September Reading Round-up
Hi everyone! You may have noticed Queerly Reads went on a summer hiatus, but we’re back, and so are our monthly reading round-ups. Here are the highlights of our September reading.
In September I reread my favorite series: Ada Palmer's Terra Ignota books! They are the most dramatic and anime-style novels I've ever read—I've actually reviewed them for Queerly Reads! If you're looking for books about a bunch of gay drama queens who are constantly screaming, breaking down sobbing, or having sex in front of people while simultaneously ruling the world at a moment when the geopolitical order is about to devolve into disastrous high-tech war, these are the ones for you.
I hit a bit of a reading snag this month. (Or, okay, full disclosure: I've been reading—and writing—a lot of fanfiction, and also gearing up for NaNo.)
I mostly practiced my Japanese by reading some manga. I finally got the fourth and final volume of Shimanami Tasogare, and cried harder than I have maybe for any book ever—it's far from tragic, but it tugged on my heartstrings in all the right ways. (The series was recently licensed in English, so I recommend keeping an eye out for the first volume in May 2019!) I also found a very sweet standalone BL manga called Bokura no Shokutaku (literally, Our Dining Table; it's unlicensed in English, but there are French and Polish editions). It's a non-explicit, sweet slice-of-life story about two men who form an unlikely bond when one's preschool-aged brother becomes obsessed with the other's homemade rice balls.
My highlights are three books.
The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman is a historical literary fiction novel about…people. It’s marketed as a fierce, feminist book about women boxers in Victorian England, and while there is definitely boxing in it, it’s really just this wonderfully written, meaty exploration about the limitations of class and gender in society. There are three main narrators: A wealthy gay man in love with a man he went to boarding school with; a desperately unhappy woman living with her alcoholic brother; and a poor, angry woman who happens to be an excellent boxer.
The Fair Fight has stayed with me for five weeks now. I wish it had been ten times as long; I wish there were a dozen sequels.
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult is an astonishing book, the literary feat of a master writer: It’s a thriller about a hostage situation set at an abortion clinic, and it happens backwards. Chapter one is 5 p.m.; chapter two is 4 p.m.; etc, all the way to 8 a.m. I hope to write a more detailed review, but this book is vital and important for Americans.
Honeymoon for One by Keira Andrews is the first romance I’ve truly enjoyed in months. It’s a May December m/m, wonderfully soft and real at the same time. It’s another book that deserves an extended review.