rivers_bend: (books)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 12:14pm on 30/04/2016 under ,
My goal this month was to read fewer books than last month, because it was definitely feeling more like an anxiety symptom than a delightful literary pasttime. To that end, I went to the doctor, got a therapist, and ... watched more hgtv on netflix? But the first two things are good. And I read ten fewer books, though probably ten more long fanfics. Which I should probably do a post of too. ANYWAY. that is probably all TMI. The point is, I read books, and here I will talk about them. The first one I already talked about in a separate post at the beginning of the month, but you get it again because the completist in me needs all the book thoughts in one place.

April books I read for the first time )

Books I re-read:

I only re-read A Gentleman's Position by KJ Charles and First and First this month. Oh, and three or four re-reads of The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh for comfort.
rivers_bend: (books)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 09:25pm on 08/03/2016 under
Books I read for the first time:

Kings Rising by CS Pacat
DAMEN AND LAURENT. I thought that there was no possible way this book could be even a fraction of what I wanted from it, and it was every single thing and then SO MUCH MORE THAN I EVER COULD POSSIBLY HAVE IMAGINED.

The Dark Farewell by Josh Lanyon
This novella length book was... interesting. I am not really sure what I thought about the characters or the story or the conclusion, but I can't say I didn't like it? I do have a soft spot for rooming house stories (I think this goes back to my Little House on the Prairie days), and this satisfied that.

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
I read this book in one sitting and then read it again the next day, even though it's 350 pages. There are a couple of places where editing could be tighter, but I just LOVED it. One of those books where I wanted to spend time with the characters, and want to spend time with them some more. It's part one of a series--another of those series where each book is about a different set of related people--and the second one just came out at the end of February. As you will see below. bonus? the sex is really hot.

Follow Me Into Darkness by Santino Hassell, JR Gray, JC Lillis, Roan Parrish, and Kris Ripper
This collection of Mardi Gras/Festival-set stories was something I thought I'd try because I love Santino and Roan's work, and it was definitely worth it. One of the stories was... basically a hot mess, without so much hot, but the other four were great, and all a little different from anything I'm used to reading. Very much recommended.

Lone Star by Josh Lanyon
This is another one of Josh's Novellas, about two dudes who didn't do the thing because reasons, but should have done the thing, and now they do the thing. (the thing is live HEA) they give the same kind of satisfaction as a good 5-8k fanfic, only you don't know the characters first. None of them are the kind of thing that I'm going to be like OMG read this!!, but they're a couple bucks, and even if I accidentally start one before bed, it's not gonna kill me the next day at work.

SPECTR complete volume 1 by Jordan L Hawk
I didn't read these for a while because I'm not really into vampires, but then something something idk, I ended up buying the set of the first series? and it was SUPER GREAT. totally completely different take on the whole vampire mythos, and it explores poly relationships even though there are only two bodies. The way the vampire and human share the human's body really works for me, and the vampire is HILARIOUS. as with a lot of immortality supernatural stories, there are some parts that might upset those with body horror or injury squick.

Mocker of Ravens (SPECTR 2.1) by Jordan L Hawk
First one of the second series, and there are some new, great characters, and challenges for our couple/triad.

Strong Signal by Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson
I really enjoyed this, much more than I thought I would based on the basic premise. every time I thought something would happen, because that's what always happens in books when a, b leads to c, instead, a, b would lead to m, or s, or z, and that was great. I don't know a ton about either the military or the video game industry, so idk how right they got those bits, but I know something about anxiety keeping you housebound, and that rang very true for me. hot, and lots of feelings.

The Persistence of Memory by Jordan Castillo Price
The premise of this series is kind of inception meets total recall meets end of days, and tbh, across three books, I never actually understood WHY anyone would want to make use of this technology. But whatever whatever, that's just the background that enables the character interactions and relationships to happen, and that part is good. touching, interesting father and son relationship, and the central romance has a weird start (because of the tech at the center of the plot), but i enjoyed it. my one major quibble is that it's stated that you're supposed to pronounce mnem (the shorthand version of the tech) as "neem" and my brain would NOT FOR ALL THE WORLD agree with this, so I stumbled every damn time I saw it. which was a LOT.

Forget Me Not (Mnevermind 2) by Jordan Castillo Price
This was, to me, the most interesting of the three books, because it was told from the point of view of a character on the autism spectrum with some pretty significant impacts on his ability to deal with
day-to-day work etc. I thought it did a good job of showing the different ways of seeing people and interactions and of trying to read clues from the world. And so often people with disabilities or who are neuro atypical are shown as not having any kind of sexuality, it was nice to read about a character like this having an explicit sexual and romantic life.

Life is Awesome (Mnevermind 3 by Jordan Castillo Price
satisfying ending to the series. i was super glad I didn't have to wait between these books.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I really loved this. It felt like a celebration of fandom, and it was just the right kind of meta for me, and I even managed not to freak out too much at the whole wings on a human situation. so so many hearteyes for everything and everyone.

Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson
This is technically the third book in a series, but the first two are m/f, and I'm not about that life right now, and reviews said it could stand alone, which indeed it could. Not life-changing, but hot and cute, and these are two things I enjoy.

Line and Orbit by Sunny Moraine and Lisa Soem
I was more into the Sci-Fi/Fantasy elements of this than the romance. It was an interesting universe, and had some good characters. Also, thumbs up for a diverse cast.

Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon
I was GUTTED that there seems to not be any more of these. It claimed to be book one of a series with these characters, but I've been able to find no sign at all that this is true, and we're looking at five years now since it was published. Noir fiction with old LA, secret gay, and a good mystery. So into it.

Bait by Lissa Ford
This was a good example of its type: ~bad guy/~good guy fic, and the romance story was well done. warnings for human trafficking and child harm, though.

Seasons Pass by Joanna Chambers
this is a short that slips between books one and two of JC's Enlightenment series. Which is amazing, and I recommend it highly. While this is book 1.5, I am glad I read it after reading the other three (a few times, but who's counting)

Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish
the second in the Middle of Somewhere series. You might think you don't want to read it, because the central character comes across as pretty unlikable (to say the least) in the first book. But, wow, did I come to sympathize with him, and the two books together are such a great look at the unreliable narrator. for those of you who can't get enough of characters who find someone to love them despite their seemingly impenetrable self-loathing, this book is going to hit the spot. But it also really worked for me, and I tend to like my characters a little less broken. Loved this, though.

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

Provoked, Beguiled, and Enlightened by Joanna Chambers
The Enlightenment series is one of my favorites. The love story arcs across the three books (and the short listed above), so I have never read just one at a time the way I sometimes do with the Magpie series; I always read all three as though they are one book. Almost any of the opposite attracts tropes you could like--class difference, size difference, comfort-with-being-queer difference--you've got them, and David and Murdo are one of those couples that makes me roll around with feels. The secondary plot is also marvelously gripping, and also arcs across the three books, bringing in the history of the day, and making you feel very connected to all the characters. I recommend these books to just about everyone.

A Queer Trade by KJ Charles
Another short, this one coming before her recently published Rag and Bone which I will be discussing in March's post, this is one I've re-read several times already. It's set in the Magpie universe, with magic and Victorian London, and I just adore Ned, who has to deal with being black and queer in a city where neither makes life easy. I also enjoy Crispin, who is a different sort of magician than we've seen before. And together, they are both unf and adorable.

I also re-read The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh and the first two captive prince books again again.
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
rivers_bend: (men: Harry thumbs up)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 08:53am on 21/08/2013 under , , ,
You all have maybe noticed that I have long been a fan of [personal profile] blue_soaring's writing. (and the rest, but that is not the point so much ;P) SHE HAS PUBLISHED A BOOK. I AM VERY EXCITED. I had the honour of getting to read this along the way to it getting here, and IT'S REALLY GREAT. I know many of you are a fan of the regency fic especially, but it's great even if you just like dudes having sex, and awesome women being awesome, and friendships, and capers and adventure.

You can buy it here:

I'm insanely proud of her :D
rivers_bend: (general: books)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 08:49am on 27/10/2009 under , ,
I've been reading Let the Dead Bury Their Dead by Randall Kenan for one of my classes, and it is absolutely wonderful. I pretty much have to agree with the cover quote by Terry McMillan:
Randall Kenan is a genius; our black Marquez. He weaves myth, folktales, magic, and reality like no one else I know, and doesn't miss a beat.

I've read four or five of the dozen stories, and am on the second reading of the third of the ones I have to write an essay on today. And I'm gleeing again over his genius way with words. The passage that made me think of LJ, unsurprisingly, was the one about men's thangs. from the story 'What Are Days?' )
Throughout the stories I've read he uses simile and metaphor in surprising ways that render everything vivid and alive and take me right with him wherever he's going. And he writes characters I want to spend time with. I forget, until I get a new one, how much I love collections of short stories. I highly recommend this one. Even if magical realism isn't your thing, I'd give it a try if you can get your hands on a copy.
rivers_bend: (general: books)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 09:56am on 29/01/2008 under , , ,
I ordered a bunch of text books and some DVDs last week, and some of them have come. Including The Patriot, a book of short stories and poems by Maggie Dubris, called Weep not, my wanton, and a book for my professional editing class called, The Deluxe Transitive Vampire.

I must let you read the beginning of the jacket copy:

Here now is an enlarged version of the only handbook of grammar you will ever want to read. With this special edition, Karen Gordon gives the reader more illustrations and even more examples of confusing appositives, the many uses of gerunds, the complicated matter of agreements.

The Deluxe Transitive Vampire spins a lively gothic narrative with such characters as the Debutante, famous courtesan, wolf, bat, vampire, mastodon, pizza chef, lummox, lamia, and trilingual solitary. ...

so yes. A vampire themed grammar book. *g*

some examples from the section on Subject-Verb agreement:
The lingua franca in these parts is Rumanian mixed with blood and cash.

The bat suspended from Loona's hairdo was repulsed by her Nuit Blanche perfume.

Though, the book takes care to point out that things get more confusing when you have a group that may act as one or as individuals. To wit:
The menage a trois is rousing itself or trundling off to sleep.


The menage a trois are going back on their vows and are going their separate ways.

Blood, bats and threesomes. I like it. *flips pages* oooh! and solitary robots. *heee*
rivers_bend: (cuddy smile)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 08:11am on 20/10/2007 under ,
I've been seeing the news about JK's outing of Dumbledore all over my f'list but only this morning saw:

"Oh, my god," Rowling concluded with a laugh, "the fan fiction."

Mood:: 'giggling' giggling
rivers_bend: (christian's arms)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 12:21pm on 08/10/2007 under , ,
Sorry, but it is one of those days.

I've just been reading one of my assignments, 'Giovanni's Apartment' by Sam D'Allesandro, from his book The Wild Creatures. It was amazing to the point that I went onto Amazon Marketplace and bought not only that book but two others. Including one which is letters between him and one of the Professors at SFSU, which she compiled after his death. He was evidently one of those men about whom you think, he was the most beautiful man I ever knew, and that kind of charisma shines through his writing. It was the kind of story I wanted to drape over me, roll around in, drink down, and have with me always.

The kind that simultaneously makes you long to be a writer and never want to write again.
rivers_bend: (cuddy smile)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 12:41pm on 02/10/2007 under ,
Best Lesbian Love Stories: Summer Flings is out now!

It has my story, Hotel Suite in it. I can't believe it!
rivers_bend: (love hands)
posted by [personal profile] rivers_bend at 06:26pm on 21/02/2007 under , ,
I've been reading a book today. A year ago this would be like me saying, 'I've been breathing today.' I'm not at work, therefore it is a given. But then this whole internet/fanfic/writing thing happened and I went from reading 5 books a week to 5 books a year. So anyway. I'm reading a book.

Not really spoilery, but possibly a bit boring if you're not into analysis )
Mood:: 'pleased with books' pleased with books
Music:: cat purring


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