28 May

Reading Challenge: May 2019

Is it just me, or has this month lasted 72 years? Anyhoo, this was supposed to be my last month of web hosting, but it’s tied to email addresses linked to endeavors that periodically cough up money, some of which are unnecessarily difficult to change (“you’ll have to email us your bank information so we can set up a new account for you”—uh, noooooooo), so I’m locked in for another year while I extricate myself from tertiary garbage. Pour one out for my sorely abused credit card.

Product links are affiliate coded and go to Amazon.


THE TURNER HOUSE by Angela Flournoy: The story shifts between the 1940s, when Francis Turner moved to Detroit and left his wife Viola behind in Arkansas while he got established, and the present (2008), which mostly focuses on 2 of their 13 children. Cha-Cha, the eldest, is currently providing a home for their mother due to medical issues, so the titular house sits vacant. He’s in therapy after a work-related driving accident he attributed to a “haint” that first appeared to him as a teen at his parents’ house, trying to figure out what this apparition means. Lelah, the youngest, who’s been suspended at work for borrowing money from coworkers to fund her gambling problem, crashes in the empty house after being evicted from her apartment and spends much of her time trying to prevent everyone from finding out she’s homeless.

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26 Apr

Reading Challenge: April 2019

A better month than last with fun murder, pleasant romance, almost-there horror, a ghost story I finished despite my dissatisfaction, a rollicking adventure worthy of my apocalypse library, and a fourth-in-series that might have fared better if I remembered more about its predecessors before finally getting to a space adventure I couldn’t finish and a fantasy romance I wish had done a thousand things differently.

Links are affiliate-coded and go to Amazon.


MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Korede is a tall, plain, practical nurse with a case of unrequited love for one of the doctors at work. Her younger sister, Ayoola, is so beautiful and vivacious that everyone she encounters is instantly enthralled—including the doctor Korede loves. This familiar tale of sibling rivalry is complicated by Ayoola having killed enough of her boyfriends to officially qualify as a serial killer. Korede has always protected her sister (starting in childhood with their abusive father and extending to body disposal and crime scene cleanup in the present), but this time she’s motivated to warn the victim, who promptly says she’s jealous and he’s disappointed in her for not being more supportive of her sister.

Hey, she tried.

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26 Mar

Reading Challenge: March 2019

In a word, this month was rough. Five books. Four DNFs. I’m going to play video games during reading time for the rest of the month to cleanse my palate.

Links go to Amazon and are affiliate coded.


TIME SALVAGER by Wesley Chu: In a far distant future, Earth is a toxic wasteland and humans have to use time travel to raid the past for resources. There are, of course, strict regulations about what can be taken and when so the theft doesn’t disrupt the future, and only a select few are authorized to do the job. James Griffin-Mars is one such time traveler, and the nature of the job has begun to take a toll.

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28 Feb

Reading Challenge: February 2019

This month, I rebounded from some rant-worthy romances I can’t talk about (contest judging… do not recommend) by rereading an old favorite and breaking the glass on an expected feel-good I’ve been saving in case of emergency.

All links go to Amazon and are affiliate coded. Almost all books are available at other sellers (I’ll note when that’s not the case and chastise myself for poor shopping habits), but linking every book to every store is a lot of work to do for free, and the two other affiliate programs are a pain in the ass.


COMPLETELY by Ruthie Knox: Rosemary is 39 years old, divorced, mother of a 19-year-old daughter, and she’s trying to reclaim her own identity by climbing the seven biggest mountains in the world and writing a book about her experience. Her Everest climb is interrupted by an avalanche that requires her climbing party to be evacuated. They’re unharmed, but the base camp below is wiped out, killing 29 people, many of whom had become her friends while waiting to start her climb. She’s shell-shocked when Kal, the 32-year-old “ice doctor” who was in charge of the safety of her group and still feels responsible for her, checks up on her at the hotel to which they’ve been evacuated. In the customary “we’re lucky to be alive” fashion, they celebrate with food, wine, and sex.

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30 Jan

Reading Challenge: January 2019 (Part 2)

Remember when I split this month’s reading because I was afraid one post for the whole month would be obscenely long? Yeah, I forgot about contest-judging obligations that arrived on the 20th, so this is actually super short.

All links go to Amazon and are affiliate coded.


THE END OF THE WORLD: STORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE by Various Authors: I’ve said before I have a terrible time with anthologies (it takes me a long time to commit, and most short stories are over before I warm to them sufficiently; also, I want a line of logic I can follow from beginning to end, and a lot of short stories are… “experimental” is the most generous term I can come up with), but since I was already having a terrible reading streak, what’s the harm? At least I like the apocalypse!

The stories themselves date back as far as 1944 and have all been previously published, so if you’re a SF short story aficionado, you may have seen many of them elsewhere. This collection was published in 2010, when nobody in publishing even pretended an interest in diversity; accordingly, the 19 authors include 1 woman and 0 POC. The +/- after each story indicates my positive or negative feeling toward it.

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