#FridayReads: July 14

Welcome to another week of Friday Reads! We’ve got a pretty packed Saturday, but I’m determined to get some reading time. Peter works Saturday morning, so I’m planning to spend those hours with a book.

31702777 Last week, I was just starting Queen of Swords by R.S. Belcher. I finished it this week and Oh. My. God. This is my absolute favorite of the three books in the Golgotha series, and may be my favorite Belcher yet. Maude is such a fantastic character, and Belcher does such a good job of writing complexity into his characters. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, since it is tied to the previous Golgotha books, but I will say that the cast of characters is filled with amazing bad ass women (which I always love) and the perfect amount of otherworldly drama and adventure. If you are up for a dark, occasionally violent, weird western plus some, I can’t recommend this series, and this book in particular, highly enough.

Now that I’ve finished Queen of Swords, and am getting close to the end of Ancillary Justice, I get to pick a new book to start my weekend! As of this post, I actually haven’t decided what I’m going to turn to next. I think I’ll pick up a mystery/thriller/murder novel…it’s been a while since I’ve read a good murder story. If you’re interested in what I picked up, go check us out on Twitter or Instagram! I’ll be posting about my current Friday read there.

If you want more Game & Read, follow us on social media and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: July 7

Happy Friday!

After a few weeks of being in a reading slump, I feel like I’m finally back into my regular pace of reading. I’ve read some books that, while not amazing, were interesting enough to keep me going, and things have also calmed down a little at work, which leaves me with more energy to read when I get home in the evenings. Now that I am back in the game, let me tell you what I’m up to this weekend!

31752345Well, I finished Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman…it was an incredibly strange reading experience. One of the reasons Bird Box was so great was that the writing style created a profound sense of unease in the reader. What worked so well in Bird Box felt odd and out of place in Black Mad Wheel. Malerman kept moving back and forth in time, using present tense regardless of when events were happening in the chronology of the story, and I was confused for a good chunk of the book. Yet for all the confusion, I was pulled into the world of The Danes and the mystery sound, and it kept me reading, wanting to know what exactly was going on (which I never really figured out…).

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My main read this weekend is Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. This is our book for our July pairing of Ancillary Justice and “Nier: Automata,” and it starts with a bang. It’s the first in a series, and deals with artificial intelligence and space craziness. I’m not going to share too much here, since I’ll be talking about this book plenty in the next three weeks, but suffice to say I am transported to another world…

31702777In other weekend reading news, Jordan brought me Queen of Swords by R.S. Belcher and I will be picking this up between weird space chapters of Ancillary Justice. I love the Golgotha series from Belcher, and I’ve been looking forward to Maude’s book for a VERY long time. This is a fantastic series with some seriously bad ass ladies, and Belcher has such weird ideas, which work perfectly in his weird western world.

I’m having a weird book moment, with AI and space and weird westerns and mortal sounds, and I’d love to know what you think of any of these books! If you’ve got thoughts or more recommendations, let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: June 30

Happy Friday!

It’s the beginning of an almost four day weekend and I’m here to talk about what I’m reading over the next few days.

5191ee8mmll-_sy344_bo1204203200_I successfully finished A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, and was underwhelmed by the end. I enjoyed the book up until the last third or so, when it felt like Smiley threw a shit storm of trauma onto the reader. It was far too much for me, and took away from the realness of the family (a realness which was already teetering on the brink of reality). I think I will read another novel by Smiley – I have Moo sitting on the shelf from many used book trips ago – though I’m going to give it some time before diving in.

31752345As I talked about on this week’s podcast, Jordan brought me new books last weekend and they have moved up on my reading list. I finished Down Among the Sticks and Stones by Seanan McGuire, and am just a handful of pages into Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman. I absolutely LOVE Bird Box, which you should all read but be warned it will give you chills, and I was excited to pick up Malerman’s freshly published new novel. It starts with a bang – a man lies in a hospital bed and ALL HIS BONES ARE BROKEN – and I’ve only gotten a little bit of context thus far. I’m really excited to read it this weekend, and especially tonight (Friday) because it’s supposed to be rainy and stormy, and that’s always good reading weather.

And that’s all I’ve got for this week! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: June 23

Hello friends!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a Friday Reads…it’s due to a combination of a reading slump and a crazy busy few weeks at work. HOWEVER, my monster fundraising event is over, I’m reading a book I’m enjoying, and I am ready for all the Friday reading!

73ef4de831439bf11642336a79b88364Last time I posted, I was reading Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. If you listen to our podcast, you heard me RAIL against this book. It was like “The Office” but more depressing and intense, and not as funny. It got good blurbs and reviews, but it totally missed the mark for me. It was written in the mid 2000s and focuses on a professional office, a time and experience I cannot relate to on pretty much any level except that I was alive in the mid 2000s, and I think that was a big part of the disconnect for me.

5191ee8mmll-_sy344_bo1204203200_Right now, I’m reading A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. This is my mom and I’s June Pulitzer pick, and I’m a little over half way through. The story follows a family living on, literally, a thousand acre farm in Iowa, and the book is narrated by the oldest daughter. I am really enjoying it so far, and it feels like a mix between the quiet daily life of Willa Cather and the family saga of Shirley Ann Grau. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend, and will have an update and brief review next week.

And that’s all I’ve got for this week! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: June 2

Welcome to June!! It’s Friday, and it’s June, and it’s basically summer, so things are good. I’m in Texas on this Friday visiting my family (and celebrating my brother’s graduation from high school), and I thought I’d write a Friday Reads/book haul combo post!

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_I finished Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl, and just wasn’t that impressed. The characters weren’t especially gripping and it felt like there were so many threads that I lost track of who went where. It was an interesting concept, and I loved the idea of a traveling freak show with weird supernatural leanings, but there was way too much going on for me to really enjoy the story.

73ef4de831439bf11642336a79b88364This week, I’m reading Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. It’s about a marketing/ad agency experiencing layoffs, and the quirky characters that work there (or used to work there). I’m about 100 pages in and it’s pretty strange so far, but I am intrigued.

Now, onto the book haul! We went to Recycled Reads, a used bookstore run by the Austin Public Library. It’s the best – all paperbacks are $1 and all hardbacks are $2. We really don’t need a ton of books (since our shelves are pretty full already) but I couldn’t resist.

recycledreads_logo_with_tagline_300dpiI picked up…

  • The Expats // Chris Pavone
  • Grotesque // Natsuo Kirino
  • The Panopticon // Jenni Fagan
  • A Thousand Acres // Jane Smiley
  • The Watcher // Charlotte Link

As always, I’m looking forward to ALL these books…along with the handful of books my mom is sending me back with and all the ones on our shelves at home. I’ll get to them all, eventually!

I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on any of the books I picked up, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

 

#FridayReads: May 26

It’s already quitting time, and I’m a little late to the Friday Reads party…but I’m here, it’s raining, it’s a holiday weekend, and I’m ready to read!

amelia-grayI finished Gutshot by Amelia Gray this week, and it was totally crazy banana pants. The stories were creepy and sort of terrifying but utterly intriguing, and there were many stories I read more than once as I tried to really understand Gray’s twisted mind. Gray constructs her stories in such a strange way – some feel like full short stories, others are snippets of something far darker, and still others feel like a macabre stream of consciousness or lucid dream. Gutshot was less of a short story collection and more of a peek into a world we can only hope is far, far from reality. I am really interested in reading Gray’s novels, and I think I’ll be putting at least one of her longer works on hold soon.

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_I continue to read Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl, and I am making it my Friday Reads again this week because I REALLY want to finish this one. I am a little lukewarm on this story thus far. I’m a little more than halfway through, and I have mixed feelings about Fischl’s writing. I am invested in the lives of Potter and Mercy, but I haven’t formed an attachment to Josiah McDaniel or Sol and Ag. I’m intrigued by Hedwith, but there hasn’t been quite enough for me to feel that I’m in his story. I am hoping that the book picks up in the second half, and I really do plan on finishing it this weekend (especially since Monday is a work holiday for me).

That’s what I’m reading! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: May 19

Happy Friday! The weather sucks here, which means its perfect reading weather, plus I only worked a half day, so I am building my nest of blankets and books this afternoon.

Last week, I was in the middle of two sort of lack-luster books: Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I finished both of the books, and wasn’t in love with either of them. I’ll refrain from too much talk about Reading Lolita, since Peter and I will be talking about it at length during this week’s podcast, but generally I thought it was an important book but not great writing. Winter Tide, on the other hand, was too all over the place for me. I didn’t connect with any characters and I felt perpetually behind, like I was always trying to catch up with the plot. I think there was a lot of really interesting pieces, but the writing style lost me a little. It’s also super rooted in Lovecraft and Cthulhu and while I find that stuff intriguing, I don’t completely understand that world, so I’m sure that added to my confusion. All in all, both of these books were just okay.

amelia-grayThis week, I am in the middle of two more books! First, I’m reading Gutshot by Amelia Gray. This is a collection of short stories, and I received this book in my last Quarterly box. Y’all, it is WEIRD. I’ve read two “chapters” or sections, and I still can’t quite put my finger on what ties the stories together in each section. I actually don’t know if there’s supposed to be a connection…but they’re grouped, so I assume there might be? Either way, the stories are gruesome and disturbing and really strange, and I’m getting more and more into it as I read. I’m not the biggest fan of short stories, mostly because many stories are so good that I want to read a full novel, but this is definitely a collection I can get into.

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_The other book I’m reading this weekend is Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl. There are a ton of characters – accidental outlaw brothers, a drunk dentist looking for revenge, the creepiest of traveling circus shows, and some sort of supernatural situation. I’m about 100 pages in, and it’s packed with characters and information, so I’m still trying to get a hold on what exactly is happening, but I’m enjoying it so far. My goal is to finish it this weekend so I can report back.

That’s what I’m reading! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!
–Erin