I’m going to try and be brief about these books. I didn’t do a wrap-up last week as things were hectic and I was being an adult and driving in and out of town. To be honest some of the books I read last week are a bit fuzzy, so those for sure will be short. Two of them as well are review books that you should see full length reviews on shortly! As always there is a video, link to the channel is on the sidebar, if you’d rather listen to me stumble around than read it. Continue reading
It was a good week! I am getting back on course instead the slumpy feeling I’ve been dealing with the past three or four weeks. I got a few things read, and it’s already looking like (as of Monday) that this next wrapup will put me in closer to on track! But on to what I’ve read last week and general thoughts! There is also a video on the Youtube channel – link to the channel is on the sidebar!
My reading has slowed down these past few weeks. Around the first of the month I was able to finally get my wrist looked at by a specialist and got it fixed. I have since been building up strength in it, getting back to some of my old habits like playing games and working out again. It’s a slow process, and I’m doing those things slowly to acclimate to it. I pretty much had no mobility in my thumb and wrist for 7 or 8 months so it has no strength. So steady and slow I go, but I sacrifice some reading in the meantime.
It’s all for the good however – so here are the first two weeks of February. If any of this has its own review coming up I’ll just touch on it or point you to said review if available. Video also available here with captions!
I’m going to be honest, readathons are burning me down a little. I have done three this far in January, and so many has once has me a little scalded. I may avoid the themed readathons for the next few months which means the next few months will be lots of good random fun! So enjoy the OBNOXIOUSLY BIG list of what I read this month plus other goodies in the January WrapUp. Continue reading
I didn’t do half bad if I do say so myself! Continue reading
I did alright this past month! Not the best, all things considered, but I did get a lot of good books in. I also didn’t manage to shake the need for spooky books – so just heads up. I was clearly looking for horror that could be beaten when faced with what felt like unbeatable horror in real life. From election to health issues… it was a rough month. To the book roundup!
So this feels super late but I finally have a bit of downtime to type this up. I had wanted to try filming something for this but sadly my life has been going a million miles an hour this week (I hate adulting). So here I am to report back on what I managed to read during DiverseAThon
It was mostly shorter fiction – I started off with Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler which featured a main character so different from me it was wild. Frankie is a girl who enjoys sex, and enjoying her college years untethered. She meets a girl however who changes her mind and it’s about her learning to be just ‘the girlfriend’ as opposed to the ‘friends with benefits’ that she normally is. I liked the characters, how fast it moved, and the ultimate resolution. As far as Own Voices, I’m not sure. Dahlia Adler has quite a few queer books, but at a very brief glance through her information I couldn’t find out if she was pan or bi. So I’ll put this in the ‘Not sure’ category. – Also and additional goody! I found Samara’s reading list (as she’s always reading or mentioning a YA novel) from the book on Dahlia’s blog :https://dailydahlia.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/samaras-reading-list-revealed/
Next up I hit Roller Girl by Vanessa North. This is a F/F romance with a trans woman as the PoV character. This was also very light and fun – exactly what I needed for between calls at work. It had it’s very corny bits but overall I enjoyed it. It was not Own Voices, unfortunately like I had originally thought. I think for instances of trans characters I prefer to read own voices – at least with PoV style works. That small complaint aside, like I said, I did enjoy it. I especially liked Joe – our romantic interest.
I read a classic – partially because of my IRL book club I run and also for the mental health issues involved: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I had to think on this one. It was good, very interesting, but also really sad. There are a lot of thoughts on it, it’s been around a while and it’s gotten a lot of analysis, and most people categorize it as Horror. I think for me it was more Tragic. I really dig the idea that it’s a ‘origin of the Haunted House’ but there is so much sadness to it. Mary Katherine pulls her sister down to the world of madness and reclusion she desires. And her sister Constance is just as challenged, she seems to have some sort of depression. Hovering over the entire book was the knowledge that Shirley Jackson herself wouldn’t leave her own home at the end of her life. She became so paranoid and frightened of her neighbors (who were very cruel to her and her family) that she eventually wouldn’t even leave a particular room. It almost rang as a daydreamy novel for that level of fear, she eventually took the role of Mary Katherine and her sister secluded in their house and never leaving.
Throughout the whole week I was picking up stories here and there from the anthology Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An LGBT and Two-Spirit Anthology edited by Hope Nicholson. I was really excited about this collection but about half of the stories were either two short for me or didn’t exactly work in some way. Others were great. This was Own Voices. Though edited by Hope Nicolson most if not all the authors in this collection are Native, with most of them LGBTQYA/Two-Spirited I believe. Native stories and cultures are ones I really want more of, my husband’s family is part of the Cherokee Tribe and like every other person in the South I have Cherokee blood (great grandparents) mixed in with the rest of my hodgepodge of history. I am naturally extremely curious about it. The collection, like I said was interesting and there were some stand outs, but not the strongest short story anthology I’ve ever read.
The final two books I finished right before the end. Redefining Realness by Janet Mock was my last full length novel. It was the story of her growing up, discovering what she wanted, and transitioning. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting to be honest! I expected a more hard hitting book, almost like Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking (which I adore) but this read more like a novel. Janet Mock has a very flowery style of writing, describing her own hair as luxurious at points. It was odd for a memoir but made the ultimate reading experience a lot like devouring candy. A very easy read. It was till much later in the book that we read any statistics or facts about the trans culture. We get a lot of what Honolulu was like for her growing up but on the whole not as much. It gave some interesting perspective on young people, especially those of color or those in the lower class bracket, and how hard it is to transition and where that often leads them. Janet speaks very freely about her time on the streets, probably the hardest and most heart breaking part of reading this. I think it’s definitely worth checking out of the library if you’re interested in trans stories, and this was of course Own Voices.
Finally I squeezed in another short story Superior by Jessica Lack. This one is a superhero M/M romance that is not Own Voices. I certainly don’t regret reading it but it was too short. There was also so much missing in possible character development or history. I wish the characters had been a bit less flat (mostly due to the length for me) but it was a romp. Fun in that way. I did love the idea though, two superhero/villain intern/apprentices meeting and falling for each other, so cheesy!
All in all a good ReadAThon. I wish I’d gotten to read a few more longer length novels but sadly life is vicious. I also wish I’d gotten to more Own Voices and I’m still planning on reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi soon. I’ll be taking part in the Own Voices Readathon come October, so I’ll try and fit some more of the reads in there that I had hoped to try for here.
I hope everyone else’s reads were great and insightful, I’ve loved watching and seeing all the wrapups coming through. Sorry for the delay!
Overall a good batch this time! I was definitely on a strong reading spell when I blazed through these, and I really did. I think I finished the four of these back to back over two or three days.
Monstress, Volume One: Awakening
by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
This was a beautiful mash up of folk-lore, steampunk, and high fantasy. I loved every panel of this, the artwork was incredible and the mashup worked in every way for me. This ticked every box I had. This definitely swept me along on the ride, the reveal on the end was just… it hit hard! Because of how invested I was in the story, and in our characters the reveal in the end was incredibly well done. I was hooked in every way on this, I can’t wait to read Volume 2.
The Lives of Tao (Lives of Tao Book 1)
by Wesley Chu
Have you ever read a movie to book adaptation and thought ‘This was better as a movie?’ This was the opposite of that. This was the best kind of ‘action book’. There were training montages, some diverse and very cool characters, and a plot that was just deep enough to invest you. It really would make a stellar movie/show.
I found the characters likable, and relatable. It did fall down just a bit in tropes and foreshadowing making a few things obvious. There was in particular a big event at the end that I desperately didn’t want to happen but knew would. Half way through I knew it would, but as I intend to read the second book we’ll see how it pans out. In addition there were some other slightly more tropey characters and ideas, but some of those were handled in a way I can accept.
If you like action books, and stories in the vein of Men in Black I’d recommend this one.
Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changling #5)
by Nalini Singh
This installment had a bit of the overprotective and possessive notes that the previous one had, but not as strong. I’m hoping that that is finally easing up (though I realize the ‘Alpha’ thing can’t be avoided in these types of books, I’m just saying it can be handled certain ways).
This one was definitely fun, I had problems putting it down, the story moved a breakneck pace through out the whole thing. I do think I liked Dorian a bit more as a side character, but I enjoyed reading about Ashaya. She was very likable. There isn’t much I can say about this, but that it’s continuing the plot of the series overall very well but definitely making a habit of hiding off screen what I would think would be the climax.
Regardless it makes for fun, easy, and light reads to relax the brain.
Murder with Peacocks (Meg Laslow #1)
by Donna Andrews
I cannot even begin to explain why I enjoyed this so much but there was just something about the half frantic narrative (because our main character was helping plan three weddings she was quite literally , all over the place) and the just ‘oh look at that a murder’ attitude that got to me. It was almost like British style mystery but set in America? I don’t know it’s very hard to explain. It’s cozy as hell though. Let’s say that, cozy but with a overworked and frantic main character.
The quips and dialogue had me giggling at times, and I actually did enjoy all the characters. They all seemed distinct enough to me that I could identify them at a single line. That’s impressive for someone like me who has a terrible time with names.
If they made this into a show or movie I’d watch it!
June was a slow month for blogging and reading. It was super busy overall in everything else. Work was busy and life was busy. I also found out what is wrong with my wrist/thumb, it’s called De Quervain’s Syndrome and it makes it incredibly hard to type on bad days. I’ve also had to learn new ways of holding books without that thumb. Fun times.
But to the wrapup!
- I managed to complete 18 books with a total of 6014 words
- I don’t think I DNF’d anything, so that’s a win!
- I had one 1.5 star book, one 2.5 star book, three 3 star books, one 3.5 star book, four 4 star books, four 4.5 star books, and four 5 star books.
- Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R.L. LaFevers – 4 stars
- Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King – 5 stars
- Letters to Zell by Camille Giep – 3 stars
- What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi – 3.5 stars
- The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters – 4 stars
- The Lonely Ones by Kelsey Sutton – 5 stars
- Mosquitoland by David Arnold – 4 stars
- iZombie Volume 1, 2, & 3 by Chris Roberson – 4.5, 4, 5 stars
- Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki – 5 stars
- The Gap of Time by Janet Winterson – 3 stars
- The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson – 4.5 stars
- The Familiar Volume 2 : One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski – 4.5 stars
- The Crane’s Dance by Meg Howrey – 3 stars
- Hope and Red by Jon Skovron – 3.5 stars
- Mrs. Rosie and the Priest by Giovanni Boccaccio – 3 stars
- The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney – 5 stars
- As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manly Hopkins – 1.5 stars (to be fair this isn’t my type of poetry)
Hopefully next month will be a bit better, I hit a bit of a slump at the end of the month, I was hung up on The Woman Who Would be King (I loved it but it was a slow read). I’ll also hopefully get a lot of reviews up that I’ve been putting off. I, however am not supposed to use this wrist and it’s Camp NaNo so no promises!
So in May I did pretty good! I read 19 books (including two DNFs), which isn’t too shaby. I’ll link any reviews I did of anything that was a new release into the book’s title.
So just general fun stuff.
- With the 16 completed books I read 4985 words.
- I DNF’d Endless Night by Catherine Addison and Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
- I had 3 Five Star books, 7 Four or Four and half Star books, 7 Three or Three and Half Star books
- Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – 3 stars
- A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – 4 stars
- Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear – 4 stars
- Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland – 3 stars
- Sourcery by Terry Pratchett – 5 stars
- Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – 4.5 stars
- The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria by Carlos Hernandez – 4.5 stars
- Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh – 3.5 stars
- Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews – 4 stars
- The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe – 4 stars
- Mothership by Martin Leicht & Isla Neal – 4 stars
- Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. Lafevers – 5 stars
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang – 4 stars
- In The Stars I’ll Find You by Bradley P. Beauleu – 5 stars
- Diary of the Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kiney – 3 stars
- Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – 5 stars
- Monsters by Emerald Fennell – 3.5 stars
- Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews – 3.5 stars
I have a review coming up of Sleeping Giants, stay tuned for that. Most of these will pop up in the next few weeks as Mini-Reviews. I am thinking of doing a review of Karen Memory, Mothership, and The Vegetarian. If I do get those up I’ll try to add them back in here.
So a good month! I hope everyone else’s month was fantastic!