May Reading Recap

The first book this month was The Agony House by Cherie Priest, a YA horror story featuring a comic book. How does one incorporate a comic book into a novel? By including pages of said comic book in the chapters, and it was done really, really well. I loved how the creep factor was cranked up subtly throughout the story until things hit the fan at the climax.

The other book that I read was Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. I watched (and loved) the Netflix movie, and it was what made me borrow the eBook from the library. Understandably, the book and the movie are pretty different. The pageant is nowhere near as prominent in the book as it is in the movie; that space is filled by compelling relationships, both romantic and platonic. It was definitely worth the read (even though I missed seeing more of the Hideaway!).

That’s… all I read in May. It was a bit of a rough month, so I’m happy with being able to get through those two books. I’m hoping that June is better.

Have you read anything good recently? 

April Reading Recap

With a trip to Myrtle Beach in store for April, I knew that I’d probably read more books than normal. Maybe four instead of my usual two or three. I read six. The Libby app and being able to easily borrow eBooks from the library definitely upped the count.

I read John Scalzi’s Lock In in a little over a day, which is a testament to how good it was. It took a dozen pages or so for me to get a hang of the world, but it wasn’t set so far in the future for me to wrap my mind around it. I can’t say enough good things about the characters, the mystery itself (which I didn’t solve ahead of time), and just the world in general. I’ll be reading book 2, Head On, soon.

While I started Hardwired by Meredith Wild in March, I didn’t finish it until early in April while house-sitting for my parents. It felt dated (being published around 2011 when social media was still gaining traction). I could have overlooked that, but there were other things that bugged me. Where to start: a controlling, manipulative hero; every guy trying to make a move on the heroine; and a sudden venturing towards BDSM (possibly as a way to explain the hero’s controlling nature?)

The next book that I read was Symbiont by Mira Grant. The second in her Parasite trilogy, it picks up with apocalypse in full force. Sal and Nate and all the regular players are still there. But now things are more than a little dicey with a new villain on the scene (and who has no problem with human/tapeworm experimentation). I’m liking the non-zombie apocalypse story whole still touching on those same themes.

I picked up Ashley Poston’s Geekerella from the library on a whim, deciding to give it a try but not giving expecting much. To my absolute delight, it was a sweet, geeky retelling of Cinderella featuring clever spins on the fairy-tale’s touchstones. There’s still an evil stepmother, a pumpkin, and a handsome prince. The sequel has a rather long wait list at the library, but I know that it’ll be worth the wait.

Next up was The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley, which just came out a few weeks ago. It’s a futuristic, science fiction story with time travel, and it examines (in a heavy-handed way) capitalist society and how it impacts humanity. I enjoyed the time travel elements and found the war sections really well done. I just wish there’d been more of an external plot than fighting against capitalism.

Finally–and finished three days before the loan was going to expire–I read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. And I loved it. McGuire is a sure-bet whenever I’m looking for something part whimsical, part dark, and 100% addicting. The story takes place at a home for children who’ve gone through doorways and into magic lands, and it turns into a gruesome mystery pretty quick. I’m kind of glad that it took me so long to read it: I don’t have to wait for the next three novellas.

What did you read in April? What’re you looking forward to reading in May?

 

March Reading Recap

Yes, it’s April. And yes, I’m just now posting my reading recap for March. Things have been more than a little hectic, and this blog has fallen by the wayside. But I’m getting my feet back under me–slowly but surely–and getting back into the groove.

So without further preamble, here we go.The first book of March was Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller. I’d seen hype about it on Twitter and bought the eBook when it went on sale. It’s set in the future with several science fiction elements (or maybe not because hey, it’s the future) after Earth has succumbed to climate change. The characters are engaging and worth reading about; however, the world building–while necessary–bogged me down.

Next up was Witchmark by C.L. Polk, which I received from Tor Publishing’s as part of their monthly free eBook when you subscribe to their newsletter. As opposed to Blackfish City, this book built its world without being overwhelming. It draws on the general idea of Edwardian life after a World War. The characters are also fascinating; I’m seriously thinking about getting book 2 when it comes out.

The final one was Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan. I picked up this novella ARC as part of the pre-release publicity. It’s a sweet, fluffy story about two elderly women making a middle-aged man (Mrs. Martin’s nephew) absolutely miserable. There’s enough conflict to move the story along without pushing it out of fluff territory.

What did you read in March? Anything that I should check out?

 

 

February Reading Recap

I’m seriously proud of how many books I managed to read this month, considering it’s the shortest month of the year and I had so much other stuff eating into my “free” time.

5/35 BOOKS READ IN 2019

I finally finished The Lost World by Michael Crichton. It’s the sequel to Jurassic Park, and once I got over the fact that a certain character was still alive (it was written after the Jurassic Park movie), I enjoyed it. The dinosaur-fact-heavy sections lost me occasionally; but the descriptions more than made up for it.

The next book was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I bought the eBook after watching the Netflix show, understanding that the book only loosely inspired the show. Hill House follows a paranormal scholar and three others as they spend time in the nefarious Hill House. It managed to creep me out at points, which is an achievement in and of itself.

My final book of February was Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. I decided to reread it before reading the second book in the series (The Vanishing Stair, which just came out). Truly Devious chronicles two mysteries at the elite Ellingham Academy: one a kidnapping and the other a murder. And I actually didn’t mind that several loose ends were left to be resolved in the next book (though that’s usually something that bothers me a lot).

What books did you read this month?

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January Reading Recap

The Goodreads Reading Challenge book-tracker-thingie says that I need to read 3 books a month to hit my 2019 goal of reading 35 books. I managed two, which I think was due to one being an eBook (that I could pick up anytime) and the other being a hardcover (that I could only read when I had the book with me (obviously)).

The first book I finished was Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn. It’s the second in the Lady Julia Gray series, featuring a Victorian widow and a brooding PI. Sanctuary gave me such Miss Fisher vibes and scratched that itch for a historical cozy mystery. I definitely recommend the series.

The other book was The Family Plot by Cherie Priest. I read this book around when it came out in summer 2017, but I’ve been feeling for some time that I rushed through that reading. So I picked it up again. It’s a slow-burn plot and then all of a sudden it isn’t. Part of me is thinking twice about my desire to buy and fix up an old house after this reread.

I started a third book this month: The Lost World by Michael Crichton. I’m about a third of the way through as of writing this post.

What books did you read in January? Anything that I should check out?