Things I Read – March 2018

Stole this topic idea from a friend who does monthly recaps of the books she read. 🙂 Since I’m reading a lot more than I used to lately (and also reading a lot more than I’m writing), seemed like it might help me get back into the habit of writing and thinking in a way that facilitates it.

According to Goodreads, I read 8 books in March, not counting single issue comics and also not counting the one that I am 7/8 finished with but will actually complete in April. Le sigh.

I am counting graphic novels and admittedly added extras to my list to make that number higher and make myself not feel like a failure when I finished February one book short of my goal. But hey, they’re still books.

I also included a children’s book this month. 😀 Actually, I don’t think that one went towards my Goodreads challenge. But I’ll still talk about it here.

Books!

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
Oh goodness, so cute. I had mixed feelings about reading it when I first heard it was specifically made to mock Pence’s book and using his actual real-life rabbit. Like, doesn’t that violate some kind of copyright issues or something? I have no idea, I’m not a lawyer. But I watched the segment of the show where John Oliver talks about it and was won over. The art was fantastic and it sounded like an actually good story and it was. I got the kindle version (because the physical copy was already sold out by the time I had heard of it, wow) and the audiobook version so famous people I sort of know could read it to me while I followed along. They automatically link so the page should turn at the right moment of the audiobook and such, but the kindle was a little bit behind for me and that made it slightly less-than-perfect. Still a fun experience, though. Read it if a cute gay bunny wedding sounds like a fun time to you. Also it’s for charity.

7/10

Marine Biology and The Sumage Solution, both by G.L. Carriger (aka Gail Carriger)
Um. So I was watching an internet review of…I want to say The Shape of Water? And there was a mention of ridiculous romance novels you can find on Amazon and one of them included a triceratops and I was like “what even is this weird little niche genre and how does it exist and is it serious?” So I went looking for paranormal romances just to kind of dip my toe because I’ve never read romance outside fanfic and that seemed like a safe start. And I am fascinated now and have so many things on my reading list and also I added cozy mysteries because that to me seems equally bizarre and niche and I must wrap my little mind around it and dissect it.

Sorry, I got sidetracked. I will definitely follow up on those and report back at a later date. But I brought it up because in the middle of that search I stumbled on these urban fantasy/gay werewolf romances by one of my favorite authors under a slightly different name. Can you call someone a favorite if you’ve only actually finished one book? Whatever, I’m doing it. She’s great and I love her steampunk setting and I think this is meant to be the same setting but fast forwarded to our time with a steampunk history? And that’s something I’ve always wanted to see in steampunk and other alternate history settings. Reimagining the past is fun, but I also want to see the repercussions and how it changed the things that happened after.

These books are fantastic. I enjoyed them so, so much. There are more coming, but I have to wait. Sigh. But it’s cool, this seems like a perfect time to dive back into her Parasol Protectorate series and then, depending on how long that takes me and when the next book comes out, start one of the other series as well. A new Gail Carriger book every month! Yes please.

I didn’t actually like the sex and romance parts of these books much. Seemed like they really rushed into things, and to my asexual social misfit brain I immediately think “No not so fast, you’ll scare him off!” and “Doesn’t anyone in this universe worry about STDs?” and it pulls me right out of the story. But the side plot was very interesting to me and the setting details were delivered perfectly.

Also I kind of want to be a werewolf.

9.5/10 definitely do read.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon & Dean Hale
One of my favorite superheroes in her own YA novel? Yes, good, more of this please.

This book was adorable and so very fun and full of all the things that make the comic great while also including much of what makes YA stuff great and it’s just overall a whole lot of great, okay?

Also there are squirrels. And babies! I think we can all agree those are two excellent things that make every story better.

10/10. Absolutely my favorite thing I’ve read so far this year.

Rock and Riot by Chelsea Furedi
This is a webcomic I’d actually read about halfway through last year and then forgot about. Someone somewhere recommended an app called Tapas that has a bunch of electronic publications and that was one of them, so I started it over again. It’s a very light, kind of goofy romance of the “everyone is queer!” variety set against a Grease-like backdrop. Lots of fun, and well-written if a little rushed.

8/10

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
I guess it’s queer romance month for me. Or is that every month? Hmm.

At any rate, this is another one that dealt with queer issues in the less accepting past, somewhat more realistically than Rock and Riot. Two girls become best friends and nurse secret crushes on each other for years, finally realize they love each other and kiss, only to be ripped apart by their parents and pushed into heteronormative marriages. What happens next? Read and find out.

8.5/10

Runaways Vol 7: Live Fast by Brian K Vaughn
Do you ever go back and read things you used to love and suddenly notice everything wrong with it? Sigh. Yeah, that happened here.

I still love the characters, I thoroughly enjoyed the Hulu TV series, and the current Runaways comic written by Rainbow Rowell is absolutely wonderful. But man am I done reading anything by Vaughn. Except for the fact that I still have like 3 issues of this particular series to get through from a web sale when the show premiered and I decided to get caught up. I don’t want to have wasted those, so they’ll get read eventually.

But then, I’m done. *melodramatic handgestures of your choice go here*

5/10

Buffy Season 9 Vol 3: Guarded by Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson, and Drew Z Greenberg
I’m also trying to get caught up on the Buffy comics. From reviews I’ve read, it seems most people do not seem to like them at all, but I kind of do. Some of it is handled a little clunkily and I have THOUGHTS about the way vampires and magic in particular are handled in this season and the way it goes directly against the already inconsistent mythology of vampires and souls and how it all works from the show and I could go on about that for quite awhile believe me but I’m going to let it go for now. And apart from that, the stories are fine. Not great, but enjoyable and fitting.

There’s probably some kind of meta discussion to be had about Buffy not knowing how to be an adult just like fans don’t know how to let something go and move on with our own lives, but I’m tired and not going into it now. Maybe later as its own post at some point. Short version is that it’s a little hard and disappointing to watch Buffy scramble trying to find her place in a world that doesn’t need her, that didn’t prepare her to live this long in the first place, let alone build a sustainable life mingling with society. But it’s a familiar discomfort, and something I struggle with in my own life to a lesser and not so supernatural degree. I think maybe the world is always different from what you expect it to be as a kid, no one ever knows what’s going to happen and it’s utterly impossible for adults to predict and prepare their kids for the future. Buffy the show was always about real world problems through a supernatural lens, and it’s nice to see that continue even if it’s sort of built on the same unwillingness to let go of our childhoods and stories that makes networks hold onto shows well past the point where they have anything good or meaningful to say.

7/10

That’s it for me. What have the rest of you been up to? Read anything interesting?

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