So, What'd You Read This Year?
That wasn't the news or social media... That's the important question. I'm scared to look at how much time I wasted on either of those two black holes, but I digress. As far as reading actual books go, while I was able to hit my initial goal of 24 (yay!) I fell short of reaching the stretch goal of 36. Ironically, I wound up right in between them at 30 so I guess that's something.
Now, in terms of non-fiction... Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe was a phenomenal examination of the Troubles and the continued political and cultural fallout surrounding Belfast, London, and independence. Coming in close behind, was Alexi Pappas's memoir Bravey. Being in the head of a former olympian was enlightening to say the least. Definitely recommend it for anyone who has a competitive bone in their body.
I hope your reads were as entertaining and enjoyable as the ones I finally moved from TBR to my Read pile. And here's to 2022 (not 20-20-too)...
Be safe. Have fun. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
News, politics, and zombies. If I struck the last word and replaced it with covid-19 infections, you could safely assume I was talking about any of today’s headlines, not Feed, the 2010 post-apocalyptic zombie novel by Mira Grant. Like all good fiction, despite the fact that the novel is a decade old, it reads true, is relatable, and thoroughly enjoyable well into the shitshow year that is 2020. You know, if you feel like you can handle a disease-focused bit of writing in the age of coronavirus.
Feed follows Georgia ‘George’ Mason, her brother Shaun, and their intrepid tech expert fictional, Buffy as they land the biggest job in their blogging careers: prime press corps to the presidential campaign of republican senator Peter Ryman. The campaign trail brings them across the pandemic-ravaged United States while they aspire to bring truth and validity to the blogging world, while traditional news sites, and more conservative politicians continue to shun their perspective.
Mira Grant’s narrative is fun, intense, and filled with great dialogue, amazing characterization, and a fantastic balance of expose, development (both plot and character), and action. As the story progresses, it becomes evident that not everyone is keen on bloggers (or journalists in general) and that includes parties additional to the flesh-hungry infected rummaging through suburbs and cities looking for food.
The CDC is fully funded; money flows into political campaigns from special interest sources, and a fictional history since the rising is fully and expertly developed on the page. Feed is a hefty novel. The mass market paperback edition comes in at 571 pages. Despite the length, it doesn’t drag, and even the slower parts of the narrative are so carefully exploring the way the post-Rising United States operates, they keep you turning the pages well into the next chapter. Feed has been on my list for a while, and is one of the many critically acclaimed works by Mira Grant (also writing under Seanan McGuire where she is well known for her successful Wayward Children novellas). The series is followed up with two subsequent novels: Deadline and Blackout, both of which are stacked high on my TBR pile.
It may be infection-based, but at least it’s not COVID. Though at this point, if we’re being honest, who’s ready to trade Coronavirus for the Zombie plague?
Cheers and be safe.
Also: Wear a mask. Survive the Apocalypse