Books #4: 16-20

We are All Birds of Uganda, Hafsa Zayyan

This book just got better and better. I preferred the more contemporary parts, but both storylines were gripping. I don’t know very much about Uganda – my knowledge begins and ends with the Last King of Scotland – so lots of parts of this were a real education for me.

The Mercies, Kiran Millwood Hargrave

At the beginning of this book, I wasn’t finding it as interesting as I’d hoped but as it went on, I got more and more into it and I’m very glad I kept on going! I wish that the queer subtext/text had started a bit earlier and some of the characterisation felt a bit obvious and two-dimensional but mostly I did really enjoy it.

The Galaxy and the Ground Within, Becky Chambers

As soon as I heard there was going to be a new book in the Wayfarers series, I was incredibly excited. It was only released on Thursday and arrived on Friday – I devoured it and finished it by the time I’d gone to bed that evening. Because it’s such a recent release, I’m more conscious than usual of spoiling it for people who haven’t read it yet, but the main thing I want to say is READ IT NOW. The premise is fascinating and the characters are beautifully realised. Also it’s refreshing to read sci fi that isn’t just about cis men and where the author has clearly thought a lot about the world she has created.

A Room with a View, EM Forster

I saw the film of this a few days before reading the book, and while I didn’t love it in the way I loved the film, it was perfectly enjoyable! I still don’t understand the appeal of Cecil, and I was hoping that the book would enlighten me, but nope, he’s still just a boring entitled man.

Memorial, Bryan Washington

This is such an important book, and the representation of gay men of colour seemed genuine and authentic. I personally found it easier to warm to Ben, although I’m not sure why. The story is told from both their perspectives and both parts are done well – my one criticism is that some of the secondary characters felt a bit underdeveloped.

And with that, I’ve now reached 20 books for 2021 so far, which I think puts me about 13 ahead of where I *should* be in my reading challenge. Of these five, my favourite was definitely The Galaxy and the Ground Within but I enjoyed them all in different ways.

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