So this year I’ve decided to start tracking what I read. I always forget, by the end of the year, what I read and when. So, inspired by E. Catherine Tobler’s reading summary posts, I intend to hopefully update y’all once a month.
Without further ado, in January 2017 I read…
Eleanor by Jason Gurley.
Rated: Loved it!
To be fair, I began reading this in 2016. This is just an absolutely gorgeous novel about mothers, daughters, sisters, and depression, abandonment, forgiveness. Absolutely gorgeous prose here and characters that make your heart ache. This was an especially hard and wonderful time to read a story like this, what with just having a daughter of my own. I actually walked into this novel thinking, for some reason, that it was non-genre. So when it went all sideways into genre I was like WHAT. After I caught up, I rather enjoyed the twist and Gurley did some awesome things with it. I had a few tiny nitpicks (seriously, not even worth mentioning) and one issue with a line that made a character come off as a bit… transmisogynist. But yes. Gorgeous, heart-breaking, definitely recommend it.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Rated: OMG BEST
Good Lord, this is a terrifying read for 2017. Just… there are parts of this book that I cannot get out of my head, especially with the turn this country has taken. The prose is absolutely incredible–made me quite jealous at points. I had to stop frequently to just soak in the glory of a particular line or two. It’s very open-ended which I found incredibly frustrating (I flipped to go to the next page AND IT WAS OVER WTF??). Still, wow. What a book.
Anthem by Ayn Rand
Can you sense a theme in the sorts of stories I’ve been reading? I’d never actually read anything by Ayn Rand before. I saw someone recommend this in the same thread that they recommended The Handmaid’s Tale, and it was cheap on Amazon so I thought what the heck why not.
Technically a novella, this one was… It was good. It had lines that were utterly superb, cutting, quote-worthy lines. At the same time I found myself disagreeing with parts of it and OH MY GOD THE SEXISM. Sorry, but the “Golden One” was such a passive, submissive cardboard cutout of a woman I was generally irritated when she was ‘on screen.’ That said, again, the quote-worthy parts of this were incredible. I didn’t actually feel that the story DID enough with the premise? It felt a bit shallow compared to The Handmaid’s Tale, but it was still a good read.
“Bodies Stacked Like Firewood” by Sam J. Miller
Published in Uncanny
I wrote a string of words in my tracker for this story: holocaust, fire, death, powerful, emotional, brutal. I won’t try to describe this story, I just recommend reading it. Oof, it’ll hit you where it hurts. ❤
“Monster Girls Don’t Cry” by A. Merc Rustad
Published in Uncanny
It’s no surprise that I loved this story by Merc Rustad. This one had some particularly lovely themes, always touched by pain, but wrapped up in hope. This was a story about hiding yourself, and then–to me at least–about finding yourself, BEING yourself with the people who love you that way, when you’re not pretending to be something else. Super lovely. Super powerful. Delightful prose as always.
“Loneliness Is In Your Blood” by Cadwell Turnbull
Published in Nightmare
This one was sad and dark. Bloody, too. Some absolutely incredible lines in this. ❤
So that’s everything I read in January of 2017. Well, and a bunch of flash pieces for a contest, but those aren’t published yet. I hope to read more as the year progresses, but my reading time is a bit limited these days what with Estelle getting more mobile and demanding more entertainment! Oh, should I have included “Goodnight Moon” which I’ve read about 80 times this month?
Happy Reading, Folks!