July 2020 Reading Recap


I hit my goal of reading 100 books in July! Which sounds absurd, but between Animal Crossing, unemployment, and ongoing lockdowns, there is so much reading to be done (television, for whatever reason, cannot hold my attention).

This month, I did two blog interviews:

Read Cover-to-Cover in July


I Comes With Knives by S.A. Hunt

  • Adult horror that’s the sequel to Burn the Dark
  • Things get grosser and more intense
  • One of the two interviews this month (link)
  • Takeaway: Upping stakes while deepening the world-building


The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

  • Adult horror about four adult indigenous men haunted by a mistake from their past
  • I screamed so many times
  • Takeaway: How to do a deep character study in a horror novel


Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures
by Nick Pyenson

  • Adult non-fiction about the glory and majesty of whales
  • Perspective primarily through paleontology
  • Takeaway: Explaining complexities with personal stories and other connections


Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #2) by Tamsyn Muir

  • Adult science fiction where the lesbian necromancers are back and gayer (and sadder) than ever
  • Plays with third, second, and first person perspective in the most compelling way I’ve ever seen
  • Takeaway: Depicting guilt and trauma in a way that neither romanticizes nor stigmatizes


Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings

  • Adult horror novella which is a haunting story told from the POV of the haunted
  • Beautiful imagery, not a whole of characterization
  • Takeaway: Crafting an awfully specific aesthetic that reads like a paintaing

Finished in July


Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore

  • Adult fantasy with big Treasure Planet vibes
  • Linguistics, and danger bling, and aliens galore
  • Takeaway: Playing and inverting a variety of tropes for a great adventure



The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons #2) by Jenn Lyons

  • Adult fantasy with an interesting structure that tells the story in two timelines
  • If I never hear the words mare or stallion, it will be too soon
  • Takeaway: Try not to be absolutely transphobic in your world-building and flaunting it as gender inclusive


The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso

  • Adult fantasy about a queen whose estranged husband of five years wants to reconnect
  • #ownvoices for Filipino rep
  • Betrayal-driven from start to finish with some of the best food descriptions
  • Takeaway: How to nail interiority for unlikable characters


The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

    • Adult fantasy in which individuals are selected as avatars for the boroughs of NYC and NYC itself
    • Big magical girl energy
    • A giant middle finger to Lovecraft
    • Takeaway: How to craft nuanced characters within a giant cast


Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

  • Adult horror in translation about a mother of her death bed and a son who might not even be hers
  • The title is too accurate
  • Takeaway: Crafting atmosphere and dread built off common concerns


The Guest List by Lucy Foley

  • Adult thriller set on an Irish island where someone gets murdered at a wedding
  • The levels of connection between the characters are so well-crafted
  • Big Succession on HBO vibes
  • Takeaway: Crafting a satisfying mystery


Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition by Buddy Levy

  • Adult nonfiction about the Arctic expedition of A.W. Greely and his ill-fated crew
  • Incredibly researched and takes the reader through all phases of the journey
  • Some light cannibalism
  • Takeaway: Maintaining the wonder of the destination while never ignoring the trials and tribulations

Graphic Novels, Comics, Manga


Bloodborne Series: “The Healing Thirst”, “A Song of Crows” and “The Veil, Torn Asunder” by Aleš Kot and Piotr Kowalski

  • Adult horror based off the video game
  • The stories are so interesting
  • Takeaway: crafting surreal and interesting narratives in a familiar-world

In August, I’ll be working on a really fun project I can’t wait to launch.

Until next time,

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