What susanna.fraser reads in 2019

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What susanna.fraser reads in 2019

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Edited: Jan 1, 2019, 8:48pm

Another new year almost here, another book thread! I don't have any big reading goals for the coming year, though I hope to seriously whittle down my Kindle TBR collection, which stands at ~60. I also plan to continue my 2018 scheme of giving a dollar to a Donors Choose project for every book I finish.

Here are my favorite books from 2018, in the order I read them:

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines
Midnight Riot and its sequels by Ben Aaronovitch
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
Drawdown ed. by Paul Hawken
Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole
Into the Raging Sea by Rachel Slade
Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free by Linda Kay Klein

Edited: Dec 27, 2019, 5:57pm

Fiction by genre:

1. Much Ado About Nothing
2. Rose in Bloom

1. The Mortal Word
2. Kill the Queen
3. Daughter of Mystery
4. Knife Children
5. Down Among the Sticks and Bones
6. Empire of Sand
7. The Bird King
8. Swordheart
9. The Wolf in the Whale
10. The Black Tides of Heaven
11. The Raven Tower
12. Stardust
13. The Orphans of Raspay
14. The Bird of the River
15. Diamond Fire
16. The Thief
17. Minor Mage
18. Wayward Son
19. The Raven and the Reindeer
20. Servant of the Underworld
21. In Other Lands
22. Steel Crow Saga
23. Bryony and Roses
24. The Deep

1. Your Black Friend and Other Strangers
2. Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey
3. Be Prepared
4. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 9: Squirrels Fall Like Dominoes
5. A Bride's Story, Vol. 10
6. Lafayette! A Revolutionary War Tale
7. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 10: Life is Too Short, Squirrel
8. Ms. Marvel Vol. 10: Time and Again
9. Fearless and Fantastic! Female Super Heroes Save the World
10. I Kill Giants
11. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1: BFF
12. The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 1: Unstoppable!
13. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 2: Cosmic Cooties
14. The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 2: Agents of G.I.R.L.
15. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 11: Call Your Squirrelfriends
16. Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed Vol. 1: Destined
17. Marvel Rising: Heroes of the Round Table
18. A Bride's Story Vol. 11

1. Master and Commander

1. Pandora's Boy
2. Fatal Pursuit

1. Band Sinister
2. Once Ghosted, Twice Shy
3. Full Court Seduction
4. High Seas Stowaway
5. Can't Escape Love
6. Mating the Huntress
7. Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure
8. Counting on a Countess
9. The Ultimate Pi Day Party
10. A Prince on Paper
11. The Seduction Challenge
12. Unexpected
13. Agnes Moor's Wild Knight
14. The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics
15. Appetites & Vices
16. Rogue Desire
17. Ice Cream Lover (Baldwin Village Book 2)
18. Tikka Chance on Me
19. Proper English
20. A Prudent Match
21. Evvie Drake Starts Over
22. The Right Swipe
23. A Match Made for Thanksgiving
24. Three Stupid Weddings
25. Man vs. Durian
26. Red, White & Royal Blue
27. A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas
28. My Lady's Choosing

1. Terminal Uprising
2. All Systems Red
3. In the Garden of Iden
4. Rogue Protocol
5. Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries
6. Chilling Effect
7. Recursion
8. Sky Coyote
9. To Be Taught, If Fortunate
10. A Very Scalzi Christmas
11. The Calculating Stars

1. On the Come Up
2. A Very Large Expanse of Sea
3. Ship It
4. The Dragonet Prophecy
5. The First Rule of Punk

Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 10:05pm

Nonfiction by genre:

1. Becoming
2. Thanks a Thousand
3. The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London
4. A Sin By Any Other Name
5. My Berlin Kitchen
6. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker
7. Shrill
8. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
9. Mean Little Deaf Queer
10. Every Tool's a Hammer
11. Medallion Status
12. Underground in Berlin

1. Dopesick
2. We Fed an Island
3. If We Can Keep It
4. One Person, No Vote
5. Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future
6. The Case for Socialism
7. Tell Me How It Ends
8. Transitions of the Heart
9. Trans Allyship Workbook

1. The Faithful Spy
2. Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home
3. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities
4. They Called Us Enemy

1. Black Flags, Blue Waters
2. In the Presence of Mine Enemies
3. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
4. The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon
5. The Library Book
6. Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages
7. Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man
8. Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History
9. Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
10. These Truths: A History of the United States
11. Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia
12. Hell's Princess
13. Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands
14. Searching for Black Confederates
15. The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

1. Dreyer's English
2. The Dark Fantastic

1. Faithful Neighbors: Christian-Muslim Vision & Practice
2. Shameless: A Sexual Reformation
3. Holy Envy
4. Listening Hearts
5. The Color of Life
6. Here All Along

1. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond
2. Darwin Comes to Town
3. The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack
4. The House of Owls
5. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
6. Braiding Sweetgrass

1. Wired For Story
2. Outer Order, Inner Calm
3. Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons

1. Spying on the South

Dec 26, 2018, 9:06am

Welcome back!

Dec 31, 2018, 3:36am

Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2018, 9:13am

Happy reading in 2019, Susanna!

Dec 31, 2018, 6:32pm

Wishing you and yours a happy and joyous 2019, filled with peace, love, and great books.

Jan 1, 2019, 8:51pm

1. Your Black Friend and Other Strangers by Ben Passmore

A comics collection. I found the entries that were straight-up political thought-provoking, even if I'm not ready to sign on to Passmore's anarchist ethos. I admit I found the fictional/fantastical stories tough to follow.

Edited: Jan 1, 2019, 9:59pm

Dropping off my star, Susan!

A lot of us seem to have Spinning Silver in our Best of 2018 lists!

Jan 2, 2019, 8:13am

Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Susannah, this year.

Jan 2, 2019, 2:16pm

>13 ronincats: It's so different and well-done.

2. Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Another graphic novel for read #2 of the new year--and it may end up being the most downright adorable and happy thing I read all year.

Jan 2, 2019, 3:58pm

>15 susanna.fraser: Ok, I'm finally succumbing to the avalanche of raves I've seen for this one and adding it to The List.

Jan 2, 2019, 4:23pm

>15 susanna.fraser: Just read that a couple of weeks ago. So good. Glad you enjoyed it!

Jan 2, 2019, 10:44pm

>16 MickyFine: >17 lycomayflower: It's sweet and optimistic in the best possible ways.

3. Black Flags, Blue Waters by Eric Jay Dolin

A history of the Golden Age of Piracy focusing on the American colonial experience (as opposed to the Caribbean) as both victims and collaborators.

(I won't keep up this pace of reading--I go back to my day job tomorrow, and next week my regular weekly round of Monday Education for Ministry class and Thursday community chorus practice starts up again.)

Jan 3, 2019, 12:02pm

>18 susanna.fraser: Weirdly, I also just finished a book on pirates. 'Tis the season?

Jan 3, 2019, 9:40pm

>18 susanna.fraser: I read (listened to, actually) Eric Jay Dolin's Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America and thought it was quite good, give the rather grim topic. I'm not a huge fan of pirates, but would you recommend Black Flags, Blue Waters?

Jan 4, 2019, 9:21pm

Welcome back!

Jan 5, 2019, 1:37am

>20 Dejah_Thoris: Hmm. It's well-written nonfiction, and it held my interest, but I mostly read it as background research for my current fiction manuscript. I'd say it's worth picking up and trying if you see it in your local library, but probably not one you'd want to, say, buy in hardcover or otherwise go out of your way to acquire.

4. The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

Latest in the always fun, if IMO almost dizzyingly complex, Invisible Library series.

Jan 5, 2019, 10:33pm

>22 susanna.fraser: Thanks for the info. And I keep meaning to get to The Invisible Library series....

Jan 6, 2019, 6:21pm

5. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Another delightful YA graphic novel, this one about the author's memories of being a girl who LONGED to go to sleepaway camp until she actually got there and had to deal with cliques, latrines, and wild animals.

Jan 6, 2019, 6:34pm

>24 susanna.fraser: You got me with this one, too. I LONGED to go to summer camp and adored it when I finally did! I think I was 7 - the summer after 1st grade, anyway. Happily, my library system can oblige.

Jan 6, 2019, 6:41pm

>1 susanna.fraser: Adding your best of 2018 to my list of lists :)

Happy New Year, Susanna!

Jan 6, 2019, 11:15pm

>22 susanna.fraser: I just finished that one as well, Susan, and think it might be her best yet.

Jan 7, 2019, 4:11pm

>22 susanna.fraser: I just started the third book. We're eerie reading twins... ;)

Jan 12, 2019, 10:43pm

>25 Dejah_Thoris: >26 alcottacre: Always happy to provide a few book bullets!

>27 ronincats: >28 MickyFine: Great minds read alike!

6. In the Presence of Mine Enemies by Edward L. Ayers

Civil War history told from primary source documents from the soldiers and civilians of two counties: on in Northern Virginia, the other not at all far away in Southern Pennsylvania. An interesting window of how such a momentous time looked in the moment, with the outcome of course unknown.

Jan 13, 2019, 2:26am

7. Band Sinister by KJ Charles

A fun, trope-filled Regency m/m rom-com (and the January choice for my romance book club).

Edited: Jan 15, 2019, 11:00am

>30 susanna.fraser: Interestingly, that same piece of art was used in the posters for our local theatre's production of a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice several years ago. Fun to see how it can be put to use for different narratives.

Jan 15, 2019, 11:44pm

>31 MickyFine: I've seen it on many a book cover over the years.

8. Wired For Story by Lisa Cron

A writer's how-to focusing heavily on plot and characterization--plot in particular being an area I feel the need to strengthen in my own writing.

Jan 16, 2019, 10:32pm

Dropped my star at the beginning of the year but lost your thread in the first rounds of the year. You are already tempting me with your reads but, unfortunately, my library doesn't have Band Sinister and has a different book instead of the Civil War one.

Jan 17, 2019, 1:08am

>33 Familyhistorian: I hope my next temptations will be easier to find!

9. Dopesick by Beth Macy

A heartbreaking book, though one I felt that I really needed to read to better understand the opioid epidemic, since I'm fortunate enough to have so far not encountered it up close and personal.

Jan 19, 2019, 7:51pm

10. Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole

A lovely, poignant romance novella in Cole's Reluctant Royals series. (One of the heroines is Thabiso's dapper, hyper-efficient assistant from A Princess in Theory.)

Jan 19, 2019, 7:58pm

>29 susanna.fraser: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Susanna!

Jan 23, 2019, 12:48am

11. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond by Sonia Shah

A look at the common patterns in pandemic disease, using cholera as something of a type specimen.

Jan 23, 2019, 1:19am

12. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 9: Squirrels Fall Like Dominoes by Ryan North

Because there's no better palate cleanser after gloomy nonfiction than Squirrel Girl.

Jan 27, 2019, 4:22pm

13. Becoming by Michelle Obama

A fascinating window into the life of someone I find inspiring and encouraging.

Feb 1, 2019, 3:50pm

14. A Bride's Story, Vol. 10 by Kaoru Mori

SUCH gorgeous illustrations. If they sold an adult coloring book version of this series, I'd buy every volume.

Feb 1, 2019, 10:32pm

15. Thanks a Thousand by A.J. Jacobs

Musings on gratitude (and the global supply chain it takes to get you the coffee you buy and the cup you drink it in).

Feb 2, 2019, 1:26am

16. Lafayette! A Revolutionary War Tale by Nathan Hale

Latest in Hale's series of American history middle grade graphic novels. (I figure at some point this year I'll have read more fiction in text-only format than graphic novel, but it's going to take awhile to catch up.)

Feb 2, 2019, 8:54pm

17. Full Court Seduction by Synithia Williams

A fun contemporary romance with an NBA player hero and environmental activist heroine. She used to be his biology tutor in college, and now he needs a good local cause to volunteer for to improve his bad boy image.

Feb 3, 2019, 6:52pm

18. Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

A page-turner of a start to a fantasy series, though the world-building is on the shallow side and it leans heavily on classic tropes.

Feb 7, 2019, 12:56am

19. Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones

Fantasy of manners with a heaping side of f/f romance. A good read, though the pace could've stood to be a bit faster IMHO.

Feb 9, 2019, 4:32pm

20. Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold

A new Bujold release is always something to celebrate, and I thoroughly enjoyed this novella set in the Sharing Knife world. That said, I find myself left sitting a bit uncomfortably with the fact that our protagonist, Barr, is by my standards (and, thankfully, current legal standards) a rapist, insofar as about 15 years before our story opens, he used his Lakewalker powers of persuasion to make a flirtation with a Farmer girl a one-night stand. He was a teenager at the time, and has thoroughly repented of his actions, but there's this little part of me that wanted him to suffer more than he does--although in fairness the story is all about his accepting the lifelong consequences of his actions.

Feb 11, 2019, 1:34am

21. Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian

I've read the Aubrey/Maturin series before, ~15 years ago, but I decided it was high time to revisit it. It's heavy going, with all the naval terminology, along with a more oblique writing style than most of what I read, but still so, so good.

Feb 12, 2019, 3:14pm

22. The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix

A quite moving YA graphic novel biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I knew the basic outlines of his life, including that he'd studied in America in the early 1930's, but I hadn't realized his American influences included the Black church and his travels in the Jim Crow South.

Feb 14, 2019, 1:41am

23. Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines

Second in the delightful Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse saga.

Feb 18, 2019, 11:11pm

24. Darwin Comes to Town by Menno Schilthuizen

On how plants and animals are evolving to better share urban spaces with humans.

Feb 23, 2019, 12:46am

25. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer

A history of Native America from 1890 to the present, with a strong dose of memoir and current reporting/travelogue from the Ojibwe author. It's a bit rambly at times, but I recommend it highly, especially for how it makes modern Indians subjects rather than objects/victims.

Feb 23, 2019, 7:51pm

26. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Creepy, compelling portal fantasy in McGuire's Wayward Children series.

Feb 25, 2019, 5:18pm

27. We Fed an Island by Jose Andres

How Chef Jose Andres ended up running a small organization that served millions of fresh, often hot meals to people all over Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria when the government and large nonprofits like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army were largely ineffective.

Feb 27, 2019, 8:27pm

28. Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug

A memoir in graphic novel format wherein Nora Krug, a naturalized American citizen born and raised in Germany, now living in Brooklyn with her American Jewish husband, looks into her family's WWII past (mostly as bystanders or fairly passive followers of the Nazi regime) and tries to come to terms with it.

Mar 2, 2019, 10:01pm

29. Pandora's Boy by Lindsey Davis

6th in the Flavia Albia mystery series.

Mar 10, 2019, 6:42pm

30. If We Can Keep It by Michael Tomasky

One of the best I've read in the Current Crisis in American Democracy genre.

31. The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon by Philippe R. Girard

A history of the Leclerc Expedition, France's failed attempt to reassert colonial rule in Haiti 1802-04.

Mar 10, 2019, 11:55pm

32. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

I started reading this book after I logged the two above and barely put it down till I'd read the whole 447 pages. This included cooking dinner--I had to use both hands chopping the onion and garlic, but for the most part I had the spatula or wooden spoon in my right hand and the book in my left. It's that good.

(It's the follow-up to The Hate U Give, set in the same neighborhood but with different characters. The heroine is an aspiring rapper who goes viral for all the wrong reasons and then has to deal with the consequences--hampered by her short fuse and determination not to ask for help.)

Mar 14, 2019, 11:28pm

33. High Seas Stowaway by Amanda McCabe

Historical romance with an unusual setting, mostly the Caribbean in the mid-16th century.

Mar 15, 2019, 12:43pm

>58 susanna.fraser: I've had bad luck with pirate romances featuring obnoxious alpha males. How was this one for that?

Mar 16, 2019, 2:14am

>59 MickyFine: The hero isn't particulary obnoxious (and is more merchant/explorer than pirate), but the conflict between the hero and heroine was of the sort that could've been resolved by a good conversation they kept not having despite plenty of opportunity to do so.

34. The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife

It has history and corvids, so this book was squarely in my wheelhouse.

Mar 19, 2019, 8:37pm

35. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

An excellent debut fantasy novel with a setting based on Mughal India.

Mar 21, 2019, 12:28am

Mar 23, 2019, 8:42pm

37. Can't Escape Love by Alyssa Cole

A gem of a novella, and a love letter to geek culture, in Cole's delightful Reluctant Royals series.

38. The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

A moving fantasy set in 1491 Spain (at the fall of the Alhambra) and rather reminiscent of the Tempest by the end.

Apr 3, 2019, 8:58pm

39. One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson

An infuriating, important book. If I could make every Democratic presidential candidate read one book, it'd be this one.

Apr 6, 2019, 12:25am

40. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A YA love story (though not exactly a romance) about a Persian-American girl who takes the risk of becoming involved with a white boy in a bigoted town not long after 9/11.

Edited: Apr 7, 2019, 11:07pm

41. Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert

A sexy and hilariously self-aware paranormal romance novella.

Apr 11, 2019, 1:21am

42. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

A fascinating book that amounts to a biography of the Los Angeles Central Library, focusing extensively but not exclusively on a fire that did tremendous damage to the building's collections in 1986.

Apr 11, 2019, 11:42am

>67 susanna.fraser: I've heard mixed opinions about the rambling nature of the narrative in that one. How did you find it?

Apr 11, 2019, 10:55pm

>68 MickyFine: I was fine with it, because I found all the narrative threads interesting. If I'd been bored with the early history or the current events and just wanted to know more about the fire, I probably would've found it disappointing.

43. Ms. Marvel Vol. 10: Time and Again by G. Willow Wilson

A fitting conclusion to Wilson's run with this character--wrapped up a lot of loose threads and left Kamala and her friends in a good place, but with plenty of room for future adventures.

Apr 13, 2019, 5:06pm

44. Swordheart by T Kingfisher

A hilarious charmer of a fantasy romance.

Apr 14, 2019, 5:28pm


45. Faithful Neighbors: Christian-Muslim Vision & Practice ed. by Robert S. Heaney, Zeyneb Sayligan, and Claire Haymes.

A textbook for my Episcopalian Education for Ministry classes, and IMHO a painfully dry and vague treatment of an important topic.

Apr 18, 2019, 10:25pm

46. Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages by Gaston Dorren

Essays on the world's 20 most frequently spoken languages.

Apr 19, 2019, 9:02am

>72 susanna.fraser: That one is on my to be read list. We got it for the library's leased book collection. How was it?

Apr 22, 2019, 12:22am

>72 susanna.fraser: Pretty good. Enjoyable, though not mind-blowing.

Apr 22, 2019, 12:29am

47. Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan

Historical romance novella wherein two elderly Victorian ladies find true love and strike a blow against the patriarchy.

Apr 26, 2019, 12:45am

48. Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh

Sexy historical romance with a rakish, battle-haunted hero and a sympathetic smuggler heroine.

Apr 27, 2019, 12:32am

49. The Ultimate Pi Day Party by Jackie Lau

A delightful contemporary romance, and one where I especially liked that the heroine, who was raised in a small town, got to keep her big city life instead of having to go back to her hometown to find love and happiness.

Edited: Apr 27, 2019, 9:15pm

50. A Sin By Any Other Name by Robert W. Lee

A brief spiritual memoir by a young pastor on the legacy of his famous name (he's a great-great-great-great-grandnephew of Robert E. Lee) and how he's reckoned with his white Southern heritage on the way to becoming an outspoken anti-racism activist.

Edited: May 2, 2019, 8:23pm

51. Ship It by Britta Lundin

A YA novel featuring a teen fanfic writer who accidentally tangles with an actor on one of her favorite shows who's unfortunately pretty clueless about fandom until he goes to his first Comic-Con.

May 4, 2019, 5:26pm

52. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

A fitting conclusion to the delightful Reluctant Royals series.

May 8, 2019, 11:54pm

53. The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Historical fantasy set around the Inuit-Norse encounters in the North Atlantic and modern Canada circa 1000 AD. Richly researched and compelling, though I have to include a content warning that it contains sexual violence.

May 9, 2019, 6:42am

>81 susanna.fraser: Oh I've heard good things about that one - added to the list.

May 9, 2019, 10:45pm

>82 souloftherose: Always happy to provide a book bullet...

54. All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Fast-paced science fiction novella introducing a sentient, self-aware android designed to be a rather ruthless security guard who's in the process of becoming something more.

Edited: May 13, 2019, 9:13pm

55. Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man by Lynn Vincent & Sara Vladic

An account of the last, fatal voyage of the USS Indianapolis, sunk by torpedo in the waning days of WWII, and how the Navy sought to pin all the blame on her captain to hide negligence and carelessness at higher levels.

May 13, 2019, 9:12pm

56. The Seduction Challenge by Sarah Morgan

A quick, trope-driven medical romance to meet this month's TIOLI challenge to read a book about a nurse or nursing.

May 18, 2019, 2:45pm

57. Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future by Pete Buttigieg

Political coming-of-age memoir by the Democratic rising star. I still think he's too young and inexperienced to be POTUS (though he's infinitely smarter, kinder, and better qualified than the current occupant), but he's the vice presidential half of my current dream 2020 ticket. Eight years as VPOTUS in an Elizabeth Warren administration would set him up nicely for 2028 IMHO.

May 18, 2019, 5:21pm

58. Unexpected by Sarah Morgan

A fun, sexy contemporary romance romp...and since it's that time of year again, my first read for this year's Seattle Public Library Summer Book Bingo challenge, in the One-Word Title category.

Edited: May 22, 2019, 11:50pm

59. Fatal Pursuit by Martin Walker

A Bruno, Chief of Police mystery, which means a little bit of murder investigation and a whole lot of Southwest France food porn and village life.

Book Bingo category: Fiction

May 22, 2019, 11:57pm

60. The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang

A fascinating, twisting fantasy novella whose worldbuilding includes an interesting take on gender identity.

Book Bingo category: By an Author of Color

May 27, 2019, 3:56pm

61. Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History by Andrew Carroll

An interesting, anecdotal travelogue/set of histories that will have you regaling any listener in site with "Did you know that...?"

Jun 1, 2019, 7:57pm

62. Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer

A delightfully snarky style guide by the copy chief of Random House.

Jun 6, 2019, 11:28am

63. My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

Food memoir, and something of a coming-of-age story about how the Berlin-born daughter of an American father and an Italian mother figures out what home means for her.

Jun 7, 2019, 1:15am

64. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker by Damon Young

More memoir, this one hilarious, intimate, and insightful.

Edited: Jun 13, 2019, 11:52pm

65. Agnes Moor's Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole

A very short historical romance--more a short story or novelette than novella, in my opinion--featuring a black woman in late medieval Scotland and the Highland laird who falls for her. I wouldn't suggest this as a first book for someone who's never read Cole--it's really TOO short, and doesn't have the same emotional resonance as her recent contemporary Reluctant Royals or historicals set among black spies in the Civil War--but it was definitely an agreeable way to pass a lunch hour.

Book Bingo Category: Author was under 35 at time of publication

Jun 9, 2019, 8:13pm

66. Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Bolz-Weber

A progressive Christian view of sexuality and gender through a lens of grace and joy rather than shame and suppression.

Jun 13, 2019, 11:57pm

67. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

Such a gripping, fascinating, altogether different fantasy novel.

Book Bingo category: Couldn't Put It Down

Jun 15, 2019, 1:25pm

68. Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

A quick read, more inspiration than specific advice, to encourage me in my ongoing efforts to declutter my home.

Edited: Jun 16, 2019, 8:07pm

69. Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor

A book on finding truth and beauty in other faiths while remaining true to one's own beliefs, and one that makes better sense of the expansive vision of God that's always felt true to me--because getting right with God can't be a matter of solving for X in a sort of theological algebra--than anything else I've read to date.

Book Bingo category: Recommended by an Elder

Jun 16, 2019, 8:07pm

70. Fearless and Fantastic! Female Super Heroes Save the World

Kids'-book guide to Marvel's woman and girl superheroes, picked up on a whim from my local library branch to get ideas for more comics I might like now that I've come to them relatively late in life.

Book Bingo category: Comics

Jun 23, 2019, 12:56pm

71. The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack by Ian Tattersall

More a history of paleoanthropology as a discipline than the book on human evolution I thought I was getting, but still pretty interesting.

Book Bingo category: Subject You Wish You'd Studied in School

Jun 24, 2019, 10:46pm

72. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman's voice and style are so distinctive I don't want to read his work all the time, but as an occasional treat it's so gorgeous and evocative.

Book Bingo category: Made Into a Movie

Jun 25, 2019, 3:40pm

>101 susanna.fraser: One of the rare cases where I prefer the film to the book.

Jun 29, 2019, 3:48pm

>102 MickyFine: I'll have to see if it's available on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

73. The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

A lovely f/f historical romance that's also a love letter to women fighting for recognition as scientists and artists.

Jul 1, 2019, 7:28pm

74. The Case for Socialism by Alan Maass

This was my choice for the Summer Book Bingo category "Challenges Your World View," and it did...but I'm not convinced. I agree with Maass about the flaws and injustices of capitalism, I just don't believe socialism would work on the scale needed for a large nation like the US. (Now, a more humane form of capitalism with a robust social safety--that, I'm all for.)

Jul 4, 2019, 1:12pm

75. Shrill by Lindy West

Feminist memoir, equal parts hilarious and insightful.

Book Bingo category: By a Seattle Arts & Lectures speaker

Jul 4, 2019, 3:40pm

Congratulations on reaching 75, Susanna!

Jul 4, 2019, 5:46pm

Felicitations on reaching the magic number!

I got to see Lindy West speak when she was a keynote speaker at a conference I went to a few years ago and she was great.

Jul 4, 2019, 8:36pm

>106 FAMeulstee: I wasn't even paying attention to the number till you pointed it out! Thanks!

>107 MickyFine: I can imagine--the book was certainly inspiring.

76. I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura

Wow, I wasn't expecting this graphic novel to be quite this much of a gut punch. I came close to crying, which almost never happens with me.

Jul 5, 2019, 12:53pm


Jul 6, 2019, 12:57pm

77. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land

A memoir of a young woman surviving homelessness and poverty as a single mother and ultimately fighting her way back to a stable life.

Book Bingo category: set in the Northwest

Jul 9, 2019, 9:36pm

78. Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum

A YA-level history of the Stonewall riots and their impact on the decades of gay rights activism that followed, picked up partly because it's part of what I call my mid-20th century knowledge gap--basically, if it happened between the end of WWII and when I was old enough to understand the news pretty well myself circa 1980, I don't know much about it, since it wasn't taught much in school but was too recent to trigger the kind of historical interest I naturally felt for anything up to, say, the American Civil War.

Jul 18, 2019, 11:43pm

79. The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold

A new novella in the Penric & Desdemona series, which of course I dropped everything--including the other book I'm currently in the middle of--to read upon discovering it had just been released. I don't think it's going to become an all-time favorite, but Bujold is Bujold, and I'm likely to discover hidden depths upon an eventual re-read, as is my wont with her books.

Edited: Jul 26, 2019, 12:33am

80. These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore

A useful and thought-provoking single-volume history of the United States from 1492 up to the present. I found myself arguing with her a bit once I got to the last chapter or two where I actually lived through the history in question as an adult (think, "That's not how *I* remember it," or, "Dammit, my side is the GOOD guys; stop with the false equivalencies"...so YMMV). That said, I found extremely useful to look at the big sweep of American history. It's easy to forget, studying individual crises and triumphs, that the Space Race and the Civil Rights Movement were at the exact same time, or that people who were major players in the 50's and 60's mentored some of the people still in power now, etc.

Book Bingo category: BIG book

Jul 26, 2019, 12:33am

81. Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli

A short book (but a long essay) mostly about the author's experiences volunteering as an interpreter for undocumented children from Central America. Such a bleak topic, but Luiselli writes so lyrically that if I had to describe the book in one word, I'd use poignant.

Book Bingo category: by an author from Mexico or Canada

Jul 28, 2019, 1:52am

82. The Bird of the River by Kage Baker

A truly lovely coming-of-age road trip fantasy novel with elements of mystery and romance.

Book Bingo category: recommended by a librarian or independent bookseller

Jul 31, 2019, 12:04am

83. Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons by Gary Wiviott

I've at last concluded that the only way to get good BBQ in Seattle is to make it myself, and this book is the start of my research to determine if I'm really up for the commitment involved.

Book Bingo category: DIY

Aug 2, 2019, 12:32am

84. The House of Owls by Tony Angell

A rather personalized, impressionistic overview of the owls of North America.

Book Bingo category: science

Aug 3, 2019, 7:18pm

85. The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui Sutherland

First in a middle grade fantasy series, full of heroic tropes. My kid LOVED these back in elementary school.

Book Bingo category: recommended by a young person

Aug 4, 2019, 6:02pm

86. Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

Fantasy novella following on a paranormal romance trilogy I haven't read...though since I enjoyed the novella, that may change.

Aug 5, 2019, 12:04am

87. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1: BFF by Amy Reeder

Wherein I continue my exploration of the quirkier corners of the Marvel Universe. It's no Squirrel Girl or Ms Marvel, but this is still a fun read.

Aug 6, 2019, 12:09am

88. The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez

A kid's book that follows the standard trope of child forced to move against her will struggling to fit in at her new school, but so delightfully fresh and compelling in the writing and characterization.

Book Bingo Category: about music or musicians

Aug 9, 2019, 11:45pm

Catching up to wish you a great weekend.

Aug 10, 2019, 12:34am

>122 PaulCranswick: Thanks!

89. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Always a joy to revisit the delightful Benedick and Beatrice.

Book Bingo Category: poetry or play

Aug 11, 2019, 1:33pm

90. The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 1: Unstoppable! by Jeremy Whitley

Now, this hits the Squirrel Girl sweet spot of zany absurdity combined with heart and earnestness.

Aug 15, 2019, 11:20pm

91. Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson

Not so much a history of Polynesia as a history of how people have thought about the history of Polynesia. Fascinating and well-written for all that.

Aug 17, 2019, 6:31pm

92. Appetites & Vices by Felicia Grossman

A historical romance with an unusual setting (1840's Wilmington and Philadelphia) and writing style (so deep in the characters' POV that it took my awhile to feel connected to the setting and narrative thread) that I'm glad I stuck with past the first few chapters because it turns out so lovely in the end.

Book bingo category: set in summer

Aug 20, 2019, 10:47pm

93. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Finally getting to a series multiple people have recommended to me.

Aug 20, 2019, 11:00pm

Aug 24, 2019, 12:55am

94. Mean Little Deaf Queer by Terry Galloway

A bracing, acerbic, and often hilarious memoir by a woman who gradually lost her hearing in elementary school.

Book bingo category: book about disability

Aug 25, 2019, 11:36pm

95. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 2: Cosmic Cooties By Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare

More delightful Marvel silliness.

Aug 26, 2019, 2:38pm

96. Hell's Princess by Harold Schechter

An account of early 20th century serial killer Belle Gunness and the aftermath of her death in a housefire along with her three foster children. (I'm convinced it was murder-suicide, but the author doesn't officially make that conclusion.) There's a reason this is the last square I filled in this year's book bingo challenge--I'm not actually that crazy about true crime or crime fiction (which interpreted as being fiction with criminal protagonists, like heist stories, rather than mysteries). With this one, I could see the macabre fascination of the crimes, but I didn't care much about the LONG section on the trial of Gunness's former handyman who was accused of being her accomplice and eventual killer, since I'd already decided he wasn't guilty.

But, hey, at least my bingo card is completed!

Aug 27, 2019, 12:59pm

97. The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 2: Agents of G.I.R.L. by Jeremy Whitley

It makes me so sad this series didn't become a long-running hit like Ms. Marvel or Squirrel Girl, since it's every bit as good.

Aug 27, 2019, 11:14pm

98. Minor Mage by T Kingfisher

A lovely fantasy novella about a 12-year-old mage (and his armadillo familiar) sent into danger to bring rain back to his drought-stricken home village.

Aug 29, 2019, 12:37pm

99. The Dark Fantastic by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

An academic yet highly readable look at how black characters are portrayed in fantasy through the lens of black girl characters in popular children's and YA series (e.g. Rue in The Hunger Games, Bonnie in The Vampire Diaries).

Sep 2, 2019, 4:01pm

100. Rogue Desire by multiple authors

An anthology of romances set in the context of political resistance. They vary in quality, heat level, and style, but overall an enjoyable read.

Sep 3, 2019, 8:00pm

101. Every Tool's a Hammer by Adam Savage

Memoir/guide for makers that I found incredibly helpful and encouraging despite the fact that my kind of making (i.e. mostly writing, but also singing and cooking) involves an entirely different set of tools and processes than Savage's cosplay, set design, and MythBuster builds.

Sep 4, 2019, 12:42pm

102. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G & J.R. Zuckerberg

A nice guide with useful information for friends, allies, and relatives of people with LGBTQ identities, even if the art style was way too cutesy for my tastes.

Sep 6, 2019, 12:00am

103. Ice Cream Lover (Baldwin Village Book 2) by Jackie Lau

This Toronto-set rom-com made me SO HAPPY.

Sep 8, 2019, 12:54am

104. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Another happy-making quick read, albeit of an entirely different kind.

Sep 10, 2019, 8:36pm

105. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

Digging into another new-to-me series.

Sep 14, 2019, 12:20am

106. Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder

A delightful, moving, and occasionally hilarious romance novella that packs a lot of story into such a quick read.

Sep 14, 2019, 11:58pm

107. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

Wherein I continue to plow through the Murderbot Diaries.

Sep 17, 2019, 12:27am

108. Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

Because it's 2019 and I need a few comfort rereads in my life.

Sep 22, 2019, 12:21am

109. Proper English by KJ Charles

Wherein two women find each other at what has to be the most miserable Edwardian house party ever. (The BOOK, to be clear, is delightful. It's such a well-described miserable house party.)

Sep 22, 2019, 7:52pm

110. Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Wherein the Murderbot Diaries come to a satisfying conclusion (though I'm glad there will be a Murderbot novel and hope it will be an ongoing series).

Sep 28, 2019, 2:05am

111. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 11: Call Your Squirrelfriends by Ryan North

Squirrel Girl. 'Nuff said.

Sep 29, 2019, 9:26pm

112. Transitions of the Heart ed. by Rachel Pepper

A series of essays by mothers of transgender children and their various journeys to understanding and acceptance.

Sep 29, 2019, 9:40pm

>140 susanna.fraser: Oh, a good one! Enjoy!

Sep 30, 2019, 6:17am

Good reading in the last month, Susanna but I haven't heard of a single one of your reads!

Oct 1, 2019, 6:45pm

>148 ronincats: I'm really liking Kage Baker's work so far and am sad she died so young.

>149 PaulCranswick: Well, I try to stray off the beaten path as often as not. :-)

113. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe

Goofy yet scientifically dense, brought to you by the creator of xkcd.

Oct 2, 2019, 5:31pm

114. Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

A fast-paced romp of a space opera debut, with lots of adventure, romance, and cats! in! space!

Oct 4, 2019, 12:59am

115. A Prudent Match by Laura Matthews

An old-school Regency romance originally published in 2000, so a pleasantly retro read for me. (Regency romances used to be the only romances I read and a good quarter of my reading total.)

Oct 9, 2019, 11:31pm

116. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

A fun and moving contemporary romance about healing and new beginnings.

Oct 17, 2019, 12:32am

117. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

One of my favorite books read this year, and one I read slowly rather than at my usual breakneck pace because I felt the need to mull over and digest each essay on how to live in a relationship of gratitude and mutuality with the earth.

Oct 24, 2019, 11:19pm

118. Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands by Dan Jones

An interesting, accessible account of an area of history I didn't know much about going in.

Oct 27, 2019, 12:43am


119. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

At last, a quick read! (This is shaping up to be my first single-digit reading month in ages, with the combination of my last two books being fairly long reads and my being super busy.)

Anyway, this is a fun book, second in Rowell's trilogy about what happens to the Chosen One after the great quest is over.

Oct 31, 2019, 12:17am

120. Medallion Status by John Hodgman

A wryly funny and insightful memoir, recommended especially for fans of the Judge John Hodgman podcast.

Oct 31, 2019, 11:47pm

121. Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed Vol. 1: Destined by Saladin Ahmed

Wherein I continue to make up for lost time in that I never read comic books in the first 40 years of my life...

Nov 3, 2019, 4:32pm

122. Recursion by Blake Crouch

A twisty, ultimately creepy sci fi time travel thriller

Nov 9, 2019, 12:57am

123. Sky Coyote by Kage Baker

Second of the Novels of the Company, my latest series read.

Nov 10, 2019, 7:23pm

124. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Lovely contemporary romance, full of humor, heart, and healing.

Nov 11, 2019, 2:30pm

125. Underground in Berlin by Marie Jalowicz Simon

Harrowing story of a young Jewish woman who survived WWII in Berlin by living a semi-hidden life under an assumed identity. Made me reflect a lot on small things making a difference--she survived in part because multiple ordinary, not especially brave Berliners made the choice to keep their mouths shut and to offer small kindnesses, temporary shelter, etc.

Nov 19, 2019, 12:23am

126. Searching for Black Confederates by Kevin M. Levin

An analysis and debunking of a persistent historical myth.

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 12:37am

127. A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau

Another winner of a romance novella from a new favorite author.

Nov 22, 2019, 11:15pm

128. Marvel Rising: Heroes of the Round Table by Nilah Magruder

A fun, quick adventure featuring a team of young Marvel superheroes.

Nov 23, 2019, 8:05pm

129. The Raven and the Reindeer by T Kingfisher

A lovely twist on the Snow Queen fairy tale.

Nov 30, 2019, 12:57pm

All the books read on our Thanksgiving trip to Oklahoma. Let me know if you're interested in more details on any of them.

130. Three Stupid Weddings by Ann Gallagher
131. Listening Hearts by Suzanne Farnham et al.
132. Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard
133. Trans Allyship Workbook by Davey Shlasko
134. Man vs. Durian by Jackie Lau
135. The Color of Life by Cara Meredith
136. In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

Dec 1, 2019, 9:30pm

137. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Poignant graphic memoir on Takei's childhood in Japanese-American internment campus during WWII, and the impact they had on his adult life as an actor and activist.

Dec 3, 2019, 9:24pm

138. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

A lovely, rather melancholy novella of space exploration, which I enjoyed, but not as much as I do Chambers' Wayfarers series.

Dec 6, 2019, 7:38pm

139. Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

A big, rollicking fantasy novel that satisfied both my old-school desire for a story of Important People doing Important Things and (mostly) good triumphing over (mostly) evil and my new-school enjoyment of settings not rooted in medieval European culture or gender politics.

Dec 8, 2019, 4:21pm

140. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This First Son/British prince romance is the escapist alternate reality liberals want. Such fun.

Dec 11, 2019, 12:22am

141. A Very Scalzi Christmas by John Scalzi

A quick, light collection of holiday humor and short stories.

Dec 14, 2019, 5:46pm

142. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Just an amazingly gripping book.

Dec 14, 2019, 11:09pm

143. A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas by Jackie Lau

Sequel to A Match Made for Thanksgiving, and another fun, trope-filled romance novella.

Dec 17, 2019, 9:25pm

144. Here All Along by Sarah Hurwitz

A memoir/guide on (re)connecting to Judaism as an adult that I found thought-provoking and inspiring for my own spiritual journey as a Christian.

Dec 22, 2019, 2:34pm

145. Bryony and Roses by T Kingfisher

Beauty and the Beast retelling with a twist.

Dec 24, 2019, 11:10pm

146. Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz

Wherein the author retraces Frederick Law Olmsted's second journey through the south in the 1850's. Interesting, if rather Texas-heavy. (Nothing wrong with Texas, it's just sorta OF the South but not IN the South, y'know?) I was sad to discover that the author died of a heart attack shortly after this book came out--he was a good writer and I've enjoyed everything of his that I've read.

Dec 25, 2019, 4:00pm

147. A Bride's Story Vol. 11 by Kaoru Mori

Latest entry in this beautifully drawn manga series.

Dec 25, 2019, 6:30pm

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, some other tradition or none at all, this is what I wish for you!

Dec 25, 2019, 9:50pm

Thank you for keeping me company in 2019.......onward to 2020.

Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 9:57pm

148. The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Moody, evocative novella about a mermaid society descended from pregnant enslaved women thrown overboard during the Middle Passage

149. My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris

And just about the opposite kind of book--an agreeably goofy choose-your-own-adventure romance.

Dec 29, 2019, 4:52am

>147 susanna.fraser: The Deep sounds really interesting. I'm currently listening to the audio of An Unkindness of Ghosts by the same author and really enjoying it.

Dec 30, 2019, 10:10pm

>182 souloftherose: It's not the kind of thing I'd want to read all the time, but I'm glad I read it.

150. The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians by Peter Heather

And I close out 2019 with a meaty history that's been on my TBR list for a long time. Heather focuses on the role of barbarian migrations in destabilizing the western half of the Roman Empire, but stresses that nothing was all that simple.

Dec 31, 2019, 1:01pm

Looks like a good one! Onto the wishlist it goes...

Dec 31, 2019, 2:45pm

>183 susanna.fraser: You got me with that one too. All the best for 2020!