Another month of shelter-in-place meant another month of me seizing stress-relief and pleasure by reading in the sun. I haven’t been forcing myself to write, since I’m just trying to keep calm and my eczema under control. Oh, right, I did participate in the #Decolonize30for30 poetry challenge over on my IG back in April. For May, I began doing edits on a short story; I haven’t had to exert myself this much since Vivian’s essays tbqh.
Anyways, here are my faves from May!
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
A magical-child welfare worker pays a visit to a unique orphanage and falls in love with its caretaker. A coming of age story with a middle-aged fat hero.
Fkdlas;jf found family feels. Sweet cinnamon roll romance between two middle aged men. If you liked Becky Chambers’ focus on found fam, you’re gonna love this. I’m not usually a fan of books about kids, but this one won me over.
Revisiting old friends
Anita Blake books #4-25 by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake, vampire hunter and police consultant, reckons with her own shortcomings, tries to be happy, and grapples with her magic – particularly the ardeur, which requires her to have sex if she is to live.
Y’all this is the bulk of what I read in May. I have no idea why I was so driven to devour these, but I’m sure I’ll learn why eventually. I have a lot of thoughts about this series, enough to make a whole post about it, but I’ll leave that for later. Suffice to say, while I started the series for hardboiled!Anita, I keep reading because of all the characters I love. Micah/Nathaniel/Anita 4lyfe (+ Jean-Claude).
Naughty Bits & Naughty Wishes by Joey W. Hill
In Naughty Bits: when Madison’s sister dies, Madison finds her sister’s left her not only a lingerie shop, but the handsome hardware store owner next door too. And in Naughty Wishes, Sam decides enough is enough with the UST between herself and her two roommates who are best friends.
I just really love the way Hill writes people. I always learn/consider something new.
Ninefox Gambit & Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee (Machineries of Empire #1 & 2)
To take back the empire’s key fortress, Cheris partners with the ghost of General Shuos Jedao, who while a tactical genius, also murdered his entire fleet. But the empire may come to regret pairing them together…
I don’t usually reread sci-fi as a comfort read, but! I love Cheris’ character so fucking much, and Lee’s world-building and humor is amazing. Lee’s Patreon is here.
Angels’ Flight & Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh (Guildhunter series)
Angels’ Flight is a short story anthology; my fave was the Jessamy and Gale novella. Archangel’s Enigma has Naasir on the hunt for his mate and the legendary resting place of the Archangel Alexander. Andromeda might be the answer to both those quests.
While I avidly read Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, I only follow the stand-alone Guildhunter books. I somehow had missed that Angel’s Flight existed, so it was a pleasure to read something new in this universe. And with Enigma, I love Naasir’s cat-like POV. XD
Bittersweet by Lianne La Havas ft. BBC Symphony Orchestra
I love the strings in this.
If I Ruled the World by MILCK (Tiny Desk Home Concert)
“Some kids never see the ocean” get me every time.
Adore You by Harry Styles (Tiny Desk Concert)
I’m always a sucker for live back-up singers and the ones here make this.
Nadiya’s Time to Eat
I don’t follow the Great British Bake-Off, so this was my first introduction to Nadiya Hussain and I am in love. Her colorful clothes, her flawless eyeliner, her colorful kitchen, and her amazing food that cooks quick? Be still my heart. Find it on Netflix! I will absolutely be watching anything I can get of hers and trying to get her cookbooks.
Wring Doesn’t Need to Hurt by Lindsey King-Miller
“There’s a line, though, between acknowledging uncomfortable truths and writing with the intent to suffer. It is brave to write the thing you need to write, even if it hurts. But that doesn’t mean that the hardest writing is always the bravest. Self-flagellation for its own sake is not noble—and it doesn’t necessarily make for good art.”
“The most painful stories are not the only ones worth telling. Someday I want to be able to write about how I healed.”
“I don’t think it was the cake pops or the date that made this corner of the internet mad. It was the fact that a woman said something on a global platform that a lot of people found funny and relatable, and in the most jokey of ways, that post happened to criticize a man’s behavior.
That’s what that bitter, angry corner is so bitter and angry about. They crowed about my getting my imagined comeuppance at the hands of a hero who denied me a cake pop when really they’re terrified at the prospect of a world where they might get their comeuppance. They’re scared that a group that has historically been able to skate by with little criticism might be held accountable, judged, made fun of or, yes, even berated for thoughtless behavior, no matter how big or small.”