May 2021 Reading Recap

May came at me like a freight train. Specifically, Kentaro Miura, creator of Berserk, passed and that has been a sledgehammer to my heart and creative spirit. To get completely too personal, I’ve had to do an inventory of all my things and file them under “survival” and “creativity.” The blog is here to stay, don’t worry about that.

For yet another month, the mind is still a mess, but the reads have been fantastic.

I am so excited to have talked to Rivers Solomon about faer’s latest release, Sorrowland.

ARCs

  • Cinders of Yesterday (Legacy of Shadows #1) by Jen Karner (2021, Adult urban fantasy romance, queer)
    • Disaster sapphics taking down a necromancer
    • Uses magic and horror to explore horror and familial trauma
    • Author interview coming on June 22nd, 2021!
  • The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo (2021, Adult historical fantasy, queer)
    • Jordan Baker is a queer, Vietnamese, adoptee in this retelling of The Great Gatsby
    • I love this book so f*cking much
    • All the horniness of a summer fling with the horror of watching your best friend make horrible decisions with the men she loves
  • The Next Everest: Surviving the Mountain’s Deadliest Day and Finding the Resilience to Climb Again by Jim Davidson (2021, Adult non-fiction)
    • Climber Jim Davidson was on Everest during the 2015 earthquake
    • He summitted in 2017
    • A heart-wrenching and humble exploration of grief through the lens of climbing

Audiobooks

  • The House That Wasn’t There by Elana K. Arnold (2021, Middle Grade contemporary fantasy)
    • A robot who just wants to watch TV gets sent on a mission to rescue a research team
    • Great world-building, great voice, but I wish I loved it as much as everyone else
  • Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs by Douglas Smith (2016, Adult historical non-fiction)
    • The true account of the life of Grigori Rasputin with all the context around the time period
    • Longest book I’ve read this year so far
    • It’d be silly to say Rasputin did nothing wrong, but the antichrist, he was not
  • The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez by Rudy Ruiz (2020, Adult historical fantasy, magical realism)
    • A decades’ long love story between Fulgencio Ramirez and the daughter of a local pharmacist
    • Magical and heart-wrenching
    • Death is not the end, in fact, it is a beginning
  • Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (2018, Adult literary thriller)
    • A young woman becomes friends with a socialite and it goes terribly
    • Absolutely unhinged, no one is likeable, and that’s the point
  • What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson (2021, Young Adult contemporary thriller)
    • The interconnectedness of family violence and drug trade takes on the children caught in the cross-fire
    • Excellent use of winter as theme and setting
    • My heart ached so hard through this one

Light Novel

  • Berserk of Gluttony Vol 1. by Isshiki Ichika & Fame (2021, Young Adult, secondary fantasy)
    • A boy with a gluttony ability works for a noblewoman while leveling up a snarky sword
    • Charming and dark
    • Surprised that it’s not a human person waking up in another world

Manga

  • To Your Eternity Vol. 1 – 3 by Yoshitoki Ōima (2017-2018, shonen fantasy)
    • An orb must keep ascending levels of consciousness by making contact with things on earth
    • Heart-wrenching
    • Explores immortality and what makes a person a person

Physical Copies

  • Malice of Crows (The Shadow #3) by Lila Bowen (2017, Adult fantasy, queer)
    • Trans cowboy Rhett Walker chases an alchemist across the desert
    • Found family in all its messy glory
    • The very best gorgon nun watches over a library
  • God’s Playground: A History of Poland Vol. 1 The Origins to 1795 by Norman Davies (1982, Adult historical non-fiction)
    • A humble timeline of Poland’s history
    • Polish societal structure is even stranger than I knew it to be
  • Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus (2020, Young Adult science fiction)
    • Liv Fleming’s father disappears in an alien abduction and the truth is far more brutal and stranger than that
    • Angry and eerie, a quick read

Until next month,
Jo

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