Hooray, now I’m only a year behind!
Fiction: Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells was a lot of fun, with a spunky heroine, interesting nonhumans, and lots of steampunk. Wells is one of my all-time favorite fantasy authors; this is her first novel specifically aimed at young adults.
Country Heaven by Ava Miles is a contemporary romance about a country singer and a cook. I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the Midwestern heroine’s love of the movie Gone With the Wind and the idea that going to a restored plantation house for a fancy dinner that romanticized the past is a fun thing to do, when all I could think about was the slave quarters that were never mentioned. I am not sure if there was a single black person in the entire novel, even when they were in Mississippi with the hero’s upper-crust family. I was clearly not this book’s intended audience.
Nonfiction: Peoples of Color in the American West is a textbook with a lot of really good essays that I can definitively recommend, despite its being published back in 1994.
Fanfiction: Not About Superheroes (A Private Little War) by AnnaFugazzi is Captain America/Iron Man slash that explores how 1930s-1940s-raised Steve Rogers, who’s gay, might (slowly) adapt to modern acceptance of homosexuality in the military and to gay marriage. It’s the first time I’ve seen a detailed exploration of this idea, instead of it being quickly glossed over to get to the romance, or having Steve easily accept every new social change he encounters.