With NaNoWriMo in progress, my main focus this month has of course been more on writing than reading, but I’ve been through a number of books too. Can’t write all the time!
I’m continuing my reread of Catherynne Valente’s Fairyland series, with Books 3 and 4, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and The Boy Who Lost Fairyland. I particularly enjoy Book 4, which shifts the perspective to the point of view of a changeling brought to the strange land of Chicago. Seeing our world translated through a lens of Valente’s particular brand of fantasy is truly brilliant.
I continued my read of reincarnation books as well – first with The Next Together by Lauren James, which seemed so very promising. A couple meets and falls in love in four different lifetimes, and the novel interweaves all four timelines. Unfortunately it never quite wove together as much as I hoped, and the ending felt very rushed. I then reread The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. I enjoyed that one very much the first time, a bit less on the second – I’m coming to think that a lot of reincarnation-type stories rest heavily on concept, and that doesn’t lend itself well to multiple reads. I did enjoy this one still, though, just not quite as I remembered.
I also read The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd, another very clever premise involving a mystery around a map. I enjoyed most of it very much, but I keep having trouble with endings lately, as I wasn’t quite happy with how it ultimately came together. I think it was meant to be a happier ending than it actually felt.
I read a very light romance with a cute title: Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson, a romance involving revising a novel – a bit You’ve Got Mail-esque, in that the heroine is exchanging notes in the margin of her novel manuscript without knowing who her mysterious editor is. I mean – it’s pretty obvious who it is because it’s that kind of a book, but that’s fine. It’s a little predictable but I think it was meant to be, and it was cute overall.
My star of the month, though, was To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers. I’ve been hugely enjoying her books so I hunted this one up too. I wish she was as prolific as T. Kingfisher! (None from her this month – I’m trying to pace myself!) This is a very interesting, very different sci fi about human astronauts visiting four very intriguing exoplanets. A friend described Chambers style as very zen, and it’s definitely true.
I have some nonfiction and fantasy books lined up next, so we’ll see how the year finishes out – nearly time to round up the best of the year again! Stay tuned 🙂