Catherine: The End of Men

There’s a vaccine. It’s finally happened. It’s taken nearly two years but for a long time it seemed like this day would never come. I thought I would feel ecstatic but I’m furious. I’m incandescent with rage. I actually threw a plate this morning. Why now? Why were they able to discover it now? Why not before? The statement from the woman who discovered it, Dr. Lisa Michael, makes it sound like it was a breeze, like she was noodling around for a bit in the lab and then it just sort of appeared.

The End of Men, p. 246

Halfway, The End of Men

This is a really, really interesting book. It’s a first novel, too. WOW.

As the Plague has killed off most men, the US Army is circulating calls for volunteers.

Faith, whose husband (deceased) was a soldier, is one of the first to sign up.

A Plague That Kills Only Men

Self admits, the plot did seem a little far-fetched when she first heard it, but Christina Sweeney-Baird explains why about halfway through, and it is not completely out of left field.

Lucy, who’d only been a midwife for fifteen months when the Plague hit: “Of the two-hundred eighty-four boys I’ve helped to deliver in the last six months, twenty-nine have survived.”

Readers attend a live birth on p. 209, and everyone in the delivery room (including this reader) is painfully holding her breath until the determination of sex is made.

Sentence of the Day, 2nd Wednesday of September 2021

Almost every man in Moscow has died but Mikhail.

The End of Men, p. 182

And Mikhail, unfortunately, is a wife beater. Almost every day, his victimized wife goes to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and prays for her husband’s imminent demise. But God does not hear her prayers.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Quote of the Day: The End of Men, p. 155

For a while, self was starting to get lost in the welter of points of view, but now that the Catherine point of view has returned (at least twice) and seems “stable” (i.e., Self can rely on its returning, on a regular basis, till the end of the book), she is good.

This could be the end of the human race entirely. I know that around 10 percent of men seem to be immune, but that’s not enough for humans to maintain a population. Without a cure, 10 percent of the world’s men can conceive 10 percent of the number of babies they previously did. Half of those babies will be girls. Only 10 percent of the 5 percent will be immune. The numbers don’t add up. This may be the end of all of us.

The End of Men, p. 155

Six Word Saturday: To Read, Last Days of Summer

Posting this for Travel With Intent’s Six Word Saturday challenge!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Favorite Reads, So Far 2021

The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal (science fiction)

High as the Waters Rise, by Anja Kampmann (first novel)

Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic, by James Raffan (environment)

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert (environment)

Inferno: The Fiery Destruction of Hamburg, 1943, by Keith Lowe (WWII history)

The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (mystery)

Three So Far 2021

Finished reading Oak Flat: The Fight for Sacred Land in the American West, by Lauren Redniss, early this morning. Wow. Blown away by the polyphonic voices. And by the simple yet so-moving illustrations (by the author herself).

It joins two other books as self’s five-star reads of the 2021 reading year:

  • Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Frozen Arctic, by James Raffan (nonfiction)
  • The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal (science fiction)

Mary Robinette Kowal is one of the authors participating in this year’s SiliCon, which will be happening this August at the San Jose Convention Center. Self rushed out and got her tickets. She can’t waaaaait for August.

Have a great summer, dear blog readers.

Things Self Liked: A Quiet Place, Part II

John Krasinski, such a sly one: makes a sequel that still puts him on-screen despite his character dying in the first. But it makes complete emotional sense.

This is a very stylish horror movie. Mebbe not Alien level, but still. It’s very stylish.

Another thing that shows Krasinski’s slyness: he introduces us to ugly Cillian Murphy. Think about that for a minute. UGLY CILLIAN MURPHY.

The actress who plays his deaf daughter is absolutely amazing, and there is of course Emily Blunt.

Emily Blunt. Emily Blunt. Emily Blunt.

Even when she’s running, she looks like a ballet dancer.

Also, the filthiest feet (But why does Cillian Murphy’s character wear boots when EVERYONE ELSE IS BAREFOOT)

Also, clever use of an oxygen tank.

Self loudly gasped at least once.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

The Reading Year (So Far, 2021)

From wsj’s Best Books of 2020/Science Fiction:

  • The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal – So far, one of the best novels she’s read in 2021
  • Ballistic Kiss, by Richard Kadrey – wildly inventive, self wasn’t so taken with the he/she/they gender politics of a major character

In a category by itself:

  • Dark, Salt, Clear, by Lamorna Ash — A first book by a 22-year-old, E.S.A.D.

Kick-Ass Discovery of the Year:

  • Eddie’s Boy, by Thomas Perry, the sequel to a 1982 novel, The Butcher’s Boy – That’s chutzpah, coming up with a sequel 40 years later. Kudos! Self added The Butcher’s Boy to her reading list.

from wsj’s Best Books of 2020/Mysteries:

  • All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny — Self adored Jean-Guy Beauvoir and of course Paris.
  • One Fatal Flaw, by Anne Perry — All hail the May-December almost-romance between 25-year-old Daniel Pitt and 40-year-old Miriam Crofft, daughter of his employer.

from The Economist’s Books of the Year 2020/Memoir

  • A Promised Land, by Barack Obama — Beautifully written, can’t believe 45 was succeeded by Drumpf.

from The Economist’s Books of the Year 2020/Fiction

  • SHUGGIE BAIN, by Douglas Stuart — an absolutely immersive experience, though her favorite character was not the title character but his unheralded older brother, Leek

from The Economist’s Books of the Year 2020/Business and Economics

  • No Rules Rules — This one was a disappointment.

from wsj’s Books of the Year 2020/Travels in the New North

  • Ice Walker, by James Raffan — another absolutely immersive experience, the ending almost broke self.

from Jonathan Strahan’s Notes from a Year Spent Indoors (Locus Magazine)

  • the first two books in Joe Abercrombie’s (smashing) Age of Madness trilogy and her first Grimdark: A Little Hatred and The Trouble with Peace

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