March in Review

13 books read in March.  WOW!  I guess spring break helps me get a running start into this month’s reading.

*I missed my first book of the month, This One Summer by Mariko Tomaki, but it was for class, so it didn’t feel like the same thing. 🙂 *

20764879A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

4.5 cups of tea.  Oh dang, I was on the fence about A Darker Shade of Magic (possibly because of the audiobook narrator), but this totally solidified my interest in the series.  I find this world so interesting, the magic and the parallel worlds are both so cool, Kel’s personal struggles and identity feel like authentic responses to his situation.  And, of course, Lila is so fun and she’s a real pot-stirrer, she makes things happen!  I’ve got the third book on hold!  (Library read)

26135825Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

2.5 cups of tea.  Not for me. I read this for work, and got to the 3rd to last page and went ‘I’ve read this before!’  I don’t have a strong background in queer theory or English literature, which probably would have helped me engage with the book more.  I do have a parent with mental illness, and I appreciated seeing representation of being the child of a functioning person dealing with depression.   I’m glad this book exists, but I don’t think I’m the right reader for it. (Library read)

26114477Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

4 cups of tea.  This book was a mixed bag, as essay collections tend to be, but overall I really appreciated the essays.  Hurley covers a lot of ground, and she has got me all excited for feminist SF, which is my best corner of SF.

666174Amy Unbounded: Blondweg Blossoming by Rachel Hartman

4 cups of tea.  I need more Rachel Hartman in my life.  This book is set in the same world as Seraphina and Shadow Scale, both of which I loved, and we even have a couple of crossover characters.  This is an out-of-print graphic novel, but it is well-worth searching out for fans of Seraphina.  Amy’s struggles and her community over the course of one summer are believable and sweetly handled.  To repeat: I need more Rachel Hartman in my life.

33585392Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

4.5 cups of tea.  A quick read, but important, especially for parents of daughters.  I’ve got my husband prepped for reading it, which I’m excited for.

Emma, Vol. 7 by Kaoru Mori

3 cups of tea.  DNF  I just wasn’t interested anymore.  It had been too long, and I think I was lukewarm at best about Emma when I was reading the earlier ones. (Library read)

13638125Vicious by V.E. Schwab

3 cups of tea.  DNF.  I just wasn’t interested in any of the characters or the plot.  It’s not you, Vicious, it’s me.

The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi

3 cups of tea.  This book was fun, if a bit dark.  I might read further if someone encourages it, but it didn’t quite grab me personally on this read.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

5 cups of tea.  I forgot how much I loved this series.  LaFevers strikes the perfect balance with history and fantasy, with political intrigue and romance and action.  Ahh, I love this book. (Mixed media read, audio checked out from library)

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

5 cups of tea.  So good.  Sybella’s story is pretty intense, but I love how she’s such a bad ass.  And I love how she and Beast compliment each other, and how he gently helps her begin to come .  We need more bad ass, but gentle men.  So good.  (Mixed media read, audio checked out from library)

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

4.5 cups of tea.  Definitely the weakest of the series.  I think my main obvious gripe with it is that I do not like the love interest in it and he plays a pretty big role in Annith’s motivations.  I liked Annith well enough, but I just didn’t like him as brooding, rough love interest.  She could have done better/should have told him that wasn’t acceptable.  Also, the trope of women being a civilizing presence, healing rough men with her very presence doesn’t appeal to me.  But, there’s a lot of good stuff in here, especially with the convent background!  Worth a read, just not as strong as the two amazing previous books.  (Mixed media read, audio checked out from library)

I am SO ready for LaFevers to publish our next books on Sybella and Beast.  Also, I do not love any of these these covers, so I am hoping the next round of books will have covers that appeal to me more.  Because I’m selfish like that.

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

180689075 cups of tea.  Wow.  This came out of nowhere for me.  Sort of.  My brother took me to the bookstore for my birthday several months ago and bought me a bunch of books I picked out, of which this was one.  I’m basically trying really hard not to read 1984 even though I want to read it, and I got this audiobook from the library to help me in my avoidance.  I have mixed results with high fantasy, but this was blinking amazing.  I recommended it to a friend whose husband reads fantasy with the tag “Little Women + Hunger Games in an Ancient Greece/Egypt-style world.”  Jessamy is the 2nd oldest of 4 sisters (Mariaya, Bettany, and Amaya) and her father serves away from home in the army (see, Little Women).  Her mother is a brown-skinned local woman who is unable to marry her father because he’s of a higher class than her, but they make things work.  The daughters are mixed-race in a racist and misogynistic society.  Jess secretly competes in The Fives, a sports competition, and everything falls apart when some lords get involved in their family.  I loved Jess, her sisters, the mother (who got more depth as the story progressed), the wealthy love interest (Laurie?  I sort of hope not), the matriarchal Efean society, the mystery of Jess learning more about her mother’s culture, things she had never even thought to ask.  It’s super readable and while the pace isn’t fast for much of it, I didn’t get bored either.  Also, I liked that there was no real direct fighting, just competing.  I got the next book from the library before I even finished this book.  That’s how good I thought it was.  Check back soon for my thoughts on Book 2!  (Mixed media read, audio checked out from library)

31423180Shrill by Lindy West

4.5 cups of tea.  This was one of the books that I got at a library fundraiser, and oh man, everywhere I look I see Lindy West.  She’s smart, funny, and kind, but she’s not taking anyone’s shit either.  She explains about life in America as a fat person and her fat activism, she speaks out against rape jokes in comedy, and all the while she deals with trolls until it culminates in someone trolling her as her recently deceased father.  She’s one of the voices of our age and we should all be listening.  (Mixed media read, audio checked out from library)

Currently reading:

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

1984 by George Orwell

1491 by Charles C. Mann

Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

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