Friday Reads · On My Bookshelf · Read-A-Thons · Reading · Reviews

Friday Reads: Welcome May

Okay, it’s official. For a long time, I’ve been saying that Seanan McGuire is “one of” my favorite authors. I’m going to finally admit it. At least as of now, she is my favorite author. I can’t think of anything she’s written that I’ve read that I haven’t liked. Plus, I like what I’ve seen of her as a person. (For reference, see her 2017 Twitter thread about the kids in the airport and the multilingual Disney singalong. I have linked to that before, and I will link to it again. I will never not love that Twitter thread — though some of the comments are dumb. Read the comments at your own risk.)

At any rate, it’s now May. Crazy how time flies. And yet, even with all the other (un-bloggable) stuff going on, I still managed to read a lot of books.

April 2019

Number of books read: 10
Number of pages read: 2,200
Number of hours listened: 19.09

My Ratings (if there’s a hyperlink, that will take you to my review of the book)


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Terry Pratchet’s Soul Music (Discworld #16)

This is a highly amusing installment of the Death books in the Discworld series. I had seen the animated movie based on this book before, but hadn’t read it. I’m really glad I did; there’s a lot of fun stuff here. Yes, many of the puns are centered around rock & roll music, and I’m sure there are some that went straight over my head, but it’s still a very enjoyable book.

Seanan McGuire’s Late Eclipses (October Daye #4)

I really enjoyed getting back to the world of Toby Daye. I’d enjoyed the first three books, but for some reason I didn’t continue the series at the time. (I’m still not sure why.) Reading this fourth book reminded me that I enjoy the world, the characters, and the writing style. I will definitely be continuing with the series, and hopefully won’t wait as long between books.

Seanan McGuire’s Velveteen vs The Junior Super Patriots

I really enjoyed this audiobook. The narration was perfect, and the pacing was good. I also really liked the story, and the way it manages to be fantastical and realistic all at the same time. (That is something I feel McGuire excels at, and this book is no exception.) I greatly look forward to reading more of Velveteen’s adventures.

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John Scalzi’s The Dispatcher

The concept behind the story is really interesting: people who die of accidents or natural causes actually die, but people who are murdered come back to life seconds later. The main character is a Dispatcher, an individual licensed to contractually murder people so that they won’t die. (It seems contradictory, but think about it. You have someone going into a planned life-threatening situation, like major surgery? Send in a Dispatcher so that if the operation goes bad the patient gets another chance.)

Seanan McGuire’s Velveteen vs. The Multiverse

I really enjoyed this book. It sill has the same silly fun that’s a part of the first book, but this sequel starts to get a little deeper into the problems that are set up in the first book. It’s darker, but no less good or hopeful or ultimately happy. Mostly. There is ultimately a happy ending, but it’s not a fairytale ending where everything is okay and nothing costs more than a cup of coffee.

“Happy ever after isn’t easy. If it were, we wouldn’t fight so hard to have it.”

Seanan McGuire’s Velveteen vs. The Seasons

GAH! It can’t end like that! There needs to be more. Yes, I get it, as far as the title goes we have reached the end. This is Velveteen vs. The Seasons, and that particular confrontation is done. But there are too many more things that need to be cleared up for this to be The End.


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Lola Dodge’s Deadly Sweet (Spellwork Syndicate #1)

Very cute, if often predictable, story. I enjoyed this book enough to immediately buy book 2. It’s a mix of cozy mystery and magical coming-of-age and contemporary YA, though it’s light on the mystery. I felt the characters were developed well enough to make me understand them, even if we don’t delve too deep into their personalities. Still, it’s a fast, fun read.

Lola Dodge’s Sugar Spells (Spellwork Syndicate #2)

This is a fun continuation of the Spellwork Syndicate series. I enjoyed getting to see more of the types of magic, and also seeing more of the world of the Syndicate. I particularly enjoyed the bits at Gaby’s family’s cryptid hospital, and I hope we get to see more of the magical animals in future books. This installment dropped the mystery aspect I had felt in book 1, but managed to keep the cozy feeling. I suspect that there may be a romance developing, but if so it seems to be a slow burn and not insta-love, so I’m okay with that.

Marko Kloos’ Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)

This is an enjoyable sci-fi romp that made me think of the Starship Troopers movie (not the book — haven’t read that yet). It was a lot of fun, and even though you knew the main character was going to make it out alive and he did get rather a lot of lucky breaks to make that happen, it was still fun to watch the action. If this was a movie it would be a summer popcorn flick: nothing with too much substance, but enough fun that it makes up for the lack of depth. (On the other hand, there are social commentaries in the text as well, but they aren’t something the author pushes hard enough to be uncomfortable.)



Deanna Raybourn’s A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1)

I enjoyed the story in this book, but not the characters. (Some were more to my liking than others, but there was no character I actually liked.) It’s really hard for me to think well of a book when I don’t like the characters. I like character-driven stories best, so when I don’t care what happens to the characters… well, I get bored with the book. I managed to finish this one without getting too bored, but I won’t be continuing with the series at this point.

Plans for May 2019

I’m currently reading (as long as by “current” you mean end-of-day April 30):

  • Guards! Guards! by Terry Prachett (paper) — 21/355 pages
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (paper) — 19/731 pages
  • Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos (ebook) — 47%
  • A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain (audio) — 29%

And my plans for May reading:

  • Read (or at least start) a book from my Book Bucket List. I didn’t get to this in April, and really want to not let it get forgotten.
  • Listen to (more of) my Audible Originals. We get new Audible Originals every month, so keeping up with these might be a constant battle. I’ve enjoyed the Originals I’ve listened to so far, so I don’t want to forget about them.
  • Read the 5th October Daye book. I joined the #ADayeAMonth group in April, and am hoping to continue the series this way for the rest of the year. (No promises, though. I might get impatient and decide not to wait.)


I hope you’re having a lovely spring so far! I think here in California we’re just about done with spring and are full-on into summer. We tend to get blink-and-you-miss-it springs around here, which is a shame because it’s always one of my favorite seasons. (Of course, that could be because it never lasts long enough for me to get sick of it…)


5 thoughts on “Friday Reads: Welcome May

  1. Funny you should note Marko Kloos’s social commentaries 🙂 I stopped reading his stuff because of it. With all the other indie MilSF out there, I don’t need to bother. Between authors like Currie, Dalzelle, Anspach and others, there is literally more than I can read. Guess I shouldn’t complain about an abundant of riches eh? 😀

    1. Better to have too much to read than not enough! I didn’t have much of an issue with Kloos’ social commentaries in book one, but book two they are more present. My problem isn’t that they’re there, but that they’re completely un-subtle. Instead of letting the reader get their on their own through the great worldbuilding, it’s spelled out several times. Still, I think these were his first two books, so I’m willing to assume he’ll learn subtlety in the future. 🙂

    1. Thanks! And yeah, LOL, I have read a lot of Seanan McGuire’s books this year – she’s written 13% of the books I’ve read so far in 2019. 🙂 Most of her stuff is firmly in the fantasy genre, so hopefully you’ll like whatever you choose to pick up!

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