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Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2022

  • Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian (★★★★☆)
  • Yinka Where Is Your Huzband by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (★★★★☆)
  • Lodestone by Katherine Forrister (★★☆☆☆)
  • Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (★★★★★)
  • Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel (★★★☆☆)
  • If An Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga (★★★★★)

MONTHLY TOTAL: 6
YEARLY SO FAR: 13

I had a very good reading month! I read quite a bit if you consider page count, and I think I found two favorite books of the year.

I finally got to WARBREAKER, and it did not disappoint! It is so clear Sanderson has leveled up here from ELANTRIS and MISTBORN, the former of which I thought was okay, and the latter I loved but had some issues with stiffness in dialogue and writing. WARBREAKER had none of those issues. What shines most about it is characters and character arcs; all the POV characters are vibrant and leap off the page, and they all have very clever arcs!

I’m also glad I read IF AN EGYPTIAN CANNOT SPEAK ENGLISH before its release next month. This book was very bizarre and meta but in a really clever way. It’s written so sharply, so incisively; Naga does a superb job capturing the nuances of highly specific Egyptian idiosyncrasies. I can’t deny that I loved it so much because I found bits of it so relatable; if it hadn’t been so rooted in Egyptian-ness, I probably would have found it far too literary and experimental for my taste. But it is rooted in Egyptian-ness; you cannot divorce the story or the toxic relationship at its heart from Egyptian-ness, and so I loved it.


CURRENTLY READING/TBR

I have a tentative April TBR that involves reading a bunch of YA books that have been sitting on my shelves for years. I’m hoping I can read them, enjoy them, and unhaul them so I can open up some shelf space. So that’s where LORE comes in, and you can see the other books I hope to read here on Instagram. As for ARCHIVIST WASP, I recently started following the author on Twitter and really like them, which is the main reason I picked this up! I heard it’s rooted in a friendship that remains a friendship and doesn’t turn into a romance (this is something people complain about in reviews, apparently), which was absolute catnip for me. So far I really like the writing style!

I also have a bunch of books out from the library: THE JUSTICE OF KINGS, THE ALCHEMY OF STONE, WHEN THE RECKONING COMES, VELVET WAS THE NIGHT, and HOW CIVIL WARS START. There is absolutely no way I’ll get to all of these this month and still read all those YA books I want to read (unless I end up DNF’ing a lot, which is fine), but I’m particularly excited for THE JUSTICE OF KINGS and WHEN THE RECKONING COMES, as I’ve heard some really great things about both!


OTHER READING

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL MADAM IN AMERICA by SARA A. MUELLER: A short bio on Nellie Jackson, a successful brothel owner and altogether formidable woman of color who lived in Mississippi in the early 20th century.

THE CORSET FALLACY by SARAH A. MUELLER: A very informative and very hilarious reflection on the corset fallacy, or, the idea that all corsets are bad and horrible and bad for women.

WHAT WHITE MEN SAY IN OUR ABSENCE by ELAINE HSIEH CHOU: A pretty horrifying article about the ways in which white men fetishize Asian women. Lots of trigger warnings here murder, sexual violence, and racism.


FILM

I am still absolutely sucking at consuming media, but I did manage to watch (2) whole films. FRESH was…well, absolutely wild. I loved the slow build-up leading to the big reveal at the thirty-minute mark. Truly one of the best executed twists/reveals I’ve ever seen, and it’s just so??? Shocking and horrifying? I loved it. I was riveted. Sadly I didn’t love THE WEEKEND AWAY as much, because I think it kind of jumped the shark with too many twists — had it limited itself it may have been a really great subversive film, but instead it was just a lot of drama, but that was fun too.


LIFE/WRITING/MISC

Unfortunately my surgery was moved again to May 5th, which means contending with another six weeks of brain fog, extreme hunger, and forgetfulness. I did somehow manage to write a flash fiction thing and submit it to a magazine, which still feels like a fever dream, but I have written pretty much nothing of my second contracted book…I’ll get there. Hopefully my brain will reboot after the surgery.

I also did a bit of a road trip with my mom, as we’re looking for a place to relocate. We started out in Glens Falls, NY and sort of made our way down the Hudson, visiting Troy, Albany, Menands, Saugerties, New Paltz, and Poughkeepsie. I…did not like a single one of these towns. Like, I didn’t hate Saugerties, but I also didn’t feel very strongly about it. As for the rest, I got either Bad or Lukewarm Vibes. So, upstate NY is a bust, I think, and we’re now shifting our attention to Virginia, of all places, mainly because it’s actually cheap — it seems like if you want to live in a halfway decent place in the northeast you’ve gotta pay through the roof for rent, and I have no interest in doing that. So, for now, Virginia is next on our options of places, and we want to try to visit it within the next few months! (Any Virginia stans wanna advocate for the state?)

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