Recent reads & so on.

In an attempt to stop staring at news updates on Twitter, I'm going to compile a list of some of the books I've talked about lately over at Kirkus and at Patreon. (Note! I'm just including posts that are about single books, not posts about comic issues or podcasts or short stories or television or movies or my ongoing Handmaid's Tale close read, etc.)

My GOAL is to NOT LOOK AT TWITTER AT ALL while I do this. Let's see if I can do it.

(Judging by how twitchy I'm already feeling—like, the notification bell is dinging away and WHAT IF I'M MISSING SOMETHING—I don't know if I'm going to make it.)

Recently, at Kirkus:

The Fashion Committee, by Susan Juby

I Believe in a Thing Called Love, by Maurene Goo

Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia

Gem & Dixie, by Sara Zarr

What Girls Are Made Of, by Elana K. Arnold

Done Dirt Cheap, by Sarah Nicole Lemon

The Mesmerist, by Ronald L. Smith

Recently, at Patreon:

Alice Paul and the Fight for Women's Rights, by Deborah Kops

Pink is for Blobfish, by Jess Keating

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World, by Laurie Lawlor

Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History, by Tori Telfer

Memoir of Susie King Taylor: A Civil War Nurse, by Pamela Dell

Ghosts Beneath Our Feet, by Betty Ren Wright

Christina's Ghost, by Betty Ren Wright

The Midnight Mystery, by Betty Ren Wright

Florence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse, by Catherine Reef

Weedflower, by Cynthia Kadohata

YOU GUYS I MADE IT.

But holy cow, that was... not easy.

I'll try to put these together more often so they're more manageable. And also so that I don't have to be off Twitter for SUCH AN EXTENDED PERIOD OMG WHAT DID I MISS???

Recently, at Kirkus Reviews...

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Behold the Bones by Natalie C. Parker

Behold the Bones by Natalie C. Parker

...I've written about Natalie C. Parker's Beware the Wild and Behold the Bones:

It plays with classic horror tropes as well as elements from fairy tales—the danger and wild in nature, the power of belief, the importance of origin—but it’s also very much a story about siblings and family. It deals with domestic abuse—the long-term fallout and how hard it can be to break the cycle—and it explores the lines between love and obsession, the instinct to protect and the desire to control.

American Ace, by Marilyn Nelson

American Ace, by Marilyn Nelson

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

...as well as a little about Marilyn Nelson's American Ace, as well as a list of books it inspired me to pick up:

 It deals with family and culture and race; with the relationships between fathers and sons, between extended family and immediate. Ultimately, it’s less about the mystery itself, and more about how a shift in a person’s understanding of his own identity can affect how he sees the world and his place in it. It’s about discovering history in terms of the macro and the micro—about seeing the larger patterns of history and about how individual people fit into that pattern, about the Tuskegee Airmen as a group and about the individuals who made up the whole.

...and finally, I put together a list of the books I went ahead and bought MYSELF for Valentine's Day:

Last year, I wrote about my decision to give myself a Valentine: pre-ordering a whole slew of upcoming romances. I enjoyed myself so entirely—for months, books just APPEARED in my mailbox, it was like MAGIC—that I’ve decided to make it a personal tradition. But I’ve also decided to give it a tweak: rather than ordering purely upcoming books, I’m going to buy some backlist titles, too!

Today at Kirkus Reviews...

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

...I wrote about Meg Medina's Burn Baby Burn and HOW FANTASTIC IT IS:

Medina weaves in details about the time—the movie Carrie prompted the “little knives” conversation—as well as specific events and slang and ’70s culture and descriptions of clothing and so on in a way that is so entirely organic that I felt like I was watching a movie that had actually been filmed in the ’70s. (I say “watching a movie” because I didn’t even notice myself turning the pages—I was that engrossed.)

SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD!

*falls over from the excellence*

Today at Kirkus Reviews...

The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig

The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig

...I talk about Heidi Heilig's upcoming The Girl from Everywhere:

The worldbuilding incorporates both history and myth, and Heilig’s descriptions of Hawaii—most of the story takes place in Hawaii toward the end of the monarchy—are colorful and lush and vivid and loving. It’s a fast-paced adventure with plenty of action, but it also deals with empire and colonialism, with class and racism—personally, as experienced by Nix, whose mother was Chinese, and other members of Slate’s very diverse crew, as well as part of the larger picture—and with guilt and grief and addiction.

Today at Kirkus Reviews...

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

...I wrote about The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman, and Serpentine, by Cindy Pon:

On the surface, The Dark Days Club and Serpentine—the first, a slow-build story about a young woman drawn into a secret society of British demon-hunters in the Regency era; the second, a fast-paced adventure set in a fantasy version of ancient China about a girl who discovers that she’s part-serpent—don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But they do.

A LOT IN COMMON IN A GOOD WAY. I'm glad I read them back-to-back, it was such a pleasure to see the connections and see how two authors wrote stories that play with similar elements but turn out entirely differently.