If I have news to share, I’ll post it here.
I have been wanting to subscribe to FairyLoot for ages. But I was leery of the cost. I still am, if I’m being honest. This book subscription service is hella expensive, especially since it has to ship from the UK…the shipping prices alone make my eyes bug out. But I have been wanting it for so long I said YOLO and decided to spring for a three-month subscription. March is my first month, and it just so happens to be the anniversary month, so the box is a lovely purple shade, and everything within was delightful!
So, first off, hi, hello, I realize I’ve been MIA for a while! No particular reason for that; I just didn’t feel like blogging, I guess! I have been reading and reviewing, however, so I’ve just backdated some book reviews and posted some new ones, if you want to check those out!
Anyway, I feel like I may have been tagged for this somewhere? By someone? I’m not sure. But I’ve seen it floating around so I thought I would do something to break up the steady stream of book review after book review.
1- Your favorite female author
For the longest time, this has been N.K. Jemisin, though I’m thinking she might have to start sharing the spotlight! There are so many other female authors I love, especially since I mostly read women. There’s Amanda Downum, V.E. Schwab, Alison Goodman, S.A. Chakraborty, Kiersten White, Mackenzi Lee, Leigh Bardugo…I don’t know that I can choose just one!
2- Your favorite heroine
While there are many heroines I adore, this spot has to go to V.E. Schwab’s Lila Bard. I loved the unorthodox way Lila was written; she was given traditionally “masculine” traits like ambition for power and thirst for glory and adventure. She is a young woman who is delighted by her powers rather than scared by them, and she is assertive and confident and clever and stubborn and a delightful heroine to read about.
3- A novel with a feminist message
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria. Though this book didn’t blow me away, I found myself impressed by the breadth and depth of the women in it. At its center are two best friends, but even the women who seem to be merely cardboard stereotypes at first are revealed to be so much more. There’s a resounding theme of women supporting women and women paving their own path.
4- A novel with a girl on the cover
5- A novel featuring a group of girls
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker. This is 100% cheating, as I have not yet read this book, nor has it even come out yet! Still, I have sadly not read too many books featuring an entire group of girls, but this promises to shatter that unfortunate trend! This is lady pirates! The tagline is “sisterhood is survival”! Also shout out to The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy which I am also super excited about but am unsure if it will feature a girl gang.
6- A novel with a LGBTQIAP+ female character
The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum. I have to give a shout-out to my girl here, especially since she’s sadly not as well-known as she should be! The Bone City features a trans woman as a main character, in addition to many other great things! I’ve been meaning to re-read this book for a while because it’s my favorite in the Necromancer Chronicles series. HMU if you’ve read these books; I’d love to discuss.
7- A novel with different feminine POV
Monstress by Marjorie Liu. I wasn’t sure exactly what this question meant by different POV, so I tried to think outside the box. Monstress is the first in a graphic novel series featuring a main character who is…unusual to say the least. I honestly don’t remember a ton because I read this a while ago and it’s a really rich, complex, detailed fantasy, but I *think* she’s got a mechanical arm and is possessed by some kind of demonic force that takes over her. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, but I highly recommend this one, not just for the main character, but the world, which features mostly female characters!
8- A book where a girl saves the world
The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman. Sure, Lady Helen doesn’t embark on an epic show-down (it’s more of slow, day by day thing involving keeping monsters at bay) and she certainly isn’t doing the saving all by herself, but I can’t not give a shout-out to my favorite series of 2017. Lady Helen is a Reclaimer, who fights off a kind of demon that feeds of humans. She and the Dark Days Club work to make sure that the number of these demons do not overwhelm the human populace.
9- A book where you prefer the female sidekick to the male MC
This took a lot of thinking, since to be honest I usually go out of my way to avoid books by or about men…so I’m gonna go with an unorthodox answer and say War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Though technically an epic with many POVs, Andrei and Pierre definitely have the lion’s share of the narrative, while Helene Kuragina is a minor character. However, I found Helene much more fascinating than any of the men and I wish we could have seen more of her. In any case I’ve recently discovered some rather unsavory things about Tolstoy that makes it clear why he wrote women the way he did.
10- A book written by a male author and featuring a female character
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. It’s hard to believe this book was written by a white man, but here we are. This book is a heart-breaking look at the devastating affects of colonialism on a micro and macro level. Baru has had her home colonized, her customs overwritten, and one of her father’s murdered. She is determined to tear the empire down from within, but in doing so she embarks on a very dark path. Also shout out to City of Stairs ft. Shara Komayd and Nevernight ft. Mia Corvere, both of which are written by white men but do not read like they are written by white men.
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (★★☆☆☆)
- Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (★★★★☆)
- Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (★★★★★)
- Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (★★★★★)
- Policing Egyptian Women by Liat Kozma (★★★★★)
- Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao (★★★☆☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 6
YEARLY SO FAR: 14
I kind of challenged myself to read six books this month and ended up finishing off two books in the last two days of February, so huzzah! I think this is pretty cool considering I was quite sick for most of February and didn’t really up to doing anything except sitting in bed and staring at the ceiling, haha.
I finally finished Policing Egyptian Women which was incredible but it took me a long time to read because I was taking pretty detailed notes as I read through it. I started Nevernight at the end of January but it took me like a month to get through the first 100 pages, but then after that I read the whole thing in like four days. Overall a decently solid reading month, with a few duds, but nothing so terrible it made me want to tear my hair out.
I am currently reading Things a Bright Girl Can Do because Chelsea gave it a fantastic review, and because I am currently writing a book that revolves around suffrage, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to get a sense of how another writer might structure a book like that! I started Hunger by Roxane Gay yesterday and am nearly finished with it! It’s a punch in the gut, but very readable and compelling. I don’t think I’ve ever read a memoir or a series of personal essays before, but it goes by really quickly and as a genre I think it’s a good palate cleanser between speculative books.
Next I am planning on starting a buddy read of Madeline Miller’s Circe with Rachel, and Chelsea and I have been planning to buddy read Jane Eyre literally since the start of the year, so maybe we can get to it this month? I don’t know. No pressure, Chelsea. Also, I’ve had Red Sister out from the library for a while, so I need to get to that before it has to go back. Oh, and I just requested The Haunting of Maddy Clare, so I have to go pick that up from the library and start on it too!
Finally, a bit of shameless self-promotion here: my short story, Your Damnation Will Be Infinite, was published on The Dark Magazine today! Check it out if you’re interested in stories about murder and Lovecraftian horror in Cairo!