February 2022 Reading Recap

February is a month where I largely took off from writing my own fiction in preparation for Futurescapes this weekend. Like, I dabbled a bit, mostly played video games. Still did some reading. I finally can go back to listening to audiobooks, which is great for my brain buzz.

Here is a round up of my February reads. I got to interview two fabulous authors to kick off the month:

ARCs

  • A Bloody Little Valentine (Tales of the Southern Gothic) by Magen Cubed (adult, horror romance)
    • Short and spicy
    • Cash and Dorian are in love and the characterization via past and present is perfect
  • Leech by Hiron Ennes (adult, horror)
    • Gothic haunted house horror disguising a science fiction
    • A visceral and tense affair narrated by a 500-year-old parasite piloting a human meat mecha
  • What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher (adult, horror)
    • “Fall of the House of Usher” retelling with a bigger emphasis on mushrooms
    • Prose and world-building distract from the horror

Audiobooks

  • The Lost Village by Camilla Sten (adult, horror, translated, 2019)
    • A film crew goes to a ghost town to make a documentary, spookiness ensues
    • I wish the ghost part was more literal in the plot, especially the final revelations
  • The Unwomanly Face of War: AN Oral History of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich (nonfiction, history, 2017)
    • Women recount their experiences on the front and in the villages throughout the former Soviet Union
    • Heed the content warnings, absolutely harrowing and unfiltered
  • The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson (adult, horror, 2022)
    • On the heels of COVID, another virus breaks out, this time, making people fly in a rage
    • Three generations of women heal in their own ways from intergenerational and partner violence in ways that include relying on each other and wrestling

eBooks

  • The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez (adult, horror, 1991)
    • A lesbian vampire makes her way across two centuries with the power of chosen family
    • Unflinching in its convictions and deeply respects life in all its brutal glory

Physical Copies

  • At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop (adult, literary, translated)
    • Not a lot of plot outside of soldiers processing trauma in World War II
    • Incredible speculative twist toward the end and sharp prose that I’m still reeling from
  • Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow (adult, horror)
    • A story haunted by control and Farrah’s loosening grip on it
    • Incisive and specific commentary around race and class that hits all layers of the narrative

Manga

  • Cat Massage Therapy Vol. 1 by Haru Hisakawa (2021, josei, slice-of-life)
    • It’s about a massage parlor run by a cat and his kitten assistants
    • Full-color, absolutely adorable illustrations
  • Creepy Cat Vol 1 & 2 by Cotton Valent (2019-2022, slice-of-life horror comedy)
    • Full-color, adorable illustrations
    • A painter inherits a mansion and with it, a cryptid named Creepy Cat

Until next year,
Jo

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