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.
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 –
- NOPI: The Cookbook – Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully