2019 Sirens Reading Challenge

And it’s off! With this post I begin my reading log for the 2019 Sirens Reading Challenge. I finished my first book in the “Guest of Honor” section today: Aru Shah and the End of Time. This is a fun, fast-paced middle grade fantasy. It was a little on the fast-paced, wacky end for me, but even so I enjoyed it; and I think many readers in the target age range would love it. Which, given that it deals with complex aspects of a mythological system not tremendously well-known in much of the US, is pretty darn impressive (for instance, one of the terms defined in the course of the book is dharma – not really typical middle grade fare). I read author Roshani Chokshi‘s YA The Star-Touched Queen a while back, and enjoyed that one too.

I also recently re-read K Arsenault Rivera’s The Tiger’s Daughter, which is in the “Heroes Books: Required” section this year. This was an interesting one for me. When I first read it I had two reactions: first, that this book is really not my kind of thing (it features,for instance, some extremely gory demon stuff, the sort that I generally avoid); and, simultaneously, the writing, the worldbuilding, truthfully the whole book SERIOUSLY blew me away. I put it down in a kind of despair, my writer brain thinking, how did she do that???? 

I had those same two reactions on the second read; if anything, they were magnified. This book is beautiful.

I’m not sure what my next Sirens Reading Challenge book will be – I have a few from which to choose – but I will keep logging here as I read.

First pass summer reading list

Some of these are recommendations, some are things I’ve been wanting to read for a while, some are rereads. The list grows.

The list is in no particular order.

  • Children of Earth and Sky – Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire
  • Europe in Autumn, Europe at Midnight – Dave Hutchinson
  • The Book of Phoenix – Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Core of the Sun – Johanna Sinisalo
  • Roses and Rot – Kat Howard
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas
  • The Wrath and the Dawn – Renée Ahdieh
  • The Dark Days Club – Allison Goodman
  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
  • The Star-Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi
  • Flamecaster – Cinda Williams Chima
  • An Inheritance of Ashes – Leah Bobet
  • Black Wolves – Kate Elliot
  • Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy – Ann Leckie
  • Forbidden Wish – Jessica Khoury
  • The Moor’s Account – Laila Lalami
  • Heroine Complex – Sarah Kuhn (due out in July)
  • If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino (a reread)
  • La Sombra Del Viento – Carlos Ruiz Zafón (also a reread)

Most of these are sci-fi/fantasy…where my taste is trending these days. Most are NOT young adult, a deliberate decision (and something I’ll write a post about when I can get my thoughts in some kind of coherent order.)

Oh and, on the cookbook front, the 2016 James Beard Awards were just announced. I put some of the awardees/nominees on my list too:

  • Beetlebung Farm Cookbook – Chris Fischer with Catherine Young
  • Sourdough: Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories, and More – Sarah Owens
  • This is Camino – Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain
  • NOPI: The Cookbook – Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully