Reading roundup 27/04/22

So, it’s a fortnight since I last wrote a Reading Roundup post and I have read and enjoyed three books whilst I have been away from the blog.

This was the first one:

The Human Division
by John Scalzi

Some of you may remember that I really rated the first few books in Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. This one, The Human Division is #05. Here is the blurb:

“Lieutenant Harry Wilson has an impossible mission. He must help preserve the union of humanity’s colonies, in the wake of a terrible revelation.

For years the Colonial Union has protected its citizens from the dangerous universe around them. But the people of Earth now know the ugly truth. The Union deliberately kept Earth as an ignorant backwater – and as a source of recruits for its war against hostile aliens. Now, other alien races have formed a new alliance against the Union. And they’ve invited the incensed people of Earth to join them.

Managing the Colonial Union’s survival will take all the political cunning and finesse its diplomats can muster. And Harry and his team will be deployed to deal with the unexpected – for failure is unthinkable.”

And this is my review, as written on the Goodreads website:

The Human Division (Old Man's War Book 5)The Human Division by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really love this series. Scalzi’s writing is brilliant with its humour, wit and blazing imagination. Quite often I think that I know where the plot is going, how the “dilemma” will be sorted out, but I am always wrong because Scalzi has something ingenious up his sleeve.

The format of the book, with its interlocking short stories, was interesting and helpful to my current issues with reading.

View all my reviews

Of course, having read book 5, I simply had to finish off the series with #06!

The End Of All Things
by John Scalzi

I always feel a little sad when I get to the end of a great series – The End of All Things is a fitting title. Here is the blurb:

“The Colonial Union’s Defence Force was formed to save humanity when aggressive alien species targeted our worlds. Now Lieutenant Harry Wilson has an urgent new mission, as a hostile universe becomes ever more dangerous. He must investigate a sinister group, which lurks in the darkness of space playing different factions against one another. They’ll target both humans and aliens, and their motives are unfathomable.

The Defence Force itself is weakening as its soldiers fall – without recruits to replace them. Relations with Earth have broken down and it will send no more troops, even as human colonies become increasingly vulnerable to alien attack.

Lieutenant Wilson and Colonial Union diplomats must race to keep the peace, seek reconciliation with an enraged Earth, and maintain humanity’s unity at all costs. If they don’t, it will mean oblivion, extinction and the end of all things.”

This is my short review on Goodreads. I am definitely planning to read more books by John Scalzi!

The End of All Things (Old Man's War #6)The End of All Things by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I must admit that I am sad that I have now come to the end of the series. The first book, Old Man’s War, was simply a random choice, probably chosen because I am now an old woman! I really loved that book and have continued to enjoy the rest of the series.

Scalzi has a fantastic writing style, full of wit and humour, and also an amazing imagination. He is able to think up complex scenarios, a huge range of alien species, and exciting and unexpected plot twists. I will certainly look out for his other work and I hope that he writes another series of such high quality.

View all my reviews

When I had finished these two books, I decided to have a complete change of genre…

The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland

The Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland was a fairly random choice from the ebook catalogue. As an ageing feminist, I thought that it would be interesting to read about a period that I remember from my own young days. Anyway, this is the blurb:

“1968. Veronica Moon, a junior photographer for a local newspaper, is frustrated by her (male) colleagues’ failure to take her seriously. And then she meets Leonie on the picket line of the Ford factory at Dagenham. So begins a tumultuous, passionate and intoxicating friendship. Leonie is ahead of her time and fighting for women’s equality with everything she has. She offers Veronica an exciting, free life at the dawn of a great change.

Fifty years later, Leonie is gone, and Veronica leads a reclusive life. Her groundbreaking career was cut short by one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century.

Now, that controversial picture hangs as the centrepiece of a new feminist exhibition curated by Leonie’s niece. Long-repressed memories of Veronica’s extraordinary life begin to stir. It’s time to break her silence, and step back into the light.”

This was another five star book for me and this is what I wrote on Goodreads:

The Woman in the PhotographThe Woman in the Photograph by Stephanie Butland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic book! I really enjoyed revisiting so many of the iconic feminist and historical moments of my youth and young adulthood, seeing them through Vee’s, the photographer, eyes. The structure of the book was complex, moving forward and back in time, but I was able to work my way through it as everything came together.

As someone who has had a stroke and still suffers from holes in my own memories, I feel that those parts of the book were written really well. The searching in your mind for what is lost. The occasional triggering of distant events which suddenly surge forward in bright colour, only to fade in an instant.

This book has affected me very much and I think I will remember it and its impact for a long time.

View all my reviews

So, this time away from the blog  roughy me some very fulfilling and enjoyable reading. Three books, each worth five stars! And I am presently deeply immersed in another fantastic book, which I will return to when I have finished writing this post. Such is the joy of reading!

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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