June 2015 round-up

Books I’ve already talked about
The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones
All For You by Laura Florand
Pure Magic by Rachel Neumeier
Picture Book Monday
Captain Marvel vol 1: In Pursuit of Flight
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep
Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
Jackaby by William Ritter

The Turning Season by Sharon Shinn
Stolen Magic by Gail Carson Levine
Rook by Sharon Cameron

The Water Devil by Judith Merkle Riley
A Civil Campaign

Other books
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: audiobook review coming later!

The Virtu by Sarah Monette: Feels! ALL THE FEELS. Mildmay feels! Felix feels! As a note, it’s interesting to me that Monette can write a book with two main male characters, largely centered on their relationship, and yet her female characters read as complex and interesting. It’s almost like she sees and writes them as real people! I’m both anticipating and dreading the next book because I’m sure it will be emotionally harrowing.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: I…didn’t like this one. I think I have friends who did–and I’d love to hear from you if so! But I just couldn’t get past the fact that I didn’t have any investment in Matthew and Diana’s relationship, and that at times his desire for control led it into territory I was uncomfortable with.

Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie: Audiobook. I found the narrator for this one somewhat grating, as he made all the characters sound basically the same and Poirot very Frenchified. There are also some oddly anti-women undercurrents. Not my favorite.

A Faraway Island by Annika Thor: I’m familiar with evacuee fiction, but it tends to mostly be focused on kids in the UK. In A Faraway Island Thor tells the story of two sisters, Jewish girls from Vienna who are sent to Sweden in the advance of the Nazis. It’s sweet and hard and heartbreaking, especially the progression of the letters from the girls’ parents as they begin to realize the trap that’s closing in around them.

The Arctic Code by Matthew Kirby: Middle grade futuristic sci fi, set in a slightly distant future when the world is in a new ice age. I don’t know how accurate the science is; I found the story fast-paced but ultimately a bit unsatisfying and improbable.

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han: I have so many thoughts about this book and To All the Boys and the value of the way they show the life of a feminine, middle class girl and her concerns and loves and worries. It’s all too rare, and yet we give this kind of page time to male stories. Mostly, though, I just love Lara Jean and her story.

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers: This is one of Summers’s more intimate books, dealing with the aftermath of Eddie’s father’s suicide. I liked it quite a bit and found Eddie an easy character to sympathise with, in both her strengths and her mistakes. Oddly enough, I think I missed some of the sharp anger that’s a core of some of her other books.

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy: I had to request the library purchase this one and for awhile it looked like they were only going to buy the ebooks of individual issues. Happily, they eventually bought the first volume. I think it really helped my enjoyment–not that I didn’t like it when I read it as ebooks, because I did. Anyway, these are funny, feminist, amazing comics. They’ve already entered my personal mythology in a way that I found slightly surprising.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters: My first Sarah Waters book! I had a slightly mixed reaction and I’m having trouble pinning down why. On the one hand, the writing is marvelous; I loved Nan’s voice and the prose and so much about it. On the other hand, I had some trouble connecting to Nan as a character, and I’m not sure exactly why; I think perhaps she seems so disconnected from other people for much of the book, and while this is probably deliberate, I think it does add a distance from her. I did love the resolution of the ending, though, and will definitely read more Waters.

Other posts
Links: 6-1-15
Links: 6-17-15
TTT: Anticipated releases for the rest of 2015
TTT: Summer tbr list
Bullet journaling revisited
A letter to Tor & Macmillan
Recent short fiction reads

TV & movies
Poldark: I’ve only seen the first episode, but it’s quite enjoyable. Lots of shots of beautiful Cornish scenery and beautiful Aidan Turner. I mean, I wouldn’t watch it just for that. We’ll see if I can take the melodrama over the long term, but so far so good.

Parks & Rec: I watched the final season and while I don’t think it was as strong as the others–it felt a little self-indulgent at times–it was still lovely. And I did really like the final episode and the way it pulled together the threads of the past few seasons.

Poirot: I went back to watching Poirot and got up to the later seasons that I haven’t seen. The adaptations of Five Little Pigs and Sad Cypress were especially good, I thought.

Continuum: Apparently I had only gotten through half of the first season on this one. I’m appreciating some of the details in terms of both the future and the present, and that it seems to have a good sense of where the story’s going. I feel like Canadian scifi shows seem to be fresher in a way than their American counterparts, and I like it.

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