Friday, December 30, 2016

Book: Pathological by Wang Jinkang

Every now and then a book comes along that truly knocks my socks off and I want to tell the whole world about it. Tonight I finished Pathological by Wang Jinkang (and wonderfully translated by Jeremy Tiang) and it's definitely one of those books. For the last three evenings I've sequestered myself in the reading room with this amazing thriller. I was hooked from the first few sentences, and wow, what a ride.

The plot centers around a highly-driven Chinese-American scientist (virologist, actually) who seems to have it all, including her own research lab in China. Yet she lives simply and gives her money and her free time to a nearby orphanage. This gains respect from the local community and leaders, who turn a blind eye to whatever might be happening in the lab.

Meanwhile, there's a smallpox outbreak at an elementary school in Idaho, which turns out to be germ warfare planned by a scientist who fled the USA and hasn't been seen or heard from since. It turns out that these two scientists have a connection that goes back decades. But are they in this together? Sometimes things aren't what they seem. Or are they?

If you like thrillers or medical sci-fi, check this out. The Kindle version is only $3.99 as I write this. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, and I don't give out 5 stars that often. So there.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016 Favorites

Here it is, my annual 'Favorites' entry...


Favorite book of the year . . . Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Mystery/Thriller . . . The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Historical fiction . . . Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Classic . . . Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Unexpected pleasure . . . The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

Author . . . (tie) Robert Bryndza and Angela Marsons

Magazine . . . (tie) New Mexico and Garden & Gun


Band . . . Kaleo

Artist . . .  Ruby Amanfu

Album . . . Lemonade by Beyonce

Song (tie) . . . "Daddy Lessons" by Beyonce; "Way Down We Go" by Kaleo; and "Stuck in the South" by Adia Victoria

Song rediscovery (tie) . . ."The Story" by Brandi Carlile and "Hot in Herre" by Jenny Owen Youngs

Artist rediscovery . . . R.E.M.

Concert . . . (tie) Mary Fahl (Evening Muse, Charlotte) and Jason Isbell with Amanda Shires and Shovels & Rope (Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte)

North Carolina artist . . . Rhiannon Giddens

Podcast . . . Us & Them


TV show . . . Queen Sugar

Binge-watch . . . The Man in the High Castle, Season 2


Social Network . . . Pinterest

Hobby . . .

Vacation spot . . . Santa Fe, New Mexico

Weekend getaway . . . Blowing Rock

Food . . . Korean fried chicken

Restaurant . . . Seoul Food Meat Co (Charlotte, NC)

Beverage . . . Canada Dry Ginger Ale