Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

June 2020: What Are You Reading?

The world around us may be opening up, but the only thing I’m planning on opening this summer is…a book!

Okay, that was unforgivably bad, even by my low standards. But I wanted to grab your attention, since it’s time for [drumroll, please]: another coronavirus quarantine edition of What Are You Reading?

It's simple and fun! Just post what you're reading, thinking about reading, hate-reading, binge-reading, or trying to get others to read in the comments. And then check back regularly for recommendations.

I'll get the ball rolling:

My intentions for May were lofty. An Villanova philosophy professor's 816-page book about how Romantic socialism can defeat the current American impulse to turn capitalism into a religion? Sure! A 576-page history of the East India Trading Company? Bring. It. On.

My reality was less erudite but possibly more fun: K.M. Szpara’s Docile was a thoughtful exploration of debt, consent, and BDSM (although I should mention a major content warning for sexual trauma and gaslighting). John Scalzi’s Interdependency series, which wrapped up recently with The Last Emperox was very “grabby,” to steal a phrase from Jo Walton. If you like breezy sci-fi, Scalzi is your man.

And I’ve got some fun stuff coming up! Verso Books had a half-off sale a few weeks ago, so I am now the proud owner of three books about how cities are either our future or our destruction. I’m curious to see what the answer is!

In keeping with the dystopian theme, I’ve got Malka Older’s Centenal Cycle trilogy on deck. Infomacracy, the first book in the series, explores a world in which most nations have just stopped nationing. Instead, they’ve opted in to micro-democracy: 100,000-person “centenals” who elect their own government; the entire system is overseen by Information, which is a Google/UN hybrid. I’m halfway through the second book in the series, and it looks like the same combination of thrills and political engagement that I’ve come to expect from Older’s work.

And I’m sure I’ll read Enchantments of Mammon and The Anarchy soon. Nothing like a bit of light summer reading to bring blue skies on a cloudy year.

What about you? What are you reading?

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


  1. I'm reading Penric's Travels by Lois McMaster Bujold. A collection of 3 of her Penric novellas. I'm listening to The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. A fun fluffy romance book.

  2. I'm currently a couple chapters in to Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140, not sure I'm going to continue. And there are the two latest Michael Connellys waiting. I also just finished rereading A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth Outlander book, to see what got into season five and what didn't.

    Josie, your reading queue always impresses me.

  3. I recently finished Jim Butcher's Codex Alera and today I wrapped up His Dark Materials.

    The Amber Spyglass exceeded my expectations, I was ambivalent if I should wait to read it closer to season 2 of the BBC show, but after I started I couldn't stop. (I read book 1 before season 1 and book 2 immediately after the season eneded then took a break waiting for the translations to catch up)

    Codex Alera was really fun, Jim Butcher can make stuff that sounds ridiculous on 1st view, but really works as a story. (come on who else can make Romans that bend the elements and fight anthropomorphical wolves and bugs from space compelling)

  4. Rereading stuff in my house: Pellinor Series (Alison Croggon), The Warlord Chronicles (Bernard Cornwell). I may jump into all 12 books of Cornwell's Saxon Stories, since I've caught up on The Last Kingdom. I think I read the first 3-4 books a long time ago...but certainly haven't read all 12! But this will mean either a trip to the library (not open yet) or purchasing on line.


  5. I've been binging through my library the last month and have read Mary Stewart's Merlin series (The Crystal Cave, the Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day), Marion Zimmer Bradley's the Mists of Avalon, His Dark Materials, and am currently rereading Stephen R. Donaldson's The Mirror of Her Dreams.

  6. I'm currently have an audiobook and a written book going. The Audio book is The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. Think of an American Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe only with a racially mixed little girl in the early 1900s.

    The other book is Light the Dark by Joe Fassler. It's a series of essays by professional writers on what pieces of writing had the most impact/influence on the art and world view. So far fascinating.

  7. I started the month by being so enchanted by Rainbow Rowell's Carry On that I finished the sequel, Wayward Son, in about a day and am now just a tiny bit obsessed with Simon and Baz.

    I then proceeded to devour all of her other books in quick succession. They are easy-reading, feel-good stories, with characters who are just flawed enough to feel real, and exactly what I needed during lockdown.

  8. Varg of the Canim is one of my absolute favorite characters. :) I re-read this series every year since it's only 6 books.

    Patryk said...
    I recently finished Jim Butcher's Codex Alera

    Codex Alera was really fun, Jim Butcher can make stuff that sounds ridiculous on 1st view, but really works as a story. (come on who else can make Romans that bend the elements and fight anthropomorphical wolves and bugs from space compelling)
    Monday, June 1, 2020 at 11:14:00 AM EDT

  9. Great idea talking about books! :)

    A bit late to the game, but in June Goodreads reminds me that I was deep in Star Wars AND historical fiction. Read the second and third books of the new Thrawn trilogy (Timothy Zahn, excellent as always, although his original trilogy from the '90s remains the one to be in my opinion), and the second and third books of a trilogy by Santiago Posteguillo (Spanish author) on the Roman emperor Trajan. Fun note: I read the first book of both trilogies when the lockdown started, and finished the trilogies as the lockdown was ending because I couldn't get hold of them until then. :p

    Have you found yourself reading more during Covid? Even with lockdown having ended in Spain, I feel safer staying home with a book than being out and mingling... Wave 2 is starting to lift its head.

  10. CrazyCris, so good to hear from you again! Welcome back!

    Yes, I think I am reading more because of covid, which makes sense. Although I've always been a heavy reader.

  11. Well, it's not "what am I reading" so much as "what did I read", but it's fun to think about. It was rather a lot of young adult novels, as I was catching up on some titles that were mentioned in some library science classes, but I had not been able to read yet.

    I read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins and I was pleasantly surprised. When I heard that she was writing a prequel to The Hunger Games, I was cynical about her motives. After reading it, I am ready for more. She makes Coriolanus Snow almost sympathetic and fills in the backstory of how the Games began. Now, I would love to read Tigris' story.

    I also read They Went Left by Monica Hesse, Before the Sword by Grace Lin (who I love), and Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaimann.

    David Baldacci's Absolute Power was my adult read for the summer.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.