Thanks to Abi @ The Knights Who Say Book for tagging me!
- Thank the person who nominated you
- Answer all the questions down below
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What are you currently reading?
After finishing up my TBR for Sapphicathon, I just started The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. It’s been sitting on my TBR for about two years (yikes) even though I won a signed copy in a giveaway (double yikes), but I knew a story about a girl dealing with her mother’s suicide was going to be a heavy read and I wanted to be in the right mindset for it. That being said, I’m only about fifty pages in and it’s already very good, so I’m glad I’m finally picking this up.
What’s your favorite “can’t leave the house” activity?
Well, I’ve only been done with my semester of college for a little over a week and that week was mostly consumed with burning through Sapphicathon TBR, so I haven’t actually had that much time for activities other than homework or reading. That being said, I’m getting back into an older habit of listening to podcasts while occupying my hands and I just got a new embroidery kit for my birthday, so I predict a lot of podcasts and stitching in my future. Right now I’m listening to Mabel right now, a horror/folklore podcast about faeries and a haunted house, which I’m really enjoying. (I love some good creepy faeries.)
A book you’ve been meaning to read for forever?
So, fun story: I’m not actually sure I’ve read Sabriel even though it’s a fantasy classic and I know I’ve definitely read the sequel, Lirael. I basically have no memory of this book past the first few pages, which leads me to believe that, for some mystifying reason, I might have just read Lirael and not the other books in this series? (I have done things like that in the past, like reading only City of Heavenly Fire and none of the other Mortal Instruments books just to prove I could.) If that’s true, I should definitely correct my past mistake and read Sabriel because so many people cite it as an influential fantasy book they read when younger that still holds up. And who knows, maybe I’ll experience a strong sense of déjà vu while reading and realize that I have read this after all. Stayed tuned for further updates, I guess!
An intimidating book on your TBR?
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo has been sitting on my TBR since it released in October. It’s pretty thick (458 pages), but I’m not super intimidated by the length. It’s mostly that I really love Leigh Bardugo’s YA fantasy books and I’m apprehensive about whether my love will transfer to a different genre and age range. I have been tiptoeing more into horror lately and I do think dark academia is an interesting genre, so I hope I’ll like this, but I’m not entirely sure! I guess we’ll see…
Three top priority books on your TBR?
Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott, Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri, and The Idiot by Elif Batuman are all three books I’m hoping to pick up soon. My sister won an arc of Unconquerable Sun a few weeks ago and liked it, so I’m hoping to get to it before it’s released in July. Plus, I took a Greek history class in the fall semester and we studied Alexander the Great, so I’m excited to see how a book pitched as “genderbent Alexander the Great in space” reworks history and whether I’ll recognize anything. I got Realm of Ash for a birthday present after reading Empire of Sand, the previous book in Sri’s duology, earlier this year and liking it, so I’m looking forward to continuing the series! The Idiot is definitely one of the books on my TBR most out of my comfort zone (it’s some combo adult literary fiction/historical fiction/comedy?, but my dad really loved it and I’ve been promising him I’d pick it up when I was finished with the semester.
Recommend a short book?
Yes, I am once again recommending Sing For the Coming of the Longest Night by Katherine Fabian and Iona Datt Sharma. I reviewed it the other week in a round-up of recent SFF novellas I’d read, but I really liked this novella, so you get to hear about it again! Sing For the Coming of the Longest Night is urban fantasy novella about about Nat and Layla, two Londoners who have nothing in common except their shared sorcerer boyfriend until they find themselves in a grudging alliance to rescue said boyfriend when one of his magic rituals goes wrong. If cozy British urban fantasy with a huge dose of queer found family sounds like your cup of tea, pick this up! There’s magical curses, holiday vibes, and an enemies-to-allies-to-friends relationship arc. Despite the high-stakes curse-breaking quest, there’s something that just feels really comforting and cozy about this novella. Layla and Nat are in a race against time to save their boyfriend’s life from a magical curse and they do face struggles because of their marginalized identities (bi/polyamorous/Hindu and nonbinary/Jewish, respectively), but there’s just an overwhelming sense of kindness and community infused throughout. I read it twice in three weeks and loved it both times.
Recommend a long book?
This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow is 400 pages, which is on the long side for a contemporary novel, but every page is absolutely worth it. It’s about a trio of ex-friends and former bandmates reuniting for one last music competition and I really love it. It’s a story about female friendship, reunion, and recovery that does a great job balancing heavy issues with lighter, sweeter stuff. Also, two of the leads are Black and one is also a lesbian, who has an incredibly sweet romance. And there’s a dog named Waffles! What more could you want, honestly?
Something you’d love to do while stuck at home?
In addition to picking up embroidery, I’d love to get some work done on a novella inspired by Tam Lin that I’ve been prepping to write the past few months. I wrote a chunk of it last summer, but it turned out to be a bit of a false start (I realized there were some major elements that needed to change, but I wasn’t sure exactly how), and then I was too busy with my first year of college to properly work on it for a while. I think I also had a little anxiety about writing prose again after only intensely writing poetry for a while I worked on An Open Letter to Ophelia. But I recently had some great breakthroughs and I’m feeling inspired again, so I’m hoping to get to work on that really soon!
What do you plan on reading next?
Hmm…I’m not actually totally sure yet! While I want to get to those three books I mentioned as priority reading, The Astonishing Color of After is pretty long and I know it’s going to be emotionally intense, so I might read something a little lighter and shorter before diving into a long SFF book or a genre I’m less used to. I’d like to reread The Devouring Gray so I can refresh myself before reading the sequel (I miss my dramatic bi kids!), so maybe that. (Or maybe I’ll just watch a ton of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. That’s a definite possibility as well.)
As usual, no pressure to participate and anyone else can feel free to even if they weren’t tagged. (Also, apologies if anyone has already been tagged, I’m queuing this in a couple days in advance so I might not see if if you were.) Hope you all are staying safe and healthy at home!