My July and August Reading Log

Snape: A Definitive Reading by Lorrie Kim is what it says on the tin. I highly recommend this if you like intelligent, crunchy, critical close readings. I strongly suspect you do not have to like or even have read the Harry Potter books to enjoy it. I definitely appreciated the books more after I read it.

My vacation reading included G.I.: The American Soldier in World War II by Lee Kennett. I read a bit more than half on my flight, then finished up the remaining few chapters over the rest of the week. It was a well-organized overview of American soldiers and their experiences, from the draft to being mustered out; it focused on the quotidian rather than battles, which for me was more interesting, particularly since I don’t know a huge amount about that war in general and that period in American history. I was particularly intrigued by the complexities of the draft and how it was put into practice.

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo got me started on some tidying. I found that the book sparked some useful ideas for storage, and gave me some good thoughts on purging things as well. I found it charming because the author is so very much herself and is not afraid to share herself, which I think came through clearly in the English translation.

Joss Whedon: The Biography by Amy Pascale was a galley tucked away on my Kindle that I started pretty much at random and found interesting enough to complete. It reminded me of a really long magazine feature in its flowing style and positive tone. It focused on Whedon’s work, with his personality, history, and relationships considered mainly as a work-related factor (for example, writing female characters after being raised by a feminist mother with a life of her own). The author had interviewed her subject, as well as various of his colleagues and friends, so I am sure it was not intended to be an in-depth critical reading or anything like that. Conflicts were addressed but not deeply. Whedon fans no doubt already know about most of the material included in the bio, but since I had never followed him that closely, I was entertained. I liked reading about some of the ins and outs of working in television, in particular.

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda is so amazing. So. Amazing. Sana Takeda’s art is richly gorgeous, so detailed I can just look and look at it. Even only a chapter in, the story is densely layered, with complex worldbuilding. I stretched this one out, to savor it.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1: BFF is adorable and also poignant, because I totally feel for 9-year-old Lunella Lafayette and how everyone thinks they know better than her because she’s a kid. Meanwhile, she has a secret science lair and is building All the Things. I passed volume one to Ms. 8, whom I think might like it.

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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