Reading roundup 08/12/21

It is now a fortnight since I last wrote one of these posts and you might be expecting quite a few book reviews today. Unfortunately, as I wrote in Monday’s post, I suffered from a serious issue for a few days and was unable to concentrate on reading. Anyway, I do have two books to write about in this week’s Reading Roundup.

Here is the first book…

Five Ways to Forgiveness by Ursula K Le Guin

The book was Five Ways to Forgiveness by Ursula K Le Guin – a collection of short stories based around her Science Fiction writing. This is the blurb:

”Here for the first time is the complete suite of five linked stories from Ursula K. Le Guin’s acclaimed Hainish series, which tells the history of the Ekumen, the galactic confederation of human colonies founded by the planet Hain. First published in 1995 as Four Ways to Forgiveness, and now joined by a fifth story, Five Ways to Forgiveness focuses on the twin planets Werel and Yeowe, two worlds whose peoples, long known as “owners” and “assets,” together face an uncertain future after civil war and revolution.
            In “Betrayals” a retired science teacher must make peace with her new neighbor, a disgraced revolutionary leader. In “Forgiveness Day,” a female official from the Ekumen arrives to survey the situation on Werel and struggles against its rigidly patriarchal culture. Embedded within “A Man of the People,” which describes the coming of age of Havzhiva, an Ekumen ambassador to Yeowe, is Le Guin’s most sustained description of the Ur-planet Hain. “A Woman’s Liberation” is the remarkable narrative of Rakam, born an asset on Werel, who must twice escape from slavery to freedom. Joined to them is “Old Music and the Slave Women,” in which the charismatic Hainish embassy worker, who appears in two of the four original stories, returns for a tale of his own. Of this capstone tale Le Guin has written, “the character called Old Music began to tell me a fifth tale about the latter days of the civil war . . . I’m glad to see it joined to the others at last.””

I gave this collection four stars on Goodreads and wrote the following short review:

Five Ways to ForgivenessFive Ways to Forgiveness by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent collection of short stories. I have only read one book set in this world: Left Hand of Darkness, and it is one of my favourites. These tales were all interlinked and covered a range of important issues, such as slavery, sexism and feminism, as you would expect from Le Guin. The book has inspired me to read more and I hope that ai can find them as ebooks.

View all my reviews

On finishing this book, I had a browse around the Library’s ebook collection and this was one of my choices…

Behind the Red Door
by Megan Collins

Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins was my rather randomly chosen book. First, we have the blurb:

”When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a thirty-four-year-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—and equally famous return—twenty years ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.

Back home in New Hampshire, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—and as she reads through its chapters and visits the people and places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. As Fern’s search becomes increasingly desperate, she hopes to remember her past so she can save Astrid in the present…before it’s too late.”

I read this book fairly quickly and awarded it four stars. This is my short response:

Behind the Red DoorBehind the Red Door by Megan Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a gut-churning (for me), excellent psychological thriller. A tale of multiple kidnapping, dreadful parenting, recovering memories and child abuse. As I am suffering from my own difficult mental issues, I found the book hard to read, but I didn’t want to put it down. The whole plot was unusual and interesting, also gripping in parts. The characters were very varied.

Well worth reading.

View all my reviews

I am now about halfway through my next book, which I will tell you about next week. Also, I have some great books in the queue, most of which I have actually purchased! Yes, that is unusual for me 😁. So, there is plenty to keep me occupied for quite some time.

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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