This Week’s Mine Shaft

Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan

Four semesters of economics in college convinced me of one unshakable truth: economics is irredeemably boring. So when I saw the tagline to this book included the phrase “dismal science”, I approved.

I approved even more when I read the intro and the authors promise of no-graphs and no-math. So I dove in. I’m roughly half-way through, and it’s kept its promise. The narrator is witty and engaging, and I’m surprised to find myself calling it a fun read. Let’s see where that goes.

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

I’d like to say that I picked this book up out of some kind of noble sentiment. Perhaps I picked it up because I heard the NPR program about the book in March (April? May?), or perhaps being a literate lover of history, I couldn’t walk past the chance to get an in-depth look at this ancient Egyptian celebrity. Oh, who am I kidding?

I got the book because when I was 15, in a flash of teen genius, I named my darling cat Cleopatra. It took about a week for sanity to reassert myself and I downgraded the name to “Clea”.

Reading this book shall be a kind of penance. Learn from my misdeeds, canaries. Ye Shall Not Call Your Cat Cleopatra.

Infidel by Kameron Hurley

And lest you think that I have completely converted to the dark side, here’s a bit of the fantastic to my reading list.

I’m finding myself drawn in more and more into the world Hurley has created, despite the main character’s name (Nyx, if you must know. Nyx the ex-assassin.) and the discomfiting realization, courtesy of, that this is apparently the second book of a series, not the first.

Still, I hadn’t noticed from the story itself, and that bodes really good things.

And really, any book with a cover like this one will have to work really hard to put me off.

Now over to theothercanary…

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

theothercanary’s mom on the phone: “Hey, Meggie. Don’t forget we have book club this week.”

theothercanary: “Yep. All done with that book.”

theothercanary’s mom: “Great, see you there!”

theothercanary, after hanging up the phone: Fuck.

Ten pages into “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,” and I’m already miffed. The sentence structure does not allow for speed reading, and this little canary has a deadline!

What’s on your reading list?

This Week’s Mine Shaft

What are the canaries reading this week?

Plugged by Eoin Colfer: Things had been going marginally okay for Daniel McEvoy. Until his girlfriend gets killed. And the cosmetic surgeon that doing his hair plugs goes missing. And when the more bullets that start flying, the less Daniel knows what is going on. This is Eoin Colfer’s breakout novel into the adult genre, and it promises to be an interesting and fast-paced read.

Remember Artemis Fowl? Yep, it’s that Eoin Colfer.

And we have an advance review copy in our grubby little wings.

I wonder how the humorous tone we’ve grown to love in the Artemis series will translate–or whether Colfer wants it there at all.

Gone/Hunger by Michael Grant: It’s easy to compare the Gone Series to Lord of the Flies. After all, everyone over the age of 15 suddenly disappears from the small town of Perdido Beach, CA and it’s up to the remaining kids to learn how to survive–and to figure out what caused the disappearance of the adults in the first place.

It’d sound like just another social commentary–except some kids are gaining superpowers. When I first heard about it, I couldn’t imagine how Grant was going to pull it off. Especially since the covers are super melodramatic. But I was stuck in an airport and Gone was the only decent-looking YA at the kiosk I decided to raid for Mountain Dew and Rolos. Gone actually went well, but could he keep the same level of eerie dystopia alive for a second book?

Feed by Mira Grant: Another Grant.

It’s 2039.

Postapocalyptic 2039.

Full of bloggers…and zombies.

I’m not a fan of zombie stories, shows, or movies. Neither is theothercanary. Actually, her exact words were, “Eff zombies!” But for some strange reason, she’s decided to read this book. Actually she tells me this is pretty good, even if she has no clue how to talk about the story without spoiling the ending. Major twist ahoy!

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones: I half-listened, half-read the first book of the series, First Grave on the Right, and announced that I wouldn’t be reading the sequel. Famous last reading words, right there. In this latest installment, our Grim Reaper heroine is facing a slew of new problems. Her boyfriend is in hiding, her secretary’s best friend is missing, there’s a dead guy in the trunk, and she’s just discovering that there may be a bit more to being a Grim Reaper than just glowing real pretty.  (Book giveaway, coming soon too!)

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine: I was browsing my local audiobook library for this author’s Weather Warden series when I stumbled onto this–the first book of the Morganville Vampires.

Rachel Caine has a knack for creating three-dimensional, believable characters, and then pulling you along for the entire ride.

But a YA vampire series?

This I have to read.

Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs: I picked this book up because I’ve read its prequel–and loved it.

Narrated by the wonderful Joe Manganiello, this continues the story of Ward, now the lord of his own fortress. Except, he pissed off a lot of people in the last book. I hear they’re not happy about him having his own castle.

I’m a little bit leery of the book, though. The previous installment had been very much self-contained, and from my experience, it’s very hard to set an unplanned sequel on its wobbly feet.

What are you reading this week?