thank you & some thoughts on books and reading

estimated 4 min read

Thank you for all the kind words, virtual hugs, and support. Shadow was a very special cat and it means the world to us to know that he touched hearts beyond our own. Stress has been the theme of our year (yes, I know it’s true for everyone) and my reading last month reflects this.

The Book List

The books are presented in the order I completed them during the month. With each title I write some words — sometimes a few, sometimes many. This format, inspired by Jo Walton’s series for Tor.com, encourages me to think about each title and why I finished it.

Most of the commentary this time is simply the notes I scribbled as I read and finished each title. The ability to form new or edit many extra words beyond the requirements of my work day is asking a bit much of my brain right now. That’s most apparent in my thoughts on The Dresden Files.

Small Favor by Jim Butcher (2008), 420 pages. Fiction, series. I’m fascinated by the Archive, felt that Michael could’ve used more page-time, and found the dinner with Luccio some sort of foreshadowing I wasn’t sure about (all became clear in time).

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (2009), 418 pages. Fiction, series. Aaah. Morgan. Peabody’s influences, that makes more sense with Luccio. Overall this felt a bit of filler book and I’m curious how (if) without Morgan by his side Dresden will feel differently about the Wardens… and his relationship to the Grey Council.

Changes by Jim Butcher (2010), 438 pages. Fiction, series. Well, anyone who has read the series already knows the ending. It lays out so much that is needed in the later books. I’m sad about Susan, but I knew it was coming pretty much as soon as she reappeared.

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (2011), 481 pages. Fiction, series. Interesting narration device. It should be no surprise that I’m most fascinated by Molly.  

Cold Days by Jim Butcher (2012), 515 pages. Fiction, series. Not totally surprised by this arc, and I’m interested how the diversion of Mab is worked in. There’s quite a few geek in-jokes. They used to frustrate me because I knew they were there and I didn’t understand them, and now having read more … when I don’t grok them they don’t bother me as much. One quote that hit me: “There’s always, always a choice. My options might really, truly suck, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a choice.”

Skin Game by Jim Butcher (2014), 454 pages. Fiction, series. Robbing Hades, what could go wrong? That last kiss … Aiye.

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher (2020), 340 pages. Fiction, series. I think this should’ve been published combined with Battle Ground, but as I didn’t have to wait to read, my advice here is to make sure you have the next book near at hand.

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher (2020), 418 pages. Fiction, series. I finished this the night after we lost Shadow. All the death and loss and love? Honestly it helped. I should note I watched “The Long Night” the evening after my mother died. Think of that and me what you will.

Ash by Malinda Lo (2009), 264 pages. Fiction. I always fall for retellings. This twist on Cinderella turns some gender roles on their head and it’s beautifully done.

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (2021), 372 pages. Fiction. I was blown completely away by this story. I haven’t read anything as beautiful and even if I wasn’t grieving when I finished I’d read most of it with tears streaming down my face because it just felt so … true. Not that I felt or wanted to be any of the characters, everyone felt real and plausible. It is a magical story. Perhaps my adoration is based on my childhood of music and the musical community I found myself immersed in. I look forward to rereading it once I acquire my own copy.

Strange Brew by Elrod, P. N. (Editor) (2009), 372 pages. Fiction, short story anthology. I checked this out for the big names on the cover — Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, and Patricia Briggs. I stayed for all the stories. Of them, I think “Seeing Eye, by Patricia Briggs, “Death Warmed Over” by Rachel Caine, and “Signatures of the Dead” by Faith Hunter were my absolute favourites, something that should be no big surprise.

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor (2021), 224 pages. Fiction. Wow. When I saw this on my library new book shelf I couldn’t grab it fast enough. This is africanfuturism at its best. It’s on my reread list after I acquire my own copy.

December’s Reading Plan

My focus has been as scattered as I expected. I’m unable to focus long on anything. This is amusing to me as one book I keep picking up is over 1000 pages! We’ll see what I finish.

Keep safe, get vaccinated and boostered, wear a mask mindfully, and wash your hands.

Tuxedo cat laying on a crochet blanket and light blue couch next to "Noor" and a tablet device. The cat's paw is in front of her mouth as if she has a secret.
Dot loved Noor as much as I did.

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