Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Wot I Read in 2019

In an attempt to track my reading in 2019, I created this post in early January to note down every book that I finished in 2019 (I say "finished" because there were two that I was reading at the turn of the year, which I wanted to count; but this also doesn't count books I started but didn't finish before the end of the year). We'll see how long this lasts. [Edit Dec 31: I did it! It lasted all year!]


  1. Acks, Alex, Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures (finished July 11, 2019): I reviewed this book on SFFReviews.
  2. Atwood, Margaret, Hag-Seed (finished April 3, 2019): I picked this up from the airport the week before; I'd read some good buzz about it when it first came out, and it had gone on my mental to-read list then. It was good, but it also felt very...self-indulgent, I think is the best way to characterise it. It's a book that an established writer gets to write, not a book that could be a debut. It was as if the entire book was a Mary Sue, even if all of the characters in it had their foibles. Nevertheless, it was hard to put down.
  3. B.B., The Little Grey Men (finished October 6, 2019): Recommendation from WorldCon. What a strange little book. It was immensely descriptive, being suffused throughout with a deep intimate knowledge of nature. This is probably a plus in many people's books, but there was just so much description, which made it hard going for me. I loved the three gnomes, though, and their distinctive characters, and found the grim, dark way that death was treated to be both rather harsh and comfortingly ordinary. I'm not sure I'd call it a kids book, but I might try reading it to G in a few years. (Not now. There is too much vocabulary in it that she doesn't know, I'd be interrupted every few words to define them!)
  4. Benaway, Gwen, ed., Mother, Maiden, Crone (finished December 30, 2019): I picked this up at Portal Bookshop in York last month. It's a collection of fantasy stories all written by trans women and trans feminine people. I reviewed it for SFFReviews, but the review won't be up until February.
  5. Brennan, Sarah Rees, Unspoken (finished January 6, 2019): I can't remember now where this book was recommended to me, and I'll admit my first reaction on looking at the cover when my copy arrived was "erm...." And while it was a bit Twilight-stalkery, it didn't involve vampires, it made me laugh a lot, it filled me with teenage angst (yes, this can be a good thing), and I'm a sucker for a gothic romance, whether it's 19th C or 21st C. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
  6. Brennan, Sarah Rees, Untold (finished January 29, 2019): Alas, this one didn't live up to the standard set by the first one. Not enough Gothicness, not too many, too complicated love triangles, weirdly awkward not-quite-sex, and enough little details that didn't add up or showed the author isn't British... -- the idea that someone in Britain would threaten someone else by saying "I'll get a gun and shoot you"; the idea that everyone tourist goes to a post office; calling university "college". I'm glad I got this one from the library rather than buying a copy.
  7. Burgis, Stephanie, Kat Incorrigible (finished September 26, 2019): A WorldCon recommendation. Fun, but unlike some middle grade books that are great for adults, this one felt more like it was merely okay for adults.
  8. Carey, Jacqueline, Kushiel's Dart (finished September 8, 2019): A friend lent this (and the next two) to me after it came up on an FB conversation. The book did not sit well with me in its opening chapters, but the worries that I had in them were actually quite strongly assuaged as the book went on, and I came away from it thinking it was quite superlative, extremely well constructed, with great world-building, entrancing characters, and a complex but believable plot. I just wish Carey would've addressed the issue of birth control.
  9. Carey, Jacqueline, Kushiel's Chosen (finished September 13, 2019): This was a very good second book. It very nearly stood on its own feet, and much of what I loved about the previous one was maintained in this one. If I have one complaint, it's that the first one seemed...bigger. The way in which backstory was introduced in the first book was more seamless and better integrated -- little side bits and details were mentioned long before their import was ever highlighted. In this book, though, new cultures sprung onto the page fully-fledged as soon as they were needed. The result was something that was just as fun and well-crafted, but not as realistic.
  10. Carey, Jacqueline, Kushiel's Avatar (finished September 23, 2019): The minor complaints I had about book 2 did not surface at all in book 3. Book 3 actually reminded me a lot of book 1, in terms of the plot cycle, but everything was bigger, wider, and deeper. It lacked some of the erotic elements that the first two books did, but it also felt like that ws a natural progression, too. I was quite impressed.
  11. Carlisle, Karen J., Department of Curiosities (finished June 5, 2019): I've been anticipating reading this book ever since Karen first started blogging about her nascent ideas for it years ago. It was a long time coming, but as soon as it arrived I quit reading the book I had been reading to start this. I really enjoyed it; it was a sophisticated story with believable steampunk elements, and the heroine, Tilly, was the right balance of proper and improper. She's not afraid to hike up her skirts -- or rip them off entirely! -- and get her hands dirty, but she also is distractingly interested in her clothing -- I'm not sure I've ever read a book that used the word "bustle" quite so often! At first I was a bit disappointed, because I thought the book was going to be set in Australia rather than England, but I was pleased at the end when Tilly ended up in Oz.
  12. Cho, Zen, Sorcerer to the Crown (finished December 1, 2019): This was a WorldCon rec; a couple people whom I know in person suggested it, and I also attended a panel that Cho was on and really liked her. The book is basically "Austen with dragons and magic and people of color", which is a premise I find hard to fault. The book was...good. I enjoyed it. It was fun. It had all the right early-19th C feel, and it didn't get the names seriously wrong, so that's a plus in its favor. It wasn't outstanding, but it was good enough I'll probably eventually get the sequel.
  13. Córdova, Zoraida, Labyrinth Lost (finished December 18, 2019): This was another WorldCon rec. It was...okay. I'm coming to realise that urban/modern fantasy isn't really my thing, and I found the plot both a bit linear and a bit predictable and the writing was at times ponderous and too full of exposition. I'll probably read the sequel if I can get it from the library, but I'm not sure I'd purchase it.
  14. Coulthurst, Audrey, Of Fire and Stars (finished June 23, 2019): This book was an exercise in how not to write. I wanted to like it -- it had a solid premise, and I definitely want to see more lesbian NA fantasy -- but it was just...not good. The politics felt superficial and unrealistic, most of the main characters who were not the two female leads seemed to exist solely as foils to put up barriers between the MCs, I never got any sense of realism or urgency, and while you knew from the start that the two female leads were going to end up together, there was never any scope in there for any other strong relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or other (except for ONE, but one of the two involved died before the end of the book). It just didn't work for me.
  15. Epps, E. M., You Made My Heart a Hunter (finished January 8, 2019): Lhennuen is the logician-trying-to-be-human heroine that I have always wanted.
  16. Epps, E. M., The Interpreter's Tale (finished February 12, 2019): Having enjoyed the previous novella so much, I wanted to read something else by Epps, and its description intrigued me. I was delighted to find out it was set in the same universe as YMMHaH, and even briefly mentioned Lhennuen. But the focus of the story was Eliadmaru, the titular interpreter, and a royal assignment he was given. I loved how the story upset conventions: A plot point that I was sure would go badly ended up happily and sweetly, with no drama, whereas another plot point that should have been some sort of happily ever after went south in an unexpected way. So reading it was full of peaks and valleys, and now I'd like to read even more by Epps.
  17. Fennell, Jack, ed., A Brilliant Void (finished January 31, 2019): I started this in 2018, but finished it in 2019. It's a collection of early Irish short science fiction, and I reviewed it at SFFReviews.
  18. Fellman, Isaac (published under the name Rachel Fellman), The Breath of the Sun (finished August 25, 2019): Personal recommendation from a friend on twitter. The back blurb described the MC as someone who deals in paradoxes, which got me all excited, until I started reading and realised the description was rather metaphorical. But even without actual paradoxes, this book was very good. It was deep and intimate, and cold and quiet, and I had to read it slowly (I also read a lot of it while at WorldCon, tucked into a little cubicle bed in a hostel after long days of peopling, which I'm sure enhanced the slightly otherworldly feel of the experience of reading it). It wasn't sparkling and brilliant in the way that some of the books I read this year were, but I think it's among one of the best.
  19. Fforde, Katie, A Country Escape (finished March 15, 2019): I had a long layover at LHR, so I bought this book; I started it around 1:30pm and finished it around 8:00pm, which was a satisfying experience. The book itself contained no suspense, no surprises, no worries that the heroine wouldn't end up having a happily ever after, and gave the impression of having been written according to a very precise structure/framework/recipe into which various characters and side quirks could be inserted. (E.g., the heroine's best friend was [rifle through character types] a PhD student! And the heroine's side hobby is [rifle through odd-but-not-too-out-there hobbies] cheesemaking!) I think I've been reading too much queer lit lately, because what let the book down the most for me was that not once was there any epistemic possibility that maybe Fran would end up romantically involved with Issi, rather than one of the male antagonists. Now that would've been a fun turn of events (and save PhD student Issi from the ignominity of falling in love with a minor side character, getting married, AND having a kid before the book was over.)
  20. Gaiman, Neil & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens (finished May 26, 2019): I've been wanting to reread this for awhile now, especially since finding out about the TV adaptation, so as soon as we moved house and started unpacking all the books that had been in boxes for years, I found it and started rereading it.
  21. Gladstone, Max, Three Parts Dead (finished June 13, 2019): I can't remember who recommended this to me, but it was intriguing enough for me to put in my "books I'll buy when I need to buy something more on Amazon to get free shipping". It was a combination fantasy, steampunk, and legal thriller/mystery, and it provided me with good solid enjoyment (especially the legal wrangling!). Strong female characters, including a black FMC, and an intriguing religious set-up were further pluses. The book was good enough for me to bump up the sequel on my want list.
  22. Gowar, Imogen Hermes, The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock (finished March 24, 2019): I picked this up at the airport 10 days previously, intrigued by the blurb. I had to recalibrate my expectations a bit when I found out that despite the presence of mermaids in the story, it was straight up historical fiction, no fantasy or speculative elements. Nevertheless, it was an interesting story with distinctive characters, and my only complaint is that it reinforced my dislike of present-tense stories.
  23. Harkness, Deborah, A Discovery of Witches (finished August 11, 2019): I wanted to love this book so much, and I just couldn't. The premise was great: A clever academic woman in her mid-30s stumbles across a missing medieval manuscript while researching in Oxford and witches are involved. But this book ranged from making me mildly bothered (the author is an academic historian herself, and she got so many historical details wrong!) to outright enraged (SO much patriarchy! SO much problematic vampirish stalking! SO much white-European-ness! SO much reduction of the main character to her role as first wife, and then mother; her academic expertise is never taken advantage of!). Just so, so disappointing.
  24. Huff, Tanya, The Fire's Stone (finished July 8, 2019): This was another book that someone recommended somewhere so I added it to my amazon list and then bought it one time I needed to make up the difference to get free shipping. The first chapter or two were just okay, but then it really picked up and it became one of those books that taps into a crack of my heart and both fills it and makes it hurt. Two standout elements: Huff's portrayal of an alcoholic character, and a happily-ever-after for a polycule including two bi men. And while I'd love for this to be the first-of-many involving these characters, I also really appreciate a well-written standalone fantasy novel; there are not many of them.
  25. Jones, Heather Rose, Floodtide (finished January 21, 2019): It is enormously satisfying to beta read a book you've been waiting for for two years or so.
  26. Jones, Heather Rose, Floodtide (finished November 25, 2019): It's so interesting reading the published version after having betaed. This was the first time where I could tell what had been cut, and while I missed the characters that had been introduced in those chapters, I think the structure of the published version is cleaner and tighter and makes more sense. The book itself remains perhaps my favorite of the Alpennia books -- it flows along so easily and naturally. One thing I particularly liked about it was that you reach the titular floodtide, but that's not the end of the story -- in fact, it almost feels like the last few chapters are where the most important stuff happens. Too often, we never see the consequences of the resolution of a problem, but here, you do. Looking forward to when one of my nieces is of an age to buy this for her.
  27. Jones, Heather Rose, Mother of Souls (finished October 14, 2019): I'd lent this to a friend and she returned it in August, and when I reached a gap in my other books I decided to reread this in advance of Floodtide coming out next month. Having had some distance from when I last read it, which was quite close after beta reading it, I found I got something different out of it from previously. The first two times I'd read it, I remember being perennial uncertain how time was passing; but that seemed much clearer this time around, and that made some of the relationships feel like they were developing more naturally. And, man, that final chapter, and the goosebumps it gives me...
  28. Jones, Heather Rose, The Mystic Marriage (finished October 25, 2019): After having reread book 3, I had to go reread book 2. MM has never been my favorite of the Alpennia books, and there are still certain things about it that are stumbling blocks to my enjoyment. But everything else in it just seems to get better each time I read it. This time, I really appreciated the alchemical details. Jones makes alchemy seem entirely plausible, and yet still mystical.
  29. Jones, Heather Rose, Daughter of Mystery (finished December 15, 2019): After having reread book 2, I had to go reread book 1. But I couldn't find book one!! I think I lent it to someone and haven't gotten it back yet. I'm okay with that, especially after a trip to York in early Dec. found me in an independent bookshop that had a copy of three of Jones's four books, so I bought myself a new copy of DoM. This is one of those books that gets better each time you read it. It was good the first time I read it; great the next couple of times; and this time, it was truly fabulous. I am in awe at Jones's ability to construct a story, not to mention the huge depth of world. And, oh, my heart, did I love rereading Barbara and Margerit before they were Barbara and Margerit.
  30. Le Guin, Ursula K., Four Ways to Forgiveness (finished July 18, 2019): I sort of wonder where books like this were when I was growing up, why it was that I read the authors I did, and not authors like her. I found these four stories enormously more satisfying than I do her early Earthsea books, and reading them in such near succession to Russ's novel a very worthwhile, fruitful endeavor.
  31. Lundoff, Catherine, ed., Scourge of the Seas of Time (And Space) (finished March 13, 2019): I reviewed this fun collection of pirate short stories over at SFFReviews. The highlight for me was Elliott Dunstan's "Andromache's War".
  32. Montgomery, L. M., Anne of Windy Poplars (finished July 10, 2019): I was caught without a new book to read, so I reread an old favorite. This isn't my favorite of the Anne books (it might actually be my least favorite), but reading it through this time I was struck at how diverse Montgomery's characters are, and how I had not previously noticed this fully. The man with aphantasia, the woman who is either lesbian or ace, the diversity of appropriate lives that women could lead (okay, it's still curtailed, but there is a lot plenty of support for the idea that a woman needn't be married nor have children in order to have a fulfilled life). Montgomery continually goes up in my estimation as a writer, every time I reread something by her.
  33. Moon, Elizabeth, Speed of Darkness (finished January 24, 2019): I really disliked this book. I think it is a book that actively contributes to ableism, problematic stereotypes, and a rigid "black/white" view of autism and 'normality'. I do not like the glorification of autism as something to be cured. I do not think she handled her characters sympathetically or realistically. Flowers for Algernon has already been written. This book did not need to be written.
  34. Moore, Fiona, Driving Ambition (finished October 1, 2019): It's a book by a friend! Not the sort of book I usually go for, sort of a combination police thriller/mystery, but it kept me distracted through seasickness on the North Sea, which is saying a lot. At times I found the MC a bit mansplainy with his info-dumping, but it actually worked as a character feature (or flaw...) rather than being overwhelmingly infodumpy.
  35. North, Sterling, Rascal (finished February 26, 2019): I loved this book as a child, and haven't read it in decades. I read it to G as bedtime stories over the course of about two months. Golly was it hard not to ugly cry while reading the final paragraphs out loud.
  36. O'Dell, Claire, Hound of Justice (finished August 12, 2019): It took me a long time before I could write up my review of this book (usually I try to do these within a few days of finishing). Because this book hit me in the gut. Janet Watson is one of the realest, truest characters I have ever read, and the way in which O'Dell portrays her makes it so clear that Watson was written through first-hand knowledge. It's a hard read, as a result, sometimes, but it provides such a depth to the story. I don't really care about Sherlock Holmes retellings; but this was one of the best books I've read in 20109.
  37. O'Dell, Claire, A Jewel-Bright Sea (finished early November 2019): What can I say? A new book by one of my favorite authors, set in the same universe as some of my favorite books? I loved it. I had the honor and pleasure of beta reading this book a few years back, and I was thrilled when it was picked up for publication -- and then disappointed to find out it was going to be ebook only! Thankfully, not for long! A few months after the ebook was published I was able to get a hard copy, which I devoured in like two nights. The story is beautifully paced and full of detail, and I love Anna and Andreas almost as much as I loved Ilse and Raul.
  38. Osawa, Hirotaka, ed., Intelligence: Artificial and Human (finished December 28, 2019): This was a collection of eight short stories in translation by Japanese authors. I received a copy of this anthology in the hallway after a panel I was on at WorldCon in August, and it was a real delight to read and review the stories.
  39. Parrish, Rhonda, ed., Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline (finished November 24, 2019): I reviewed this collection of dieselpunk short stories at SFFReviews.
  40. Pratchett, Terry, The Truth (finished November 14, 2019): In the wake of the UK election season gearing up, I had to reread this. It was sadly far too much like nonfiction than fiction this time around.
  41. Queer Sci Fi, Migration: Queer Sci Fi's 6th Annual Flash Fiction Contest (finished October 31, 2019): I had a story in last year's collection, and while mine didn't get selected for this year's, a friend of mine got her first publication out of it! So I ordered it in support of her, and because I do rather like the quickness of so many 300 word stories. Good value. Will definitely submit to next year's contest again, and probably buy the volume even if I don't get in.
  42. Russ, Joanna, The Female Man (finished June 30, 2019): I don't remember whom recommend this to me, but I'm glad they did. It is equal parts riveting and horrifying -- every single thing a man says in this book, I could imagine being said in a quote in a contemporary Guardian article. How far we have (not) come since the 60s.
  43. Setterfield, Diane, Once Upon a River (finished March 29, 2019): I picked this up at the airport on March 27, because I loved Setterfield's Thirteenth Tale, and found Bellman & Black interesting. OUaR had the same slightly gothic horror feel that TT had, and I was particularly satisfied by the ending. The more short and long speculative fiction I read, the more I come to feel that happy endings are way harder to master than unhappy ones, so when they're done well, they're very satisfying.
  44. Simmonds, Dan, Drood (finished May 3, 2019): I have no idea how I acquired this book (possibly mom gave it to me?). But the day I'd finished up my last airport book and was looking for the next thing to read, there it was, lying on the shelf. It was big and thick and written by an author whose other works I liked (and when it came to Simmonds' Hyperion, that was one of the best books I had read in a long time, when I read it a few years ago). Drood wasn't as good as Hyperion, but it was still very good, despite how ponderous it was. Three things stuck out for me: Reading this book was the first time that I actually thought "I want to read Dickens"; Simmonds did an amazing job at capturing 19th C sensibilities, which unfortunately means the racism and sexism in the book is often incredibly distastefully hard to read, because it is so overt and so unquestioned; and I kept having a suspicion that it was going to turn out to be an "unreliable narrator" story in its resolution, and now that I've finished it, I'm not sure if that was the case or not, and I sort of wish it had had a neater denoument. Still, a good book, and it kept me occupied for a few weeks rather than a few days!
  45. Stephenson, Neil, Anathem (finished March 15, 2019): My mom got me this for Christmas (which was in mid-February, 2019). It's been quite awhile since I've read ponderous SFF by a white man, and the first few chapters were a bit too ponderous and a bit too white male, and I was uncertain how far I'd get. And then something changed -- not sure what, and not sure where or why -- and I realised that this book was basically written purely to satisfy the needs and desires and niche interests of people like me. It was astonishing, and fun, and honestly, the next time I teach Introduction to Philosophy I'm simply going to make my students read this and then find out which real-world philosopher is being represented by which fictional saunt.
  46. Stevermer, Caroline, A College of Magics (finished February 4, 2019): My friend Irina recommended this book to me in summer 2017, but it took me this long to get my hands on a copy. It was well worth the wait. It's the sort of book you consume hungrily and greedily, and leaves you burning for more.
  47. Suri, Tasha, Empire of Sand (finished December 9, 2019): Another WorldCon recommendation. Highly recommended. I loved the medieval Indian setting, I found the worldbuilding spectacular, I loved the characters, and I liked the somewhat didactic tone the book sometimes took. This was a real winner of a recommendation, and I'm putting book 2 onto my "want list".
  48. Tákacs, Bogi, The Trans Space Octopus Congregation Stories (finished November 17, 2019): I reviewed this for SFFReviews; it's a collection of short stories and some of them were really good.
  49. Thomas, Angie, On the Come Up (finished April 5, 2019): Picked this up from the airport, scouting out the young adult section. This was just as good as The Hate U Give, and I finished it in a single day. Both of Thomas's books are so different from what I usually read, and reading them feels like an epistemic experience that I could not get in any other way. I'll repeat what I said in reviewing THUG: Every white person should read this book.
  50. Townsend, Sue, The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year (finished May 17, 2019): G's school library has a box of books that parents are encouraged to "borrow" (for 50p each, and we have to bring them back) so that kids see their parents reading. (Not an issue in our house.) I picked this book up from the basket because I saw the title and felt an immediate kinship. Unfortunately, the title was the only redeeming part of the book. Not a single character was realistic or sympathetic; most of the time, they read as if written by someone who'd never actually met people before, and certainly had never met university professors specialising in astronomy. The crass racism, sexism, and ableism that was rampant throughout the book was also extremely off-putting. I think I cracked a smile once, and the only moment of true pleasure it brought was when Calabi-Yau sequences were mentioned and I thought "I recognise that term, and I once knew what they are." Overall, do not recommend, and on the strength of this book I will probably never read anything else by this author.
  51. Trelease, Gita, Enchantée (finished April 5, 2019): I bought this from the young adult section at the airport book store on the strength of the beautiful front cover and a moderately interesting back blurb, and expected it to be one a solid but not stellar book. I was pleasantly surprised! Revolutionary Paris was drawn richly and beautifully, the magical system was both central to the story and backgrounded in a way to make it seem ordinary and natural, I loved the diversity of the characters, and even more I loved the way it drew upon classic Cinderella story elements without ever being a straight-up retelling. I'd love to read more by Trelease.
  52. van Rooyen, Suzanne, Scardust (finished October 8, 2019): Recommendation from the internet (can't remember who/where). This was a 2-night book; it would've been a 1-night book if I hadn't started it after having finished another book the same night, so I ran out of time. It was totally different from what I normally read; normally I specifically avoid stories where rape and/or abuse feature as important plot points, but the soul-sucking realism of the early part of this story struck me as being important to read: This is the reality for some people's lives, and it's not necessarily good for me to ignore or pretend that that's not the case. The characters were strongly crafted and gripping, and the very satisfying ending took me by surprise. Recommended, with caveats.
  53. Wakes, Damon L., Ten Little Astronauts (finished December 4, 2019): I was offered a review copy of this collection of two novellas, and my review of it will show up on SFFReviews in January.
  54. Walsh, Jessica, Little Creepers (finished May 7, 2019): I reviewed this collection of short (mostly horror) stories at SFFReviews.
  55. Watterson, Bill, Calvin & Hobbes: 10th Anniversary Edition (finished November 2, 2019): G and I read through this one as bedtime stories. It was sort of a "greatest hits" collection, with certain story arcs featured. What I enjoyed was that some of them were introduced with a brief commentary by Watterson, and what I found interesting was that I was able to read that introduction silently to myself at the same time as I read aloud the comics to G -- a feat that I would not have imagined possible if you had suggested I try.


  1. Bydén, Börje and Christina Thomsen Thörnqvist, eds., The Aristotelian Tradition: Aristotle's Works on Logic and Metaphysics and Their Reception in the Middle Ages (finished June 11, 2019): I read this to review for Revista Española de Filosofía Medieval. Spoiler: It was good, but patchy in its coverage.
  2. Hughes, John, ed., The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, with a Particular Account of their Lives, Amours, and Misfortunes: Extracted Chiefly from Monsieur Bayle...To Which are Added Four Poems, by Mr. Pope and Other Hands (finished February 6, 2019): I'll confess, I skipped the poems. And the rest...I hadn't expected as much stomach curdling misogyny and patriarchy as I found. Not recommended.
  3. Ladd, Christine, "On the Algebra of Logic" (finished January 15, 2019): I'm counting this as a book, because of its length, and the fact it was a PhD thesis. This was another "started in 2018, finished in 2019" book, because I read it at a rate of 3-5 pages per day, only 1-2 days a week.
  4. de Pisan, Christine, The Treasure of the City of Ladies (finished February 27 or 28, 2019): This was not nearly as rewarding as the letters of Abelard & Heloise; I ranted quite a bit on twitter about how Christine is not the feminist ancestress so many women are looking for (cf. especially here)
  5. Wilson, Robin and Amirouche Moktefi, eds., The Mathematical World of Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) (finished July 11, 2019): I read this to review it for the Lewis Carroll Review. It was excellent. The reviews editor liked my review enough that she also put it up on the reviews section of the British Society for Literature and Science website.