April Reading

James Joyce, The Cats of Copenhagen: That’s the second time in a few months I’ve written about a children’s book that was a gift from my best friend. Column here.

Anushka Ravishankar, I Like Cats: I reread this while writing the column above. Anushka is a friend and former colleague so I am clearly biased, but my fondness for her work, particularly this book, predates the few months when we worked in the same office. Lovely, silly poem; gorgeous illustrations by artists from across the country in a range of different styles.

Jennifer Crusie, Bet Me: I need to read more Crusie, because this was often really funny. Unfortunately, I ended up reading it as a horror novel.

Rae Earl, My Mad, Fat, Teenage Diary: I usually have clever ways of getting access to British TV, but was unable to watch the series based on this book. I read it in a day and have been failing to write about it ever since, but I think I liked it? I think it was charming?

Indira Goswami, The Bronze Sword of Thengphakhri Tehsildar (trans. Aruni Kashyap): Written about for the column, here.

Sowmya Rajendran and Niveditha Subramaniam, The Pleasant Rakshasa: I adored this and have half a blog post written to explain why.

Zen Cho, The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo: Written about for the column, and the most fun I’ve had reading anything in ages.

Adam Foulds, The Broken Word: For the column, but I think it may spark another post soon as well.

Himanjali Sankar, The Stupendous Timetelling Superdog: Himanjali is also a former colleague and a friend (and I have met the dog, the two daughters and the husband in Germany who obviously bear no resemblance whatsoever to the dog, two daughters and husband in Germany in the book), so this is clearly not an official review. But I thought this was adorable. It’s full of silly puns, snark at institutions and the media, and absolutely nothing is resolved in the end.

Ruby Hembrom and Boski Jain, We Come from the Geese: A picture book based on a Santhal origin myth. It’s told well; it has a rhythm to it that feels like myth. But what really drew me to it were the illustrations–really bold black and white, intricate, repeated patterns, strong lines. Unexpected and lovely.

Rachel Hartman, Seraphina: I was a little underwhelmed by this, possibly a natural reaction to a number of very enthusiastic reviews. It’s a good idea, and on the whole it’s well done. And yet. It’s not enough, somehow. The dragons aren’t quite alien enough to justify the text’s positioning of them, the romance is just a shade too predictable. The prose, though, is exactly what it needs to be.

Caitlin R. Kiernan, The Drowning Girl: I’m glad I read this just in time to vote for it in the Locus poll, and sorry I didn’t read it earlier so I could gush about it more. I’d read some positive reviews and seen it win the Tiptree award, but nothing quite prepared me for just how solidly good and disturbing and intense Kiernan’s book would turn out to be. Best book of 2012, probably.

Jerry Pinto and Garima Gupta, When Crows Are White: I’ve been a fan of Garima Gupta’s art for a few years now–she has been one of the best illustrators in the country for quite some time. Pinto wrote what was probably last year’s most critically acclaimed Indian novel. And the art here is gorgeous, and the prose is nimble and the voice is knowing and wryly funny. And then it just stops. It feels like it is suspended between fable and story of revolution, but it doesn’t complete either of the stories it promises and I don’t understand why anyone would have left it that way.

Stephanie Laurens, And Then She Fell: Is a Laurens book. I still read them. Then I rant about them. At least nowadays I skip past the very samey sex scenes.

 

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