Have finished:
The stonekeeeper and The stonekeeper’s curse (vol 1 &2 of Amulet) by Kazu Kibuishi: After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. This graphic novel series has regularly past across my desk in both jobs I’ve been at, but it looked kinda childish and I only picked it up because I was assessing suitability for something ... I was so mistaken. I really felt for both the mother and the kids, and loved the characterisation of all of them. The art is simple but also gorgeous, and the characters and the everything is just..straightforward and charming and I found myself grinning indulgently at the page, and laughing aloud more than once with charmed. It’s the “And then the fire nation attacked!” level of simple, but it’s also The Last Air-Bender’s level of teamwork and found family and charm. I’d esp rec this for people with low English skills, but generally rec it for anyone who wants a charming graphic novel read.

Zombies, run! by Naomi Alderman and Six to Start: I’d expected a fitness book with a veneer of zombies. What it turned out to be was how to stay sane and healthy in the zombie apocalypse. Now that I’ve read it once and adjusted my expectations, it’s an excellent, straight-faced, delightful ‘how to stay sane and healthy in the zombie apocalypse’: home fitness and strengthening exercises, staying sane while homebound, building communities where you can, living in close quarters with strangers, recipes using canned goods, and throughout a pervasive message of “even a little bit is something”, “even a little bit is still progress”. I give them a little kudos for mentioning people with chronic illnesses, too.

Currently reading: Now finished!: God’s war by Kameron Hurley. Twitter has been eating all my transit reading time (I need to sort some political lists or something), so finishing this has been slower than expected, but I’m still loving the world building and the characters and their fraught relationships. I am so there for 'women have taken over the culture because the men are dead/warring'. The ending was legit satisfying. It’s similar to Ancilary Justice in that now I understand how things unfolded I want to go back and re-read with my new-found worldbuilding understanding and ‘properly’ understand how it all fit together (or jump straight into the next in the series, either would work)... but with the Hugo nominations so close I want to get at least some short fiction done.

Up next: The power by Naomi Alderman. I want to read this. I’m not sure I’m 100% up for its brutality right now, but maybe if I organise a ‘breather book’ in between...

(Reading the sample on Amazon) I was ready to be peeved by the artifice of the “letters bookending the ‘manuscript’ that one wrote” (it’s not something I like that much etc) and then I realised that letter-writer ‘Naomi’ has only ever lived in a female-controlled world and it shows, and I started to get interested. And then I read the second of the ‘Bible’ quotes, from the Book of Eve ("She cuppeth the lightning in her hand. She commandeth it to strike.") and is it too much of a pun to say that I’m electrified?

25% in update: oh my god. I needed this so much. I’ve read 25% in less than two days. I know it’s all about to get uncomfortably brutal, but right now it’s young women tipping the balance of social power and one teenage girl having the voice of God says yes to me in her head and creating a whole new religion that we know is going to last. I stumbled over a reread someone’s doing on Tor of The handmaid’s tale and between that and the current global political situation just makes The power even more like a desperately needed soothing balm. It might all be able to go to hell, writing and/or plot wise, but right now I want a physical copy just so I’ve always ‘got’ one to hand.

ETA: DONE in about 48 hours. and I'm left flinching and flailing. It was just as brutal as i'd feared and also just as good and i don't know how to feel about any of it except I'm going to go add it to my Hugo nominations. That last line was a shout of wry laughter/gut punch all in one.

Up next: The next of the Stonekeeper graphic novels. I'm very in need of light(er) and sweeter right now.
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