“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

Recommended to me by: Eric Roberts

A fantasy novel based on Eastern European folk tales, but going in a direction all its own. The main character is a young woman, and there are other women with agency in the book. Unfortunately it is still a feudal social structure with a king and a male […]

“The Other Wind” by Ursula K Le Guin

I read this back when it originally came out in 2001. I remembered the overall story arc and the spectacular image of Tehanu at the end, but none of the details at all. It was great to have a visit with Ged and Tenar and Tehanu, but the characters felt oddly distant, not emotionally […]

“Voices” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Recommended to me by: adrian-turtle on dreamwidth.

This sequel to Gifts is much more comfortable to read. Rather than being about households polarized and divided by their powers, it is about a harshly occupied city where the people are known for “having peace in their bones.”

The city-dwellers are people of color, and the […]

“Gifts” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Recommended to me by: Referenced in The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture blog post.

This is not a comfortable book to read. At first it feels irritatingly simplistic and aimed at young readers, but with not enough happening. Then it feels irritatingly complex with not enough answers to hard questions.

What […]

“Ancillary Mercy” by Ann Leckie

Recommended to me by: reading Ancillary Justice, the first book in this series.

This book has more plot drama and more heavy-handed social justice messages than the first two books. I imagine that works for the target audience of young space opera fans, but it didn’t suit me as well. It felt like the […]

“Ancillary Sword” by Ann Leckie

Recommended to me by: Reading Ancillary Justice

The nice thing about waiting a year or two to read a good book is that the sequel is already available! This sequel to Ancillary Justice was more about the troubles of 17 year old girls (and boys), and so didn’t pull me in as much. It […]

“Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie

I loved this book. I saw it recommended all over the place as unusual for space opera, but it took a friend loaning me his copy, and some spare time, to sit down with it. It opens with what seems to be a dead body, so I almost put it down again, but then […]

“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

I clearly remember not wanting to turn the light out, the first time I finished reading this book, spooked by mind control. I was around 9 years old, new to having my own room, lined with bookcases of my parents’ books.

Rereading it now, it’s interesting to see which parts I could practically recite, […]

“Flying in Place” by Susan Palwick

A twelve-year-old girl is being abused by her father, and is ultimately rescued by their next door neighbors. Her older sister had died, and at the end of the book, the neighbor says, “No one can help her. That’s what being dead means.”

Susan Palwick’s blog title is Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good. That […]

“Sea Change” by S. M. Wheeler

Recommended to me by: s.e. smith at this ain’t livin’

This wild fantasy felt true to me, true to inner journeys and struggles and transformations. It has violence in it, but not a lot compared to the modern fashion, and deaths are grieved instead of being passed over without comment. Heroes, villains, and monsters […]