On My Read-ar (still funny)

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten – This was described on NetGalley as a cross between Midsommar and Blair Witch, so I requested that pretty sharpish. And I just found out it’s translated from Swedish! Dude. Keep ’em peeled for this.

Set My Heart to Five by Simon Stephenson – Saw this pop up on Twitter, with a quote from King of the Nerds, Simon Pegg:

“A beautiful, funny, heartfelt analysis of what it means to be human.”

On first glance, the book seems to be about a bot who watches old movies and begins to feel emotions. That’s enough to gain my interest! And Edgar Wright is helmed to direct the movie adaptation! Lots of encouraging reviews on Goodreads for this.

Pew by Catherine Lacey – Looks like this is already out in the UK, you lucky buggers! Across the pond, we’ve got a couple more weeks to wait. Incredibly interesting premise; a person with no gender, racial identity, or voice, and how people react to such ambiguity.

Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings – Look, you pop comparisons to Shirley Jackson on a blurb, and I’m more than likely to want to read the thing. Mentions of folklore, fairy tales, and the author is Australian. Take. My. Money.

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark – I can’t do this one justice in one paragraph. The plot summary is just so bonkers. It’s apparently “a dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror”. Sold? Yup.

Things in Jars – Jess Kidd

Sigh. Jess Kidd. She’s just too bloody talented. If you haven’t read her phenomenal debut, Himself, I urge you to do so. Dark humor, ghosts, mystery, gorgeous characters, beautiful prose; it’s got everything.

I’ve been trying to get through the audiobook of Things in Jars for a while. But I find audiobooks better for more casual listening (lighter novels, entertainment autobiographies, that kind of thing), and if I really want to live inside a novel, I have to read the thing. And once I started the physical book of Things in Jars, I got through it in four days. Lovely.

A child with reputed strange powers has been kidnapped, and investigator Bridie Devine is on the case. With the help of her seven-foot housemaid, the tattooed ghost of a boxer, and a host of other bewitching characters, Bridie is dragged into a peculiar world that is not completely unfamiliar to her.

One of my favorite things about Kidd’s writing is her use of language. It is beautiful, but not flowery. Much of her impact comes from her adept turn of phrase. I don’t frequently highlight quotes in Kindle books, but I highlighted six in Things in Jars. An example:

“Moreover, women should have the uncontested right to enter the medical profession, being, as a general rule, notably less stupid than men.”

Things in Jars is historical fiction, which isn’t usually my cup of tea. However, there is the exception of The Crimson Petal and the White. I was bereft when I finished that book. Bereft, I tells ya. But it just goes to show when you have a wonderful tale to tell, you could set it in a garden shed and it would still be successful.

Current Reading

I had a day off before the long July 4th weekend, and managed to get through half of Mexican Gothic, which is wonderful. The central character, Noemí, is fierce, and I love her. If anyone can kick the ass of a haunted house, it’s her.

I’m revisiting Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred, because I don’t think I’ve ever finished it and I’m not quite sure why. Probably because it’s an audiobook. Might have to rethink this one.

General Bits

I did a Twitter thread of my favorite books of the year so far.

The incomparable Valancourt Books, who brought us Paperbacks from Hell, is going to do a line of Monster, She Wrote books, inspired by the fantastic 2019 book by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R Anderson.

We’re getting Ready Player Two later this year. I enjoyed the first book, despite its many faults. The movie was not good. Somewhere there is a very large garbage island completely made up of unwanted Hot Topic Ready Player One merchandise. I’ll be listening to the inevitable Will Wheaton narrated audiobook.

That’s all she wrote, my friends. Until next time, find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads!

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