Mt TBR Report: June 2021

June was a slower month for reading. My reading obligations dragged out longer than I anticipated and I picked up a new craft project.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2021: 426
Mt TBR @ 31 May 2021: 420
Mt TBR @ 30 June 2021: 423

Items Read

79. Shuri: The Search for Black Panther, Vol. 1 by Nnedi Okorafor & Leonardo Romero. Science fiction graphic novel. When T’Challa disappears on a space mission, it’s up to Shuri to take over as the Black Panther. Read for book club. Very disappointing. The art style didn’t agree with me and there were some very odd story choices, especially considering the author. For the first volume in a new series, it also doesn’t make a good entry point to the Marvel Universe.

81. European Travel for Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss. Fantasy. Mary Jekyll and the members of the Athena Club embark on a trip to Vienna to save Lucinda Van Helsing from the asylum in which her father has imprisoned her. Listened to on audio where Kate Reading once again does an amazing job, especially considering the cast grows and several European languages are spoken. I enjoyed Irene Adler’s appearance in the story, especially given Mary’s admiration for Sherlock Holmes. It was very nicely handled.

82. the long way down by AppleJuiz. Fanfic of the Andrew Garfield Spiderman movie. When the love of his life dies, Peter undertakes to follow in Orpheus’s footsteps and bring her back from the Underworld. Not my usual Spiderman fandom, but I couldn’t resist the Greek myth twist. Very poignant in its depiction of grief. I was also impressed that this Peter Parker feels a little different than the Tom Holland version AppleJuiz writes. But despite the skill of the piece, it hasn’t convinced me to join this fandom.

83. The Cruel Stars by John Birmingham. Military science fiction. Review forthcoming.

84. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. Fantasy novella. Hugo nominee. First book in the Singing Hills Cycle. A monk comes to a manor where the last empress was exiled. As they catalogue the items there, a former handmaiden tells them stories related to the items. Set in a world inspired by Imperial China, this is a fierce tale about the powerlessness and power of women. So far, my favourite of the Hugo nominees.

85. The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson. Historical fantasy. LDUH book club pick. A cartographer who can change reality with his maps goes on the run with a concubine of the last sultan in the Iberian peninsula. While there were some lovely parts to it — in particular the friendship between Hassan and Fatima — it lacked coherency.

86. Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire. Fantasy novella. Sixth book in the Wayward Children series (but stands alone just fine). After discovering she’s intersex and consequently being rejected by a friend, Regan steps through a doorway into a world with all the mythical horse creatures. One of the gentler stories in the series. A lovely read, but it didn’t wow me.

87. Rebuilding Tomorrow edited by Tsana Dolichva. A collection of short stories featuring disabled and chronically ill protagonists rebuilding after the apocalypse. I read this with a friend over a number of months and the generally hopeful vibe of the stories was a balm in difficult times.

88. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Nonfiction. A series of essays written by a Native American ecologist about her relationship with the natural world. By turns heart-breaking and uplifting, it encouraged me to see the world in a different way.

Acquisitions

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerising Girl by Theodora Goss
The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
Wild Mushrooming: A Guide for Foragers by Alison Pouliot
Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt by Rosalie David
She’s Fantastic edited by Lucy Sussex and Judith Raphael Buckrich
Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

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