The Books I Read, July 2022

I read 15 books this month. It’s not as impressive as it sounds. I needed a break from the pattern I’d established on reading 2x Animorphs, 2x Hardy Boys, 2x Star Trek every month, with something else as a wildcard with whatever time was left. I’ve made it a goal to read at least 1 indie every month, which I did.

5 of the stories I finished are short fiction in The Expanse universe. I listened to all via audio (bundled as Memory’s Legion) – and they all clock in at an hour to 2.5 hours each. Not a huge time commitment. I have a fan panel at CONvergence in 2 weeks about The Expanse, so I’ve been pushing hard to finish the last of the books and the TV show in time.

I read 4 volumes of Spy x Family. I ADORE this manga. Anya is adorable and must be protected at all costs. I like how the story manages to juggle each character’s abilities and give them each their moment to shine, and it’s all woven together really well. I highly recommend it. Manga definitely counts as reading, but if I were putting weighted values on things, reading a manga delivers about 1/10 the “I finished something” sense of accomplishment reading an adult book does.

I did read 2 Hardy Boys Casefiles. Did you know there are 127 of those things? I picked up 50 of them for less than $2 a book on an ebay auction. I think I’ll have had my fill by the time I’m through them, and won’t feel an urge to chase down the rest. No character development within or between books. Very strict word count limits (these are all within 5 pages in length of each other). Hard PG to soft PG-13. If the Hardys are holding a gun, it’s not real or they’re not actually going to shoot someone. I’m enjoying them well enough, but they definitely feel like relics of a different era.

Reminder – I rarely offer commentary about whether an book is good or not, or whether I liked it or not. As an author myself, I think it just opens up a door to unnecessary drama and hurt feelings, almost like I’m bashing a colleague if I say anything short of “5 stars.” My “review” is I found it good enough to finish and list as “read” on Goodreads. I don’t keep a DNF list on Goodreads for that same reason – possible drama. I just quietly remove those from “now reading.” I’m more likely to comment on Trad pub books than indies. Trad pub authors got an advance and (in theory) some marketing support. Indies have to do everything for every sale they make, with no financial minimums / guarantees.

Even most books I’d give 5 stars to I don’t talk about, though I will still hype books I really, really like. (I’m not an unfeeling robot LOL) I’m trying to cultivate an understanding that not commenting on a book is the norm, and says nothing about how I felt about it. So these kinds of posts will be more about the kinds of books I’ve been in the mood for.

The Books of July:

Indie:

Dakiti (Ziva Payvan #1) – EJ Fisch

Cursed Waters – Shana Brooke (technically finished Season One of the Vella, but now that it’s out in book form, it counts. She’s a friend and exempt from my “No KU” rule.)

Sci-Fi:

The Icarus Plot – Timothy Zahn

The Unknown (Animorphs #14) – KA Applegate – continuing my adult readthrough of one of the series that defined my childhood.

Short Fiction:

Drive

The Butcher of Anderson Station

Gods of Risk

The Churn

Strange Dogs

(All Expanse stories by James S.A. Corey)

Hardy Boys Casefiles:

The Crowning Terror (#6)

Deathgame (#7)

Manga:

Spy x Family, Volumes 1-4

Size of my TBR: 423 books… (this is purchased, in-hand. Not counting books I don’t own yet in series I intend to finish) Fun fact: literally 200 of them are Star Trek. If I read 2 Star Trek books a month, it will take me 9 years to get through them all.

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