Christa: This month I’ve had a pretty good streak. I burned through the first three volumes of the iZombie comic, but I am holding out on the last volume because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye just yet. I also finally read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I can’t believe I’ve been sitting on this book for five years! I feel like such a slacker. And all for a book that only took me an evening to read. I know a lot of people really love this book and I was anxious I wouldn’t feel the same way. And while I can’t say that I loved it, it was a very cute, charming read. Maybe I’ll read the companion novels this summer — they seem like they would be good beach reads. Other solid reads include No Parking At the End Time by Bryan Bliss, Lost & Found by Brooke Davis and most notably Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham. Scarlett Undercover isn’t out until May but I will be singing its praises loud and proud until then. Veronica Mars fans you may as well pre-order it right now. Trust me.
But it hasn’t all been good. I also read the absolutely atrocious Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I’ve seen so many great reviews of this début high fantasy but it wasn’t for me at all. Filled with ALL the YA tropes, I grew increasingly frustrated with the lazy world building, convenient plot fixes and the three (yes three) love interests. Oh well, you can’t win them all.
Ginnis: I’ve been reading Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife, a literary take on the life of Laura Bush. This is the third novel I have read by Sittenfeld, and she continues to be one of my favorite authors in the genre of “literary fiction.” It’s a refreshing break from what I usually read which is related to my research or something specific for the site. Not that I don’t love all that, but it is, like I said, a good break. It usually takes some effort for me to get set into a fictional book of my choosing. Once I latch on to one, I finish it, but then I have to go through the process again of finding the one fitting to my next mood. I am slowly working through reading L.M. Montgomery’s non-Anne of Green Gables books so I may read one of those next. I also have had Emily Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post sitting on my To-Be-Read list forever now. Maybe that one.
As for research, I am reading a mix of comic history books like Trina Robbins and Catherine Yronwode’s Women and the Comics (I found a copy signed by Yronwede for six bucks at the used bookstore!) and various articles and books related to my year long Red Sonja project. I am always looking to increase my understanding of comics and how they operate.
Jamie: Nothing new. Everything that seemed interesting to me were all continuations of series I’m already reading, or side stories to series I’m already reading. Jane Yellowrock in the former case and The Zombie Whisperer in the latter. I’m waiting it bated breath for June, though, and Daniel José Older’s next book, Shadowshaper.
Amanda V: I mentioned last month that I was dawdling in the middle of Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw. Well, the last 70 pages tricked me into reading them all in one go, and I was as bereft, as I predicted, once I turned the last page. It. Was. So. Good.
After casting about somewhat forlornly and reading pieces of writing and editing books and reviewing manga, I devoured the speculative fiction novel Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett in one night. Yes, well, I did have a deadline because I was reading it for class, but I think I would have finished it in one night anyway. I would recommend this book to any science fiction fan, as not only is the concept intriguing, it’s also very poetically executed.
Elysium was over much too fast, so I settled on a YA book that I picked up randomly at the library based on the name alone; I didn’t even read the description. That’s right, I bid on Avalon by Mindee Arnett because I’m always a sucker for Arthurian drama. Turns out this (at least within the first 60 pages) has no connection to Good King Arthur whatsoever. That’ll teach me! What it does have, however, is a cast of teenage space pirates. Okay, I can handle a crew of space pirates in place of knights in shining armor. The writing is peppy and I’m actually quite into it so far. I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t let me down!
On my list for the future (probably six months given how often I get to sit down with a book for fun alone): The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre; Ash by Malinda Lo; Farthing by Jo Walton; To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (for the fifth time!).
I’ve been reading comics about illness for a series of articles I’m working on (this very moment, in another tab). So, I read Blue Pills by Frederick Peeters, which you all must, must read. So beautiful.
And I am doing the Hellblazer re-read-along with Panels, which is fun. I haven’t read those in a while.
Also also I just finished Adaptation by Malinda Lo and now I’m on Inheritance. Such fast, refreshing reads. They make me happy.
Romona: This month I’ve been reading a lot of shorter books and trade paperbacks to make myself feel productive: Squish #1 and #2 by Jennifer and Matt Holm, The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks, Saga Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and Locke & Key Volume One by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez. I liked them all, with “like” being the key word. I enjoyed them all but didn’t fall in love with any.
Right now my stack of books is overshadowed by Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. I recently read The Crying of Lot 49 and Inherent Vice and loved them (yes, “loved”) and this is supposed to be his greatest work. But it has a tiny font and it’s going to strain my eyes, so I keep putting it off.
Outside of that I have The Nowhere Men Volume One: Fates Worse Than Death by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, & Jordie Bellair as well as Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice which came highly recommended by Lynda Barry in Syllabus. I have no background in art so I’m hoping Brunetti can explain some of it for me.
Angel: I just finished Marbles by Ellen Forney and really loved it. I’ve been reading more graphic novels lately, and I’m definitely going to be recommending this one to all my friends. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro was the last non-YA book I read and I’m still turning it over in my head. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and I haven’t decided if that’s a good thing or a bad thing yet.
Next up is Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman, which I’ve been looking forward to since I haven’t read much fantasy lately, and Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra, a historical novel that’s been getting a lot of buzz lately. I’m super behind on my Goodreads reading goal, but March has been a more hectic month than I thought it would be, so hopefully April will be more conducive to reading.