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July 2024 Reads

The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstoya: This odd novel was written by Tolstoy's grand-niece. I didn't know what to expect from it. The book is basically an apocalyptic novel set in Russia, and is heavy with societal commentary. It's disjointed, but in a good way: the setting is complex, the world is vivid, and it feels like you're running through the main character's mind.

Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei: This sci-fi novel is really a who-dun-it in disguise. Space horror? Yes please. It tackles some big issues (miscarriage, terrorism) but somehow manages to be a lighthearted read. The main negative for me was the sarcastic dialog that manages to get into so many novels nowadays.

Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie: Another sci-fi, this book is...weird. It's set thousands of years in the future and focuses on an AI-run society. It brings up some interesting questions, but some of its literary choices--like using she for everyone and jumping around chronologically--made it hard to follow.

Ukrainian Witchcraft Trials by Kateryna Dysa: What's on the tin. This is a short history of witch trials in modern-day Ukraine and Poland. I've only ever studied the American equivalent before, so it was interesting to compare how different societies dealt with claims of sorcery. The comparison of demonology and theology between Orthodoxy and Catholicism was also something I didn't know I wanted.

This Afterlife by A.E. Stallings - Okay, I'm getting back into poetry. Most of Stallings' works are straight-forward in a punchy way: I don't know how, but she's able to take the mundane and turn it into art. She also still plays with rhyme, which is rare for modern poets, so I recommend a collection like this if you're wanting to dip your toe in the water.

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