I was tagged by Sahi @My World of Books. Thank you!
It only seems fitting to do this tag (created by Sam @fictionallysam) while I’m procrastinating on The Beautiful – which, by the way, I’m really liking – and on the rest of my October TBR.
1. Planning: a book that is completely thought out.
More often than not, this is the kind of thing you can’t truly appreciate until you reread, which I don’t do often. For example, I think the Shadow and Bone trilogy is really well-plotted and has amazing foreshadowing as far as a YA fantasy series goes, but I have to say that I also reread it many times, and that’s why it stands out to me. The symbolism, the scenes at the beginning and end that mirror each other, inside the same book and with the two other books… what best way to evoke such a fairytale feel? I think many people hate on it for not being Six of Crows instead of appreciating that, for what it meant to be (a simple, almost fairytale-like story about power, the call and the dangers of it), it’s really good. I still have to reread Ruin and Rising to see what I think of the resolution of the thematic arc now (a few years ago, I hated it, but I also didn’t understand what it meant to do). But I still get the feeling that there’s not a scene out of place.
2. Focus: a book that kept your undivided attention
Difficult to do that, when I barely have the time to read! (And when I do, I write posts instead. Apparently.)
Anyway. I read it in May, in which I had more time to read, but In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire is a remarkable example of this, because I usually lose focus completely when it comes to audiobooks, and with this novella, I never did, because both the story and the narration were really good. Also, since I read it while traveling, I associate it with a lot of good memories and nice places.
3. Delegating: a book that should have been a series
I would have loved to get more from The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta. My main complaint, when it came to this book, was the open ending: it even hinted at f/f/f polyamory and now, you can’t just hint at that sort of thing and leave me not knowing whether it will happen? Also, it’s about a group of six girls, there’s definitely enough material for another book at least, for developing them and their dynamic more.
4. Small goals: name a book below 150 pages that you loved
So many of them? To talk about one I haven’t talked in a while, The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard is only 96 pages and yet so memorable. Genderbent, Vietnamese Sherlock Holmes in space! Bots, magical tea and talking spaceships! Terrifying alternate layers of reality! There’s a lot in here and I love this universe.
5. Peak hours: a series you could only read at a certain time
I tried reading Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant almost only while I was at the beach, because with marine horror, that’s the best way to get into the atmosphere, and because nothing is that scary in open sunlight. And it worked! If I ever reread it (or if there will ever be a sequel, I hope so), I will do that again.
Also: if paranormal horror isn’t something you hate, read the book! It’s a really good example of sci-fantasy.
6. Lists: a book that you finally crossed off your TBR
I’m really proud of myself for actually having read The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin this year, after it was on my TBR for at least two years. I didn’t end up liking it, but I’m still glad I managed to read it.
7. Proactive: a book that is/was ahead of its time
I don’t have a real answer, because I almost never read older books. For every older book that sounds vaguely interesting – and most don’t; it probably doesn’t help if your favorite range to pick books up from is “queer SFF that has nothing to do with homophobia”, in which most books are really recent – there are at least ten newer books that sound a lot more interesting, so I never reach for anything old.
However, I hate when people act like queer SFF is an invention of the last three years, so here are two older and explicitly queer SFF books I know of: A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright (1988, I wasn’t even born ten years later) and Carnival by Elizabeth Bear (2006; I was six). I haven’t read them and I don’t know if I will, but (as far as I know) they’re not tragic, and they exist.
8. Declutter: a series you wish you could unread
I almost never finish series if I don’t love the first book, and my reaction to a bad ending is usually “I wish I could change it”, not “I want my time back” – that usually happens with standalones.
Anyway, a series that really wasn’t worth my time back in 2016, when I still tried to finish most things, was Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. Such a generic, weak YA fantasy with cookie-cutter everything and no depth to it, coming to an even weaker and formulaic conclusion.
9. Multitasking: books that you read at the same time
I… don’t remember? I have done this, but it’s not something that I register, not really.
Now I’m going back to maybe reading The Beautiful! Are you, too, procrastinating on a book?