πŸ“š It’s been so long since I’ve actually read a whole book at this point, I think because I started one I’m not really into, and I keep casting about for things to do that are not reading it. Time to start reading Becky Chambers’ A Closed and Common Orbit to break the cycle. πŸš€

πŸ“š A couple of days ago I read Vylar Kaftan’s short story, The Weight of the Sunrise (read it for free on the author’s site!). Quite an interesting alt-history, where the Inca Empire rebounded after initial deadly outbreaks of smallpox and kept existing into the 18th century. The story concerns the arrival of a vaccine, and contrasts Incan society to US society at the time (with its rhetoric of freedom and brotherhood, but actual slavery and profiteering). β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

πŸ“š Finished Amnesty (The Amberlough Dossier #3) by Lara Elena Donnelly. For anyone even remotely interested in accounts of living under fascism who enjoys speculative fiction (with great queer representation, too!), this is one amazing trilogy. Full review up on my homepage 😊

πŸ“š I’ve finished All Systems Red (first in The Murderbot Diaries) by Martha Wells! I found it a really enjoyable science fiction novel with a wry, cynical sense of humour. The narrator is a fantastic character. Longer review available here.

πŸ“š Finished reading R.F. Kuang’s The Burning God! The conclusion to her Chinese-inspired military fantasy trilogy. Overall I enjoyed it, despite some quibbles – it’d be my favourite of the three. I have a review up on my homepage. Note, unmarked spoilers for the first book within.

Tracking my reading

One of my major hobbies is reading. I was a fanatical reader as a kid, and while I’ve definitely gone through periods where I haven’t read for pleasure so much (generally times when I was having to do a lot of reading for school or uni), it’s something I’ve come back to doing time and time again. I read sixty books in each of 2019 and 2020, which is a satisfying pace for me.

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πŸ“š Found out that The StoryGraph has undergone a revamp (and officially launched) and got a lot of new useful features! I like posting my reviews on my own site, but I still use Goodreads a lot, and this is now such a viable, non-Amazon-owned, alternative.

πŸ“š After a reading lull over Christmas and New Year, I’ve now finished Nadifa Mohamed’s The Orchard of Lost Souls. It’s a bleak, but compelling and immersive, story about three women in Somalia as the country hurtles towards civil war. Full review here.

πŸ“š How to Adult: A Guide to Not Being a Trash Human, and Other Life Lessons

There’s nothing wrong with reading your Christmas gifts for other people before wrapping them up and handing them out, right? Right?! At any rate: How to Adult by Anna Blackie is a funny, breezy book that sure, does include some helpful tips and guides… but maybe more importantly than that, it hits the nail on the head with what kinds of challenges are fuck-off annoying for a young adult just starting to have to do all this crap themselves.

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πŸ“š I’ve finished Becky Chambers’ A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet! Relaying the adventures of a scrappy, diverse crew of tunnellers as they travel across the galaxy, I thought it was a fun, smart, optimistic read. Full review over on my website.

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society. See her homepage here.