Reality is Hard and Other Stuff I liked in August, 2020

Yup, I am now one of those people who share not only what they write, but what they read, too. I’ll aim for a roundup per month, but… no promises! Please note that none of the links here are affiliates. I’m just a simple writer/reader, trying to make my way… you get the idea.

In August, 2020, I mostly read fiction. When I say mostly, I mean sometimes more than a book a day. Good times.

Non-fiction

Asking for Advice is Hard Because Accepting Reality is Hard by Penelope Trunk

I hate this type of anti-trolling—but I loved this post. It’s about writing, written by a person who’s both a non-fiction author and a writing mentor. This blog in general got me through a really bad time in life some time ago, so it’s no wonder I got back to it in 2020. Check at your own risk. (Do.)

The Danger of Minimalism by Christopher Konecik

This article has (almost) nothing to do with writing, but a lot with the situation many of us find ourselves in this year. As a part of a generation which was supposed to find work pretty soon after the recession of 2008+, I started reading about minimalism back in college. And I still read about it. I love it. It’s helped me do a lot, not just bring my bookshelf in order a few years ago. (I’m both a librarian, a writer and a hoarder. And there’s only so much space I can afford in our place which is not dedicated to cosplay supplies.) And then there’s this article. And it’s not wrong. Nor completely right. All in all, food for thought.

Fiction

I pounded through the most recent two books in the Hollow Folk/Flint&Tinder serials by Gregory Ashe, and the first two in his Borealis Investigation series. I’m currently procrastinating over the third one, because it was a bit too heavy for the last few days of my summer vacation. Oh, and I read the recent Hazard&Somerset, which will always remain my first true love. The author writes some of the best queer fiction I’ve ever read, has awesome ships and tackles seriously heavy subjects on a regular basis. His books have quickly become a one-click purchase for me, and I can only be grateful he’s writing as much as he is! (He’s also self published, which is, like, an unbelievably important lesson for me right there.) The book I’d recommend everyone started with is the first Hazard&Somerset (my partner still laughs at the name Hazard every time I tell her about them, which is, ummm, often), Pretty Pretty Boys, although the first Borealis Investigation, Orientation, is pretty awesome, too.

Since a friend has announced the creation of a local The 100 inspired larp for sometime in the next two years, and I was on vacation anyway, I went and read the first two books which inspired the show, by Kass Morgan. That was… a wild ride. I’m currently idling the third book, just because I’ve had my fucking share of being annoyed by all-too-realistic interpersonal cruelty and stupidity by the characters. Mostly the bad side. The books are pretty different from the show, and I was surprised to find they were crueler in some ways, too. I’m not sure I would’ve managed to get through them even as far as I did if I didn’t love the first two seasons of the show as much as I did, back in the day. And yes… one of the other relevant reasons I’ve finally started reading them this summer was a re-read marathon of a massive Bellarke fic I love.

A Cold Day for Murder, an Alaskan mystery by Dana Stabenow, was another lovely summer read this year. As a longtime mystery fan, even though I can spend months without reading a single crime title at times, I love my mystery reads to have one of two things (novels which overlap the two are the best, but not everyone’s Laurie R. King): a killer main ship and/or a great, immersive (and informative) setting. This novel, the first in a long-running series I’ll probably go back to pretty soon, is heavy on the latter, accompanied by a funny and awesomely cunning MC. The mystery was a bit on the light side, but enjoyable nonetheless. I do recommend!

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And Introducing…

I didn’t necessarily read this one during August, but I sure did check it over for the final few grammar errors and formatting hiccups. And here it finally is: Decameron 2020: Priče iz karantene, the Croatian edition of the collection of short stories which my partner, our friend and I worked on collecting during the lockdown in Croatia in the Spring of 2020. There are 52 stories in it, all over the place genre-wise, and the important info is that a) it’s completely free to download, here or here, and b) the English version is currently being developed, and it’ll probably be available in early October. Bwahahhaa. (I’m still extremely proud of this little editorial endeavour I had the privilege of participating in. Stay tuned for more!)

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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash.