John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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Books Read in October, 2020

As is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my October, 2020 reads.

Books Read in October, 2020

Hospital Station by James White (r)

Pompeii: A Conspiracy Among Friends by Robert Colton

October, 2020 Reader's Digest

Dagger and Coin by Kathy MacMillan

September, 2020 Locus

Skeleton Keys by Brian Switek

And that was reading that I did in October of this year. This was one of the most dismal months of reading and the slowest month of reading that I've done in a long time, though there was a good variety of books read in there. The lack of quantity of books read was due primarily to the fact that much of October I felt pretty under the weather to be honest, and my headaches and sinuses were so bad that I just didn't feel like reading. Needless to say, my bookcases are still stacked with a pretty large To Read Queue (TRQ). The books I enjoyed the most were:

Dagger and Coin by Kathy MacMillan - The second book in the Sword an Verse series. Soraya Gamo was meant to be queen of Qilara, until an Arnath slave rebellion destroyed the monarchy and the capital city. Now, improbably, she sits on the new Ruling Council beside her former enemies, finally holding the political power she always wanted - but over a nation in ruins. As she works to rebuild Qilara, she can, at last, use what everyone once told her to hide: her brain. But not everyone is ready to accept the new equality that the Ruling Council has decreed between the Arnathim and Qilarites. So when a slave ship arrives in the city, full of Arnathim captured before Qilara fell... the civil unrest that has been bubbling since the rebellion erupts. Forced to confront her own prejudices, Soraya struggles to gain the trust of the Arnath people she once disregarded and establish peace in what has become chaos. With the threat of attacks high, Gelti, a former guard captain, trains Soraya in self-defense. As the two grow close, tension within the city ramps up, with danger, betrayal, and deception meeting Soraya everywhere she turns. Friends become foes, adversaries become companions, and the clashing of classes threatens to unravel all the good Soraya has been trying to do. Can Soraya, raised to be a proper Qilarite lady, learn to be a true leader? Or will the sins of her past forever haunt the footsteps of her future? One of the things that I loved about Sword and Verse was how author Kathy MacMillan constantly subverted the reader's expectations and drew a complicated and complex story of what it means to fight for freedom. And how to change the world around one. The sequel, Dagger and Coin, doesn't disappoint in this regard, especially at the end of the book, and I was quite fond of how it all came together. Soraya Gamo, the protagonist of this book and from whose point of view the story is told from, is a very different protagonist than Raisa, the focus of the first book. Both may be feminists, but they have different strengths and approaches to the world around them. Soraya comes across at first as cold and unfeeling, and I'll admit this turned me off for a bit, but I came to really like Soraya as the story went on. This was notably because she internally challenges why and how others call her cold, and there are deep feelings of self-doubt with which she struggles. When it comes down to it, Dagger and Coin is a very good book, and even if the reader isn't very much into politically driven stories, it's well worth reading. There are a lot of complex, very individual characters in the story and plenty of plot threads to entice readers with various interests. A fine book, and one that I recommend a lot. But read Sword and Verse first, of course. :)

Overall, I managed to read 4 novels, 0 RPG and RPG products, 2 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in October. This brings the year total for 2020 to a set of numbers that look like this: 77 books, 16 RPGs and RPG products, 18 magazines, 95 comics, and 2 graphic novels.

Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)
Tags: book hut, books, monthly total, reading, reading hut, review

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