Author Archives: anlichan

State of the Blog Address

Sorry about the long, long, long delay between posts. It was entirely my fault; you may berate me at will.

Our goal is to get up one book per month from here on out, though that might not quite work for July, since we are about to embark on a family vacation of a lifetime. We’re going to Sweden, and we could not be more excited!

Thanks for sticking with us.  We (read: I) will be better in the future!


Leave a comment

Posted by on June 20, 2011 in General


Sun of Suns – It’s a World Like No Other

Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder
From Publishers Weekly: “The swashbuckling space settlers of Schroeder’s fantastical novel (after 2005’s Lady of Mazes) inhabit warring nation-states inside a planet-sized balloon called Virga. This adventure-filled tale of sword fights and naval battles stars young Hayden Griffin of the nation of Aerie, orphaned by an attack on the artificial sun that his parents tried to build. He grows up to seek vengeance against the man who led it, Adm. Chaison Fanning of the nation Slipstream. Getting close to Fanning, though, entails infiltrating the flagship Rook and interfering in the schemes of the admiral’s wife, the devious Venera. Schroeder layers in scientific rationales for his air-filled, gravity-poor world—with its spinning cylinder towns and miles-long icebergs—but the real fun of this coming-of-age tale includes a pirate treasure hunt and grand scale naval invasions set in the cold, far reaches of space.”

* * * * *

I unabashedly love science fiction.  This is a gift mostly from my dad.  He’s a fan of classic sci-fi—Asimov, Heinlein, Herbert—which allowed me to discover the genre on late night book raids while searching for a new book to read among the family library.  But I have a confession to make: I also have a hard time reading science fiction.  Almost inevitably, those first two chapters are laborious, occasionally tortuous to get through.  It is not uncommon for me to start a sci-fi book and lose interest within the first 30 pages, only to pick up the exact same book a year later and, enthralled, read the entire book in one sitting.  I’m not sure why I’m so prone to false starts, but I think it might just be an extension of, quite simply, being in the mood for a certain kind of book.

So what does this have to do with Sun of Suns? Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Review/Rebuttal


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Annalisa is a Child

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
From the flap: “In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon.  Minli’s mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense.  But Minli believes these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how her family can change their fortune.  She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest.”

* * * * *

I admit that my first reaction to this book was “Ooo, look!  Pictures!  Pretty pictures!”  I know, I am such a child.  But come on!  Full-page illustrations in a novel is such a rarity these days that I think it is worth pointing out, even if only in childlike glee.  There are about 10 or so of the full-page pictures plus a host of section dividers and chapter headings all drawn by the author and printed in full color.  And while they are not the focus of the book, I think that the illustrations are a natural outcropping of the exuberance with which the author took to her project.

And what was her project? you may ask. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 9, 2010 in Individual Reviews


*taps microphone* …Hello?

Hi, I’m Annalisa, and I’m a bookaholic.

Hi Annalisa.

As my sister has far more eloquently described, we are a family of readers.  Some of my fondest memories of our camping trips to Yellowstone are of Mom and Dad reading us stories both in the car and at the campfire before bed.  I was that kid that was always begging to go to the library all summer, whose reward for doing her chores was getting her book back.  In a phonology class in college, we got to talking about how we knew what some words meant, but not how to pronounce them correctly, which our professor promptly told us meant “you have more book friends than real friends.”  This was not at all an inaccurate assessment.

Now that you have my “qualifications” for making judgments about books, I suppose I should explain why we’re doing this.  Primarily, this is a way we can share our passion for books with other people and each other.  We’ve spent hours discussing books before, so it seemed a natural extension to write about them in a way where we could feed off of each other and get others involved too.  We’re so excited about this that we’ve already made a list of books that we want to read (see here), and it’s fairly eclectic.  Most are novels that one of us has read while the other hasn’t had the chance, but we have some that neither of us has read (usually from an author that we both enjoy), and some are books we’ve read so many times that we lost count years ago.  Hopefully there will be something there that you enjoy, in addition to reading us flail excitedly over them.

You’ll notice that Joie and I have very different writing styles.  I can guarantee that those differences will also show up in which books we like and dislike, so if you happen to see smoke billowing from the Colorado Springs area, don’t worry; it’s probably just us having a chat about why the other one is being absurd.

Thanks for reading; we hope that you’ll stick with us while we’re getting this up and running!


Posted by on May 27, 2010 in General