WWW Wednesday – 18 September 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

I’m trying to get back into blogging this week! We came back from overseas and immediately had to organise moving house, which was an event. We now everything in the new place, though we’re yet to unpack most of it. Everything is in piles in the living room!

All this is to say is that I feel like I haven’t had a lot of time for reading and even when I’ve had time, I’ve felt too tired. But when I sat down to write this post, I realised I’ve finished four books so ffar this month, and that’s pretty much on par with my usual reading pace.  And I feel that this week I have pulled out of my reading slump, so hopefully I’ll be speeding through some great books from here on out.

What have you recently finished reading?

The first thing I finished since my last post was The Women in Black by Madeleine St. John, a book that is considered something of an Australian classic. I really enjoyed this slice-of-life, peering into the lives of several different women in late 1950s Sydney. Here’s my review.

After that I listened to Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Musical Drama, which… isn’t really an audio book, more of a musical full cast dramatisation, but it has a listing on GoodReads, so I’ll take it. I’m a fan of Jeff Wayne’s original 100 minute War of the Worlds album from the 70s, so at first I wasn’t sure about this, but I ended up loving it, even without the songs.

Next up, I’ve read Evangeline and the Alchemist and Evangeline and the Bunyip, the first two novellas in the Antics of Evangeline series by Madeleine D’Este. These are entertaining, though I wish there was some more fleshing out of Evangeline’s back story. No reviews yet because I’m going to review the series as a whole when I’ve finished it.

And then there was my favourite book so far this month, Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. It’s a hard book to describe, but it is a book that deserves to be read all in one sitting, rather than the dribs and drabs over a month that I read it in. It’s folklore-y and fairytale-y and that’s the only way I know how to describe it.

Other reviews I’ve posted since my last WWW:

What are you currently reading?

I started Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle, which examines depictions of women in such things as horror movies and true crime fandom. At first, I wasn’t sure I would make it through the first chapter, since apparently even descriptions of The Exorcist  are enough to creep me out and have me walking around my own house with my back to the wall. But I’m a few chapters in now and I think I can cope with most of the horror content.

left Dead Blondes… at work yesterday and needed something to read at home last night so I started my other library book, Suicide Club by Rachel Heng. I guess you’d call this a dystopia, but it’s set in a recognisable not-too-distant future America where bodily enhancements mean immortality is within humanity’s reach… but at what cost?

Last but not least, I am listening to Scratchman by Tom Baker and James Goss. It’s also narrated by Tom Baker, which is perfect. I haven’t read any DW books in a while, and most of the ones I have read recently have been 10th or 11th Doctor-era. So this has been fun.

What do you think you will read next?

I will probably return to Madeleine D’Este’s books and read Evangeline and the Spiritualist next.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

 

 

 

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#AWW2019 // Book Review: “Women of Wasps and War” by Madeleine D’Este

Title: Women of Wasps and War
Author: Madeleine D’Este
Genre: Fantasy
Target audience: Adult
Date Read: 11/08/19 – 12/08/19
Rating:
★★★☆

Review:

Oof. This was a powerful book. I read about 20% of it one night and then the rest of it the following day because I couldn’t put it down. A lot of my reactions were simply “Argh!” or “Mmngnng” and could probably be summed up better in reaction gifs than a proper review, but I’ll try my best. Here goes.

D’este has crafted a believable patriarchal fantasy world where men do not question their authority and women know their place. This arrangement has been interrupted by war, and many of the women who ran Ambrovna in the men’s absence are not so keen to see it go back to the way it was before.

I was constantly frustrated by the men’s inability to see the women’s point of view, and I appreciated the way D’Este explored the fact that you can love an individual dearly while still not recognising your privilege overall, or conoversely while knowing that your loved one is the oppressor.

Some of the women did terrible things in the hopes of earning their place back as head of the household, and I have to admit that it generally felt completely justified. Of course, these things come at a price and a foreboding feeling I had about one incident turned out to be correct.

I have to admit I did feel the epilogue took away from the power of the final chapter, but that it really the only complaint I had. This book is addicitve.

Trigger warnings for graphic physical and emotional abuse.


This review is part of my 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

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WWW Wednesday – 21 August 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

Due to illness, other commitments and then a three-week overseas holiday, it’s been over a month since I last did a WWW post. July wasn’t much of a reading month but I’ve been making up for that in August so here is everything I’ve read since mid-July.

What have you recently finished reading?

Cupid’s Match by Lauren Palphreyman, which did take some rather large liberties with Greek and Roman mythology (what has Pandora got to do with the Seven Deadly Sins, a Christian construct, for example?) but it was kind of fun regardless.I gave it three stars and reviewed it here.

Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew took me a while to get through. It’s written in a very disconnected style and it didn’t really go anywhere? Here’s my review.

I stood in a second-hand shop in New York City and read The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak. My partner had told me about it before so I was interested to finally see it. It was quite funny. I can imagine kids loving it.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden was next. It took me a while to get through. It’s a MG and I guess I wasn’t the target audience really. I was hoping I would find it creepier than I did. I did find the narrator’s voice a bit grating, which didn’t help.

I finished Cleaning House by Jeanne G’fellers the following day. I loved the basis in Appalachian folklore but I found the narrative itself a little too repetitive. But if you like quiet, character-driven folklore-y/witchy stories, then this is definitely for you. Here’s my review.

Next I read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and… wasn’t that impressed? I mean, I gave it three stars. But the way everyone talks about it, I was expecting to give it five. And I honestly thought at the start that I would, because the start is great. But then it got to dragging. Anyway, I have a full review scheduled, so keep an eye out for that.

For something completely different, I followed that with Women of Wasps and War by Madeleine D’Este, which was un-put-down-able gritty feminist fantasy and my favourite book so far this month.

Finally, I finished A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, which was okay, but I was definitely skimming by the end. I know a lot of people love it but I think a lot of those same people read this as children, which I think would make the difference.

I also posted reviews of Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray and The Nowhere Emporium by Ross McKenzie since my last post.

What are you currently reading?

I only just finished A Wrinkle In Time this evening, so I haven’t started a new book yet.

What do you think you will read next?

I have The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis audio book  to put on my phone. And I really want to start Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Morena-Garcia. I’m getting behind on my Australian Women Writers Challenge, though, so that also needs to be a priority.

What are you reading this week? 🙂