Back in January I started a reading hashtag on Twitter (#samtasticreads), to keep track of some of the books, short stories, and other works I come across throughout the year. And it just now occurred to me I should collect those onto the blog as well! Then perhaps I will be more organized by nominating season next time, though this first batch contains a lot of 2018 I was hastily catching up on. >_>
I seem to have heavily emphasized short stories and nonfiction so far this year? Well, that has got to change! OFF TO THE SFF NOVEL TBR PILE!
Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield – A time-traveling highwaywoman! A war over how to redirect History! The sequel just came out in November, so I’ll be snapping that up soon.
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor – I finally finished the Binti novellas, and greatly enjoyed this weird little ride.
“Murders Fell From Our Wombs” by Tlotlo Tsamaase in Apex Magazine – weird and dark in the best way
“The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births” by Jose Pablo Iriarte in Lightspeed Magazine – Murder and reincarnation and comeuppance!
“The Deepest Notes of the Harp and Drum” by Marissa Lingen in Beneath Ceaseless Skies – A quiet, gorgeously written tale of guilt and repentance, and I am 100% always obsessed with guilt and repentance.
“Give the Family My Love” by A.T. Greenblatt in Clarkesworld – A uniquely narrated and surprisingly hopeful look at a seemingly hopeless future. I loled at some archivist humor.
“Rust and Bone” by Mary Robinette Kowal in Shimmer – A lovely story 100% tailored to my love of complex multigenerational female relationships. Moms and grandmas all day, okay!
“Your Mama’s Adventures in Parenting” by Mary Robinette Kowal in Shimmer – Yep, an older one, because Shimmer has a dastardly “see more like this” feature and I went down a rabbit-hole.
“Due By the End of the Week” by Brandon O’Brien in Fireside – This one starts off as a super cute superhero story and then ALSO becomes an entertaining unreliable narrator story. Both!
“The Blanched Bones, the Tyrant Wind” by Karen Osborne in Fireside – Short, lyrical, and a perfect *finger kiss* of an ending. I do love me a twist on a good dragon story.
“Why Aren’t Millennials Continuing Traditional Worship of the Elder Dark?” by Matt Dovey in Diabolical Plots – This is exactly what it says in the title, a raunchy send-up of my least favorite type of clickbait!
“Boiled Bones and Black Eggs” by Nghi Vo in Beneath Ceaseless Skies – This one, about the owner of an inn that serves the living and dead and is trying to get rid of a difficult customer, made me HUNGRY. Seriously, great writing, fun plot, delicious descriptions. Muah!
Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig – Insightful and entertaining, with an emphasis on good storytelling over plot templates. Also: so readable! Too many writing guides read like textbooks, which makes me question the advice. This one was damn fine.
Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin – This is another writing book that is actually imbued with its own techniques, so you can actually feel its advice at work as you read it.
Meaty by Samantha Irby – A collection of essays about the author’s messy childhood, messy adulthood, and even messier struggles with Crohn’s disease. I spent most of it giggling, and some of it CRYING, so I have to rec anything that makes me do both.
Agorafabulous! Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa – A startlingly funny memoir about struggling with agoraphobia. And, uh, I felt the Catholic guilt on a cellular level.
The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee – A really harrowing and illuminating autobiography about exactly what it says on the tin. I was on the verge of stress tears throughout, especially when she went back for her mother and brother. ;_;
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou – Um I powered through this in two days for my book club, and WHAT and WHY and HOW?! This account of a billion-dollar company peddling a blood testing gadget that NEVER ACTUALLY WORKED, hoodwinking major donors and retailers along the way, is a wild ride from start to finish.
Bitch Planet v. 2 President Bitch – The series is beginning to pick up steam, and, dare I say it, are we finally about to take over Bitch Planet??
Lumberjanes v. 3 A Terrible Plan – Yeah it’s for children but I’m saving them up for MY children, because this series is adorable and excellent.