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Reading Report

Thanks to various recs over the last couple of years, I've been meaning to pick up some Courtney Milan. I've always enjoyed a good romance novel, and although I haven't read as many of them in recent years, good authors and recs remain on my radar. A few weeks ago, the online bookstores put the entire series -- four novels and three novellas -- on sale for five bucks, and I decided I was officially out of excuses. So I picked it up, and started reading a couple of weeks ago. I've read the first book (The Duchess War) and two of the novellas (The Governess Affair and A Kiss for Midwinter) and am enjoying them so far, although some of them are definitely better than others. The Duchess War is easily the best of them, although I can't decide whether Robert's labor activism is realistic, or a modern-day liberal fantasy. Although I still prefer reading print books most of the time, I do appreciate that ebooks have allowed the return of the novella as a viable format -- The Governess Affair, particularly, was a good, snappy read as a novella, but the plot wouldn't have held-up to a novel length work. (And in my opinion, A Kiss for Midwinter barely held up at novella length; as a novel it would have been unbearable without several more side plots.)

Also recently read: The End of All Things by John Scalzi (very good, a fitting wrap-for-now on the Old Man's War universe; the Hafte Sorval story was easily my favorite), the new Ms. Marvel (yay!), the first volume of The Wicked + The Divine (intriguing premise, let's see where they go with it); and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (totally fantastic, with some ideas I might want to interrogate in a longer review). Up next: probably Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, which has been on my to-read pile for far too long now. I confess I have been totally useless at reporting or closely tracking my reading for the Bradford challenge, but I can honestly say that the only prose novel by a cis straight white dude that I've read since March is The End of All Things (despite Max Gladstone, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Jim Hines temptations -- the books will still be there next year). So thumbs up for that, and I hope I can keep it up.

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