This was a good reading month but not a great posting month. But hey, this is my 100th post!
I had planned on posting a weekly series of books on women in the military, with a schedule and everything and then…didn’t. I still have the books prepared for the women in Vietnam and the 80s, and also the books on women in the military post 9/11, and I will be posting them because there are a lot of great things out there.
I also let a lot of my reviews pile up without writing them, so December is going to have to be catch up. And some of the reviews I wrote but didn’t post to the blog but kept on Goodreads. Let’s be honest, my reading tastes are…scattered and all over the place.
And I didn’t do any of my other writing (besides finishing my space mermaids short), despite there being an anthology submission for something that I have the perfect idea for (granted, there was no way I was going to finish researching, drafting, writing and editing the thing in 15 days). But I did find some other submission calls that fit things I already have or am writing, so that was exciting.
Note to self: don’t plan projects when you don’t have a weekend to set time away to complete them.
Overall, I read 15 books this month, nine books, 5 audiobooks and one graphic novel. That was 47 hours of audiobook and 5,555 pages (audiobooks are wrapped into the page count).
Anywho, the books!
And heh, I’ve only posted a review on this blog for one of these.
I wrote a review for Slay (not yet one for Talking to Strangers since my words are um, not coming on that book beyond Malcolm Galdwell’s voice is amazing and I love his writing style) but I don’t know if I’m going to actually post them here because my reviews don’t do these books justice (not that any of my reviews do any of these books justice). I might post Slay, mainly because it fits the book reviews that I post here (and has Black girl gamers!!!), and also because I haven’t seen too many reviews for it and it is such a wonderful book.
A Season of Daring Greatly was incredible and I have not written the review yet. I might be biased because I grew up reading Ellen Emerson White and her writing style just…speaks to me, but this was awesome and I loved reading about Jill Cafferty becoming the first woman to sign for a major league baseball team.
The four stars were all fantastic in their own ways, but didn’t quite reach the level of awesome that a five-star book means to me.
Into the Drowning Deep (review posting Tuesday, December 3rd) scared the shit off of me and probably would have been five stars if the ending hadn’t been so abrupt. Did not like that. I need closure, dammit!
I liked Foundryside much more than I had anticipated, because I was leery about a white dude writing a lesbian of color and a lesbian romance, but it was funny, the magic and world were well-developed, and the action sequences were great.
To Be Taught, If Fortunate (review pending) was one I just finished today, and I’m still wrapping my thoughts around it. I’m super duper intrigued by humans as scientists not colonizers, and the idea of humanity changing themselves to fit their environments as opposed to changing the entire environment (and causing unknowable harm) to suit themselves. I enjoyed this much more than The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.
Frankly in Love was all-around adorable and insightful, and I loved the Korean rep and the challenges of being a Limbo and feeling like you can never truly belong.
Guts was fantastic, and I wished I had had this book when I was in middle school because holy shit it would have helped with so many, many things.
The Flatshare was endearing, hilarious and probably one of my favorite contemporary romances of this year (in hot contention with The Unhoneymooners), save for the dreaded Bury Your Gays trope.
The three-stars were either highly anticipated reads that turned into dudes, or books that looked interesting that ultimately…weren’t. And books that I’m so happy I read at 3o-something instead of during my formative years. All five were entertaining but not great, and I might transform one (or two) of them into two star reads down the line.
Emotional Intelligence was filled with heteronormative stereotypes and covertly racist undertones, which significantly diminished from the good things that it had to say about the importance of self-awareness, empathy, social skills, and mood self-regulation in overall life and society at large. Likewise, The Only Woman in the Room was a flaming disaster of a book that focused more on domestic violence and spousal abuse and Nazism and “oh, I could have done more but I didn’t and then I had the chance to push forward and I didn’t,” instead of on Lamarr’s post WWII-life and…all the actual interesting bits. It was a mess of a book and not very well written.
Angel Mage was hotly anticipated, because I love the Abhorsen trilogy. But while the world-building was incredible, the character development and plot-pacing were…decidedly less. Sweep of the Blade was…well, I’m just happy for whoever Ilona Andrews’ editor is, because they truly made the Kate Daniels’ series shine. I loved all of the previous entries into the Innkeeper series, and will read the next installment, but for the love of Pete I am growing weary of the incredibly firm gender binaries thrown into these books and all things maleness. And also the choppy writing style and general heteronormativity.
And Flowers in the Attic. Welp, let’s just say I know why so many women flocked to Fifty Shades of Grey, since this was the book so many of them read during their formative years. I’ll admit, I saw this dog-eared copy in my school library and didn’t pick it up because the summary didn’t sound too intriguing (I apparently missed the memos on its more salacious contents) and I’m happy I did. This book is weird and fucked up, and no wonder my wife gave me such weird looks when she realized what I was reading (she saw the first movie many, many years ago, and it scarred her).
What did you read this month?