I read 198 books this year in a split of: 39 ARCs, 59 audiobooks, 85 manga volumes, 9 physical copies, 2 light novels, and 6 eBooks. As my boyfriend said, “That’s a lot of things, Jo.” It is that time of year where I want to share my favorites, so please enjoy my top 20 2021 books, top 20 books from before 2021, and, a new feature, 5 manga.
I realize that I make lists for books I’m excited for and book I want to read, and failed on both those lists. So, my lists for 2022 books is mostly about boosting others works regardless of if I personally get around to reading them. That’s just how it is when you’re employed and vastly mis-measure what kind of focus you’ll have as the year goes on. Moving also robbed me of a bunch of my focus, which should not have been as surprising as it is. On top of working full time. On top of being in a relationship and trying to participate in the communities I’m a part of.
October went by quickly. I had the opportunity to go to Sirens Conference where I was on a panel about nonbinary representation in science fiction and fantasy. I also had a hard time reading this month, which was unfortunate, but I did enjoy the books, ARCs, and manga I did manage to read.
In this secondary world fantasy novel, Look to the Sun is about the city of Sanmarian that sits on a powder keg of protest when the National People’s Voice party’s fascist activities take to the streets. At the heart of this intense story is a beautiful tale of survival and community with a hopeful love story at its core between main characters Beo and Rose.
I’m thrilled to have author Emmie Mears on the blog on this book day to talk about world-building, story craft, city planning, and their publishing journey.
Read an eARC from NetGalley Content warning: fascism, suicide (depicted), domestic abuse, homophobia
The National People’s Voice have ruled over Kael for the last 15 years, and our story begins when things escalate in city-wide protests in Sanmarian, the capital. Beo and Rose are strangers drawn together by one novel that the fascist regime seems determined to destroy. Amidst incredible reveals, deep tragedies, tender moments of human connection, and more, this book does a phenomenal job of depicting survival despite insidious oppression.
A dystopian wonder that is difficult to read at times, but the hopeful ending is so, so, so earned.
The author Emmie Mears will be featured on the blog on October 28th, release date.