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Whatcha Reading? July 2021, Part Two

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http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/bigstock-Beautiful-English-Style-Garden-247182262-e1556806933227.jpgWelcome back! We’re wrapping up July with our second Whatcha Reading of the month!

Shana: I’m reading Jasmine Guillory’s latest, While We Were Dating. ( A | BN | K ) So far, it might be my favorite of hers. The mental help rep seems strong and I adore the cinnamon roll meets playboy hero. I hope I love the ending as much as I’m enjoying the beginning!
I also just finished the ebook of the AI Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole, ( A ) which was fucking fabulous. So it’s been a solid reading week so far.

Carrie: I’m reading Outlawed by Anna North because of Tara’s review. Loving it. feminist Westerns with some kind of speculative fiction angle seem to be my new jam.

The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting
A | K | AB
Elyse: Shana, I just started While We We’re Dating as well. So far I’m enjoying it.

Shana: Yay, book twins!

Claudia: I had a string of bad ones and decided to go for one of my “break glass” books, one I had been saving: The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting by KJ Charles. It’s working great so far and I’m enjoying it.

Susan: I’m up to volume nine of The Water Dragon’s Bride, ( A | BN | K ) and I don’t think I was ready for the emotional roller coaster this series has taken me on!

AJ: I just broke my phone, which broke my reading slump sort of by default because this brain does not like to sit still! I picked up a whole stack of books and immediately devoured Black Water Sister by Zen Cho. ( A | BN | K | AB ) It’s contemporary fantasy set in Malaysia and I loved it, there are so many layers of meaning. Definitely re-readable.

Catherine: I am currently reading all of Lucy Parker’s books one after another, because I was recommending comfort reads to someone and realised I hadn’t reread Act Like It in ages. Loving them as much as ever.

Donut Fall in Love
A | BN | K
I also just finished So We Meet Again by Suzanne Park, ( A | BN | K ) which was a fun childhood-nemeses-to-lovers read and will make you hungry specifically for Korean food. Highly recommended.

Lara: After a few really awful ARCs, I needed a palate cleanser, so I’ve returned to my old faithful: the Kate Shugak series. I’m reading Dana Stabenow’s Play with Fire ( A | BN | K ) and it is everything I need right now: a female investigator who takes no BS.

Sneezy: I’ve started listening to the audiobook What’s Your Pronoun by Dennis Baron, ( A | BN | K | AB ) and I like how he notes the importance of familiarity and what ‘feels’ right, and what grammar people argue over. Right now I’m slightly iffy on how race being handled, but I’ve just started, so let’s see what happens

Romance wise, I’m reading Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau and HNNNNNNG!! The tender and honest showing of grief! The food! A woman taking pride in her work! I’m only in the beginning and I love it I love it I love it! It’s coming out in October, everyone go get your preorders on!

Tara: Unfortunately, I had to bail on the latest romance I’ve been reading because it was boring and had a stalker side plot, which I always hate.

How the Word is Passed
A | BN | K
I’ve had better luck in audio books, because I just finished Work Won’t Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe, ( A | BN | K | AB ) which is excellent. I thought it would have advice on how to create better boundaries with work, but it actually goes into the various histories and conditions that have led to overwork in different fields like teaching, retail, tech, and sports. Very interesting, often angering.

Kiki: I’ve had a whole bunch of false starts with my romance reading lately, so I’m listening to How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith which is so, so excellent and beautifully researched and beautifully written. Smith travelled around the US to historical and cultural sites and explored how places like Monticello and the Whitney Plantation and Angola Prison are teaching and sharing history, or willfully misremembering it. (As an aside: Clint Smith was also super nice when I met him briefly like four years ago! I asked him advice as someone who was finishing undergrad and maybe thinking about getting a PhD and he recommended doing/exploring other things first and I honor that advice everyday by continuing to not go to grad school.

Sarah: You want me to forward you a mind-blowing first part to a series on predatory Masters programs as moneymakers for unis?

Claudia: Oh goodness some of those programs are boondoggles at best… the WSJ struck a nerve recently writing about the Columbia film school and its multi-year MFA program that costs hundreds of thousands and usually takes you nowhere.

Kiki: Oof yes Sarah, I would love it.

Sarah: The Master’s Trap

That’s the first of three she is writing about predatory programs.

What have you read this month? Tell us all about it!

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