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[personal profile] renay2017-07-24 02:42 am

Let's Get Literate! 2017 Anticipated Books, Part II

Welcome to the second half of 2017, which will go by in what feels like three weeks but will also feel like 19 years thanks to Political Shenanigans. Time is weird! Luckily, we have books to get us through it all.

I always enjoy looking at all the books I may read, even the ones that I'm going to have to make hard purchasing decisions about. Out of my anticipated books last time, I've read 10. For a lot of them I'm waiting for them to cycle out of the new collection and into general at the library so I can enjoy all the things I check out for a full, glorious month. I suspect I won't get to some of these until 2018 when my library buys all the late-year release books and cycles the others out of new. I love my library, but I wish the new book check out time was longer than two weeks. Two and a HALF weeks would help me. Alas, alas.

I have my eye on a ton of science fiction IN SPACE this time around. Some of these I suspect I'll buy if my finances work out so I can use them for my space opera challenge. Read more... )

What great-sounding books have I missed? What's everyone else looking forward to?
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[personal profile] renay2017-07-10 03:51 am

Let's Get Literate! The End of Q2 2017

We have reached the end of the quarter! It doesn't feel like mid-year, but here we are: July 2017, which feels like April 2045 in 2017 time. I did pretty well in my Q1 report, but didn't repeat this this time around. I've also done way more travel and work in Q2, plus had some bummer family stuff to deal with. This doesn't even include the awful bed bug infestation we're dealing with now...2017 has been A Year.

My 2017 reading goals:
  • Read 110 items.
  • Read 30 new women writers.
  • Read 10 nonfiction titles.
  • Space Opera Challenge: read 15 titles.
  • Read 10 books I own purchased before January 1, 2017.
  • Read 5% of my anticipated 2017 titles.
Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-05-15 12:33 am

Let's Get Literate! #TeamMurderbot

BREAKING NEWS: Tons of people love All Systems Red by Martha Wells, a new novella from Tor. Probably not a spoiler due to my fondness for robot pals: I'm among their number. It's got an uninhabited planet and a strong space thriller vibe. It also boasts a security bot who we can identify with deeply, because all it wants to do is download and watch television shows. The main conceit is that the bot—SecUnit like the humans refer to it, or Murderbot, as it calls itself—has a hacked governor module, granting it its own will and agency. All Systems Red is about what it chooses to do with that agency. Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-05-13 04:18 pm

Let's Get Literate! Clarke Award Finalists

This year there was a shadow jury for the Clarke Award, which was fascinating. they released their own list of finalists right before the Clarke Award dropped the official finalist list.

Clarke Award Finalists

  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  • Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
  • After Atlas by Emma Newman
  • Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan
  • Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Sharke Six

  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • A Field Guide to Reality by Joanna Kavenna
  • Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes
  • Central Station by Lavie Tidhar
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

The shadow jury's finalist list name is super cute. Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-05-08 12:08 am

Let's Get Literate! Space Opera Reading Challenge

One of my 2017 book challenges: reading 15 space operas. As I searched for books I wanted to read and read some of the books I chose to prioritize last year, I realized my desire for space opera is falling along very specific lines. Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-05-01 12:24 am

Let's Get Literate! Adventures in Accessible Reading Goals

In 2017, I promised myself: realistic and achievable reading goals. I started small, but of course I spiraled out of control once the end of January rolled around, because I'm weak. These were my final goals (100%, no more goals, I am at Max Reading Goals, and I'm gonna stick to it because I know Ira and Jenny will give me Looks):
  1. Read 110 items.
  2. Read 30 new women writers.
  3. Read 10 nonfiction titles.
  4. Space Opera Challenge: read 15 titles.
  5. Read 10 books I own purchased before January 1, 2017.
  6. Read 5% of my anticipated 2017 titles.
Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-04-24 01:34 am

Let's Get Literate! Warchild by Karin Lowachee

cover for Warchild


Warchild by Karin Lowachee is full of a muted homoerotic undertones, which is a good description of my entire love life as a teenager, so it's not surprising that I loved this book. But that's not the only selling point of the novel! It also has spies, alien martial arts, slow burn friendships, revenge, double crosses, and a critique of all the terrifying ways child abuse can fuck someone up, in and out of war.

I expected space battles, Obligatory Female Love Interest, and a testosterone fueled climax where the Good Guy Protag gets verbally fellated by everyone around him. Plus, medals, because for some reason in my head all military space opera ends like A New Hope. Instead I was treated to a personal account of one boy surviving every horrible thing the universe could throw at him, because who needs a happy childhood to turn into a well-adjusted and happy adult? Ha ha ha, let's make this kid suffer as he grows up, lose everything, fall in love with someone unattainable, and betray people he cares for multiple times for the person he loves even though he can't figure out if that person actually cares for him or is just using him. If you want some angst, my friends, allow me to introduce you to Jos Musey. Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-04-10 10:23 am

Let's Get Literate! Put a Little Spring in your TBR List

The first quarter of the year has come and gone and it's time for the second quarter, where book releases start picking up speed as we approach the event horizon of book release season in September, from which there is no return once you start down the path of adding books to your reading list (practice safe book adding, pals). I'm always running a bit behind because I do most of my reading from the library (ilu library!) but even though I may have to wait for some of these, I am excited for these books! Read more... )


Those are (some of) the books I'm excited for in the second quarter of 2017. Some are already out, like The House of Binding Thorns! What do you have on your anticipated list for the next few months?
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[personal profile] renay2017-03-21 05:37 pm

Let's Get Literate! February Reading

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). Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-02-27 12:26 pm

Let's Get Literate! Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

Revenger had all the things that sounded directly up my alley:
  • sisters leaving home to have adventures
  • ladies learning cool new things about the world
  • heists at dangerous locales
  • pirates!
  • ominous tales of a ruthless captain
  • bloody revenge
  • team ups
Friends, it is true that this book contains all of those things and they were wonderful. Not only did I get those, Alastair Reynolds read my mind and gave me the following:
  • robot pals
  • grudging partnerships
  • ladies being brutal in order to save people they love and themselves
  • cool gadgets
  • mysterious worldbuilding
Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-01-16 12:57 pm

Let's Get Literate! 2017 Anticipated Books

I'm still halfway in 2016 mode with books because I couldn't time travel in order to read all the books I wanted. But 2017 is here and with it, new books, new lists of upcoming books, and my renewed lack of self-control. Here's some books I have my eye on in the next few months. Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2017-01-02 10:58 am

Let's Get Literate! Favorite Books Of 2016

Another reading year has come and gone. I succeeded in both my (revised) reading challenges, learned the value of setting attainable goals, and met Kate Elliott (SCREAMING) so I'm calling it a win.

Downsides: haven't quite managed my goal of reading enough nonfiction to have a dedicated favorites section. But I'm going to keep working at it.Read more... )

I hope everyone had a great reading year!
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[personal profile] renay2016-12-29 01:11 am

Let's Get Literate! Setting Realistic Goals Or, Reading Hella Ladies

I decided to read 100 unique women writers in 2016. Back when I had this brilliant idea in late 2015 the assumption was that I would also read a lot of short fiction. When that didn't happen, the challenge became...overwhelming. Luckily, Jenny the Wise taught me a lot of good lessons about reassessing goals when you get new information! I cut my goal in half. It was still a challenge, but I'm happy to say I did it. \o/ It turned out to be the very best reading challenge I've ever done.

Women write about everything. We're half the world's population, and we write about the world in a million different ways. We're fiction writers and nonfiction writers and artists and teachers and scientists and historians and linguists and journalists and lawyers and fans and curious students of the world and each other. We're everywhere. The push in various parts of publishing, as well as culture, to silence us, erase our contributions, and to devalue our writing and our work is just another tired tool that's never going to be able to truly hold back the tide of our ideas, our work, or our voices.

As Kate Elliott likes to say, "We are mighty."

If you're looking for a new reading challenge for 2017, I highly suggest this one (but be more realistic than I was).

Here are the items I read:

challenge list )
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[personal profile] renay2016-12-13 10:19 am

Let's Get Literate! Determination 2017 Edition

There are a few books I meant to read this year that I simply didn't manage to get through due to the fact I over-extended myself with challenges (be careful with these, they're addictive and dangerous). When I saw Elizabeth's Top 5 Wednesday video for books she was going to finally read in 2017, I went, "I can definitely do that and guilt myself into responsibility. Maybe." Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2016-10-31 04:35 am

Let's Get Literate! Books, Revisited Edition

Recently I asked Ana what books she wanted to revisit from years past. She also turned my question around on me, which I think we can all agree is against at least five international treaties of question-asking, but it made me start thinking.

I visited my reading history to sheets to see what I could find. But what I discovered is: there's a lot of books I would like to re-read and it's been a long time I allowed myself indulgent re-reads in prose work (I've re-read One Piece to various points multiple times because I love crying over inanimate objects and tragic, bittersweet backstories). Maybe 2017 would be a good time to ~reminisce~ book wise.Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2016-10-17 12:17 am

Let's Get Literate! You Stare Into the TBR, the TBR Stares Back Edition

I have a nerdy book tag I want to do in lieu of writing about Daughter of Mystery and Runtime, which were the books I finished recently. I'm still considering them in my head. I want people to read Daughter of Mystery because a) ladies in love, wooo, b) to tell me if the book is hard or if I'm just dumb as a sack of rocks. Also, Runtime is a packed novella full of a personal journey set in a cyborg terrain race, so if that sounds like your thing, run don't walk.

My to be read list keeps getting bigger as I discard the shackles of shame that kept me from adding any book I thought looked interesting to my to be read list (sorry not sorry, Goodreads friends), so this is perfect for me: the intimidating TBR tag.Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2016-09-20 01:15 am

Let's Get Literate! Character Worship Edition

Earlier this week I looked at my challenge goal which predictably fell apart in April, after my ~whirlwind~ summer began. As pals have told me, my 100 unique women writers project was...optimistic...and 36/100 is pretty darn good. Then I realized I've read 36 new women authors and/or artists (because I count artists and colorists who are integral parts of the emotional of a narrative since I do what I want). That's great! And because I've read those authors now recommendation algorithms spit out drastically different suggestions. It's been excellent; highly recommended project. Maybe set a lower goal, though. LEARN FROM MY ERRORS. Because it turns out the more authors you read the more favorite authors you discover. Back lists are great, but time-consuming!

I haven't quite managed to get back on track everywhere. In fact, I'm going to be surprised if I make it to the end of this column! I have less to review than I otherwise would because I can write reviews of comics and graphic novels but I can't quite bring myself to post them due to Extreme Fear and Anxiety re: the comics community/being yelled at. However, it's not like you're missing much with the absence of my Hot Takes on Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF, Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening, or The Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than A Man. I'll just say: give them a try because all are good, one is excellent, and the other made me throttle the universe for not giving me the next issue yet.

Recent Reading


book adventures! )
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[personal profile] renay2016-05-16 11:33 am

Let's Get Literate! The Power of Kindness Edition

I've been sick for two full months and am halfway into a third. I'm finally pulling myself out of the pool of lack of productivity. \o/ The less said about my reading goals (heck, all my goals, from exercise to promised favors for friends to OTW work to sorting out socks with holes from my drawers) the better. Doreen's gone on a small vacation, but she'll be back soon.

(Also, I am bad at resting and not working which probably did not help me recover. DON'T BE ME.)

I'm still boggling over our recent addition as a Hugo finalist, too. I keep stopping to check the website, going "Is this real?" I guess it's hard for me to believe because I struggle constantly with the idea that any writing I do or any editorial influence I have is only passable (especially because I am a loudmouth critic who is still learning). And the Hugo is a small award, but it's very important to the people who give it their time, money, and energy, so I can't really sit and go, "Well, they're gonna figure out I'm faking eventually and I'm not that great." because that's insulting. My therapist and I have talked a lot about not robbing people of their feelings to force my own insecurities and anxieties on them. Let people have their opinions, Anxiety Brain! You aren't the boss of them!

So, to the people who nominated Lady Business, even if nothing I did influenced your decision (I mean, I do have great co-editors who are super rad)...

Thanks. :)

Recent Reading

Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay2016-04-25 10:30 am

Let's Get Literate! DANGER ZONE: POWELL'S BOOKS

Hello, friends! April was super busy: my partner and I took a trip to Portland, Oregon, to scope it out as a possible option for moving to so he can make more money as a programmer. Or, in other words, how scary would I find the city? How scary is driving there? How terrifying is it to ride trains and be around a lot of strangers? He'll survive just fine, but will my anxiety be cranked into overdrive? Turns out these are all not a problem. In fact, driving on highways there is like the traffic control people went, "How can we help people with driving anxiety? HOW ABOUT TRAFFIC LIGHTS FOR ON RAMPS?" It was magical. I'm still in awe. Plus, the trains are cool! Everything is labeled! There are helpful announcements! You can buy tickets without interacting with anyone!

Plus, there are bookstores and comic shops and I can get to them WITHOUT A CAR.

I'M SOLD.Read more... )