January’s New Reads

A little something about the new year. I have absolutely no expectations of the year to come. No list of things I must pretend to accomplish. No run numbers, real or imagined. There has been an end to so many things. As a result I’m in day-by-day mode. Or, in the case of this entry, book-by-book. Here’s what I finished:


  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero
  • Any Human Heart: a novel by William Boyd (AB + print)


  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black
  • Another Life by Michael Korda
  • Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie. (I am now reading An Island to Oneself by Tom Neale as a continuation to Puka.)


  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright (finished the series)
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons (started the series). (I’m now reading Fall of Hyperion as a continuation.)


  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston. NOTE: I was supposed to receive this as an Early Review in 2014. When it didn’t arrive I borrowed it from a library two years later.
  • You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden (December 2016 batch)

For Fun:

  • Island Voices II by Poets of Monhegan Island ~ a gift from my mother.

Dirty Work

Weston, Gabriel. Dirty Work: a Novel. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

Reason read: I was supposed to review this in July 2014 for the Early Review Program of LibraryThing. I never received a copy so I decided to borrow it from a local library and review it all the same.

Disclaimer: Dirty Work was first published in August 2014 so this is not exactly an “early” review.

When we first meet Nancy Mullion, she is in the middle of a botched abortion. Her patient is bleeding out and she can’t stop it. Subsequently, a four month medical tribunal ensues; an inquisition where Nancy’s actions are scrutinized to determine if she is competent to continue practicing medicine. Throughout her trial, Nancy flashes back to her childhood and the traumas she suffered as a young girl in England. The writing is fuzzy in the flashbacks. Weston purposefully keeps the abuse vague. Here’s what we know about the first incident; we know Mullion was a very small child; too small to sit properly on a bar stool or hold a rubber ball in her tiny grasp. Weston emphasizes this point further to say Mullion’s hand is so small it cannot encircle the bartender’s penis. What the what?!? All in all, I thought Dirty Work was very disjointed in plot and character development. Weston is vague beyond being clever but one thing is clear – abortion is a stronger character than Doctor Nancy Mullion.

People are calling Dirty Work “original” and “courageous”. Original? No. Courageous? Maybe, because it discusses abortions in such detail and is practically a political commentary on the subject.

2017: a new dawn

What can I tell you about the new year? Not much. I can tell you about the Challenge books! Here’s what I have planned:


  • The Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie ~ in honor of National Geographic Travel Month
  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black ~ in honor of travel and a personal resolution to see Italy some day
  • Another Life by Michael Korda ~ in honor of the selfishness of resolutions (it’s all about me).


  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero ~ in honor of Hostos Day in Puerto Rico
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons ~ in honor of Science Fiction month
  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright ~ to continue the series started in September (no I didn’t finish this last month like I thought I would)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd ~ in honor of the month most people start a journal

Early Review:

  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston (NOTE: I didn’t actually receive this as an Early Review. I was supposed to back in 2014. I just decided to borrow it from the local library & read it anyway).