Tag Archives: the book life

March 2019 reading

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
Two Naomis by Audrey Vernick and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Always Coming Home by Ursula K Le Guin
Ammonite by Nicola Griffith
In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard
The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
Salt by Hannah Moskowitz
The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Total books read: 9

Favorite books:

  • The Raven Tower
  • Always Coming Home
  • Salt

I’ll be honest, February and March have been really disappointing reading months. I keep trying to tell myself that I was DNFing a ton of books and catching up on the books I didn’t get to last year. And that’s true. But it’s also just frustrating to have a run of less-than-satisfying reading experiences. Really, really hoping April goes a little better! (I’ve already finished two books and am close to finishing a third so….maybe?)

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Books I added to my To-Read list recently

 

Wimsey also enjoys books

I haven’t written this type of post with any regularity, but I thought it might be a fun glimpse into what I’m thinking about reading–though I’m not making any promises about when that will happen!

Making this list also led to the realization that a lot of my book recs come from the same people. With that in mind, I asked on Twitter for favorite inclusively feminist SFF critics & bloggers. I’d love to hear your favorites!

Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

All the Real Indians Died Off by Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

White Tears by Hari Kunzru

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Hunted by Megan Spooner

Race and Popular Fantasy Literature by Helen Young

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Currently Reading: 7-3-17

I haven’t done one of these for a bit!

Uprooted and A Countess Below Stairs are both rereads–I had a vague plan of doing an Eva Ibbotson Reading Notes series, since I haven’t done any reading notes yet this year. But so far I’ve been slightly stalled in the middle of Countess for–several months? I don’t know. I’m not sure if it’s the book, or me, or just the pressure to have Things to Say. Uprooted I have barely started and am slightly worried about. Will it turn out to be a book that should not be reread? I’m not sure yet.

I’m just barely beyond the introduction to Mind of the Maker & already have laughed at least twice, cringed at least once, and also said, “Oh, Dorothy” a time or two. So we’ll see!

I have not actually started The Girl Who Could Silence The Wind yet, but it’s Meg Medina so I’m excited.

And The Fairy Doll is the first book in an effort to get some of the books that have lingered on my TBR for ages either read or DNF’d. I do love Rumer Godden, though she is certainly writing from a particular time & culture without realizing it. This is a collection of doll stories, which are generally quite charming so far.

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Ten favorite books about sisters

After writing my post for yesterday, I started to think about other books that I love that feature sisters centrally. Sisterhood can be a really powerful theme in books, partially because that relationship can be fraught and complex and intense. (For the record, my own sister is one of my favorite people in the world.) But it’s also a way to look at women in relation with each other in a way that is really special.

These are far from the only books I could have chosen! In fact, narrowing it down to 10 was really tough. (I took out Girls at the Kingfisher Club and Of Mice and Magic, because I suspect you can guess my feelings on those two already.)

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

Chime by Franny Billingsley

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han

The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge

Rot and Ruin by Kat Howard

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

The Gaither Sisters trilogy by Rita Williams-Garcia

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Currently reading: 10-5

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds: I’m trying to catch up with the Reynolds books I haven’t read yet which is hard because he has several being published a year at the moment. This one is middle grade and a family story. I’m definitely hooked and am curious to see how the relationships and secrets play out.

The Plantagenets by Dan Jones: I started this after finishing the Tiptree biography, thinking that there would be fewer emotions about English history. And then Eleanor of Aquitaine showed up on page 40, so now I’m just resigned to having my heart mangled all the time. Jones is a good historian and manages (at least so far) to give a sense of the people involved which is hard in such a broad overview.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: This one was nominated for the Cybils, and I’ve heard great things about it, and I actually had it checked out already, so here we are! I’m on about page five, so I can’t say much about it yet.

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar: Still reading this one, more because I’ve prioritized other books than because it’s actually taking me long when I sit down with it. I’ll be interested to see how this one resolves; at the moment I’m a little concerned about a couple of things, but I’m willing to see if that changes.

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal: WWI, but with ghosts, which is an interesting concept. I have been really excited for this one, but so far I’m feeling that it fizzed out a bit. Liz Bourke mentioned in her review that this is more Rupert Brooke than Wilfred Owen, and I think that’s a fair point. Anyway, we’ll see.

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Favorite books featuring food

Food can be a really powerful motif in books. It can be a sign of trust or distrust, a tool for worldbuilding, a way to show the preferences and background of characters. But sometimes it becomes really central to the story, even beyond that. Here are a couple of books where the main characters have a really important relationship with food in some way.

 

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen: I loved the way the magic of the garden and plants intertwine with the magic of food in this book. The gentle, textured way Allen talks about Claire’s gift and her relationship to cooking make this probably my favorite book by Sarah Addison Allen.

all the Amor et Chocolat books by Laura Florand: No, I mean, I really tried to pick one here. I love The Chocolate Kiss deeply and truly, and I especially love Magalie’s gift, and Aunt Aja’s tea. But then there’s Gabriel’s rose from The Chocolate Rose, and and–basically, if you like food, this is the romance series for you!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: One of the (many) things I loved about this book was the way Lara Jean used baking to express herself, and also as an expression of how much she cares about the important people in her life.

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban: This is a bit of an outlier in the rest of this list given that it’s a picture book. But the memory of Albert’s lunch and the very particular way he eats it has remained with me so vividly for so long that I just had to include it anyway.

Relish by Lucy Knisley: I have a few reservations about the kind of–cultural tourism, is maybe the term I’m looking for?–in this book, but I also genuinely enjoy Knisley’s grapic novel memoir. The art is lovely, and each chapter has a hand-illustrated recipe to accompany it!

The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip: I re-read this book last year for my McKillip reading notes series, and I was hungry the entire time. The descriptions of the feasts are mouthwatering, but they’re also sometimes surprising. I loved the sense that McKillip gives of the economy of the kitchens, and the way they are their own world.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley: Rae is, of course, a baker and Sunshine is FULL of things like cinnamon rolls as big as your head and the intriguingly titled Death of Marat (I hear someone has made a recipe for this and I want to try it! baked good and jokes about the French Revolution). Making food is an important part of Rae’s life and McKinley definitely shows that.

The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier: I’m maybe stretching just a tad here, because this is less focused on food and more on taste–Araenè, one of the main characters, experiences magic as a taste. I loved the way Neumeier used this description to create a sense of magic that’s really vivid and different.

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon: I really enjoyed Silver Phoenix and its sequel when they came out a few years ago. One of the things I liked is the fact that Ai Ling unabashedly enjoys food. She thinks about it, she looks forward to eating it. It seems like often characters, especially female characters, aren’t allowed to do that.

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Current Reads: 9-21-2016

I am still reading ALL OF THE BOOKS, but I’m trying to keep my pile down to a reasonable size, and also DNF books if they’re not working for me regardless of how well they came recommended.

current

 

Jupiter Pirates: The Rise of Earth by Jason Fry: YEP I’m still reading this one–but the middle lost my attention a bit and I finished several other books ahead of it. I sat down and read a good chunk this morning, so I’m hopeful I’ll finish this one soon. I still like it, but one of the storylines is just…weird.

The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones: I really liked the first of Jones’s Alpennia books, and then it took me forever to actually ILL this one. I’m about 40 pages in and loving it!

American Girls by Alison Umminger: I started this one awhile back and then it kept getting bumped down the priority list, although the beginning really hooked me. I’m curious to know how the rest will play out–plus I’d like to be able to chime in if/when it gets discussed on the PrintzBlog.

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar: Another one that I started and then set down–I’m always interested in families and how the choices of past generations echo. This one is right on the mg/YA line, and I don’t have any firm thoughts about that yet.

James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips: Also still reading this one–I’ve been doing it a chapter at a time, but I’ll probably try to finish it up this week.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine: The last couple of weeks have been tough, so I put this one on hold because it’s so intense. However, the library copy is due back soon so I’m going to sit down with it this weekend!

Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken: The next book in my Aiken re-read series! It’s the first one with Dido and I’m so excited.

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