I am on a year-long quest to attempt to read more than I buy, in order to whittle down the pile of books I own but have not read. It’s been a couple of months since I checked in.
April: started at 117, ended at 122. Read a few, bought more.
May: started at 122, ended at 121. Yay! Still over my April starting point, but yay!
Here’s what I’ve read since then. Let’s say alphabetical order by title within each category.
Fantasy / Science Fiction & Related Genres
Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold – I dole out Vorkosigan Saga books to myself as though they are the last box of very expensive chocolates that I’m going to get for the rest of my life. It’s a fairly long series, but when I get to the end, there will be no more new-to-me ones. So I’m reading it ve-r-r-y slowly because I really like it and want it to last. It’s a little neurotic of me, yes. Anyway, the Vorkosigan Saga is space opera / planet-side science-fiction-with-horses-and-feudalism and I won’t go on at length at how awesome it is because everyone else already has. This is a collection of three novellas, a murder mystery, an escape caper and a jailbreak story.
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan – A pseudo-Victorian Proper Lady (I say “pseudo” only because it takes place in a set of fictionalized Europe-like countries) pursues her lifelong dream of being an amateur naturalists, studying the grandest of wild beasts. Great fun.
The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes – Book 2 of the Rogues of the Republic series, the first one being The Palace Job; they are fantasy heist/caper novels. I liked the first and liked the second, but giant cliffhanger ending argh. At least the next book is up for release in October.
Stray by Andrea K. Höst – Science fiction. Australian teenager suddenly finds herself on an alien planet. Clinging to survival follows, and then an army of hot superpowered alien cyborg ninjas who storm through pocket universes to fight ghost-monsters. Like you do. This was fun except that I have a hard time remembering all of the characters, their teams, their powers and everything else. That’s just my memory shortcoming, and not an issue with the story. It continues in a trilogy + epilogue, so I may continue once I get this monster TBR pile whittled down some more.
The Unwritten volumes 1-2, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross – Graphic novel. I’m only a bit into volume 3, and the plot is already tangled, so I’m not sure I can summarize. It’s about being the semi-estranged son of a reclusive bestselling author, but really it’s about the power of story and how it can be used, warped or wielded. And internet fandom / the media, and a bunch of other things.
Variables of Love by M.K. Schiller – I was all about the nerdiness of this book, but DNFd it after a couple of chapters. I don’t think it’s a bad book, but my view of the hero doesn’t seem to mesh with what the author wants to portray, so I think it will be uphill sledding for me. (You think a prank is cool and funny, I think it’s weird, misogynist and immature. Hmm.) Not a fault of the book, I’m just not on the same page.
Books About Writing/Publishing
Gotta Read It! by Libbie Hawker – About writing the description of a book, like the back cover copy or the description on a website. That sounds like it would be obvious, but there’s quite an art to it.
Invisible 2: Essays on Representation in SF/F, edited by Jim C. Hines – As I talked about in my last book post, when I read volume 1, this is a subject/cause in which I already believe. The “101-level” effect is not as pronounced in this volume, happily (reiterating ideas that seem obvious to me, although I realize that they aren’t obvious to everyone).
Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley – A short book on outlining fiction. If you just read one book on outlining, I’d still recommend Libbie Hawker’s Take Off Your Pants. But I went through the exercises in this book to try something different, and wound up with a (hopefully) cohesive outline for THR2. Hooray!
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski – Yeah, NSFW. Sorry. I saw this recommended on one of the two webcomics I follow these days (also extremely NSFW, seriously, nudity all over the sidebars, people. All over) and picked it up immediately despite the price. That’s how compelling it looked. And was.
Uh, and end post. Next up, I’m starting another nonfiction book, about not being a perfectionist. If I gain even a glimmer of insight from this book, it will be time well spent.