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July 2017

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Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Year: 1993
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: Incest, Rape

Summary: As Princess Lissla Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her beauty she is the image of her dead mother, the queen. But this likeness forces her to flee from her father's lust and madness; and in the pain and horror of that flight she forgets who she is and what it is she flees from: forgets almost everything but the love and loyalty of her dog, Ash, who accompanies her. But a chance encounter on the road leads to a job in another king's kennels, where the prince finds himself falling in love with the new kennel maid . . . and one day he tells her of a princess named Lissla Lissar, who had a dog named Ash.

Read more... )

Thick as Thieves
by Megan Whalen Turner
Book #5 in The Queen’s Thief series
Year: 2017
Pages: 337
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Warnings: slavery, fantasy violence, mention of a miscarriage

Summary: Deep within the palace of the Mede emperor, in an alcove off the main room of his master’s apartments,. Kamet minds his master’s business and his own. Carefully keeping the accounts, and his own counsel, Kamet has accumulated a few possessions, a little money stored in the household’s cashbox, and a significant amount of personal power. As a slave, his fate is tied to his master’s. If Nahuseresh’s fortunes improve, so will Kamet’s, and Nahuseresh has been working diligently to promote his fortunes since the debacle in Attolia.

A soldier in the shadows offers escape, but Kamet won’t sacrifice his ambition for a meager and unreliable freedom; not until a whispered warning of poison and murder destroys all of his carefully laid plans. When Kamet flees for his life, he leaves behind everything—his past, his identity, his meticulously crafted defenses—and finds himself woefully unprepared for the journey that lies ahead.

Pursued across rivers, wastelands, salt plains, snowcapped mountains, and storm-tossed seas, Kamet is dead set on regaining control of his future and protecting himself at any cost. Friendships—new and long-forgotten—beckon, lethal enemies circle, secrets accumulate, and the fragile hopes of the little kingdoms of Attolia, Eddis, and Sounis hang in the balance.

spoilers cause this is the series you can't even google without having spoilers )

Rating: 4

It's been awhile since I did a Wednesday Reading meme but I've been on a roll lately!

What I've Just Finished

Paper Valentine - which was a good coming of age YA when it wasn't trying to be a mystery thriller

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda - this was my second reread and i still really enjoyed it

Ancillary Justice - reminded me of the postcolonial literature we read in my Film & Literature class

What I'm Reading Now

Finally got started on the new Queen's Thief novel, Thick as Thieves! I'm really excited because this is the first book to be published since I started reading the series. The book follows a new character but I'm hoping to see some familiar faces.

Still trying to get through Sense and Sensibility and bell hooks.

What I'll Read Next

I have purchased Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe!


Some More Light Verse by Wendy Cope

You have to try. You see the shrink.
You learn a lot. You read. You think.
You struggle to improve your looks.
You meet some men. You write some books.
You eat good food. You give up junk.
You do not smoke. You don't get drunk.
You take up yoga, walk and swim.
And nothing works. The outlook's grim.
You don't know what to do. You cry.
You're running out of things to try. 

You blow your nose. You see the shrink.
You walk. You give up food and drink.
You fall in love. You make a plan.
You struggle to improve your man.
And nothing works. The outlooks grim.
You go to yoga, cry and swim.
You eat and drink. You give up looks.
You struggle to improve your books.
You cannot see the point. You sigh.
You do not smoke. You have to try.
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Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Book #1 in the Imperial Radch series
Year: 2013
Page Count: 386
Genre: SF Space Opera
Warnings: general sci-fi violence

Summary: On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

Read more... )
Paper Valentine

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Year: 2013
Page Count: 304
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Warnings: murder/death of young girls, eating disorders, mention of child abuse

Summary: The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness. 

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

Read more... )


Liked: the writing, the characters, the themes
Disliked: the murder mystery portion of the plot
Rating: 3.25

What I'm Reading Wednesday (but i forgot and it's actually Thursday now, oops)

What I've Just Finished

Every year I like to give myself a casual challenge of reading 50 books. I don't count things like graphic novels or manga, so I've never really hit that goal but I've come close. However, school tends to consume any energy I'd have for personal reading, so I've only read THREE books this year.

Back in March, I tried to read Fledgling by Octavia Butler. I made it about 100 pages in before deciding to just skim the rest. Essentially, the premise is that a young, black vampire with amnesia tries to figure out why somebody wants her dead. The idea intrigued me but the execution not so much. The book is first pov, so while there's a lot of interesting world-building, it's a book that mostly tells you what the characters are feeling instead of showing. I later found out that Butler had written the book after a long bout of depression, so it was a fun way for her to ease back into the writing process. It turned out to be her final novel.

Those factors are probably why Fledgling wasn't her best work, so I'm still interested in reading her other books.

Oh, and I also downloaded a reading app that's got a bunch of public domain works on it, so I'm slowly working my way through Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

What I'm Reading Now

I bought Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie back in October when a book store in my neighborhood was closing. I've been reading it on and off since then. I've heard great things about this book and its sequels, so I'm hoping to focus on it more once spring semester is over. I've read 80 pages so far and it feels like the exciting stuff is just about to happen!

What I'll Read Next

In my gender studies class, we read a few chapters from bell hooks' Feminism is for Everybody. It's simple definition for feminism reconciled my nebulous ideas on the subject, so I want to read it in full.

I have another casual challenge that I'm imposing on myself and that is to read an author from every letter in the alphabet. Helps when I'm indecisive on what to read next.