Earlier this month, I set out some reading goals: general categories that I wanted to use to guide some of my reading for the year. January has been a great month for reading – spurred, paradoxically, by all the chaos. One of my best ways to escape was to walk away from computer and phone and read a physical book.
In my categories, this month, I’ve read:
One book about horses: I reviewed The Age of the Horse by Susanna Forrester. I really loved it and would recommend it to anyone who wants a more contemplative horse read.
One book nominated for a Nebula award: Hild by Nicola Griffiths. I had complicated feelings about this; it was incredibly dense and complicated and immersive, and that felt both good and bad by turns. I also picked it up thinking it was YA fantasy and boy was I wrong about that. It took me a little while to get over that whiplash and into the narrative.
One memoir: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco. I did not like this quite as much as I wanted to. I really enjoy Alyssa Mastromonaco’s perspective as a commenter in the Crooked Media universe of podcasts, but this book felt just a smidge too light for me. It had some really great moments, mostly when you got glimpses of how absolutely hyper-competent and observant she is, but too often she sacrificed sharing those moments for light, breezy stories meant to entertain. It was still a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I read one book by an author of color: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I wanted so badly to like this! I loved many things about it. Ultimately, it stayed too much within the confines of traditional fantasy, its main characters were too often irredeemably stupid (in plot-driven ways, not character-driven ways), and the style of constantly switching first-person perspective (sometimes only a page or two per chapter) meant I never entirely settled in.
I also read three other books that don’t fit into my categories, all fantasy, all varying degrees of enjoyable.