February wasn’t a month for voracious reading, but some more cerebral pieces of literature made it through in addition to the usual sci-fi, cozy mystery, and somewhat off the beaten pack romance novels. I’ve been working in a bit of non-fiction into my repertoire, but not too much this month, perhaps March will bring in some more books set firmly in reality.
February also marks the return of talking about Harper Collins novels again as workers are no longer on strike and ratified the contract there. Really appreciate the positive impact this might have on the rest of the large publishing industry, or at least, one can hope.
This month I started reading the first book in a few series I intend to continue – namely Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, which is an absolutely fantastic adventure magic fantasy novel that pulls together Knights of King Arthurs Table, secret societies, Root Crafters, and deals with some serious subject matter like grief, slavery, what it means to have a mixed heritage in a so-called post colonial world. Anyway, I’m glad I got on this train, because I’m looking forward to the next book. It’s full of action and intrigue, light romantic elements, diverse characters, and a strong woman lead.
My Canada Reads book this month was We Spread by Iain Reid and it ultimately so weird, and in the light of The Last of Us TV series, a subtle or overtly fungal themed book may not be something I want to do for a while. BUT the story was compelling, it was so readable. I cared about Penny and what happened to her. I thought he wrote the unreliable narrator so well, and from the point of view from an elderly woman with so much care it was very thoughtfully done.
Danielle Garret was back with three more books in the Nine Lives Magic series, and largely I’m here for both the cat Selene, and Amanda Ronconi, the narrator of the audiobooks. But it’s a solid series with minimal if any fat phobic elements, and has an over arching plot as well as mini mysteries in each book. While I can’t get Talisman Tales as an audiobook for a few months, I’ve actually started reading it in print.
I found Lana Harper’s Payback’s a Witch extremely satisfying to read. It’s a bit of a revenge tale for a lacklustre ex that also happens to be someone that is part of the richest family in town, filled with love and magic. I wasn’t sure if I’d read the rest of the series, but writing this, I’m getting the feeling I will, just to see where the rest of it goes.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver is a YA, and is ultimately a coming out story, with re-found family, with parents that are terrible (terrible parents kick their kids out of their homes for being non-binary, queer, or basically anything, I don’t make the rules, that’s just facts,) and a lot of love.
New to me in February was a spicy demon romance novel – That Time I Got Drunk And Saved A Demon by Kimberly Lemming, and after many recommendations for this one, I’m glad I picked it up despite it not being my usual scene. It was delightfully silly, had very few morally ambiguous characters (which can be very very nice) and yet at times still explored some deeper philosophical questions. It’s salacious though, and graphic, and perhaps not my cup of tea, but it was fun and perfect for when I read it.
This months nonfiction books included A Handful of Earth, a Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia Butler by Lynell George, which I talked about on tiktok this month. Another was Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms by Doug Bierend, which I listened to as my night time relaxation book. I think my favourite fungi book is Merlin Sheldrake’s magnificent Entangled Life, but Bierend’s book covered some interesting technologies and initiatives being covered.
- Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne – a spicy pride and prejudice retelling. truly silly and illogical in ways that troubled me afterwards. Anyway, as much as it troubles me to link to goodreads, this review (not written by me) sums up how I feel about it.
- Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp – this is the start of a series of mysteries with a magical element, and featuring murder. Sort of like a cozy Dexter that makes pies? I don’t think I’ll be going back to it.
- A Half-Built Garden by Ruthanna Emrys – it’s a solar punk first contact scenario, but I didn’t enjoy it for a variety of reasons that might be me specific.
E-ARCS this month courtesy of Netgally, and their respective publishers:
- The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher (cute, but sad, but also wholesome) (see on storygraph)
- The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty (Shannon Chakraborty can do no wrong. Loved it) (see on storygraph)
- The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi (I liked this one, it was weird and moody, with ornate prose that I found entirely enjoyable.) (see on storygraph)
- The Book of Rain Thomas Wharton (I really couldn’t get into this past the first few chapters. Started off strong.) I’m debating whether to review it, since I’m so unenthusiastic about it.
So how about you, have you read any good books lately?