Mini-Reviews to catch up: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Samantha Irby, André Leon Talley

I fell out of my reviewing groove some time last year and am only now starting to get back into things. This does mean that I have pending reviews for books that I read nearly a year ago – and I am not good at writing reviews if I leave them too long. Therefore I decided to write mini-reviews to finally catch up and start with afresh, hoping that I will not leave books unreviewed for this long.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

36510722Published by Quercus Books, July 23rd 2019

This book combines very many things I adore in books: whimsical writing in fantasy books for adults, a female main character I could not help but adore, ruminations on godhood and what makes humans human, as well as a mythology that I am not familiar with. I already knew that I would like Moreno-Garcia’s writing, as her short stories are consistently amongst my favourites in anthologies. I did ultimately enjoy this but did not love it. The aloof tone was something I appreciated but which kept me from adoring this. I am still excited about quite a few of Moreno-Garcia’s books though.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

47169050Published by Faber & Faber, April 2nd 2020

I adore Samantha Irby. Her humour and the way she structures her essays in a way that seems effortless but surely isn’t make her books a joy to read. Her third collection of essays is as good as the ones that came before and it came to me at just the right moment. It got me reading in the middle of a pandemic induced reading slump and made me happy. Irby writes about growing older, body positivity, the internet, imposter syndrome, and many things more in a way that makes these topics approachable and so funny. I hope she keeps on writing these books because I love them.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley

51794442._sx318_sy475_Published by 4th Estate, May 19th 2020

This book mostly made me sad. André Leon Talley has written a book supposedly telling it all – and he does tell a lot of things about the inner workings of Vogue, of the micro-aggressions he endured as one of the very few black people in the fashion world and as a black gay man in particular. Weirdly enough I never got a concrete understanding how much of the awful treatment he received was due to his identity and how much was just the way the fashion world worked, and it made me so very sad for him. I enjoyed being able to glimpse behind the curtain and I enjoyed how petty André Leon Talley allowed himself to be. I do think the book promises something in the introduction it then never delivers on: Talley does not spend a lot of time ruminating on the role of race in his trajectory, but rather tells of his life as he experienced it – and apparently he experienced it mainly as a means to wear extravagant clothes which he describes in minute detail, from the way things looked to where he got them to who complimented him on them – and that part of the book I was not that keen on. Reading between the lines, Talley seems profoundly lonely and I sometimes wished he would be more honest about that – but then again, he can choose to tell his story in any way he wishes.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wrap Up: September & October 2019 or I think I’m back now

I’m back. I think. I quietly stayed away from my blog and Goodreads for weeks now. The reason is a brilliant one though: I am pregnant. While I love it and I am so glad – I also felt like I was run over by a truck for the better part of three months. So, I just didn’t read much. And then when I started reading again, I only read really, really trashy romance novels (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) and didn’t feel quite like talking about them. I also stopped blogging and reading other people’s blogs, but I think I am back now. And excited for it! (I wrote this paragraph a while ago – and then my body decided to not yet be done with feeling awful – so this wrap up is late and mostly without pictures.)

Books I read in September & October:

  1. The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon: 4 out of 5 stars (review)
  2. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  3. Trick Mirror: Reflections of Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino: 4 out of 5 stars (review)
  4. Crossing the Line (Sinner and Saint #1) by Lucy Score: 3 out of 5 stars
  5. Breaking the Rules (Sinner and Saint #2) by Lucy Score: 3 out of 5 stars
  6. Up in Smoke (Crossing the Line #2) by Tessa Bailey: 2 out of 5 stars
  7. Mr. Fixer-Upper by Lucy Score: 4 out of 5 stars
  8. Duke in Darkness (Wickedly Wed #1) by Nicola Davidson: 3 out of 5 stars
  9. Runaway Girl (Girl #2) by Tessa Bailey: 4 out of 5 stars
  10. Driven by Fate (Serve #5) by Tessa Bailey: 3 out of 5 stars
  11. The Price of Scandal by Lucy Score: 3 out of 5 stars
  12. Protecting What’s Theirs (Line of Duty #1.5) by Tessa Bailey: 3 out of 5 stars
  13. His Risk to Take (Line of Duty #2) by Tessa Bailey: 3 out of 5 stars
  14. Asking for Trouble (Line of Duty #4) by Tessa Bailey: 3 out of 5 stars
  15. Baiting the Maid of Honor (Wedding Dare #2) by Tessa Bailey: 4 out of 5 stars
  16. The Mopster’s Masseuse by Jessa Kane: 1.5 out of 5 stars
  17. Bared by Alta Hensley: 1.5 out of 5 stars
  18. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: 3 out of 5 strs
  19. Shelf Life by Livia Franchini: 3 out of 5 stars (review)
  20. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang: 5 out of 5 stars

Favourite of the Month:

The Collected Schizophrenias was absolutely stunning. I adored everything about this impeccably written essay collection/ memoir and I want more people to read it. I

Continue reading “Wrap Up: September & October 2019 or I think I’m back now”

Wrap Up: August 2019 or a month mostly away from my blog.

I do not think my blog has ever been as quiet as it has been the last three weeks; and this in a year where my focus has been elsewhere to begin with. But this month I also did not keep my Goodreads up to date, which hasn’t ever happened since I got one. Hopefully I will kick this blogging slump soon because I really do like having a blog. I have dragged my feet writing this post and as to not make this take even longer, this’ll be a brief wrap-up, with very few pictures.

Books I read in August:

  1. A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride: 4 out of 5 stars (review)
  2. Book Boyfriend by Claire Kingsley: 3 out of 5 stars
  3. Cocky Roommate by Claire Kingsley: 4 out of 5 stars
  4. Protecting What’s His (Line of Duty #1) by Tessa Bailey: 3 out of 5 stars
  5. Officer Off Limits (Line of Duty #3) by Tessa Bailey: 3 out of 5 stars
  6. Staking His Claim (Line of Duty #5) by Tessa Bailey: 3 out of 5 stars
  7. Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine: 5 out of 5 stars
  8. Irresistible by Melanie Harlow: 3 out of 5 stars
  9. Three Part Harmony by Holley Trent: 3 out of 5 stars
  10. Always Will by Claire Kingsley: 4 out of 5 stars
  11. Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.: 2 out of 5 stars
  12. Pretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score: 4 out of 5 stars
  13. Mr. Fixer-Upper by Lucy Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Favourite of the Month:

I adored Sabrina & Corina in a way that I haven’t loved a short story collection in a long while. But the book that will most likely stay with me the longest will have to be A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride. Not only is the book absolutely stunningly executed (if incredibly traumatic) my reading experience with my wonderful Women’s Prize group was amazing as always.

Continue reading “Wrap Up: August 2019 or a month mostly away from my blog.”

TBR: ARCs on my shelves part I (2019)

I cannot believe the year is nearly half-way over and I haven’t talked about the unread ARCs on my virtual shelves even once. I have been a pretty awful blogger this year – I don’t have all that much time for it and I have also not been feeling like reading books I should be reading. My reading has been overwhelmingly done by whim (except for the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist) and as such I have fallen off the ARC-waggon a bit. I have so many overdue ARCs that I am feeling guilty about – but I also recently acquired a few more that are either not much overdue yet or in a few cases aren’t published yet. I am hoping that putting these on my blog will lead to me actually reading them soonish.

40947778The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

Publication Date: June 11th, 2019

Publisher: Angry Robot

Blurb (from Goodreads): The Pride of Jai was supposed to be humanity’s greatest accomplishment—a space station made entirely by humans and their primitive computers, without “divine” cyber-technology provided by the sentient quantum supercomputers worshipped as Gods. And it was supposed to be a personal triumph for its young lead scientist, physicist Yasira Shien, whose innovative mathematics was key to the reactor powering it.

But something goes wrong in Yasira’s reactor, leading to an unexplained singularity that destroys The Pride of Jai and most of the people on it—and placing Yasira in the sights of angry Angels, the cyborg servants of the Gods.

According to the angels, Yasira’s reactor malfunction was the latest in a rising tide of disasters, intentionally caused to exploit vulnerabilities in the very pattern of spacetime and usher in horrific beings from beyond reality itself. They believe that the woman behind the disasters is Yasira’s long-vanished mentor, Dr Evianna Talirr—and they believe that Yasira, Dr Talirr’s favorite student, is the only one who can help them find her.

Spirited off to the edge of the galaxy and with her whole planet’s fate, and more, hanging in the balance, Yasira must decide who to trust: the ruthless angels she was always taught to obey without question—or the heretic scientist whose plans could change everything she knows to be true about reality.

Why I requested it: This just sounds awesome. I do love books about gods and AI gods seem like the logical sci-fi equivalent. Continue reading “TBR: ARCs on my shelves part I (2019)”

Tag: 5 Star Predictions Round 2ish

I know I have done this before – and then promptly never read the books I listed, so we’re all just going to pretend I am doing this for the first time. I was tagged by Rachel and I think it might be a good opportunity to get excited about some of these million unread books on my shelves because so far this year, my reading has been overwhelmingly digital (ebooks and audiobooks) and I want to get my physical TBR down to a manageable size (she says, while buying new books all the time).

The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley

36332136I recently read and LOVED The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and wanted another myth retelling. I needed a new audiobook for my walk to work and this one has intrigued me since it came out. I haven’t read Beowolf and in fact I know next to nothing about the plot but I am super excited about this one. It sounds absolutely brilliant and like something I could really adore.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

36510722I adore Moreno-Garcia’s writing, without ever having read one of her novels. Her short stories are consistently the best thing in the anthologies I read and I really need to get to her stuff. I was lucky enough to receive a NetGalley-ARC for this and I could not be more thrilled. There is something about her imagination and her imagery that just speaks to me and I hope to adore her novels as much as her shorter works.

Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovic

34511802I adore Abramovic’s art and I hope that will translate into loving her memoir. I haven’t been reading enough non-fiction these last few months and it shows – I do miss it and need to get back into the groove. This one seems like an obvious choice.

 

 

When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy

38821165Everything I hear about this book makes me more excited and simultaneously more scared to read it. I am sure I will love it but I am also sure it will be harrowing. So part of me including this is to finally push myself to read this. I read the first page a while ago and really meshed with the writing style.

 

Monstress Vol. 3 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

41952016I don’t know why I haven’t read this already. I gave the other two volumes already published five stars – I adore everything from the seriously stunning art, to the female centric narration, to the darkness underneath the beauty. I cannot see myself not loving this.