Category Archives: monthly book list

April 2017 round up

Well, I read so many books and talked about almost none of them. Also, it is May 16. Here we are.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon and Dean Hale: I love the Squirrel Girl comics, and I enjoyed this middle grade chapter book about Doreen Green. I will say, though, that I didn’t find the story worked quite as well when translated to words instead of comics. I’m not sure exactly why this is, except maybe that part of Squirrel Girl’s charm is her very normal appearance (except for the tail) and that visual shortcut isn’t possible in a chapter book.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders: So, I had a really erroneous notion of what this book was going to be, and I struggled with the gap between my expectation and the book as it is. I mean, the idea that one character is in a SF book and the other is in a fantasy book is neat, but in the end the themes and love story didn’t feel super new. I feel a bit churlish for not loving it as much as others did–and I do think it’s very well written from a craft perspective.

Alone Atop the Hill by Alice Dunnigan: Kate recommended this one when I asked about biographies of women of color–and I’m glad she did. Alice Dunnigan was the first Black woman to be a Capitol Hill reporter and this book excerpts her biography in a way that gives us a sense of what she had to struggle with to make that possible.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: I loved this one so, so much and wanted to write a whole post about it, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. So for now, I’ll just say that just like This Side of Home, Watson’s second YA book is incredibly thoughtful and complex, and so strong on character and relationships. I appreciated how layered it is in terms of the different intersections of identity shown.

Keeping Hope Alive by Dr. Hawa Abdi: The memoir of a female doctor in Somalia, who semi-accidentally became a leader of a whole community. The story sometimes jumps unexpectedly, but it’s clearly personal and vivid, so I didn’t mind that here. It’s an interesting look at how to keep going in the face of really horrifying situations.

Elizabeth’s Women by Tracey Borman: This had been on my TBR list literally for years, so I finally checked it out. I liked it, generally speaking, though somehow the men just kept creeping back in. (#misandryalert) But Borman is a good historian and a decent writer and the idea of looking at Elizabeth’s life through her many complicated relationships with other women is a great lens to examine an already much-examined subject.

The Buccaneers’ Code by Caroline Carlson (audiobook): Third in the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy. This one had been on my to-read list since it came out and I finally used an e-audiobook as a way to get through it. Which makes it sound like I didn’t like it–I did enjoy it quite a bit, though I think that at least for an adult listener, the pacing was a bit slow and the characterization a bit uneven.

Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford: Weirdly, reading this biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay made it much easier for me to understand what Amy Gary was trying to do with In the Great Green Room: the brilliant woman with a troubled love life and a sister who outlived her, and who the author had unique access to. The fact remains that Milford has the sensitivity and contextual ability to succeed where Gary doesn’t. While this left me feeling more sad about Millay than anything else, I do think it’s worth reading if you’re interested in her or her era.

Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall: reviewed here!

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare: Book 2 in a planned…six book series, I believe? On the one hand, it’s really not doing anything incredibly new, but it does have just enough interest in the conflict and the characters to keep me interested while I’m reading it.

Beacon at Alexandria by Gillian Bradshaw (reread): It had been a bit since I revisited any of Bradshaw’s work and now I’m kind of wanting to do some focused rereading of her books. I think this one is probably still my favorite–or at least very close–mostly because Charis is such a great character. The degree to which this is kind of three separate books in one is pretty fascinating to me, though.

Seal Up the Thunder by Erin Noteboom: So, I love Erin Bow’s prose books and she mentioned on Twitter that she had a poetry collection–which I knew and had forgotten! I ordered it promptly and really liked it. The poems are sly, witty, and warm, treating their Biblical themes with respect and affection. My favorites were “oh the gates” and “Resurrection” (which I’d already read but which worked even better for me in context). If religious poetry can be too sentimental for you, this is a great antidote.

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz: Historical fantasy loosely inspired by real French historical figures. I really liked this one–maybe more than I expected to–and found that it was a deep and thoughtful look at different marginalized experiences. It was also a more emotional read than I expected, so all in all, I can really understand why this one has received so much acclaim.

Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood: This is a very delightful book about fighting the patriarchy and hatred, also a dragon. I really liked the main character, and the interactions between the older and younger generations was fascinating. Plus, I hope I mentioned the dragon? I will say that I don’t think the tone of the cover art particularly fits the book, which is both more serious and richer than the kids on an adventure suggests.

Bandette v. 3: House of the Green Mask: Bandette! I do really like this series, though I’m starting to feel the desire for a slightly more resolved arc. However, the art and storyline, plus the low key romance is keeping me invested in this one.

In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll: There’s been an interesting mini-trend recently of middle grade books that hearken back to WWI in some way. (Hilary McKay’s Binny Bewitched is one, and I swear I thought of another one but of course didn’t write it down!) In Darkling Wood is quite sad–sadder than I was expecting, even once I figured out some of what was going on. The historical bits are pretty unrelenting, which made me perhaps not enjoy this one, or believe in the current-day resolution as much as I wanted to.

Lumberjanes v. 6: Sink or Swim: FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX–no but really, one of the things I loved about this one is the way it shows that you can mess up and still have friends at the end of the day. Also, there are some Revelations about the world that are exciting! I’ve heard the next arc is fantastic & I can’t waiiiiiit.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (reread): My least favorite Tiffany Aching, BUT even my least favorite is still pretty marvelous.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi: Scalzi is a fluffy sci-fi writer–the kind I reach for when I want something that will entertain while taking almost no brain power. This is a fun little conceit and I may well read the rest of the series when it comes out. (I don’t feel like I need to over-praise Scalzi, because he gets plenty already.)

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (reread): I hadn’t reread any of the Prydain books in a really long time, and I thought it would be a nice time to do that. I do really like The Book of Three, which is funnier and fresher, and also much, much shorter than I remembered. However, the treatment of Gurgi seems like the worst kind of paternalistic racism, so that’s…not great.

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (reread): Leckie is so good at building up emotion over the course of the three books so that by this one she doesn’t even have to say it, just telegraph it and let us fill in the rest. And the part when [spoiler redacted] asks if they can be a Cousin & the answer is just too much. I’m going to have to lie down just thinking about it.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (reread): The number of lines that have second or even third layers to them on rereading is truly impressive–even more so when you know those were built in after the fact! (THICK AS THIEVES COMES OUT NEXT WEEK!)

 

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February 2017 round-up

The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley: Fascinating, enraging, heartbreaking biography of Christine Granville. Mulley does an excellent job of differentiating between different types of evidence, and of telling a very complex and contentious story. She treats Christine with warmth and respect, letting her be the flawed, complicated, and vivid person that she so clearly was. There are parts that had me in tears, and other parts that made me so angry with the world. Very, very well done.

The Swan Riders by Erin Bow: Every time I read a new book by Erin Bow, I know it’s going to be an incredibly emotional experience even if I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen. The Swan Riders is no different. I read it in big gulps and cried so, SO much. While it’s perhaps a little bit slow to get started, the payoff is amazing. I loved it almost more than I can say.

Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon: I’ve heard good things about this run of Hawkeye and I decided to read the first volume. I liked it okay? To be honest, I didn’t quite see what everyone else clearly does, which is a little bit disappointing. I’m not sure if I’ll try the next volume or just chalk it up to, “things that are not For Me.”

The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud: As I said on Litsy, this series keeps doing just enough to keep me coming back, but the charm is also starting to wear a bit thin. I want some kind of resolution to actually happen, rather than just having it continually teased for the next book. I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the rest of the series as they come out.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin: I read this one with book club and it’s so delightful! I’d read it when it first came out and had fond impressions of it, but didn’t actually remember what it’s about. I really liked the way the stories are woven in, and the book itself is a beautiful object, from the illustrations down to the font and paper. The story itself is also lovely, with the themes of friendship and family. Plus: A DRAGON.

Spindle by E.K. Johnston: The sequel to A Thousand Nights, which I absolutely loved. I’m not sure if this is a case of too-high expectations or of me just not being in the right mood, but while I appreciated a lot about the story, it never quite emotionally clicked for me the way ATN did. I think perhaps the tension between the original fairy tale and the setting made me a little uncomfortable, in ways that ultimately jolted me out of the story just a little bit too much.

A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand: reread it, yes, even though I read it last month. I cried a lot again because it hits all of my emotional buttons.

Act Like It by Lucy Parker: Reread, since I really enjoyed Parker’s debut and wanted to revisit it before her second book came out!

Pretty Face by Lucy Parker: Somehow I had the wrong impression of what the central conflict in this one was going to be about–not at all the book’s fault! Once I reoriented a little bit, I really enjoyed the story. I especially appreciated that Parker shows the amount of work that goes into a West End production. While I wasn’t initially impressed with the “I know we shouldn’t, but oh well!” theme, the strength of the characters kept me reading and in the end I was charmed by Lily and Luc.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin: I appreciated the first book a lot, but The Obelisk Gate gave me so many Feelings. Jemisin digs deeper into the world she’s created, and also starts to weave in Nassun’s story. This worked really well for me, as we see Essun from a different perspective and begin to understand some of the personal ramifications her choices have caused. I can’t wait for the third book, even if I’m worried about what’s going to happen.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: My awesome friend Ally recommended reading this book after I watched the movie recently, and I’m glad I did. It’s quite different from the adaptation–in some moments I preferred the film and in others I liked the book better. I definitely think the film has a clearer through-line, but the book is more nuanced and has a lovely dreamy quality to it.

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin: Also read this one with book club (we’re on a Grace Lin kick) and oh wow, this book was something. Grace Lin is really good at writing emotional journeys, and this one largely worked really well for me. (I have some personal hang-ups about forgiveness that got poked a bit.) There’s a lot I’m still thinking about and chewing on here.

Booked by Kwame Alexander: This is a thoughtful, engaging story. For me, however, it didn’t quite have the emotional impact of The Crossover. It’s perhaps not fair to compare the two, but it’s also very hard to not do so, especially when they were billed as companion books.

 

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January 2017 round up

Books already talked about

Dared & Done by Julia Markus

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Reek of Red Herring by Catriona McPherson

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Other books
A Little Taste of Poison by RJ Anderson: This one is the follow up to one of my favorite books from 2015, A Pocket Full of Magic. It was delightful to be back with Isaveth and Quiz, and I enjoyed the school setting of this book as well as the complications that arose from the resolution of the first book. I do think the set up portion took longer than I expected it to, and I wished for more of Isaveth’s family, because I think they’re delightful. But overall, this is another solid middle grade mystery.

Chime by Franny Billingsley: This was a reread, the first book I finished this year. It’s one of my favorites (the humor! the language and word-play! BRYONY!) and it fit especially well with some things I’ve been thinking about in regards to my personal life and this year. But mostly, I just love Billingsley’s books and especially this one: a story about a prickly, unkind girl whose voice shines from the very first page.

Bandette v. 2: This series manages to be incredibly charming and incredibly menacing somehow at exactly the same time. The tone is light and cheerful and the storyline flows along merrily until you realize that actually the villains are pretty terrifying. It’s a very weird mental adjustment, but I like it.

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill: This is one where my personal reaction and my professional reaction are totally different. Personally, it just didn’t resonate for me–the story is a little too condensed, and we don’t spend enough time seeing the characters get to know and appreciate each other. However, I absolutely see the value in it, even though it didn’t quite work for me as an adult reader, and I’m glad I know about it and can recommend it to the readers who need it.

A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand: Florand’s latest release in her Provence series is absolutely lovely. Tristan hasn’t been my favorite character in the previous books, but as usually happens with Florand, I wound up really appreciating him in a new way. And Malorie won my heart almost from the first page. This is one that meant a lot to me personally, which is really why I haven’t written a longer review–I think I have too many feelings about it to do it justice! Beautiful, as usual.

Everfair by Nisi Shawl: reviewed here

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard: review coming soon

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie: Continuing my Ann Leckie reread and ooohhhhhhhh, I have so many thoughts and emotions and reactions to this book. It manages to do so many things so well, and there are moments that are just so beautifully written. Leckie’s control of Breq’s voice is fabulous. But perhaps one of my favorite things is the way we begin to see what Breq can’t, reading other characters’ reactions differently. I can’t wait to reread the third one and have lots more feelings about what it means to be human + found families + surviving trauma.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: I can’t BELIEVE I waited this long to read Binti, because it is outrageously beautiful and amazing. I really like Okorafor’s work in general, and this one is just great. It’s a novella, and the first of at least two, so there’s a slightness to it. But there’s also a lot packed into the pages: family and culture, diplomacy and building trust, math as–religion? experience? Plus spaaaace. Most of all, though, Binti’s voice is so clear and vivid right from the first sentence. I can’t wait for the next one!

Let Evening Come – Jane Kenyon: I recently discovered Kenyon’s poetry and wanted to check out a collection. Overall, this is a powerful set poems, though there are a few that certainly stand out more than the rest. I loved the juxtaposition of nature imagery with a kind of rejection of sentimentality that runs throughout.

The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn: I loved Kuehn’s first book, Charm & Strange, but haven’t actually read any of her subsequent work. This one, dealing with a cult in California, was a little bit difficult because my adult brain with a lot of experience reading and thinking about cults was yelling things the whole time. Certainly, the ending wasn’t a surprise to me. However, that isn’t to say that  teen reader won’t like this a lot and find that the ending works for them.

Other posts
Favorite children’s & YA read in 2016

Favorite adult books and reading notes in 2016

2017 releases I’m excited about

Currently reading: 1-19

Books that have been helping me lately

Newsletter + news

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned here that I’m writing a newsletter now! It goes out monthly, with reflections, recipes, interesting links, and whatever else I’m interested in when I sit down to write it. You can check out the first two and sign up right here.

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November 2016

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron: I’ve liked Sharon Cameron’s books in general, and this is another solid one from her. It’s a slightly different take on a dystopianish society–although it feels familiar in some ways, it also reminded me that sometimes tropes are tropes for a reason. And in the second half of the book, there are some interesting twists that change how the story unfolds.

The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier: review coming later

The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders: My friend Shae sent a copy of this one to me because she thought I’d like it–and I did! It’s a Victorian mystery with some Dickensian elements (loosely inspired by parts of David Copperfield). I liked that it features an older woman as the detective, and Saunders does a nice job of weaving in everyday details without clunkiness.

Nomad by William Alexander: Sequel to Ambassador, which I also loved. I read this one just after the election, and a story about a Latino kid saving the world through diplomacy while facing his father’s deportation was both heartbreaking and really affirming. Alexander is great at quiet, kid-centered SFF, which engages thoughtfully with political issues and tells really valuable and beautiful stories.

The Pocket Emily Dickinson: I went to look for a few poems and ended up reading the whole thing. Lo, the power of poetry, I suppose. [that’s a quote]

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens: Look, I just really love the Wells & Wong books. They’re 1930s-set middle grade mysteries, which sounds pretty simple on the surface. But Stevens actually tells a really complex story, and there’s a lot about friendship and identity and privilege woven into the whole series. This third book started off a little slow, but it ended up being possibly my favorite yet as we see both Daisy and Hazel dealing with their family histories and the realities of growing up. (ARC read through Edelweiss)

Ms. Marvel Last Days by G. Willow Wilson: Every time I read a new volume of Ms. Marvel, I think that it couldn’t possibly be as good as the last one (because the last one was so good). But every time I am wrong! If I had to only read one comic series for the rest of my days, it would be Kamala, no questions. I love the depth of relationships shown here, the way Kamala’s family and culture and faith influence but don’t define her, the balance of hope and struggles. It’s just so good.

Goldie Vance vol. 1 by Hope Larson: My friend Kate gave me this one for my birthday and I really liked it! It’s a 1950s mystery, set in a hotel, and featuring a young detective. There are so many black and Latinx characters, which is nice to see, and the comic does deal with privilege and prejudice to a certain extent. I also really liked the art! It felt very fresh and clean and bright, which fits Goldie’s character well.

Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers: I reread this with my friend Ally and WHOOOO BOY WE HAD FEELINGS. (I talked about this one at length recently enough that I’m not going to go into more detail at the moment.)

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria: 1919-set historical fantasy, which seems to be a Thing at the moment? But I liked this version–the friendship between Ada and Corinne really drove the book for me (you all know how I love a good female friendship). I kind of saw the big twist coming, and there were a few clunky moments, but overall I found this one pretty solid. (I can’t speak to how good the representation is, and I’m not finding a ton of reviews for this one? If you have thoughts, I want to know.)

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley: This book is definitely a case where I can’t step back from my adult reaction enough to say fairly whether I think this is a successful book for kids. It’s a nuanced look at friendship and family and class; Gertie’s complicated feelings about the people and events in her life are compelling. But I wanted something to break free a little bit sooner, I guess. Whether a kid would feel the same way is a question I keep wondering about and not really coming up with an answer for.

Diva Without a Cause by Grace Dent: I’m really sad that only the first two books in this series have been published in the US. I liked this one quite a bit–it’s thoughtful and sharp and funny. In a certain way some of the concerns do feel very specific to the UK, and yet I think that 1) the overarching themes are totally relatable and 2) it’s good for us to read outside of our own culture!

Bandette vol. 1 by Tobin and Coover: Another recommendation from Kate. I LOVE IT–the story feels fresh, although the art feels retro and that’s a combination that works really well for me, it seems.

Rogue Heroes by Ben MacIntyre: I like MacIntyre’s non-fiction style; I was less interested in the subject of this book. [I could say more about this, and the fact that MacIntyre tries to push back against the glorification of hypermasculinity that’s almost inherent in his subject, but doesn’t entirely succeed. I’m not sure I’d be entirely coherent enough to make it worthwhile, though.]

New and Selected Poems, vol 1 by Mary Oliver: Rereading this volume and realizing I need to read vol. 2, since there are whole chunks of Oliver’s career that I’m missing! I am occasionally impatient with Oliver, and yet every time I feel this way, the next poem pulls me back and reminds me of why I love her.

Ahsoka by EK Johnston: I love Johnston’s books and I love Star Wars, so this seemed like a natural fit! The take on the universe, the aftermathy kind of story, was really interesting to me, and I liked the look at everyday life and resistance. This is about what happens when you lose the war; it seems unfortunately apt at the moment. Also, Ahsoka’s relationship with Kaeden and the way that played out seemed like a story I haven’t seen a lot of, in a way that seems realistic and true to the characters.

Guile by Constance Cooper: On a personal level, I found the story, characters and writing fairly strong (I do think it dragged in the middle) I am wondering about the representation and portrayal of bayou culture–not because I saw anything inherently problematic, but rather because it’s hard to tell how well Cooper has written it from the outside.

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October 2016 round up

Crosstalk by Connie Willis: I was so excited for this book–a new Connie Willis! And then, although I read the whole thing in one gulping evening, I ended up sadly disappointed. It had all the elements of her beloved books but it wasn’t cohesive. And most of all, I was bothered by the implications of the story. The romance; the pseudo-Irishness that didn’t succeed in it satire; the weird element of ethnic purity; the tired idea that we are all too connected. Ana’s review at The Book Smugglers sums up my feelings well.

Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve ValentineTalked about this one here!

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: I appreciate what this book is doing a lot–the sweeping, epic feel, the star-crossed romance across time and space, the lush and gorgeous prose. Chokshi engages with mythology and stories on several levels and in really interesting ways. I’m just not personally as drawn to the kind of romance and epic story that this is (which is true for several other well-loved books in a similar vein). This isn’t a book that is for me as a reader, but it is definitely one for lots of other readers out there.

Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff: review coming soon!

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern: I was curious about Ahern’s first YA book–I know she’s a respected adult author–and how it would read. I think she managed the transition to a different audience well. Her teenagers do read as teenagers and her take on dystopia is really strong and doesn’t pull punches. The last part of the book didn’t work quite as well for me, but overall I think this is one with a lot to chew on.

Something New by Lucy KnisleyLovely story about Knisley’s romance and wedding. She weaves in a number of thoughts about marriage and dating and what that means in this day and age. While I differ on approach and belief in a number of areas, a lot of what she said also rang true to me. A great mix of charming and thoughtful.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: So strong on plotting and premise–three queens are always born as triplets, each with their own deadly gifts, but only one can rule–and yet oddly flat for me on characterization. The ending also felt less like an ending and more like a hook for the next book. However, that twist is interesting enough that I’ll probably try to read the next one when it comes out!

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds: I feel like this is just stating the obvious, but Reynolds is so, so good at voice. Everyone in this book feels like a real, distinct character, even though we get them all filtered through Gene’s perspective. And there’s also a great sense of what a kid would be concerned with, that neither talks down to the audience nor turns Gene into some ultra-wise prodigy. Thoughtful and nuanced, this is definitely one I’ll recommend.

This Savage Song by Victoria SchwabI hate to admit it, but this one didn’t work nearly as well as I wanted it to. Mainly, it felt long. Once I reached a certain point, I felt much more interested and invested in the main characters. But I think if I hadn’t been reading for the Cybils, I likely would have put it down before I got there.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison: This is now one of those books that I’m always re-reading in bits and pieces here and there. I noticed this time through how much of Maia’s journey is learning to live with the wounds of his past without acting in bitterness or letting them define him.

Goldenhand by Garth Nix: So, I love Sabriel and enjoyed the other earlier books about the Old Kingdom that I’ve read. I was intrigued by this one, especially since it sounded like it would tie together some of the strands from the other books. Which it did! And the story here is engaging enough. But I found my enjoyment hampered by two facts: I expected a depth and richness that I didn’t find here, and I think this book could have used another round of copy-editing. A small thing, and not Nix’s fault as such, but also jarring enough to bump me out of the story a couple of times.

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar: Eagar’s prose is really sharp and the interplay of the family history and Carol’s slow growth worked nicely. However, I think this one is on the long side. I don’t know if this is quite fair to the book, but I wanted a little more engagement with cultural and social issues as well–which I say mostly because I felt like they were almost present, or there in a kind of ghostly way, but not fully fleshed out.

The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters: review coming soon!

A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee: I absolutely loved 95% of this book–the characters! the historical details! the sense of landscape and setting! all the bits about learning to be who you really are! It’s thoughtful and sharp and lovely. However, I also have some questions about the way Kitty was portrayed, which seemed to use the Victorian trope of the pure, wild orphan child without pushing back much at the social problems that create that condition.

Other posts

Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina

10 favorite books about sisters

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Reading Notes

Currently reading: 10-5

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August 2016 round up

I am strongly torn between, “August, you’re fired, go home” and “HOW IS IT SEPTEMBER ALREADY!?”

Book reviews
Josephine Tey Reading Notes: Daughter of Time
Josephine Tey Reading Notes: A Schilling for Candles
Josephine Tey Reading Notes: All the other ones
Josephine Tey Reading Notes: Brat Farrar
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Lady Byron and Her Daughters by Julia Markus
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Other books
Thor: Who Holds the Hammer
Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Power
Loki Agent of Asgard: I Cannot Tell a Lie
The Unwritten Vol. 1
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart
Stormy Petrel by Mary Steart
The Flip Side by Shawn Johnson
A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
Icon by Genevieve Valentine
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and Devid Levithan
Loki Agent of Asgard: Last Days

Other posts
Out of the Woods: Books set in forests
Books set in royal courts
Books in my Beach/Traveling Bag
Favorite SF from the last five years
Why I love Galadriel
Landscape and Character
Links 8-3
Links 8-31

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July 2016 round up

Books I’ve already talked about
The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
False Hearts by Laura Lam

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

Other books

Little White Lies by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie: I’ve been going back and forth about this one, and at a certain level I think I’m just not quite able to say from my own background whether it successfully does what it’s setting out to do. I’m glad to see exciting, timely YA contemporary fiction about a Black teen, but here it seems undercut a bit by the other point-of-character, who’s a middle-aged white man. It just–seems like a weird contrast and I’m not sure how it sits with me. If you’ve read this one, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Far From Fair by Elana K Arnold: Middle-grade contemporary. It’s a quiet look at family dynamics and end-of-life issues. While I can’t say my personal views align with the characters’ at all, I do think it could be a valuable book for the right reader. Overall, I thought Odette was really well drawn; as an adult reader I got a little impatient with her at points, but I suspect the target audience won’t.

Packing For Mars by Mary Roach: This is a look, not so much at the history of the space program, as at the history of the stuff needed to go into space. By and large, Roach has an easy breezy, readable style that is quite engaging. However, occasionally it’s a little at odds with her subject. And in one place I noticed a transition that came across as really, really racist (PRO TIP: don’t talk about how black women are ideally suited to being astronauts and then switch to black bears. Just don’t. This is why we need more diversity in publishing across the board.)

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks: Sometimes you just really need to reread a favorite, delightful book. This basically always means rereading Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, because it’s pretty much the definition of delightful.

Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger: YA scifi, a quietish book with some strong worldbuilding and characters. I can’t say much about the plot, because uncovering what happens is part of the fun, but I really liked it. I suspect that for the right readers it could be really great, and I hope it finds them.

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Plamer: reviewed here
Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey: reviewed here
Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey: (review coming soon)
Lady Byron and Her Daughters by Julia Markus: (review coming soon)
The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey: (review coming soon)
To Love and Be Wise by Josephine Tey: (review coming soon)
A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey: (review coming soon)
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey: (review coming soon)
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman: (review coming soon)
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana: (review coming soon)

TV and movies
Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters, go see Ghostbusters. It’s so fun and lovely and yes.

I also have been watching The Great British Bake Off because it is on our TV screens once again! You should be able to watch it on PBS.org right now.

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Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list