Summer tends to be a good time for me to cram books down my metaphorical gullet, and I'm several books in to my unofficial summer reading list now. Naturally, I want to talk about them! And to hear about other books that others are reading that I could read that I can then later talk about. It's a vicious cycle.
So, to the point: What Are You Reading? What Have You Read?
I'll answer those in opposite order. The books I've already finished this summer (or, since summer officially starts in a week or so, this summery season) include:
Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
I was pretty excited to read this because I liked Redshirts so much, but ultimately I just ended up feeling kind of lukewarm about the whole thing. I had trouble buying the characters as old. There's a lot of clever quippiness (which, of course, because Scalzi), but it doesn't feel at balance with the drama (which never really asserts its stakes. My expectations were probably wrong to start with. It's serviceable and fast and funny, but I just wasn't really satisfied.
Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This book took me forever to read, but only because it's long and requires a lot from its readers. It's superb, featuring complex characters, deft handling of local (to Nigeria) and global race politics in the 1960s, and dealing with complicated problems with marriage and sexuality and consent and empowerment. I see now that Adichie's Amerikanah is being made into a movie, so now I need to find time to read that because it is probably also superb.
Notes of a Native Son, by James Baldwin
James Baldwin is amazing. That is my review.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
There's something kind of frantic and messy about the style Alexie is writing in here, but I like a lot of what he's doing. It's important for me to see books for young readers that don't pull punches, and Alexie is all about throwing punches in this book. It provides a hard but accessible look at res life and white privilege for young readers, and cuts through the difficulty not by softening it or dumbing it down, but with humor. I think he does settle for a few easy answers by the end, but only after raising a lot of difficult questions. I didn't love it, but I loved a lot of things about it.
My Real Children, by Jo Walton
This was probably the book I was looking forward to the most, because I love Walton's Among Others so, so, so much (and recommend it to all of you, because it is wonderful). I think it has a couple of missteps. It takes a little too long to start complicating the concurrent storylines and it has a completely unnecessary epilogue-style "sum it all up" chapter at the end, but the majority of the ride is great. It's a fantastic near-future-alternate-history-times-2-kind-of-slice-of-life thing with great wonderful characters and a beautiful, challenging approach to sexuality.
Okay, so that's what I've read. What am I reading, and what will I be reading?
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, by Kate Wilhelm
The Best of All Possible Worlds, by Karen Lord
The Anxiety of Kalix the Werewolf, by Martin Millar
Outcasts United, by Warren St. John
I'll refrain from commenting on these because I haven't finished them.
What about you?