Whatcha Reading? October 2019 Edition, Part Two

old book on the bench in autumn parkIt’s our last Whatcha Reading for the month of October! How are we all feeling? Exhausted? Thrilled for the holidays?

Right now, I have two modes: devouring a book in one sitting or not touching a book for DAYS.

Catherine: I’m reading Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey ( A | BN | K | AB ), which I was drawn to after reading this review a couple of years ago. I grew up on Greek myths and legends, so I’m delighted to read a new perspective and a new translation (and the introductory essay at the start is fantastic).

And lest you think I am just showing off with all my classical reading, I am also reading Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland by Melinda du Champ ( A | BN ), which certainly is a thing. Think coming-of-age porn with Lewis Carroll-style rhymes and so much BDSM. It’s very funny (though the humour is a little mean-spirited at times), and very hot if kink is your thing.

Charlotte: I’m reading Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen ( A | BN | K | AB | Au ), which is pretty good but not great – the worldbuilding is strong but the characterization is a bit thin and I’m disappointed that Cecile’s singing ability is peripheral to the plot (especially given the title).

And I just finished Shadow of Doubt by Hailey Edwards which is the first in a spinoff of her Undead City series. I really enjoyed it. I thought I was tired of urban fantasy, but her books are super well-written and (to my great gratitude) there isn’t a sword-wielding woman in leather pants in sight.

Aarya: I’m in the middle of Sara B. Larson’s Sisters of Shadow and Light ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) and am perilously close to a DNF. It’s…fine? It’s one of those situations where I like the characters and the writing, but I’m strangely emotionally detached to everything (which is NOT how I want to feel when I’m reading). I can’t tell if the problem is me or the book (it’s me, if I had to pick). I’m going to shelve this and come back to it later. Normally I really like YA SFF about magical sisters, but I’m not in the mood now.

I’m also reading Talia Hibbert’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown and liking it so far. I’m a sucker for “bucket list-type” books, and this one has a GREAT list (camping, travel the world with nothing but hand luggage, meaningless sex, etc). I love “bucket list” books because the protagonist assertively sets out on their journey looking for something specific, but often ends up finding and accomplishing things they never dreamed of. The book deals with serious issues (chronic illness, near death experience, etc), but I’m laughing and having a good time. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown
A | BN | K | AB

Shana: I’m halfway through The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory ( A | BN | K | G | AB ). I was inspired to read it by an unflattering podcast review, but the romantic tension sucked me in and I stayed up to late reading. I love a fake date trope. I think this book has more delicious food descriptions than any book I’ve read. The MCs are in politics and medicine but are definitely California foodies. Where are my tacos?

Tara: I’m finally reading The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite and I’m loving it. I keep highlighting passage after passage because either the writing is gorgeous or something just strikes me in a way that I know I need to go back to it later. I love that more and more f/f historical romances are coming out and wish I’d been able to read these when I was a kid swiping my mom’s old romances (not that she would have read a lesbian romance).

In audio I’m listening to Party of Three by Sandy Lowe ( A | BN | K | AB ). Holy shit, is it ever a good one. It has linked erotic romance novellas, following three best friends as they go to a birthday party and each of them gets some real good sex and a HFN or HEA—one with a woman she’s just met, one with the woman she’s never told anyone she’s been in love with for years (who thankfully had a crush on her too), and one with an ex. I’m almost done the second part and it’s super hot and SO sweet. Also, Lori Prince doesn’t just narrate the book, she acts the shit out of it. I highly recommend this one, specifically in audio. (edited)

AJ: I just finished Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) and I’m  heart-eyes forever. The heist! The twists! The banter! I have good book hangover again.

Claudia: Sorry not sorry, AJ…

I was chasing that book high for weeks after I finished Any Old Diamonds. Good news is you are ready for Gilded Cage now.

The City of Brass
A | BN | K | AB

I am about to start the second book in S.A. Chakraborty’s The Daevabad Trilogy after some misadventures with library e-book expiration dates with the first one! I’m not usually a fantasy/science fiction reader but I did love the first book and I am very curious where this series is going to take me.

Kiki: I’m reading the same, Claudia! I’m listening to the audiobook and hoping to actually finish the book this time. I started it in the spring and put it down with a hundred pages left because I was so anxious over what was going to happen. Books tend not to activate my real-life anxiety but clearly S. A. Chakraborty tapped into something in me.

Aarya: I need to read this series but I’m terrified of starting a YA fantasy trilogy before the third book comes out. For incomplete trilogies, I don’t have the reassurance that things will end happily in the relationship (cough Divergent by Veronica Roth cough).

Claudia: I hate putting myself into these situations too. I’m not even sure the author has a date for the third book. I blame Sneezy for this state of affairs!! She was the one who told me about this series.

Kiki: It’s actually adult! And I think it reads like adult too, in the way that I think of adult fantasy as tending to have more complex socio-political systems. And I REALLY would caution against going into it for romance. I don’t really know how to talk about it without spoilers but on the list of things the series is, a romance is very close to the bottom.

I think the third is coming in July 2020!

Aarya: Ah. I’ll still def read it but thanks for the heads up.

Still going to wait for book 3 to make sure she doesn’t kill everyone off. I’ve been burned too many times in SFF, adult or YA.

The Woman’s Hour
A | BN | K | AB

Carrie: I’m studying Beats, the work of Neil Gaiman, and Women’s Suffrage so I’m re-reading the Sandman series ( A | BN | G | AB ) while also reading The Woman’s Hour. The inside of my head right now is a strange place.

Elyse: I don’t know what to read next ::flops dramatically::

Ellen: I just finished the Bridge Kingdom by Danielle Jensen and I’m still collecting my thoughts. Like, it made me feel intense feelings but I’m not sure what those feelings are yet. Before that, I read Hate to Want You ( A | BN | K | AB ), which I enjoyed even though contemporary is not one of my favorite genres.

Sneezy: Been snuggling up with everything Beverly Jenkins in between Our Women on the Ground ( A | BN | K | G | AB ). Just started Rebel. ( A | BN | K | G | AB )

Susan: I’m rereading Any Old Diamonds in preparation for Gilded Cage as well! I never forgot how much I loved Susan Lazarus (and the Lilywhite Boys, and Alec), but it’s nice to get the reminder!

But I DID just get Sarah Gailey’s Magic For Liars ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) as a birthday present, so I’m very tempted to dive into that…

What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments!

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