Sci-Fi Month 2019 TBR(or sci-fi books written by women I own and haven’t read yet)

November seems to be THE month for readathons – there is Non-Fiction November and Novellas in November, but I am most excited about this one: Sci-Fi Month 2019. I adore the community and I am hoping that my enthusiasm for them will finally properly re-introduce me to the blogging world. Sci-Fi Month is hosted by Imyril over @ onemore and Lisa over @ deargeekplace. You can still join up here. I’ll be using this readathon as a motivation to finally pick up some more of the science fiction books I own (true to brand, only those written by women) and hopefully to get back into the groove of reviewing regularly.

I am notoriously bad at following TBRs but I do love compiling them and I had fun looking at the books I own and haven’t read yet. If I read two of these books I will see that as a success.

Priorities

24100285Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

I love everything about the premise. I am a huge (unironic) fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and cannot wait to see what Valente and her signature imagination can do with it. Also, the tagline is a thing of genius: “In space, everybody can hear you sing.” I really need to finally get to this.

32802595Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

I absolutely adore Chamber’s brand of optimistic sci-fi and I cannot believe I still haven’t read this. I haven’t been in the mood for any spec-fic that is dark and twisted, so this one should work perfectly for me.

 

ARCs

40947778The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

I keep talking about this book because it is so ridiculously up my alley: I mean, AI gods? How much more custom-made for me can any sci-fi book be? But then I never pick it up. I really want to change this soon. And I would love to have at least one ARC-review up for Sci-Fi Month.

41085049Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe

This one fell victim to my reading slump (or rather, slump involving anything not romance related) – I read the first few chapters and did enjoy it but didn’t love it. I am determined to finally make a proper dent into it though! I like stories about siblings and I like closed room sci-fi and I like stories set in different timelines.

Maybe

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

I bought those two books when I decided I wanted to read more science fiction early in 2018 – that I still haven’t picked them back up is maybe not the best sign. But then again, I got overly ambitious and bought way too many books at once. Both come highly praised as well – especially Ancillary Justice has won pretty much every prize there is to win and my boyfriend who reads more science fiction than I do really loved it.

35519101Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

I enjoyed both ealier installments of this series – and Murderbot is just the perfect protagonist. This could double as the only book I read for Novellas in November so I am indeed very tempted to pick it up. Especially because it would be a very quick and fun read.

I really hope I’ll manage to pick up at least some of these books. Are you planning on participating in Sci-Fi Month?

Last 10 Books Tag

I saw this tag on Rachel’s blog and it looked so much fun I decided to steal it.

1. What was the last book you DNFed?

41747005I have two DNF shelves on my Goodreads, “Will probably not finish” and “on hold”. Both show how unsure I am whether a book is really properly DNFed or if I will pick it back up at some point. The last book I put down, and I am dreading admitting this because it is so very beloved, is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I will maybe pick it back up at some other point but it is very much not a book for me. I can see why people love it for sure, but for me the melodrama and over-the-topness did not work. I also wished the protagonist would stop talking about his penis so much.

2. Last book you reread?

Oh, hello again, rereading questions. The last book I reread was Kassandra by Christa Wolf. It is my all-time favourite book and the only one I really make a habit out of regularly rereading.

3. Last book you bought?

32802595I preordered the UK paperback edition of Becky Chambers Record of a Spaceborn Few, the third in the Wayfarer series, which I love. I also love this title and I am so glad to proper-sized paperback edition is publishing soon.

 

 

4. Last book you said you read but didn’t?

I rarely do that. But, technically, I did not finish War and Peace because I ragequit it way too close to the end. The only character I found interesting died and I put the book down and just never picked it back up. I read enough to have an opinion of the book (and it is as follows: Tolstoy got worse the older he got and his didactics ruin an otherwise brilliant writer) and as such might have said to have read it at some point.

5. Last book you wrote in the margins of?

It’s probably the last book I bought for my thesis, and I couldn’t say which one it is. I only write in the margins of books I read for an academic purpose.

6. Last book you got signed?

None.

7. Last book you lost?

Not technically lost but I don’t have the first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy anymore and coincidentally, the exact same editions are in my youngest stepsister’s room at her mum’s house. But everybody is backing her up in that these are her books and it seems petty to argue. I still haven’t replaced the books though.

8. Last book you had to replace?

10860047A friend of mine I am no longer speaking to still has my copy of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I went ahead and just replaced the book because it looks pretty and I really loved it when I read it.

 

 

9. Last book you had an argument over?

Not argument per se but I tried listening to It by Stephen King and when I gave up halfway through (after more than 20 hours I might add!), I may have ranted at my boyfriend for long enough for him (who is a very patient man, an attribute I adore) to tell me that maybe I am overreacting. He really likes Stephen King so it was not my most diplomatic moment. But that book drove me up the walls!

10. Last book you couldn’t get a hold of?

Lidia Yuknavitch has two short story collections that are impossible to find. I would love to be able to read those because she is my hero and I think her style would lend itself beautifully to the format.

As I wasn’t tagged, I also won’t do that but if you decide to do a post on this, please let me know!

Review: A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) – Becky Chambers

29475447Verdict: I love Becky Chambers optimistic science fiction despite its pacing issues.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Date Read: January 23rd, 2018

Published by Orbit, 2017

Find it on Goodreads.

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for – and learned to live with, and love, her rag-tag collection of crewmates.

A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to Becky Chambers’ beloved debut novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect and Star Wars.

I absolutely adore Becky Chambers’ brand on optimistic science fiction. It is filled with wide-eyed, immersive, positive energy and I LOVE that. I love how inclusive her imagination is and how thoroughly thought out her world is. The aliens feel exactly that: alien. They are different not just in the way they look but in the way they think and behave and in the way their societies are structured. But still, the different races exist more or less peacefully and most people we meet along the way do their damned best to be nice to others. I find this so very refreshing.

This is a stand-alone follow-up to The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet (which I enjoyed immensely) that is very loosely connected. Here we see Lovelace trying to adapt to her new life with Pepper, as well as learning more about Pepper’s childhood. However, much like the first book, the plot is rather incidental and for a very long stretch this feels more like a series of vignettes where Becky Chambers shows off her impressive imagination. Unlike the first book, this got a bit slow for me in parts. Maybe because the cast of characters is not as big or maybe because the novelty wore off a bit. But in the end, she combines the different stories skillfully and with an emotional punch, that I cannot begrudge her the way of getting there.

I love stories centering on identity (this comes as no surprise), and Chambers does this skillfully and as I said thoroughly optimistically. I adore her ruminations on what makes somebody a person and how this might change as technology adapts. Her themes of belonging and family (born and found) are important. I love how at the core this is not about science as much as about sociology. And I love the warmth her stories have. I cannot wait for the third part to release later this year.

First sentence: “Lovelace had been in a body for twenty-eight minutes, and it still felt every bit as wrong as it had the second she woke up.”

Wrap Up: January 2018

I had a pretty good reading month. I am still playing catch-up with all the ARCs I have to read (there are so many books coming out in February and March!) but still managed to read a few of my already owned books. I have also not read a book yet that I haven’t liked.

These are the books I read this month:

  1. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi: 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy: 4 out of 5 stars.
  3. Folk by Zoe Gilbert: 3 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: 4 out of 5 stars.
  5. Monstress Vol. 1: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (reread): 5 out of 5 stars
  6. Once I Was Cool by Megan Stielstra: 4 out of 5 stars
  7. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers: 4 out of 5 stars
  8. The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson: 4 out of 5 stars
  9. The Starlings by Jo Walton: 3 out of 5 stars

Favourite of the month:

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi, hands down. It is just stunning and I absolutely adored every second of it. I am very excited for more people to read this.

Stats (ish)

I read 9 books with 2400 pages and gave them an average of 4 stars. Of the 9 books, two were written by men, 6 by women and one by a person identifying as gender-nonconforming. I read two memoirs, two short story collections, one graphic novel, on literary fiction novel, one science fiction book, one novella (horror), and one mix between crime and fantasy.

I like that mix. I have been craving mostly genre fiction and memoirs. And will continue to read in this vain.

Currently Reading:

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death by Maggie O’Farrell

How I Lose You by Kate McNaughton

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S. A. Corey

(Some of the) Blog posts I loved:

Rachel’s list of her ARCs inspired me to write a similar post of my own and caused a bit of book envy.

Stuart’s list of classics he still needs to read made me remember similar goals I have.

Callum recommends brilliant family dramas (and has an all-around impeccable taste).

I loved JW’s post on spoilers and have been thinking about what constitutes a spoiler since.

I also really enjoyed Rick’s post about reading and Virgina Woolf.

I love reading about people discovering new favourites; especially when those are books I loved as well. Go and check out Sarah’s review of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

I really enjoyed Rita’s Alphabetical and think you all would, too.

How was your reading month? And do link me your favourite blog post you have written this month.