renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Winter releases this time around felt a little subdued. I don't know if that's because of politics or whether it's saying something about the books coming out. In February there were some hyped releases, like The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley (which I had to tap out of) and A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (I still need to read the second book), but otherwise I didn't feel the same energetic push for other titles that I'm used to. Of course, I'm behind on the brand spanking new because what is time management (I don't know, even having read a time management self-help book).

February Books


Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana — If you like self-reflective contemporary YA and reading about dysfunctional friendships, this book will be your jam. The SF conceit is barely there and can largely be disregarded except as something for characters to react to. I suppose the lesson is to be yourself even to yourself because you only get one life. Also, don't be a terrible, self-involved friend because it cheats both you and your friends out of solid, supportive relationships.

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor — It's Binti's homecoming, after the previous novella's trek into space. This is very much a middle novel, which resolves a few things but raises more questions than it answers in order to set up the last entry in this series. It was everything I wanted out of a sequel to Binti: complicated but comforting friendship, Binti struggling to piece herself and who she is together, some neat SFnal concepts, mixed with a narrative that feelings incredibly organic and rich. The world here expands quite a bit, too, and Binti's past is the focus as she decides how she'll tackle her future.

Get Your Sh*t Together Sarah Knight — I found lots to love in the first volume of this self-help series, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, which was geared at not caring about things you didn't want to expend the energy to care about. This is helpful for me, specifically because I often will align myself with topics because I feel like I "should" care about them without actually caring about them much at all so I can blend in and go unnoticed. It's a symptom of my anxiety which is endlessly unhelpful and a waste of my time. Don't recommend! The follow up is a time management guide, and I wish time management guides worked on me, because I am T E R R I B L E at managing my time and knowing how long specific tasks will take me. I'm a perfectionist and tweak everything 90000 times before finalizing...sorry, every editor I've ever had. If you're looking for a time management guide, this was irreverent and fun and as a bonus has a lot of swears. But it's definitely geared at "white women leaves corporate job in expensive city/island getaway to be self-employed". She's pretty open about it, though.

The Tetris Effect by Dan Ackerman — This surprised me (I thought it would be drier reading) by being a really fascinating look at the origins of Tetris and how it came from Russia to the U.S. to Japan and then the whole world via the Game Boy. There's a lot of history here, not just about the game, but also about U.S./Russian politics, a light history of how computers came to dominate the market, and the lives of the men who created and sold Tetris. My main complaint is that Ackerman devolves into blatant hagiography in the sections of the book where he has to recount meetings between the men involved in these deals, and gums up the narrative by wanting to have a clear protagonist and antagonist. He succeeds for the most part, but I found a lot of the interpersonal interactions he describes overwrought. Pretty great overview if you're interested in Tetris and its cultural impact, though.

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds — I wrote about this. Upon further reflection I still liked it, but I could have done without the whole middle section. And I'm still convinced it needs a companion book.

Viscera by Gabriel Squailia — I almost reviewed this, but in the end couldn't drum up enough words. I loved the writing, but the plot and the world building didn't work for me at all. It's gore, body horror, and Organs Organs Organs. The title is not joking. Reading this book meant I had to stop reading The Stars Are Legion because I was just done with organic stuff for a little while, and I don't know, but suspect, that Hurley's book may be even worse than this one. The combo of Squailia's descriptions of viscera and dismemberment and not really caring about the outcome of the characters made this a very hog slog. On plus side, you may indeed like this if you like Hurley's books, or if you want a trans narrative that has a dark start but a hopeful ending.

Zodiac Starforce: By The Power of Astra by Kevin Panetta & Paulina Ganucheau — This comic takes the magical girl trope and spins it forward into a future where the evil has been defeated and the team has split apart, except now evil has returned and set its sights on the leader, Emma. I love magical girl stories, and this one was fun and charming. The art was gorgeous; I compared it to a cartoon because the line art and coloring are so lively and bright. Also, head's up, fans of lady romance: you will find some within these pages and it's adorable and involves ~the power of love~ trope as a bonus.

One Piece, Volume 1 - 9 — Eiichiro Oda — I'm doing a readalong of One Piece at B&N for the 20th anniversary of the manga. It's been amazing to get to go back and reread the first volumes again after a few years; plus I get to dig into them and offer commentary and point out all the neat stuff I missed on my first few read-throughs. I love One Piece. (Plz come squeal with me in the comments.)

Date: 2017-03-22 03:55 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Sounds as though maybe your review of Viscera could be the Eight Deadly Words: "I don't care what happens to these people."

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