Two weeks of vacation makes for great reading time!
Embassytown - China Mieville. Mildly thought-provoking with a really good foundation based on attempting to communicate other than through language and signifiers, though the author does love his some convoluted sentence structures. 6.5/10
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot. A surprisingly good read, though very touchy-feely about the author's own involvement and her encounters with the family. Brings up some interesting points on whether it is ethical to harvest cells from patients and briefly sketches out some of the arguments which raged in cell culture and genetic debates from the 50s to the 90s. 7.5/10
The Dispossessed - Ursula K. LeGuin - I'm pretty sure I've read A Wizard of Earthsea, but for whatever reason I can't remember it at all so this feels like my first immersion into the author's work. The first half was hard for me to get through and I almost stopped, but there is a certain undeniable charm to LeGuin's logical point and counterpoint and the ways she builds them into several fish-out-of-water characters. 7.5/10.
A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin - Good, but not enough of my favorite character. 8/10.
Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons - It's no secret that I like Dan Simmons, but every time I read a new book of his (that I like, not like Drood) I finish it with an enormous sense of satisfaction. I think it's partly the fact that he has a definite interest in science fiction and the paranormal and weaves it really well into his stories, and then also has a touch of the mystery-writing style in some of his novels that panders to the shameless pleb in all of us. 9/10