June & July 2017 | Book Musings

It is officially August, meaning we’ve already passed the midway point of 2017. It’s kind of crazy to think that is already August when I feel like we just started the year, but here we are. June and July were two very hectic and strenuous months for me and I don’t think the coming months will be any different. They may even become more hectic as I will be heading back to school in September, which I’m definitely nervous and a bit terrified about and also excited for.

June and July saw a turn in my reading habits, a real slow down in the pace of which I was reading at. It’s understandable since the last two months were quite hectic but also because I didn’t feel that urge to devour as many stories as I had at the beginning of the year. I did, however, accomplish completing one of my 2017 reading challenges, which was to read at least 50 books in 2017. It’s definitely given me the assurance that I could possibly challenge myself to read 100 books come 2018, but it’s not something I’ve committed myself to, yet.

I’ve also kept up with my challenge to read even more diversely in 2017 than in I did in 2016. Out of the 15 books, I read in the past two months, 12 of them were written by and/or had a POC creator behind them and 9 of them were by WOC authors/creators. It’s definitely something that is in the forefront of my mind when it comes to choosing what books that I’m going to read next.

The stats on my diverse reading habits for all the books I’ve read so far in 2017 are:

  • 80% of the 60 books I’ve read have been written and/or created by women
  • 62% of the 60 books I’ve read have been written and/or created by women of colour
  • 73% of the 60 books I’ve read have been written and/or created by persons of colour

I know I can do better in reading even more diversely in the back half of 2017 and it’s something I’m looking forward to doing.

I am, however, completely falling behind on the two other challenges I’ve set for myself in 2017. I’ve made zero headway on reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire since April. Absolutely zero. I’m still on the first chapter, I think. It’s just been sitting on my bedside table and hasn’t moved since. I have had no motivation to pick up the book and continue with rereading the entire Harry Potter series thus far. That might change in the coming months but for now, it’s stalled. The other reading challenge that I set for 2017 was the Book Riot Read Harder 2017 challenge. I’ve only completed 10 of the 26 challenges. I have in mind the books that I’m going to read to complete the other 16 challenges but I just haven’t gotten to them yet.

As I’ve said, I only read 15 books over the past two months, 7 books in June and 8 books in July. Again, romance and comics made up the majority of the books I read, which was no surprise. I’ve definitely noticed the dominance of romance and comics in the books I read so far this year and it’s not something I’m mad about. I’m quite enjoying these two very different genres of books.

I do have some favourites when it comes to the books that I read in June and July and I’m going to talk about them below.

Here’s the list of the books I read:

  1. The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen – Hope Nicholson
  2. To Be a Machine – Mark O’Connell
  3. The Princess Saves Herself in This One – Amanda Lovelace
  4. Sated – Rebekah Weatherspoon
  5. Monstress, Issues 10 – 12 – Script by Marjorie Liu, Art by Sana Takeda
  6. Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch – Script by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Art by Valentine De Landro
  7. Fit – Rebekah Weatherspoon
  8. Exit West – Mohsin Hamid
  9. Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars – Script by Jeff Lemire, Art by Dustin Nguyen
  10. Lazarus, Volume 1 – Script by Greg Rucka, Art by Michael Lark
  11. Tamed – Rebekah Weatherspoon
  12. Hollywood Deal – Nadia Lee
  13. Hollywood Bride – Nadia Lee
  14. Pregnant with her Billionaire Ex’s Baby – Nadia Lee
  15. Hate to Want You – Alisha Rai

 

The first book that I finished in June was The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen by Hope Nicolson. The book takes you through the decades of mainly US comics’ history looking at amazing, weird, funny, and diverse female characters that have populated the pages of comics since the early 20th century. It’s definitely not a comprehensive look at the history of female characters in comics, and number of prominent female characters are missing, and Nicholson herself affirms that at the beginning of the book, but it’s a well-written and insightful book that introduced me to many new female comic characters and the creators behind them that I would’ve otherwise not known about. The book also points out the misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and racism that have existed and continue to exist in the comics industry today. If you’re interested in learning more about comics and its history this would be a really good book to pick up.

Rebekah Weatherspoon has become one of my favourite romance authors over this last year and for good reason, she’s absolutely amazing at what she does. She’s a WOC writing about WOC and promoting other WOC authors through the site WOC in Romance (link). She handles intersectionality exceptionally well and that is very clear in her Fit series. The trilogy contains the three books Fit, Tamed, and Sated. All three books follow three different couples in their exploration of a BDSM relationship. Alongside being very sex positive, these three books are also really body positive which I loved. I read the entire series out of order and didn’t feel like I missed anything from doing so. Definitely pick up the series if you’re looking for fun, diverse, passionate, and steamy reads.

I’ve written about my love on Monstress before on this blog and that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Issue 12 brought to the end of the first “season” of this spectacular comic series. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda continue to grow this world and the characters that they created in even more ways in these last few issues.  I completely devoured them as quickly as I got all of them in my hand. Maika continues to be my favourite character in series. She’s this multifaceted, human, resilient character that I just love. (Flawed but really human characters are definitely my favourite kryptonite characters in the books I read.) She draws you into her story in a way few characters I have encountered have before. These last few issues really see Maika doubting herself, her existence, and what she’s doing, as she struggles to discover the truth behind her mother’s death while trying to rid herself of the monster that continues to inhabit her, and all the while trying to survive in a world that is bent on destroying her and her allies. The first “season” does end with a cliffhanger that is quite exciting and something that I can’t wait to explore in the second “season”. Catch up on Volume 1 and 2 of Monstress before the second “season” drops this fall.

I first began reading Alisha Rai’s work last year and I was absolutely floored with how much I love her writing. This love definitely continues as her newest novel, Hate To Want You, entered my grubby little hands in July. Many have taken on the task of making Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet their own but with Alisha at the helm, this tale of star-crossed lovers take a distinct and passionately exquisite turn. Livvy Kane and Nicolas Chandler were each other’s first loves torn apart by a family tragedy. For the past 10 years, once a year, the two would meet and succumb to the passion that still brewed between the two of them, that is until this year when Livvy didn’t show. Livvy returns home after 10 years away after a family accident, hoping to leave the past in the past, but how does one leave the love of your life behind when they are so close? Livvy and Nick come face to face with these seemingly insurmountable obstacles that have kept them apart from one another for years. Theirs is a relationship that you are definitely cheering on to succeed and flourish. Both characters are really their own characters, stubborn, strong, smart, but human. Livvy’s mental health plays a big part in her story and it was handled quite well. I really loved the book and cannot recommend it enough. The second novel in the series drops this November.

Exit West is a book that made it onto a lot of must read lists this year. It was heavily promoted and was part of one of the larger book subscription boxes, which definitely helped its hype. And for the most part, I think that hype was deserved. It’s a poignant novel, a novel about a human refugee crisis. The parallels in the book and what is happening in the world today and the mass migration of humans running from war, poverty, prosecution, and death is stark. This story is a human story, it’s a love story, it’s a story about the human condition and connection, and about the world we live in today. It’s a lyrical and well-written book that offers that bit of magical realism that just expands the story so much more. It’s definitely worth a read.

So those are my favourite books that I’ve read in the past two months. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a happy August. 😉

 

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