August Reading Round-up

Here’s some of what I’ve been reading:

Heroine Worship, by Sarah Kuhn

I’ve been reading this series slowly, as you might have noticed, since I reviewed the first one in a it’s own blog post over a year ago. But I’m pleased to report that the second book in the trilogy (yes, the third is already out and I sincerely intend to get to it in less than another year) is just as delightful as the first. It’s so refreshing to see female friendships that are as conflicted and intense on the page as in real life, and of course, we need more super-heroine’s of color! This one is from Annie’s point-of-view, as she tries to repair her friendship with Evie, having realized in the first book that she had perhaps not been as good a friend as she wanted to be in the past few years. Her growth arc is very different from Evie’s, but no less poignant, and the romance is fun and sexy and inevitable.

The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor

Another trilogy that it took me far too long to complete. I can’t believe that I almost didn’t finish the first book – in retrospect, I must have just had trouble connecting with the narrator (I read Binti as an audiobook), because I enjoyed the second, and now the third. It’s hard to write about the last book in a series without any spoilers, but I will say that this is an emotionally realistic conclusion to Binti’s youthful adventures. Things don’t all wrap up neatly, and there are scars, but I thought it worked.

Strange Universe: The Weird and Wild Science of Everyday Life – on Earth and Beyond, by Bob Berman

I’ve been trying to read one nonfiction book a month in 2018, in order to broaden my knowledge base, both for myself and to inspire my writing. This book of physics and astronomy trivia, broken into brief thematic chapters, could make a good start on researching a space story. Sadly, I have no plans to write about outer space or aliens at this time, but don’t blame the book. This was even more superficial than I expected it to be, and the light tone became grating after awhile (picture page upon page of bad science teacher jokes – they started off funny, but after the first 100 pages I was done), but I don’t regret having read it. Did you know that astronauts experience weightlessness, not because they have left earth’s gravity, but because they are in free fall? I did not.

And those are my top reads for August! Hopefully I’ll have a more to say next month.

Good Lunar Tidings

July 30 started like any other day. I brewed a cup of tea and checked my email on my phone, skimming through newsletters and staring out the window. I saw a response to a story I’d submitted. “Ah, another entry for my folder of story rejections,” I thought, as I clicked the link.

Gentle readers, it was not rejection. It was an acceptance. And thus, my short story, “Tell the Moon Your Troubles,” was published at Enchanted Conversation Magazine this month.

It makes sense that this, of all the possibilities, is my first published work of fiction. I’ve always felt an emotional connection to the moon. Looking up at her in the sky fills me with peace and a sense of companionship that has helped me through some rough moments in my life, and of course forms the emotional core of this brief story, even if Leah’s problems are very different from my own. I hope this story will inspire someone else to look up at night and feel less alone, too.