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Wow, I really failed at serious nonfiction this month.

To Visit the Queen (Diane Duane): I am officially to old to read this novel. The flaws are more prominent than the entertaining bits. ) This particular novel seemed below Duane's usual standard, and I may be trying to see something more interesting than exists.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley) (Alex Haley, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz): The reinvention of a man, and the names he used in those reinventions: Malcolm Little, Detroit Red, Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. I picked this up because I was curious, and stayed because the two men - X and Haley - told a fascinating story. I am not sure I believe all of it, but I think it's a narrative told by a very smart survivor, and wish I'd read it when I was younger, preferably with a reading group who'd help tear apart the truth from the glosses.

The Book of Night with Moon (Diane Duane): Grand Central Terminal is a NYC hub for trains... and other means of transit. The wizardly team of cats that maintains the worldgates of Grand Central troubleshoot at a deeper level than their norm. Entertaining and coherent; the themes and plot are well aligned.

Zahrah the Windseeker (Nnedi Okorafor): YA novel; teenage girl with special powers braves the Forbidden Forest to find a fabled cure for her dying friend.

Adorable coming of age story. Light, entertaining, predictable (think fast! Will Zahrah's quest fail and her friend die?), and oh, on another planet with magic (magic?) and lots of plant-based tech. It's a straightforward and not particularly subtle story about exploring and growing into the unknown; I'd recommend it for people looking for YA.

I first ran into Nnedi Okorafor's writing in a short story collection a couple of years ago, and thought the story interesting enough that I wanted more, but my library failed me. Eventually, I remembered ILL. So here is a takeaway thought: explore your own environment, and use ILL early and often.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee): Childhood classic, which I don't really remember reading. I am now old enough to appreciate Lee's dry sense of humor, but I think I am missing the point, because I don't see what makes this book, above many other books, a literary gem.

Overcoming Underearning: Overcome Your Money Fears and Earn What You Deserve (Barbara Stanny): The phrase "throw the book against a wall" is a custom I generally honor in the breach, especially with library books. This is the second book in all of my 26 years which I have closed, contemplated, and deliberately hurled across the room. I really question financial books which promise to raise your income and lower your weight, and I only regret not throwing this across the room sooner.

Numbers: 5 (+ 1 thrown across the room) total. 2 new, 3 rereads; 4 fiction, 1 (mostly?) nonfiction.


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