book list

Books Read in May & June

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Due to deadlines, it’s a miracle that I managed to read more than one book.

The library was open, unending, free. 

– Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between The World and Me was a solemn and powerful open letter to the writer’s son. Check out Jesse Williams’ recent humanitarian speech as it delves into the reality of systemic racism in a poetic way too.

I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.

– The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

On The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian – Junior was a riot to listen to. A Spokane Indian teen who handles all the wonderful and horrible bits of life between a small town and the reservation with humour and sincerity.

Nimona‘s sarcasm was on point. I adore shapeshifters and the archetype of the dragon was used really well. There is a lovely best friends-to-lovers-to-enemies (and back again) dynamic between the two male knights.

A History of Glitter and Blood was so strange, unsettling and wonderful. I loved the sexually fluid relationships, the unreliable narrator, the confusing narrative, the exploration of PTSD and the subtle commentary on race relations through this unlikely group of part-fae creatures. These two books may have given me a reason to make a list of the SFF books I’ve read with fantastical/futuristic societies wherein LGBTQUIA are the norm and the prejudices that we know don’t exist.

Onto more fantasy worlds: All the characters carry so much power & presence (even when they move into the background of the series) in A Conspiracy of Kings. Though this one did make me reflect upon how many Ancient Greece inspired books I read where Ancient Persians only briefly appear. I would love to read more historical fantasy stories from the perspective of Persian characters.

I carried Who Fears Death across three countries but finished it when my laptop died on the train. It was a fantastic and confronting subversion of the chosen one story in post-apocalyptic Africa.

I went into reading Me Before You with zero expectations but it delves into perceptions around disability.

*Note: Though I never took Will’s experience to be representative of the whole disabled community. In the book (which isn’t shown as much in the film), Lou talks to other members of the disabled community through online forums and many of these individuals have different experiences and outlooks on life, which differ greatly from Will’s fatalistic one.

This month, I also reviewed The Many Selves of Katherine North. I’m trying to request less ARCs so that I can try to get back into writing and reading more books.

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9 thoughts on “Books Read in May & June

  1. I loved Nimonia! I think I’ve heard something about a movie being made out of it? That would be so awesome.

    There’s a lot of things that don’t show up in fantasy novels based on ancient Greece. One I’ve noticed is that everyone seems to be straight? In ancient Greece? But I do love the Queen’s Thief series. They’re just so… lovely. I think my favorite was the second book, with the focus on the Queen of Attolia.

    I’ve been considering reading A History of Glitter and Blood but have heard such mixed things about it. Some people love the book, others seem to think it’s a horrible mess.

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    1. Nimona as a film?! Must-watch. I’ve only read two historical fantasy books inspired by Ancient Greece, which had central same-sex relationships: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller & Captive Prince by CS Pacat (the latter comes with trigger warnings around slavery & rape.) I do still admire The Thief series & Queen of Attolia was also my favourite! I can see why A History of Glitter and Blood can be polarising – I was so confused at first. I ended up loving it but I can see how it might not work for another reader.

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      1. I definitely recommend Song of Achilles! The lyrical writing is beautiful and I liked the exploration of love between demi-gods and mortals. I haven’t read The Iliad yet but I found it really accessible.

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  2. I absolutely loved Nimona, definitely a fave read from this year already! Als, The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian is so great, I’m trying to read through his backlist. Only managed the first half of Who Fears Death before I had to pause cause of exam prep, but that was amazing. Although the first couple scenes were so brutal, I had to take breaks. But Okorafor is a new favorite of mine, I’m glad she publishes a lot. Can’t wait for the Binti sequels! Happy reading in July!

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    1. I had to pause Who Fears Death too. I tried reading it a couple of months ago but it was only recently that I was able to read the whole book through – definitely worth it! Binti is still on my to-read list. I could buy the ebook but the cover is so lovely that I’m tempted to get the paperback.

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  3. I’m so happy you’ve read Nimona now, Glaiza, and that you enjoyed it. I wrote my review of it last week and was just so happy reliving the moments and the characters. It’s definitely one I want to return to many more times.

    I actually had Me Before You out from the library when I saw you were starting the audiobook- and I checked, and my library had it, and when you had good things to say about the narration I took the novel back and placed a hold! I have heard some things about the ending, and am a little furious with myself for being spoilered a while back, but I hope I can still take much from the story and (since I’ve heard there’s anger about the film ending) get a perspective from the novel before seeing the film.

    I’m also very keen, and have been for a while now, to read A History of Glitter and Blood, although I’m almost certain I’m going to be entranced/terrified, judging by what you’ve said here. I’m very excited for the experience, but possibly more wary than I previously was.x

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    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy the audiobook too =). Yeah, I was also spoiled a little before I started *the dangers of popular books.* I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the movie too! They did good casting. I went in blind into A History of Glitter and blood but I think it’s fantastic you’re giving it a try in the future too.

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  4. Definitely! I agree that the author was really focusing on a very specific situation. I hadn’t considered that point about Will being an object for Lou’s happiness and I can see it now. I thought that both Lou and Will gave each other equal measures of pain and happiness. I agree, I also thought Will still held onto his own sense of agency in that aspect because he chose to focus on helping Lou be brave enough to be open to more opportunities for happiness, which is what loved ones tend to do for each other.

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