July 2021 Reading
I thought I would read differently last month. I expected Shadow’s recovery to be more sedate and I’d curl up with him and read. Yes, he slept more, but his medications meant that he wanted lots of active snuggling. They warned me this would be a side effect! I enjoyed it, even if it did make reading more challenging than I expected.
This made eBooks easier to read that my paperback Valdemar series, though I did manage to finish rereading Arrows of the Queen. Don’t worry, I can cuddle my cat and read, I finished sixteen other eBooks last month. I no longer list every title but share a few of my recommendations here.
October Daye Series
After finishing A Killing Frost last month, I’m now caught up on The October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire. This urban fantasy is mostly set in a San Francisco we’d recognize and has an uneasy neighbor in Fairie. Even if one side isn’t aware of the other. It comes with all joys and challenges that happens when coexisting in close proximity. October struggles throughout the books — she’s a changeling not a full blooded fae, she was transformed against her will and lost years, she has an uneasy relationship with her mother, and she struggles to find her place in society, there’s more. When she discovers she’d be lied to about her heritage, her life improves in some ways and of course new challenges arise. She’s a misfit who doesn’t intend to cause massive societal change everywhere she goes, it just happens. I love McGuire’s storytelling, her characters, and how she blends fantasy and realism into one I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up to find was reality. If you’re interested, begin with Rosemary and Rue and plan to give up sleep, housekeeping, cooking, everything until you’re caught up on all the books. They’re worth it.
SF Short Stories
Women Destroy Science Fiction! by Lightspeed Magazine, edited by Christie Yant
Not able to tackle a full-length novel? The thought of reading an entire series too much? This collection of short science fiction work is an enjoyable anthology, published by Lightspeed in 2014. It’s also available as an audiobook, which is how I enjoyed these stories. (Overdrive library link)
As with any anthology, some entries were more compelling for me than others. Overall, the entire collection was an enjoyable read/listen.
Diet for a Small Planet 20th Anniversary Edition by Frances Moore Lappé
This is another ecology/nature/climate change book that I’m surprised no one put into my hand 30 years ago. Perhaps it’s the unfortunate title, it’s a remarkable book. I would have devoured it back then. I’m now fascinated by Lappé’s work and even more so how I missed it until hearing the title mentioned on an episode of The Food Programme earlier this year. This 20th edition is still a readable and information book, even though the recipes are dated and I skipped them! I’m curious and hope to read the 50th edition when it comes out next month (It will include updated recipes! Visit smallplanet.org for more information).
Myths beyond Europe
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Roanhorse takes the dated assumption that Western culture makes a fantasy novel, tosses it out, and replaces it with a variety of myths that result in a deep and engaging epic.
I found it to be a book I want to savor and linger over while reading. My first reading experience of it was unfortunately fragmented due to the nature of library eBook holds and borrows. After many starts and stops over the past year, last month was I finally able to read it in one delightful marathon reading session.
I hope to reread this novel again before I attempt to write more about it other than suggesting you read it too. Can’t wait and want to learn more? This recent review at strange horizons will help you out.
More candy reads
I hadn’t intended to let these books stack up, but I was happy I did. They are the perfect sort of easy reading my brain needed last month. Perhaps you watch reality TV, I read these novels. In one delightful weekend, I inhaled the three most recent in Death books by J.D. Robb: Golden in Death, Shadows in Death, and Faithless in Death. They’re full of everything you’d expect from Eve, Roarke, Peabody, et al. These are fun reads and I enjoyed them while E watched some classic Law and Order re-reruns (aka reruns of episodes we’ve watched recently). A small warning about Shadows in Death … someone ends up dead (no not that someone) and the timing of it along with the title left me (and Eve) incredibly pissed off and wanting justice.
A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor, May 2021)
This novel has it all: alternative history, urban fantasy, mystery/police procedure, and steam punk. A Master of Djinn is set in the alternative 1900’s Egypt that Clark introduced in previously published short works.
In anticipation of writing this review I reread both of Clark’s shorter works set in this world, though this works as a stand-alone full-length debut novel. Now I want to reread this book again. What higher compliment can I give a book than I want to reread it?
Please enjoy my entire review at NetGalley.
I received this title through NetGalley, the FTC wants you to know.
As for what I’m reading next, I don’t have set plans. It’s plausible I’ll reread Valdemar, but I may get caught up in eBooks from the library. I’m trying to clear out my TBR lists.
As you can see, Shadow is still keen on snuggles. He had his first chemo treatment on Monday and so far, is doing very well.