Mt TBR Report: July 2021

The more I read, the more I want to read. Which is to say that Mt TBR keeps slowly creeping upward.

It was an interesting mix of stuff this month. There’s fanfic alongside some heavier philosophy and memoir. A couple of Lodestar nominees. And I seem to be on a bit of an audio binge.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2021: 426
Mt TBR @ 30 June 2021: 423
Mt TBR @ 31 July 2021: 428

Items Read

89. Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire. Contemporary and historical fantasy. First book in the Ghost Roads. A hitchhiking ghost acts as a psychopomp for rural road deaths while hiding from the immortal who killed her. McGuire is always an entertaining read and the American Gothic atmosphere was perfect for mid-winter.

90. Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna. Gothic fantasy. Reviewed here.

91. take a picture by AppleJuiz. Fanfic of the Tom Holland Spiderman movies. A wonderfully gentle 5+1 times fic.

92. our hands speak for us (and complicate it) by AppleJuiz. Fanfic of the Tom Holland Spiderman movies. MJ checks in on Peter after the London battle. A little more physical than AppleJuiz usually writes, but still a long way from explicit. It also does a good job of conveying the awkwardness of young love.

93. Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown. Non-fiction. A new philosophy inspired by the work of Octavia Butler and grounded in social justice activism. There were some interesting ideas here and I especially appreciated the inspiration it took from nature. However, in trying to structure the book in a way that aligned with the philosophy, some clarity was sacrificed.

94. Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas. YA Contemporary fantasy. Hugo nominee. A young, trans brujo struggles to get his traditional family to accept his path on account of his gender. To prove himself, he tries to summon the ghost of his recently murdered cousin and ends up with the ghost of his high school’s bad boy instead. The story was a bit predictable in places and not especially deep, but the romance was sweet and handled well.

95. Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina. YA contemporary fantasy. Book club pick. Reread.

96. all I’ve ever known by AppleJuiz. Fanfic of the Tom Holland Spiderman movies. A version in which MJ is asexual and coming to terms with wanting to be in a romantic relationship. I can only aspire to be as awesome as MJ one day.

97. The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerising Girl by Theodora Goss. Historical fantasy. Third book in the Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club. The members of the Athena Club band together to save their friend Alice and Sherlock Holmes from Doctor Moriarty’s clutches. A pitch-perfect conclusion to the series. I listened to the audio version, which was once again very capably narrated by Kate Reading.

98. Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger. YA contemporary fantasy. Hugo nominee. A young Lipan Apache girl who can raise the ghosts of dead animals investigates the murder of her cousin after he appears to her in a dream. The world-building was wonderful, showing magic from multiple cultures interacting in interesting ways. It also shows how a teenage character can have an adventure with the support and even presence of her parents. A worthy Hugo nominee.

99. Soulless by Gail Carriger. Steampunk. First in the Parasol Protectorate. When she accidentally kills a vampire, Alexia must contend with the handsome werewolf lord sent to investigate. There was some head hopping that I didn’t enjoy and Alexia’s Italian heritage is dealt with in some troubling ways. But mostly, it was ridiculous fun.

100. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green. Nonfiction. Ostensibly, a collection of essays reviewing random things from the human age, combined with some strong memoir elements. Although I’d encountered much of the material before via Green’s podcast of the same title (and I listened to Green narrate the book on audio), there was enough new material to keep things interesting. It was at times a heartbreaking meditation on the pandemic, depression and what it means to be human. I give The Anthropocene Reviewed four stars.

101. Black and Blue by Veronica Gorrie. Nonfiction memoir. Book club pick. An Indigenous Australian woman shares her upbringing and her time in the police force. Unsurprisingly, it contains some difficult material and comes with all the trigger warnings. However, the pared back style makes it a quick read.

102. Waste Not by Erin Rhoads. Nonfiction. Tips on environmental sustainability around the home.

103. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik. YA Fantasy. Hugo nominee. Basically, the Hunger Games at Hogwarts, so expect some light horror tropes. I enjoyed it immensely.

Acquisitions

Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown
Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore
Subtle Blood by KJ Charles
Beneath the Moon by Yoshi Yoshitani
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T Kingfisher
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Black and Blue by Veronica Gorrie
Joyful Millitancy by Nick Montgomery and carla bergman
Waste Not by Erin Rhoads
Song of Flight by Juliet Marillier
The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams
Now That I See You by Emma Batchelor
A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

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