Actually, you can touch my books. If you came by, I’d gladly lend you a few, especially if you promised to take good care of them and not to read them in the bath.
Usually, the books I feature in the image of my monthly reading posts are my favorite three books of that month. But I felt kind of meh about February’s reading (list at the bottom of this post). It was all good—solid, enjoyable, just fine—but somehow lacking fire. Besides Gemina nothing deserved a trophy. So I looked back to January, a month with almost nothing but amazing books, and picked two more favorites to highlight. But let’s not dwell on my extremely untimely blogging habits. To the books!
Jeanette Winterson may be one of the most interesting and talented living, working writers going. Poetic, insightful, and always experimenting in some way, her work—which also tends to contain elements of the fantastic—is crimincally ignored by the SFF genre community. (Ho hum, what else is new?) The Powerbook caught me with a writing-and-love-focused plot, some fun meta, and some absolutely gorgeous passages about love and writing. *Sighs very loudly* So much writer envy for the words that come out of her pen.
At first, I didn’t like Miranda July’s The First Bad Man. Scenes of domestic violence and bullying made me feel deeply uncomfortable, physically pained. But the narrator’s voice is strong and quite unique, and the story a complicated tale of love, parenthood, and sexual discovery. As time continues to pass, I find Bad Man remains one of the most memorable books I’ve read this year, which is worth at least a cabbage’s weight in gold. Since reading it, July’s name and work have been popping up constantly in my range of vision—for example, in Jeanette Winterson’s writing. In turn, both of these women have also reminded me to read Ali Smith, who I am already assuming will be a new favorite.
Gemina, like the first book in the Illuminae Files series Illuminae, got a hell of a lot of hype, and I fucking hate hype. (She says, as she hypes a book.) But the full-cast audio book recording of Illuminae was fucking fantastic, and it ended up ranking as one of my favorite books of 2015—at the very least it contains one of my favorite fictional AI characters of all time, and I may have been known to refer to it as “some of the best SF I have read in the last decade, if it wasn’t for that fucking cop-out final chapter.” So I ignored the hives Gemina‘s hype was giving me and got a copy of its full-cast audio recording. All new characters and an independent plot mean this is a sequel you can fully enjoy without having read its predecessor (+10 points), and within it you’ll find well-developed characters (+10), psychotropic parasites (+25), snappy fight scenes (+5), some schmoozey but ultimately enjoyable smooching (+5), and quite a fucking plot twist (+33!).
And on that note I shall retire to write my reading wrap-up for March in slow motion between now and August. However, if you’ve read any of the other books I’ve read this month and want to chat about them, I’m all for doing that in the comments. Happy reading, book nerds.
Books Read in February:
16. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, adapted by John Tiffany (audio)
17. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace (re-read)
18. You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
19. Breeder: Real-Life Stories From the New Generation of Mothers edited by Ariel Gore &
20. River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
21. By Light Alone by Adam Roberts
22. Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
23. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
24. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (audio)
Random stats that I definately care about more than you do:
Total read: 9
Purchased/of those, read: 3/3
Library books: 0
Audio books: 2