Some November 2018 Reads

Books & Mags

My latest book order came in at the end of October, but I haven’t cracked any of them open yet.

New Books Oct 2018

From left to right: Thoraiya Dyer’s Echoes of Understorey, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, Emma Newman’s Before Mars, Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers and, finally, what sounds like a very interesting take on Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell.

November is already looking like a great reading month. Anything else you’d recommend?

October 2018 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Time to get out some re-reading in addition to books that are new to me.

Reading Pile October 2018

From left to right: Mishelle Baker’s Impostor Syndrome, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko, A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney and, finally, Wise Craft Quilts by Blair Stocker.

What’s on top of your reading pile?

September 2018 Reading Piles

Books & Mags

After last month’s busy, it was pure joy to take the long Labor Day weekend and just read. For pleasure. For hours on end! Here are some of my latest reads:

Reading Pile September 2018

From left to right: The Shattered Vine (book 3 of the Vineart War) by Laura Anne Gilman, Mirage by Somaiya Daud, Never Stop: Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, an anthology edited by Emmi Itäranta, and Myke Cole’s Siege Line.

It’s as if after a comparative reading drought, I’m restocking my story reserves. 🙂

Library Reading Pile September 2018

And more from an inter-library loan haul: Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by Ellen Pao, Space Unicorn Blues by T.J. Berry and Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. The last one I’m reading for the banned books week.

I’ve devoured Siege Line, Mirage and The Shattered Vine already. (I heartily recommend Mirage, by the way!!) I couldn’t resist a peek into Space Unicorn Blues even if I haven’t quite finished my current read. 😀

In addition, Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World’s Strangest Brains by Helen Thomson is also back at the library. What a fascinating read that was!

Anything especially intriguing in your TBR pile? Do share!

August 2018 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Phew! So far I’ve been way too busy to do any gaming, and I’ve barely touched my TBR pile in August even though there’s plenty I’d really like to read.

Reading Pile August 2018

From left to right: Ann Leckie’s Provenance, Weight of Stone (sequel to Flesh and Fire which I read last month) by Laura Anne Gilman and That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together by Joanne Lipman.

I wonder whether I can get through all three; I’ve started Lipman and Weight of Stone, at least.

How’s your reading lately?

July 2018 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

I have a great selection of reading right now:

Reading Pile July 2018

From left to right: Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman, Hit by Delilah Dawson, Gilgamesh: A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell, Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie, The Winter War: Russia’s Invasion of Finland, 1939-1940 by Robert Edwards and Just One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor.

Not pictured is Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie because it’s on my nightstand. Also, I’ve already read Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson. 🙂

April 2018 Reading Pile

Books & Mags, Geek out!

I noticed I haven’t featured my reading piles in a while. Here are the most photogenic books in my reading pile for the month:

Reading Pile Apr 2018

From left to right, Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker, The Stone Sky by J.K. Jemisin, Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff, Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines and Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko.

I’ve already read a bunch, too, including Space Opera by Catherynne Valente, Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer and The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson.

April 2018 Already Read

An honorary mention has to go to Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. It’s her debut novel, it was fantastic, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her long fiction!

What are you looking forward to reading?

2017 Reading Recap

Books & Mags

For some years now, I’ve kept a tally of the books I read. In earlier years, I’ve blogged about a gender-breakdown on my reading. While interesting, it’s starting to get monotonous. Time to try something else!

As I started 2017 recuperating from an operation, I decided to focus on self-care all year. Among other things, it meant listening to myself more carefully than before and stopping when I began to feel wiped out instead of gritting my teeth and pushing through. I consciously made time for pleasurable activities (like reading) both indoors and outdoors. I’m glad to say my efforts paid off: my health and energy levels have improved noticeably. And yes, I have numbers to back it up. 🙂

Anyway, back to books. Here, alphabetically by title, are the nine most memorable stories I (re)read in 2017.

2017 Reading Recap Collage

 

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

I resisted picking up this novella because of the name Murderbot, but I’m really glad I did. A self-aware, self-named, part-synthetic, part-organic grumpy SecUnit bot reflects on personhood and solves a mystery involving sabotage and incomplete data. Also, first person POV that works really well. Looking forward to more in the series!

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

The final novel in the Divine Cities trilogy with action, philosophy and politics plus gripping characters and fates. While I didn’t care that much about the two preceding books, I actually felt genuinely sad at the end of CoM.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Sequel to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet but works as a standalone. We focus on Pepper and the AI Lovelace and learn more about Pepper’s past (as a genetically modified child slave) in a story that is at least optimistic if not outright happy. Love it as much as Angry Planet; looking forward to July and Record of a Spaceborn Few.

The Five Daughters of the Moon and The Sisters of the Crescent Empress by Leena Likitalo

Inspired by the 1917 Russian revolution and the last months of the Romanov sisters, together these novels make up the Waning Moon duology. Beautiful, creepy and haunting all at once. Likitalo is a fellow Finn.

Infomocracy and Null States by Malka Older

Two first installations in the Centenal Cycle trilogy about microdemocracy, a fascinating idea. Looking forward to September and State Tectonics.

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

Another fellow Finn. The Red Abbey welcomes a new arrival whose past unfortunately brings problems for all the inhabitants of the island. I enjoyed it so much I read it twice AND dragged with me to Finland to Worldcon 75 to be autographed. I’ve also already bought the sequel, Naondel, but haven’t gotten to it yet.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

A murder mystery in space, with clones who cannot remember their previous lives. Awesome unveiling of the plot, characters and timelines.

What did you read last year that was special?

 

Amatka Book Talks by Karin Tidbeck in BOS, NYC, and San Diego

Books & Mags

Swedish fantasy and weird author Karin Tidbeck is giving book talks on her debut novel Amatka in the United States.

Karin Tidbeck Amatka

Amatka was originally released in Swedish in 2012. It was first published in English a few weeks ago, at the end of June 2017. The publisher describes the novel as follows:

“A surreal debut novel set in a world shaped by language in the tradition of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin.

“Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

“Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.”

In connection with the book birthday, Tidbeck will do a short publicity tour in the U.S. First, she’ll appear at Readercon 28 in Quincy, south of Boston, on July 13-16, 2017. (No further details at this writing.)

There’ll be a second book talk at New York City’s Scandinavia House on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at 7 p.m. (free entry).

Finally, Tidbeck will be at Comic-Con in San Diego on July 20-23, 2017. (No further details at this writing.)

I haven’t read Tidbeck before, but Amatka sounds intriguing. She describes the birth of the novel in a blog post like this:

“I had spent some years collecting dream notes, and I found myself wondering if they could be mapped. What did my dream country look like? I found that some places showed up again and again, although the geography, events and people shifted. I ended up ordering the notes according to an imagined compass: north, south, east and west, and finally, a central city. […]

“Vanja, a somewhat reluctant protagonist, agreed to be my guide. But what was the world? Dreams, as I thought of them, are ruled by language. What would Vanja’s life be like? What would a society be like in a world where language ruled over matter? The story of Amatka began to unfold. It broke loose from my dream continent and became a world of its own.”

On the surface it sounds a bit like LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and Emmi Itäranta’s The Weaver. The way Tidbeck talks of language ruling over matter also reminds me of the way mathematics rules over reality in Yoon Ha Lee’s The Ninefox Gambit. As a linguist, I’m doubly intrigued and excited to read Amatka!

Cross-posted from Co-Geeking.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

July 2017 Library Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Now that the Hugo Awards reading is aaallmost done, I’m looking forward to other interesting reads like these:

Library Reading Pile Jul 2017

All of the books above come from my regional library system or local library. Very nice!

(Anne Corlett: The Space between the Stars; Meg Elison: The Book of Etta; Nicky Drayden: The Prey of Gods; Neil deGrasse Tyson: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry; Karin Tidbeck: Amatka)