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What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing June 2021


The Lady Astronaut Series

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

I read this one and I kept hoping it would get better as it went along never did. It wasn't a bad book, but the main character got on my nerves all. the. time. I think it was a case of her first person narration saying one thing and then the character actually doing another. Or maybe it was how perfect and woke everyone was even though the story featured a lot of people of color in the 1950's and 60's. (Except for the One Racist Character and the One Sexist Character of course). It just felt flimsy and I wanted MORE tension and conflict over those topics, including in the main character's head. And also her narration about her perfect, sexy, wonderful, supportive husband got old fast. There was no conflict there. 

Or maybe I just didn't like it because alternate history stories are Not My Jam and I need to stop reading them. Again, the idea was super interesting (An asteroid falls on DC in the 1950's and they have to accelerate the space program before the world is uninhabitable) but the execution of that story (a woman who wants to be the first Lady Astronaut deals with anxiety and sexism in the space program) were two totally different things. I finished it, but it was a chore.

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

Gonna be honest, I didn't finish this one. I thought it might be better than the first one because more Stuff Happens (there's a moon base! She actually gets to go to mars!) but I couldn't get over the character and her annoying voice and world-view. I put it down and won't be finishing the series. :(

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

This is a lot darker than I thought it would be, and I'm not a huge fan of the narration in the audiobook. It switches between characters POVs, but they are all in first person and there is no indication of when we switch from one to another except for how heavy the Russian accent is in the narration...? It's confusing, and I generally don't like when there are multiple characters giving first person POV. (Yes, it bugs me in Game of Thrones too!)

In the end though, the story came together in a really satisfying way. I do recommend it! 

Murderbot #1 by Martha Wells

I was pleasantly surprised by this one! It's been on my list for a while and I wasn't sure what to expect, but the murderbot character is a sort of partially organic AI who hack it's own governor module and so has free will, but chooses to use that freewill to soar under the radar, do it's job, and watch the in-universe equivalent of a lot of cheesy space dramas...until the story happens, lol. It was a good mix of humor and action, and the ending surprised me in a good way. I really enjoyed this, and it was super short so I definitely recommend it! 

Murderbot #2 by Martha Wells

This was a fun sequel! I recommend this one as well! I don't remember what I was going to say about it other than that. 

Murderbot #3 by Martha Wells

The weakest one so far, there was a lot of "oh yeah and also I did this earlier so it's fine now" plot jumping that I didn't like, and murderbot's attitude was a little bit more tiresome than fun this time around. I don't feel like the character grew as much in this book as in the previous two. It was still fun, and for how short it was I wouldn't skip it if you're reading this series.


Naruto Kai (still, it's like 120 hours long!)

Shadow and Bone


How about what's playing on my music app this month? 

I haven't been playing any new games really, but I've been listening to some new music! 

Twenty One Pilots  -  Scaled and Icy

I LOVE Twenty-One Pilots and Blurryface is one of my favorite albums of all time, so I was excited to hear Scaled and Icy when it was released a few weeks ago, and I love it! 

Weezer  -  OK Human

My kids really like this one, especially "All My Favorite Songs" and we listen to it on repeat around the house!