November 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Some of the books in my pile this month include the following:

From left to right: Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple collection The Thirteen Problems and, finally, An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca.

In addition, I’ve already read with great enjoyment The Unconquered City by K.A. Doore, the last in her Ghadid trilogy.

Last month I also mentioned two tv series which Husband and I recently got to watching. We fell out of love with Outlander just before the end of season 1 since the draaaama just wouldn’t eeeend, but The Brokenwood Mysteries we’re still very much into.

Got anything to recommend, either on the page or on the screen?

October 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Some of the books in my pile this month include the following:

Reading Pile October 2020

From the left: Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro, Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter and Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine.

Husband and I also just recently got to watching two shows with very different tones and from pretty much the opposite ends of the earth: Outlander (accidental time travel from post-WWII England to Scotland in the 1700s) and The Brokenwood Mysteries (murder mysteries in a small town in modern-day New Zealand). We’re enjoying both so far, especially the latter.

Any stories you’ve gotten a kick out of lately?

September 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Some of the books in my pile this month include the following:

Reading Pile September 2020

From left to right: The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow, They Do It with Mirrors plus Three Blind Mice and Other Stories by Agatha Christie, Annihilation Aria by Michael R. Underwood, Thorn by Intisar Khanani and, finally, A Matter of Oaths by Helen. S. Wright.

In other fiction-related news, I also just found out that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, another screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is in the works. How delightful! I like the 1995 version directed by Roger Mitchell, but it has a few weaknesses it would be lovely to see treated differently. This will be exciting – I hope the adaptation will come through!

What of special interest have you read or seen lately? Do share!

August 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Some of the books in my pile this month include the following:

Reading Pile August 2020

Clockwise from top left: The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood, Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett and The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin.

I held back and didn’t initially buy Jemisin’s The City We Became since I’m not a fan of NYC, but the reviews I read were so good I caved.

What of special interest have you read lately? Do share!

July 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

This month I’m going through mostly library books, but the two books I ordered in June arrived just in time.

Here are some of my recent reads.

Reading Pile July 2020

From left to right: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss, The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow, The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan, The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi, The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana and, finally, Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender.

Yay, books! 🙂

March 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Here are some of my reads for the month:

Reading Pile March 2020

From top to bottom: Megan O’Keefe’s Steal the Sky, then The Impossible Contract by K.A. Doore, and the non-fiction work Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Aleksievich (which is amazing!). Back to fiction with The New Voices of Science Fiction edited by Hannu Rajaniemi and Jacob Weisman and, finally, Mazes of Power by Juliette Wade.

Have you read something especially fun or rewarding lately?

February 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

I’ve been indubitably sick again – *sigh!* – but at least I got some watching and reading done. Here’s a selection:

Reading Pile February 2020

From top to bottom: The True Queen by Zen Cho, Kitchen Hacks: How Clever Cooks Get Things Done, Saving the Sacred Sea by Kate Pride Brown and, finally, Kruunupäinen käärme ja muita suomen kansan tarinoita by Kirsti Mäkinen. In addition, I’ve already returned Genevieve Cogman’s The Secret Chapter to the library. (No, not the Library!)

Any interesting reads in your life at the moment?

Most Memorable Stories of the Past Decade

Books & Mags, Geek out!

So far this year, I’ve seen a number of posts listing the best books of the past decade. For example, the Boston Public Library has a top ten fantasy novels and a top ten sci-fi novels list, and Adri and Joe list their best books at Nerds of the Feather. And of course, the definition of best varies enormously from site to site and writer to writer. The point, though, is to talk about books. 🙂

Here’s my take on the “best of” list – the most memorable stories of the past ten years. And I’ll tell you upfront that I’m going to cheat: instead of listing a dozen or so monographs, I’m including groups of books when appropriate.

 

Katherine Addison: The Goblin Emperor. The way an abused minor relative dismissed to the edges of the realm claims the throne and becomes an emperor who believes in himself is beautifully described.

Current Reading 2x Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers: ALL of it! The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet; A Closed and Common Orbit; Record of a Spaceborn Few; To Be Taught, If Fortunate. I just LOVE her humanity-affirming style.

Thoraiya Dyer: Titan’s Forest series (so far I own Crossroads of Canopy and Echoes of Understorey). I don’t really care about the people, but the forest is so astounding it might as well be a major character in the story! (Note to self: Get Tides of the Titans.)

Jim C. Hines: Libriomancer. I wasn’t quite as grabbed by the sequels, but this one contains a scene so out of this world (literally!) that it got me to sit bolt upright in my armchair (when Isaac took the automaton to the moon).

N.K. Jemisin: The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun. I had heard good things about TKM long before picking it up; I kept resisting it because of the title – at the time I was so, so, SO tired of dystopias and violence in my fiction. I wish I could remember why I decided to pick it up, though; whatever it was, I’m thankful, for Jemisin immediately became by favorite living author.

Mary Robinette Kowal: The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky. These surprised me, since I really am not interested in 1950s and 60s. At all!

Yoon Ha Lee‘s Machineries of the Empire series (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem and Revenant Gun) is so different from anything I’ve read before. I’m lagging behind in my reading, though, and haven’t yet gotten to the third book. Bad me! (Note to self: Check whether I already bought it or not!)

Likitalo Waning Moon Duology

Leena Likitalo‘s historical fantasy duology The Five Daughters of the Moon and The Sisters of the Crescent Empress were loosely inspired by a setting that I find completely uninteresting (end of the Romanov family and revolution in Russia), but the books proved I should keep an open mind.

Karin Lowachee: Warchild. Shifting alliances and survival story extraordinaire. Without gore.

Emma Newman‘s Planetfall series: Planetfall, After Atlas, Before Mars and Atlas Alone. Which author has the gumption to destroy a planet and stay around to see what it does to people?

Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death. It was part of my 21 Authors reading project, and even though I like the Binti trilogy more, there’s no denying that WFD has serious staying power.

Mike Pohjola: Ihmisen poika. Autobiographical fiction that also includes some of the history of introducing larping to Finland. Note: Mike is a friend, and there’s also a reference to me, well-veiled but there. 🙂

Current Reading All Systems Red Artifical Condition

Martha Wells‘s Murderbot diaries (so far published are All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy, with full-length novel Network Effect forthcoming this year). The series is all-round excellent, but Murderbot really is the best grumpy, conscientious, self-preservation-centered protagonist there is. (Note to self: Must. Read. Again. Soon!)

 

Also, I unfortunately had to skip a couple of books like A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz or Kelley Eskridge’s Solitaire, either because they aren’t novels or I came to them too late.

What would you pick and why?

January 2020 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Due to being sick, I have read a bit more than usual in early January. I also got an AMAZING selection of books and screen entertainment this Christmas; thank you, fam! Just some of the works I’ve already enjoyed or am looking forward to are below.

Reading Pile January 2020

From top to bottom: Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh and, finally, Gamechanger by L.X. Beckett.

Did you get anything especially great over the holidays? Do share!

November 2019 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

This month I have so many good things to curl under a blanket with! 🙂 Among them are the following:

Reading Pile November 2019

From top to bottom: Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes, The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz and Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse. In addition, I took two non-fiction books out of the library: Grow in the Dark: How to Choose and Care for Low-Light Houseplants by Lisa Eldred Stenkopf and Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski & Amelia Nagoski.

I’ve already read Newitz’s excellent novel – which pairs really well with the movie Harriet, by the way – and am in the middle of Chilling Effect.

Anything else you’d recommend? Please share!