2020 Reading List

I read 69 books in 2020.

It’s my lowest reading count since 2011—thanks 2020.

My reading chart over the years.

Here are my top 10 fiction and top 5 non-fiction for 2020, as well as my reading stats for the year.

If you want to read more, check out my booklet 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading Again.

You can also check out my previous reading lists: 201920182017201620152014201320122011201020092008200720062005200420032002, and 2001.

2020 Reading Themes

  • COVID-19: The pandemic resulted in a brutal reading slump. I think doom scrolling and worry just made it hard to focus on a book. I eventually found a way out of it, but I’ve had to ruthlessly focus on books I really like. Sci-fi accounted for 54% of my reading (last year it was 37%, in previous years it was a third or less). Middle grade hit only 6% and no YA (more a result of my system—I did read a few, but they were also sci-fi so I classified them that way)—last year those two combined for 11% and even hit a quarter of my reading in previous years.
  • Favorites: I didn’t turn to favorite authors (a time-honored way to get through a slump), but I did track down some books I’ve been looking to read for a while, and then burned through some series, including discovering the African Immortals series by Tananarive Due (one of my top reads of the year) and the Tao/Io series by Wesley Chu.
  • Star Wars: In the aftermath of Rise of Skywalker (and watching Rebels), I read a lot of Star Wars books. As usual, none are amazing, but there are some interesting bits hers and there.

The Books I Read in 2020:

  1. Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden – 4 stars
    An interesting space drama/adventure set on board a beast that’s been harnessed as a space ship (yes, something we’ve seen in Octavia Butler and Nnedi Okorafor; I’m curious where else). It also has some interesting portrayals/explorations of gender roles.
  2. Shuri Vol. 1: The Search for Black Panther by Nnedi Okorafor, Leonardo Romero, and Jordie Bellaire – 3 stars
    It’s fun to see a book focused on Shuri, even if it doesn’t tell a complete story. The astral projection into Groot is pretty great though.
  3. Hope in the Struggle by Josie R. Johnson – 2 stars
    This is a very fact-based recitation of Josie Johnson’s life and accomplishments. While she had an incredible life and did invaluable work fighting for justice in Minnesota and beyond, I’m not sure the account lives up to the title. It’s a good historical record and helpful to see the state of my own state, but the book really doesn’t answer the questions posed in the book jacket, “Why do you continue to work on issues of justice?” and “How do you maintain hope?” The epilogue is the only place that gets close, so if you struggle with that in your reading, be sure to at least read the epilogue.
  4. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton – 2 stars
    This is like a zombie apocalypse version of Homeward Bound. It follows a domesticated crow and a dog as they set into the zombie wasteland. It has a pretty irreverent tone and is mildly funny. But the wonderful premise and the voice quickly get old and the story doesn’t feel like it goes anywhere. I probably should have quit this book, but I was halfway through when I got bored and felt like I should power through. It’s a creative idea and very inventive, but not what I was hoping for.
  5. Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer – 5 stars
    This builds off a short story the author wrote called “Cat Pictures Please,” about an AI who tries to help people, in a most wonderful way. It’s a near-future YA thriller about a girl and her mom who are always on the run and the online community the girl connects with that is run by an AI. There’s robot hackery and intrigue and mystery and nerdy jokes. I’m usually not that into YA (I’ll call this one sci-fi), and I think it helped that this one didn’t get too much into the dramatics that lately have steered me away from YA. Oh, and it has a sex ed robot that gets hacked.
  6. Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer – 4 stars
    This is a really interesting memoir and native history. But it’s written in kind of a meandering way, so it can be a little hard to follow. The author tells stories to get to his point, so he explains the story of a fishing trip to explain treaty rights. It works, but it is kind of random. I started by listening to the audiobook, but it was hard to follow and I moved on to something else. I picked up a print copy and was able to stick with that much better.
  7. Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik – 4 stars
    Fun sci-fi romp. Not quite as engaging as the first in the series, and it feels a bit derivative. But it’s still a fun read.
  8. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado – 4 stars
    This is a weirdly inventive memoir about an abusive lesbian relationship. I’m not sure I got the narrative framework where the author offered short chapters using different horror tropes—but the writing was so smooth and enticing it didn’t matter—I was hooked.
  9. Magnificent Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: Destined by Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung, Juan Vlasco, Ian Herring – 4 stars
    After a long run with G. Willow Wilson at the helm, Saladin Ahmed is now taking over Ms. Marvel. And it’s a solid first volume with a great off-world story and some new trials (and a new suit!) in Ms. Marvel’s life. Good to see this series is still going strong after the transition.
  10. Star Wars Kanan Vol 1.: The Last Padawan by Greg Weissman, Pepe Larraz, and David Curiel – 3 stars
    Re-reading the first installment in this series so I can read the second, and getting a better grasp on the Rebels series now that I’m watching that. It’s fun to go back and read these stories and get a broader sense of what’s going on.
  11. Star Wars Kanan Vol. 2: First Blood by Greg Weissman, Pepelarraz, David Curiel – 3 stars
    More story and background on Kanan from the Rebel series, and in this one, even more background on his Jedi Master. It’s fun to get a glimpse at these stories behind the movies, though nothing is earth-shattering amazing.
  12. New Kid by Jerry Craft – 3 stars
    An interesting story about belonging and finding your place, especially across class and racial lines. The story does a good job exploring micro aggressions that middle school kids can relate to.
  13. Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray – 4 stars
    A story that pre-dates the prequels and focuses on the relationship between Qui-Gonn Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s actually a pretty good story and gives us hints about the wider world of Jedi. For the real Star Wars nerds, it includes plenty about Dooku, has a very subtle mention of Maz Kanata, and has a strange section where Obi-Wan explains that Jedis would never duel to the death with a lightsaber.
  14. Rey’s Survival Guide by Jason Fry – 2 stars
    This is one of those money grab Star Wars books. I didn’t exactly have high expectations, but was wanting to know more about Rey and one of the other Force Awakens books, Before the Awakening had a really good story about Rey. This one is more of a journal with a few random stories and a couple interesting bits (the story behind her helmet and rebel pilot doll—but don’t get excited, it’s like a two-sentence story). I’m sure the kids like it (the intended audience), but it’s not exactly for me.
  15. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – 5 stars
    This is a challenging, at times frustrating, work on racism in American society. Ibram X. Kendi redefines many of our popular ideas about racism and how it works. The central idea is that an idea is either racist or antiracist—there is no middle ground. There is no “I’m not a racist” defense. We are either actively fighting racism, or we are allowing it to happen. While that creates a high calling, it also makes it easier to even talk about racism. Another central idea he advocates is that self-interest creates racism, not hatred or ignorance. That means that self-interest leads to racist policies, which lead to racist ideas to justify those policies. So stopping racism is not a matter of changing hearts and minds. It’s not about education or persuasion, it needs to start with changing policies, and the racist ideas will go away. As someone who writes for a living and often tries to persuade people with words, that’s a hard pill to swallow. Much of Kendi’s work reminds of Ta-Nehisi Coates, where I’m racing to keep up with the intellectual arguments, struggling to get my head around the new ideas and challenges to my preconceptions. It’s good, but it’s hard.
  16. Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes – 4 stars
    A poetic memoir that explores the early life of this writer. It’s a tough story, that includes an alcoholic and schizophrenic mother, rape and abuse, abandonment in the foster care system, violence, and death. Nikki Grimes clings to her writing throughout, making for a quick and powerful read.
  17. There Before the Chaos by K.B. Wagers – 3 stars
    K.B. Wagers does breakneck pace and action incredibly well. It’s what made the Indranan War series so good. She also sets up political intrigue well, but it’s just not as gripping reading. That’s what we get here in the first of the Farian War series. We’re still following Empress Hail Bristol after the events of the first series, but most of the book is long, almost dreary political setup. Nothing happens in the first hundred pages. When it does finally kick into high gear, it really kicks into gear. But it comes way, way too late. I’ll probably keep reading the series (because it did kick into gear and got really good), but you have to slog through a lot to get there.
  18. Down Among the Dead by K.B. Wagers – 3 stars
    I think this one suffers the same fate as There Before the Chaos. It’s a lot of talking and plotting and not a lot of action. The beginning section is very bleak and quite the downer, but even when it’s resolved it doesn’t exactly swing into action.
  19. A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen – 4 stars
    Four stars might be a little generous for this one as it wasn’t as gripping as I’d hoped. But I’m a sucker for a good post-apocalyptic story. This is a unique one, because though the world has lost 70% of the population to a virus, it’s not total chaos. It follows a few different people trying to put their lives back together in the aftermath. That alone makes it a compelling entry in the genre. More family, less Mad Max. (Reading it during the corona virus outbreak is also a little bizarre.)
  20. Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi – 2 stars
    This book had an interesting premise and I started out liking it, but it felt like it didn’t go anywhere.
  21. The Walking Dead: Typhoon by Wesley Chu – 4 stars
    A story from the Walking Dead universe, but set in China. The new setting was a fresh take on the series, and interestingly the story had little to do with the zombies. Obviously they were there and defining the action, but the story was completely focused on the people. The TV show certainly does that as well, but this seemed to de-emphasize the zombies more. Not a bad thing, but if you’re looking for zombie action, not a lot here. The human angle was good though, plenty of gripping action.
  22. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal – 5 stars
    What a lovely little story. It has a rough start (and chapter 3 is hard to get through), but it’s a wonderful ode to the Upper Midwest and our cuisine (complete with Lutheran church bars). Books that can capture the taste of food are always a treat, and this one certainly does.
  23. This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work by Tiffany Jewell – 3 stars
    A book to help young people understand racism and what they can do about it. While it doesn’t pull any punches and dives pretty deep into justice work, it still serves as a good introduction, taking time to explain terms and how/why they’re used.
  24. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke – 3 stars
    A murder mystery novel that plays on race in rural Texas. There were moments when the story pulled me in and I was hooked, but then there were stumbles where it lost the thread and I started losing interest. It was kind of a frustrating read overall, shifting between addictive reading and bumbling along.
  25. The Happiness Playlist: The True Story of Healing My Heart With Feel-Good Music by Mark Mallman – 4 stars
    A quirky little memoir from musician Mark Mallman as he seeks to overcome grief after his mother’s death. His writing style is pretty random, but it’s also full of surprisingly little joys. (Also fun to see people I know in the acknowledgments—go Carolyn Swiszcz!)
  26. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg – 4 stars
    This is a collection of Greta Thunberg’s speeches. There’s a lot of overlap and you start to read the same arguments again and again (i.e., stump speech). But it’s pretty powerful stuff. She has a very direct style.
  27. The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark – 4 stars
    A short book set in a steampunk Cairo, it’s a quick and satisfying read. It kept moving at a good pace and gave enough detail without getting too bogged down in the alternate history.
  28. The Ones We’ve Been Waiting for: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter – 5 stars
    This book fabulously documents the rise of millennials in American politics and pinpoints the cultural moments that had an impact on this new generation of policymakers and leaders. It’s a quick read and fabulously detailed, not necessarily offering a profile of each millennial leader, but more showcasing those cultural moments.
  29. If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie by Christopher Ingraham – 4 stars
    An east coast journalist who specializes in data writes a quick story that declares Red Lake Falls, Minnesota the worst place to live in America—based on the data. He gets called out by residents, visits the town, and ultimately moves there with his family. It’s an interesting story about what we value and how we live, though it feels a bit like a glorified magazine article.
  30. The Heart of Valor by Tanya Huff – 3 stars
    More of Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr and a mission that falls apart. This one was a little less engaging as the details were slowly revealed. Still, for quick-paced action it’s pretty decent.
  31. A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump by David Plouffe – 2 stars
    In terms of helpful advice on how to get involved in presidential politics, this has all the relevant details. In terms of being an engaging read that offers new ideas and fresh inspiration—meh.
  32. A History of the Future by James Howard Kunstler – 4 stars
    In the midst of the COVID-19 shutdown, I turned to some post-apocalyptic fiction, which is admittedly a weird choice. I thought I hadn’t read this one, but I guess I had. I think I liked it better the second time around, though it does seem to come to a fairly sudden conclusion. It has a nice, relaxed style, with mostly short chapters (makes for easy reading during this time).
  33. The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu – 3 stars
    This sequel took me a little while to get into, mostly because I read the original several years back and had a hard time remembering what was what. Overall this series has a fascinating premise, and it was interesting getting back into the world. Chu keeps a quick pace going, so even though it took me a little while to get into it, it was still a quick read.
  34. The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley – 4 stars
    A sci-fi military story that has echoes of Starship Trooper, though the dangers are much closer to home. It has a fascinating time travel element as well. It’s a bit of a head scratcher if you can stick with it, but overall it feels fresh and engaging.
  35. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger – 4 stars
    A Minnesota odyssey following a group of orphan kids running from trouble and trying to find themselves. It takes place during the Great Depression and touches on a lot of interesting topics. It was engaging, but not as good as Ordinary Grace.
  36. Voyage of the Dogs by Greg Van Eekhout – 4 stars
    A middle grade space adventure about dogs lost in space. It’s got a good voice and pace. Short and sweet.
  37. 47 by Walter Mosley – 3 stars
    A sci-fi-ish tall tale from the days of slavery. It’s an interesting read. Reminds me a bit of some of the more recent works from Colson Whitehead and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  38. Network Effect by Martha Wells – 5 stars
    I could read about the Murderbot all day. This one had a couple slow moments as it’s a much longer self-contained story compared to the series of novellas that precedes it. But it’s still good stuff.
  39. Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland – 4 stars
    This continuation of the Dread Nation story takes zombies during the Civil War era and fully embraces the Old West. It’s fun to follow the characters again and see where things go, though if you’re not coming fresh from Dread Nation it feels a bit like floundering for a while to remember who is who. It feels a little long too, but I think by the end its worth it (the length made me feel like 3 stars, but the way it ended pushed me to 4 stars).
  40. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin – 4 stars
    This is a fascinating bit of fantasy. It was new and different and pretty engaging, though it also felt long. I mostly chalk that up to the pandemic where I just haven’t been as drawn to reading as I normally am. Jemisin’s books tend to be pretty meaty and require some attention. I’m not sure if this one is that meaty (it honestly felt easier to follow than some of her other work), but I still had a harder time getting through it. It’s also the first in a series, though it does a pretty good job of offering a singular story.
  41. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey – 5 stars
    The cover says, “Are you a coward or are you a librarian?” What more do you need to know? This is an Old West throwback set in a future dystopia, which makes for a fascinating setting—but don’t get too excited because it’s mostly background. But it’s a fun, quick story. It’s kind of exactly what I want to read right now in the midst of this dumb pandemic. Some quick escapism with a good story (though it does have some deeper themes).
  42. Navigate Your Stars by Jesmyn Ward – 4 stars
    This is another in the line of graduation speeches turned books, so it’s a quick read with some good illustration. Mostly it’s Jesmyn Ward’s story of what education meant to her, how it started out as the thing that answers everything but she learned that it requires more than that. It’s a good perspective for graduates as well as writers.
  43. Deal With the Devil by Kit Rocha – 4 stars
    A post-apocalyptic adventure with a dose of romance, this is a fun read. Unfortunately, the series title, “Mercenary Librarians,” feels a bit misleading as there weren’t enough books in my opinion. But plenty of augmented-human action and adventure, so that’s fun.
  44. Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone – 3 stars
    The Black Panther’s little sister is perhaps one of the most compelling characters from the Black Panther movie, so it’s fun to see titles that focus on Shuri. This story feels more like the comic book world than the movie world (there are plots and storylines that differ from the movie… I assume they line up better with the comic book). It’s fun seeing Shuri at work, but it’s got a slow build and a villain that doesn’t really materialize until the very end. Which makes it a little harder to get into.
  45. Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren by Charles Souley, Will Sliney – 2 stars
    This is the story of the Knights of Ren? Meh. A lot times when they try to fill in the holes it’s just not as satisfying as you want it to be. That’s definitely the case here. We get a few interesting glimpses and details, but mostly it’s overwrought emotions and not enough detail and connection to care.
  46. Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America by Stacey Abrams – 4 stars
    As a white male in Minnesota, I sure take voting for granted. I’ve never been questioned, challenged, or had any even the slightest burden or obstacle to keep from voting. Sadly, that’s not the case everywhere. Stacey Abrams’ story reads like stuff happening in the 1960s and earlier. It’s horrifying that we have to keep fighting these same battles, but it’s also so inspiring that Abrams keeps on fighting. Her run for Georgia governor, while technically a losing campaign, has inspired so much more.
  47. The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey – 5 stars
    I love a good post-apocalyptic yarn, and I haven’t read one in a while. This far-future story has one of those weird dialect things you have to get used to, but after a few pages I slipped right into the voice and it just flowed. I had a hard time putting it down. My only complaint is having to wait for the full series to come out.
  48. Telephone by Percival Everett – 4 stars
    Percival Everett is a fascinating writer with an incredible turn of phrase and a very understated sensibility. I often read his work feeling like I’m enjoying it on one level, but also missing things on an entirely different level. Turns out that’s literally the case with this book as he actually wrote three different versions of the novel. They were all published and released without much fanfare, kind of an experiment to see what happens when people encountered different versions (what!?). The story overall is sad and the ending (at least my version) felt a little abrupt. I’m curious how the other versions ended, but seeking them out now (in the midst of COVID-19) would be a challenge.
  49. The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson – 4 stars
    Fascinating sci-fi story that dives into parallel dimensions and the multiverse. Unique and fun and gripping.
  50. Famous Men Who Never Lived by K Chess – 4 stars
    Reading two parallel dimension books in a row is kind of weird. The Space Between Worlds posited a few hundred worlds, but Famous Men Who Never Lived chronicles just two. As one world faces destruction, about 150,000 people are able to escape into a wormhole to an unknown other world. It turns out to be almost the same, except for a divergence that began around 1910. So these 150,000 people remember a history that didn’t happen, including all aspects of culture and technology. Some things are the same, but others are radically different. It’s a fascinating setup, and a gripping journey as we follow some of the characters struggling as refugees in a new dimension.
  51. The Trials of Koli by M.R. Carey – 5 stars
    This second installment of the Rampart Trilogy is perhaps better than the first. The action and pacing seems to be better, and we get even more radical glimpses into this new world. It’s helped with the addition of Spinner’s story, where we get to see what happened back in Mythen Rood, both before and after Koli’s departure. It’s a fun world with great characters. Can’t wait for the final installment.
  52. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – 4 stars
    Interesting first contact story, though it’s really more about fame and social media. Some fascinating moments, though we also have to deal with a flawed main character who makes some cringe-worthy decisions.
  53. Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik – 4 stars
    The third and final chapter in this series is a fast-paced, fun romp, much like the other two installments in the series. And that’s maybe the biggest downfall. While following different characters in each installment is a nice twist, the characters are remarkably similar and it starts to feel like I’ve read this before. That’s not helped by years between each reading where things blur together (so it’s probably not as bad as I’m thinking). That’s a minor complaint that probably keeps this from being a favorite, but it’s still a fun read. Once the book hit the second half, I couldn’t put it down.
  54. The Last Emperox by John Scalzi – 4 stars
    A fun conclusion to this series, though it’s hard to remember where all the pieces are. Kind of wish I read it all together.
  55. From a Certain Point of View: Empire Strikes Back by Various – 4 stars
    This short story collection isn’t nearly as good as the original, though that’s a high bar to meet. This one has a couple really good stories. The best stories in a collection like this are the ones that suck you in but also give glimpses into Star Wars lore. Mike Chen’s “Disturbance” with a vision from the Emperor is pretty great. As is Brittany N. Williams’ story about L3 and the Millennium Falcon in “Faith in an Old Friend.” Some of the stories get a little disconnected, trying to fill in gaps too far flung from the source material (the same type of stories that didn’t work well in the original). The result is 40 stories is probably a few too many. But the couple of gems are worth it.
  56. Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainer Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks – 4 stars
    How can you go wrong with a title like that? It takes a little while to get going, but once it kicks into gear it’s a pretty fun read.
  57. We Are Called to Be a Movement by William J. Barber II – 4 stars
    A stirring sermon for a moral movement in politics.
  58. Magic Is for Liars by Sarah Gailey – 4 stars
    (I can’t actually remember when I read this, but it got skipped in my list so I’m adding it now.) A fun, Harry Potter world murder mystery.
  59. My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due – 5 stars
    The story of an immortal among mortals, this story just unfolds effortlessly, making it a joy to read. It’s creep and interesting and surprising. It also reminds me of Octavia Butler in multiple ways. It’s good stuff. I’m curious to read the sequels, though I’m always a little frustrated by books that spawn spinoffs and wonder how much better it could have been if it ended in a single chapter. Though this one does seem to stand nicely on its own and, at least at this point, doesn’t need to continue on.
  60. The Regional Office Is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales – 5 stars
    A fun and self-indulgent story about an attack on a secret organization bent on saving the world. Yeah, it’s over-the-top and a little tongue-in-cheek, but it’s written in a wonderful style that reminds me a little of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (not as zany, more wry and distant). It jumps back and forth in time and between characters, so it can be a lot to follow, but they author does a great job keeping the chapters short and making it pretty easy to follow along. My only complaint (spoiler alert) is that there aren’t a lot of answers in the end. It feels a bit like a wonderful setup that doesn’t go anywhere. I almost dropped it to four stars because of that, but it’s too enjoyable of a read for that.
  61. The Rebirths of Tao by Wesley Chu – 4 stars
    It’s fun seeing this series shift gears, with Tao moving to a teenager. It’s more fast action fun, though it is a little grinding trying to remember what happened in the previous installments.
  62. The Rise of Io by Wesley Chu – 4 stars
    This is kind of a reboot of the Tao series, though I think you could skip that series and still know what’s going on—though there is a lot of backstory that it helps to know. It follows new characters—a new Quasing and a new host—though some old friends show up as well. It’s similar to the Tao series in that Ella accidentally falls into the world just like Roen, but it’s bit better in that she gets to remain herself, somewhat. It’s fast paced and fun. Enough of a stand alone story, though it does set up a sequel as well.
  63. The Living Blood by Tananarive Due – 4 stars
    The second chapter in Tananarive Due’s African Immortals series, this one takes a bit longer to get going, but once it does it’s a pretty fun ride. This installment focused a bit less on the immortals themselves, which felt like the real draw of the opener. But it did go bigger and deeper, so I guess that’s what you want.
  64. The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures by Noelle Stevenson – 4 stars
    An interesting glimpse into the life of Noelle Stevenson, creator of Nimona and the reboot of She-ra. In some ways it’s just fawning over her work (she has some great examples in the book—the Lord of the Rings drawings are the best), but it’s also an interesting look at faith, the creative process, figuring out who you are, and taking care of yourself.
  65. I Know This to Be True: Simone Biles by Geoff Blackwell – 3 stars
    An interesting book series of interviews with famous people. Some good lines from Simone Biles on how she approaches her work.
  66. Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor – 3 stars
    A middle grade super hero story, where a boy is given special powers to avenge his father’s death, but he has to learn to control the powers and not them overwhelm him. It’s a quick read and the Nigerian setting is a unique shift. It’s maybe not as captivating as other books by Nnedi Okorafor.
  67. The Sacrifice of Darkness by Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynn Oliver, Rebecca Kirby – 2 stars
    There’s some interesting allegory going on here, something about society keeping people down and casting generational blame, but the sci-fi elements didn’t hit the right notes for me. Why did the miner fly into the sun? That action never felt properly explained, which kind of leaves the whole story at a loss. Feels like I’m missing the allegorical point here.
  68. Blood Colony by Tananarive Due – 4 stars
    The third installment in the African Immortals series. It’s fascinating how this series keeps jumping ahead and still keeps things fresh and interesting. Just like before, it took a little while for things to get going, but then it jumped into gear and was a fast-paced thrill ride. Great story. Can’t wait to read the next installment and see how things end.
  69. Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga by Rainbow Rowell, Sam Maggs, Gabi Nam – 4 stars
    A fun and breezy graphic novel adaptation of Rainbow Rowell’s wonderful Fangirl. This is just the first installment, so it’s not the whole story, but it’s a great start. I’m not sure how it would read to someone who doesn’t know Fangirl—seems like it’s breezing through some details—but as a fan of the book it feels like it’s hitting the right points and translating pretty well to a visual medium.

Again, if you want to read more, check out my booklet 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading Again.

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