May ’19 Reading Recap

I am loving the reboot of Runaways by Rainbow Rowell. She manages to capture everything I loved about the first run but also break new ground with the characters. And it’s so fun to read and so nice to look at. A+.

My favorite reads this month were probably Finders by Melissa Scott and Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, which both started with a similar premise: hardworking salvagers go out on a routine work-trip and find MUCH more than they bargain for in the depths of space. Both books went in very different directions, though, and I really enjoyed both takes.

Fiction

Nate Expectations by Tim Federle (5/5 stars)

The Tale of the Five by Diane Duane (4/5 stars)

Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson (4/5 stars)

Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel (3/5 stars)

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (3/5 stars)

Finders by Melissa Scott (5/5 stars)

Shadow Man by Melissa Scott (5/5 stars)

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear (4/5 stars)

A Middle-Earth Traveler by John Howe (4/5 stars)

Reread

The Books of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin (5/5 stars, read Jan-May)

Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (5/5 stars)

Comics

Sandman 9-12 by Neil Gaiman (2-4/5 stars)

Runaways: Best Friends Forever by Rainbow Rowell (5/5 stars)

The Royal Tutor volume 11 by Higasa Akai (4/5 stars)

Avatar the Last Airbender: Imbalance volume 1 by Faith Erin Hicks (4/5 stars)

Poetry

The Kalevala (5/5 stars)

Nonfiction

The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan (4/5 stars)

April ’19 Reading Recap

Oooooooooooooo lots of good reads this month! I adored Spindle by E. K. Johnston (I’m almost finished with her backlist now!). The Bedlam Stacks confirmed that I’m obsessed with every word Natasha Pulley writes. I read my first Cherryh book and vastly enjoyed it so I’m on the prowl for more Cherryh now.

On the nonfiction side, Be Quiet, Be Heard is a fantastic book on How to Communicate and I really recommend it.

Please don’t yell at me for not rating Sandman higher. It’s clearly not my cup of tea. I’m determined to finish Gaiman’s run, though!

Comics

Sandman volumes 5-8 by Neil Gaiman (3-4/5 stars)

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang (3 stars)

Fiction

Dumplin by Julie Murphy (4/5 stars)

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson (5/5 stars)

Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson (4/5 stars)

Lovecraft Unbound short story anthology ed. by Ellen Datlow (4/5 stars)

Spindle by E. K. Johnston (5/5 stars)

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley (4/5 stars)

Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly (5/5 stars)

Amnesty by Lara Elena Donnelly (4/5 stars)

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu (4/5 stars)

Wild Robert by Diana Wynne Jones (5/5 stars)

A Sudden Wild Magic by Diana Wynne Jones (4/5 stars)

Chanur Saga books 1-3 by C. J. Cherryh (4/5 stars)

Prairie Fire by E. K. Johnston (3/5 stars)

Nonfiction

Be Quiet, Be Heard by Susan Glaser (5/5 stars)

A Brief History of Painting by Roy Bolton (2/5 stars)

Tussie-Mussies by Geraldine Adamich Laufer (4/5 stars)

Bibliophile by Jane Mount (5/5 stars)

Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees by Ernst and Johanna Lehner (4/5 stars)

December ‘18 Reading Recap

Holidays always result in less reading time. However, I really liked most of what I read this month. If you would like to see my FAVORITE reads from 2018 altogether, you can see my post here. 

 

Comics

Noragami volumes 1-4 by Adachitoka (3/5 stars)

Liselotte and Witch’s Forest  volumes 1-5 by Natsuki Takaya (5/5 stars)

Lumberjanes: Parents’ Day by Shannon Watters (5/5 stars)

Royal Tutor volume 1 by Higasa Akai (4/5 stars)

 

Fiction

Smith of Wootton Major by J.R.R. Tolkien (5/5 stars)

The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards (3/5 stars)

Oath Bound by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham (4/5 stars)

 

Audiobooks

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (3/5 stars)

 

Poetry

To Make Monsters Out of Girls by (2/5 stars)

The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson (4/5 stars)

This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt (4/5 stars)

 

Nonfiction

Bitchfest edited by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler (4/5 stars)

The Complete Plain Words by Ernest A. Gowers

Best Reads of 2018

I did the thing! Here are my favorite books that I read during this year (only some actually came out in 2018). I also threw my favorite movies in at the end, because I do what I want and because they are all adapted from books or comics.

Some of my favorite reads were audiobooks, but my top audiobooks below are ones that had great book-content AND great narration/production. I only have two poetry picks because I don’t read much poetry; I’m going to try to read more in 2019. 

Thank you to Snazel, Gingernifty, Em M, and Kemendraugh for some extremely excellent book recommendations this year, several of which show up below. 

Audiobooks

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (multi-cast)

The Queen’s Thief (series) by Megan Whalen Turner (narrated by Steve West)

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan (narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies)

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (narrated by Steve West)

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (narrated by Kyle McCarley)

Poetry

How We Became Human by Joy Harjo

The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson

Nonfiction

The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski

The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

The Portland Black Panthers by Judson L. Jeffries and Lucas N. N. Burke

Dressing the Galaxy by Trisha Biggar

Bitchfest edited by Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler

Fiction: Series

And I Darken (trilogy) by Kiersten White

Tensorate (series) by J.Y. Yang

The Books of the Raksura (series) by Martha Wells

Murderbot (series) by Martha Wells

Fiction: Stand-alone

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip

Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

Witchmark by C.L. Polk

Fiction: Kids

Hamster Princess (series) by Ursula Vernon

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Comics

Ms. Marvel (ongoing) by G. Willow Wilson

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (ongoing) by Ryan North

Lumberjanes (ongoing) by Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh

The Backstagers (ongoing) by James Tynion IV

Library Wars by Hiro Arikawa and Kiiro Yumi

Movies

Black Panther

Annihilation

Crazy Rich Asians

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

Top 10 Tuesday: Books to Read on the Beach

For this week’s prompt, I chose my favorite books that are set on or by the sea. All of these are BIG FAVORITES of mine. I especially love books that are set during a long ocean voyage.

In no particular order:

  1. The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip (fantasy)
  2. Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian (historical fiction)
  3. The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin (fantasy)
  4. The Lonely Sea by Alistair MacLean (short stories)
  5. The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan (fantasy)
  6. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (historical fiction)
  7. The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells (fantasy)
  8. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale)
  9. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (fantasy)
  10. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (fantasy)

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

It’s Music You Can To Read To

I don’t love listening to music as much as I love reading books, but fortunately, sometimes I can do both at the same time. Music with vocals is too distracting, but anything else is a great companion to a good book. Listed below are some of my favorite tried-and-true music reading buddies, with some recommendations for what to read while I’m at it. I’m not a musical expert in any way (this will be very clear after reading this post), so I chose these based on 1. my level of enjoyment while listening and 2. its ability to float in the background without demanding center stage.

Sherlock Holmes Score by Hans Zimmer

I’m a big fan of anything Hans Zimmer does, but this score is the one of his that I go back to the most. It’s dramatic, it’s playful, it’s zany. I like all of the strings, including the weird ones like the cimbalom.

Pair it with: a comedy adventure, e.g. The Last Knight by Hilari Bell

Frozen Score by Christophe Beck

Hear me out! If you’re sick of “Let It Go” or don’t care for “Love Is An Open Door”, the singalong songs only comprise the first ten tracks of the thirty-two total on this score. The instrumental tracks are really fun, soothing and adventurous by turns. There are also some nice choral bits. I like the way you feel like you’re being swept away on a fun adventure with only the occasional monster.

Pair it with: A graphic novel or three, e.g. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Piano Collections: Final Fantasy X by Nobuo Uematsu

I’m not a gamer but I adore video game soundtracks, and I love piano covers of video game soundtracks even more. It has a big range of emotions but a really melancholy undertone throughout. The variety and complexity lets me listen to it over and over without getting bored.

Pair it with: a volume of poetry, e.g. The Kingdom of Ordinary Time by Marie Howe

The Crown Season 1 Score by Rupert Gregson-Williams

This is a really sad and melodramatic score to match the show. I like the swoops and dives. I like how it makes me feel feelings even without anything to associate the music with. This is especially good background music, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s more subtle, without a lot of booms and bangs.

Pair it with: a tearjerker and/or historical fiction, e.g. The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

Black Panther Score by Ludwig Göransson

 

This is a new favorite of mine, as you might guess. I love the mix of western and eastern instruments, and the mix of older tribal music with futuristic dubstep nonsense. It has a huge range of emotions too, making me feel the sorrow and joy and foreboding and fear. Plus it’s just plain fun.

Pair it with: An epic scifi or fantasy, e.g. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Let me know about your favorite reading music in the comments!