Half a year in books

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I no longer post Book Reports to this Tohu Bohu, but I have been listing my Books Read list, on the half-year, along with some demographic information about the writers. So, it being halfway through the year, here are the 35 books I have read in 2022 (not counting re-reads).

16 Speculative fiction books, 9 of which would probably be classified as Young Adult; 4 Mysteries; 2 Historicals (one of which is kind of a fantasy book); 9 Plays and theater-related books, 2 Memoirs, one Horror novel, one Romance novel. My favorites were probably Hold Fast Through the Fire, by K.B. Wagers (a space opera, part of a series about a Space version of the Coast Guard), the plays Doctor Voynich and Her Children by Leanna Keyes and The Welkin by Lucy Kirkwood, and perhaps Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park with George, by James Lapine.

There were 22 new-to-me authors: 13 women; 8 men; and one non-binary person. Another way of looking at those authors: seventeen are white and five are not. Or, perhaps: 8 are white men, 8 are white women, 5 are women who aren’t white, and one is white and non-binary. I could, obviously, be misrepresenting those genders or races! Gender and race are both socially imposed, and I am using social cues, and may well be using them incorrectly.

Of the books by white male authors who I read for the first time this year, two were memoirs, four were plays and one was a book about a play. The memoirs, now that I think about it were both by people who have written for and performed in the theater, so really, seven out of the eight were theater books, of a sort. My general practice for the last several years is to only pick up a book by a white male writer I have not previously read if there is some particular recommendation or reason for it—but I am also trying to read more playscripts and theater books (which I enjoy) and, you know, there are a lot of white dudes there. On the other hand, there are only wound up reading 2 books by white dudes that I already knew, as opposed to six white women writers, two non-white women, and one writer who I think I previously had identified as a woman but who identifies as non-binary.

It’s always interesting to me that after spending years deliberately avoiding adding white male authors to my reading lists, I still read a lot of books by white male authors. Which is kinda the point, of course—I don’t want to never read another book by a white dude (although, you know, sometimes I do feel like that) but the world being what it is, putting the thumb on the scale as hard as I can only brings the numbers back to reasonable percentages.

Anyway, here’s the list:

  • The Last Smile in Sunder City, by Luke Arnold (SF)
  • Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson (SF)
  • The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill (YASF)
  • The Infinity Courts, by Akemi Dawn Bowman (YASF)
  • All About Me!, by Mel Brooks (Memoir)
  • The Beatryce Prophecy, by Kate DiCamillo (Historical/Fantasy)
  • I Was Better Last Night, by Harvey Fierstein (Memoir)
  • The Woman in the Library, by Sulari Gentill (Mystery)
  • The Witch's Heart, by Genevieve Gornichec (SF)
  • The Midnight Hour, by Elly Griffiths (Mystery)
  • In the Serpent's Wake, by Rachel Hartman (YASF)
  • Doctor Voynich and Her Children, by Leanna Keyes (Play)
  • The Welkin, by Lucy Kirkwood (Play)
  • Tiny Kushner, by Tony Kushner (Play)
  • Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park with George, by James Lapine (Theater)
  • A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee (Horror)
  • The Grace Year, by Kim Liggett (YASF)
  • Everybody's Talking about Jamie, by Tom Macrae (Play)
  • In the Heights: Finding Home, by Jeremy McCarter (Play)
  • Brilliant Adventures, by Alistair McDowall (Play)
  • X, by Alistair McDowall (Play)
  • One Last Stop, by Casey McQuiston (SF)
  • The Thief Knot, by Kate Milford (YASF)
  • Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor (YASF)
  • Overboard, by Sara Paretsky (Mystery)
  • She Who Became the Sun, by Shelley Parker-Chan (SF)
  • Geekerella, by Ashley Poston (Romance)
  • The Ivory Key, by Akshaya Raman (YASF)
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi (SF)
  • Same Time Next Year, by Bernard Slade (Play)
  • Miss Moriarty, I Presume?, by Sherry Thomas (Mystery)
  • Hold Fast Through the Fire, by K.B. Wagers (SF)
  • A Conspiracy of Kings, by Megan Whalen Turner (YASF)
  • The Dictionary of Lost Words, by Pip Williams (Historical)
  • Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao (YASF)

Ask me about any of them! Or recommend more!

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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