What I’ve Been Reading Lately (September, 2022)

Looking back on recent reads, I find I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy – which is not exactly unusual, but is not as much the case anymore as it was, say, five years ago!  In fact, I didn’t read any nonfiction this month, which isn’t the norm anymore.

I read a very odd book, Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey, which…I hesitate to categorize as sci fi or fantasy, because I don’t want to give too much away.  The two main characters keep repeating their lives and meeting each other in different ways – but it’s not exactly reincarnation, because they keep living through the same time period, and it’s not exactly parallel worlds because they’re different relative ages to each other…it’s very strange and intriguing!

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers is a rather lovely, philosophical sci fi book – it’s about a utopian future rather than the so common dystopian ones, and is the first in her Monk and Robot series…and it really is about what it says.  This was the author of A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, and I was curious to see what else she had written. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (September, 2022)”

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (August, 2022)

I’ve been reading more fiction since my last update, and fortunately having better luck with it too – for the most part!

The highlight has been the Clocktaur Wars books by T. Kingfisher – a duology (or one book that got really long so she split it in half, according to the author’s note), I read both The Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine.  They were excellent.  Exciting and engaging, but mostly I just really loved the characters.  The story revolves around a suicide mission to an enemy city to try to stop the Clocktaurs, giant magical machines sent to rampage through the landscape.  There’s a cranky forger with frequent allergy attacks, a formerly-possessed paladin (but the demon’s dead now) who’s generally tortured and apologetic, a deeply cynical assassin, and a very naive scholar.  I’m simplifying this greatly, but trust me when I say they are wonderful.  There’s a very satisfying romance, a lot of humor, and some genuinely creepy bits too.

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (August, 2022)”

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (July, 2022)

I’ve had a good mix recently of non-fiction and fiction reads – though I’ve had better luck on the whole on the nonfiction side!

I’ve been rereading L. M. Montgomery’s journals for the…third?  fourth?  fifth? time.  I’m on Volume IV of her Complete Journals (as opposed to the previously published Selected Journals).  Volume III covered most of WWI, and Volume IV covers the next several years, including the 1919 flu epidemic.  It was interesting to see what she said about the flu – more than I remembered, but still not very much.  No mention of things like masks or lockdowns!

I also read Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy, which I liked a lot.  It basically advocates for giving kids more freedom and worrying less, with some good arguments on why parental fears are often overblown.  She did become a bit of a fear-mongerer about fear-mongering, though, in a strange way… Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (July, 2022)”

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (June, 2022)

After a lot of rereads last month, I brought home a big bag of books from the library and have been off on a lot of new reads more recently.

I continued my T. Kingfisher reading with Paladin’s Strength, sequel to Paladin’s Grace, focused on a supporting character from the previous book.  It was very good with some nice turns to the story, if not quite as good as the first in the series – but Paladin’s Grace is a serious contender for best of the year right now, so it’s hardly fair to set the bar that high!  I very much enjoyed the second one too, and plan to finish the trilogy.

I got up to date on the Morrigan Crow series with Hollowpox by Jessica Townsend.  I believe the next book is due out later in the year.  I liked Book 3 better than Book 2 in this case, as Morrigan got to do much more with her magic and that was very fun.  I was not prepared for a plague story, though.  I guess the title should have tipped me off, but I genuinely didn’t make the ‘pox connection!  Still good, but I’m glad I didn’t read this a year ago – and I think some of the “terrible” government restrictions trying to curb the pox (like…a curfew) may read differently now than they would have pre-Covid…

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (June, 2022)”

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (May, 2022)

I’ve been so busy writing the last few weeks, I’ve done less reading than usual!  I have enjoyed rereading some old favorites, though, and trying a couple new books too.

Gordon Korman was my favorite funny author of my childhood.  A couple of librarian friends tell me he’s known for survival stories now, but back in his early career he wrote some hilarious stories, including my favorite and one of the earliest reviews on this blog, A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag.  I recently bought one missing from my collection of his early books, Son of Interflux.  I got a used copy online, and was pretty delighted to open it and unexpectedly find a signature!  The book was also as fun and hilarious as I remembered.  In the same mold as Semester, it’s a high school setting full of kooky characters and increasingly escalating chaos.  In this case, an art school takes on a big corporation to save a forested area – but it’s not remotely as serious as that plot makes it sound. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (May, 2022)”