Sapphic Books Recommendations Part 3

Hello readers!

I’m finally back with part 3! After I’ve read 10-15 Sapphic books, I like to gather them into one post so as to make it easy for people to find recommendations, especially as I tend to read a variety of genres. Although Sapphic books are talked about a lot more nowadays, there is still this myth that “there aren’t any good F/F / Sapphic stories”, so it’s important for me to show that you can find amazing Sapphic books in any genre, if you care to look for it. In today’s post there is a nice mix of classic lit, fantasy, sci-fi, literary fiction and essays. Curiously, there are no romances this time around – I clearly need to pick up a few more of those.

You can see the other parts of this here:

Sapphic Books Recommendations Part 1
Sapphic Books Recommendations Part 2

Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart is a rather popular new adult fantasy with several main characters, including a F/F couple and it has bone magic, politics, twists and drama, and it reads almost (but not quite) like YA, so it’s a great book if you’re looking for an entertaining read with a very cool magic system and charming characters, this is for you! This was just a little bit too generic for me, but at the same time it was very fun to read and I think most readers will really enjoy it!

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu is a classic that precedes Dracula by Bram Stoker, and inspired it. It tells the story of a young woman who unknowingly houses a vampire, who is attracted to her. It’s an interesting book, a quick read and keeps you guessing on whether they’ll end up together or if Carmilla will kill her. What else do you need?

They Never Learn by Layne Fargo is the indulgent revenge fantasy with Sapphics that you need in your life. A smart, sexy Professor has been killing horrible men for years, but now she’s in danger of getting caught as she falls in love with her next victim’s ex-wife. If you love a femme fatale story, this is a really fun one!

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The Best Books I Read in 2020 (All Genres)

Hello readers!

As usual, some books were really hard to categorize as one thing or another, and some categories were so difficult to narrow down to 3 books! I read dozens of thrillers and mysteries, whereas classic fiction I read maybe 5 a year, so it’s much easier to choose only 3. I also change the categories every year a little bit, in order to reflect my reading trends of that particular year – for example, if I read a bunch of new authors (more than 1 book by them, that is), I like to include a Best New-To-Me Authors, which I didn’t do this year, but I did include a Best Brazilian Books & Best Translated Fiction, since I’ve been reading lots of both this year, and also added more Non-Fiction categories.

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Contemporary Fiction

Funnily enough, none of the books below were 5 star reads, but they were still favorites that I LOVED and want to re-read. Also they all broke my heart. Breasts and Eggs was witty, smart and insightful into the lives of women in Japan; Little Gods made me fall in love with the main character just to break my heart; and My Dark Vanessa is one of the most complicated, dark books out there and deserves recognition for all the nuance and sensitivity with which the author wrote about its heavy themes.

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami / Review

Little Gods by Meng Jin / Review

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell / Review

Historical Fiction

A really strong year for historical fiction! I loved all three books below, although I admit they’re mostly bleak stuff, all three are wonderfully written. How We Disappeared shines a light on the fate of Singaporean women who were kidnapped and forced to serve as “comfort women” to Japanese troops – it’s also not as difficult a read as I thought it would be, the author mixed a bit of mystery in which made this not as hard. I knew I would love The Mirror and the Light and so it was not a surprise when I did – this is such a worthy ending to the wonderful trilogy of Thomas Cromwell. The Mercies broke my heart in a million pieces with its story about witch hunting in 17th century Norway, love, suspicion and loss.

How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee / Review

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel / Review

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave / Review

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30 Books I Loved in My 30 Years (Birthday Post)

Hello readers,

I just turned 30! I thought it would be a fun trip down memory lane to take a look at the books that helped shape who I am today and how my reading tastes changed over the years. This is a rather long post, but I am indulging myself this one time.

First I’ll start with my favorite childhood books! I’ve read a lot since I can remember, with my parents also being big readers and my little sister, too. We spent countless Summers at my grandmother’s house reading all the books we could put our dirty little hands on.

I was tending towards fantasy back then, which is still one of my favorite genres nowadays! I also read a lot of comics (hundreds of the Turma da Mônica, for sure).

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A Game, a Movie, a Book: Themed Days Ideas for What to Do at Home This Vacation

Hello readers!

Welcome to A Game, a Movie, a Book, in which Clio and I collaborate once again because there’s a pandemic, we’re bored and too creative for our own good. So we came up with ideas of what to do during the long Winter days while we’re all encouraged to stay home!

The idea is to spend a full day, or a big chunk of your day, immersed in the theme of your choice, exploring it through different media and different points-of-view. You can choose to do it in a more light and entertaining way (Whodunits! Italian Food! Wine!) or in a more cultural/educational sense (Victorian times! Ancient Rome! Jane Austen!). The beauty of this is that all you need is creativity: you can choose to go all in and wear costumes, prepare special food, perhaps decorate a room, convince your partner/friends/family (do remember to be pandemic-responsible!) or you can simply sit down by yourself and spend the day having nerdy fun.

The premise is simple: choose a game, a movie, a book and spend a day playing, watching and reading! This works especially well if you have someone at home with you, but also works if you live alone, or if you can do this online. We’re focusing here on board games (because it’s Clio’s Board Games, not Clio’s Whatever Games), but you can of course choose a videogame or whatever you like. We have selected three ideas to inspire you, and if you like this post, we can give more ideas on future posts (we know you’re wondering about the Italian Food theme). We’re all stuck at home this Christmas, might as well have fun with it!

Space

Space travel is one of the most exciting things to happen in real life and it captures people’s imaginations for a good reason: it’s beautiful, mysterious and full of possibility. To add a little something extra to a space-themed day, you can check out Pinterest for food ideas, download a star-gazing app (we like this one) and attempt to spot the ISS, do a virtual tour on space museums (like this one), plus choose whether to focus more on science fiction or non-fiction. It’s such a fascinating and versatile theme!

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Non-Fiction Recommendations: From an adventurous Antarctic expedition to scandal in Silicon Valley

Hello readers!

November has just started and a lot of us realize at this point we’ve been reading lots of fiction all year and would like to catch up with something different. I particularly enjoy Non-Fiction November because it makes me realize all the books that have been on my radar sometimes for years but I haven’t picked up because I’m normally more focused on recent fiction releases, plus it’s a great opportunity to hype amazing books I haven’t recommended often enough.

I realize that since I read so much more fiction than nonfic, most of the books below are no news to most of you, but I’m hoping something will spark your interest – I’ve separated the books by theme and offered a few different options on each, depending on what you like to read. I’m hoping on future recommendation posts to add some books on feminism and more biographies. Let me know in the comments your favorite recent nonfic read!

First I’m selecting here some books that I can only describe as “history but make it thrilling“, starting with The Endurance by Caroline Alexander, telling the story of Shackleton’s disastrous/heroic Antarctic expedition during WWI times. It’s full of photos, which I really enjoy. Next we have one of my favorite topics to read about, Space Race by Deborah Cadbury. It has everything: space, geniuses, political drama, things exploding. I don’t love von Braun’s charecterization here, but it’s still a great book! And last, one of the best books I’ve read in my life: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe tells a true story of murder in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. It’s intriguing, intense and so humane, a very good introduction for those who don’t know much about the conflict.

I also loved The Calculus Wars by Jason Bardi several years ago and I’m looking forward to reading a biography of von Braun (which I’m hoping is a more sober portrait).

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Final Thoughts on the Women’s Prize Squad Longlist (Book Blogger Edition)

Hello readers!

In April, the lovely, brilliant bloggers CallumEmilyHannahMarijaRachelSarahSteph and I came up with the Women’s Prize for Fiction SQUAD Longlist as an alternative to the original Women’s Prize longlist, which has left us underwhelmed. It was a very spontaneous decision as we discussed all the books we wished had made it, and it was fun to come up with books we would’ve chosen instead. To no one’s surprise, a longlist we chose ourselves was far more enjoyable to read. Obviously we are biased because of our somewhat similar tastes, so of course this is not a serious list and neither did we put a whole lot of effort into it. If we decide to do this again next year, we’ll make sure it’s far more diverse!

Here were our choices:

I have now finished reading all of them, and have some thoughts. First of all, this was an exciting list, and thank you to everyone for making me read some of my favorite books this year. I was looking forward to reading the entire list and this is the main difference to me between this one and the one from the original Prize this year: it was actually exciting.

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Halloween Reading Recommendations (2020 Edition)

Hello readers!

Every year I like to come up with a list of creepy or atmospheric reads to read in October, when the days become colder and darker in the northern hemisphere, and it hypes me up for Halloween. This year a lot of us will be staying home for that, and I think it’s a great opportunity to consider doing a readathon of great October reads! I also added a few not scary recommendations, because I know some people would like to join a Halloween-themed readathon but hate spooky reads, or simply need a break from horror.

You can get a few more ideas from my October TBRs:

Halloween Reading Plans (2020 Edition)

My Halloween-themed TBR for October, 2019 Edition

My October 2018 Spooky TBR

If you like supernatural horror & mystery

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

Something unspeakable has happened to sisters July and September.

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Sapphic Books Recommendations Part 2

Hello readers!

I was going to take a while longer to post this when I had around 30 books like on Part 1, but it’s Sapphic September and I thought it would be timely to post it now.

I did include in this list some books I decided not to finish or weren’t particularly of my taste, because it occurred to me that these books weren’t for me but could be another reader would actually enjoy them!

You can read other parts of this series here:

Sapphic Books Recommendations Part 1

Other recommendations and lists here:

Upcoming F/F Books On My Radar

February Wrap Up incl. what I read for #FFFeb + March Reading Plans W9/2020

#FFFeb TBR and Recommendations

If you liked this book, try this F/F book!

Top 10 F/F Books on my TBR

My Favorite F/F Book by Genre

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kept animals kate milliken snare lilja sigurdardottir exciting times noise dolan

Kept Animals by Kate Milliken

If you love coming-of-age stories and don’t mind getting your heart broken, this is such a beautiful story of a girl named Rory, whose life is turned upside down when an accident happens, ending in death and so much pain. The lives of everyone in the town are affected by it, and as Rory starts riding her beloved horse competitively and falling in love with Vivian, catastrophic events are set in motion. This was one of the best representations of relationships, love and hurt that I’ve seen, and it was bleak but also warm and beautiful. Continue reading

Latinx Books to Read Instead of American Dirt

Hello readers!

Around the same time that American Dirt (in case you don’t know: that’s an infamous “immigration thriller” by a white author who misrepresents Mexican culture and stereotypes immigrants) started hitting Bestseller lists, I picked up Dominicana by Angie Cruz, a story about a young woman marrying an older man because of her family’s dream to move to the US, a shortlisted book to the Women’s Prize for Fiction. It was incredibly frustrating.

I am tired of seeing Latinx books that get attention and international readership for displaying Latinx pain, and portraying the US as a safe haven, land of freedom, the happiest ending any Latin American could wish for – and it’s even worse that American Dirt is not even written by a Latinx author, whereas in Dominicana at least the writing was really good and sensitive, even if I disliked the book.

So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a list of Latinx books I recommend instead!

It was not that easy to come up with this list, because most of the Latinx books I read are in Portuguese and not many are translated into English, so I spent more time looking into translated-to-English books as well. I originally wanted to post this months ago.

When I write “Translated” in the list below, I mean: this was originally written in Portuguese/Spanish and there is a translation into English available.

I also have already a post on some recommendations of Brazilian books and one focused on my project of reading more Latinx books:

My Favorite Brazilian Books Translated to English + 1 Written in English

Reading Latinx Books Project with @cbookrambling

Without further ado, here are 15 books I recommend:

Latinx Books Recommendations

one hundred years of solitude gabriel garcia marquez gods of jade and shadow silvia moreno-garcia in the dream house carmen maria machado

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez / Colombian, Classical Fiction, Magical Realism, Translated

Starting with a well-known and beloved one! This beautiful family saga is peppered with magical realism and is so gorgeously written, so full of sorrow, loneliness and broken people, it’s easy to lose yourself into the story, although it’s perhaps not as easy to keep the characters apart, whose names are very similar. Still, this is one of my favorite classics!

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia / Review Mexican, Fantasy

This reads very much like a fairy tale; it’s set in Mexico, where Mayan gods still exist and is full of adventure and a romance subplot. Moreno-Garcia has a few books out, including one thriller with sharks and an upcoming Gothic horror. She writes such interesting stories!

In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado / Review / American-Cuban, Memoir

This is a fantastic memoir, uniquely told in several chapters, each in a different style from a different fictional genre. It’s the perfect book for fiction readers who want to broaden their reading with some non-fiction and are worried about boring writing. It tells the author’s real experience with an abusive Sapphic relationship and it’s brilliant. Continue reading