May 2018 Reading Recap

I read SUCH GOOD THINGS THIS MONTH. I love them all.

I’m now done with The Books of the Raksura series so everything is sad in my life now.

The only reread was The Two Towers.

Crazy facts: I only read ONE comic this month, and I listened to an audiobook! Boom accomplishment.

 

Short Stories/Novellas

Dance, Princes, Dance! by Tansy Rayner Roberts (4/5 stars)

Pet by C.S. Pacat (5/5 stars)

Stories of the Raksura Volume 1 by Martha Wells (4/5 stars)

Stories of the Raksura Volume 2 by Martha Wells (5/5 stars)

 

Novels

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (no rating)

Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Courtney Milan, Rose Lerner, and Alyssa Cole (3/5 stars)

Hamster Princess: Whiskerella by Ursula Vernon (5/5 stars)

Steel Blues by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham (4/5 stars)

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (5/5 stars)

 

Nonfiction

A Little History of Dragons by Joyce Hargreaves (4/5 stars)

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs (3/5 stars)

 

Graphic Novels/Comics

The Unbeatable Squirrel: I’ve Been Waiting for a Squirrel Like You by Ryan North (4/5 stars)

Audiobooks

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (5/5 stars)

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April 2018 Reading Recap

So I went on a bit of a trip this past month, and so I’m behind on my recaps, blogging, etc. But like…I was kind of busy in London, Dublin, and Italy. I read quite a bit before I left on my trip, though, so without further ado, here’s what I read last month!

Comparatively, I read a lot of Tai Nehisi-Coates. I really enjoy reading him: I don’t always agree with him, but he always makes me think. Also his Black Panther comics are good storytelling!

My favorite reads were by Patricia McKillip and Martha Wells (all fantasy novels, so I’m staying on brand).

Fiction

Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip (5/5 stars)

Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic by Ursula Vernon (4/5 stars)

Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon (4/5 stars)

Hamster Princess: Giant Trouble by Ursula Vernon (4/5 stars)

And I Darken by Kiersten White (5/5 stars)

The Edge of Worlds by Martha Wells (5/5 stars)

The Harbors of the Sun by Martha Wells (5/5 stars)

Persuasion by Jane Austen (5/5 stars)

White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig (4/5 stars)

Graphic Novels/Comics

The Wicked and the Divine: Imperial Phase II by Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (4/5 stars)

Afar by Leila del Luca (4/5 stars)

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Who Run the World? Squirrels by Ryan North (5/5 stars)

Poe Dameron: Legend Lost by Charles Soule (3/5 stars)

Ms. Marvel: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson (5/5 stars)

Black Panther and the Crew: We Are the Streets by Tai Nehisi-Coates (4/5 stars)

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet book 2 by Tai Nehisi-Coates (4/5 stars)

Nonfiction

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Tai Nehisi-Coates (4/5 stars)

The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander by Arrian (4/5 stars)

 

So You Want To Be A Robot (Review)

33376885.jpgI don’t read short stories all that often, but I just finished So You Want To Be A Robot: 21 Stories by Merc Rustad, and loved it. If you read science fiction and/or fantasy, do yourself a favor and read this!

Brief reviews of the included stories:

“This Is Not A Wardrobe Door”: I enjoyed the Monster’s Inc. / Narnia vibes getting twisted around and reimagined. The story was a little too pat overall for me.

My favorite story in the collection was “Tomorrow When We See The Sun.” I want 3 novels and a movie and I want to reread it until my eyeballs are bleeding. It is sad and hopeful and angry and happy and there is so much world-building and characterization and plot packed into it.

Another of my faves was “The Sorcerer’s Unattainable Gardens”: I loved the two intertwined stories, and this was my favorite use of 2nd person in this collection (yes there are several!).

“The Android’s Prehistoric Menagerie”: After the end of the world, there are dinos and robots and they make beautiful lives for themselves.

I didn’t like “For Want of a Heart,” but it did a beautiful job of slowly building up a nice solid Dread.

“Once I, Rose” was another one that seemed a little too pat, but the concept was fascinating!

“Where Monsters Dance” was another story that felt like it packed in an entire novel. I love everyone in this bar! Warning: includes monsters and dancing.

“A Survival Guide for When You’re Trapped in a Black Hole”: I hate dog stories, but Merc made this one a bit more palatable than usual.

“Thread”: When you’re enslaved by aliens made of light, darkness is suddenly very hopeful and cozy.

“Under Wine-Bright Seas”: This was the only one where I felt like the description dominated all other parts of the story so much that I don’t have an opinion on the story itself. But I like the world.

“Of Blessed Servitude”: Another favorite of mine that includes sun-demons, cyborgs, Wild-West-ish post-apocalyptic wasteland, sacrifice, etc!

“To The Knife-Cold Stars”: I’ve rarely read anything so desperately determined to grasp hope out of terrible circumstances. It’s also a sequel of sorts to “Of Blessed Servitude.”

“Finding Home” was a really cool contrast between those always escaping and those who stay.

“Winter Bride”: This story did NOT make me rethink my desire for all Fae to die in a trash fire.

“To The Monsters, With Love”: An ode to all the monsters, monster-lovers, and monster-makers out there.

“BATTERIES FOR YOUR DOOMBOT5000 ARE NOT INCLUDED”: It’s like a super-hero story, except about the super-heroes (and villains) after they’ve gotten out of the business and are still dealing with the aftermath.

“….Or Be Forever Fallen”: YIKES. This was Elizabeth-Bear-Level of heartrending and oh-no-oh-no realizations and grim decisions to keep going.

“Iron Aria”: Kyru can talk to metal, and the mountain full of iron is hurting. I LOVED the wordsmithing in this one.

“What Becomes of the Third-Hearted”: It’s good. I’m nervous that saying anything about it will spoil the effect.

“The Gentleman of Chaos”: This was possibly the Merc-i-est story in this collection. I love Merc stories because they’re so often about finding hope in places/situations where there is absolutely no hope at first (or second, or third) glance.

“So You Want To Be a Robot”: Partway through reading this, the story grabbed me and made me cry and wouldn’t let me go. But in a good way.

Overall, I loved this collection. It’s well-written, with lots of surprises both in the stories and in the word-choice – I LOVE the surprising ways Merc describes or shows things in the words they use. There are several stories that not only use second person but SUCCEED with it, although this both a praise and a quibble because a little second person goes a LONG way with me.