renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I'm starting to discover I may have gotten a little over-excited when making my reading challenge this year given all the other projects I have in the fire.

No, saying "in the fire" alone is not a good metaphor because that suggests a controlled fire, in a nice circle of rocks that you could roast marshmallows in. In fact, I do not have a fire like that. The number of projects I have right now is like a continental forest fire which you can see with the naked eye from space.

Well, if I have nothing else, at least I have ambition.

CHALLENGE: 100 Unique Women Writers

Week 7: now I am reading Downbelow Station and Radiant at the same time, so it's safe to say I'm behind. BUT I'M GONNA MAKE A COMEBACK.

As if the universe recognized my need for a break, for Week 8, the next title selected from The Jar and presented by Doreen, is Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa. Manga. Thank you, universe, for finding me worthy of this reprieve so I can catch up.

Green dinosaur holding orange slip of paper reading Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa


My reading was book light. There are no books. It was comics city as I played catch up with the stack of comics sitting on my shelf.



Reading for last week! )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Real talk: my book indecision plague has reached new heights. The stack of books at my fingertips is alarming and I'm about to make my partner choose something from it at random out of panicked desperation.

CHALLENGE: 100 Unique Women Writers

Week 6: still pushing away at Downbelow Station. I'm on page 223 and my plan to take it slowly with two or three chapters a day has taken the pressure off and let me spend time with the details. Things are starting to pick up, even if the politics are a bit confusing. And I kinda slash Josh and Damon...predictably.

My book last week was Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall, and it was great! It's reviewed below.

For Week 7, my next title selected from The Jar and presented by Doreen, is Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith!

Green dinosaur holding orange slip of paper reading Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith


My free choices right now: Lightless by C.A. Higgins, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (everyone wants me to read this, like, everyone), and City of Pearl by Karen Traviss. I have Cold Iron by Stina Leicht but I should probably wait on that one since it's massive, and I want to read The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer first epic fantasy-wise. JUST MAKE A CHOICE, SELF. Be a reader! Read something. Read anyone that's new to you.



Reading for last week! )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
The Book Indecision bug is still hanging around and I went back to therapy this week which was a guarantee I wasn't going to get much reading done. "Fine," I thought. "I'll focus on my last Jar Selection!" Except it turns out C.J. Cherryh was not messing around when she sat down to write her some science fiction and this book is dense. On the plus side, there's been no animals (not counting humans) harmed so far so it does have that going for it. Can't say the same for the other stuff I've been reading.

CHALLENGE: 100 Unique Women Writers

Week 5: slight hiccup. I'm going to have to spend some time with Downbelow Station, but will plug away at it until I finish! For Week 6, my next title selected from The Jar and presented by Doreen, is Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall:

Green dinosaur holding orange slip of paper reading Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall


I also didn't read anything else for free choice because I couldn't make up my mind and the time I did read I worked on Downbelow Station. It only took me a month to get behind! I'll make it up later, though. :D



Reading for last week! )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
It was a slow week because I was sick several days (ugh, bodies) and also have entered every book blogger’s dreaded state: New Year Book Indecision. I am surrounded by so many great books and I can’t decide what to choose. I want to jam everything new in my eyes and also want to reread a bunch of things. Everyone’s so prolific. So I have kind of flopped around uselessly and fallen behind on my reading goal.

CHALLENGE: 100 Unique Women Writers

Week 4: almost complete! I’m finishing the last story in Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due today (current assessment: I still don’t like prose horror much as I am an Anxious Person and Worry Too Much About The Dark, Serial Killers, and Slime Monsters). For Week 5, my next title selected from The Jar and presented by Doreen, is Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh:

Green dinosaur holding orange slip of paper reading Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh


My free choice book last week was Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. Not sure what my next free choice will be. Planetfall? Illuminae? Maybe I should give Barrayar another shot? I also have some nonfiction by a few new to me authors on my shelf...too many things!

Since January is over, I looked back to see what my month looked like for authors that were new to me. Per my rules, I did well! 9/100! :D
  • Marguerite Bennett (A-Force Volume 0: Warzones)
  • Rosemary Kirstein (The Steerswoman)
  • Sarah Knight (The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck)
  • Nnedi Okorafor (Binti)
  • Carolyn Ives Gilman (Dark Orbit)
  • Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky)
  • bell hooks (Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood)
  • Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes)
  • Tananarive Due (Ghost Summer: Stories) — counting here since I only have one story left

Onward to my reading for the week!



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Goodreads kept telling me I was behind on my reading challenge which was stressing me out. I could not figure out how I had managed to fall behind in the very first month with such careful planning, but the numbers didn't lie. Then I discovered I had utterly forgotten to add a book.

I'm a genius.

There's less than a week to join up MidAmeriCon II to nominate for the Hugo Awards (unless you have another membership that gives you the right). I have been pretty laid back about it this year. In part because I've made peace with the fact my favorite part is collecting awesome recs and also because I don't want to get my hopes up and have a repeat of last year.

Anyway, it is still my firm belief that Archive of Our Own is eligible in Best Related Work. DO WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE WHAT YOU WILL.

CHALLENGE: 100 Unique Women Writers

Week 3: complete! I read Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by bell hooks (reviewed below, holy crap). For Week 4, my next title selected from The Jar and presented by Doreen, is Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due:

Green dinosaur holding orange slip of paper reading Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due


Books read this week:



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I have a lot of books out from the library that I'm not sure I'm going to have time to read, but I'm going to give it my best shot. Believe in yourself, Renay! DON'T THROW AWAY YOUR SHOT! Who cares if three of them are new books and you only have two weeks with them? You can do it.

CHALLENGE: 100 Unique Women Writers

Week 2 is complete! I read Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman (reviewed below). For Week 3, my next title selected from The Jar and presented by Doreen, is Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by bell hooks:

Green dinosaur holding orange slip of paper reading Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by bell hooks


I've never read bell hooks before, but it's on my list because I heard about her nonfiction and all my library had was this memoir and it sounded interesting. That's been a long time, so I'm happy to finally get to it.

Things I read!

  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor — definitely read this
  • Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman — read this if you keep ending up on the Schrodinger's Cat Wikipedia page
  • All-New All-Different Avengers #3 by Mark Waid, Adam Kubert, & Alex Ross — they probably won't cancel this because of the all-dude creative team so you can wait for a coherent trade
  • A-Force #1 by G. Willow Wilson & Jorge Molina — our new superhero is GREAT!


Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
It's been a wild time the last month. Not only have I been reading (and more things than appear here), I have:

  1. Started walking every day.
  2. Quit several types of food. Goodbye forever, BEEF.
  3. Taken up a regular sleeping schedule.
  4. Resigned my co-chair in the OTW. I'm staying on the committee which is where my other reading time has gone. I'm reviewing docs to get back into the staff-work swing of things.
  5. Rearranged my office. I added a new bookshelf! By the time I get settled in this as my office we'll be packing for Oregon. OOPS.


CHALLENGE: 100 Unique Women Writers


This was the first week of the challenge. Last week I chose The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein and it's complete! For this week, I chose Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman, as presented by Doreen, my assistant:

Green dinosaur holding orange slip of paper reading Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman


Also, all the books this week came off my shelf and I wasn't even doing the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks challenge (is that the hashtag? I'm out of touch with the youths again). I'm giving myself five space bees for this accidental accomplishment.

Things I read!



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
The holidays are over! *\o/* Now it's back to regular life at least until someone starts Hugo drama. I'm not ready for the drama but I am ready to discuss awesome stories and to start my AO3-for-Best-Related-Work Campaign in earnest. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Long time no book column! November was a blur of writing and therapy. Turns out therapy is work! It's not the easy kind of work where you can slack off! Because then you end up back in what my therapist calls Default Mode where you feel like all the progress you've made has been lost and actually, you ARE a worthless, slimy, meatsack and your hair looks awful at all times. And you smell but no one cares enough to tell you. Anxiety Brain strikes again! Fistbump to those coping with anxiety and depression as literal darkness seeps into our days at five in the afternoon or earlier.

I didn't read as much as I wanted to (I already know my 2015 racial breakdown is going to be an embarrassment because I scheduled so many of those books to read in November after I noticed in September), but I also wanted to get back on the horse OF LIFE. Or at least my book column. If life were a horse I would manage better, because I learned as a kid, and those had reins and they listened to me when I said, "You know, I'm not really feeling this? Maybe I want to get off now." Well, mostly. There was that one time with that barking dog and the fence. Life's uncontrollable, probably.

This whole entry so far has been 0% about books and 99% hella TMI; you're all welcome. Let's talk about some literature instead.

Read more... )


I also read some individual comics I'm following and some short fiction. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
My week: I read an 800 page epic fantasy in four days and then wanted to turn around and re-read it immediately. This derailed my continued journey through the Hilarious and Violent Adventures of October Daye and Crew of Supernatural Misfits, but I'lll be hopping back on that joyride soon enough!



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Reading recently has been taken up by an ARC of Black Wolves by Kate Elliott (it's great! pre-order now!) that I'll be reviewing soon. It's almost 800 pages so...if you like epic fantasy, Kate Elliott put some epic fantasy in a book and then shook it so it frothed up some extra epic fantasy. :D

I still don't know who to blame my October Daye bender on because Jodie has refused to take the fall, but whoever finally tipped me into reading this series: what have you done to me you monster?????



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
It's been a slow reading week, but we've been a little busy at Lady Business HQ and I've been watching a lot of TV and film: Agents of SHIELD, Xena, Star Wars, and The Martian (which was great). I'm still hoping to make my goal of 100 books this year, so fingers crossed I can get back on track for next week!



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
My library ordered some books for me, so now I am in possession of six October Daye books. Here is the proof. Odds on how long it's gonna take me to plow through all of these? (One is done, but finished too late to end up in this column; it's possible you heard me screeching in agony.)



Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I will never be able to thank [twitter.com profile] KateElliottSFF enough for her Omniscient Breasts essay.

Some recent reading because I've been, as stated mournfully several times, very unconscious recently. Don't even ask how long it took me to stay awake to read some of these books.



Reading detail! )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
The last four days: four solid days of Socializing With People. I slept for ten hours last night. It was like being drunk. Is this what cons are like?



Read more... )

I've started Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, which comes out August 18. Her elevator pitch for the novel is "Little Women meets American Ninja Warrior in a fantasy setting inspired by Greco Roman Egypt." That's probably relevant to someone's interest. ;)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Reading the last few weeks has been slow and plodding. I've been ill and tired so it takes me forever to read everything. Also, my focus is really shot. I read an entire volume of Hawkeye the other day and then realized I remembered the first issue in the collection and absolutely nothing else. I had to a) take a nap and then b) re-read, with lots of breaks, before I could retain what happened. Everything takes so much energy. This post took me three days to write, as well. Chronic illnesses, my friends: do not recommend.

The last few weeks:



Read more... )

This is the week I read The End of All Things by John Scalzi. I have my ARC. I have my feelings. I'M READY. (It's a lie. I'm not ready. I'm so not ready I haven't even read The Human Division which is also happening this week. Does anyone else go through this anxiety over series they love having new books but being utterly terrified you won't love them and it'll ruin everything and you'll sink into a deep sadness and your love for the series will never recover? And so, the books come out and you get them but never read this? I'm such a weirdo. Why am I this way?)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
This week was dominated by me catching up on paid work between, I'll be honest, writing a lot of words about baking delicious treats for your werewolf boyfriend.

Totally unrelated, Teen Wolf comes back at the end of June and I'm not emotionally prepared.

Reading the last week:

Well, after looking forward to Uprooted for almost a year, putting off reading it because I was terrified of not loving it as much as I wanted to love it, and finally starting it while trying not to inhale it so I could savor it (I failed), I have finished and it was WONDERFUL. I loved it so much. It's giving me all the same warm, fuzzy emotions I felt with The Goblin Emperor. They don't compare beyond "whisked away to uncertain future!" but they're both so heartwarming. I wasn't sure I'd ever find a book that made me feel like The Goblin Emperor did ever again, but here it is!

Agnieszka was a delight to follow. The premise of the book really doesn't tell you how layered this story is at all. You go in knowing that every ten years, the wizard that protects the valley from the evil Wood comes and takes a young girl to serve him, and once she's gone she doesn't come back for ten more years, and then it's never for good, as they always leave. Agnieszka — and everyone else — is convinced he'll take her best friend, Kasia. But, of course, everything goes wrong from there and the story goes deeper and deeper into the history and political situation of the world. Every time I thought I knew what would happen Because Tropes, I was quickly assured I had no clue.

Plus, the Dragon was like, Rodney McKay if Rodney McKay transformed into a wizard with magical skills instead of Science. Into it.

On Goodreads, it shows me Friend Reviews and everyone who has it added and the list goes on and on and on and on. Everyone has been talking about this book and loving it (although I've seen a few valid qualms about some of the relationships) so if you haven't heard of it I need you to a) please share your hermit secrets with me and b) look it up and see if it sounds like your type of fantasy. I've always loved Novik's work; even stories that aren't my jam go down super smooth. She's so great at flow in narrative (that mysterious thing I can never explain), and this book definitely has that to spare. If I could hand Uprooted every major SF award right now, that would be half as many accolades as it deserves.

I also caught up on my Captain Marvel issues, which I got behind on because I was busy with books. I loved the previous volume of Captain Marvel a lot, but the issues I read this time were hit or miss. The story about Chewie was super cute, but then there's an whole story about having to speak in rhyme that was embarrassing. It's not that the premise was bad, but the whole conceit of rhyming regular speech was basically an invitation for me to be mortified for the characters/writer when it just completely fails to work. I do appreciate how many of the characters here are all really different women, and I would have been totally cool with at least ten more issues of Carol, Tic, and Rocket's Adventures in Space, but Secret Wars or something.

(I still don't understand Secret Wars. Apparently universes are colliding and characters are DYING? I don't…why, Marvel? Why?)

Anyway, I have two more issues and then I'll start Carol Corps, which I remain dubious about because Secret Wars. Battleworld. Where Doom is God or something. Ugh.

I'm currently reading an ARC of Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow (what a rad name), who is a new-to-me author for review at B&N SF. I'm muddling through Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, too, because I'm going to dubcon [tumblr.com profile] rozurashii into a comic with me or keel over trying. Because I don't have enough projects already.

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