Miscellaneous

March Reading Update (including #Hamilthon)

Hi everyone! I haven’t posted anything since February, so I decided to check in with a more general reading update.

I. OCTOBER DAYE

An Artificial Night (October Daye #3)First, let me introduce you to my newest obsession: the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. I’ve enjoyed the Wayward Children series by McGuire, and I downloaded the first October Daye book, Rosemary and Rue sometime last year when it was either free or ridiculously cheap on Kindle, I can’t remember. I only got around to actually picking it up in January, motivated by Louise’s plan to read one book a month. (There are 12 books out right now, with the 13rd coming out later this year.)

And… yeah, I’m now obsessed. March is the time for the 3rd book, and I read it in one day on the second of the month, so now I just have to wait around for April before starting the 4th one. Help?

The October Daye series is about a woman (called October “Toby” Daye) who is half human, half faerie. She is a private investigator for humans as well, but more than that, she is about the only fae investigator they have, apparently. In the books, she solves murder, kidnapping and other crimes committed by/against other faeries, while insisting that she is absolutely not a hero.

Forbid the Sea (October Daye, #7.2)There are many things I love about this series: October herself, the world building and the way Seanan uses folklore and nursery rhymes, the side characters… but my absolute favourite is a character called Tybalt, who has already qualified for my all-time favourite characters list. I already loved him when I met him as a snarky pureblood Cait Sidhe, the King of Cats, who has an initially antagonistic, but also rather complicated relationship with the protagonist. And that was before I found out he’s canonically a bisexual theatre nerd who loves his family more than anything.

So, if you’re interested in faeries, mysteries, urban fantasy or anything I mentioned above –  please read this series, maybe join #ADayeAMonth, and come talk with us about it!

ADayAMonth

II. THE NEW WOMAN + HERLAND

As part of my gender studies specialisation, this semester I’m taking a class on the “New Woman”, a concept that emerged in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Basically, in this time people were faced with the reality that there were more adult women alive in the world than adult men – thus, even if every single man married, there would still be women “leftover”. This left many women without the chance of ever marrying, and a great need to take jobs and support themselves without a husband. The New Woman also refers to a woman who is headstrong, independent, often thought too masculine, fights for suffrage, engages in various scandalous acts, and the like.

Ann VeronicaFor this class, I’m supposed to read a book, play, short story or watch a movie related to this time period. And let me tell you… this hasn’t always been fun. The first book I had to read was The Odd Women by George Gissing – “odd” here meaning not (only) strange, but unpaired. I found this book absolutely miserable, with the so-called feminist women being horrible to each other, and the lives of women being heartbreaking.

I was mostly just left confused by Kate Chopin’s Athénaise. I enjoyed Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells significantly more, with its lively, passionate, although somewhat careless protagonist.

That being said, my absolute favourite has been Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which is a little different from the other New Woman novels. Herland describes three male explorers who find a country that has been inhabited only by women for the last two thousand years. They developed a culture entirely without the influence of men, based on motherhood and loving support of each other. It is a kinder world without the violence and competition (*cough* capitalism *cough*) of our world, and I loved reading the descriptions.

III. HAMILTHON UPDATE

I was a little worried I couldn’t contribute much to #HamiltThon this month, but I’ve actually been doing fairly well so far!

hamilthon

The prompts currently unlocked for me are:

  • The World Was Wide Enough — Read a book set in a country (or originally written in a language) not your own.
  • The Schuyler Sisters — Read a book that’s part of a trilogy.
  • Helpless — Read a a book featuring a romance or a marriage.
  • Your Obedient Servant — Read a book with more than one POV.
  • Washington on Your Side — A book featuring a devious plot or cunning scheme.

The first four of these should be easy enough (I had some trouble with the trilogy one, but then I got offered an ARC of Beasts of the Frozen Sun, which is first in a trilogy) – but I’m not sure what to do with the fifth one, and absolutely no ideas for “last in a series”, which is Angelica’s final prompt.

And… that’s everything important! I also wanted to rant about the quality of Hungarian translations I’ve been reading lately (hint: they are BAD), but then I wasn’t sure if anyone would be really interested, since most of my readers aren’t Hungarian. Still, feel free to ask about it!

How’s your reading going in March? Any interesting books you read recently?

~ Alexa

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7 thoughts on “March Reading Update (including #Hamilthon)

  1. Oooh I did an essay on the ‘new woman’ for a history module in my last year of my undergrad degree. As the history module was on walking, I looked at the emergent of the new woman in Britain as a result of changing socio-economic circumstances and the impact that the first world war had on allowing women to enter new professions, resulting in them becoming more present on the street but then also the impact the return of male soldiers had on these new women. It was a really interesting essay to write so I hope you enjoy your research. I based mine quite a bit on the tv series Mr Selfridge as it has some great examples.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh god. I’m a MA student but my brain turns off when I read “changing socio-economic circumstances” 😀 (Just kidding.) Undergrad is like BA, right? So your first university degree?

      I like how bicycles became more popular with women and it gave them more freedom of mobility and everything. I think that is related to the “more present on the street” thing that you are saying?

      And yeah, the concept itself interests me, but half the books we read are just… really miserable and not fun to read, especially when you have one week to finish them and all the other stuff for the other classes. :/ I’m hoping the plays and short stories later will be easier to digest. (Apparently the 3-400 page books still count as short because many New Woman novels are like 5-800 pages.)

      Like

  2. Would it help at all to interpret Angelica as ‘the last book to be published in a series’? As in, if books one and two are out but not three, you could count book two? Cause that’d be another way to look at it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So the last one currently published? That’s a good idea, although I’m not sure it helps me personally… Maybe if I do “the last book published that I actually own”, but that would be really stretching it 😀 If I don’t come up with anything else, I can re-read Exit Strategy – it’s pretty short and I enjoy reading it.

      I think from my physical copies, Crooked Kingdom is the only “last in series” that I haven’t read yet, and I want to but it’s quite long. So we’ll see how it works out!

      Liked by 1 person

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