6 thoughts on “Culture Consumpution: July 2015

  1. I had a really productive reading month.

    New books:

    1. The End of All Things, by John Scalzi. 4 stars. A fine addition to the Old Man’s War Saga.
    2. The Collector, by Nora Roberts. 3 stars. For my local book club.
    3. Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett. 3 stars. For Mark Reads.
    4. One-Eyed Jack, by Elizabeth Bear. 4 stars. Mount TBR 9/12.
    5. Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. 3 stars. Celebrity autobiography of one of the first black ballerinas in a top-flight company.
    6. Spitting Blood: The History of Tuberculosis, by Helen Bynum. 4 stars. Substantive non-fiction book for the year, book 8/12.
    7. Razorhurst, by Justine Larbalestier. 3.5 stars. It was a perfectly nice book, but did not speak to me particularly for some reason.
    8. Penric’s Demon, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 4 stars. Novella. It is always good to read something new from Bujold, but while I enjoyed it, it was not one of her top-tier books.
    9. Hostage, by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith. 3.5 stars. It was a fun book.
    10. The Voyage of the Basilisk, by Marie Brennan. 3.5 stars
    11. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 5 stars. A meditation on race in America in 2015, written as a letter to his son. It’s short, at 160 pages. I’ve learned to expect resonant, poetic prose from Coates, but he is at the top of his form here. And the beautiful language is in the service of a thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be a black man in America today. This may be the best book I’ve read in 2015. Non-fiction book 9/12 for the year.
    12. Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee. 4 stars. My expectations for this book were lowered by all the reviews I saw, so I did not feel betrayed by the portrayal of Atticus as a racist the way many people were. I particularly appreciated the reviews that pointed out that Atticus’ courage in defending Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird did not mean he was not also a defender of the status quo of a society that kept black folks as second class citizens. So it is not as out-of character as you might think when he attends a KKK meeting in this book.
    13. The Story of Owen, by E.K. Johnston. 4 stars. Either a middle-grade or young YA book. Modern-day Canada with the addition of dragons and dragon-slayers.
    14. City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett. 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this and will need to re-read it at some point.
    15. The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes. 4 stars. Despite my distaste for horror, I really enjoyed this book. Mount TBR 10/12

    Short fiction:

    1. A Single Samurai. 2 stars. For my Hugo reading.
    2. The Journeyman: In the Stone House, by Michael Flynn. 1 star. Hugo reading.
    3. The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale, by Rajnar Vajra. 3 stars. Hugo reading.
    4. Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium, by Gary Rinehart. 3 stars. Hugo reading.
    5. The Day the World Turned Upside Down, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. 2 stars. Hugo reading.

    Graphic novels:

    1. Saga, Vol 2, by Brian Vaughan. 5 stars. Hugo reading, sort of.
    2. Saga, Vol 3, by Brian Vaughan . 4 stars. Hugo reading.
    I haven’t finished Ms Marvel, but I got far enough (halfway through issue #4) to feel comfortable voting for the Hugos.

    Books Re-read:

    1. The Hallowed Hunt, by Lois McMaster Bujold. 4 stars.
    2. Wolf Hall, by Hillary Mantel. 5 stars. Read for my UU book club. It remains an amazingly excellent book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am amazed by your productivity! DAMN!!!

      So I’ve got the Scalzi coming, and I’ve got the Bujold, Beukes, Brennan (all Bs!) in my TBR. I’ve read SAGA and MS. MARVEL, and those make me happy.

      I’m debating on the Lee, but I’ve read a few reviews/discussions that are helping me put the book in better context, so I may pick it up.


      1. I keep two lists of books on my kindle that I have not yet read. One list is my official TBR list that contains books I bought in 2012 or earlier. The other one is books I have bought in 2015, along with a few leftover books from 2014. The goal is to clear out the 2015 list by the end of the year. For the past few months, I’ve been working on clearing the first half of the alphabet, so Bear, Beukes, Bennett, Brown, Brennan, Larbalestier were all read because of this. So you’re not imagining the proliferation of B’s. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, now that makes sense. I’m treating my TBR Paperback Swap pile the same way, by going through it alphabetically by author’s last name. 🙂


  2. Books in July:
    1. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
    2. Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore by Jay Sekulow
    3. 1984 by George Orwell
    4. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
    5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    6. This Year It Will be Different by Maeve Binchy
    7. Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindquist
    8. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
    9. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
    10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

    Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory is a memoir about working in a crematorium and it was interesting, although a bit gruesome in parts. I’m loving the Peculiar Children series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read 1984 and BRAVE NEW WORLD in high school. Loved them both, but BNW was my favorite. It enraptured me. I’ve also heard very good things about the Doughty, and have been meaning to pick that up some time.


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