September 2021| Wrap-Up

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write one of these. I recently moved to a new city and started grad school, so I’ve spent the last two months hauling my stuff cross-country and getting settled back down into the academic lifestyle. And also read some books along the way. I didn’t read much through August as I was packing and moving, so I’m just going to tack a couple of those books on in this “September” wrap-up.

You’ll also see I’ve added a DNF section this time! I’ve finally managed to get into the mindset that a bad book isn’t worth masochistically continuing in hopes it gets better. Granted, right now they’re almost all audiobooks, but hey. Slow steps.

Books Read:


Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge – 5/5

  • A series of surreal, melancholic interconnected short stories where everyone else fucks monsters but MC just gets depression. Thought-provoking and somber

A Master of the Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark – 4.5/5

  • Alt-history 18th-century steampunk-inspired Cairo urban fantasy. I love how richly inter-connected Clark weaves together the different cultures of the region to fun and snappy supernatural investigation

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong – 2/5

  • I’m devastate by how much I didn’t like it, but the plot points felt contrived and the book would have benefitted from another few rounds of editing

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – 5/5

  • The gothic dark acadmic gays need therapy in an haunted prep-school sapphic murder mystery tale. The atmosphere in this book was impeccable


Wilder Girls by Rory Power – 4.5/5

  • Excellent YA novel of body horror and suspense. Ending felt rushed but THE BODY HORROR!!

Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone – 4/5

  • Sexy death gods and atmospheric gothic elements. MC got a little annoying by the end but I enjoyed how tight the story was

The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin – 4/5

  • Multi-step physics problems written in short story form. Another fantastic collection from Liu

The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart – 4/5

  • The world of the Alanga opens up in this sequel, the aspect I’ve been most anticipating in this sequel. Can’t wait to see where book 3 goes

Jade City by Fonda Lee – 5/5

  • I’m kicking myself for not reading this earlier. Rival asian mafia clans fighting each other with badass characters are excellent “coming into the modern era” world building

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut – 5/5

  • A series of short biopics of 20th and 21st century physicists and mathematicians whose discoveries were fueled by madness, or set them down that road

The Fox’s Tower and Other Stories by Yoon Ha Lee – 4/5

  • A fun flash fiction collection from one of my favorite authors. Excellent pick-me-ups for a quick break

Jade War by Fonda Lee – 4.5/5

  • Asian mafia clan wars continue, but now it’s gone internation. I love how much thought has been put into the international policies around Jade. Also heartache

Books DNF’d:

Keeper of the Night by Kylie Lee Baker – DNF @ 32%

  • interesting premise with an insufferable protagonist and contrived plot points

Monkey Around by Jadie Jang – DNF @ 62%

  • UF set in San Francisco centering various minority cultures in the Bay. I wanted to love this so badly, but something just didn’t click

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lee – DNF @ 22%

  • ‘Naive YA protag makes stupid mistakes and fails upwards’. I just found MC frustrating

Books in Progress:

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling – 40%

  • Gothic suspense/horror centering a surgeon’s wife. I’m in love with the main character and this atmosphere.

A Clockwork River by JS Emery – 5%

  • Just started, but it seems to have a focus on engineering, written in a somewhat whimsical English narration style. Curious to see where this goes

Reviews Written:

Reviews written for books read this month found above

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