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A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality.

A short YA graphic novel illustrated by Will Hernandez to help teens (or whoever) learn the basics about asexuality including that there are some things that vary from person to person (do ace folks feel part of the queer community? Some yes and some no). A short book that packs a lot into it and represents a lot of opinions. Worth reading.

Flight Risk

Another in the “psychic booking agent” series from Priest who is usually more of a horror novelist. I like the Seattle scenes and locations in this book and the plot was just fine but I didn’t really warm up to the main character. Not a necessary part of enjoying the book, which I did, just an ongoing thing with this series.

Frozen in Time

A story about a plane that crashed in Greenland during WWII, all the planes that went to search for the survivors (many of which also crashed) and a modern day search for those downed planes, now under dozens of feet of ice. The book goes back and forth between the crashes and detailing who the men were--many of whom were sort of generic-seeming soldiers of the time period--and then the quest to raise money for the search in modern days. I was a little stressed out getting to know some of the soldiers and unsure if they would live or not. The author becomes overly involved in the modern-day search and invests a bunch of money in an expedition that seems kind of doomed. Did not go where I wanted it to--ultimately they had a lead but nothing concrete and the book ended oddly with them saying “We’ll probably find it next year” but a pretty interesting story.

Numb to This

It’s not this book, it’s me, I have some sort of built-in “This didn’t work for me” vibe about graphic novel memoirs by young women and I’m not sure why. This was a gorgeously illustrated (and not at all graphic) look at the human aftermath of a school shooting from the perspective of someone nearby but not right in it. She has a lot of normal reactions which she is worried are not normal. Part of the issue is that her normal reactions are... a lot of apathy and ennui (among other emotions) and it’s just hard to make those into a captivating story.

Funeral Train

I grabbed this off of the new book shelf, didn’t realize it was the second in a series of detective mysteries. I thought it might be about funeral train generally. Instead, it was about a small town train wreck during Dust Bowl times in Oklahoma. A great period piece if a little pat for my tastes. Nice descriptions and interesting characters including a lot of female characters. Very slow motion in a way that appealed.

Pushing Ice

Reynolds writes really well about cold places. I loved Permafrost but it was too short and I wanted a lot more. I didn’t love Revelation Space because it was a bit too much of an epic spacer and a bit too dull (for me, maybe it’s good for others). This book is what I wanted! Long and complex, but there’s enough momentum to keep it going. It’s about ice miners in space who see something odd, follow up on it, and it changes the course of humanity. Lots of good female characters.

Across the Sand

More sand! This was a years-later sequel to the earlier Sand stories and I liked this bunch a little bit better. It’s got more people from different parts of the world within the story, with different backgrounds who have some perspectives that were missing from the first book. Some nice resolutions, feels a bit more hopeful, an odd change of a few characters and less time at the Honey Hole (a sex worker establishment that Howey just didn’t do justice to) make for a better reading experience, but one that probably requires someone has read the earlier book.

Sand

From the guy who brought us Wool. A story of survival and sand diving in a dystopian future Colorado where much of the history of the place has been lost. There’s a discovery and a lot of people trying to make the most of it. Meanwhile revolution foments and life is unstable and dry. Gritty and gripping.

Across a Field of Starlight

A fun queer space romp, excellently drawn with an exploration of what it means to be “useful” in a time of struggle but also abundance. I was occasionally confused about what specifically was happening--there are a lot of various engagements since some of the aspects of this story are military--but absolutely worth it for a story with a female-presenting character who also has a beard.

Gender Queer

I was the first person to check this out of my library somehow. I’d only seen the “racy” parts when reading internet stories by haters. This book is, OF COURSE, much more complex and thoughtful. It’s a great look at what it means to be questioning gender and sexuality even when growing up in a totally supportive household. And the illustrations, done by eir sibling Phoebe are likewise top notch. I’m sorry I put off reading this book for so long and am happy to recommend it to anyone.