May 2020 Reading Recap

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May featured the Nebulas and continued work on myself during this unemployed time.

No special posts this month, but definitely an interview with K.A. Doore coming your way in June.

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Review: CATCH AND KILL: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (2019)

Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Adult Nonfiction
Year Release: 2019
Source: Library audiobook

Listened to the audiobook
Trigger warning for descriptions of sexual assault, rape, stalking, and gaslighting, and for audio from a sound bite of Harvey Weinstein propositioning someone

I had been glued to this audiobook from the very first minute. Told by the journalist himself who tried to break the Harvey Weinstein story, Farrow finds himself at odds with NBC and eventually followed by operatives of Black Cube to make sure he didn’t succeed.

Farrow expertly weaves together a narrative that not only covers . At times, it read more like a fiction thriller because of how many layers of deceit and cover-up there had been. It is outrageous and insidious in a way that cannot be crafted. The apparent integrity, however, keeps the story firmly grounded. So many risks had beent aken to get this story of decades of sexual predation out to the public. But it was the level of corruption and mutual cover-up which really got my blood curdling. The scope is nigh unfathomable, but Farrow takes the reader on an unforgettable and harrowing journey of investigative journalism.

The stories of harassment and assault, however, as handled with much necessary empathy and sensitivity. That being said, however, I would not recommend anyone read or listen to this book if that is a trigger.

 

March 2020 Reading Recap

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Here we are friends, in a time of social distancing where staying at home is the most productive thing you can do to keep yourself and those around you safe. Which for me, includes working my dayjob from 9 to 5 and then spending time with audiobooks while playing video games (currently playing Animal Crossing). This is what I read in March. I should really consider augmenting my reading goal, I’m 17 books ahead already.

This month, I also interviewed K.M. Szpara to celebrate the release of his debut novel, Docile.

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Review: MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham (2019)

Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Adult historical nonfiction
Year Release: 2019
Source: Library audiobook

Listened to the audiobook

The Chernobyl miniseries on HBO is one of my favorite pieces of visual media. While the docudrama follows the Voices from Chernobyl, this book delves more into the context of nuclear power in Russia, the culture of scientific academia, and politics and policies that influenced the choices made and, more importantly, not made.

The narrative for this one was fairly linear, starting all the way with the construction of the facility, moving through Russia’s hopes and dreams of being on the forefront of technological development, the education of the facility staff and those in power, and finally, a timeline of the disaster itself. It is fascinating from a cultural perspective, especially as this is something my parents likely remember.

Given the current circumstances of the world, parts of the government’s decision making hit uncomfortably close to reality. The saving face, the underplaying of an unprecedented disaster as something totally manageable, and taking the correct actions far too late hit differently.  For these reasons and more, this book is another fairly difficult read, but this read goes more into the science and background of being a nuclear scientist in Soviet Russia than the heart-wrenching stories of those affected by the disaster.

February 2020 Reading Recap

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I am so ahead on reads and somehow feel behind. These last few months have been rough for me, but I am so glad that 2020 continues to deliver incredible reads which provide some kind of escape.

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February 2020 TBR

Here are my intended reads for February.

Hard Copies

  • Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow #2) by Lila Bowen (Library Borrow)
  • The Fortress by S.A. Jones (ARC)
  • Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (ARC)

Kindle

  • Finna by Nino Cipri (ARC)
  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst (ARC)
  • Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore
  • Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal (ARC)
  • Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold (ARC)

Audiobooks

  • Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith
  • The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Plus two books I offered to beta read. Wow, this month is busy.

January 2020 Reading Recap

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Happy 2020! Welcome to the first addition of what I learned by reading. This month felt like it was a million years long, which is fine in terms of reading because I read 12 books so far, well ahead of my 100 book goal for 2020.

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Review: INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer (1997)

Note: Starting a thing where I cross-post my Goodreads reviews that are 4 stars + to my blog in 2020

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Nonfiction
Year Release: 1997
Source: Library Kindle Borrow

I have a wretched habit of taking the wrong things away from cautionary tales, and this book is no exception. Krakauer recounts an ill-fated expedition to Everest’s summit in 1996, which claimed the lives of six climbers.

Krakauer goes into such painstaking detail about the dangers and physical strength needed to make the summit, but he doesn’t shy away from acknowledging and venerating that grand mountain. I shouldn’t feel the draw of the mountain, and yet. The imagery is absolutely gorgeous, and he speaks of his teammates with such human reverence. He doesn’t elevate them to heroes, but admits that they are simply human.

This breathtaking work is not for the faint of heart, but it captures the majesty and terror of attempting to reach the top of the world.

January 2020 TBR

I am going to start announcing the books I intend to read per month, starting with January 2020.

Hard Copies

  • Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
  • The Fortress by S.A. Jones (ARC)
  • The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
  • Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim (ARC)

Kindle

  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (Library Borrow)
  • Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (Library Borrow)
  • Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani (ARC)

Audiobooks

  • Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (Library Borrow)
  • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Library Borrow)