rivers_bend: (books)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 05:14pm on 08/03/2016 under ,
I decided that I was going to try to do a monthly book roundup, in case anyone is reading the same books as me and wanted to talk about them. Since I realized at the beginning of the year that I could do shelves on my goodreads for each month and thus keep track of not only new books I was reading but ones I was re-reading too, I am keeping better track. Thus I can go backwards, since I didn't think to do this until today.

Books I read for the first time:

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
I spent a lot of the next few weeks tweeting this book at anyone I thought would listen, trying to get them to read it too. It's a book about being young and queer and trying to find where and how you fit, and it's about blood family and found family and being a woman of color in a world that privileges white feminism. I really love it.

The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara
I felt like this was two books trying to be one, and one of them was a book I wanted to read, and one of them was a book I didn't, so while it was well written, I can't say I loved it. On the one hand, it was a gay supernatural horror, and on the other hand it was a graphically detailed history of the Crimean War with page after page after page of bloody, muddy, frozen equine battles with death and horrifying injury. Had it been the gay supernatural horror set in the Crimean War, I would have been here for it, and had it been a historical fiction with one of love interests and his bff from home, it would have been an exquisitely researched and touching book that I could have given a miss. I can recommend it if you like/love history and also horror and you aren't squeamish.

Lord of Endersly by SA Meade
I don't remember a whole lot about this and I only read it two months ago, so probably that's not a ringing endorsement. It's set half in India during uprising against the British rule, and honestly it has the opposite problem of the book above. I want SOME sociopolitical critique with my porn, just maybe not all the battle details.

Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon
I've been reading quite a few Josh Lanyons the last several months, and I think this is one of my favorites. Before I discovered fandom, I was a massive crime/procedural novel fan, and his books are often like that with added bonus GAY, which I am obvs super here for. This was a really good mystery. It hit all the right spots for me, and the romance was also deliciously tropey, says the girl who's not a fan of tropes on the whole.

Bitter Springs by Laura Stone
I really enjoyed this one. Historical fiction set in Texas, with hardly a white character in sight. Though most of the book is just the m/m couple out on their own, the background characters, including the narrator's sister, are great. Horses, self-discovery, friendship, family, and adventure.

Books I read for a second (or third/fourth/fifth) time:

Think of England by KJ Charles
The book that began it all (and by all I mean my getting back into book fandom). This has become one of my all-time favorite books, and KJ Charles one of my all-time favorite authors, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

All the Charm of Magpie books, starting withThe Magpie Lord by KJ Charles
I'm not going to link them all individually, because there's three with Lord Crane and Stephen Day as central characters, plus Jackdaw, with shorts that sandwich in between, and now Rag and Bone which I will discuss in my March post because it just came out. But you should read them all. Incendiary sex, magic, snark, adventure, and I love them all. Also re-read them in December, and again this month. I re-read them a lot.

Glitterland by Alexis Hall
Alexis Hall wrote another of my forever faves, For Real, but January was the month I re-read Glitterland. One of the characters is from Essex, and his accent is written out, which took a bit to get used to, but it was well worth it for the story for me. Also, based on the description of where it is, I imagine the first night they're together in the flat my gayboy bffs used to live in in Brighton, and that makes me nostalgic. warnings for anxiety and depression and some of the unpleasant consequences of living with mental health issues, but happy ending.

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles
I re-read this on average twice a month probably, or at least parts of it. It's a short story, though, so that's not hard. It's the first step into the world of Society of Gentleman, and it is DELIGHTFUL. And it has one of my favorite first lines ever: On the morning of his destruction, Lord Gabriel Ashleigh woke up with Satan's own head. I don't know why it fills me with such joy, but it fills me with SUCH JOY. also the sex in this is INSANELY HOT. like INSANELY. Read it, and then read A Fashionable Indulgence, and then read...

A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles
and look. HERE is my perfect balance of history and hotness. this book had me clawing at my own face the first time I read it, and clutching my pillow the second and third. I just want these men to work SO BADLY and it seems impossible that they can, and KJ Charles is incredible at invoking the feelings. The third novel in the series comes out at the beginning of April and I might SCREAM in frustration that it's not on my kindle yet on a nearly nightly basis. Each novel is a stand-alone in terms of the story it tells, so there's no cliffhangers. the connection is that each story is about different characters in a group of friends. But they should be read in order, because they build on each other brilliantly.

Captive Prince and Princes Gambit by CS Pacat
You may remember this story from its time as a WiP on LJ, or you may have heard people screaming about it for the last few years waiting for the third book to FINALLY COME OUT AFTER AN ETERNITY. I read some of it back in the LJ days but couldn't take the WiP-ness of it after a while, and then I thought I would wait until the third book was finally out to read the published first two books, but I didn't last that long. I read them last summer, so this was my Kings-Rising-is-ALMOST-HERE re-read. Everything about what these books are on the surface (slave societies, child abuse, torture, war) indicate that they are not for me. And yet I'm obsessed with them. none of these things are glorified or used to titillate, and the consequences aren't sidestepped or handwaved. The series is INCREDIBLY well crafted, and I cannot believe that it was originally written as a serial. how. HOW. so much talent. also hard work.

speaking of hard work, lorde it's been a while since I coded an lj post. I'll catch up with February in a few days <3

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