Books Read in June 2024

I read a lot in June! It helps that my local library launched their summer reading challenge, which I’m having a lot of fun participating in. I also document all of this on my Storygraph

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older: Just a fun Sherlock-inspired murder mystery in space with woman and gay. Not groundbreaking but it was a fun, quick read for me. My first book I read by Malka and I would read later books in this series at some point too.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark: Novella set in an alternate history after the American Civil War in New Orleans, this story is so much more interesting than most of those which just seem to be “What if the Confederates won?” I don’t know if there’s more stories set in this world but I need to read more by this author.

Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey: The first book I read by Mercedes! Just a really well written fantasy books and I want to read more in this world.

Calamity by Constance Fay: Decent romance story set in space.

Chop Fry Watch Learn: Fu Pei-Mei and the Making of Modern Chinese Food by Michelle T. King: I really need to make more of an effort to read history books about food. This is about Fu Pei-Mei and her history of cooking shows and I found it to be really interesting!

The Forever War by Joe Halderman: I’ve been making more of an effort to read The Classics, even though I believe that Having to Read Them is overrated, but I’m glad I read it. It has some huge issues with how it has aged because of sexuality, even if the author is well meaning, but plenty of interesting ideas too and the book was more anti-war than I expected, which is nice.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo: Good, short fantasy novella about a royal family. Don’t have much to say about it but I liked it and will read more in the series.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein: Another classic I read this much but didn’t enjoy. I completely understand why it’s important and loved, but so much of it has aged horribly and a lot is also tainted by knowing how Heinlein would eventually lean politically and thinking “hmmm….I don’t think it’s just the character saying an awful thing.”

How It Unfolds by James S.A. Corey: Amazon has a ton of short stories they’ve funded so I started reading these too. This is my first by James S.A. Corey as well. I liked it! It’s very short so it’s not a deep story but it’s a fun read.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov: Another classic! Also my first by Asaac Asimov! I watched the first season of the tv show, which I’m aware has almost nothing to do with the book, which pushed me into finally reading the book. It’s good! It feels like it’s not a finished story, probably because it’s a collection of shorts and there’s some books after this, but I enjoyed it.

Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa: Very cool novella about people living in a very tall building in the future when the Earth has flooded. I want to read more by this author.

Zork: The Forces of Krill by Steve Meretzky: This was a choose your own adventure-style book that was released in the early 80s by one of Infocom’s designers. I was told before reading that it’s not great and I suppose it isn’t, but it’s also harmless and short. The most interesting thing about the book is that the game Zork Nemesis later references it. I bought it for $1.50 at a used book store and it sells for much more than that online, and I think I would have been annoyed it I paid any significant amount for it.

The Scourge Between Stars by Ness Brown: Fun, short horror story in space. Felt very inspired by Alien.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin: A classic and my first read by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s amazing! I guess I’ll need to read everything by her.

These Fragile Graces, This Fugitive Heart by Izzy Wasserstein: Cyberpunk book. It’s fine. I wish I liked it more because it’s very queer and that part is great, but it also spent too much time over explaining everything to the reader, oh well.

Void by Veronica Roth: Another one of the short stories from Amazon. Fun little sci-fi mystery. Nothing super memorable but if you’ve got Amazon Prime then you can already read it for free and it’s a nice and short read.

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: My first John Carter story and also my first story I’ve read by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Probably the last too? Kinda hated this one. I can see how it’s very influential but it’s all very racist and sexist and I suspect it was even for its time. I looked at the description for the next book in the series and it seems to double down on this and reading the author’s wikipedia page confirms he wasn’t a great dude so I’m moving on.

Myst: The Book of Atrus by Robyn Miller, Rand Miller, David Wingrove: I read the rerelease from last year for the book’s anniversary. I enjoyed this much more than I expected! As a long time fan of Myst Online, a lot of this book felt like setup for that game. It’s not high art but I thought it was a fun read.

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