Writer Reading Report: Spring 2021

It’s long past time I posted one of these. Why, you ask? Excellent question, invisible internet reader.

TL;DR: I have been reading a lot, and the review situation is Out Of Hand. Skip down to the list.

Sticking around fot the long version? Cool. First, there’s the draining prospect of writing full reviews. They take mental energy to parse out, to make sure I’m saying exactly what I mean and nothing else. Recommending verbally is easy. I babble freely, chipping out remarks until the point emerges from the solid block of words. The conversational flow carries off all the false starts, vocabulary stumbles, digressions, parantheticals, and general mayhem that occurs whenever I attempt to impart information with words. (Trust me, the whole write like you speak thing does NOT work well when you think non-sequentially.)

I hope to get ratings & blurbs onto retail sites for all the books listed below, but no promises, because–second– in addition to the energy suck, I’m cratering on the executive function aspect too. The longer the list gets, the further behind I fall, the harder it is for my brain to get a grip on beginning it. I want to get this done to get it the heck off my mind, but I can’t get it done unless I start. Vicious damned cycle, that one.

General exhaustion plays into it too. Bodies & brains do what they do, and mine have been tag-team tackling me with increasing do-nothing demands. I keep looking back on non-productive days and realizing my “lazy lack of motivation” was really physical pain/brain fog/stress-distraction in disguise.

The number of days I’m fighting petty, niggling issues (vision fatigue, aching wrists, tired fingers, sore hips, brain-nopes…) gets higher each year. And beating back the “but maybe I AM just lazy” conditioning is wicked tiring all by itself. I am daily thankful that I’m in a living situation where health needs that would interfere with earning abilities don’t threaten my survival. BUT I DIGRESS. Quelle suprise. ANYway.

I’m doing an end run around the problem.

Here’s a list of just the titles & authors of what I’ve read since the beginning of the year. There’s everything here from hard scifi to steamy romance, horror to humor. If you like things in a hierarchy, sorry, this isn’t one. They’re listed in order of how they came to mind, which has ZERO to do with how memorable, exciting, or cool they are.

  • Mazes of Power & Transgressions of Power Juliette Wade
  • Black Sun Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Secret Chapter Genievieve Cogman
  • All The Courtney Milan books I could get my hands on
  • Sorceror To the Crown (reread) & The True Queen, Zen Cho
  • The Bear & the Nightangale and The Girl In the Tower, Katherine Arden
  • a re-read of Lois McMaster Bujold’s whole Penric & Desdemona series
  • The newest in the Rogues to Riches series, Grace Burrowes, followed by a re-read of the quartet.
  • The Duelling Neurosurgeons (the only non-fiction on the list)
  • Afro Puffs Are the Antennae Of the Universe, Zig Zag Claybourne
  • Dark Matter edited by Sheree Brown (the only anthology on the list)
  • JurassiChrist, Michael Allen Rose
  • A Year of Flash Fiction Jamie Lackey
  • The Hound Of Justice, Claire O’Dell (Jane Watson series, start with A Study In Honor)

I loved each and every one of these. They all get high recommends.

(Yah, but K, what’s that even mean? It means, “If you read that genre & the cover blurb appeals, these are worth your time to pick up and evaluate for yourself.” I adored them. Your mileage may vary.)

Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston is one last title I must mention. It gets my All-thumbs-up 5-star bookseller recommendation, but I can’t list it as “read” because I DNF’d.

It’s a glorious book packed with incredible world-building and peopled with multifaceted, fascinating characters. And the prose is magnificent. But. It wasn’t the right read for me when I tackled it. This happens. I plan to attempt it again in a year or two. It might be right for you right now. PLEASE check it out.

Pretty sure I’ve missed a book or five in there, but that’s the not-quite-midyear list. I’ve already recommended these authors to folks word-of-mouth style on the regular, and getting this written gets me a big step closer to putting quick & easy deli-style reviews up on sites. Eventually. One or two at a time.

And now, onward to the next read!

Currently high on my TBR stacks: Bone Swans by C. S. E. Cooney, a re-read of all the Murderbot stories by Martha Wells, Galactic Hellcats by Marie Vibbert, Storm Of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse, The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan by Zig Zag Claybourne (because I read bk 2 first) and Sycorax’s Daughters if I have the brainspace for another anthology so soon. Oh, and A Wizard’s Guide To Defenisve Baking by T Kingfisher.

Here’s a cute library cat as a reward for getting this far.

fluffy gray tabby with white bib sitting on bookshelf between books
Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

That’s all for this edition. Until next time!

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