January’s Reading Challenge Updates

Since I have yet to post about the reading challenges I have chosen to participate in this year I shall quickly list them before I get into my update. For more information feel free to click on the links.

This month I read eleven books, putting me a full one book over my goal. I could have probably read more but there were certain books I just had to reread, over and over again despite finishing them not even an hour prior. I got lucky, almost every book I picked up I could not put it down. Anyway, on to the update:

The Queen of The Night by Alexander Chee

I finished this novel on the second of January but even with that space, I can not find words to describe my love and passion for this astounding novel. I gained quite a few new favorite books this month but this one takes the cake. “Lilliet Berne” has a powerful narrative voice and her constant strength is awe-inspiring. In addition- circus. Enough said. I used this novel to fulfill Better World Book’s “book over 400 pages” task.

A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski

This one was purely for my own interest. A Queer History of the United States covers far back as the first European explorers, and their observations of the customs of the Native American tribes, to as recent as the Stonewall Riots. One of the most surprising things was the not-quite-accepting but willingness of early settlers to turn a blind eye if queer people kept their activities out of public. I would totally recommend reading this even just as an overview if you have any interest in queer history.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

I’m not sure if I have much to say about this book that has not already been said. It is a very important book for its depiction of Amanda and Russo writing about the transgender experience beyond angst. However, young adult is one of my least favorite genres so I did not enjoy the novel as much as other people. I do acknowledge that Russo made the right choice in writing this as a young adult novel. That demographic is honestly who is most in need of a book like this. And unlike the reverse, adults can easily read young adult novels. I used this book to fulfill Better World Book’s “young adult novel” task and Book Riot’s “ya or middle-grade novel by an author who identifies as lgbtqia+” task.

Kris Ripper’s Scientific Method Series and Associated Stories

This series makes up six of the books I read this month. Kink, so much kink, and poly-queer relationships. That is the easiest and most accurate summary of this series. The Scientific Method Series is definitely ‘don’t like, don’t read,’ but if you do like, it contains almost any kink you could want. The main poly relationship is a dom/sub dynamic. I used this series to fulfill Book Riot’s ‘read a queer romance novel’ task.

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Another one of my new favorite books. The Bear and The Nightingale is based on Russian mythology and fairy tales. Vasilisa is a compelling protagonist and once I started I could not put this novel down. It was one of the several I kept rereading and totally put me on a fantasy/fairy-tale kick. The novel fulfills Better World Book’s ‘fantasy novel’ task, Book Riot’s ‘debut novel’ and ‘fantasy novel’ tasks, PopSugar’s ‘book that’s published in 2017’ task, and Diverse Reads’ ‘diverse mythology/folklore’ task.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted got me to stop jumping around to my favorite parts of The Bear and The Nightingale and start rereading this novel. Although it is not too similar to The Bear and The Nightingale, they share some characteristics and I found it the perfect book to read after it. Uprooted rounds off the novels that made my list of new favorite books ever in January. Besides Better World Book’s ‘book written by a female writer’ and the ‘fantasy’ tasks that The Bear and The Nightingale already checked off, I do not believe Uprooted helped me with any of the challenges.

February Plans

I started reading,┬ábut have yet to finish, Guapa by Saleem Haddad making that a priority. Other than that, I plan on reading Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt, A.R. Kahler’s The Immortal Circus series, Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, and rereading The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Getting a Kindle is the worst thing to ever happen to my wallet. Therefore I hope to cut down on my impulse buying and read the books I already bought. I have some comic series to catch up on so I hope those will occupy me enough to stop buying new stuff.

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