As I mentioned in January, some folks expressed an interest in my New Year's resolution to (mostly) only read books by women. To review, here are my rules for what I can read in 2014:
All books should be written by women, with the following exceptions:
- Books already in progress prior to January 1, 2014 may be finished regardless of the author's gender
- Books in a series I am already reading may be read regardless of the author's gender
- Books needed for a class or specific project may be read regardless of the author's gender
I realized this month I needed rules to accommodate anthologies and books with multiple authors and/or editors:
- Anthologies edited by a woman are acceptable even if the collected authors are not all female, but books with 50% or better representation are preferred
- In the case of multiple authors and editors, a single woman will suffice, but books with 50% or better representation are preferred
So! With that out of the way, here's what I read in February:
Midnight Blue-Light Special, Seanan McGuire
This is the second of the InCryptid books, and pretty much entirely pleasure reading. I don't click with this series as deeply as I do with McGuire's Toby Daye series -- I don't really identify much with Verity Price -- but McGuire does a good job of making the interpersonal relationships interesting to me. Plus, you know, urban cryptids and secret societies. So.
Our Vampires, Ourselves, Nina Auerbach
I actually bought this in around 1999 when I was working for a textbook warehouse. I saw it on the shelf and was so delighted by the title that I knew I needed to read it. It's probably my favorite scholarly analysis of vampires in English-language literature and film, and deals with everything from pre-Stoker (e.g. Polidori and Byron) up through the Reagan years, ending more or less with Near Dark. This was a re-read -- it's relevant to some things I'm working on at the moment -- and very satisfying.
Spooky South, S.E. Schlosser
This is a collection of short folk stories from the Southern US as retold by the author/compiler. Schlosser's a folklorist, and I probably had higher hopes for this one than it was able to deliver, in part because I'd kind of hoped for a bit more context -- think liner notes, if you remember what those were -- when really the Spooky series is kind of like Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark for grown-ups. Lighter than I like, which is less a fault of the book itself than a mismatch of my tastes with the text. Still not a bad value as impulse buys go.
Weaving Memory, Laura Patsouris
My "Not a Book Club" book for February over at The Land, Sea & Sky, and probably not of interest if you're not into the idea of ancestor reverence as a part of one's spiritual path. You can find my full write-up here.
That puts my counts for 2014:
- 12 books finished
- 9 read in their entirety
- 2:10 ratio of men to women
My plan for March is kind of opaque at the moment, but if my latest trip to Village Books is any indication, fiction will be at least half of my reading load.