This is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.
I read SO MUCH this week.
But I didn’t even just spend the whole week reading. I worked more on my academic piece comparing the works of Achebe to Dinesen.
I did a livestream covering the evolution of literary criticism from classic criticism to today’s postmodernist reader response/the author is dead way of looking at books.
And I trad-wifed like a boss. Seriously, my husband loves my zucchini bread (and the various other breakfast breads I make) and I cooked him three loaves of different sweet breads. Also cleaned the fuck out of my house.
My legs are even shaved.
Just who the fuck am I right now? XD
For real, all of my worst periods of depression are followed by these massive bursts of productivity, creativity, and all-around just re-evaluation of my life and who I am. (So with all the depressive episodes I’ve had, I should be the best version of myself by now, but what can you do?).
If my pattern remains consistent, I won’t have another really awful emotional episode for at least another 3-4 years, but whenever that happens, if y’all could just remind me that on the other side of depression is like a whole year of incredible productivity and creativity, that would be awesome.
I’m really not sure why anybody puts up with me with all the mental health issues I have. And with just how obnoxious I am. That’s not a mental health issue, that’s just how I am. If it wasn’t obvious (but of course it’s obvious, I’m a super basic bitch and I think everybody can read me) I am this obnoxious because it’s like a security blanket or something. I’m bombastic and loud and opinionated and (a lot of the time) mean and self-absorbed. I literally always feel like I’m pasting this fake version of myself on. It’s my game face. And sometimes in the middle of an interaction, one where I’m being smooth and doing all the “right” things, laughing in the right places, mirroring body language, nodding to show interest, remembering small details to make people feel seen, using the person’s name a lot…it’s like, I know I’m blending in and doing fine, and out of nowhere I get hit with this horrible panicked feeling like “They can see you. They can see you hiding in there. Your acting isn’t working and they can see you aren’t a real person.”
Well…I dunno, man.
All I can say is I’m in a really good moment right now and I’ll try to make the most of it while it lasts.
Okay, onto the books.
What Did I Recently Finish Reading?
I finished 6 books this week, one short story on furaffinity, and got all caught up on two Vella serials.
Out of all those books, the best one was Guardian’s Mate by Jennifer Ashley. Such incredible worldbuilding, so immersive. Super steamy and magical. I’ve already bought two more books in Ashley’s Shifter’s Unbound series.
The worst of those books is The Tiger Next Door by Zoe Chant. So look, obviously I like Chant’s books a little. I keep reading them. Hell, I read three in one week. I even signed up for Chant’s newsletter just so I could get Ranger Griffin for free. I’m now in Chant’s VIP Facebook group. So look, I’m not hiding it, I kind of like Zoe Chant books.
But…the misogyny. The fucking not-like-the-other-girls misogyny. The ‘men can do no wrong, but any woman who isn’t the epitome of virtue is an evil cunt’ misogyny. One example of exactly what I mean is in this novella. So the hero has not seen his kid in years. He is painted as sympathetic. His ex-wife abandons their kid, leaving him with the hero. She is painted as an evil selfish cunt.
Now, not that anybody should abandon their kid or go years without seeing them (really both characters here are fucking evil), but how do a man and woman do the same exact thing and the narrative paints them so differently?
Man abandons son=poor widdle man! He didn’t think he’d be a good parent! He was afwaid of his meanie ex-wife!
Woman abandons son=evil fucking vile CUNNTTTT!!!
Really Zoe Chant? The hell is wrong with you? Sort that shit out, girl.
Although Zoe Chant isn’t even a singular woman. The plot thickens. I read on Shifter’s Haven that Zoe Chant is a freaking collective of authors. Here is a snippet of the post from Shifter’s Haven, naming a few of the Zoe Chant authors.
So ‘Prickly but Cute’ is literally the only Chant book I’ve read so far that didn’t have some gross misogyny in it. Whoever wrote that gets a pass. Unless they also wrote one of the other books I’m ranting about.
Ladies, go sort out your Madonna-Whore complexes. Go work that pick-me shit out. Oh fuck, I’m mad enough to use my least favorite insult; the pick me insult. In all seriousness, I don’t know if that’s done for male validation or what. But crucifying female characters for doing the exact same thing as male characters who get a total pass…it doesn’t say great things about how those ladies feel about women. It just doesn’t.
And as cute and wonderfully wacky as the books are, as a woman, all the woman-hating does ruin the books a bit. It’s fucking distracting.
Okay, moving on…
I also read this erotic short on furaffinity. I had the chance to beta read portions of it while the author was working on it. It’s very steamy and sweet M/M erotica. Real soft dom energy that I’m totally living for.
Then with the launch of Kindle Vella, I’ve been checking out all the different serials that have been released. Here are two serials I binged all available episodes of.
This is an office fling-to-lovers contemporary romance. It has a great set-up, but there are only two episodes available so far. The good news is that means the entire serial is free right now lol
But really, with the 200 free tokens amazon is giving out to let people test Vella, right now you can read a LOT of free content on Vella.
Like the next serial I’ll include has 8 episodes up and with the free tokens, I’ve read all of them and still have over a hundred tokens left.
Anyway, shameless plug. I also have two stories up on Vella. If you check them out, I’d be forever grateful ❤ With the free tokens, I won’t make any royalties, but it will boost my stories in the algorithm and get more eyeballs on my work.
What Am I Currently Reading?
In addition to the Vella serial, I’m also reading this zombie novel by my absolute favorite author of all time, Paul Tremblay. Everything Tremblay writes is absolutely brilliant. I can not put this book down. It’s so exciting and tense.
Oh boy…yeah, I’m reading another Zoe Chant book. someone fucking help me. This author is giving me some kind of an identity crisis.
I took a break from the Bloodlines series for a minute, but now I’m back into it. This is the 4th book in the 5 book series. It’s really fun. There’s a definite Walking Dead influence. Which makes a lot of sense, since Emily Hurricane is a big Walking Dead fan. Picture the Walking Dead, but like every character is a werewolf, and that’s Bloodlines XD
This is a really sweet and fun rom-com. The energy between Makeda and Bez is so fun. I absolutely love Bez. She is a riot. But then Makeda’s story is so sympathetic and I want to see her find some happiness for herself so much ❤
I’m reading another Emily Hurricane book, but this one is SUPER different from Bloodlines. It’s a choose your own adventure book, but with smut. It’s so fun. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I’d read Goosebumps Choose Your Own Scare books.
The first love interest I chose was the butch lesbian mechanic. Jordan was just such a gentleman. I loved it XD
And lastly, I’m still reading The Muse’s Touch on the Galatea app. Galatea is an interesting serial site. It’s different than any of the others I’ve tried out before, but I’m getting used to it. I sort of love that they text me when a new chapter is available for free (with Galatea you can pay to unlock chapters or just wait) and when the text pops up my phone plays a jaunty little tune. It definitely confused a couple of my customers at my part-time retail job when I said “Excuse me, my book is texting me” XD
What Will I Read Next?
As always, I have Pixie Stormcrow on my TBR. Also I’ll be continuing my kick of reading about the problems in the mental health field. I think it’s a really important subject and more people should be concerned about how patient care is compromised by the biomedical model and the conflicts of interest between doctors and the pharmaceutical companies.
And yes…I’m going to read more Zoe Chant books. God help me.
Lastly, I have an arc of a book that has been highly recommended to me. L.P Tvorick started on wattpad with her infamously angsty romance. I got myself a free copy of book one (which she just self-published) and I plan to read and review it soon.
That’s it for me! What did you read this week? Let me know in the comments below 🙂