What I Read: January 2016

I read 12 books in January – 10 were fiction, 2 were non-fiction. 3 were on the Kindle, 9 were in print. Two were by writers of color (gotta work on that).

The Real Thing: Lessons on Love and Life from a Wedding Reporter’s Notebook by Ellen McCarthy (2015).

I got this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program. I found it occasionally trite, as books about love can sometimes be, but I also found lots of great food for thought in this slim volume. I really enjoyed it and it was a quick read!

For Your Love: A Blessings Novel by Beverly Jenkins (2015).

This was another Early Reviewer book! Beverly Jenkins has written over 30 books (including 5 in this Blessings series), but this is the first I’d read – and it was delightful. It sort of reminded me of Maeve Binchy books I’ve read – just about a small black community in Kansas, focusing equally on a bunch of different people and their parts in the cohesive whole of the town. I really enjoyed it. Will definitely read more.

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson (2015).

I’ve been meaning to read this series for a while and when I saw Task 17 of the Read Harder 2016 challenge (Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years), I knew this would be a perfect match for that. I LOVED it – this comic is set at a girls summer camp and has adventure, mystery, supernatural creatures, and just a hint of budding lesbian love. Will totally be reading them all.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (2015).

Picked this up based on a NPR Book Concierge recommendation and it did not disappoint. I totally loved this tale of a village girl, Agnieszka, who lives on the edge of an enchanted wood and is selected by the local wizard (known as the Dragon) to be his servant (he picks a new girl every 10 years). Rather than a live of servitude, Agnieszka discovers her own magical powers and soon needs to join together with the other witches and wizards in the kingdom to battle the Wood. Great strong female protagonist and wonderful world building. I will definitely need to check out what else Novik has written.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein (2016).

I read and enjoyed the first Mr. Limoncello book (Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library back in 2013, so I snatched this one right up when I saw it in the library’s new books display. It was equally delightful – a nationwide competition of library skills. So fun! I used this one for Task 5 of the Reader Harder Challenge (Read a middle grade novel) – although it is certainly not the last middle grade novel I will read this year!

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (2015).

After Astrid’s mom takes her and her best friend, Nicole, to the roller derby, Astrid decides she wants to sign up for Junior Roller Derby camp that Summer – despite having no roller skating experience! Nicole prefers to go to ballet camp, and so Astrid finds herself navigating roller derby alone, while also worrying about the possible loss of her best friend. A great middle grades graphic novel, sure to be enjoyed by fans of Raina Telgemeier. This is the first graphic novel that I read on my Kindle and I… didn’t hate. Will probably still mostly stick to print though!

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson (2015)

Man, do I love Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, NJ teenager and superhero saving the world, or at least, Jersey City. Another great entry in the series. Really love how Marvel seems to have realized there is a market for kickass female superheroes.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North (2015).

Continuing my snowy graphic novel weekend, I finally checked out The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and I totally LOVED it. Squirrel Girl is upbeat, fun, and unbeatable. She’s also totally normal girl sized (yay, for a superhero that is not Barbie-like). Love, love, love.

Princeless: The Pirate Princess by Jeremy Whitley (2015).

The third in the series about a princess who rescues herself and her sisters from patriarchy and dragons. The one introduced Raven, the pirate princess, who gets her own spinoff series – yay, more graphic novels to add to the list!

Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson (2015).

The second Lumberjanes book, just as weird and wonderful as the first.

March: Book One by John Lewis (2013).

Graphic memoir by Congressman and civil rights hero, John Lewis about his childhood and introduction into the civil right movement. Exceeded my expectations. I look forward to reading book two!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (2015).

YA fantasy at it’s best – magical powers, a gang of thieves, an impossible heist. Great characters, world building and adventures. Recommend.

What I Read: January 2016

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