It’s that time again!
The Bonobo’s Dream – Rose Mulready
Written by the recipient of the 2016 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize, The Bonobo’s Dream is a slim little volume that I’m reasonably sure will turn out to be the literary equivalent of coriander (either you’re obsessed with it, or you really can’t see why everyone else is).
Me? I’m a little obsessed with it. This book is bizarre, opulent, and makes no apologies for throwing the reader in the deep end. The language is rich and the sense of a fully constructed world is strong enough that not knowing it all in the beginnings is just one of the reasons to keep devouring this book. While it sits in the speculative fiction genre (a favourite of mine), at it’s heart, the story is about family and it’s fascinating to watch the behaviours as the situation slowly unravels. Seriously, treat yo’ self- give Bonobo’s Dream a go. And if you want to experience double luxury, grab a real print copy for a funky matte textured read.
Abaddon’s Gate – James S. A. Corey
As promised last month, I finally finished this mammoth read (/listen, it was my audible fodder). As with the previous books in the Expanse series (currently also playing at a Netflix near you), Abaddon’s Gate is an epic, in all senses of the word.
Being the third book in the series, it’s reasonable to expect that the story would start to string out a bit, perhaps falling apart at the edges a little as the authors try to keep things going. Mindblowingly, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Abaddon’s Gate is every bit as justified and tightly written as it’s predecessors. New characters are introduced and actually carry most of the book, providing an interesting insight into what the rest of the galaxy think of James Holden and his ragtag crew (and if the sentence gave you Firefly vibes, you’re not far wrong).
The thing that appeals to me most about this series is the believability of it. There’s a distinct lack of teleportation or humanoid aliens- instead, space travel is strenuous, inter-stellar messaging takes forever, and people still just really hate other people. Also pleasantly delightful is how gender-neutral a lot of the characterisation is – that soldier is just as likely to be a woman as a man, and that nurse could definitely be a dude. It was interesting to find myself being caught out again & again by assuming the wrong gender of an introduced character, which is a point that actually leads nicely to….
Does this reading list look a bit thinly spread for a month of reading? You’re not wrong, and all blame rests with my new mico-obsession – SMNTY!
Hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, Stuff Mom Never Told You is the audio podcast from HowStuffWorks that gets down to the business of being women from every imaginable angle. Fueled by boundless curiosity and rigorous research, Cristen and Caroline are girls-next-door gender experts who skillfully decode the biology, psychology and sociology of ladies and gents, from their evolutionary past to millennial present, to better understand all the Stuff Mom Never Told You.
There are years worth of episodes to catch up on, so I’ve been cherry picking the titles that appeal to me and burning through them during a lot of the times I would normally reach for a book. Not just for the lady-folk, I heartily recommend SMNTY to anyone looking to broaden their knowledge of everything from the impacts of fast fashion, to the female Kings of Ancient Egypt and about a bazillion things inbetween. Go forth and learn, my pretties!
What have you been reading this month? Comment below to share your favourite!