May’s over, and it looks like all my May reviews will be published in June! Woohoo procrastination!
However, while May was dreary and boring for me (minus some library drama as we reopen—and as other libraries reopen—and I feel overwhelmed with compassion fatigue), this continued to be a horrific month for marginalized communities.
Racism in America has only ever been “hidden” to white eyes—and the systemic racism in this country has continued to single out Black Americans, who have been left behind during this pandemic and continue to be targeted by the police.
If you’re thinking, but this is a book blog, welp, sorry, but racism just doesn’t go away when you don’t want to see it. That’s a privilege that you and I, fellow white people, don’t get to have anymore. We all have a part to play in racism, and we all have a part to play in deconstructing the systemic racism that lurks inside all white people—yes, even you, white person with Black friends.
Say their names.
The list goes on, and on, and on. Let’s work to stop it.
I read 15 books this month, which meant lots of stress reading and whatnot. Not sure if you really care about the stats, so there are the books.
Look folks. If this doesn’t win the Hugos, Nebulas, Locust Award and whatever other sci-fi award that exists in this plane of existence next year, then I am going to call foul. Because this shit is a masterpiece. The first 100 pages or so are batshit bonkers and I was trying to figure out what the fuck was going on, but then I got it and holy damn this is amazing. This is New York.
Lots of four-star reads this month, including two re-reads of books that were my favorites in high school but weren’t quite five stars in my 30s. They were still solid, however.
As always, what I read depends entirely on what mood I’m in—although with audiobooks it depends on what comes on hold from the library. So I wasn’t um, in the best state of mind to listen to Crisis in the Red Zone in the middle of a pandemic, but I did, and now I’m terrified all of all things bodily fluid. So thank you for that, Richard Preston.
Something to Talk About, The Henna Wars and The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water were the queer reads I desperately needed this month, and Jade War realized a gay storyline that was hinted at (okay it was actually mentioned but Anden didn’t fully come out) in the first book.
There There was a foray into literary fiction (a genre I tend to avoid), and the audiobook is brilliant and highly recommended. It’s definitely Indigenous fiction and history that I need to read more of, and a book that everyone should read too. My only qualm was that the ending was too abrupt.
Beach Read was a contemporary romance that was more about writer’s block and writing than romance, and I was 100% there for it (as I’ve been procrastinating/too emotionally exhausted to write this sequel).
And here we roll into my disappointments for the month. Not super disappointing, but these were all highly anticipated reads that didn’t live up to my high expectations.
Music From Another World was a critical piece of gay history, with a sapphic romance set in late ’70s California, and yet the middle part bogged down and seemed to last forever. The Winter Duke and I couldn’t connect in any way, although that cover is absolutely stunning and the plot had a lot of promise. Where’d You Go, Bernadette, started off strong but damn Bernadette is racist as fuck and also—dare I say it?—the movie was better. And Sex and Vanity tried to repeat the brilliance of Crazy Rich Asians with old-money Americans but failed and ended up sounding like the Baron von Ephussy or Cecil narrated the entire thing.
Mariko Tamaki and I keep breaking up with each other, except she’s a highly successful graphic novelist and I am a cranky nobody, and we have never met and never will. Okay, so this correlation doesn’t work at all, but I think this is the last Tamaki I attempt. I hated This One Summer, but since I loved Supergirl I gave this a shot and I did not like it. I saw what was trying to be done, but it didn’t work for me. But I’m a grumpy middle aged woman and not a teen, so your experience may vary.