June Reading List
Pfft. Okay. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? May ended up being pretty much a total write-off for me, so I have stuff going back to April to discuss here. But I also want to talk about the exciting books I plan to read in June!
Let’s dive in.
What I Read in April
I’m not going to lie: April was a bit of a blur for me. I was busy with the never-ending project at work. A friend I don’t see very often spent quite a bit of time visiting during the month. And my editor dropped a bombshell on Fairy Tale, triggering my entry into the lacuna of Rewrite Hell.
I did get some reading done, which was a bright spot. Now, if only I could remember what I actually read …
In His Corner
One book I did read was In His Corner by Christa Tomlinson. I found this book on Twitter and in the wake of all sorts of nastiness going on in publishing and Romancelandia around racism and however many other –isms we can count, I took it upon myself to learn more, to listen to people of color, and to make a conscious effort to make sure I was reading more widely.
I don’t see this as a “good” thing to do. It should have been something I was doing all along. Tomlinson’s work is sports-related and m/m, so I figured it would be right up my alley. I initially thought it was boxing-related, but was quickly corrected. It’s a book about wrestling! Which makes perfect sense; Tomlinson is very vocal about wrestling on Twitter. She loves it.
I can’t say I’m as enthralled, but it was fun learning about a sport that’s new to me. And the romance, the tension between Tré and Brandon was super sweet. It’s a friends-to-lovers’ tale at its core, and the cast of characters was wonderfully diverse. I also loved Tomlinson’s voice here.
I Hear the Sunspot: Theory of Happiness
I think I read this in April? At least, that’s where it’s showing up on my GoodReads, so …
After I finished I Hear the Sunspot, my friend decided to loan me Theory of Happiness too. It’s much the same, although it does build a bit on Taichi and XXX’s relationship. Overall, it’s much of the same, and while I think the story’s still cute and sweet, I wouldn’t necessarily say you need to read this one.
I’ll probably still read the second sequel anyway, so long as I can find a copy.
If April was a fog, May was a thunderstorm. My partner returned on May 1, we spent a week trying to stay sorted out, and then I went to Hawaii for eight days. When I got back, I came down with a cold, and then we were into a long weekend. I had the work week from hell following, and this week has been more of the same, followed by Adult Responsibilities and my partner taking off for work again.
I kept meaning to read. I was going to read on the plane. But then work. And my electronics not working. And …
I did sneak one book in, and that was Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk. I’d read the first book in the series, Hexbreaker, back in February and really enjoyed it. Pressed for time and getting on a plane, I decided I would just pick up the next book in the series. This is actually Book 3, however, so I’ll have to go back and read Book 2.
It maybe wasn’t as enjoyable as Book 1, perhaps partially because I was reading out of order (although that was never an impediment to understanding), but a very solid book.
June Reading List
Obviously, I didn’t hit my two book per month goal in May. I tried, getting my second book underway quite quickly after I finished Hexslayer. Alas, I’m busy and there’s just not enough time in the day for me to sit down and devour a book.
So, I started Cat Sebastien’s The Marquess Unmasked. I’ve seen a lot of chatter about this book, its treatment of a main character who evades gender binaries, and how it couches that in a historical romance.
Next up, I’m reading Shatterproof by Cole McCade. This is a book McCade re-released after some fairly horrifying revelations about Riptide and its staff. As an editor myself, that entire story makes me ill. That’s not how authors should be treated, ever. Further, it sounds to me like the people employed were ignorant and preferred to remain there. Editing is a kind of violence, so editors must work to mitigate harm in any way we can. That … did not happen. (That’s a rant for another time; I have many Thinky Thoughts as a professional in the field.)
Many authors pulled their books from Riptide in the aftermath, and McCade had the rights for this book returned. It sounds like it may have been a somewhat traumatic experience to rework it—it was one of the books the so-called editors at Riptide “worked” on, so their “fingerprints” were all over the final product.
McCade’s revamped the book, commissioned gorgeous cover art, and re-released it in a form closer to the original authorial vision. Plus, apparently it has fae who are “genderfluid” (McCade uses another term), which is obviously something of interest to me! The fey in Fairy Tale also have a very different understanding of sex and gender. I’m excited to see what McCade’s done with his story.
Another Book on the June Reading List
I’m being a little ambitious by keeping my June reading list at two books, because I didn’t get through The Marquess in May. Technically, that’s my second book for May, so I’m adding a second for June.
All in all, that means I have three books to read in June, to get “caught up.” Can I manage it? We’ll find out.
What book have I picked? Julian Winter’s Running with Lions. The book release on June 7. I’ve been intrigued since I saw Winter start talking about it way back in March (I honestly thought it had released already!). Diverse cast, m/m, soccer team? And that cover. Honestly, comic-style covers will get me every time. (Now you know my weakness.)
So there you have it! June is an ambitious month for me, but with longer days and the nice weather finally rolling in, I’m feeling up to the challenge at last.