February 2021 Reading Recap

February is the shortest month and wow did so many things happen. I quit my dayjob because I got an offer for another day job more aligned with where I want to be and the things I want to do. My boyfriend got (and accepted) into a PhD program. I managed to do a lot of manga reading and a fair amount of audiobooks. All in all, it was a fine month.

There were three whole author interviews too:

  • Genevieve Gornichec celebrated her debut with The Witch’s Heart
  • Karin Tidbeck delighted us with some insight into the inspiration behind their latest, The Memory Theater
  • Sarah Gailey shared their process of choosing a near-future sci-fi setting where The Echo Wife takes place

ARCs

  • Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard (2021, adult fantasy, queer)
    • A princess needs to stand up for herself both politically and personally in a compact work with intricate political intrigue and a very good fire elemental
    • Fascinating structure exploring abuse and healing
  • The Initial Insult (#1) by Mindy McGinnis (2021, YA thriller)
    • A retelling of the Cask of Amontillado with a focus on a friendship falling apart and class tensions
    • There is even a panther that’s gotten loose
  • The Project by Courtney Summers (2021, YA thriller)
    • Following several tragedies, a girl tries to reconnect with her sister and dismantle the cult that’s taken ahold of her
    • A hopeful ending, but wow at what cost

Audiobooks

  • We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper (2020, Adult non-fiction, true crime)
    • A girl from Harvard’s archaeology program goes unsolved and there are so many layers of obfuscated details to even begin tackling the case
    • Gut-wrenchingly tied into recent issues of gender equality and discrimination in all industries
  • Muted by Tami Charles (2021, YA contemporary, sapphic)
    • A young girl’s R&B dreams turn into nightmares as she falls deeper and deeper into an abuser’s trap
    • Novel-in-verse that holds nothing back
  • Lakewood by Megan Giddings (2020, Adult horror)
    • If you remember A Cure for Wellness, there is some overlap in terms of setting
    • White people and agreeing to dubiously ethical medical experimentation to help your family are the real villains
  • Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs (2020, Adult nonfiction, science)
    • It’s about whales and the culture and world around them
    • Really funny in places, though it starts and ends with a beached whale
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn (2017, Adult nonfiction, cults)
    • An in-depth look into the founder of Peoples Temple, Jim Jones
    • Doesn’t spend much time dwelling on the massacre, which makes the descent into murder that much more difficult to watch
  • The Grip of It by Jac Jemc (2017, Adult horror)
    • A couple buys a new house and it has secret rooms and disappearing neighbors
    • Maybe getting your shit together isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (2019, Adult, literary fiction)
    • A family goes on a road trip to record voices and sounds while a subplot the immigration crisis unfolds
    • Truly excellent audiobook production

Manga

  1. Ibitsu by Haruto Ryo (2018, horror)
    • Horror about a guy who answers a haunted lolita girl’s question
    • Had me stressed out from start to finish
  2. Mieruko-Chan Vol. 1, and Vol. 2 by Tomoki Izumi (2020-2021, horror)
    • A girl sees ghosts all around her and tries to ignore them
    • Funny and terrifying at the same time
  3. The Promised Neverland Vol. 1-3 and Vol. 4-9 by Kaui Shirai and Posoka Demizu (2018-2019, dark fantasy)
    • Children growing up at an orphanage learn that they’re actually on a meat farm where they are the meat for demons
    • They do escape eventually and things don’t get much better
    • Rocky start, but I’m reading it consistently

Until next month,
Jo

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