Summer Reading

This summer went kind of askew, so it took two months and a bit to get to the next point worth checking in about, reading-wise–though the second half of the year, I don’t finish as many books, I guess. I have a half-dozen started and stalled, but hey, I’ve read 82 published books this year. Or will have when this posts.

Since last time, a couple straightforwardly and redacted…ly:

  • The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, ed. Hope Nicholson: I actually thought it was LIVES, not loves, until I looked at it closely, so I kind of skipped around in this collection of essays, comics, etc.
  • [Fantasy getting a lot of attention, redacted]: This was 30,000 or so words too long. The plot meandered, the worldbuilding was well-worn with one new aspect slathered on like a condiment, and reading it was such a chore.
  • The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, Olivia Waite: I don’t usually name romances in these roundups, but this is one of the best I’ve read in some time–and historical, too, with a feminist bent I won’t spoil you about. A ~lady~ astronomer gets patronage from a widow (who’s an artist in her own right) to translate a French astronomy tome when her skills are dismissed in favor of men’s. Technically this is boss-subordinate, and I really dislike this kind of power imbalance normally, but it worked for me here because it was largely a partnership (though, as much as I liked this, their situation at the end felt not-good to me). Also technically a bit of an age gap romance, but that has to be understood differently here than in the usual mainstream.
  • The Mere Wife, Maria Dahvana Headley: Confirming that I actually don’t know anything about Beowulf, but I do appreciate a societal critique.
  • The Last True Poets of the Sea, Julia Drake: This is out in October and is my favorite book of the fall; it’s also on my very short no-fly list, so I choose not to review, but to keep it to myself. I know better.
  • Adaptation of a media property: This was bad. So very bad. When I say I’ve read better fanfic, I mean by twelve-year-olds on their first try. I can only assume that the property was even more nonsensical, episodic, and lacking in consistent characterization, because it read like a not-funny parody.
  • Glitch, Sarah Graley: I bought this unread for a small friend who LOVED it, so I read it too. It’s about a girl who is sucked into a video game where a robot asks for her help in building a friendship to save the day–while back in the real world, she’s ignoring her gamer bestie. Then the friend is sucked in too and they have to defeat the enemy they thought was a friend. Act III was longer than my interest, but overall, I enjoyed–and appreciated the non-conforming rendering of friend along with a very followable format in the graphic novel’s panels.
  • Media property tie-in edition: I was curious about the origin story and differences between it and the adaptation. Turns out the original was super offensive, though it probably seemed funny and edgy in its day. How quickly we change.
  • [Redacted sci-fi]: Argh. I didn’t love this, but I read it two or twenty pages at a time over a six-month period, which can ruin any book. I really love another work by this author, but everything went wrong here.
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli: I’d never read this, but there was a tie-in edition on the take shelf at work. Overall cute, and I’d been mixing this up with a completely different book, whoops.

Currently reading Wilder Girls, among other things, even though it starts off with one of a handful of things I don’t really like to think about–so we’ll have to see if I make it to the end, through no fault of the book’s.

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