Author: Sheena Boekweg Publication date: June 1, 2021 Genre: YA historical fiction My rating: 4/5 stars
Take everything you knew about the 1920s, add in a secret network of women who manipulate the men in power to achieve social change, make it a little bit queer, write it with so many highlight-able lines, and you have…something pretty darn close to this book. The best way I can describe this book is that it is exactly what it is pitched as, and simultaneously way more than I expected. With strong female friendships, body positivity, ace and trans rep, and plenty of badass women (fighting with words and manipulation mostly, but still capable of fighting!), this was a seriously cool book.
Author: Samantha Cohoe Publication date: October 13, 2020 Genre: young adult historical fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
Psychologically unsettling, darkly magical, and patriarchy-smashing, A Golden Fury was a great debut novel. It’s a highly enjoyable, fast-paced read, with an intoxicating blend of darkness, madness, alchemy, history, betrayal, and loyalty–definitely a good way to get in the mood for fall.
A week or two ago, I promised a post with pictures from my Christmas book haul, and now the time is here! Now, admittedly, only one person got me books this year–my dad–and he had to ask someone at the bookstore to help him pick them out, so they’re four titles that I literally hadn’t even heard of before. To that end, I caved and included the Goodreads blurbs for each of them in this post, because…well, might as well know what they’re about, right?
These books are, in order: a historical mystery, a historical rom-com (think Pride and Prejudice type story, from what I’ve heard), a YA contemporary/historical, and a fantasy. Yeah, apparently this lady thought I was super into historical books? I don’t really get why–she literally looked at my Goodreads account and I know historical fiction is one of my least-read genres–but whatever works, I guess. At the very least, my horizons will be broadened quite a lot! And hopefully, dear reader, by perusing this post, yours will too.
Author: George Saunders Publication date: February 14, 2017 Genre: historical fiction, literary fiction My rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Witty, wise, weird, and wrenching, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary tour-de-force that brims with brilliance and takes a little-known historical event as a lens to examine truths about the human condition. It is quite unlike anything I have read in a long time, and it makes the writer’s intelligence and skill apparent almost immediately. And, somehow, it manages to do this while still being an accessible read that passes far faster than you would expect–though you wish it could last just a tiny bit longer.
Usually, I would do a Top Ten Tuesday post since, you know, it’s a Tuesday. But this week’s theme is “Favorite Books I Read in 2019,” and I’ll let you in on a secret (which isn’t really a secret): I’m not very good at choosing favorites. I agonize over making selections of which books were the “best” I read each year, especially once I try to account for things like literary merit vs my own personal enjoyment, different criteria for books of different genres, new books vs classics, what to do about multiple good books in a series, and so on. Plus, with 105 books under my belt from this year alone, there’s just such a high chance that a generic “top ten” would leave out books that deserve more love. So instead, this is a little clustered “list” of my thoughts from the year, across different categories, genres, and more, with both favorites and least-favorites galore. (Hey, that rhymed.)
Author: Alice Hoffman Publication Date: September 24, 2019 Genre: historical fiction, magical realism, fantasy My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is a book that I’m sure many people will love. It’s a WWII story, an era which is always popular with the historical fiction crowd. The writing is quite lovely in its simplicity. The main characters are predominantly strong women, and one of the novel’s biggest themes is the strength of a mother’s love. And of course, it has a slight fantasy twist, drawing from Jewish mythology to further explore ideas about family, loyalty, and promises. But for me, the elements didn’t gel together quite as nicely as I would have liked.
Trying out something new today! WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, and I’ve seen a lot of fellow bloggers doing it, so I figured I would take a stab at it as well. There are three W questions to answer, so here they are along with my answers!
What are you currently reading?
I’m actually doing two books right now: listening to the audiobook for Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay (I love it so much so far!!), and reading my eARC forThe Water Dancerby Ta-Nehisi Coates (which I can already tell will be a powerful read once I get into the real meat of the story).
“Doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change.“
Author: Alix E. Harrow Publication Date: September 10, 2019 Genre: Portal fantasy, historical fiction, young adult Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading this book is like walking through a capital-D Door, out of this world and into an adjacent one filled with so much heart, magic, and mystery.The Ten Thousand Doors of January is the sort of book that you finish and say, “I can’t believe this is the author’s first novel.” It’s a lyrical, lovely fusion of historical fiction and portal fantasy—a combination that, frankly, has no right to work as well as it does.