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[personal profile] renay
Last month I decided to read a bunch of the graphic novels I had been collecting. I didn't read all of them, but I did make some headway! Read more... )

My 2017 reading goals so far:
  • Read 110 items
  • Read 30 new women writers — 21/30
  • Read 10 nonfiction titles
  • Space Opera Challenge: read 15 titles — 5/15
  • Read 10 books I own purchased before January 1, 2017 — 2/10
  • Read 5% of my anticipated 2017 titles — 10/56
  • Read some graphic novels — 6/16

September Reading Goals

Now that my main reading goal is finished, I'm focusing on the other goals I have perhaps ignored a little too much. Like the goal that tells me to READ THE BOOKS I HAVE IN MY HOUSE STOP GOING TO THE LIBRARY BUYING BOOKS BORROWING FRIENDS BOOKS LOOKING AT REC LISTS FOR NEW BOOKS. I have a problem, but everyone who reads this has the same problem and can't help. Read more... )
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[personal profile] renay
cover for Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live

Fiction has been a place of solace for me this year, but in the last two months I haven't had much energy for it. But at my darkest points or times when I feel the worst, I will pick up something that gives me a boost, that makes me think more deeply and snaps me out of a funk, or is just so charming and has just the right tone that it leaves me feeling like I can keep pushing on through the misery of 2017. The most recent story to provide that for me is "Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live" by Sacha Lamb. 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 love it when I pick up exactly the right book at exactly the right time.

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop — Anchor Points was 100% the comic I needed to read. It was everything I wanted after the nightmare of U.S. Senate Funhouse — Encroaching Death Week: a fun, woman-led adventure that pokes fun at pop culture, critiques toxic masculinity, centers female friendships and mentorships, and ties realistic struggles that women face into supernatural shenanigans in non-didactic ways. Kate is adorable, confident, competent, and she gets the best sidekicks. If you're looking for a fun romp with a former Avenger-turned-private investigator, this will be your jam. 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'm behind on reading graphic novels; I stopped the other day to look at my shelf and realized that not only am I running out of space for books, I am running out of space for the extra books because my intended-to-be-small graphic novel space was overflowing. I've been so focused on One Piece, sequential art-wise, that I've gotten behind on a ton of graphic novels. So I decided to make the next month dedicated to reading the graphic novels I've collected. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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?
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
In a galactic empire, spread across hundreds of systems and connected only by the Flow, a "river" of space-time that allows access to every human settlement, change is coming. The Flow will soon be gone, and the humans who live in this empire, called the Interdependency, must confront their changing circumstances.

That's The Collapsing Empire in a nutshell, but it's also so much more because of the wide array of characters that we go along with on their journey through the beginning of the end of an empire. There's the son of the scientist who discovered the Flow's days were numbered; a guild official whose obscene delightful, and confident engagement with the world clears many paths for her except in the case of people greedier than even she is; and a princess who was never meant to rule facing a throne she never wanted. They're up against a scheming trio of siblings, slow-moving bureaucracy, and the end of the comfortable worlds they're used to.

When my pals started reading this book, it was impossible to resist having discussions about fancasting it because it was so cinematic and character driven. [twitter.com profile] kaytaylorrea did this first, over at Book Riot, and I do not disagree with any of her choices at all. I WOULD WATCH THE HECK OUT OF THAT.

Right after we had our discussion, the announcement went up about the TV rights sliding into someone's pocket, which is SUPER RELEVANT to my interests. Until it gets made, though, we get to dream about potential casts, and this is mine (unrealistic as it may be). There are some light spoilers in this fancast, so be careful! 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 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?
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Today, I'm doing a collaboration project with Jenny, Claire, and Chelsea! They'll have posts/videos up at their projects today, so definitely check them out.

I was super happy when they all agreed to come do this with me, because there's nothing I like more than ~seducing~ people into reccing books. My tombstone, probably: "She really liked recs. Like, really." There's an art to recommending books: figuring out your audience, trying to remember what books you've read, and deciding which they might take to. So recs can be pretty specific to each individual, but there are some books that you lie in wait with for every reccing opportunity available...just in case. I wondered: if I had a shelf with extra copies of ten books only for lending to people, regardless of their tastes, what books would I stock?

This is that list. Read more... )

Be sure to check out Jenny, Claire, and Chelsea! I'm sure their lists will be GREAT, and then after you've seen all the lists you'll be inspired to make your own and you'll @ me on Twitter to tell me about it...right? #seduction
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
The history of math and science, from an outsiders perspective, is dominated by a white male narrative which places men at the forefront of all the knowledge gleaned from the universe. If you delve deeper, though, that reality is revealed as the ongoing lie that white culture would love to continue propagating. The release of Hidden Figures, adapted from a 2016 nonfiction book by Margo Lee Shetterly, is a long overdue correction to the wider historical and artistic record that systematically erases black women from their place in history. We all know that we put rockets and men into space, but the public faces on those accomplishments are too often white. Hidden Figures is the rare Hollywood film that centers the historical experience of black women struggling to make their way in fields dominated by racist and sexist white people to put their mark on history. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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!
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
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.

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