Alyshondra Meacham is the Eventbrite Coordinator for the Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat, and works as Mary Robinette Kowal’s personal assistant. She is an incurable space enthusiast with the fashion sense of Ms. Frizzle. When she isn’t wrangling e-mails, she volunteers as a Solar System Ambassador, creates geeky cross stitches, and raises a small menagerie of children.

3 Books I Read This Summer

Slay by Brittney Morris

Much of my reading this summer came from the ballot of Fiyah Magazine’s inaugural Ignyte Awards. Slay is one of those and OH GOSH did I love it. Seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson has created a virtual reality game celebrating Black Excellence, but it’s a secret from her family and friends. How does she deal when the space she can be herself is under attack? This is what I wanted Ready Player One to be like. I VERY much want to see the in-game card-based duels on a screen – game or TV, l’m not picky! I especially love how we get small chapter viewpoints from other Black people around the world, and a taste of what is like to be Black in other situations and cultures. The desire to belong, to be seen and celebrated, resonated so much with me!

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite

Romance has been a balm to my heart in this year of exhaustion 2020, and queer romance is even better. The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows is about printing and beekeeping, and has lines like “she raged out of love, and that lit some answering spark in Agatha’s soul,” and it lit a spark in MY soul.

Also featuring:
Historically Marriage is Kind of Awful For Women
Small Towns Are More Queer Than You Think
Marriage of Convenience No Really
The Joy & Scandal of Wearing Pants
Napoleon As Baccus Sculptures
Poets Ugh
Good Trouble
Bee Bombs
People Pleaser
I Just Came Here to Read Romance & Am Honestly Feeling So Attacked Right Now

This is a sequel to A Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (about lady astronomers and embroidery and Art vs Science but is it really vs? so, extremely my jam) but like most romance novels, can be read without reading the first.

Strange the Dreamer and The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

This duology is a perfect escape. A story about a mythic lost city and its dark past – what comes AFTER the hero has won and the enslaved people are freed? How do you heal from that? How do you not continue the cycle of trauma? That makes it sound like a heavy read, but the focus on the power and joy of stories and what we mean to each other is hopepunk in the best way.

Lazlo has dreamed of uncovering the mysteries of the city of Weep since he was a small orphan boy. What happens when your dreams come true?

I had to find a few friends who had already read them so that I had a valve release on the pressure cooker on So Many Feelings. The relationships between the characters are tightly crafted and complex, and so understandable. Looking back, the amount of worldbuilding in these is mind-blowing, but it was presented so subtly and beautifully that I was just carried along with the story without realizing how much I had taken in.

My favorite types of books are ones that feel comfortable and surprising all at the same time. Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares fits wonderfully into that slot on my shelves, and is one I will come back to again and again.

“And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, anyway you can.”

― Laini Taylor, Strange the Dreamer

Follow Alyshondra on Twitter!


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published.