February 2015 Reading Log

Fiction: Partner by Lia Silver, the sequel to Prisoner; I know this author, though mostly online. I got an advance copy and read it all in one evening, and my only complaint was that it was not longer (it didn’t really need to be, I just wanted). Adventure! Angst! Music, some of which I suggested (in particular, Filipino artist Gloc-9)! I am especially happy that there are so many interesting secondary characters who could get their own books, because I am enjoying this series.

While I was waiting for the book to come out, and knowing only a bare outline of the plot, I did this mix:
1. “Bigtime,” Baihana
2. “Riding on the Wind,” Judas Priest
3. “Prakatumba,” Cabo Snoop
4. “Benzin,” Rammstein
5. “Dito tayo sa dilim,” Pedicab
6. “Buti Na Lang,” Gloc-9 featuring McCoy Fundales
7. “Trakterna,” Labyrint
8. “Amazon,” M.I.A.
9. “Hot Mami,” Kamikazee
10. “War Pigs,” Opium Jukebox (Black Sabbath cover)
11. “Upright Come,” Patti Smith
12. “Varvulven (Werewolf),” Garmarna
13. “When They Come for Me,” Linkin Park
14. “Hollow,” Cloudeater
15. “Shake It Out,” Manchester Orchestra
16. “Wake Up,” Slapshock
17. “Ils ont peur de la liberte,” Keny Arkana
18. “Pink 5ive,” Silent Sanctuary

Nonfiction: High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica Harris, whose work I already knew I loved from The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent, which I bought many years ago. She synthesizes a lot of historical information to show how African foods and cooking influenced the cuisine of the United States. It made me want to read more about a number of different topics. I especially enjoyed reading about famous black caterers in Philadelphia and New York City. I didn’t find the last sections as entertaining as the earlier ones, even though they were informative. I think it was because as the time period got closer to the present, the narrative got more generalized. I mean, the whole book was an armchair journey, but I felt like there were more interesting facts and intriguing historical connections in the earlier chapters. I think the later chapters probably needed a book of their own, unless it’s just that I’m biased towards less recent history.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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