Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Bionic Bookworm, now hosted by Meeghan Reads. If you’re interested in participating, check out their blog to get the details and the prompts for each week, then link your post back to Meeghan’s blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.
23 May: Top 5 books with air
Calm like a monk, or wild like Aang? Don’t forget to breathe deeply. 💨🍃
So, the obvious choice: Books with „air“ in the title or air travel…
Airframe by Michael Crichton — ✈️ ✈️ ✈️
I read this quite a while ago, when it came out first as a paperback. 2006-ish? Back then I probably would have given it four or five stars, but tastes change. I remember starting to read this, while sitting in a plane, about to hurl itself down a runway to take-off and thinking “How stupid can I be?” If you want some well written, fast paced entertainment, without having to engage too much brain power, this is a good choice. Unless you are afraid of flying…
Probably around the same time or a little earlier I also read this:
Air Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones — ✈️ ✈️ ✈️ ✈️
Funnily enough, I bought this at duty free in Heathrow Airport. This book is a loose collection of anecdotes of the shenanigans in the airline industry. They are told in the form of one day in the working life of an airport duty manager. Very British, very shallow, occasionally very funny – especially if you have flown a few times. Brain candy. This is probably a great read during a long-haul flight.
Similar theme, still part of my TBR pile:
Cockpit Confidential by Patrick Smith — TBR pile
I got this in 2018. At the time I was still a regular flyer and I guess I thought it would be entertaining and illuminating:
„Cockpit Confidential covers not only the nuts and bolts of flying, but also the grand theater of air travel, from airport architecture to inflight service to the excitement of travel abroad. It’s a thoughtful, funny, at times deeply personal look into the strange and misunderstood world of commercial flying.“
So much for non-fiction. This meme’s prompt is a good reminder that I still have this short story on my TBR pile:
Any Way the Wind Blows by Seanan McGuire — TBR pile
Pretty cover, right? Added to my TBR pile in 2020.
“In the original Tor.com story Any Way the Wind Blows, New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire presents a sweet tribute to Manhattan’s iconic Flatiron building–celebrating the longtime home of Tor Books as the publisher bids farewell for new office space.”
“Composed of travelers from nine different parallel dimensions, the Cartography Corps crew aboard the airship Stalwart Trumpet of Glory descends on the New York City in our universe to collect and preserve artifacts from the legendary turn-of-the-twentieth century landmark Flatiron building.”
Can be read for free here. Yes, I still need to read her Wayward Children novellas, they are burning a hole into my virtual TBR pile. I know, I know.
Last, but not least, if you are looking for a fun graphic novel series with good artwork, I highly recommend this:
Skyward Vol. 1: My Low-G Life — read in 2019 — ☁️ ☁️ ☁️ ☁️ ☁️
by Joe Henderson (Author), Antonio Fabela (Illustrator), Lee Garbett (Illustrator)
„One day, gravity on Earth suddenly became a fraction of what it is now. Twenty years later, humanity has adapted to its new low-gravity reality. And to Willa Fowler, who was born just after G-day, it’s pretty awesome. You can fly through the air! I mean, sure, you can also die if you jump too high. So you just don’t jump too high. And maybe don’t get mixed up in your dad’s secret plan to bring gravity back that could get you killed…“
Nice artwork, fun story. In Issue #2 Willa, the main character, started to live dangerously. There is a stunning panel, showing what happened to those that didn’t make it past G-Day.
I am not sold on the whole premise of this story and the world building seems flawed. Henderson claims to have researched gravity. I enjoyed this comic so much that I was willing to roll with it and suspend my major disbelief.
What did I like? The artwork, the colours, the humour. Willa is a little daft at times, but generally likeable, so is her dad. I liked the outfits people wear.
What did I not like? The holes in the world building, aka how would all this still work with really low gravity? Loose water, loose dirt, loose everything, the weather… What happens to the polar ice caps without water? However, the story telling works just fine, even without those open questions.
At the time I read Skyward, it sounded as if it might be adapted as a motion picture for Sony. I guess Covid-19 happened, so… 🤷♀️
So, any air-themed books on your shelf? What did you like and what can you recommend?