Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


quote:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer
3 - Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
4 - Empires of EVE: A History Of The Great Wars Of EVE Online, by Andrew Groen
5 - The Adventure Zone: Petal To The Metal, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
6 - Do You Dream Of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
7 - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
8 - Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir, by Hari Ziyad
9 - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
10 - A Certain Hunger, by Chelsea G. Summers
11 - The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Huston & Jonathan Snipes
12 - Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor
13 - Wake Up Young Lovers, by Paris Green
14 - Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
15 - Better Than IRL: True Stories About Finding Your People On The Untamed Internet, edited by Katie West & Jasmine Elliot

16 - William Gibson's Alien 3, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain. (oops I actually read this in February but completely forgot!) Graphic novel adaption of Gibson's unmade spec script for a third Alien film, plus lots of nice concept art and notes by Gibson himself. There's a serviceable Cold War narrative, some Carpenteresque body horror, but sticking so closely to a script format means the actual comic-ness of it feels very static. It could definitely have been lengthened, some more characters fleshed out, but I understand that would have deviated from the script. Not great, but certainly not bad.


Lots of downtime at work means I read seven books in April:


17 - The End Of The World, by Don Hertzfeldt. A beautiful, funny, sad, surreal apocalypse told on big pages with Hertzfeldt's signature cartoon style. Mostly told through little vignettes, there's a vague narrative arc to keep things moving, though I can see someone dipping into it for a couple of pages at a time to savour the impact. Some elements of this are repurposed in his short film projects, but the different context makes them hit differently. It's good, though my main takeaway was how much I want to rewatch World Of Tomorrow.

18 - The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media, by Ryan M. Milner. An introductory text of sorts to the critical study of memes and their place in online discourse. Being from 2015, Milner's book is interesting in what it isn't able to cover, but there's a lot in here that's useful if not groundbreaking. Latter chapters concerning in/outgroup construction and a good, robust methodology review kept me reading to the end, but this is very much an academic text to be dipped into for choice quotations.

19 - This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone. A queer, posthuman epistolary love story set in and around a bitter multiversal conflict. There are some lovely uses of language here, and the setting very much adheres to the idea that less is more, offering just enough insight into the protagonists' world. There's a healthy level of time travel bullshit, it flows nicely, and ends satisfyingly. I can see what all the fuss is about, and why it got so many glowing accolades.

20 - Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, edited by Ann VanderMeer. A collection of short SF stories about the near future, all centred around humanity's relationship with marine life and climate. There are a lot of emotions in this: hope, despair, grim stoicism, all spun off from different potential fates for humankind and the planet. My favourites were 'Repatriation' by Nalo Hopkinson, 'Sturdy Lanterns And Ladders' by Malka Older, 'The Body Remembers' by Kameron Hurley. But all of them left impressions on me, and I definitely recommend this anthology.

21 - Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange. Coming-of-age novel about three black sisters growing up in the mid 20th century. They each have a strong voice and identity that comes through in the text. Focusing on each of the girls in turns, Shange uses their lives to explore the worlds of art, music, and political activism. There's a lot about each character's struggle to self-actualise, to find love and passion and meaningful work; as well as the weight of shared black history and trauma they each carry. The novel includes snippets of letters, recipes, songs and coreography that help flesh out the narrative, too. It's good, and I've already recommended it to a couple of people!

22 - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin. My first time reading through this seminal text about race, religion and power from the powderkeg of the early 60s. Baldwin's prose is beautiful and impassioned, and the interactions he recounts - with his father, with the Nation of Islam, with the police - are as vividly drawn as his fiction. His philosophy is laid out in empathetic and needful tones, and it is saddening to think about what parts of his vision of a united and universally-liberated America have borne out, sixty years on.

23 - The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel. Almost-complete 20 year run of the cult lesbian slice-of-life comic, from 1987-2008. It's basically a soap opera, so lots of storylines about love, relationships, infidelity, loss, all wrapped up in US politics from late Reagan to late W. The cast are all really well-realised, from the strip's "main character" Mo to even smaller supporting roles, and by the end I felt like I knew all of them intimately, even the few I genuinely disliked. (Lois ended up being my favourite overall). Not that DTWOF doesn't have humour - Bechdel's writing is smart and snarky, but she's not above newspaper-strip comic relief. I really recommend this to anyone, especially younger LGBT people interested in getting in touch with "our" shared history.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. - 23/52
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/3 of them are not written by men. - 13 - 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 1/3 of them are written by writers of colour. - 8 - 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 20, 21, 22
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/4 of them are written by LGBT writers. - 10 - 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - 21
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - 3, 11, 12
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation.
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. - 13, 21
12. Read something about a monster.
13. Read an essay collection. - 15
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
15. Read something set in the recent past. - 7, 10, 21
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - 20
17. Read something about the ocean. - 11, 20
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - 5, 11, 19
19. Read something about games. - 4
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


8 books in April. That makes for a pretty good month. Not overall the strongest selection, and somehow I'd managed to check out 3 different short story collections. No colors this month, but I got a historical one, got some short stories and some translated books that aren't double dipping on categories. Also did a BOTM.

I've got Green, Blue, and Indigo books selected, and have an OOP book on ILL request. Kinda stuck thinking about books about the ocean. Still, headed into May I feel good about where I am.

18. Bring me the Head of Quentin Tarantino by Julian Herbert - A short story collection. These all dwell in some sort of weird seedy underbelly of Mexico. There's vibe to some that reminds me of Hunter S Thompson. I remember liking this, but see I only gave it a 3, so maybe I liked the highs but there was some filler that wasn't as good.

19. In Search of a Name by Marjolijn van Heemstra - Apparently van Heemstra came into an heirloom ring given to her if she promised to name a future kid after an uncle who family legend says blew up a Nazi. As she gets pregnant, she looks into the family legend and it's not entirely clear whether the man blown up was a Nazi. And what about collateral damage unmentioned by family legend. Was her uncle a hero? A weird fanatic? And then, she wrote this novel about that experience. I'm counting this as a historical book about a place I've never been, as it's very much about postwar Netherlands. Also generally about history and how hard it can be to uncover seemingly simple facts, even if we're not far removed from them. I enjoyed it.

20. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien - April BOTM. Bicycle, philosophy, Atomic Theory. It's got everything. Also pretty funny, some laugh out loud moments. Would recommend.

21. When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo - The 2nd book after Empress of Salt and Fortune. This sees cleric Chih cornered by tigers and they try to buy time by telling the tigers the famous story of a scholar and tiger who fell in love, and comparing differences in the human and tiger versions of the legend. Without offending the tigers, of course. I liked this a lot.

22. The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure - My wife told me I ought to read this. It's a juvenile history book about the Cottingley fairy pictures that duped, among others, Arthur Conan Doyle. A good intro to the subject, though lacking some depth, being intended for kids. Probably middle grade, if I had to guess.

23. The Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall - More short stories. Generally solid, but not quite my cup of tea. Hall can definitely turn a phrase though. The titular story was my favorite, I think.

24. That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry - I didn't realize this was short stories. I grabbed it because I enjoyed Night Boat to Tangier, and then it was stories. That said, these were my favorite stories of the month. Barry writes about love and heartbreak and sort of about the feelings a place has. I've always enjoyed books with a real sense of place (cf Lot by Bryan Washington) and this certainly has that. There's a real lyricism to it all as well that I enjoyed. In case of confusion, the title should be read as That "Old Country" Music rather than That Old "Country Music".

25. Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine - Set in Appalachian Ohio for the second year in a row, there's no spring. It's snowing in still and it never warms up enough for plants to grow. Wil, the sole caretaker of her family weed farm, strikes out with some other strays she finds to try and head for warmer climate. Society starts to break down, and she comes across different groups trying to deal, from out of control frat guys to hippies to crazy cults. This is another this month for the solid but not exceptional bucket. I enjoyed it, generally, but it was sort of lacking depth, and I suspect I won't remember it.


Ben Nevis posted:

1. The Factory Witches of Lowell by CS Malerich
2. Talking Animals by Joni Murphy
3. A Grave is Given Supper by Mike Soto
4. Red Ants by Pergentino Jose
5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
6. Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
7. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
8. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
9. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
10. The Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosely
11. Farewell, My Orange by Kei Iwake
12. The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip
13. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
14. The Book of Malachi by TC Farren
15. Tindalos Asset by Caitlin Kiernan
16. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
17. Outlawed by Anna North

THE CHALLENGE:

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 17/70
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. 17/25
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. 12/25
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. 1/17
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - Red Ants, Farewell My Orange, Crome Yellow,
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino
10. Read some poetry. - A Grave is Given Supper
11. Read some short stories. - That Old Country Music
12. Read something about a monster. Tindalos Asset
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - In Search of a Name
15. Read something set in the recent past. - American Spy
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - Talking Animals
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I completed reading 8 books in April for a running total of 39. I also just realized I've been neglecting keeping the total of my personal goal of reading 10 nonfiction books but that's currently at 2 completed (In the Heart of the Sea and Cesare Borgia) and two that I'm currently working on (Library: An Unquiet History and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat).

32. The Unbroken by C.L. Clark
This is the first in an anti-imperialist/anti-colonialist queer-normative fantasy series, told from the point of view of someone who was basically kidnapped from her home in not-North Africa and indoctrinated by the not-French empire to be an expendable soldier. (The other POV character is the not-French heir apparent princess.) Some people have drawn parallels between this and the Baru Cormorant books because of some of the over-arching themes (the anti-colonialist colonized protagonist, the lesbians) and while you certainly can draw those parallels, the overall tone and style of this was very different. I'd say Baru is a lot grimmer for one thing. Not a bad choice if you're in the market for that kind of book though, and I can see the author growing a lot in the future (this is her debut novel I believe).

33. First, Become Ashes by K.M. Szpara
This book opens with a giant content warning, and it's definitely there for a reason (though, if you look at some of the negative Goodreads reviews, I would definitely say that some of those people blow things out of proportion and mischaracterize them). It starts with a cult getting busted up by the FBI and the fallout of what happens when some of people who've been raised by the cult since birth (and taught to do magic) have to contend with the real world. There's a lot of playing around with things like whether the 'magic' the cult members do is real or not. It's all extremely gay. Overall I think it was fine, definitely a bit cheesy at the end, but definitely not for everyone.

34. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
The fourth in the Wayward Children series. I needed something lighter to read after First, Become Ashes, so this was an easy next pick. This one is, so far, set chronologically before any of the rest and tells the story of when one of the teachers from the school was a child and was sucked into the Goblin Market. If you've read the first book, you already sort of know what happens to her that got her permanently banned from the Goblin Market, but this fills in the why very nicely. McGuire manages to fit a lot of action and character development into all of these, and imo they barely feel like they're as short as they are once you've finished reading one (though they are very quick reads).

35. Empire of Light by Alex Harrow
I forget exactly how I came across this but I picked it up with just the knowledge of it being some sort of gay, sci-fi, noir-ish thing. And that's definitely what it is. The characters are messy and there's a lot of ambiguous motivations and double-crossing. Main characters will get killed off. (Some of them won't stay dead, though.) The basic plot is that some people get dangerous magic powers and the totalitarian government explicitly takes them out when they're discovered. So of course the main character's boyfriend is one of the people with powers and that kicks off a lot of the plot. It was enjoyable enough, but one thing that bothered me was how many chapter transitions were basically just smash-cuts to completely new places without any plot lead-in (I'll admit I got lost a few times not knowing where the characters were or why until a few pages into the chapter when some context was finally given).

36. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
Sci fi story set on a generation ship that functions essentially like the antebellum South. The main character is one of the Low-Deckers who, while being essentially a slave, has a talent for science (medicine especially) and ends up trying to overthrow the oppressive power structures of the ship while investigating the truth behind her mother's apparent suicide. It's pretty intense and doesn't shy away from the casual cruelties of the white people who run the ship. The ending is pretty optimistic though, and I know this book is going to stick with me (I'm definitely looking forward to checking out more of Solomon's work soon).

37. Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
Fifth Wayward Children book, since I needed another break after Unkindness of Ghosts. This one was one of the grimmer books, but in a fun way? It returns to Jack and Jill's plotline that started in the first book so there's a return to the Classic-Universal-Monster-Movie-esque world of The Moors. But this time with more Frankenstein girlfriends and eldritch sea gods. It was good fun and wrapped up the Jack and Jill storyline nicely.

38. Cesare Borgia: His Life and Times by Sarah Bradford
I'm realizing now that it just takes me longer to read nonfiction books even though I enjoy them (this took me over a month). They're just too dense for me to blaze through like I do with fiction. This was a fascinating biography about one of the infamous Borgia family members who, in his short life, managed to cause enough of a ruckus in Italy that he featured in one of the chapters of Machiavelli's The Prince. There's also some fun tidbits about Cesare's dad, Pope Alexander VI who I was vaguely aware of because of the story about the party he held at the Vatican involving a bunch of naked women crawling on the floor to scoop up chestnuts and win a prize (Cesare was, allegedly, there too). Definitely a very memorable biography and I've already got Bradford's 'sequel' biography about Lucrezia Borgia in the hopper.

39. The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
The final book in the Wayfarer's series. A bunch of aliens get stuck at a space motel for a few days while waiting their turns in the local hyperspace tunnel queue. This is a nice ending to the series. It's got the same balance of coziness, interpersonal tension, and people just trying to do their best while still making mistakes that define Chambers' other work. There are almost no humans in this book (unlike the other three) and I appreciate the effort that Chambers puts in to make the aliens actually feel like aliens with distinct cultures, mores, and biologies (also, the Akarak being tiny parrot-sloth things is adorable).

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 39/100
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. >32/39
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. >11/39
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. >25/39
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) (Red, White and Royal Blue) (Yellow Jessamine)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. (The Seventh Perfection)
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation.
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories.
12. Read something about a monster. (Frankenstein)
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. (Cesare Borgia)
15. Read something set in the recent past. (Red, White and Royal Blue)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. (The Galaxy, and the Ground Within)
17. Read something about the ocean. (Heart of the Sea)
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


DurianGray posted:

36. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
Sci fi story set on a generation ship that functions essentially like the antebellum South. The main character is one of the Low-Deckers who, while being essentially a slave, has a talent for science (medicine especially) and ends up trying to overthrow the oppressive power structures of the ship while investigating the truth behind her mother's apparent suicide. It's pretty intense and doesn't shy away from the casual cruelties of the white people who run the ship. The ending is pretty optimistic though, and I know this book is going to stick with me (I'm definitely looking forward to checking out more of Solomon's work soon).


Sounds like Rivers Solomon is even more inspired by clipping. than I thought - that premise sounds similar to their 2016 album Splendor & Misery. And then of course Solomon would go on to adapt their track "The Deep", which I read earlier this year...


Also hey, someone wildcard me please!

ectoplasm
Apr 13, 2012

MaDMaN posted:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Name: ectoplasm
Personal Challenge: 52 books and/or 10,000 pages.
Booklord: Not this year.

I'm going to try to finish up my reading challenge from last year.

I still need to read:
-1 long book The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
-1 new book
-1 translated book The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
-1 set in my state book
-1 humorous book
-1 another culture book
-1 autobiography

(USER WAS PERMABANNED FOR THIS POST)

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



ectoplasm posted:

Name: ectoplasm
Personal Challenge: 52 books and/or 10,000 pages.
Booklord: Not this year.

I'm going to try to finish up my reading challenge from last year.

I still need to read:
-1 long book The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
-1 new book
-1 translated book The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
-1 set in my state book
-1 humorous book
-1 another culture book
-1 autobiography

(USER WAS PERMABANNED FOR THIS POST)

RIP to this guy's reading challenge updates

Guy A. Person
May 23, 2003



A human heart posted:

RIP to this guy's reading challenge updates

Let this be a lesson to anyone trying to carry over challenges from previous years

Robert Deadford
Mar 1, 2008


Ultra Carp

January - April:

1. The Prime Ministers by Steve Richards
2. Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy
3. Black Sun by Owen Matthews
4. The End Of All Things by John Scalzi
5. Vox by Christina Dalcher
6. The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova
7. Blinded By The Lights by Jakub Zulczyk
8. Fear by Bob Woodward

April - May

9. Rage by Bob Woodward
The companion piece to Fear, this volume features much more of Trump himself. The main image Trump projects is that of a man desperate for approval, for as much as he fears Woodward will write bad things about him, he still participated in hour upon hour of interviews. Woodward tries to get Trump to think more broadly about the pandemic but Trump is only willing to focus on claiming the achievements of others as his own. The odd relationship between Kim Jong Un and Trump is present too. I hope there will be a third volume looking back at the election and its aftermath.

10 We Go Around In The Night And Are Consumed By Fire by Jules Grant
Awesome title. This is a curious lesbian gangster tale set in Manchester, England. Curious because the gangster aspect of the story doesn't really ring true and the lesbian aspect is really not relevant to the proceedings. What made it worth reading was the unexpected depth of truth to a great many of the characterisations and the grinding sense of poverty the story is set in, principally because the author is a lawyer raised in a difficult family setting. I suspect her professional experiences in dealing with individuals involved in organised crime provided much of the detail. Not bad, not great.

11. Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen
I read another of this Finnish authors novels, The Man Who Died, which was a clever and fun crime caper. Little Siberia is another clever crime caper but seeing how it retreads quite a few of the story beats from the earlier novel, it lacked the same spark. The story is about a former army priest who guards a recently fallen meteorite in a village's museum against theft. It's got all the features a good crime story should have - friends who aren't, femme fatales, the ol' ultraviolence - but it just didn't sparkle for me. Well-paced but disappointing.

In Progress :

A Suitable Boy (still)
Drive Your Plough Over The Bones Of The Dead by Olga Tokarchuk

Total - 11 of 26

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Gertrude Perkins posted:

Sounds like Rivers Solomon is even more inspired by clipping. than I thought - that premise sounds similar to their 2016 album Splendor & Misery. And then of course Solomon would go on to adapt their track "The Deep", which I read earlier this year...


Also hey, someone wildcard me please!

Oh I'll have to check out those albums, that's interesting! I love cross-media pollination/inspiration like that.

If you still need a wild card, I'll throw out Four Lost Cities by Annalee Newitz.

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


DurianGray posted:

Oh I'll have to check out those albums, that's interesting! I love cross-media pollination/inspiration like that.

If you still need a wild card, I'll throw out Four Lost Cities by Annalee Newitz.

Oh yeah! Thank you! Also yes, clipping. shreds

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


quote:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer
3 - Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
4 - Empires of EVE: A History Of The Great Wars Of EVE Online, by Andrew Groen
5 - The Adventure Zone: Petal To The Metal, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
6 - Do You Dream Of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
7 - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
8 - Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir, by Hari Ziyad
9 - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
10 - A Certain Hunger, by Chelsea G. Summers
11 - The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Huston & Jonathan Snipes
12 - Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor
13 - Wake Up Young Lovers, by Paris Green
14 - Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
15 - Better Than IRL: True Stories About Finding Your People On The Untamed Internet, edited by Katie West & Jasmine Elliot
16 - William Gibson's Alien 3, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
17 - The End Of The World, by Don Hertzfeldt
18 - The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media, by Ryan M. Milner
19 - This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
20 - Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, edited by Ann VanderMeer
21 - Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange
22 - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
23 - The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel


I read six books in May, and a good mix of content too. Nothing I didn't like!

24 - Accelerando, by Charles Stross. Fun, dense and surprising SF centred around how a single family line experiences the technological singularity(/ies). The first protagonist we meet, Manfred, is a Spider Jerusalem superbrain, complete with heteroflexible kinky streak. He plays patent-law Calvinball on the bleeding edge of tech innovation for a living, is effortlessly smart and snarky, etc. His machinations, and those of his cruel and unusual ex-wife, propel the species to our titular acceleration, blitzing through scientific and technical advancements to a far future of Clarke-style magic/technology blur. It's a good romp, with an enjoyable (if sometimes underdeveloped( cast of characters, and manifests as a long string of stories joined by timeskips and expository dumps. Hard SF shot through with little mid-00s nerd jokes here and there. I liked it but it left me wanting.

25 - White Noise, by Don DeLillo. Wow, this was good. Funny, sad, gripping, frivolous, satirical, many other adjectives. Characters philosophise on everything from shopping to mortality. A teenager plans to sit in a pool of venomous snakes for three days. Disaster and death are only real when simulated or reported second-hand. DeLillo's vision of America is one of postmodern hyperreality and anecdata, where death and violence live alongside mundane flippancy. It's darkly hilarious and genuinely thoughtful at the same time, often on the same page. This novel deserves all the accolades it's received.

26 - The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa. A cartooning great puts together a series of adventures to flesh out the mythology of one of the most famous ducks in fiction. Spanning decades and the globe, but mostly focused on old American settings - the riverboat, the cattle trail, the goldrush - Rosa packs each story with personality, humour and excitement. I would have loved this as a child, I'm sure. Of course, some aspects really haven't aged well (especially in depicting black African people, bloody hell), and the theme of a plucky hero exploiting natural resources for wealth is rather outdated. But at least Rosa explores some of Scrooge's mindset in later chapters, even if it doesn't quite come together for me. Still, as a piece of comic storytelling, it's hard not to recommend.

27 - Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women, ed. by Jo Glanville. A really nice short story collection where I enjoyed every entry. There are many that feature themes of bureaucracy, looming oppression and violence; just as many are about family or love, and the power of community. As the editor's preface notes, all of them seem to mention shoes in some way, as a metaphor for autonomy or a way to explore gender roles. As might be expected from a collection all by women, sexual politics and social norms feature strongly throughout, as female characters embrace or reject their place in the world. I particularly liked Naomi Shihab Nye's "Local Hospitality", Randa Jarrar's "Barefoot Bridge", and Samah al-Shaykh's "At The Hospital".

28 - The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf. An interesting and entertaining history about a period I knew little about, and from a perspective that I'd heard even less. Drawing on contemporary Arab and Muslim chroniclers, Maalouf tracks the waves of invasion, occupation and retreat through the "Holy Land" by generations of European armies, kings and zealots. There are a lot of larger-than-life characters, and the narratives are an exciting mix of political intrigue, cultural mores and military history. (I'm not sure how to read the epilogue, in which he describes the continued cultural and political aftershocks of the Crusades in the modern (1990s) Middle East - I simply don't know enough to critique it.) Even taken with several pinches of salt, the stories told in this book kept me engrossed, and I feel like I learned a lot, which is always good.

29 - Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, by Annalee Newitz. My wildcard! An exploration of the history of failed urbanism spanning nine thousand years, Newitz's book is full of social history and an infectious humanism. Drawing on archaeology from the titular four "lost" cities, the reader is taken on on tours through the daily lives, culture and politics of their inhabitants. Along the way, they profile a number of scientists and other researchers working on uncovering these cities. This offers insight not only into the history, but also how historians and archaeologists think and talk about cities and the people who live(d) there. I liked this a lot!!


1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. - 29/52
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/3 of them are not written by men. - 15 - 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 1/3 of them are written by writers of colour. - 10 - 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/4 of them are written by LGBT writers. - 11 - 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23, 29
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - 21
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - 3, 11, 12
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - 29
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - 27, 28
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. - 13, 21, 27
12. Read something about a monster.
13. Read an essay collection. - 15
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - 28, 29
15. Read something set in the recent past. - 7, 10, 21
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - 20, 26
17. Read something about the ocean. - 11, 20
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - 5, 11, 19
19. Read something about games. - 4
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Humerus
Jul 7, 2009

Rule of acquisition #111:
Treat people in your debt like family...exploit them.




Forgot to update for April, so here's a twofer:

-April-

18.) The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey (2021)
This was such a buzzy book and I pretty much immediately bounced off it but kept reading anyway because everyone loved it. I did not. I guess itís just not for me but it was unpleasant from start to (terrible) finish.

19.) Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cůrdova (2016)
This was alright as far as YA fantasy goes, but it didnít really do anything special.

20.) Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard (2021)
This was a pretty decent novella. It feels like it could have been fleshed out more to a full length novel, or that this could be a prequel of sorts or something.

21.) Count Zero by William Gibson (1986)
I really liked this. It was different enough from Neuromancer to stand on its own and tell its own story.

-May-

22.) The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (2021)
Again, an ok but not great YA fantasy. I donít get why the reviews are as high as they are. Mostly I was annoyed at the protagonist for being oblivious, and at the author for thinking the readers would be too.

23.) The Unbroken by C.L. Clark (2021)
Finally, some good fantasy. This book was good although quite heavy. Well written and even when the protagonist(s) did stupid poo poo you at least understood the thought behind it. The ending was a little let down but itís setting up a sequel so it was good enough with that in mind.

24.) Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (2018)
This book, and this ďseriesĒ, was exactly what I needed after reading The Unbroken. Feel good, mostly low stakes optimistic sci-fi.

25.) Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye (2014)
Pretty good overview/intro to evolution. Iíd definitely recommend it to people that have had no/very little biology schooling.

26.) The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers (2021)
The final entry in her ďWayfarerĒ series. I liked this more than the third but not as much as the first two.

Book Goal: 26/52
Author Stats (All goals 30%)
Nonwhite: 31%
LGBTQ+: 31%
Nonman: 65%

I think what I learned these two months is I need to be more discerning about YA books. I donít mind the occasional trope here and there but drat some of these feel like paint by numbers. Anyway, the goals are going solid so now I just need to keep it up.

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


So a productive month for May. Some good books and nothing really bad. I got a green book and a collaboration. I added a couple LGBT authors, but generally was not great on authors of color or women this month. Still, above targets there, but I'd like to improve. And now for an embarrassing revelation. I hadn't realized I'd read a collaboration by the Strugatsky brothers, and I checked out a book cowritten by William Shatner, sort of ironically I guess? It's not good but now I'm committed. Whatever. I'll read it so you don't have to.


26. At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop - During WW1 a man's best friend dies in his arms, the classic image of guts in mud that we all know. Except our narrator couldn't find the courage to mercifully end his life, and let him suffer and beg. He's driven mad by this failure, and starts capturing and torturing enemy soldiers, keeping their hands as trophies. It's a real descent into madness type thing, with the same phrases repeated over and over. It's something. Would recommend.

27. White Trash Warlock by David R Slayton - Adam is a witch living in a trailer park with his aunt in Guthrie, OK. His estranged brothers asks Adam to come out to Denver to help, and sure enough there's a giant spirit up to something bad in Denver and Adam has to fix it. Enjoyed this one, it was a good brisk read and a definite twist on the format.

28. The Hot Rock by Donald E Westlake - Dortmunder gets out of jail and has an old friend waiting for him with a proposition, simply steal an emerald and make a lot of money. Easy. So they do, but the guy holding the emerald is arrested and had hidden the rock. Also he won't reveal the location till he's busted out of jail. So another heist. And another, and a series of increasingly complicated heists. A romp of heists if you will. It was funny and really enjoyable.

29. A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic Durbin - During an unspecified war, in an unspecified country, a boy is sent to live in a small village with his grandmother, the village presumably being safer than the city. A simple summer with grandma, learning the small town gossip until an enemy plane is downed in the woods nearby. The grandmother finds the pilot and ministers to him, and has to conceal him from the local army. And the boy finds a mysterious sculpture garden in the woods. Over the summer they hide they pilot and try to solve the riddle of the statues, and maybe find the door to fairy land. It's cozy. It definitely calls to mind some other war + fairyland books like Book of Lost Things. If I were to criticize, I'd say it kind of spends some time twiddling it's thumbs, where not too much happens with plot and characters. I found it interesting enough that it didn't really drag though. I enjoyed this one, though not as much as Book of Lost Things.

30. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky - The story of a man who makes his living exploring a Zone, one of a handful of spots where aliens touched down on earth and left behind local devastation and a variety of unexplained artifacts. A sci fi classic, and for good reason.

31. The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Geisbrecht - Johann is an orphan, and apparently unkillable. Florian is a sorcerer with a grudge and a simple plan to have a plague. I read a rec for this somewhere and wish I could recall where, because it wasn't very good.

32. The Library of the Unwritten by AJ Hackwith - Claire is the librarian of The Library of the Unwritten, a hell-adjacent library containing books that authors never got around to writing. When a scrap of The Devil's Bible is found, Claire and a ragtag band set out to recover it on the sly and conceal it, from the forces of heaven and probably Hell too. I was expecting fun and a decent popcorn novel and it's definitely that, but I thought there was some more heart to it than expected.

33. The Book of Eels by Patrick Svensson - About eels and how mysterious they are. Also about the author's relationship with his father and how they bonded over eel fishing. This was good and interesting. Bonus: I got to drop a lot of eel testes references into conversation.


Ben Nevis posted:

1. The Factory Witches of Lowell by CS Malerich
2. Talking Animals by Joni Murphy
3. A Grave is Given Supper by Mike Soto
4. Red Ants by Pergentino Jose
5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
6. Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
7. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
8. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
9. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
10. The Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosely
11. Farewell, My Orange by Kei Iwake
12. The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip
13. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
14. The Book of Malachi by TC Farren
15. Tindalos Asset by Caitlin Kiernan
16. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
17. Outlawed by Anna North
18. Bring me the Head of Quentin Tarantino[/b] by Julian Herbert
19. In Search of a Name by Marjolijn van Heemstra
20. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
21. When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
22. The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
23. The Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall
24. That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry
25. Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine

THE CHALLENGE:

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 33/70
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. 19/33
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. 13/33
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. 3/33
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - Red Ants, Farewell My Orange, Crome Yellow, Green and Ancient Light
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino
10. Read some poetry. - A Grave is Given Supper
11. Read some short stories. - That Old Country Music
12. Read something about a monster. Tindalos Asset
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - In Search of a Name
15. Read something set in the recent past. - American Spy
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - Talking Animals
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - Roadside Picnic
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I read a lot of sequels this month! 9 books total for May.

40. Defekt (Finna #2) by Nino Cipri
This is the surprise sequel to Finna, which was about interdimensional wormholes opening up in a not-IKEA and the underpaid employees that have to deal with them. This follows one of the other employees who was only notable for calling out sick in the first book, Derek. This is just as queer as the first one, and people also make out with their alternate dimension versions (less weird than it sounds -- they're very distinct people). This was a lot of fun and definitely gets you to feel for Derek, who was just the throwaway weird-guy-you-don't-want-to-talk-to in the previous book.

41. Fugitive Telemetry (Murderbot Diaries #6) by Martha Wells
You can't go wrong with Murderbot. This one was a sort of locked-room murder mystery, but still had some of the Murderbot-y action sequences you'd expect. Definitely feels like a sort of rest period after the previous book (which was the first full novel and not a novella like the rest) so there's a little bit of overarching plot development but it's not the focus as much as the mystery is.

42. Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles
Like the title says, this is a high-level history of libraries from the ancient world to the present day (the version I read did have an addendum with more info about the tech advances that have happened since 2003). Some really interesting stuff here, though a few sections seemed to linger too long (the part about Jonathan Swift's satire 'Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns' started to bore me and was part of why it took me so long to finish reading).

43. Power and Magic Volume 2 (Multiple Creators)
This is the second in a graphic novel anthology that's focused on publishing witch-themed stories by queer BIPOC creators. I think the overall quality of this volume was higher than the first (there were a few entries in the first that I had to puzzle over what was happening in and between panels and I'm pretty comics-literate) but that wasn't as much of an issue this time around.

44. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
OK so, apparently this is not technically marketed as a YA book but it feels like one a lot of the time -- I think it's partly because the main protagonist is something like 19/20 years old, has magic powers and a mysterious past (she doesn't even know who her family is, but guess what, the answer is a main plot driver!) and the other POV protagonist is a magical teenage Djinn prince who is The Best at swords. I was really hoping to like this one because the setting seemed neat (I only knew it was about Djinn/The City of Brass when I picked it up) and I knew it'd been pretty popular, but I ended up feeling pretty 'meh' about it and I'm not too sure I'll pick up the sequels.

45. Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6) by Seanan McGuire
This one is the least related to the rest of the series so far with zero crossover with pre-existing characters. The main character is an intersex girl who winds up in The Horse Dimension hanging out with centaurs and unicorns and the like and avoiding her 'Destiny,' which leads to a nice little twist on the "Chosen One" motif in a lot of portal fantasies by the end. Maybe not the strongest individual entry in the series but the next one was recently announced and given the setting, I'm betting this one was sort of a deep breath before a (probably) very depressing book 7.

46. Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz
This was a lot of fun. It's a socially-focused overview of the 'lost' cities of «atalhŲyŁk, Pompeii, Angkor, and Cahokia (similar to (I would bet) most people, I was somewhat familiar with Pompeii and Angkor but not the other two). The author is (I'm pretty sure) a journalist by trade, but they interviewed a lot of archeologists and went to all of the sites themself for the book, so it has a very hands-on feel and is accessible to a non-expert, while not feeling too 'pop-science.'

47. In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland
I think if I'd read this when I was in middle school or high school I would have liked it a lot better. It's set in ancient not-Greece, the protagonist is bi and polyamorous, there's a main nonbinary supporting character, there's necromancy and blood magic. All that sounded cool but I didn't realize it was YA until I had already started reading it. It sort of felt like 2 completely different drafts that got messily sandwiched together. The first half is court intrigue, learn-your-magic-powers, stuff and then the second half just goes wild with "time to stage a coup! with magic!" I liked the second half a lot better than the first. The protagonist spends almost 3/5ths of the book just being a complete asshat (in ways which she knows might imperil the lives of herself and her loved ones!) for no real reason other than that I guess she's a traumatized, rebellious teen? Still felt really weird and frustrating, but again, maybe it would have hit different if I'd read it as a part of the target market.

48. All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva
This was my wildcard and it was very nice! Very good writing in a tidy short story collection. It hits that sweet spot between magical realism and 'literary' that can be hard to land in without either being straight-up fantasy or the type of hybrid 'literary' that has no clue what it's doing with the fantastical/genre elements and ends up flubbing it. The story about the albino girl and the prairie cave was probably my favorite, but there weren't really any stories that noticeably dragged.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 48/100
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. >40/48
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. >15/48
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. >30/48
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) (Red, White and Royal Blue) (Yellow Jessamine) (Across the Green Grass Fields)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. (The Seventh Perfection)
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. (All the Names They Used for God)
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation.
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. (All the Names They Used for God)
12. Read something about a monster. (Frankenstein)
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. (Cesare Borgia)
15. Read something set in the recent past. (Red, White and Royal Blue)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. (The Galaxy, and the Ground Within)
17. Read something about the ocean. (Heart of the Sea)
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Personal Nonfiction Goal: 4/10

ectoplasm
Apr 13, 2012

MaDMaN posted:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Guy A. Person posted:

Let this be a lesson to anyone trying to carry over challenges from previous years

Unrelated, haha. I'm still here.

ectoplasm
Apr 13, 2012

MaDMaN posted:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Name: ectoplasm
Personal Challenge: 52 books and/or 10,000 pages.
Booklord: Not this year.

1. The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
I've always loved Eco's stuff and this book was no different. He does a very good job at mixing fact and fiction, and his prose is just so delicate and eloquent that I can't even read it without a dictionary nearby. Definitely a must read for fans of Umberto Eco, or encyclopedic books.

2. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
This book was really fun and mysterious right from the beginning... but when you figure out the entire scene 150 pages before the end of the book, it starts to drag really slow. Felt like I had to force myself to finish it, no matter how good the first three quarters were.

3. Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
This one was a fun little romp, although I kept face-palming every couple of chapters when they were in yet another situation that they weren't supposed to escape until Ex Deus Machina reared its ugly head. That was a bit frustrating, but for a Young Adult book it was a nice break from the heavier stuff that I usually read.

ectoplasm
Apr 13, 2012

MaDMaN posted:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


ectoplasm posted:

Name: ectoplasm
Personal Challenge: 52 books and/or 10,000 pages.
Booklord: Not this year.

1. The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
I've always loved Eco's stuff and this book was no different. He does a very good job at mixing fact and fiction, and his prose is just so delicate and eloquent that I can't even read it without a dictionary nearby. Definitely a must read for fans of Umberto Eco, or encyclopedic books.

2. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
This book was really fun and mysterious right from the beginning... but when you figure out the entire scene 150 pages before the end of the book, it starts to drag really slow. Felt like I had to force myself to finish it, no matter how good the first three quarters were.

3. Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
This one was a fun little romp, although I kept face-palming every couple of chapters when they were in yet another situation that they weren't supposed to escape until Ex Deus Machina reared its ugly head. That was a bit frustrating, but for a Young Adult book it was a nice break from the heavier stuff that I usually read.

4. Love Everyone by Parvati Markus
The stories could have been grammatically corrected a little more so that non-linear narratives made more sense, but other than that I loved it. This is the book that made me realize where I belong.

Chamberk
Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire


April, May, and June...

25. Speedboat - Renata Adler
26. Klara and the Sun - Kazuo Ishiguro
27. The Bookshop - Penelope Fitzgerald
28. The Tigerís Wife - Tea Obreht
29. The Cold Millions - Jess Walter
30. The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
31. Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
32. The Two Towers - J.R.R. Tolkien
33. The Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
34. Diary of a Country Priest - Georges Bernanos
35. Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo
36. Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett
37. Cantoras - Carolina de Robertis

38. The Once & Future Witches - Alix E Harrow
39. In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
40. The Galaxy, and the Ground Within - Becky Chambers
41. Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
42. The Golem & the Jinni - Helene Wecker
43. The Death of Vivek Oji - Akwaeke Emezi
44. Conversation in the Cathedral - Mario Vargas Llosa
45. The Road - John Ehle

46. Hamnet - Maggie OíFarrell
47. A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
48. Version Control - Dexter Palmer
49. The Hidden Palace - Helene Wecker
50. Unbroken - Lauren Hillebrand
51. All God's Children - Aaron Gwyn
52. The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry
53. Salvage the Bones - Jesmyn Ward

Continued to do a lot of reading, now that my grad school work finished up. Canít say I made much progress towards the BookLord goal, but I reread some great ones (Moby-Dick, LOTR) and found some good new ones. Highlights included:

-The Cold Millions: a story about two brothers in the labor movement of the 1910s, interspersed with the POVs of people who interact with them; smart and well-written
-Cantoras: about a group of lesbian women who find a hideaway in 1970s-1980s Uruguay
-Red Harvest: a private investigator basically gets every crooked cop and criminal in an industrial town to kill each other, v. hardboiled
-Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom: a fun fantasy heist duology, not great, but fun
-The Golem and the Jinni (reread) and The Hidden Palace: an old favorite and its new sequel - both are lovely reads with good characters and a real sense of place
-All God's Children - a western set in the founding days of Texas, follows an escaped slave and a frontiersman as the territory becomes a possession of the U.S.
-Version Control - a very odd sci-fi "time travel" book that has a lot of interesting insights into life - from the guy who did last year's brilliant "Mary Toft; or, the Rabbit Queen"
-Unbroken - a great story of survival about a WWII bomber that goes down and the Olympic runner who survives the crash and drifts into Japanese territory to become a prisoner of war

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. (53/100)
(EXPANDED to 100)
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men.
42%
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour.
26%
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers.
8% (Emezi, de Robertis, Chambers)
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - Diary of a Country Priest
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - Diary of a Country Priest, Conversation in the Cathedral
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories.
12. Read something about a monster.
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
15. Read something set in the recent past.
16. Read something from a non-human perspective.
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

ectoplasm
Apr 13, 2012

MaDMaN posted:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Chamberk posted:

April, May, and June...

My friend! How do you read so quickly?

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


I could use a wildcard if anyone has one.

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


quote:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer
3 - Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
4 - Empires of EVE: A History Of The Great Wars Of EVE Online, by Andrew Groen
5 - The Adventure Zone: Petal To The Metal, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
6 - Do You Dream Of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
7 - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
8 - Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir, by Hari Ziyad
9 - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
10 - A Certain Hunger, by Chelsea G. Summers
11 - The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Huston & Jonathan Snipes
12 - Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor
13 - Wake Up Young Lovers, by Paris Green
14 - Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
15 - Better Than IRL: True Stories About Finding Your People On The Untamed Internet, edited by Katie West & Jasmine Elliot
16 - William Gibson's Alien 3, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
17 - The End Of The World, by Don Hertzfeldt
18 - The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media, by Ryan M. Milner
19 - This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
20 - Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, edited by Ann VanderMeer
21 - Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange
22 - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
23 - The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
24 - Accelerando, by Charles Stross
25 - White Noise, by Don DeLillo
26 - The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa
27 - Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women, ed. by Jo Glanville
28 - The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf
29 - Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, by Annalee Newitz

I finished eight books during the month of June:

30 - Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread: Joice Loch, Australia's Most Heroic Woman, by Susanna de Vries. A long and detailed biography of a woman I had never heard of before, but now feel like I know very well. Tracking her extraordinary life from riches-to-rags Australian farming family to roving journalist to refugee relief worker, Loch's life is laid out in a series of long episodes. There are exciting adventures, gentle moments of humour, and a lot of horrible war-torn misery. As a history book, it's got some interesting views of the civilian experience living during the Irish War of Independence; Poland in the wake of WWI and Lenin's military campaigns; Greece before, during and after WWII, and Romania, where she and her husband helped smuggle Jewish and Polish refugees to safety. Safe to say it's pretty jam-packed with content, and while at times it can feel like a hagiography, there's a lot to celebrate about Loch's life and work. It's also sometimes a gruelling look at the human cost of war and revolution, and just how easily people can be forgotten by the powerful.

31 - Ten-Ghost, by Adam J. Thaxton. A strange and creative fantasy novel about a medical shaman in some nebulous future North America populated by restless spirits and paranormal parasites. The main character is proudly inhuman, and the narrative is a series of "medical cases" and episodes from her life as she starts to realise that Fate has plans for her. She is written with a number of autistic traits, and is rather likeable - the same can't be said for the supporting cast, who blended together for me in a disappointing way. I wanted to like this more than I did, but I still know people I'd recommend it to.

32 & 33 - The Umbrella Academy: Dallas & Hotel Oblivion, by Gerard Way & Gabriel BŠ. Still really fun and stylish, as Way and BŠ start to really flex their creative muscles. Time travel bullshit abounds in Dallas, as characters are forced to deal with the fallout of past adventures while more threats and convoluted plots are piled on top of them. Could have been longer, to give some of the character moments time to breathe, but it's clear that's not their style. Hotel Oblivion picks up the series after a long hiatus, and gets right to work adding more layers of strangeness, dimension-hopping, space-travel and fun fantastical conflict. Apparently this is a series they want to run for a long time, and I'm excited to see where they take it.

34 - Sea-Witch Volume Two: Girldirt Angelfog, by Moss Angel The Undying. Second instalment of the genre-loving trans mythology art novella. Featuring photography, tattoos, scribbles and experiments in format and perspective, but also some really beautiful and often funny storytelling. I want to finish this trilogy and then read them all again together in a fugue state, I think.

35 - The Complete Stories, by Zora Neale Hurston. A collection of short stories spanning thirty years of her writing career. Stories of small-town foibles, daily life in working-class Black communities, but also biblical stories and snippets of longer works. Her prose is beautiful and her characters vividly drawn, and some of the stories I found very affecting (such as the earliest, "John Redding Goes to Sea"). I was struck by her complicated relationship with religion and spirituality, and really enjoyed how she injects detail and humanity into Christian mythology.

36 - Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany. A multilingual poet is enlisted to help solve the mystery of an unknown language, to help turn the tide of an intergalactic conflict. The war itself is mostly a backdrop for Delany and his characters to explore ideas about language, communication and personhood, which he does in a really engrossing and sometimes quite moving passages. Also throuples, that's a normalised thing in this book's universe. The finale is a little unsatisfying, but I really enjoyed the journey, and the characters.

37 - Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. Charming, funny and exciting fantasy novel that inspired the film. I definitely found the story here more satisfying, with more moving parts and a lot more threads that resolve satisfyingly, as well as hints at a broader world outside the pages of the book. There's a good blend between action and daily magical domesticity that I found really pleasant, and helped bring out the characters' personalities without hurting the pacing. I can see why this has such a good reputation.

Some really good stuff this month, especially the last two which acted as a one-two punch of positivity!

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. - 37/52
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/3 of them are not written by men. - 19 - 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29, 30, 34, 35, 37
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 1/3 of them are written by writers of colour. - 13 - 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 35, 36
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/4 of them are written by LGBT writers. - 15 - 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - 21, 30
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - 3, 11, 12
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - 29
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - 27, 28
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. - 13, 21, 27, 35
12. Read something about a monster. - 16, 34
13. Read an essay collection. - 15
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - 28, 29
15. Read something set in the recent past. - 7, 10, 21
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - 20, 26
17. Read something about the ocean. - 11, 20
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - 5, 11, 19
19. Read something about games. - 4
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Chamberk
Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire


Ben Nevis posted:

I could use a wildcard if anyone has one.

How about "Skippy Dies" by Paul Murray?

If that turns out to be too long, "The Animators" by Kayla Rae Whitaker.

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Chamberk posted:

How about "Skippy Dies" by Paul Murray?

If that turns out to be too long, "The Animators" by Kayla Rae Whitaker.

Well, The Animators is at the library, so I might go that way. Maybe depends on how ILL looks for Skippy, but yeah, that's a long book.

Thanks!

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


I'm late. June was slow-ish, mostly because of Woman of the Aeroplanes, which took me awhile to read. But, I read a book about oceans. I read a bad collaboration with Green in the title. Wholly unnecessarily it turns out. Got a wildcard. I'm closing in on this challenge thing.

34. Zero-G Green Space by William Shatner and someone who ought to be ashamed of themself - Not even looking up the coauthor. This isn't good.

35. American Delirium by Betina Gonzalez - Possible the least liked book I've read this year with a good reads under 3 stars. It's an odd story, tying together hippie drop outs, murderous deer, and a mysterious hallucinogenic. Broadly, it explores a society that's fallen badly out of balance with Nature and the consequences of that. I'm not sure why people like it less than that Shatner thing.

36. Woman of the Aeroplanes by Kojo Laing - A small town in Ghana, disconnected from everywhere else is afflicted with immortality. They take two airplanes to visit a Scottish town that's been likewise afflicted. This was a slow read. It's written in English, but with a lot of bits of slang from Ghana thrown in. Laing is also very fond of wordplay. Also characters, sometimes a dozen on a page, some with multiple names and honorifics. It made for a bit of slow going, often I felt like things had to be untangled a bit. It's very much sort of a folk tale, the big climax for me was the debate between western religion and sort of Ghanaian cobble together one. It's quite harsh on the religion of the collaborators and I found it very surprising and concrete in an otherwise very surreal tale. Would recommend, but be advised it's dense, though quite enjoyable. There were some laugh out loud moments for me.

37. Spellbreaker by Charlie Holmberg - Victorian-esque fantasy. Our heroine is an orphan who is a spell breaker, one who is able to dismantle spells, though not able to learn magic herself. She's contracted by a shadowy organization to break spells that landlords and constables use to oppress common people. In this endeavor she meets a very handsome man from Barbados who is being denied a promotion to Master Magician because racism. But maybe everything's not as it seems. It was OK. I liked it more right when I finished than I do now.

38. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson - Carson sort of breaks down everything you might want to know about oceans. How they were formed, tides, currents, wind, what they do, what changes they've undergone, etc. A very interesting book and well written.

39. Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck - A sort of fairy tale. Thistle, a boy stolen by fairies, and Dora escape from Fairy Land, here called the Gardens. The search across multiple worlds, seeking Thistle's name so he can be free. There's some different fairy tale monsters, most notably Augusta a fairy expelled from the Gardens. Along the way they meet the Memory Theater, a theater troupe performing various plays to ensure certain instances from history are remembered. Pretty good if you like this sort of thing.

quote:

1. The Factory Witches of Lowell by CS Malerich
2. Talking Animals by Joni Murphy
3. A Grave is Given Supper by Mike Soto
4. Red Ants by Pergentino Jose
5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
6. Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
7. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
8. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
9. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
10. The Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosely
11. Farewell, My Orange by Kei Iwake
12. The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip
13. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
14. The Book of Malachi by TC Farren
15. Tindalos Asset by Caitlin Kiernan
16. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
17. Outlawed by Anna North
18. Bring me the Head of Quentin Tarantino[/b] by Julian Herbert
19. In Search of a Name by Marjolijn van Heemstra
20. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
21. When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
22. The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
23. The Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall
24. That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry
25. Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine
26. At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop
27. White Trash Warlock by David R Slayton
28. The Hot Rock by Donald E Westlake
29. A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic Durbin
30. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
31. The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Geisbrecht
32. The Library of the Unwritten by AJ Hackwith
33. The Book of Eels by Patrick Svensson




THE CHALLENGE:

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 39/70
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. 23/39
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. 15/39
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. 4/39
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - Red Ants, Farewell My Orange, Crome Yellow, Green and Ancient Light
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print. - Woman of the Aeroplanes
9. Read something in translation. - Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino
10. Read some poetry. - A Grave is Given Supper
11. Read some short stories. - That Old Country Music
12. Read something about a monster. Tindalos Asset
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - In Search of a Name
15. Read something set in the recent past. - American Spy
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - Talking Animals
17. Read something about the ocean. - The Seas Around Us
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - Roadside Picnic
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Got through 7 books total for June!


49. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat
I like to cook and had heard a lot about this book and seen some interviews with Nosrat and finally picked it up. The illustrations are adorable. Nosrat has a really engaging and endearing writing style that manages to be really informative and really accessible. She gives really great tips while also not shying away from her own mistakes and foibles learning to cook. Absolutely would recommend this for anyone with even a passing interest in cooking from scratch.

50. Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman
This is a flashy, snappy fantasy novel with a lot of worldbuilding that somehow manages not to get in its own way because the plot just GOES. There are definitely some D&D and other TTRPG trappings that would be familiar to people who've played games like those (cantrips!) but there's also a lot of unique things happening (the enchanted tattoos are a favorite). Really glad I picked this up!

51. The Tale of Indigo and Cloud by Martha Wells
Only two colors left after this (orange and violet)! This was a novella by Martha Wells (of Murderbot fame) set in the Raksura setting that she's written a lot of stuff in. They're these sort of lizard bird people? Who can shapeshift? I've never been so glad for a cover illustration because I'd have some trouble imagining what the characters look like otherwise. This was a nice little political intrigue/court politics story. I might check out some of the other Raksura books sometime.

52. The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis
Kind of sort of Handmaid's Tale in space? But there's also 40K style mech suit things, soldiers linked through chips in their brains, pale, lanky genetically modified humans who are treated like an underclass. A lot of subterfuge and people working together (sometimes unknowingly) to bring down corrupt governments. Not super complicated but fun and adventurous enough that I'm planning to check out the sequels.

53. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
There's a town in New York state that's cursed by a witch who wanders around, whispering things that entice people to suicide if they listen too closely (and the same happens if they try to leave the town for more than a few days). Some local teens start doing 'experiments' to see the limits of the witch's power and things go wrong (but is it really the witch, or the cruelties of the local townspeople that's the greater threat?) Really enjoyed this one!

54. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Have you read We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson? Because this book is 100% a riff on it, but mixed with a critique of mid 00s reality television and the exorcism horror genre. This was enjoyable, but I don't know how I would have felt if I'd read WHALitC afterwards/not been aware that it was playing with that story almost from the start. It really makes me want to re-read WHALitC though!

55. Star Eater by Kerstin Hall
I don't think this is technically marketed as YA but it kind of felt like it sometimes for reasons I'm not quite able to pin down? But I think it was mostly because the main character ends up having special powers and being a sort of Chosen One who is the only one able to fix things, and that theme is just so common in YA I've read that I get that YA perception whenever I encounter it now. Anyway, it's got cannibal priestess/nuns/witches who run the government (the mostly just eat magic-imbued meat from their own lobotomized mothers, though!). The land they live in is also in the sky. (I didn't catch on to that fact until like 75% through but I might have not been paying attention to earlier hints.) And any men who have sex with the magic cannibal nuns get turned into mindless monsters eventually. I was expecting more from the pitch, I think, so I ended up a little disappointed in this one but it was fine overall.


1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 55/100
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. >44/55
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. >16/55
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. >32/55
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) (Red, White and Royal Blue) (Yellow Jessamine) (Across the Green Grass Fields) (Tale of Indigo and Cloud)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. (The Seventh Perfection)
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. (All the Names They Used for God)
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. (Hex)
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. (All the Names They Used for God)
12. Read something about a monster. (Frankenstein)
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. (Cesare Borgia)
15. Read something set in the recent past. (Red, White and Royal Blue)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. (The Galaxy, and the Ground Within)
17. Read something about the ocean. (Heart of the Sea)
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Personal Nonfiction Goal: 5/10

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


quote:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer
3 - Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
4 - Empires of EVE: A History Of The Great Wars Of EVE Online, by Andrew Groen
5 - The Adventure Zone: Petal To The Metal, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
6 - Do You Dream Of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
7 - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
8 - Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir, by Hari Ziyad
9 - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
10 - A Certain Hunger, by Chelsea G. Summers
11 - The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Huston & Jonathan Snipes
12 - Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor
13 - Wake Up Young Lovers, by Paris Green
14 - Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
15 - Better Than IRL: True Stories About Finding Your People On The Untamed Internet, edited by Katie West & Jasmine Elliot
16 - William Gibson's Alien 3, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
17 - The End Of The World, by Don Hertzfeldt
18 - The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media, by Ryan M. Milner
19 - This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
20 - Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, edited by Ann VanderMeer
21 - Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange
22 - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
23 - The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
24 - Accelerando, by Charles Stross
25 - White Noise, by Don DeLillo
26 - The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa
27 - Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women, ed. by Jo Glanville
28 - The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf
29 - Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, by Annalee Newitz
30 - Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread: Joice Loch, Australia's Most Heroic Woman, by Susanna de Vries
31 - Ten-Ghost, by Adam J. Thaxton
32 & 33 - The Umbrella Academy: Dallas & Hotel Oblivion, by Gerard Way & Gabriel BŠ
34 - Sea-Witch Volume Two: Girldirt Angelfog, by Moss Angel The Undying
35 - The Complete Stories, by Zora Neale Hurston
36 - Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany
37 - Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones

I read seven books in July, oscillating between the very dense and heavy and the light and silly. I started the month with something that really angered me:

38 - Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi. The first 90% of this book is a beautiful story with richly-drawn characters and powerful emotional beats. I found myself always on edge, anticipating the next crushing emotional spike: while most of the book so far has been pleasant and heartwarming, she doesn't let you forget that there's a legacy of horrific suffering lurking in this character's past and colouring her present. It's really good...until the last twist completely shits the bed in a bizarre transphobic car crash of a "resolution". A real shame.

39-42 - Chainsaw Man, vol. 1-4, by Tatsuki Fujimoto. Hyper-violent exploitation-movie style manga about a young homeless man being drafted into a bureaucracy of demon hunters. it's starting to grow on me. There's a Suicide Squad-esque quality to the patter, as different characters' personalities are bouncing off each other. The main character Denji is going to have a lot of harsh reality lessons over this series, I think. The artwork is delightfully grotesque, though not quite as detailed and moody as something like Dorohedoro. I'll probably end up finishing this series.

43 - Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso. Heavy graphic novel about loss, conspiracy and desperation in the shadow of new media. A woman's disappearance leads to her partner moving in with an old school friend who works for the government. Grief and hopelessness spiral and cult-like reaction is whipped up to drown those who knew the titular Sabrina. Drnaso's style is very stark and minimal, I guess you could call it "mumblecore" or some similar epithet - everything is long pauses and empty spaces, allowing the text to pile up and overwhelm. It's good, and very sad.

44 - The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X & Alex Haley. The audiobook is read by Lawrence Fishburne, who is absolutely superb. I'd read chunks of this before, but this was my first time going through the entire thing. I had an idea of what to expect, in broad terms. Despite a lot of issues - sexism, misogyny, some other frustrating blind spots - I found it really drat interesting, and I learned a lot about the man himself, the world that made him, and the ways in which he wanted his story to be told.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. - 44/52
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/3 of them are not written by men. - 20 - 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29, 30, 34, 35, 37, 38
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 1/3 of them are written by writers of colour. - 19 - 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/4 of them are written by LGBT writers. - 15 - 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - 21, 30
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - 3, 11, 12, 43
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - 29
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - 27, 28, 39, 40, 41, 42
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. - 13, 21, 27, 35
12. Read something about a monster. - 16, 34, 39, 40, 41, 42
13. Read an essay collection. - 15
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - 28, 29
15. Read something set in the recent past. - 7, 10, 21
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - 20, 26
17. Read something about the ocean. - 11, 20
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - 5, 11, 19, 44
19. Read something about games. - 4
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated. - 44

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


Got through 8 books total for July.


56. Erekos by A.M. Tuomala
This was recommended in the SFF thread and sounded interesting (I also just really like checking out small presses right now since they'll take more chances on the weirder stuff). This is a dark fantasy story about rebellions and civil wars and a swamp witch who turns her recently dead sister into a zombie (much tragedy follows as they're almost immediately separated). Really non-standard sort of story and plot that manages to be both intricate (multiple POV characters, including the zombie sister) and breezy.

57. Wanderhome by Jay Dragon
This is a TTRPG sourcebook so I think that counts for my 'read something about a game'? Feels a bit like cheating but it's also one of two RPG sourcebooks I read so I'm doubling down on it counting. This is a no-dice, no-masters system where you're basically little Redwall critters (without the implicit racism!) wandering around a war-scarred land that's trying to heal. No combat systems, it's really focused on storytelling and I really look forward to playing it soon. It just sounds like a chill time.

58. Wickedness by M Veselak
The second RPG sourcebook I read. In this one, you just use a tarot deck and the game's built-in oracle system to determine what happens to the witches' coven run by you and two other players (the game is three players only). Very focused on storybuilding and managing relationships between each other and the outside world. It also comes with some variant playbooks including a cyberpunk themed version of the game. Really want to play this one sometime too.

59. Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta
It's got mechs, it's got girls-who-like-girls, it's anime as hell. And the last one is the key -- I think if you're down for a sci-fi YA that's gorier than average and seriously just feels like it was intended to be a mecha anime first and foremost, this is a fun little read. The way the mechs are built doesn't make any sense (why are there easily accessible ladders inside of them that take you up to the defenseless pilot? Plot, I guess!) and the teens sure act like teens, but it's popcorn-y and the pace moves pretty quick.

60. Inside Man by K.J. Parker
Sequel to Prosper's Demon from a year or so ago. It follows up with the main demon from the first book and has a lot more obtuse demonic bureaucracy (played for humor, of course) and a sort of bleak ending as you'd expect from Parker. Really nice follow up and leaves some room for a sequel without feeling like there's too much of a cliffhanger.

61. A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Do you like Becky Chambers? Just pick this up and read it already. A very grounded, very relatable story about a person who's trying to find their place and just keeps getting stuck in a rut no matter what they try to do. Also a very delightful robot shows up to help them out. There's tea, thriving post-industrial societies, robots that just hosed off to live in the woods when the singularity happened, and a lot of ill-advised hiking.

62. Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean
Nonfiction book about, well, what the title says. Dean has already written about the Challenger disaster and after realizing that the last handful of shuttle launches are about to happen, resolves to write a book about it. There's a lot of creative nonfiction-y stuff about her thinking of the book she'll be writing later, taking notes for the book, musing about how other writers have written about the US space program, etc. but there's also plenty of interesting information about the history of NASA, the shuttle program, the orbiters themselves, and even a chapter where she got to hang out with Buzz Aldrin at a book festival. Interesting read if you like space stuff.

63. Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge (translated by Jeremy Tiang)
This was really cool. Sort of edges into magical realism territory, but it's also its own thing entirely. It starts out seeming like somewhat disjointed vignettes about various Strange Beasts that live in a specific city in China, connected only barely by the main character who used to research them, but the plot starts to thicken quickly until by the end it turns out even more was connected than you might initially have thought. I just really dug this and really liked how different it felt.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 63/100
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. >51/63
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. >18/63
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. >37/63
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) (Red, White and Royal Blue) (Yellow Jessamine) (Across the Green Grass Fields) (Tale of Indigo and Cloud)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. (The Seventh Perfection)
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. (All the Names They Used for God)
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. (Hex)
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. (All the Names They Used for God)
12. Read something about a monster. (Frankenstein)
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. (Cesare Borgia)
15. Read something set in the recent past. (Red, White and Royal Blue)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. (The Galaxy, and the Ground Within)
17. Read something about the ocean. (Heart of the Sea)
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
19. Read something about games. (Wanderhome)
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Personal Nonfiction Goal: 6/10

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


As we enter the last and longest third of the year, I want to thank you all for sticking with us for this challenge. It's great to see so many people hitting their goals and discovering new writers and stories. Genuinely puts a smile on my face!

quote:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer
3 - Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
4 - Empires of EVE: A History Of The Great Wars Of EVE Online, by Andrew Groen
5 - The Adventure Zone: Petal To The Metal, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
6 - Do You Dream Of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
7 - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
8 - Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir, by Hari Ziyad
9 - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
10 - A Certain Hunger, by Chelsea G. Summers
11 - The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Huston & Jonathan Snipes
12 - Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor
13 - Wake Up Young Lovers, by Paris Green
14 - Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
15 - Better Than IRL: True Stories About Finding Your People On The Untamed Internet, edited by Katie West & Jasmine Elliot
16 - William Gibson's Alien 3, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
17 - The End Of The World, by Don Hertzfeldt
18 - The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media, by Ryan M. Milner
19 - This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
20 - Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, edited by Ann VanderMeer
21 - Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange
22 - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
23 - The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
24 - Accelerando, by Charles Stross
25 - White Noise, by Don DeLillo
26 - The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa
27 - Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women, ed. by Jo Glanville
28 - The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf
29 - Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, by Annalee Newitz
30 - Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread: Joice Loch, Australia's Most Heroic Woman, by Susanna de Vries
31 - Ten-Ghost, by Adam J. Thaxton
32 & 33 - The Umbrella Academy: Dallas & Hotel Oblivion, by Gerard Way & Gabriel BŠ
34 - Sea-Witch Volume Two: Girldirt Angelfog, by Moss Angel The Undying
35 - The Complete Stories, by Zora Neale Hurston
36 - Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany
37 - Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
38 - Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi
39-42 - Chainsaw Man, vol. 1-4, by Tatsuki Fujimoto
43 - Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso
44 - The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X & Alex Haley

I managed to finish nine books in August! I have blown past my number-of-books goal! :woop:

45 - Breakfast At Tiffany's, by Truman Capote. drat, Capote can write. A beautiful character study first and foremost, of Holly Golightly and her idiosyncracies; it also works as a critique of high-society frivolity and fakeness, and of people being crushed by Holly's whims and fancies. From a modern perspective there's a lot of quite radical stuff here - Holly's character is fleshed out by conversation more than revelation, with a constant drive forwards away from the traumas of her childhood. And to repeat myself, Capote's language is absolutely gorgeous, and absolutely left me wanting more.

46 - From A Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i, by Haunani-Kay Trask. A moving, impassioned polemic against the colonisation and devastation of Hawai'i over the last two centuries. Primarily aimed at US imperialism, Trask draws on native Hawai'ian history as well as her own personal experiences of prejudice within academia to put together a scathing diagnosis of the islands' plight. The edition I read includes a number of appendices, including a full declaration of indigenous rights and independence. The core message Trask has for "haole": stay away and let indigenous people run their own lives. Which is hard to argue with, really. I'd be interested in reading more about what developments have taken place in the three decades since this was published.

47 - 99 Erics: A Kat Cataclysm Faux Novel, by Julia Serano. Snarky, self-consciously metatextual and postmodern, and a lot of fun. Serano uses the premise to assemble a number of quirky conversations, centred around wordplay, comedy skits, and serious putting-the-world-to-rights. As a way to air grievances and share notable life experiences it's very enjoyable and decently funny, though I can see others bouncing off her style and sense of humour. Kat definitely reminds me of a couple of friends, come to think of it.

48 - The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch. More Adventure Zone! This arc might be my favourite from the original podcast, so it was really great to see it brought to life. Pietsch's artwork continues to be stylish and bright and fun, and the comedy-to-adventure ratio is much tighter as the McElroys really get into the groove of the campaign.

49 - Darryl, by Jackie Ess. Beautiful, sad, desperate, yearning, and other flowery adjectives. The inner life of Darryl, a lifestyle cuckold who seeks out bold and scary new territories for fulfilment while introspection eats away at his sense of self. For such a short novel there's a lot going on here, with crisis masculinity and psychological (self) abuse at the forefront. It's also kind of a sequel to another book by another writer - not to spoil anything, but if you know, you know. Clive might be the most chilling character I've read all year. drat this was good. Going to be chewing on this one for a while.

50 - The Importance Of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde. Tremendous fun, a farcical comedy of manners dripping with irony and caricatures of the upper crust. I really need to see a live production at some point.

51 - Always Coming Home, by Ursula K. LeGuin. Enormously ambitious and dense, this is a hefty collection of short stories, poetry and biography, all from a hypothetical future Californian society of mostly tribal communities. LeGuin put an enormous amount of work and thought into building the world and people of the book, the kind of stories they'd tell, and what priorities the societies would have compared to ours. Stories and poems are annotated and given anthropological footnotes, illustrations and accompanying maps. It's really cool, and I feel like I wasn't quite clever enough to appreciate it properly. Which is a real shame because the ideas and work that went into this book are so interesting!

52 - Cities Of The Red Night, by William S. Burroughs. A grotesque virus-outbreak thriller intertwines messily with globetrotting absurdity and occult strangeness. Hangings and sexual frenzy occur so frequently that they become a grimy background aroma to silly paranoiac adventures packed to the gills with sodomy, archaeological mystery and orientalist gawping. For a book written just before the AIDS epidemic, the "radioactive virus" Burroughs describes feels prescient and farcical at the same time. Getting through the whole thing in a single sitting might not have been the best idea, as the narrative blurs into a gloopy, tumbling mass that collapses under its own momentum in ways that aren't particularly satisfying. Still, it's a lot of fun while it lasts, even if it is less than the sum of its parts.

53 - Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson. A warm, funny and bittersweet coming-of-age story, a fictional autobiography. The narrative is old hat nowadays: young woman grows up under oppressive religious family (in this case an overbearing, evangelical Christian mother) and discovers a burgeoning sexuality that transgresses the community's norms. But in 1985, I understand this was quite groundbreaking and influential. Winterson's personality comes through on every page, as the protagonist's life is intercut with fairytale allegories and the minutiae of her everyday life is related with a good deal of humour. Getting the audiobook to hear Winterson herself reading was the right choice, too.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. - 53/52
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/3 of them are not written by men. - 25 - 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29, 30, 34, 35, 37, 38, 46, 47, 49, 51, 53
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 1/3 of them are written by writers of colour. - 20 - 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/4 of them are written by LGBT writers. - 21 - 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36, 45, 47, 49, 50, 52, 53
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - 21, 30, 52, 53
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - 3, 11, 12, 43, 49
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - 29
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - 27, 28, 39, 40, 41, 42
10. Read some poetry. - 13, 51
11. Read some short stories. - 13, 21, 27, 35, 51
12. Read something about a monster. - 16, 34, 39, 40, 41, 42
13. Read an essay collection. - 15
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - 28, 29, 46
15. Read something set in the recent past. - 7, 10, 21
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - 20, 26
17. Read something about the ocean. - 11, 20
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - 5, 11, 19, 44, 48
19. Read something about games. - 4
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated. - 44, 50

Humerus
Jul 7, 2009

Rule of acquisition #111:
Treat people in your debt like family...exploit them.




Haven't updated since May but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading! I'm actually a fair bit ahead of schedule. My wife just had our second child two weeks ago which means more late night reading though! Exciting.

-June-

27.) Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke (2019)
Much like Bluebird, Bluebird this book was engaging and the mystery decent, but it still didnít wow me.

28.) Outlawed by Anna North (2021)
Not a bad book by any means but I did myself a disservice with it. I thought it was a western with queer themes, which it is, but itís also an alt-reality which I wasnít expecting (because I didnít really read the premise). Thatís on me and not the book but all the same I was pretty lukewarm on it. I feel like I would have liked it more without the alt-reality slant.

29.) One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (2021)
This ended up being more interesting than I was expecting! Thereís a bit of a sci-fi mystery baked in which was really unexpected but worked reasonably well.

30.) Mark of Faith by Rachel Harrison (2019)
Itís a Warhammer 40K novel so you get whatís advertised, nothing more or less. Enjoyable.

31.) Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu (2021)
Another book where I didnít actually know the premise but I ended up really liking it this time! Itís urban fantasy but also kind of dystopian/post-apocalypse? The setting isnít super flushed out but I think it worked really well, just little snippets of *something* hosed up happening. Iím looking forward to the next in the series.

-July-

32.) The Ones Weíre Meant to Find by Joan He (2021)
I bounced off this hard. I didnít really care about the characters and the world building seemed confused - it all just seemed like too much and not enough information. And the mystery is solved far before the end but then the book just seems to limp to the finish line. This just wasnít for me.

33.) The Album of Dr. Moreau by Daryl Gregory (2021)
A fun little mystery novella set to the backdrop of boybands and also genetic experiments.

34.) Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders (2021)
Iím of two minds with this. The worldbuilding was pretty good, I liked the story, and it definitely has places to go. On the other hand it had some pretty bad eye rolling moments like the good guys lamenting about killing literal space nazis and a weirdly forced love triangle.

-August-

35.) Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo (2017)
This is the highlight of these months for me. Very good story with very compelling characters. Nobody felt wasted or unnecessary. Highly recommend it.

36.) Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
I was surprised how enjoyable this was to read, honestly. I didnít mind the epistolary style, which a lot of people seem to really dislike. Seems weird to say this about such an old book but I was constantly wondering what would happen next; it was a very exciting read. Iíve never actually watched a Dracula movie and I guess the actual plot doesnít really distill into pop culture as much as the character of Dracula does.

37.) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (1926)
Agatha Christie is my favorite author and I see why this one is so highly regarded. Definitely one of my new favorites of hers.

38.) Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto (2021)
A pretty funny light hearted book about accidental murder at a wedding. My only complaint is that I wanted more Weekend At Bernieís style antics.

39.) A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers (2021)
As another goon said, itís a Becky Chambers book. Refreshing and enjoyable if light on plot.

Book Goal: 39/52
Author Stats (All goals 30%)
Nonwhite: 36%
LGBTQ+: 28%
Nonman: 69%

Hit a pretty good stride and feeling good about this year. I'm glad I'm pushing myself to read more outside of my wheelhouse because otherwise I'd never have read Welcome to Lagos and that's easily one of my favorites I've read this year. I did the audiobook and the narration was great. I'm definitely going to read more of Onuzo's work.

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


So yeah, straight up forgot to post in August to update for July, so I'm doing both here. I've read a wildcard, Blue and Indigo, a book recommended by a loved one. Big push here as we close in on Fall to finish it off. Gonna be real interesting here to see how much of these I remember a couple months out. Let's do it.

40. Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman - Fantasy novel with a smart aleck thief, a witch, a big quest, some bad guys. All in all a fairly typical sort of fantasy with an enjoyable smart rear end narrating. I'd read the second.

41. The Incendiaries by RO Kwon - A college campus, a relationship, constructed identities and their presentation, a cult, and some very vivid language. The characters aren't very likeable, but I enjoyed this anyways.

42. Unity by Elly Bangs - This was a dystopian future, where our protagonist is a gestalt personality trying to escape from a giant underwater mining corporation and also a religious cult. Then there's maybe the start of a world war. Our protag has to reunite with the rest of her consciousness to try and save the world. Interesting, briskly paced sci-fi with sort of a weird philosophical climax.

43. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - Rich suburbs, and a bohemian photographer moves in. Her kid becomes friends with a rich family. Their black sheep daughter idolizes the photographer. Fires ensue. Recommended by a loved on and I liked it.

44. Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick - An old teacher at a boarding school reflects on his time in school and specifically, his relationship with Ben-Israel Elefantin. There are at parts some sly humor, and a decent overall affair. Not great, but short and decent if you're in for some reminiscing.

45. The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis - As Prague modernizes, the lamplighters guild lights the gaslamps and protects citizens from supernatural terrors of the night, like vampires. Pretty decent overall, realistically about what you expect from this sort of thing but pretty well done.

46. A Master of Djinn by P Djeli Clark - Finally, a novel from Clark! It's a mystery with a supernatural element. Pretty decent mystery where I always felt like I beat the detectives by like a chapter to the next turn, enough to make me feel clever without being tiresome. It's not Ring Shout, but it was good and I'd happily read more Clark.

47. The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau - A Huguenot artist in England is offered a phenomenal amount if she can procure the secret behind the new color blue for porcelain. Some spying, some love story, some really rudimentary egalitarianism. It was OK.

48. The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers - At an intergalactic truck stop, there's a massive disruption of communications and several delayed travelers spend time and learn about each other and stuff. Something happens! 4th in the series you know what you're getting with chambers, and it's wonderful and warm and fuzzy.

49. Cat in an Indigo Mood by Carol Nelson Douglas - Many series of mysteries you can jump in at any point and catch a criminal. This is not one.

50. Bachannal by Veronica Henry - A girl who was abandoned by her family has the ability to communicate with animals, sorta. Sometimes she just kills them accidentally. She joins up with a travelling show in Depression era LA, TX and OK. Something seems wrong about the carnival though. Will she find her family? Will she ever get a good act together? Is romance in the cards? And what is in that red trailer no one will talk about? This was mostly just OK.

51. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker - It's about two young women animators who just got a big grant after their first well regarding project. It goes into their backstory and their struggles coping with fame, each other, and their past. This was really good, it took several unexpected turns and really got deep into these ladies. Really enjoyed it, great WC pick.

52 Defekt by Nino Cipri - Followup to Finna where Cipri started thinking about lovely jobs and how there's always that one person who is just way into their lovely job. What's their deal? Well, meet Derek. The perfect employee at LitenVarld. Suddenly though, it all goes to hell when he takes his first sick day.



Ben Nevis posted:

1. The Factory Witches of Lowell by CS Malerich
2. Talking Animals by Joni Murphy
3. A Grave is Given Supper by Mike Soto
4. Red Ants by Pergentino Jose
5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
6. Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
7. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
8. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
9. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
10. The Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosely
11. Farewell, My Orange by Kei Iwake
12. The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip
13. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
14. The Book of Malachi by TC Farren
15. Tindalos Asset by Caitlin Kiernan
16. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
17. Outlawed by Anna North
18. Bring me the Head of Quentin Tarantino[/b] by Julian Herbert
19. In Search of a Name by Marjolijn van Heemstra
20. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
21. When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
22. The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
23. The Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall
24. That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry
25. Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine
26. At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop
27. White Trash Warlock by David R Slayton
28. The Hot Rock by Donald E Westlake
29. A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic Durbin
30. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
31. The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Geisbrecht
32. The Library of the Unwritten by AJ Hackwith
33. The Book of Eels by Patrick Svensson
34. Zero-G Green Space by William Shatner and someone who ought to be ashamed of themself
35. American Delirium by Betina Gonzalez
36. Woman of the Aeroplanes by Kojo Laing
37. Spellbreaker by Charlie Holmberg
38. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
39. Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck


THE CHALLENGE:

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 39/70
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. 34/51
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. 19/51
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. 6/51
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - Red Ants, Farewell My Orange, Crome Yellow, Green and Ancient Light, Blue, Cat in an Indigo Mood.
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - Little Fires Everywhere
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - The Animators
8. Read something that's out of print. - Woman of the Aeroplanes
9. Read something in translation. - Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino
10. Read some poetry. - A Grave is Given Supper
11. Read some short stories. - That Old Country Music
12. Read something about a monster. Tindalos Asset
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - In Search of a Name
15. Read something set in the recent past. - American Spy
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - Talking Animals
17. Read something about the ocean. - The Seas Around Us
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - Roadside Picnic
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I read 7 books in August.

64. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
This is a fantasy in an India-inspired setting. A girl with special powers/training is in hiding as a maidservant and ends up taking care of an exiled princess and they have a thing for each other. There's a neat plot element called the Rot where basically things made of meat are infected with plants and plants become meat on the inside. A neat read over all. I'll probably pick up the next one eventually (after it comes out).

65. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
Oh drat, this one might just have gotten into my favorite fantasy novel shortlist. A starving peasant girl takes the name, identity, and destiny of her dead brother. She joins a monastery and (through her own grit and determination) ends up becoming a warlord by the end of the book. There's also an antagonist/secondary POV character, a eunuch general of the ruling Huns, who is fascinating in his own right. There's a lot of Gender Stuff going on between those two main characters that I thought was really neatly executed. Really looking forward to where this series goes.

66. The Necessity of Stars by E. Catherine Tobler
A novella about an elderly UN ambassador with worsening dementia who finds an alien in her back yard. A really interesting first contact novel that also has a lot of climate disaster stuff going on in the background.

67. And What Can We Offer You Tonight by Premee Mohamed
A sexworker at a high-rent, dystopian brothel is murdered and doesn't stay dead. One of her coworkers is the POV character watching as her un-dead friend exacts her revenge on the rich assholes who oppress the rest of the city. Really lushly written and a sci fi setting that has some really interesting technology and whatnot going on, but it's just there and not overly lingered on (to the story's benefit, IMO).

68. Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World That Wouldn't Die by (a bunch of people)
This is a short story anthology that I really ended up enjoying (it's put out by Neon Hemlock Press who also published the previous two stories I'd read). This was a VERY solid anthology. They can always be a bit of a gamble but there wasn't really any one story that stuck out as being bad or even 'meh.' Just ranged from being pretty solid to a few standout entries.

69. (nice) Nightmare Magazine, Issue 99 edited by John Joseph Adams
A really good issue! All four stories were really solid. "Book of Drowned Girls" stood out as a favorite.

70. Dreampunk: A Surreal TTRPG by Xavid
Backed this on Kickstarter and just got the early PDF of the corebook. It's got an interesting twist on the normal sort of TTRPG format because you don't really rolle dice at all. Instead, you pull cards from a deck (either one that comes with the game if you get that, or you can use cards from something like Dixit or Mysterium, or a tarot deck, you get the idea) and use the images to make your movies and effect the story. Really interested to see the full deck of cards when it arrives because the game itself seems really interesting.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 70/100
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. >58/70
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. >23/70
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. >43/70
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) (Red, White and Royal Blue) (Yellow Jessamine) (Across the Green Grass Fields) (Tale of Indigo and Cloud)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. (The Seventh Perfection)
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. (All the Names They Used for God)
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. (Hex)
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. (All the Names They Used for God)
12. Read something about a monster. (Frankenstein)
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. (Cesare Borgia)
15. Read something set in the recent past. (Red, White and Royal Blue)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. (The Galaxy, and the Ground Within)
17. Read something about the ocean. (Heart of the Sea)
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
19. Read something about games. (Wanderhome)
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Personal Nonfiction Goal: 6/10

Chamberk
Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire


July and August- in the middle of September of course...

54. A Master of Djinn - P. Djeli Clark
55. Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens
56. The Dragon Waiting - John M. Ford
57. Jade City (Green Bone #1) - Fonda Lee
58. Night Train to Turkistan - Stuart Stevens
59. Slapstick - Kurt Vonnegut
60. The Sweetness of Water - Nathan Harris
61. Jade War (Green Bone #2) - Fonda Lee
62. Pilgrim at Tinkerís Creek - Annie Dillard
63. The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak
64. The Lions of Al-Rassan - Guy Gavriel Kay
65. The Murmur of Bees - Sofia Segovia
66. The Witch Boy - Molly Ostertag
67. Long Distance - Wendy Gardner

68. Wanderers - Chuck Wendig
69. Master & Commander - Patrick OíBrien
70. A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik
71. The Night Watchman - Louise Erdrich
72. Omensetterís Luck - William Gass
73. A Little Hatred (Age of Madness #1) - Joe Abercrombie
74. March (vol 1) - John Lewis (et al)
75. March (vol 2) - John Lewis (et al)

At this point, I do not think I'll get my Booklord done this year; the color thing seemed to defeat me. That being said, I read some great stuff:
-A Master of Djinn - as someone mentioned above, it's awesome to see Clark's imagination in a novel-length work. He is great at world-creation, though his mystery bona fides aren't quite as strong. Still, a very enjoyable read.
-The Dragon Waiting - an alternate history book about Richard III, the Byzantine Empire, the Medicis, and magic. Weirdly constructed, but utterly compelling. Driven to read this by this article: https://slate.com/culture/2019/11/john-ford-science-fiction-fantasy-books.html
-the Green Bone books (Jade City, Jade War) - a really enjoyable fantasy/gangster/kung-fu series with a lot of family drama and cool martial arts poo poo.
-March - John Lewis was a loving hero and this was a really cool presentation of his story.
-The Night Watchman - Erdrich rarely disappoints.
-rereads: Book Thief, Lions of Al-Rassan, and the first book of Age of Madness (which I have since finished)

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. (75/100)
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men.
40%
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour.
27%
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers.
6% (Ostertag)
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - Omensetter's Luck
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - The Murmur of Bees
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories.
12. Read something about a monster.
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
15. Read something set in the recent past.
16. Read something from a non-human perspective.
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - March
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated. - March

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


Since we're coming up to the last quarter of the year, I'm putting out a call for a NEW BOOKLORD! If you think you want to take up the mantle, especially if you think you can do it better than I have, then shoot me a PM here!

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


quote:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer
3 - Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
4 - Empires of EVE: A History Of The Great Wars Of EVE Online, by Andrew Groen
5 - The Adventure Zone: Petal To The Metal, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
6 - Do You Dream Of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
7 - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
8 - Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir, by Hari Ziyad
9 - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
10 - A Certain Hunger, by Chelsea G. Summers
11 - The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Huston & Jonathan Snipes
12 - Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor
13 - Wake Up Young Lovers, by Paris Green
14 - Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
15 - Better Than IRL: True Stories About Finding Your People On The Untamed Internet, edited by Katie West & Jasmine Elliot
16 - William Gibson's Alien 3, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
17 - The End Of The World, by Don Hertzfeldt
18 - The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media, by Ryan M. Milner
19 - This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
20 - Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, edited by Ann VanderMeer
21 - Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange
22 - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
23 - The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
24 - Accelerando, by Charles Stross
25 - White Noise, by Don DeLillo
26 - The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa
27 - Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women, ed. by Jo Glanville
28 - The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf
29 - Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, by Annalee Newitz
30 - Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread: Joice Loch, Australia's Most Heroic Woman, by Susanna de Vries
31 - Ten-Ghost, by Adam J. Thaxton
32 & 33 - The Umbrella Academy: Dallas & Hotel Oblivion, by Gerard Way & Gabriel BŠ
34 - Sea-Witch Volume Two: Girldirt Angelfog, by Moss Angel The Undying
35 - The Complete Stories, by Zora Neale Hurston
36 - Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany
37 - Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
38 - Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi
39-42 - Chainsaw Man, vol. 1-4, by Tatsuki Fujimoto
43 - Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso
44 - The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X & Alex Haley
45 - Breakfast At Tiffany's, by Truman Capote
46 - From A Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i, by Haunani-Kay Trask
47 - 99 Erics: A Kat Cataclysm Faux Novel, by Julia Serano
48 - The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
49 - Darryl, by Jackie Ess
50 - The Importance Of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
51 - Always Coming Home, by Ursula K. LeGuin
52 - Cities Of The Red Night, by William S. Burroughs
53 - Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson

I read five books during September! I enjoyed all of them though, which is a good track record, I think...

54 - Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture,
by Sudhir Hazareesingh. An in-depth biography of the legendary Haitian slave-turned-revolutionary-turned-leader, about whom I (with my very narrow British education) knew next to nothing. Laying out his life in twelve long and engrossing chapters, Hazareesingh spares no detail, from Toussaint's spiritual beliefs to the political tensions his actions inspired in far-flung colonies. The narrative of the book, while slow and heavy with detail, I found to be well-paced, with regular shifts in focus from military to social to political theatres. Hazareesingh often ephasises how his politics and beliefs were a "blend of creole, christian and republican values", and demonstrates how Toussaint expressed these throughout his life and career. The final chapter on Toussaint's legacy was particularly interesting to me: after a few hundred pages' worth of information about the man, his times, his ambitions, his rise and fall, it was really affecting seeing how retellings of his life distilled it to moving inspiration or convenient moral lesson. Overall the impression I got was one of a driven, ambitious and cunning man who fell victim to his own belief in a noble imperial project that ultimately considered him to be an aberration in need of correction and erasure. Even though he didn't live to see his ambitions fulfilled - and then snuffed out again by waves of imperial reprisal - it's clear why he has become canonised as an icon for subaltern struggle against white supremacy and imperialism worldwide.

55 - Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries, by Dennis Cooper. Nonfiction writings from the late 80s to the mid-00s, covering pop culture phenomena great and small. Highlights include: interviews with Keanu Reeves, Courtney Love and John Waters; an overview of the queer zine landscape in the 80s US; thoughtful and often scathing literature reviews. For fans of Cooper's excellent blogging, this is proof that he's always been a capable and empathetic media critic. Plus, it contains an awful lot of good recommendations for more things to watch, read or listen to, which is great.

56 - ELADATL: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines, by Sesshu Foster with Arturo Romo. A grand idea executed mostly very well. An alternate history and near-future glimpse of a ruined LA, shredded by capitalism and governmental neglect. A ragtag team of dirigible engineers and pilots try and prop up their public transit service in the face of monumental cost and environmental threat. There are strange holistic interviews and suspicious disappearances and murders. And all of it is accompanied by Romo's superb illustrations and supplementary material to enhance the counterfactual verisimilitude. The disjointed narrative meant that I did lose track of things more than once, and I was left wanting more, but I really enjoyed my time with this!

57 - Forever, by Thomas Moore. A short, miserable and emotionally draining novella about suicide, anonymous sex and child abuse. Set in stark but thoughtful prose against the backdrop of a dreamlike Paris, the protagonist chronicles his final days of sexual and emotional breakdown. Dennis Cooper is a big fan of Moore's, which makes sense, because he's such an obvious influence on Moore's style - Forever borrows heavily in both prosody and theme from some of Cooper's novels. Not that that's a bad thing - here, it works to build a small and desperate little book.

58 - Cradle And Grave, by Anya Ow. Short post-apocalyptic post-human novella about a small mismatched party fighting, negotiating and bonding their way towards the centre of a blighted landscape. There's body horror, hints at a prejudicial cultural shadow, and a LOT of vague proper nouns used for worldbuilding. It took me a while to get into this one properly, but by the last few chapters I was solidly invested, and I enjoyed the ending a lot. Outside of the clunkier SF trappings, Ow's prose is very nice, with some character descriptions feeling downright romantic. It also takes ideas of identity crisis beyond the generic "oh no my body has changed am I even human any more????" that so many writers stumble at.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. - 58/52
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/3 of them are not written by men. - 26 - 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29, 30, 34, 35, 37, 38, 46, 47, 49, 51, 53, 58
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 1/3 of them are written by writers of colour. - 23 - 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 54, 56, 58
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/4 of them are written by LGBT writers. - 24 - 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36, 45, 47, 49, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - 21, 30, 52, 53
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - 3, 11, 12, 43, 49
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - 29
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - 27, 28, 39, 40, 41, 42
10. Read some poetry. - 13, 51
11. Read some short stories. - 13, 21, 27, 35, 51
12. Read something about a monster. - 16, 34, 39, 40, 41, 42
13. Read an essay collection. - 15, 55
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - 28, 29, 46, 54
15. Read something set in the recent past. - 7, 10, 21
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - 20, 26
17. Read something about the ocean. - 11, 20
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - 5, 11, 19, 44, 48, 56
19. Read something about games. - 4
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated. - 44, 50


Remaining challenges: Colours (Yellow, Green, Violet); Out-of-print; Bestseller

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I read 8 books in September.

71. A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome by Emma Southon
This was a really fun book about, well, murder in ancient Rome. This felt pretty well researched (I'm not an expert in ancient Rome, but nothing sounded outlandish and there were a lot of efforts to dispel older historical myths/misinformation that have lasted for a long time). There are some cheeky modern references and turns of phrase (an emperor or senator at one point was compared to a Soundcloud rapper) but they're not overwhelming, I don't think. Just enough to keep it from being stodgy. Southon also does a good job of pointing out the horrible class disparities at the time and how then (as now, sadly) the justice system and historical record tends to favor the wealthy and powerful.

72. Nightmare Magazine, Issue 100 edited by John Joseph Adams
This was a special double issue and had some really solid new stories and reprints. The Stephen Graham Jones story "How to Break Into a Hotel Room" really stuck with me and so did Maria Dahvana Headley's "Wolfsbane". Carmen Maria Machado's "The Things Eric Eats Before He Eats Himself" was a lot of fun too. Just really solid all around.

73. Erebus by Michael Palin (yes, the Monty Python guy)
This is a pretty thorough historical account of the voyages of the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror which were famous for their disastrous Arctic expedition that left all the crew dead and no one entirely sure what happened. The first half (maybe a bit more?) of this book focuses on the well-documented and highly-successful Antarctic expedition the ships did first, and it's fascinating. (If you happen to have watched The Terror tv series or want to see it, reading this book adds a lot to the experience, I think!). Palin spends time on the various theories about what happened to the doomed voyage (if it was lead poisoning, botulism from badly canned food, scurvy, cannibalism, etc.), but doesn't make the mistake of claiming he's solved it or anything like that. Really engaging overall.

74. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
Speaking of historical disasters ending in cannibalism... The Hunger is a historical horror novel loosely based on the Donner Party disaster. Katsu takes life details about a lot of the real people in the Donner-Reed Party and heightens them, adding in some zombie-y/werewolf-y/monster-y magic to the mix as the main threat to the group (beyond just their horrible planning and poor decision making). If you're interested in the Donner Party as a concept at all and like horror, definitely give this a shot.

75. The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny by Michael Wallis
I got mildly obsessed with the Donner Party after reading The Hunger and wanted to read something non-fiction about it (and I just have a morbid fascination with survival cannibalism I guess since this is the 3rd non-fiction book this year I've read about it). This was a chronological survey of what happened to the Party, starting before they even left Springfield, Illinois (Fun Fact: Reed, one of the wagon train captains, and a much more interesting guy than Donner, was friends with Abraham Lincoln). You get to see how they just made compounding bad choices that all lead to them being stranded in the Sierras without enough food to last the winter and it's harrowing even if you know how it all ended.

76. The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw
A pretty action-packed, pretty weird sci fi book about a gang of criminals trying to run a heist with a bunch of bizarre and frighteningly powerful AIs thrown into the mix. The prose was something I really dug, it's just bombastic and very unlike what usually see (I've said elsewhere, but I learned A LOT of new words, including at least 3 synonyms just for scar tissue). Definitely something that's probably love-it-or-hate-it depending on how you like the prose style, but again, I enjoyed it a lot. Some of the characters have deeply hosed up and fascinating relationships with each other (the main character's pseudo-girlfriend/gang boss loves to perform surgeries on her while she's fully conscious and without any anaesthetics for example) but some of them are just good people, too.

77. The Deep by Alma Katsu
I liked The Hunger so much I went ahead and got Katsu's other historical-horror-fiction book about the sinkings of the Titanic and her sister ship the Britannic. There's a paranormal/sea monster-y undercurrent to everything, but the 'monster' aspect isn't as prominent in this as it was in The Hunger, at least not til the end. A lot of the tension comes from the main character being somewhat delusional about what's going on around her (...or is she??). She's also friends with a character based on real-life Titanic and Brittanic survivor Violet Jessop (whose memoir I'll be reading soon). While I didn't like this quite as much as The Hunger, it was still a fun, spooky read.

78. There Is No Antimemetics Division by qntm/Sam Hughes
I forget where exactly I saw this recommended, but it must have been somewhere/one whose taste I trust because the basic pitch of this, a novella based explicitly on the SCP Foundation concept that started as a 4chan post and evolved into a giant collaborative-writing wiki project, might have made me stay away. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find this is much closer to something like Jeff Vandermeer's Area X/Southern Reach trilogy than some edgelord teen's attempt at writing creepypasta. The main conflict in this is how can you defeat something without knowing it even exists, because knowing it exists is what allows it to almost instantly kill you. The very end gets a little wild, but this was really solid over all, and gets a pretty complicated plot idea across while sticking firmly in novella-range.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 78/100
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. >63/78
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. >25/78
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. >45/78
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) (Red, White and Royal Blue) (Yellow Jessamine) (Across the Green Grass Fields) (Tale of Indigo and Cloud)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. (The Seventh Perfection)
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. (All the Names They Used for God)
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. (Hex)
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. (All the Names They Used for God)
12. Read something about a monster. (Frankenstein)
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. (Cesare Borgia)
15. Read something set in the recent past. (Red, White and Royal Blue)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. (The Galaxy, and the Ground Within)
17. Read something about the ocean. (Heart of the Sea)
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
19. Read something about games. (Wanderhome)
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Personal Nonfiction Goal: 9/10

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


Here it is October and I'm closing in on this thing. Read a book of essays. I've got my Violet book started, a book that best-sellered when I was born, and a book by someone who was incarcerated checked out. Phew. Need a book about games, but otherwise, it's looking good. September was a good month, with Piranesi hitting the best of the month and no real stinkers.

53. Twilight Zone by Nona Fernandez - Under the Pinochet regime, one of Pinochet's goons came forward and confessed to a magazine. The magazine of course made it front page stuff with the legend "I tortured people." Twilight Zone is about an author fascinated with that act of confession and the man who tortured people. It digs into what life was like under Pinochet, about some of the people disappeared, how that effected their neighborhoods, and what that meant for the man who tortured people. How can crimes like that disappear? How does it change the public conscious? As you might expect from the title there are frequent comparisons to pop culture that anchor this, like Twilight Zone, Space Invaders, and others. This was really good and interesting.

54. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke - Finally got to read this, and it was great. A man called Piranesi lives in a giant edifice, descending into the tides and ascending into the clouds. His only contact with anyone else is The Other he meets with twice a week to discuss their findings in the house and work towards a Great and Secret Knowledge. And then he starts to learn that maybe there's more to the story.

55. Life and Limb by Jennifer Roberson - A biker fresh out of prison and a cowboy from Texas are recruited by their mysterious grandfather to fight demons. First in a series. A popcorn book if you're down for demon fighting.

56. How I Learned to Hate in Ohio by David Stuart MacLean- I grabbed this because I'd initially misread the title, and I have a friend who hates Ohio and thought I might try and learn more about why. This is about a kid growing up in the 80s. He's the odd man out in a rural highschool, always picked on, etc. And then a new boy moves to town, a Sikh named Gurbaksh, Gary for short. And they become friends and then generally just poo poo hits the fan. Families falling about, all manner of hateful things. There's some comedy too, and one moment that when I saw what was coming got a verbal "oh no." It was a pretty good read.

57. The Angel of Crows by Katherine Addison - So this is a Sherlock re-doing thing, just in a London with angels and vampires and hellhounds and whatnot. I read it in part because that sounded like a nice light thing after the previous book, and also because Addison wrote the Goblin Emperor, which I loved. This was not Goblin Emperor, but was mostly a decent light read. Other than the supernatural elements this is more or less a straight retelling (plus some Jack the Ripper) than a subversion or twist on Sherlock. Apparently started as a variety of fanfic called "wingfic" where characters are given wings for some reason. I dunno. Wasn't bad, but probably not going to get strong recs from me unless people really want Sherlock type stuff. If you really are just dying for Victoria pastiche, A Night in the Lonesome October is miles better.

58. The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison - So yeah, I just looked for Essays in the catalog at the local library and looked for interesting titles and decent reviews. This had both, and the added bonus that a lot of reviewers either loved or hated this. There's essays on people who act as patients for med students, ultramarathons, morgellon's, prisoners, a personal attack while travelling in South America, sentimentality, and others, all turning around a bit to look at empathy and what it means and how it might be practiced. It does a good job of having that overall theme without it feeling belabored or overdone in anything. Of course, I also feel like empathy was easier in 2014. Generally liked these.

59. The Past is Red by Catherynne Valente - This is about a girl named Tetley who lives on a garbage patch after a climate apocalypse. It's sort of two novellas or long short stories. The first explains why Tetley is reviled. The second is set years after the first and looks at what Tetley is doing then. Tetley, for the most part is very optimistic and practical, which is gives a lot of interest to living on a large patch of refuse in an otherwise devastated world. Really good!

Ben Nevis posted:

1. The Factory Witches of Lowell by CS Malerich
2. Talking Animals by Joni Murphy
3. A Grave is Given Supper by Mike Soto
4. Red Ants by Pergentino Jose
5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
6. Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
7. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
8. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
9. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
10. The Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosely
11. Farewell, My Orange by Kei Iwake
12. The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip
13. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
14. The Book of Malachi by TC Farren
15. Tindalos Asset by Caitlin Kiernan
16. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
17. Outlawed by Anna North
18. Bring me the Head of Quentin Tarantino by Julian Herbert
19. In Search of a Name by Marjolijn van Heemstra
20. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
21. When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
22. The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
23. The Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall
24. That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry
25. Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine
26. At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop
27. White Trash Warlock by David R Slayton
28. The Hot Rock by Donald E Westlake
29. A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic Durbin
30. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
31. The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Geisbrecht
32. The Library of the Unwritten by AJ Hackwith
33. The Book of Eels by Patrick Svensson
34. Zero-G Green Space by William Shatner and someone who ought to be ashamed of themself
35. American Delirium by Betina Gonzalez
36. Woman of the Aeroplanes by Kojo Laing
37. Spellbreaker by Charlie Holmberg
38. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
39. Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck
40. Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman
41. The Incendiaries by RO Kwon
42. Unity by Elly Bangs
43. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
44. Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick
45. The Lights of Prague[/b] by Nicole Jarvis
46. A Master of Djinn by P Djeli Clark
47. The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau
48. The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
49. Cat in an Indigo Mood by Carol Nelson Douglas
50. Bachannal by Veronica Henry
51. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
52 Defekt by Nino Cipri

THE CHALLENGE:

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 59/70
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. 40/59
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. 20/59
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. 6/59
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - Red Ants, Farewell My Orange, Crome Yellow, Green and Ancient Light, Blue, Cat in an Indigo Mood.
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - Little Fires Everywhere
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - The Animators
8. Read something that's out of print. - Woman of the Aeroplanes
9. Read something in translation. - Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino
10. Read some poetry. - A Grave is Given Supper
11. Read some short stories. - That Old Country Music
12. Read something about a monster. - Tindalos Asset
13. Read an essay collection. - Empathy Exams
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - In Search of a Name
15. Read something set in the recent past. - American Spy
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - Talking Animals
17. Read something about the ocean. - The Seas Around Us
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - Roadside Picnic
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Chamberk
Jan 11, 2004

when there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire


September!

76. Middlegame - Seanan McGuire
77. March (vol 3) - John Lewis (et al)
78. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
79. The Intuitionist - Colson Whitehead
80. Sorcerer of the Wildeeps - Kai Ashante Wilson
81. The Trouble with Peace (Age of Madness #2) - Joe Abercrombie
82. The President and the Frog - Carolina de Robertis
83. The Book of Daniel - E.L. Doctorow
84. The Wisdom of Crowds (Age of Madness #3) - Joe Abercrombie
85. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

Aside from some solid rereads (Of Mice and Men, Middlesex) the main thing that stood out for me was the Age of Madness - Joe Abercrombie can write a solid, thrilling fantasy series. I may have some quibbles but overall it delivered on the goods. Now, to reread the majority of the Terra Ignota series in preparation for ITS final book!

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. (85/100)
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men.
36% (McGuire, Robertis)
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour.
25% (Whitehead, Lewis)
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers.
5% (Wilson. Robertis)
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one.
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it.
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation.
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories.
12. Read something about a monster.
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited.
15. Read something set in the recent past.
16. Read something from a non-human perspective.
17. Read something about the ocean.
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors.
19. Read something about games.
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Gertrude Perkins
May 1, 2010

Gun Snake

dont talk to gun snake

Drops: human teeth


quote:

1 - The Mark Of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley
2 - The Animal Man Omnibus, by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Paris Cullins, Steve Montanto, Mark McKenna, Mark Farmer
3 - Deep Secret, by Diana Wynne Jones
4 - Empires of EVE: A History Of The Great Wars Of EVE Online, by Andrew Groen
5 - The Adventure Zone: Petal To The Metal, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
6 - Do You Dream Of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
7 - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
8 - Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir, by Hari Ziyad
9 - Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
10 - A Certain Hunger, by Chelsea G. Summers
11 - The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Huston & Jonathan Snipes
12 - Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor
13 - Wake Up Young Lovers, by Paris Green
14 - Gay Bar: Why We Went Out, by Jeremy Atherton Lin
15 - Better Than IRL: True Stories About Finding Your People On The Untamed Internet, edited by Katie West & Jasmine Elliot
16 - William Gibson's Alien 3, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
17 - The End Of The World, by Don Hertzfeldt
18 - The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media, by Ryan M. Milner
19 - This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
20 - Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, edited by Ann VanderMeer
21 - Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, by Ntozake Shange
22 - The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
23 - The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel
24 - Accelerando, by Charles Stross
25 - White Noise, by Don DeLillo
26 - The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa
27 - Qissat: Short Stories by Palestinian Women, ed. by Jo Glanville
28 - The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, by Amin Maalouf
29 - Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, by Annalee Newitz
30 - Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread: Joice Loch, Australia's Most Heroic Woman, by Susanna de Vries
31 - Ten-Ghost, by Adam J. Thaxton
32 & 33 - The Umbrella Academy: Dallas & Hotel Oblivion, by Gerard Way & Gabriel BŠ
34 - Sea-Witch Volume Two: Girldirt Angelfog, by Moss Angel The Undying
35 - The Complete Stories, by Zora Neale Hurston
36 - Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany
37 - Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
38 - Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi
39-42 - Chainsaw Man, vol. 1-4, by Tatsuki Fujimoto
43 - Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso
44 - The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X & Alex Haley
45 - Breakfast At Tiffany's, by Truman Capote
46 - From A Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i, by Haunani-Kay Trask
47 - 99 Erics: A Kat Cataclysm Faux Novel, by Julia Serano
48 - The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom, by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy & Carey Pietsch
49 - Darryl, by Jackie Ess
50 - The Importance Of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
51 - Always Coming Home, by Ursula K. LeGuin
52 - Cities Of The Red Night, by William S. Burroughs
53 - Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson
54 - Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture, by Sudhir Hazareesingh
55 - Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries, by Dennis Cooper
56 - ELADATL: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines, by Sesshu Foster with Arturo Romo
57 - Forever, by Thomas Moore
58 - Cradle And Grave, by Anya Ow

I finished seven books in October...!

59 - You Can't Win, by Jack Black. A memoir of crime, punishment and craftiness, spanning from the 1880s to the 1920s. Black's life story is entertaining, shocking and amusing in equal proportions: he offers advice on everything from surviving prison to the grisly detail of home invasion and burglary. Split up into episodes, we see the grim fates of many of his compatriots, and the countless ways in which his loot and winnings are taken away from him. He is a victim of circumstance as much as the consequences of his own actions, and he brings a dry wit and humanity to the stories.

60 - The Unquiet Dead, by Ausma Zehanat Khan. This was tough to get through. A crime/mystery drama steeped in the horrific history of the Bosnian Wars, this book has an awkward task of reconciling the gruesome realities of genocide and trauma with the melodrama and broadly-drawn characters of an airport-novel police procedural. To her credit, Khan does manage this balance for the most part: there are some evocative human stories in here, and it's clear that her writing about Srebenica is informed by her own studies in the field of human rights. But there are some scenes and characters (particularly Melanie Blessant) that feel caricaturish and silly. That said, it was definitely a page-turner, and had a good mix of predictable and surprising revelations to keep me invested.

61 - Ayoade On Top, by Richard Ayoade. So this is a weird one. A book-length deep dive into the utterly mediocre 2003 film 'View From The Top', dissecting every scene and shot with a high-art film-critic lens...except with the primary assumption being that 'Top' (as Ayoade refers to it) is actually a stellar, genius piece of filmmaking. The result is a mixed bag which never really takes off from the runway of ironic film-student pomposity. It's definitely funny, and Ayoade's sense of humour shines through, but much more than his previous Grip Of Film book it ends up being one-note.

62 - Happy New Year, by Cate Wurtz. Grim, scratchy horror comic set at the end of 1999. A put-upon office worker's car is stolen, her daughter is sick, and her coworkers are insufferable. Also, some horrible creature lurks, and that creature might be obsolescence. Things creep towards a VHS-glitched climax, and its short length means the spooks are able to linger with the reader. There are some particularly nasty turns of phrase, too. Good stuff.

63 - DeadEndia: The Watcher's Test, by Hamish Steele. I read a lot of the webcomic ages ago, so it made sense to actually pick up the print editions before the long-awaited animated series drops! It was great getting back into the world and the characters. Steele's style is dynamic and fun, with expressively muppety character designs and good staging. A balance of comedy and absurd supernatural hijinks is underpinned by the protagonists' quirky-but-not-annoying dialogue and warm relationships. Things escalate a little rapidly in the last couple of chapters, but this also gives Steele the chance to really test his characters, and the emotional climax of the book actually really got to me!

64 - DeadEndia: The Broken Halo, by Hamish Steele. In this second book, there's a lot of character growth, and a big escalation in the background mythology underpinning everything. It's a shame the characters spend so long separated, but their individual arcs are satisfying enough on their own. Steele's art is more ambitious, and the writing still packs a decent punch. It's good! And then an epilogue setting up all sorts of future adventures, which we might never get to see...

65 - Detransition, Baby, by Torrey Peters. Beautiful, heart-wrenching novel about romance, motherhood and a hundred other things. Peters writes with an urgent empathy but gives her characters a lot of space to express themselves, with heartfelt vignettes supporting a heavy emotional core. Every character feels like their own person, with their own history and needs and mess. It's just really good, and hit me a lot harder than I anticipated. (I'm surprised but really glad that this was able to break into the mainstream, because goodness knows we need more interesting stories by and about trans people.)

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. - 65/52
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/3 of them are not written by men. - 29 - 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29, 30, 34, 35, 37, 38, 46, 47, 49, 51, 53, 58, 60, 62, 65
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 1/3 of them are written by writers of colour. - 25 - 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 54, 56, 58, 60, 61
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 1/4 of them are written by LGBT writers. - 28 - 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36, 45, 47, 49, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58, 62, 63, 64, 65
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - 21, 30, 52, 53
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - 3, 11, 12, 43, 49, 65
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - 29
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. - 27, 28, 39, 40, 41, 42
10. Read some poetry. - 13, 51
11. Read some short stories. - 13, 21, 27, 35, 51
12. Read something about a monster. - 16, 34, 39, 40, 41, 42, 62, 63, 64
13. Read an essay collection. - 15, 55
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - 28, 29, 46, 54, 60
15. Read something set in the recent past. - 7, 10, 21, 62
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - 20, 26
17. Read something about the ocean. - 11, 20
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - 5, 11, 19, 44, 48, 56
19. Read something about games. - 4
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born.
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated. - 44, 50, 59


Remaining challenges: Colours (Yellow, Green, Violet); Out-of-print; Bestseller

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


I read 8 books in October! Really enjoyed almost all of these, with just one miss. Glad I managed to read so many horror stories during Halloween Month, too. And I managed to complete my non-fiction goal!

79. The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts
I can't remember exactly where I saw this recommended, but it definitely wasn't exactly what I was expecting (I remember it being pitched as being like John Carpenter's The Thing, and it sort of is at least in the first chapter or so, but it goes some places after that). This is a sort of cosmic horror novel, but it's cosmic horror by way of Kantian philosophy. A LOT of Kantian philosophy (at least to me, someone who has never read Kant). I can see a lot of people bouncing off of this because of the philosophy aspect, but if the idea of a sci fi horror novel predicated on philosophical concepts appeals to you, give it a shot!

80. Transmuted by Eve Harms
A short, fast-paced, alchemical horror (is that even a genre?) novella about a trans woman who agrees to some shady free experimental cosmetic procedures. (She's only agrees to the procedures because she just gave the all money she'd fundraised for feminization surgery to her manipulative, dying father.) Things go very wrong. (It's a horror novel after all.) But there's a surprisingly action-packed climax and a satisfying ending. This was a lot of fun.

81. The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
I picked this up for the "read a bestseller from your month/week of birth" challenge. Apparently it's a sort-of sequel to The Color Purple, which I admittedly haven't read, so I think I probably missed some things because of that. This tells the interweaving stories of a handful of people, very non-linearly. It's very well written but at least for me, fell into that very Literary Fiction style of story that I typically struggle to stay focused on. Definitely a case of "I can tell it's good, but I think other people would enjoy it more than me."

82. Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Back to the horror novels, this is a queer, southern, supernatural, dark academia novel with some illegal street racing thrown in for good measure. It sounds like a lot, and it sort of is, but it's very purposeful. The main character, Andrew, is torn between quite a few different worlds as he investigates the recent apparent suicide of his best friend Eddie, which he is convinced can't be a suicide. Lots of grimy, nasty ghosts. Lots of the main character being in denial that he's gay. Really solid debut novel and I look forward to seeing what Mandelo does next!

83. Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
Some childhood friends have an awkward reunion at a haunted, ancient Japanese mansion because two of them are getting married there. Things go wrong very quickly! You get some of Khaw's characteristically lush prose here, but it's a little toned down compared to some of their other work, so it doesn't outshine the increasingly haunted house and the phenomena that start harassing the characters. A short, interesting take on a ghost story where all of the protagonist characters kind of suck in their own ways.

84. Titanic Survivor: The Newly Discovered Memoirs of Violet Jessop Who Survived Both the Titanic and Britannic Disasters by Violet Jessop with Maxtone-Graham
It was not easy to find a book with 'Violet' in the title that looked interesting! But I picked this up right after reading The Deep (Jessop was a minor character in it!). This memoir was published posthumously, so there are some rough spots or places where information seems to be missing (Maxtone-Graham also interjects somewhat regularly to point these things out). However, Jessop's writing style and voice are vivid and she certainly shows some characteristically sardonic British humor throughout. Despite the title, not that many words are spent on the Titanic or Britannic -- she focuses more on her childhood in South America and her earlier jobs working on ships before the disasters. So you might be a little disappointed if you're just there for the Titanic stuff, but this was incredibly charming regardless.

85. The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
A little part gothic horror (crumbling mansions! shady surgeon husband! a secret dead wife!) a little bit victorian-ish secondary fantasy magic! I was a bit surprised by the lack of lesbians (considering the main characters in both of her previous books were lesbians) but that's a me thing and has no bearing on the quality of this. And this is good! Jane is believably naive at the start, but still determined and tough and uses her booksmarts when it matters after the poo poo hits the fan. Fun! I wish there was even more nasty 1800s-style surgery!

86. The Secret Skin by Wendy N. Wagner
A 'sawmill gothic,' this is set in another crumbling, haunted mansion, but this time in the 1930s in the Pacific Northwest. A quick-paced novella about the estranged daughter of a rich family being begged back to help watch her 'difficult' niece while her widower brother honeymoons with his new wife. A neat take on 'haunted house' as the house itself is the aggressor.

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 86/100
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. >70/86
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. >29/86
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. >49/86
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) (Red, White and Royal Blue) (Yellow Jessamine) (Across the Green Grass Fields) (Tale of Indigo and Cloud)
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. (The Seventh Perfection)
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. (All the Names They Used for God)
8. Read something that's out of print.
9. Read something in translation. (Hex)
10. Read some poetry.
11. Read some short stories. (All the Names They Used for God)
12. Read something about a monster. (Frankenstein)
13. Read an essay collection.
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. (Cesare Borgia)
15. Read something set in the recent past. (Red, White and Royal Blue)
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. (The Galaxy, and the Ground Within)
17. Read something about the ocean. (Heart of the Sea)
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. (This Is How You Lose the Time War)
19. Read something about games. (Wanderhome)
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born. (The Temple of My Familiar)
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated.

Personal Nonfiction Goal: :toot: 10/10 :toot:

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ben Nevis
Jan 20, 2011


October is done. I tried to do some spooky books this month as well as finish off some challenges. Was low on books finished, but was travelling over several weekends, so lost some time there. That being said, a pretty decent month and I think I've finished all of the challenges, bar the total number, so I'm feeling pretty good. Been a few bad months for the diversity reads, so the end of the year I'll probably be shoring those up.

60. Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - A re-read, but a good one. Classic creepy circus, boyhood coming of age, etc.

61. The Odor of Violets by Baynard Kendrick- The only decent looking non-children's book at my library with Violet in the title. And it's a decent mystery. A little "daredevil" with the blind detective who'd trained his other senses to seemingly superhuman levels. A solid mystery with an unusual number of spies. Apparently there's a series, but for some reason this one was reprinted here recently.

62. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde - A topical collection by Wilde, who was imprisoned. An American family buys a haunted castle, and their modern ways increasingly distress the ghost. Also a Christmas story in a way. 2 other shorts were in the volume as well. Pretty decent overall.

63. The Book of Merlin by TH White - The unpublished 4th book of Once and Future King, which was on the bestseller list my birth month. It was OK. Largely a continuation on the anti-war themes of the previous volumes. It was a little dull.

64. Compulsory Games by Robert Aickman - Spooky-ish stories where Aickman explores the "void behind the face of order." An unexpected river in the bottom of the garden, a cruel lover attacked by cows, confused lovers, a woman trapped by her apparent husband sends a plea to a postman. All sort of quotidian that wind up being strange and disconcerting. Really quite good, I'd say the best of the month. Would recommend.

Ben Nevis posted:

1. The Factory Witches of Lowell by CS Malerich
2. Talking Animals by Joni Murphy
3. A Grave is Given Supper by Mike Soto
4. Red Ants by Pergentino Jose
5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
6. Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
7. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
8. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
9. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
10. The Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosely
11. Farewell, My Orange by Kei Iwake
12. The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia McKillip
13. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
14. The Book of Malachi by TC Farren
15. Tindalos Asset by Caitlin Kiernan
16. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
17. Outlawed by Anna North
18. Bring me the Head of Quentin Tarantino by Julian Herbert
19. In Search of a Name by Marjolijn van Heemstra
20. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
21. When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
22. The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
23. The Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall
24. That Old Country Music by Kevin Barry
25. Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine
26. At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop
27. White Trash Warlock by David R Slayton
28. The Hot Rock by Donald E Westlake
29. A Green and Ancient Light by Frederic Durbin
30. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
31. The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Geisbrecht
32. The Library of the Unwritten by AJ Hackwith
33. The Book of Eels by Patrick Svensson
34. Zero-G Green Space by William Shatner and someone who ought to be ashamed of themself
35. American Delirium by Betina Gonzalez
36. Woman of the Aeroplanes by Kojo Laing
37. Spellbreaker by Charlie Holmberg
38. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
39. Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck
40. Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman
41. The Incendiaries by RO Kwon
42. Unity by Elly Bangs
43. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
44. Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick
45. The Lights of Prague[/b] by Nicole Jarvis
46. A Master of Djinn by P Djeli Clark
47. The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau
48. The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
49. Cat in an Indigo Mood by Carol Nelson Douglas
50. Bachannal by Veronica Henry
51. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
52 Defekt by Nino Cipri
53. Twilight Zone by Nona Fernandez
54. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
55. Life and Limb by Jennifer Roberson
56. How I Learned to Hate in Ohio by David Stuart MacLean
57. The Angel of Crows by Katherine Addison
58. The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
59. The Past is Red by Catherynne Valente

THE CHALLENGE:

1. Set a goal for number of books or another personal challenge. 64/70
2. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 20% of them are not written by men. 40/64
3. Of the books you read this year, make sure a least 20% of them are written by writers of colour. 20/64
4. Of the books you read this year, make sure at least 5% of them are written by LGBT writers. 6/64
5. Read books whose titles include all the colours of the rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - Red Ants, Farewell My Orange, Crome Yellow, Green and Ancient Light, Blue, Cat in an Indigo Mood, Odor of Violets.
6. Read something recommended to you by a friend or loved one. - Little Fires Everywhere
7. Ask someone in this thread for a Wildcard, and read it. - The Animators
8. Read something that's out of print. - Woman of the Aeroplanes
9. Read something in translation. - Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino
10. Read some poetry. - A Grave is Given Supper
11. Read some short stories. - That Old Country Music
12. Read something about a monster. - Tindalos Asset
13. Read an essay collection. - Empathy Exams
14. Read something historical about a place you've never visited. - In Search of a Name
15. Read something set in the recent past. - American Spy
16. Read something from a non-human perspective. - Talking Animals
17. Read something about the ocean. - The Seas Around Us
18. Read a collaboration between two or more authors. - Roadside Picnic
19. Read something about games. - Compulsory Games
20. Read a bestseller from the week/month you were born. - Book of Merlin
21. Read something by a writer who spent time incarcerated. - Canterville Ghost

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply