear in the back of the book, but I wish I'd known that as I was reading.

I Love that Dog and I Love that Book.

5 stars!  (And I don't often give 5 stars to fiction)