What susanna.fraser reads in 2019
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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
1st quarter book log:
1. Your Black Friend and Other Strangers
2. Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey
3. Black Flags, Blue Waters
4. The Mortal Word
5. Be Prepared
6. In the Presence of Mine Enemies
7. Band Sinister
8. Wired For Story
10. Once Ghosted, Twice Shy
11. Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond
12. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 9: Squirrels Fall Like Dominoes
1. A Bride's Story, Vol. 10
2. Thanks a Thousand
3. Lafayette! A Revolutionary War Tale
4. Full Court Seduction
5. Kill the Queen
6. Daughter of Mystery
7. Knife Children
8. Master and Commander
9. The Faithful Spy
10. Terminal Uprising
11. Darwin Comes to Town
12. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
13. Down Among the Sticks and Bones
14. We Fed an Island
15. Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home
1. Pandora's Boy
2. If We Can Keep It
3. The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon
4. On the Come Up
5. High Seas Stowaway
6. The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London
7. Empire of Sand
8. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 10: Life is Too Short, Squirrel
9. Can't Escape Love
10. The Bird King
2nd quarter log:
1. One Person, No Vote
2. A Very Large Expanse of Sea
3. Mating the Huntress
4. The Library Book
5. Ms. Marvel Vol. 10: Time and Again
7. Faithful Neighbors: Christian-Muslim Vision & Practice
8. Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages
9. Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure
10. Counting on a Countess
11. The Ultimate Pi Day Party
12. A Sin By Any Other Name
1. Ship It
2. A Prince on Paper
3. The Wolf in the Whale
4. All Systems Red
5. Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man
6. The Seduction Challenge
7. Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future
9. Fatal Pursuit
10. The Black Tides of Heaven
11. Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History
1. Dreyer's English
2. My Berlin Kitchen
3. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker
4. Agnes Moor's Wild Knight
5. Shameless: A Sexual Reformation
6. The Raven Tower
7. Outer Order, Inner Calm
8. Holy Envy
9. Fearless and Fantastic! Female Super Heroes Save the World
10. The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack
12. The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics
3rd quarter log:
1. The Case for Socialism
3. I Kill Giants
4. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
5. Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
6. The Orphans of Raspay
7. These Truths: A History of the United States
8. Tell Me How It Ends
9. The Bird of the River
10. Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons
1. The House of Owls
2. The Dragonet Prophecy
3. Diamond Fire
4. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1: BFF
5. The First Rule of Punk
6. Much Ado About Nothing
7. The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 1: Unstoppable!
8. Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia
9. Appetites & Vices
10. The Thief
11. Mean Little Deaf Queer
12. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 2: Cosmic Cooties
13. Hell's Princess
14. The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 2: Agents of G.I.R.L.
15. Minor Mage
16. The Dark Fantastic
1. Rogue Desire
2. Every Tool's a Hammer
3. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities
4. Ice Cream Lover (Baldwin Village Book 2)
5. Artificial Condition
6. In the Garden of Iden
7. Tikka Chance on Me
8. Rogue Protocol
9. Rose in Bloom
10. Proper English
11. Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries
12. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 11: Call Your Squirrelfriends
13. Transitions of the Heart
4th quarter log:
1. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
2. Chilling Effect
3. A Prudent Match
4. Evvie Drake Starts Over
5. Braiding Sweetgrass
6. Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands
7. Wayward Son
8. Medallion Status
9. Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed Vol. 1: Destined
2. Sky Coyote
3. The Right Swipe
4. Underground in Berlin
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
9. The Wolf in the Whale
10. The Black Tides of Heaven
11. The Raven Tower
13. The Orphans of Raspay
14. The Bird of the River
15. Diamond Fire
16. The Thief
17. Minor Mage
18. Wayward Son
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
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
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
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
8. Sky Coyote
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
Nonfiction by genre:
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
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
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
1. The Faithful Spy
2. Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home
3. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities
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
1. Dreyer's English
2. The Dark Fantastic
1. Faithful Neighbors: Christian-Muslim Vision & Practice
2. Shameless: A Sexual Reformation
3. Holy Envy
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
Wishing you and yours a happy and joyous 2019, filled with peace, love, and great books.
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.
Dropping off my star, Susan!
A lot of us seem to have Spinning Silver in our Best of 2018 lists!
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.
>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.
>15 susanna.fraser: Just read that a couple of weeks ago. So good. Glad you enjoyed it!
>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.)
>18 susanna.fraser: Weirdly, I also just finished a book on pirates. 'Tis the season?
>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.
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.
>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.
>1 susanna.fraser: Adding your best of 2018 to my list of lists :)
Happy New Year, Susanna!
>22 susanna.fraser: I just finished that one as well, Susan, and think it might be her best yet.
>22 susanna.fraser: I just started the third book. We're eerie reading twins... ;)
>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.
7. Band Sinister by KJ Charles
A fun, trope-filled Regency m/m rom-com (and the January choice for my romance book club).
>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.
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.
>29 susanna.fraser: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Susanna!
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.
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.
13. Becoming by Michelle Obama
A fascinating window into the life of someone I find inspiring and encouraging.
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.
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).
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
23. Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines
Second in the delightful Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse saga.
24. Darwin Comes to Town by Menno Schilthuizen
On how plants and animals are evolving to better share urban spaces with humans.
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.
26. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Creepy, compelling portal fantasy in McGuire's Wayward Children series.
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.
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.
29. Pandora's Boy by Lindsey Davis
6th in the Flavia Albia mystery series.
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.)
33. High Seas Stowaway by Amanda McCabe
Historical romance with an unusual setting, mostly the Caribbean in the mid-16th century.
>58 susanna.fraser: I've had bad luck with pirate romances featuring obnoxious alpha males. How was this one for that?
>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.
35. Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
An excellent debut fantasy novel with a setting based on Mughal India.
36. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 10: Life is Too Short, Squirrel by Ryan North
Delightful as always.
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.
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.
41. Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert
A sexy and hilariously self-aware paranormal romance novella.
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.
>67 susanna.fraser: I've heard mixed opinions about the rambling nature of the narrative in that one. How did you find it?
>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.
44. Swordheart by T Kingfisher
A hilarious charmer of a fantasy romance.
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.
46. Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages by Gaston Dorren
Essays on the world's 20 most frequently spoken languages.
>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?
>72 susanna.fraser: Pretty good. Enjoyable, though not mind-blowing.
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.
48. Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh
Sexy historical romance with a rakish, battle-haunted hero and a sympathetic smuggler heroine.
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.
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.
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.
52. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole
A fitting conclusion to the delightful Reluctant Royals series.
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.
>81 susanna.fraser: Oh I've heard good things about that one - added to the list.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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...?"
62. Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer
A delightfully snarky style guide by the copy chief of Random House.
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.
64. What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker by Damon Young
More memoir, this one hilarious, intimate, and insightful.
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
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.
67. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
Such a gripping, fascinating, altogether different fantasy novel.
Book Bingo category: Couldn't Put It Down
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.
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
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
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
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
>101 susanna.fraser: One of the rare cases where I prefer the film to the book.
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.)
75. Shrill by Lindy West
Feminist memoir, equal parts hilarious and insightful.
Book Bingo category: By a Seattle Arts & Lectures speaker
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.
>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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
84. The House of Owls by Tony Angell
A rather personalized, impressionistic overview of the owls of North America.
Book Bingo category: science
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
93. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Finally getting to a series multiple people have recommended to me.
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
95. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 2: Cosmic Cooties By Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare
More delightful Marvel silliness.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
103. Ice Cream Lover (Baldwin Village Book 2) by Jackie Lau
This Toronto-set rom-com made me SO HAPPY.
104. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Another happy-making quick read, albeit of an entirely different kind.
105. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
Digging into another new-to-me series.
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.
107. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
Wherein I continue to plow through the Murderbot Diaries.
108. Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
Because it's 2019 and I need a few comfort rereads in my life.
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.)
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).
111. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 11: Call Your Squirrelfriends by Ryan North
Squirrel Girl. 'Nuff said.
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.
Good reading in the last month, Susanna but I haven't heard of a single one of your reads!
>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.
114. Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
A fast-paced romp of a space opera debut, with lots of adventure, romance, and cats! in! space!
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.)
116. Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
A fun and moving contemporary romance about healing and new beginnings.
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.
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.
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.
120. Medallion Status by John Hodgman
A wryly funny and insightful memoir, recommended especially for fans of the Judge John Hodgman podcast.
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...
122. Recursion by Blake Crouch
A twisty, ultimately creepy sci fi time travel thriller
123. Sky Coyote by Kage Baker
Second of the Novels of the Company, my latest series read.
124. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
Lovely contemporary romance, full of humor, heart, and healing.
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.
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