Everything I Never Told You — It’s Like a Punch in the Gut, but Great

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Title:  Everything I Never Told You
Author:  Celeste Ng
Rec?  So yes.  Get this book.

I read this for the “Read a Debut Novel” part of the Read Harder Book Challenge, thinking, like I do with most books, that I’ll be intrigued and entertained, and then move on to the next book.

Oh god, I was so wrong.  I’ve never finished a library book and immediately ordered it to own, but by golly, I did here.

Ru Freeman wrote, of the story, “It is impossible to resist grieving alongside each one of these…characters” and that is wholly accurate.  From the first two sentences — “Lydia is dead.  But they don’t know this yet.” — that leads into the uneasy normalcy of the morning, you become part of this family.  You don’t know them yet, but you will, deeply and intensely, sharing things no one else knows, not even the family.  And soon, it’s not just Lydia’s death you grieve, but the small deaths they  keep to themselves:  a dream, a family, a connection.

Celeste Ng uses point-of-view shifts to an effect I’ve never seen before, not just between breaks, but between paragraphs, in the middle of a fight, letting us peer into the thoughts and misunderstandings of each character.  Best of all, the book sings for it.  Not once was the flow broken or the narrative jumbled with each different shift; instead it swelled and swept, molding the past and present together in a way unparalleled.

I do not cry, as a rule, yet several times I found myself setting the book down because my vision blurred with tears, sometimes along with the characters, sometimes to be the tears they could not shed.  The craving to be different, the ache to fit in, the wish to be recognized, the desire to understand, and the overwhelming burden of being made into someone you’re not; each one hits with a visceral impact.

The story of a mixed-race, wholly American family, from the 1950s through the ’70s, with the burden that comes from others’ views and expectations, resonates sharply today.  Even when you’re not the only mixed family in town, that unwanted attention is still there, an underlying tension that simmers beneath every personal conflict.

I cannot recommend this book enough.  My only wish is that I had read it when it came out, so I could have enjoyed this sooner.  I look forward to Celeste Ng’s writing future (and yes, I have just preordered her new book) and everything she has to give us.

(Also, I must put in a final word to say that casual queer character with no overwhelming baggage made my heart sing.  This book was just everything.)

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The Read Harder Challenge

After reading over 200 books and stories last year (why, I’ll never know), I’ve decided to cut it back this year, with a goal of only 50.  Even if I read over that number (which I very likely will as my current reread of Yu-Gi-Oh! will about finish it), I’m not changing my goal.  This will be me seeing how much I like reading for enjoyment, not because I feel obligated to.

That said, I just came across Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.

I’ve always been interested in doing book challenges throughout a year (much in the same way I’m interested in joining a book club or doing live NaNo nights; it sounds fun, but I have no means or true opportunity to do them), so imagine my delight at finding one that actually covers books I’m genuinely likely to read.

Below the cut is the list, for reference.  I’ll likely update it with what book I’m reading as I go on, and make a final post with everything once the list is done.

Come join along with me!  We can be our own little book club.

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State of the Fleet:  New Year’s Edition

It has been a long, long while since I’ve updated here (don’t count the book tag, that’s even been sitting for months) and while a lot hasn’t actually happened, a lot has happened.  (If you follow me on twitter, you’ve probably seen most of this news already.)

The Bad

I’ve been trying to get a diagnosis for my rheumatoid arthritis, only to discover doctors really hate the idea of patients understanding their own symptoms.  I could read of a list of what my symptoms are, point by point, and they’d still lecture me on “googling symptoms” and “well, the blood tests don’t show”.  Fun Fact:  A lot of RA patients don’t show positive blood work, and a sudden positive tends to mean it’s become more severe.  So I guess I’ll just wait until my hands start warping and I can’t walk at all before a doctor might deign to believe me!

This has not been a good year for me and doctors.

I called for an occupational therapist (whose literal job is helping people cope in daily lives in minimal pain) only to be told that’s not what I need.  Fun Fact:  The Kaiser website gives the same definition as in my parenthetical.  So, the doctors don’t read their own site, apparently.

I saw a mental health therapist for the first time in months (a new one because my last never listened to me) only to be not listened to again.  Apparently I put off “unblinking idiot” vibes or something.

Pals, a question:  Have your therapists been all social workers, or a different degree?
I am still unemployed and my Autocorrect just tried to play me there and unable to sell anything to raise money.  This has added to my stress and pain as I’ve scrounged for what money I can get to pay bills, and has overall been terrible.  If anyone can spread word or knows someone who wants something (commission, craft, random things I’m selling), please send them HERE.

My computer has started blue screening on me and I have this terrible fear it will die this year, which means I need to start backing things up and making lists of what programs I have.  I am not pleased with this development.

Friends:  I am in pain all the time.  I cannot stand for long.  Walking takes so much out of me.  I’m losing concentration, I can’t focus, I can’t write hardly at all.  I spend most of my time sleeping, and even that’s not good because I’m in so much pain I can’t rest.  I keep saying how if I was a person to cry I would, but the truth is I’ve gone long past the point of crying.  I’ve taken to rewatching things I’ve all but memorized because when my focus goes, I at least don’t kick myself for getting distracted.  This year has been too much.

And some motherfucker hit my damn car!

Literally, 4 days before my license test, some dipshit hit my door in so far, the window can’t go down.  Not a big problem?  It wouldn’t be if the test didn’t require my fucking window to go down.  So, once again, I’m stuck with no license and no idea when my door will get fixed.

I’ve been losing weight this past year and it’s been very troubling.  I’ve been in the same diet I was in college, namely, not eating anything for almost a day.  Between the pain and the… well, to be honest, most of my problems would lessen without the pain, so we’ll just say because of the pain, it’s been hard for me to get up and get food.  I’ve had no appetite, and frequently only eat once I’m getting dizzy and shaky.  Not good.

And, of course, there was the shitstain that was 2016 overall, so….

That pretty much wraps up the bad, so onward to

The Good

I won’t lie.  I can’t remember much of anything that happened last year before about December, so here’s barely-there highlights from what I think was this last year.

I went on a date!  With a super cute girl who is awesome and who thinks I’m beautiful which is hilarious.  😘

I found some very good people and blogs in the RA community, the Health At Every Size community, and the Death Positive community.  They have been immensely helpful to me in coping with my pain and symptoms, motivating me to improve my eating ability and strength — mentally, I’ve reached such a better place with food, even if it is a daily struggle — and given me a place of understanding and kinship over something I genuinely thought nobody else understood.
I’ve been listening to a lot of good artists and really branching out in my musical tastes, which has been very exciting.

I didn’t write much this year, but–  Wait a minute.  I wrote and published at least two fics, started easily 25 more, made tons of notes for potential original work, wrote a story a day for half of May, started actually using this blog, did book reviews and sales posts, talked a lot about stories I’d like to see and see done differently, and actually started on a new Batfic in the last few days of the year.

I’ve written a shit ton.  I just haven’t finished our posted most of it.  Wow.

I’ve been very active on twitter, making some new friends and talking a lot with old friends.  While I still tend to isolate myself and feel isolated, I’ve been better about it this year, I think.

I read 217 books and short stories this year.  Never again.  My eyes dazzle.

I cut a lot of negativity out of my life, from unfollowing and blocking people, to making sure my Tumblr Savior is hella updated, I am prepared.

And, of course, I got a kitty!  Chatty was left all alone in our back patio after his mom and siblings disappeared, so I talked to him when he meowed and eventually got him into the house.  He’s now 8 months old and is a giant, omg.  But he’s very sweet, even if he does go wild sometimes.

The Odd

I joined up NaNo and didn’t write a damn word.  Where’s my badge?

I now own enough nail polish to poison someone, yet it’s still not enough motivation to start wearing any.

I have so many snacks to eat.  So many.

The new Pokémon games aren’t really that deep.  That said, I’m still convinced the player character is just a Ditto in disguise.

We didn’t go to Vegas this year.  This has been surprisingly upsetting.  I dream slot machines.

I have enough journals to decorate a small portion of my wall.

I have enough posters to wallpaper my walls.

I bought short boxes, and I still need more.

I bought so many good books!  I ran out of shelf space 5 months ago.

Looking for a good tattoo artist around me is really fucking difficult.

I really want to get a bachelor’s in mortuary science.

The Star Wars Holiday Special is my favorite Star Wars movie, hands down.

Whizzo the clown’s catchphrase is possibly the motto of my generation:  “Well, now I’ve got that to worry about.”

I’ve got all these online classes signed up for and not a single bit of energy to do them.  :/

A small cat is like a small child, except you can lock it in the bathroom when you’re angry at it and nobody says a word.

That’s about it for now, folks.  I’ll be back later with a post of resolutions, because this looks long enough as it is.

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The Rapid Fire Book Tag

Apparently this is how we do LJ memes here on WordPress.

Anyway, Read Diverse Books did it, and since they left a general free-for-all tag, why the hell not?  Besides, I love doing random things instead of the important things I need to do.

eBooks or physical books?

I’m an even split between the two.  Lately I’ve been reading more ebooks because I always have my tablet with me, but if I really love a book, or if it’s a certain type of book, I’ll get a physical copy.  I actually prefer physical, but I now have more books than space, so….

Updated from November, when I started, I’m now solidly back on physical books what with the ungodly haul you’ll see below.

Paperback or hardback?

Paperback.  The only time I buy hardcover is if there’s something special about it (Silmarilian with bonus map), if I have the others in a series in hardcover (there is nothing worse than getting a mixed set of a series), or if I just NEED a book now.  Otherwise, paperbacks save so much room.

Online or in-store book shopping?

Online always.  Mostly because there aren’t actually any bookstores near me (and I don’t shop at B&N).  When Borders was around, I shopped about once a month (there was one down the street from my college).  I love second-hand bookstores, but most have closed around me, so Amazon and online second-hand it is.

Trilogies or series?

Neither?  If depends on what the book is.  Like, a mystery series is fine if it’s just the same characters with maybe some mentions of previous cases.  I honestly just don’t have the patience to get into multiple-book things.

Heroes or villains?

Heroes, always.  I find villains generally boring.  Or maybe it’s because in every modern book the villain is so generically bad.

But most of all, I like heroes because I like the fucking hero.  I’m so sick of “good is boring” authors who think they have to torture their lead or give them some dark secret, when no, a person can be a hero just because they’re a good fucking person.

A book you want everyone to read?

And completely spitting in the face of what I just finished saying, Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz.  It’s a villain story done well with a twist that doesn’t matter if it’s spoiled or not because it just adds a layer to the read.

I super recommend listening to the audiobook either while reading it or before (though when I listened to it after, it was just another layer of joy), because there are certain clues that you only hear from listening (if you understand what the narrator’s doing).

I could talk about this book for days.

Recommend an underrated book.

I guess I can’t recommend what I just did, but, um, I don’t really know of any underrated books?  I can recommend unread books, I guess, or books that aren’t common anymore….

I know!  Agatha Christie’s Harley Quin series.  They’re really enjoyable, they’re short, hints of magic, and basically unknown to most readers, so hell yeah, read them.  The Mysterious Mr. Quin (available in ebook) has all but two stories, which are collected in The Love Detectives (which contains a couple other books Mr. Satterthwaite is a character in, though without Mr. Quin).

The last book you finished?

Laura by Vera Caspary.  Nice ’40s noir with some great twists and fantastic characters.

Used books, yes or no?

Absolutely.  As someone with a hobby (read: obsession) with old and unknown books, I couldn’t get them without being second-hand.  Also, I’m broke af.  Amazon is literally the only way new books are affordable to me; I only buy new books if it’s something or someone I’m really trying to support or need to read now.  Get your knickers in a twist.

Top three favorite genres?

Mystery/detective (an important distinction, not thrillers)

Ghost stories

Old solvey-puzzle mysteries

I’ve found that I’m less into different genres today as I used to, mostly because things like fantasy and sci-fi have all their books so similar, and so fucking depressing.  I don’t want to read the next 12,000 dystopias and no, your dark deconstruction of fantasy isn’t actually that clever at all.  I’m so fucking jaded.

LIKE MYSTERY HAS ANYTHING TO FUCKING SPEAK ON, THOUGH, FUCK.  If I have to read one more goddamned women-torturing “psychological thriller” with a woman who falls apart over a goddamn sandwich choice as a lead, I’m going to puke a fat one, I swear to god!  Everybody’s got a goddamn “dark and troubled past” and every investigation “threatens to spill terrifying secrets” like how are you fucking functioning at this point as a human?

Do you think anyone’s ever told these authors that most people, yes even most protags, have fairly standard and stable lives?  Because I’m starting to be concerned.

Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?

An entire 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper for a pocket book.

Borrow or buy?

I was buying everything that looked good, but as that’s not only filling up my room, depleting my money, and has come to bite me, I’m so into borrowing.  I’m constantly recommending ebooks to the county library and I’ve started going through my wish lists and searching for them in the library main catalogue to see if I like it before I buy it.

I mean, look at this shit:

That’s 14 books from the library.  This is how I roll now.  And it’s wonderful, except that it will take me a long time to get back into a mood to read.

Characters or plot?

Depends on the book.  Character-driven character pieces are actually my jam.  Nothing could happen at all in a book but examining people and characters and I’d be thrilled.  When that’s combined with a good STEADY plot (say, in a mystery), I’m extra stoked.

Long or short book?

Short, always.  My preferred length is 100 pages.  250 is pushing it for me.  When I get books that turn out to be 300-odd pages, I start to deliberate how much I’m REALLY interested in the book.  Anything over that and forget it.

This is why I’m all about short stories.

Long or short chapters?

Short chapters are great.  Easy to get through, easy to take a break from, easy to keep going.  Long chapters, like long books, drag me down.

Name the first three books you think of.

Laura, Inheritance, The Wooden Horse.

Books that make you laugh or cry?

As in which do I prefer?  Laugh, always.  Or if not, give me chills. I don’t read tragic books because there’s enough of that around anyway.

Our world or fictional worlds?

Our world, historically, or in its best sense.  I’ve not been reading other worlds much.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Absolutely.  And I’ll buy editions based on covers, including buying the same book again.

Audiobooks: yes or no?

Yes, but I have trouble listening to them.  I can’t do anything else if I’m to concentrate on the reading, but then I get bored and my mind wanders and suddenly I’ve missed half a chapter.  BUT, I can listen to them while reading the book (I did this with Moriarty and it was amazing).

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

Old TV adaptations of books and generally older movie adaptations.  I haven’t seen many film adaptations now and TV adaptations of books seem to drag on.

Oh!  The Joan Hickson Miss Marple series is A+, do highly recommend.

A movie or TV adaptation you preferred to the book?

Ngl, Game of Thrones is a lot more watchable than the books are readable.

So, the Poirot adaptation of Cards on the Table changed up a lot (including killing the wrong person at one point, which I’m still bitter about), but it added some illicit queerness and I am all for that (and I am always for queer murderers, I can’t lie).

Series or standalone?

I super prefer standalones, because I’ve been burned by buying the second of a trilogy thinking it was the first.  Plus, I don’t have to deal with ongoing storylines.  I’m always here for one-and-dones.
Well, three months later, that’s finally finished.  That was fun, actually.  I’ll have to find more like this (or cross-post my own).  I’d love to see anyone who wants to do it, uh, do it.

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Horrorstör: You’ll Never Be Happy In IKEA Again

I just finished this book, so you’re getting sort of a review.

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix (kindle edition) is a horror story in the guise of a knock-off IKEA-type store catalogue.  It’s also fucking creepy.  And great.

Focusing on and following the employees of Orsk–“Have a question?  Just Orsk!”–as they try to uncover the mysterious happenings overnight in the labyrinthine store, the story shifts from mildly unnerving to full-on terror in a matter of pages.  Each chapter begins with a piece of furniture from the Orsk catalogue, each one important to the story.  There’s always a cheerful Orsk slogan or two within the chapters to remind you that, yes, Orsk may be a cheap knock-off of IKEA, but dammit, you will love Orsk!

You will love Orsk.

Warnings

I won’t lie, the story gets a little bit gore-tastic with some finger trauma and eye-horror, so go in prepared, but don’t let that stop you.  The gore, thankfully, isn’t the focus of the story; it’s more the bloody frosting on a horrifying maze of sheet cake.

General Thoughts

This is definitely something you sit down and read all at once.  I read in it about three/four hours, but if you’re not a word-sifter like me, you could finish it quicker.  Not too quick, though; that’d spoil the fun of it.

This really reminded me of House of Leaves (albeit way fucking shorter, thank god) and in a very good way.  Although the nameless, faceless horror gets both a name and a face, he isn’t the main horror, which is horrifying in itself when you think about it.  There’s a good variety of characters and they all feel real, which is nice for modern horror; usually there’s so much focus on the gore and the scare, authors forget the characters are the point.

Also, it ends with my favorite horror ending ever, so A+, very good.

Final Thoughts

Fucking

Fucking

Fucking

buy it

buy it

buy it

And I heartily recommend the paperback version so you get the full catalogue feel.

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Oh Shit! It’s Another Yale Sale!

ain’t no damn yard sard

I got so much shit to sell, son.  Y’all better buy some.

Everything I’ve got is under the cut.  Some pictures linked, some included.  Prices do not include shipping (determined by location/shipping speed).

Categories are:  Books & Sundry, Comics, DVDs, Toys, Misc.

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Dear Comic Fans: It’s been a year since my first post & y’all are still racist as heck when it comes to racebending

Read this and understand. All of this.

Stitch's Media Mix

Back in August 2015 I wrote “Dear Comic Fans: We Get it. You’re racist and racebending scares you,” as a direct response to the racist backlash towards Keiynan Lonsdale being cast as Wally West on the Flash television show.

Well, it’s been a little bit over a year and I honestly can tell you that yes, fandom is still filled to the brim with racists who think that if they scream about red hair and “blackwashing” loud enough, that no one will notice that the only time they know or care about changes to characters’ races when it concerns white characters being cast with actors of color.

Look, if the only thing you care about when it comes to casting is an authentic hair color, then I have to introduce you to the wonders of hair-dye and wigs. And then I get to beat you with a bag full…

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It’s My Birthday, Bitches!

Well, it will be on the 16th.  Which is good, because now you have just enough time to begin showering me with praise and gifts.  (Amazon gift cards & cash are always A+++ too.)

I think now I’m supposed to say something humble like, “Of course, you don’t have to buy me anything, just your good wishes are fine, yada yada ya,” but we’re adults here.  You don’t have to do anything except get up each day, and that’s only because wetting the bed is unpleasant.

Below are several Amazon wishlists (because I’m organized to death), so those of you who want to buy me things can, and those of you who don’t can just sit in awe of my sweet taste in everything.

  • Chicana Life:  The list where I slowly try to connect to lost culture.
  • Death:  It’s important and fascinating and we might as well get used to it.
  • History:  World Wars and queer histories, sometimes together.
  • Queer:  While most of the history part is above (why can’t I cross-reference things, Amazon???), here’s lots of fiction and historical fiction.

There are more, but like, bro, just shower me in books.  I don’t have anywhere near enough space for them all, but one should never let that stop one.

Lastly, if you’re uncomfortable with this post directly asking for what I want….

look-at-all-the-fucks-mike-gives

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Define “Honest”

(Note:  Post image is also my expression when reading 99% of books)

I’ve come to the realization that the main reason people come to me and then rapidly avoid me is my honesty.  This is something I’m actually proud of.  I’m not a cruel person, but I am a harsh person, and when you give me free rein to be honest, I will be.

Crushingly so.

I bring this up because it is this honesty that makes me very uncomfortable with ARCs and the general culture around them.  No matter what anyone tells you, the unspoken opinion is:  like it, or don’t review it.

Authors will tell you that’s not the point.  They want honest reviews to help sales and for people to find their book.  But nobody really wants an honest review when their book is honestly shit.

I bring this up because I am currently struggling my way through my second Carmen DeSousa book, and it is filling me with an honest, unholy rage.  This, I’m sure, is the opposite of what was intended.

Antiquated ideas of masculinity and manhood coupled with some just god awful slut-shaming do not a good story make, especially not one written within the last years.  Add to that people panicking at the mere idea of ghosts for 25 pages (in a paranormal-romance series), and you have the makings of a dull and painful reading experience.

And do you know how badly I wanted to like these?

I’ve been trying my damndest to read books out of my general purview (including, *shudders* het romance), and I have to say, it’s books like these that drive me straight back to my bachelors-living-too-close-solving-mysteries-while-reciting-poetry-to-each-other roots.

If not for the fact I’m very angry at Goodreads telling me I’m “2 books behind schedule” for my reading goal (no, Goodreads, I guarantee you 69 books in 113 days is not a close number), I would stop reading this current book, The Pit Stop, right now.  I’ve already stopped listening to the audiobook of it because if how terrible it is (Hot tip:  You cannot read a paranormal/ghost story with ~dark, spooky~ emphasis on every fucking word.  It doesn’t create suspense; it makes me think you’ve never read aloud in your life.  And just watched really bad Lugosi impressions.)

As it is, I’m a quarter of the way through already, and of all the bad decisions I could make tonight, this is easily the least painful, so I’ll be churning along, growling in frustration, and making my cat watch me uneasily.

But, no, I’m not reading her longer novel The Library, or, likely, her fantasy (?) book Creatus.  I can only put myself through so much, and this ain’t worth it.

(Also:  I almost put out my full pretentiousness on display and nearly titled this with a quote from Hamlet, but, well, I refrained.  You lucky bastards.)

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Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack: Now With 30% Less Time Warp and More Naked Rocky

I have been waiting YEARS for the complete Rocky Horror movie soundtrack.  Unfortunately, I was stuck with the only version that included two extra renditions of Time Warp without including a single recording of Sword of Damocles (and that IS a crime).  Finally, however, my queer prayers have been answered!

Behold!  The Complete Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack!

As if they knew, two versions of SoD (heh) are included: a studio version and the (infinitely superior, imo) movie version.  Also on here is Brad’s cut song, Once In A While, which is pretty damn great and definitely something I’m gonna be singing (and maybe recording?) in the near future.

If you’re a huge Rocky Horror fan like me, you owe it to yourself to get this complete album.  And if you use the link above, you’ll also help me out a lot and maybe I’ll record you a song (or a terrible rendition of Time Warp, the options are endless).

Have a very queer day!

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And The Story Begins–As It Means to Go On, Likely: A Warning

Those of you who follow me on Twitter have seen the abridged version of today’s adventure, but I want to share now the full story.

Since today was the first mail day after the long weekend, I received a shit ton of boxes.  Two of those boxes were subscriptions for the service And The Story Begins, which sends out two books of varying genres every month.  I was subscribed to both the Mystery/Thriller box and the Science Fiction box.  The two books in my Science Fiction box are at least interesting enough I’ll be giving them a try.

The Mystery/Thriller books are pure, unmitigated garbage.

Trigger/content warnings for mentions of rape, abuse, torture, murder, violence against women–all of these from the books mentioned below–and The Killing Joke.  Cut for these reasons.

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YARD SARD

Most of you don’t know, but I have an ebay account where I’m selling books and toys.  It’s an eclectic batch of stuff, so please watch my account to get updates on new items available (more will be popping up in the next few days).

Please share and if anything strikes your fancy, feel free to let me know!

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State of the Fleet–September 2016

August was a bad month, but the last two days of it have been better and now things are going much better (well done, things!).  This is probably going to be a busy week, BUT it feels like good busy for once.

Goals for September:

  • Short stories!  Specifically, 25 fanfics, 500 words each.  I’m gonna do it.
  • Reviews!  God I have so many waiting (even hand written, like gdi) but, what, two up?  That’s gotta get fixed.
  • Read!  Because fuck damn, I have so many books.
  • Sell shit!  I now have stuff up on eBay and will be adding more throughout the month, so if you need toys, books, and other miscellaneous things, boy howdy, I’ll have them.

I have a few bigger projects coming up (or currently happening), but I’m not focusing on them for now. My main goal this month is short stories and lots of them (with a break for birthweek, obvs).

Oh yes, and,

PHWEEEEEEEEEE!

*noise maker noises*

My birthday is this month!  What a good!  So, y’all will probably hear me talking about that and probably next week I’ll make a page for my current Amazon wish lists, for those of y’all who wish to shower me with gifts and affection.

That’s all for now.  Stay cool, bro.

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Current TBR

I know I promised a review of City of Wolves, but, well, I started reading some short stories for flavor and got distracted.  Plus, I didn’t need the extra anger that book brings up in me (seriously, ladies fainting over stomachs, SHE’S A FUCKING WERE–)

Anyway.  My current to read lists, in case anyone’s curious, has read/is reading these, and/or wants to share Thoughts! on them.  (All links affiliate to Amazon, so pls help out if you’re interested.)

e-books

I’ve been reading some of the short freebies that are taking up space on my tablet.  Some of these have been considerably Not Short, which is :/ because my attention span has not been what it used to (pain and life and kitten, oh my!).  But now I’m moving myself back up to longer novels.

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

(This one is free, so super get on it if you haven’t.)

So, I stumbled into Milan’s historical romances with a free copy of A Right Honorable Gentleman and, oh gosh, my tiny romantic asexual heart.  Adult adults who are clearly attracted to each other but also, like, adults and just… gosh!  So now I’m hooked.  I figure it’s a good starting length, too, to get me back into longer reads.

Santa Muerte by Lucina Stone (print edition)

Oh gosh, since I read about this book (and then saw Read Diverse Books’s review and interview with Lucina), I’ve been dying to get to it.  Finding, reclaiming, and connecting to my roots and myths has been very important to me, and a priority lately.  I’m really excited to read this (death and heritage, it me).

Dark Voyage by Helen Susan Swift (print edition)

So, I ordered this book (print & e-book to get Matchbook price because this is who I am), but, I won’t lie, I genuinely don’t remember why I wanted it.  It sounds super interesting, and I’m jazzed to read it, but I’m going with no radar, folks.  This should be a fun journey.

print books

Bro, I have so many of these to read.  Like, a whole frightening pile of books to read, and a brand new order I just placed because, like bubblewrap, I must… have… more.

OK, so I just–just–finished Fadeout by Joseph Hansen (e-book) and omg, I cannot recommend it enough.  I’m gonna write a full review on it and you will all be happy to know that for once I can and will say something nice about a book (I’m just picky, OK?).  Just… go to your library and check it out.  It’s the first book of the series and you will definitely want more.

 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (e-book, altho it’s $2 more than the hardcover, so)

I got this from the Book of the Month club (impressively their pick for me too, so we are starting to get to know one another).  It’s been interesting.  The blurb reminded me of some of the Icelandic mysteries I’ve been collecting, so I thought I’d check it out.  I’ll probably do a real review of this one once I finish it, but for now I’m still trying to get to and through it.

I have some books coming tomorrow today, as I type this at 4 in the morning, and I know that’ll change what comes after these two.  I’m thinking of jumping into the Serafina series as they should be getting here and I have a very strong love for middle grade fiction (and they might be a nice change of pace from DEATH AND MURDER just kidding I love it).

So that’s where I’m at for now.  One of these days I’ll put up my full TBR list (and probably make it a sticky so we can all see if progress is made, hahaha *sobs*).

AND FINALLY

I have some books to sell or trade.

I’ve got

    • Pushkin Press edition of Bullfight by Yasushi Inoue (accidentally got two, so this is a completely new unread version)

and two Civil War history books

    • Bloody Spring by Joseph Wheelan

    • History Channel’s The Civil War by Dennis and Peter Gaffney

The history books I’m especially up for trade for, particularly if anyone has any books about WWI soldiers in Europe (as opposed to American “swoop in and save the day” books).

Hopefully Monday we’ll have my next review up, a mini review series on Megan Derr’s free books, and by the end of the week I should have written up my City of Wolves review.

Hope you’re all having a good weekend and happy reading!

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Fleet Reviews: The Kraken Sea

I read this book about a month ago, but with multiple debilitating illnesses, I’ve been unable to actually review it until now.  This will probably end up a fairly short review since I actually don’t have too much to say about this book.

…And that probably sums up everything you need to know about it.

The Kraken Sea by E. Catherine Tobler (Kindle version) — published by my faves, Apex Publishing — is a prequel to her Jackson’s Unreal Circus series.  Here, we follow the aforementioned Jackson on his journey from the foundling hospital he grew up in to San Francisco and the strange fate he finds there.

On the whole, the book is enjoyable weirdness.  Beneath Jackson’s apparently human form lay scaled tentacles; the woman who takes him in, Cressida, has a house full of shadows, with guard lions that judge the worth of whoever enters and eats those who are unworthy; Mae, the mysterious lion tame with a startling secret; the Fates, who determine birth, life, and death.

The TL;DR before the cut:  I expected Lovecraft and got Twilight with prettier prose.

There is nothing inherently wrong about the type of eerie this book dwells in.

…BUT (and spoilers):

Continue reading

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