It's that time again to look back at what I read the previous month, and since my child is still not crawling or spending most of his time awake, I continue to do a fairly solid job in getting books read. Progress! The one link is to my one review, though in this case the review is more of a re-read commentary than it is a review. So, we're sort of making progress there but not really.
1. White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, by Diana Rowland
2. Maelstrom, by Peter Watts
3. Silence Once Begun, by Jesse Ball
4. Honor's Knight, by Rachel Bach
5. NW, by Zadie Smith (unfinished)
6. Get In Trouble, by Kelly Link
7. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
8. Razor's Edge, by Martha Wells
9. Kenobi, by John Jackson Miller
10. Stronghold, by Melanie Rawn
Best Book of the Month: Rachel Bach is killing it with her Paradox trilogy. Honor's Knight is book 2, and it has me itching for the conclusion (Heaven's Queen). I don't know quite where's she going with the series, but I love the setting, the battles, and the obstinate morality of Devi Morris. It's good stuff, nice ass kicking space opera and very much worth seeking out to read. Highly recommended.
Disappointment of the Month: I last read Zadie Smith ten years ago when On Beauty was published, and I very briefly noted then that it was the novel I had hoped Smith would write, given that I had admired her work but not fully appreciated it until then. So, even though it took three years after publication for me to attempt NW, I had very high hopes that were sadly not met. Something about the style of the novel just did not work for me, it was borderline stream of consciousness and was so jumpy and not quite pulled together in a narrative format that I could engage with or follow. Not to be too simplistic, but I suspect that if NW was written in a more conventional prose format, I would have found it much more to my taste. It just wasn't for me, and this makes me a little sad.
Discovery of the Month: None, unless discovering / rediscovering that Kelly Link's short fiction generally isn't for me counts. If I wasn't so disappointed by NW, I'd have slid Get In Trouble into that slot.
Worth Noting: So, years ago I read Yoda: Dark Rendezvous thinking that we were finally going to get a good novel focusing on Yoda. Maybe we would get some background or just some general ass kickery of the muppet flipping around with his lightsaber spitting backwards sounding wisdom. Instead, most of the novel focused on the Padawan Scout, which wouldn't have been a problem if the book was titled Scout: Dark Rendezvous. Where I'm going with this is that Kenobi is almost entirely the book I wanted Yoda to be - significantly focused on Obi Wan as he was settling onto Tatooine with the intent to watch over Luke. There is a side focus on Anileen Calwell and on a particular Tusken Raider, but unlike with the Yoda novel here it seems to build and enrich the story of Obi Wan in hiding. Here we get the struggle of Obi Wan to truly be in hiding with the greater purpose of protecting Luke while not abandoning the other principles of the Jedi Order when he could help in other ways. Kenobi is one of the stronger Star Wars novels I've read in a while. Maybe not top shelf Star Wars, but worth checking out if that sort of thing interests you.
Gender Breakdown: This month seven out of the ten books I read were written by women. This brings me to 21 out of 34 so far for the year, or 61.76%. Given that every other year in my life would have been drastically skewed in favor or significantly more men, I'm more than okay with my plan and goal to read more books written by women in 2015 than by men. So far I'm holding very well to this goal.