I’ve added a new page to my site, a reading list which contains a noncomprehensive list of books I’ve read this year. Generally speaking, I’ll include a book there if I finished it and it wasn’t something I read for a university course.

I’m also giving some brief, non-spoilery thoughts on all of the books I’ve put in the list so far. I might expand some of them into a full, more spoilery review - I haven’t decided yet. Because these aren’t reviews or criticism per se, they’re very opinionated and not that detailed.

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

This is a sequel to one of my favourite books ever and it’s also cemented itself as one of my favourite books ever. I really liked this book and thought it was cleverly written. It has a Precocious Child POV which I didn’t despise and actually found enjoyable to read (this is high praise; I usually want to kick a book across a room at least a few times when this is brought out) and head-hopping with characters who all felt sufficiently different that it din’t get confusing. It’s also a great first-contact book, with alien language stuff, which probably meant I was going to like it anyway? Would recommend, but only as part of the series.

John Berger’s Ways of Seeing

This was a re-read. I got this book from the Nottingham Contemporary when I asked someone working in the gift shop if they could recommend me books that would help me understand art. I wouldn’t say that I now “understand art” but I feel like I learned a lot about it and that this was a really worthwhile book to read. It’s pretty old but a lot of what it has to say is still relevant and applicable, and it’s approachably written. m

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

This is a weird book and I thought it was going to be about bugs. Also the first Murakami that I’ve read. I am not sure whether I like Murakami, but I’m now interested in reading Who We’re Reading When We’re Reading Murakami by David Karashima.

The Worst of All Possible Worlds by Alex White

This is the bottom of the downhill slope that is the Salvagers series. I really, really liked the first book, didn’t like the second book at all, gave the third book a shot, the third book is just… ugh. Bad! It’s bad! It has the worst things from the second book on top of being inconsistent in ways that I found extremely annoying.

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

I liked this book! It was a fast read with really gorgeous imagery. I kind of felt like it could have been better if it was longer and had more of a chance to explore the various relationships in the book–sometimes it felt like they took jarring turns–but it did a great job of getting as deeply into them as it probably could have in the length of a novella. I get the impression that broad strokes were painted to imply more detail than is directly shown. It was fun and it was pretty and Thanh is a heroine I’d love to see more of.

Finna by Nino Cipri

I may or may not have a new fear of IKEAs.

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders

I enjoyed reading this book and trying to work out what all of the aliens looked like as I read it. At its heart, it’s essentially a YA novel with the YA “chosen one” plot, but it subverts what I’d expect from that genre and comes off as fresh and interesting anyway. The stories of the secondary characters were so compelling that I was always excited when the story came back to them. Maybe it’s not a life-changing book, but I did generally like it.