My May goals were fairly modest: get new glasses, start the process of renewing my passport, and continue working on the revision. I did all that! And I worked out 3-4 times a week, and I feel like things are steadily trucking along. I think I can finally listen to audiobooks again, and I super missed it.
There was an author interview practically every week. Take a look:
Where did April go? This month seems to have blown by really fast, and I can’t even articulate exactly why. I didn’t do any traveling, taxes were an exciting, I turned around a short story in what-feels-like a short amount of time, and got a lot of work done on the revision. I’ve also gotten back to tri-weekly workouts which has been really good for my energy levels. A productive month, even if the productivity wasn’t exactly linear.
I did two blog interviews, which you can find here:
March is another month I largely took off because of Futurescapes and traveling to a work convention. In that time, I played a ton of Elden Ring and mostly did a hard reset of my brain. My writing brain has somewhat defrosted and after setting some boundaries on the work I’ll be doing moving forward, I’m hoping my reading brain will defrost a bit as well.
No author interviews this month but there will be plenty in the next few months.
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:
Happy New Year from me and my very strange perception of time. January felt very long, and it’s only barely almost over. What also doesn’t help is that my goals for the year are still quite nebulous aside from the reading goals and fitness goals. Which is fine, really. Time has been strange since March 2020, and I’m sorry to remind you how far away that date is.
Anyway, here is what I read this fine January! There has also been one blog interview:
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.
Genre: Adult Literary Fiction Horror Year Release: 2021 Source: Audible
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Listened to the audiobook Content warnings: cannibalism, slaughterhouse machinations, humans as sustenance, sexual abuse, rape, blood play, violence against puppies
In the alternate universe in which this book takes place, a virus has made all meat poisonous to humans, except for that certain hunger. The rest is told from the perspective of Marcos, a worker at one of the facilities whose life is falling apart. Until he’s “gifted” with a female, and things get worse from there.
While low on plot and shock value beyond its conceit, the ending punched me in the face on a journey that is very frank with its depiction and high in its interiority.
Genre: Adult Literary Suspense Year Release: 2021 Source: Audible
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Listened to the audiobook Content warning: Microaggressions, racism, stalking, kidnapping
A new co-worker in the office tends to be exciting. When another Black girl arrives and Nella Rogers is no longer the only Black girl her at her company, strange things begin to happen. Mysterious notes and cryptic texts telling her to leave Wagner send Nella in a spiral that could unravel the fabric of reality itself.
Excellent in its twists, and takes its sweet time establishing understanding, The Other Black Girl interrogates the publishing infrastructure for its lack of diversity while also introducing dread and menace in a tightly woven mystery.
If this has been pitched to you as Get Out meets The Stepford Wives but make it publishing, you’ve got an accurate description of this book.
Genre: Adult Literary Thriller Year Release: 2018 Source: Library Audiobook
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Listened to the audiobook Content warning: Alcoholism, murder, drug use, dubious consensual sex, domestic violence, attempted suicide
This book is absolute bananas from start to finish. A worthy entry into books which spiritually remind me of My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, Social Creature features Louisa and Lavinia at its core. Louisa is a down-on-her-luck New York City transplant who works several jobs to not even make ends meet until one day, she’s booked as a tutor for Cordelia and meets Lavinia. Lavinia is a socialite who is one a sabbatical from Yale who lives in some kind of alternate universe where everything is beauty and poetry. We know Lavinia dies, and we beat witness to that toxic friendship.
This book has prose that hypnotizes with all the surreal glitz of oblivion. A wild ride from start to finish where having everyone be deeply unlikeable is part of the charm.