9/17/2017 Book log

Sep. 17th, 2017 07:39 pm[personal profile] tangerine42
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26. The Girl Who Drank the MoonThe Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill --- 4.5/5. Really good stuff. Lots of feminism, great diverse cast of characters, ostensibly a middle grade book but complex enough for adults, good plotting and characterization. It would make great television.

27. KindredKindred by Octavia E. Butler --- 3/5. Book club pick for September. I think this book was probably hugely important and unique when it came out, but unfortunately, by the time I got to it, it had been forty years and I have read at least ten books doing the same thing. Butler is fantastic now, but this was one of her early ones, and it shows. She's very interested in her message, and not very interested in characterization and plot.

28. The Starlit Wood: New Fairy TalesThe Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales by Dominik Parisien --- 3/5. A very interesting collection with a few incredible pieces, but more just weird pieces, and a terrible few that absolutely didn't work. Highlights for me included the stories by Naomi Novik, Max Gladstone, Aliette de Bodard ("Pearl" was a sure favorite), and Daryl Gregory. I was excited to see Catherynne M. Valente, Karin Tidbeck, and Seanan McGuire in this collection, but their contributions weren't knock outs. "Some Wait" by Stephen Graham Jones has no idea what it's trying to do. I completely skipped "The Tale of Mahliya and Mauhub and the White-Footed Gazelle" by Sofia Samatar because its structure didn't cohere. So a mix, but I did love how many stories were remixed to be about women's lives.

Stretch goal: 28/30

Women authors: 19/28

(I'm counting the anthology as a "woman" because it's more than 2/3rds woman authors. Binary genders are problematic, etc.)

9/9/2017 Book log

Sep. 9th, 2017 09:28 pm[personal profile] tangerine42
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Completely by accident, I read a book with a Danish main character, and then another book written by a Swede, so it was a very Scandinavian couple of weeks over here in my head.

24. The Girl Who Fell from the SkyThe Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow.

4/5. I don't now recall how this book appeared on my "to read" list, but I needed something new to read on vacation, and this was the first book the library had as an ebook as I went through my list. It was surprising and wonderful and hard, and I keep thinking about it, even though it's been weeks since I finished it.

The protagonist is Rachel, a girl of mixed race, black American and Danish, who loses her mother and siblings and moves in with her grandmother in American in the 1980s. The book jumps between main characters points-of-view, which I usually find jarring, but is beautifully done here. We hear from Rachel, her father, her mother, her mother's employer, and a neighbor boy, and together they tell the story of Rachel's family. I'm having trouble describing this book, because I felt like the important bits were not the plot, but the strings of love and violence and race and class that make up Rachel's life. Her mother's story is especially haunting.

Totally recommend. Gorgeous writing, important messages, not dense at all. Great stuff.

25. AmatkaAmatka by Karin Tidbeck

4.5/5. *Loved* this. Like a cross between The Giver and all of Tricia Sullivan's work, an incredible weird wonderful dystopia where the technology on which everyone depends in is incredibly dangerous and maybe an alien life form, and what you say in front of it can cause catastrophe. This book doesn't give you all the answers shiny and buffed up for you - you have to work for them. But when you find them, they're amazing, and you'll think about them forever.

And the main character is my favorite kind of badass, in that she's really just trying to get through her life without having to put up with other people's unnecessarily complicated shit. And, poetry saves the day! (Or ruins it, I guess, depending on whom you ask.)

Also, bonus points for a lesbian romance that's not oversexualized.

Just totally bonkers fantastic. Will definitely be reading more of Tidbeck's work.

Stretch goal: 25/30

Women authors: 16/25


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September 2017


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