I want to tell you all about some of my favorite books. Reading is, obviously, very important to writing.
Some of my favorite books, in no particular order, are:
Coraline by Neil Gaiman. This was a favorite of mine growing up, and a recent reread made me realize that it is still great. Coraline is a young girl who discovers a door to another world in her family’s new home. On the other side, she discovers a world similar to her own, but better. It’s creepy and features a talking cat, so what’s not to love?
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This duology is honestly so solid, and one of the few series I can name where the sequel is every bit as good as the first. Anyway, these books tell the story of multiple heists by a small gang from the streets of Ketterdam. The characters are the heart of these books, and their complicated backstories and motivations cause so much tension and trouble. Both such fun reads.
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. This is the third book in Sanderson’s famed Mistborn trilogy. It’s a great trilogy overall, but the third book was my favorite. Vin and her friends try to save their world from imminent destruction, a common theme in the trilogy, but the final installment sees the culmination of years of careful plotting and hard work on Sanderson’s part.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. It’s super gay and has dragons. What more could you want in an epic fantasy novel? A stand-alone, this book is honestly just so cool. Ead has a secret mission to protect the queen who stands between the world and destruction at the hands (claws?) of evil dragons.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. This collection of eight short stories was honestly so powerful. Machado’s style shines through in each unique story.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. I loved her fiction collection so much, I read her memoir, too. This book shook me to my core. Machado uses various tropes and styles to examine an abusive relationship, from the first meeting to the last encounters. The methods she uses to tell her story are unconventional, and the story is disturbing in so many ways, but absolutely enthralling and unforgettable.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich. I read this book for a class in college, and instantly fell in love with the story and the author. Thirteen-year-old Joe deals with tragedy and adolescence in the 80s, learning hard lessons about revenge and forgiveness. The end is exquisite, and each chapter is titled for an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which Joe uses to cope.
The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. A play I adore. The visuals (though I have yet to see a live production) are striking and memorable. The characters are layered and complex. At the heart of the show is Matilde, a depressed comedienne, and Lane, a doctor whose husband has fallen in love with another woman. My copy is littered with penciled in notes because I once used it for a directing class.
Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. These books got me excited about reading after a long dry spell. The first book has strong Hunger Games vibes, but in space and with much more violence. The next two follow Darrow’s rise to power and his quest for equality. The sequel trilogy picks up with him ten years later, because the fight for equality is never really over. Brown’s scifi world is imaginative and rich, and I’m eagerly awaiting book six.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I first read this book in high school, and since then I’ve reread it at various points in my life, most recently last year. And every time, I’m surprised to find that I still enjoy it immensely. In a world where some people are born with supernatural gifts called Graces, Katsa has been used her entire life for her Grace of killing. However, she’s trying desperately to use her gift for good. Then she meets her match in Prince Po, whose Grace is combat, and the two forge a bond stronger than any she has ever known.
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. This enchanting tale has been a favorite of mine since adolescence. A small band of thieves calls the streets of Venice home, and they’re faced with the chance of a lifetime when they receive a magical mission. My copy of this is so worn out from the dozens of times I read it in middle school. It’s also one of the books that made me want to be a writer.
What I wrote this week: Draft 4, Eva’s arc (this is gonna be it for a while…)
What I read this week: Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur; The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones