I’m back! These last couple of months were very busy for me, so I’m going to review the books I most enjoyed reading in April and May. I hope you find something you want to check out!
Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Crime (the second book in the Winner Trilogy) continues the story of star-crossed individuals Kestrel and Arin. In the sequel to The Winner’s Curse, Kestrel plays a deadly game with the ruler of her nation while Arin tries to make sense of her decisions and save his own country. The world-building is superb, and the plot is top-notch and appropriately tragic. I cannot wait to read the last book!
Another work of enjoyable fiction was Ginn Hale’s LGBT fantasy series, The Rifter trilogy. John is content to research the biology of his hometown and hang out with his friends, Lori and Bill. However, when he opens a letter addressed to his roommate Kyle, he finds a key and uses it. He and his friends find themselves in a parallel fantasy world, where they quickly find themselves in danger. They quickly find themselves struggling for their lives and a way back home. Meanwhile Kyle follows John, but ends up several years in the future. I really enjoyed this series; Hale’s writing wonderfully portrays the world and characters, and the plot is exciting and well-paced.
Are you a fan of Arthurian legend? Then look no further than Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. An elderly couple sets out on a quest to reunite their long-lost son and to reclaim their memories from the omnipresent mist. Their journey will be fraught with peril, for there is a dragon sleeping in the mountains. This story will be well-liked by Arthurian friends or by those who are looking for something a bit different.
Seymour Hersh’s Chain of Command begins by addressing the Abu Gharib prison scandal. Using interviews from military and intelligence personnel as well as political figures, he describes the Iraq War and the actions of the administration (including the stove-piping of intelligence) during that time. I found his discussion accessible and fascinating. If you are curious about that time, I’d recommend checking out this one.
The job search is stressful, and interviews are just another aspect of them. Carole Martin’s What to Say in Every Job Interview breaks down the types of questions commonly asked in interviews and good ways to respond. The book is also full. I found this book incredibly helpful; I liked the emphasis on strategy, and the exercises really helped me to prepare. If you’re preparing for your next interview, be sure to check this one out!
Lumberjanes:Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson was the most squee-worthy graphic novel I read these past few months. The story follows friends Jo, Ripley, April, Mal, and Molly at their adventures at a girl’s summer camp. However, things get interesting when the girls are plunged into a mystery with mysterious supernatural monsters and a secret cave with an anagram. Despite the craziness, they’re determined to have a good time at camp! I loved the fun, colorful art and the action-packed adventure! I can’t wait for volume 2 to come out! (you should also totally check out Stevenson’s other graphic novel, Nimona! I didn’t read it this month technically, so I will just mention it. But you should read it too!)
I also really enjoyed Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor. Sculptor David Smith is struggling to get his big break. At his lowest point, he is offered a deal: he will be able to sculpt anything using his hands, but he will die in 200 days. David accepts the deal and continues on his struggle. I found this story intriguing and well-done. It asks a couple of really great questions: what defines greatness? When or how should you achieve it? I’m not sure I still have an answer to those questions, but I found David’s struggle relatable and well-portrayed. McCloud’s art is top notch.
That’s all for this month. I’ll return soon!