Pretty average month, mostly in the 2.5-3 stars range; however it was productive, thanks to COYER, BoB Cycle 21, and 24 in 48 challenges. The books attached to this post are my highlights for the month.
BL/GR: 13/52 (25% completed)
COYER Winter Switch
The Strict: 6 read this month; 10 books read overall for this phase
The List: 6/30 (5% complete); 2 DNF
Participated in Bout of Books Cycle 21
Participated in 24in48 Read-a-thon
1. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill - 3 stars
2. Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flatts by Kristen Iverson - 3 stars
3. The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich - 3 stars
4. Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo - 4 stars
5. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking - 2 stars
6. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David von Drehle - 2.5 stars
7. A Right Honorable Gentleman by Courtney Milan - 1 star
8. Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson - 4 stars
9. Love is Love by Various Authors - 3.5 stars
10. Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole - 4.5 stars
11. The Lotus Palace (Pingkang Li Mystery #1) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars
12. The Jade Temptress (Pingkang Li Mystery #2) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars
13. Agnes Moore's Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole - 2.5 stars
Something True by Karelia Stetz-Waters at 18% because I only liked one MC and the side characters were extremely annoying or stereotyped.
Gambled Away by Various Authors
The Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
This was a fun read. I like that this book takes us through Kamala's processing her new powers and trying on different costumes - I liked that this wasn't simple for her. I liked Bruno, I just wished he and Kamala had a friendship that didn't include Bruno being secretly in love with her. Nakia was great balance to Kamala, showing how different Muslim physically express their religion. Zoe the concern troll was pitch perfect - I like how everyone saw through her bullshit. I loved Kamala's dad.
I will continue with this series, but I am also going to suggest this series to my library, because I think many teens would like reading about Kamala, her friends and family, and her superhero adventures.
I have 40% left in Triangle, so that is the first one to read. There may be less left due to the index, sources, etc. taking up a big part of the page count.
Starting tomorrow, I will be reading off my COYER Winter Switch reading list, kicking off with volume one of Ms. Marvel and A Right Honorable Gentleman by Courtney Milan (previously published in RWA's anthology Premiere).
I will also begin reading Love is Love edited by Phil Jimenez, a graphic novel anthology that was created to raise money for Pulse Nightclub victims and survivors.
To round out the end of BoB cycle 21, I might get to Hamilton's Battalion anthology.
Happy first 3 day weekend of 2018!
In my last comic round up, I started with a series of comics based on a video game, so I figure I will do the same here. The four issue World of Warcraft Legion series is apparently a set up for the video game (or part of the video game). The series isn’t as good as Overwatch, in part because it relies a bit more on reader familiarity, but it isn’t bad. Part of the series focuses on the relationship between fathers and daughters, in one case, a father upset that his daughter isn’t a son. Each issue is more of a character study with some action. The first and last issues being the best.
To be fair to World of Warcraft, the female characters are actually drawn in ways that make sense and not as objectified as many other comic books would have done them. Take for instance, Tellos, which has had all good markings of a good fantasy story – exciting chases, a tiger man, magic, a female pirate with intelligence – until you realize that said female pirate with the triple DDD bust size constantly spans her own waist with one of her hands. Every Time She Puts Said Hand On Her Hip.
There are exceptions to this trend. Marvel’s Ms. Marvel being an example. She is nicely geeky, she tries to be a good daughter, she is nice and insecure. She’s a Muslim. In other words, she is everything Donald Trump would hate. The fact that she is a normal teen and minority is a huge step forward. She isn’t perfect. It’s good that Marvel is finally doing something like this. I wish they would go back and rescue some of their less known woman heroes as well. I really want Firestar done well.
Ms. Marvel, however, does give me hope. Not only in terms of the future of comics, but also that hype can be correct.
And she is drawn realistically, and the issue passes the Bechdel test.
Tiny Titans doesn’t, at least not entirely. There is jokes about who has a crush on Robin, and while this might be a reference to Nightwing’s butt, it is rather annoying. Still, the comic is a little cute, though the DC Super Hero Girls was better.
Tales of Honor (#1 and FCBD issue) is a series based on the Honor Harrington novels by David Weber. #1 is basically a start of Honor’s story, starting around book 6 or 7. The FCBD issue is a standalone story. Both have the info dumps that do tend to populate Weber’s books. Interesting, Nimitz, Honor’s treecat is drawn differently in each, at one point so large that he would not be a shoulder perching cat, which is what he is supposed to be. Issue #1 sexualizes Honor a bit, though not as much as some comics would have. I have to give the edge to FCBD issue, though, the story was complete and straight forward. It showed Honor at her best. However, if you like Honor, you might want to check out this series.
Murena is a graphic novel series that in some ways is the sequel to Claudius the God. The story focuses on Nero and the bastard son of Claudius, Murena, who are friend despite being, whether they know it or no, on opposite sides. The art work is fine, the history good, and the storytelling well done. If you want a I Claudius again, this is the one for you. What is interesting is the use of Nero, in particular making him an almost sympathetic character. The first volume seems to be an indication that part of what the series is going to look is the corruptive nature of power.
A few years ago, I was in DC and saw the Diaghilev and Ballet Russe exhibit at the National Gallery. It included footage from a performance of Rite of Spring. Now, I am of the generation who knows that music thanks to Disney’s Fantasia, which means I hear it and think dinosaurs.
There were no dinosaurs.
Thankfully, there is Age of Reptiles, which is about dinosaurs. In fact, it is nothing but dinosaurs. There is no dialogue, just dinosaurs being dinosaurs. It is absolutely cool and enthralling. Be warned, there is blood so if you are a parent, you might want to check it out before kiddo reads it.
Closing note- American McGee’s Grimm #1 is a hilarious take down of the super hero comic book.