Huntress by Malinda Lo
I really loved Ash, but I was somewhat slow to pick up Huntress, Lo’s sophomore outing. It was somewhere between forgetting about it—the premise feels more traditional fantasy than the hook of “queer retelling of Cinderella”, so it tended to get lost the mental filing cabinet—and wanting to save it for the right moment. The right moment arrived, and my local library here at school came through admirably. (I always feel like my two public library systems are competing with each other, so I keep a very close eye on the pros and cons of each.)
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Confession: I don’t watch 30 Rock. Not because I don’t want to, but television as a medium hasn’t been motivating me at all lately. Plus, I’d need to start over from the beginning; I’m a completionist. But what I have seen—namely, the episode that ends with a threesome involving James Franco, a body pillow with an anime character on it, and Liz Lemon—I’ve really liked. And, naturally, as a woman of letters in current American culture, I just like Tina Fey. I have fond memories of her on Saturday Night Live, although her greatest moment on the show came after she left. No, not her Sarah Palin impression, but her fervent declaration that “bitches get stuff done”. Is it any wonder her book is in the library at my women’s college?
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Ever since I started college, spring brings with it a new ritual—laying out on the quad and sunning myself like a cat as I read a book. While I don’t like the gender essentialism that comes with it, I’m always reminded of Jan Morris’ theory that women have a thinner barrier between them and nature and respond to nature accordingly. In any case, I stretched out on the first sunny day I could on the quad with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Now, as I’ve mentioned, most of the books for my children’s and young adult literature class can be hammered out in an afternoon, and this was no exception—but because of its compulsive readability, not just because of its length and target audience.
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd is one of those books I think everyone has read but me, albeit not in the massive numbers as, say, the Millenium trilogy. One of my cousins picked it up from my favorite independent bookstore the last time he visited my stomping grounds, a woman in my writing group read it ages ago, and other book bloggers have picked through it. The arresting cover—I’ve always loved pixel art—is eye-catching and the subject matter definitely appeals to someone who thoroughly identifies as a geek.
Ash by Malinda Lo
Ash is a book I’ve been meaning to read for what feels like forever. I don’t even remember where the recommendation came from; heck, I might have just stumbled across it on my own. The novel is advertised as a queer retelling of “Cinderella”, which immediately caught my attention—queer romance in fantasy is, I feel, fairly rare. I think the only other example I can give is Lynn Flewelling’s Luck in the Shadows, which doesn’t focus so much on the romance rather than on the adventures—hence why I just had to read Ash.
The Magician’s Book by Laura Miller
The Magician’s Book came to me through Ana’s brilliant review over at things mean a lot; accessible literary criticism concerning a fantasy series? Be still, my heart! I was all ready to snap it up until I hit the obvious stumbling block—I’d never read The Chronicles of Narnia. (Yes, this is why we had Narnia Week back in November.) As soon as I came back to school after the holidays, I picked it up—even before I moved in. That’s quite some hype! Wonderfully, The Magician’s Book lived up to my expectations.
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
The deliriously gorgeous cover of Sisters Red shows two sisters, one dark, one redheaded. I should know better than to trust covers, but apparently, that’s a lesson that won’t stick. For whatever reason, I love the character design of a one-eyed redhead, so I was disappointed to learn that both March sisters are dark-haired–not just because the cover lied to me, but because I had thought it quite clever for Pearce to reference Snow White and Rose Red in a book inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. Alas, this sort of missed opportunity was only a portent of what was to come.
by Elizabeth Kostova
I’m not sure where I picked up the recommendation for this–judging by its placement in my book recommendation journal, I seemed to have picked it up in England, probably in a Waterstone’s. My brother has a copy, which I almost read about two years ago, but I didn’t. The story appealed to me–from the inside flap, it sounded like a thriller about a family torn apart by studying Dracula.
Let me tell you, it failed to deliver.