WRAP UP: April & May 2020

Between COVID, the protests, and going back to work, I feel like the last four weeks have been a non-stop roller coaster of emotions and willingness to do anything that ultimately feels frivolous, like posting on social media and writing blog posts, because neither of those things seem important compared to what’s going on right now. But, I think having a place to share ideas and a place to write is important for me, so I’m working on how to navigate and use this space now and in the future.

Black Lives Matter. There’s no question about it. I’ve always thought myself to be progressive, but one thing that’s come to light for me recently is how much I still have to learn and how much I’ll always have to learn. I’m listening, I am working on unpacking my thirty-three years of living in privilege, and I am making a promise to myself to be better. I know I’ll make mistakes, but I am willing to put in the work, take responsibility, and do better. Not just now, but for the rest of my life. This carrd and this google doc/spreadsheet have a lot of information about protests, where to donate, and where to educate yourself. As a reminder, do your own research and do not ask Black people to do the work for you! There are many resources available online that people are sharing.

I also failed completely at Wyrd and Wonder, but this was also because I joined last-minute and didn’t plan anything. For 2021, I’ll be on the lookout for the initial post and hopefully be better about planning posts! I think for the time being I’ll have a set schedule, so I’m going to work on scheduling 2-3 posts a week (either reviews or lists of books I’ve read/want to read) just to keep my blog active and get my writing chops back because I feel like I’ve got a case of quarantine brain and nothing I write seems to make much sense to me anymore.

Now onto the reading!

In April, I read:

  • This Time Will Be Different, by Misa Sugiura (4/5 stars)
  • To Have and to Hoax, by Martha Waters (4/5 stars)
  • Be Prepared, by Vera Brosgol and Alex Lonstreth (3.5/5 stars)
  • Strange Love, by Ann Aguire (4/5 stars)
  • Sin Eater, by Megan Campisi (4/5 stars)
  • Peter Watts Is An Angry Sentient Tumor, by Peter Wars (3/5 stars)
  • The Girl in the White Gloves, by Kerri Maher (3/5 stars)
  • Her Body and Other Parties – Carmen Maria Machado (5/5 stars)
  • Beheld – TaraShea Nesbit (4/5 stars)
  • To Catch an Earl, by Kate Bateman (3/5 stars)
  • Crown of Three, by J.D. Rinehart (4/5 stars)
  • Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction, by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson (4/5 stars)
  • Jagannath, by Karin Tidbeck (3/5 stars)
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas (4/5 stars)

In May, I read:

  • Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow, ed. Kristen Berg, Torie Bosch, et all (4/5 stars)
  • The Deep, by Alma Katsu (4/5 stars)
  • Death by Shakespeare, by Kathryn Harkup (4/5 stars)
  • Notre-Dame de Paris, by Victor Hugo (4/5 stars)
  • Prince Charming, by Rachel Hawkins (4/5 stars)
  • Over Sea, Under Stone, by Susan Cooper (4/5 stars)
  • The Queen of Blood, by Sarah Beth Durst (4/5 stars)
  • The Wrong Mr. Darcy, by Evelyn Lozada and Holly Lorincz (DNF)
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (4/5 stars)
  • Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (5/5 stars)
  • Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson (5/5 stars)
  • Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (4/5 stars)

I read quite a bit during quarantine (statistically double each month than the previous six months), but one thing I’ve noticed is that I have a lot of books by BIPOC authors that I’ve bought but haven’t read (some for YEARS), so for the rest of the year, I am going to shift my reading focus to actually reading those and posting about them on social media and here on this blog. Next year I will likely do a full-year shift to reading more works across the board by BIPOC and non-white writers and continue that focus from here on out. It’s so easy to fall into reading “comforting” things that generally trend toward white writers, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I can do better about stepping out of that comfort zone.

I also want to finish series that I’ve started but have never finished, so along with my 20 in 20 books challenge and my classics challenge, I’m going to try to finish up as many book series as I can! This includes N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR + TOG, Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia series, and likely others that I’m currently forgetting.

What have you read in the last month that really stuck out with you? How do you see yourself changing your perspectives on reading in the coming months and years?