July 2020 archive

Jul 28 2020

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

I need P Djeli Clark to write me some meaty 300+ page books! He’s definitely doing great things with shorter works: 2019’s The Haunting Of Tram Car 015 felt fully realized despite its brevity, and I can only imagine that this year’s Ring Shout will only showcase his increasing command of the novella form. Unfortunately, …

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Jul 22 2020

Middlegame (Middlegame #1) by Seanan McGuire

Finished reading this last Hugo nominee for Best Novel right before the buzzer, and wow is my brain tired! So many interesting concepts and some really great, fun writing throughout the many books and stories I’ve covered for/off this slate. My right eye is still twitching even as I type these words, tho some of …

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Jul 21 2020

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

A searing, devastating indictment of both unquestioning loyalty and the corporate interests that use up workers in order to profit shareholders, extrapolated to their grimmest reality, Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade is both gripping and timely in this endless year of 2020. Our narrator, Dietz, grew up in the slums of Sao Paulo, eking a …

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Jul 20 2020

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1) by Tamsyn Muir

Several of my reactions upon completing this book, in no particular order: “Do I really need to read the other Hugo finalists when this may be the best book I’ve ever read ever?” “Oh gosh, I’d love to play in an RPG of this. I wonder what dice and stats system this would run best …

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Jul 16 2020

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders

I’ve read a bunch of Charlie Jane Anders’ short fiction and never understood why it was so popular. I figured reading something long form would help clarify this situation and it did, but not in the way I wanted. Here’s my problem with the writing of hers I’ve read so far: there are few interiors. …

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Jul 15 2020

Minor Mage by T Kingfisher

This book reads far differently for me as a mom now than if I’d read it before my kids were born, but I’d like to think that my younger self would still have appreciated how terrific, how finely crafted this tale of a young wizard on a quest to save his village is. Oliver is …

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Jul 14 2020

An Interview with Tiffani Angus, author of Threading The Labyrinth

Q. Every book has its own story about how it came to be conceived and written as it did. How did Threading The Labyrinth evolve? A. Way back in 2009, it started as a research proposal for a PhD in Creative Writing. I wanted to study the history of English gardens and write a novel …

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Jul 13 2020

Riverland by Fran Wilde

Oh how my heart hurt for the Prine sisters, 7th grader Eleanor and her younger sister Mike! Growing up with an abusive father, Simon, and a mother, Moira, who would prefer to blame them rather than defend them, the girls resort to telling each other stories about magic in order to explain the horrifying circumstances …

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Jul 10 2020

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

This may be the most original fantasy novel I’ve read so far this year! I genuinely can’t believe this is billed as a children’s book when it’s so rich and layered and honestly deeply interrogative of personal and political relationships and choices. It’s so much more thoughtful and nuanced than at least 75% of the …

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Jul 09 2020

From Page To Screen: The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M Martin

Back in the early 90s when these came out, I tried one or two books from The Babysitter’s Club, but figured I was too old for them. My sights were set on solving mysteries with Nancy Drew in college, if I was reading YA/Middle Grade at all. So when the Netflix series came out, I …

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