Reading Roundup: April 2024

I’m almost starting to think that there won’t be time to read all of the books. In fact, I’ve almost kind of slowed down this month. It’s no longer voting season for the Nebulas and the only thing driving me forward is my love of reading.

But, it turns out I really like reading, and there are a few I’d like to share.

Someone You Can Build a Nest In

Book cover of Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell. A scary witch looking thing towering over a woman with a lantern.

Someone You Can Build a Nest In is the perfect addition to John Wiswell’s works. I’ve been a huge fan of his short stories for ages now, and some of his best use his signature way of subverting horror tropes. The way he does it shows that he really knows the genre, understands it, and has lots to say. Someone You Can Build a Nest In’s protagonist is Shesheshen, a human-eating, shape-shifting monstrosity, and I defy you to try not to fall in love with her.

Limitarianism: The Case Against Extreme Wealth

Limitarianism by Ingrid Robeyns posits that not only is there a limit of wealth after which we are no longer improving our own lives, but also that society should not allow wealth beyond a certain level. It makes a solid ethical argument for serious caps on the accumulation of wealth, and while I’m not sure if we’ll ever achieve such limits in real life, they’re certainly good fuel for those of us who are busy writing potential futures in our sci-fi books.

But for real, this should probably be a thing in real life.

Liberty’s Daughter

My only complaint about Limitarianism is that it sounds too much like Libertarianism. Naomi Kritzer’s book Liberty’s Daughter takes place in a Libertarian society. On its surface, the seastead flotilla might seem like a caricature of libertarian ideals, but every single oddity in this society on the sea has its logical underpinnings in actual libertarian ideals and practice. So, yeah, it’s pretty horrible. Good book, though.

Suck a Little Happy Juice

This book is now on my must-read list whenever I meet budding indie authors. It’s a comprehensive guide to the business and its an entertaining read. J. Scott Coatsworth gets into the philosophy of indie publishing, maintenance of mental health, and all the nuts and bolts of what it takes to really make this work.

Short Stories

A Brief History of the El Zopilote Dock by Alaya Dawn Johnson – A telling of terrible prisons, escape, and history, all assembled in the fictional voice of a descendant. This is a wonderful story. Technically a novelette, but I’m putting it under short stories anyway. Listen to the Clarkesworld podcast. They do good work.

Summitting the Moon by Pragathi Bala – It’s a story of adrenaline versus family and making choices to move on with your life even as the greatest adventure is staring down at you from the too-low moon. There some very cool imagery in this story, and definitely worth a read.

Coming up on my reading list:

The Young Necromancer’s Guide to Ghosts by Vanessa Ricci-Thode – I don’t read a lot of middle grade, but Ness is awesome and this book looks charming as hell. (also, it came out today)

The Narrow Road Between Desires by Patrick Rothfuss is reminding me of why I love his books. Yes, it’s magical, but it’s also grounded in a richly realized mundane world.

In the time it took for me to write this, five hundred more books were published. I think I’m really going to need to step up my game if I’m ever going to read them all.

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