June Reading

I’m not sure where June went, exactly, but I want it back. No, seriously. I want it back. πŸ™‚ It’s been a bitch of a month for focusing on reading, and while it looks like I read a LOT in June, do not let this list fool you. There’s two graphic novels in this bunch, as well as a half-a-dozen short stories. It’s Hugo-Reading time, and it’s just as well: I don’t seem to have much patience for novels right now.

Below is a list of what I managed to complete in June. There will be no forthcoming reviews, but if you want to talk about something in particular, feel free to ask in the comments. πŸ™‚

Finished Books: June

The Boy Who Cast No Shadows (2011)
Written by: Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Genre: Short Fiction/Modern Fantasy

In Sea-Salt Tears (2012)
Written by: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Short Fiction/Urban Fantasy

Mantis Wives (2012)
Written by: Kij Johnson
Genre: Short Fiction/Science Fiction

Immersion (2012)
Written by: Aliette De Bodard
Genre: Short Fiction/Science Fiction

Mono No Aware (2012)
Written by: Ken Liu
Genre: Short Fiction/Science Fiction

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013)
Written by: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Pages: 192 (Hardcover)

For a Few Demons More (2007)
Written by: Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 360 (Mass Market Paperback)

Porn & Revolution in the Peaceable Kingdom (2013)
Written by: Micaela Morrissette
Genre: Short Fiction/Science Fiction

The Stuff of Legend: Omnibus One (2012)
Written by: Matt Raicht
Genre: Graphic Novel/Epic Fantasy
Pages: 260 (Hardcover)

Bronze Gods (2013)
Written by: A.A. Aguirre
Genre: Steampunk/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 322 (Mass Market Paperback)

Eyes of Crow (2006)
Written by: Jeri Smith-Ready
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Pages: 480 (Trade Paperback)

BONE: Full Color One Volume Edition (2011)
Written by: Jeff Smith
Genre: Graphic Novel/Epic Fantasy
Pages: 1344 (Hardcover)

The Human Division (2013)
Written by: John Scalzi
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)

The breakdown: 5 books, 2 graphic novels (half of Bone was read last year), and 6 pieces of short fiction. So that’s not BAD, it’s just that the more I think about my own writing and world-building, the harder time I have focusing on the world-building of others. I’m also still working on my June Dare, A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer, but right now, reading for Hugo voting has the priority. But I’ll get there, one day….

But at any rate, that was my June. How was yours? What did you read? What did you love, like, or hate? Best thing out of my month (novel-wise) was easily the new Neil Gaiman. The biggest disappointment? Surprisingly, A.A. Aguirre’s Bronze Gods. Also, Seanan McGuire fans? Click on the link for “In Sea-Salt Tears” and read it immediately. You will not be disappointed.

30 thoughts on “June Reading

  1. How was the Gaiman book? I’m really curious, but his last books have been a little hit or miss for me. Also? I’d love to get a quick yay or nay on Bronze Gods. I tried the sample, but kind of bounced off of it–all prologue, no character.


    1. The Gaiman was excellent. It felt, in many ways, similar to Jo Walton’s Among Others, but Gaiman’s book was what I wish Walton’s book had been. Gaiman’s hit or miss with me too (his short fiction tends to miss with me), but this book was excellent. I easily see myself re-reading it one day.

      Nay on the Aguirre. If it hadn’t been for the fact I knew Ann was on the project, it would’ve been a DNF. It had some interesting moments, but I wouldn’t be surprised if A.A. Aguirre is more the husband with Ann helping him brainstorm. Whatever the case, it was a miss.


        1. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it, especially to see if I’m crazy for comparing the two. πŸ™‚ But then again, I’m in the minority for not caring for Among Others, because I wanted it to be something it wasn’t. πŸ™‚


  2. I want June back, too. This past month went by way too fast!

    Graphic novels and short stories can take quite a while to read, so I’m still impressed by your list! I read mainly Archie Comics in June, but a few novels managed to steal my attention as well…


    1. Graphic novels and short stories can take quite a while to read,

      Given the length of Jeff Smith’s Bone, that’s true. It practically took me a year to finish it!

      a few novels managed to steal my attention as well…

      What novels?


      1. I know for sure that I read Stephen Emond’s WINTER TOWN and that I also re-read Lynne Ewing’s PARTY GIRL. Hard to say what other novels I may have read in June, though, since the list I keep is yearly, not monthly, heh.


  3. Add me to the list of people who would like their June back!

    I am picking up the Gaiman book at the library tonight. Yay!

    There is a ton of books I only got half-way-though in June, but out of the ones I did finish, I think most surprisingly enjoyable was “His Majesty’s Dragon” by Naomi Novik. I have also devoured the first five Sirantha Jax books, and finally got around to reading “Etiquette & Espionage” by Gail Carriger.

    The plan for July is to finish reading all the library books I have checked out… Wish me luck πŸ™‚


      1. I liked it! Wasn’t sure if I would, because I seem to recall reading a snippet or a preview chapter and not liking it at all, but I don’t think that part was in the book…. And it was nice to see some of the heroes from Alexia’s books when they were young!


  4. Yay!! I’ve finally figured out how to leave comments on WP! For some reason it wasn’t letting me leave comments unless I was signed into my WP account (which I made forever ago for a school assignment so I couldn’t remember my login details.)

    I’m kind of torn about June being finished. I’m still a full-time student (15 hours of lectures a week); I started Summer courses in May and will be finished by August, so it feels nice to cross June off. On the other hand, it is kind of a bummer that the summer is flying by so quickly.

    I read a TON this month, but it was almost exclusively graphic novels — and ones aimed at children at that — so I was reading 3-4 of those a night sometimes. So it worked out to be 9 novels, 2 audiobooks and 25 graphic novels. I had an assignment this month in my Older Children’s Materials class to develop a pathfinder; I decided to focus on graphic novels, which is why I read so many of them. I found a lot of awesome titles though and I’m kind of hooked on them now. They’re great for when I’ve had a long day at school and want to get through something quick.

    I’m curious what you thought of Bone! I read it last summer because it’s so popular. I was really underwhelmed by the first couple of volumes but plowed on and ended up loving it. I’m also curious what you thought of the format — was the big full-coloured hardcover too big and unwieldy? I debated buying it for the longest time but they’ve since come out with 3 hardcover volumes that are also hardcover and full-colour which I think I’m going to get instead.


    1. That’s a lot of graphic novels! Wow! You’re on fire!

      I really enjoyed it. I got up to 300+ pages last year and took a break from it. It wasn’t that it wasn’t good or interesting, but I wasn’t super-engaged. Plus, yanno, THE LENGTH. Picked it back up last month and plowed through the rest in a week, easily. Very good stuff. In terms of the format, I don’t recommend it for reading: it really is big and unwieldy, and the size is so daunting. It’s nice as a collector’s item (slip case, extra stuff in back) but I’m pretty sure it’s out of print by this point too, so these upcoming hardcovers may be your best bet. πŸ™‚


  5. I’ve been continuing to work on my Hugo reading too.

    I thought the short-story category was very strong, though I think my favorite of the three was Immerser.

    For the novelettes, I also really like In Salt Tears, despite having read only the first two October Daye books. I’m less enthusiastic about The Boy Who Cast No Shadow. I still need to read the Valente novelette, and I’ll talk to you about the other two when you’ve read them.

    I thought The Ocean at the End of the Lane was wonderful. I thought it was pretty good when I finished it, and it’s been growing on me as I reflect back on it. I need to re-read it. I don’t know that I totally see the comparison to Among Others though. πŸ™‚


    1. I wish the short story category had been bigger, but I enjoyed what was there. The novelette category was particularly strong, and I just started the novellas.

      I don’t know that I totally see the comparison to Among Others though.

      It may be just me. πŸ™‚


  6. I just have a question about “In Sea-Salt Tears”. Is it absolutely necessary to have read the October Daye books first? I haven’t read any of them yet and I’m afraid I’ll be completely lost if I try to read this one first.


    1. Truth be told, if you were reading the books already I’d tell you to wait until you read a certain book; however, really, it doesn’t matter. The story definitely stands on its own two feet, so you’ll be fine. πŸ™‚


    1. I gave it three stars at Goodreads. There were things about it I liked, but I read it after “In Salt-Sea Tears” and it just paled in comparison.


  7. Gosh, I don’t think I’ve read anything all summer, but like I’ve said before, I’ve been trying to focus on finishing my own novel.

    I’ve also had an idea that I’ve been kicking around in my brain for the past few weeks that I’ve started taking notes on, and I think I’ll start working on that in earnest after I’ve finished the other book.

    If you don’t mind me running this idea by you, because I think you have more experience in the genre than I do–I’m thinking of writing an SF story as a series of shorts and/or novellas? I think the ideas I’m getting would be too episodic as one novel, but I’m not sure if cutting it into smaller sections is a good idea or not.


    1. If you want to run the idea by me, definitely do it by email. I can say, without hearing your idea, that episodic SF published as a series of shorts has a long and well-respected history. Just look at John Scalzi’s The Human Division, which is the most recent example, but another favorite I like pointing to is Allen Steele, whose Coyote series was pretty much serialized in Asimov’s before being published in books. If you like SF, I strongly recommend the first of the series, Coyote. It’s both a collection of shorts AND a novel all at once. Very well done, and very effective. It might give you ideas on how to structure your own idea!


      1. Thank you!

        It’s funny, I don’t read much SF, but I’m a fan of SF TV and movies from way back–I was pretty much raised on Star Wars and Star Trek, among other things. Maybe I just prefer it in a visual medium instead of a written one, I don’t know.


        1. Hey, visual is a great gateway into the genre. You start picking up things that translate well when you read them. Instead of hurting your brain trying to figure out how to visualize things, you already have a template in mind, you know?

          That said, if you want to write SF (as in science fiction, not sf meaning a both science fiction AND fantasy), it helps to read as much as possible. Fortunately, SF is a very, very large tent. πŸ™‚


          1. I’d imagine my idea is a fairly generic “space opera”-type story, but I’d like to focus mainly on the interpersonal relationships of the crew of a small spaceship during a Cold War type situation.


            1. That can easily be broken into a series of short stories and novellas. Very easily. Just have your world-building solidified and whatnot all sorted out so that you can dip in and out of character situations and their tales with ease. πŸ™‚


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