I think it’s summer. Like, I’m positive it’s summer. I’ve long since gotten accustomed to the temperate climate of the US but I’m still clueless as to the change of the seasons. I’m pretty much guessing at this point.
As a follow-up to my Noteworthy Buys | Winter 2016 post, I threw together some books that I’m really fond of-slash-interested in that I bought between March and May 2016.
The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction by Michel Foucault — Three volumes of The History of Sexuality were published before Foucault’s death in 1984. The 1st & most referenced volume, The Will to Knowledge (previously known as An Introduction in English—Histoire de la sexualité, 1: la volonté de savoir in French) was published in France in 1976 & translated in 1977, focusing primarily on the last two centuries, and the functioning of sexuality as an analytics of power related to the emergence of a science of sexuality (scientia sexualis) & the emergence of biopower in the West. This volume questions the “repressive hypothesis”, the widespread belief that we have, particularly since the 19th century, repressed natural sexual drives. He shows that what we think of as repression of sexuality actually constituted sexuality as a core feature of our identities, & produced a proliferation of discourse on the subject.
Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher — Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything.
Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?
Servant of the Crown (The Crown of Tremontane #1) by Melissa McShane — Alison Quinn, Countess of Waxwold, is content with her bookish life—until she’s summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Tremontane’s mother for six months. Even the prospect of access to the Royal Library doesn’t seem enough to make up for her sacrifice, but Alison is prepared to do her service to the Crown. What she’s not prepared for is Prince Anthony North, Queen Zara’s playboy brother, who’s accustomed to getting what he wants—including the Countess of Waxwold.
When the fallout from an unfortunate public encounter throws the two of them together, Alison has no interest in becoming the Prince’s next conquest. But as the weeks pass, Alison discovers there’s more to Anthony than she—or he—realized, and their dislike becomes friendship, and then something more—until disaster drives Alison away, swearing never to return.
Then Alison is summoned by the Queen again, this time to serve as Royal Librarian. A threat to Tremontane’s government, with her treasured Library at stake, draws Alison into the conflict…and into contact with Anthony once more. Can they work together to save the Royal Library and Tremontane? And can she open her heart to love again?
Ink Mage (A Fire Under the Skin #1) by Victor Gischler — In the first installment of the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the city of Klaar has never fallen. No enemy has ever made it across the Long Bridge or penetrated the city’s mighty walls. Even when a powerful invading army shows up at the gates, the duke and his daughter, Rina Veraiin, are certain that it poses little threat.
But they are cruelly betrayed from within and, in a horrific spasm of violence, the city is brought to its knees.
With the help of her bodyguard, Kork, the battle-trained young Rina narrowly escapes the slaughter and makes her way to the lair of an ancient sorcerer—the Ink Mage—who gifts her with a strange, beautiful set of magical tattoos.
Now a duchess in exile, Rina sets out on a quest to reclaim what is rightfully hers, aided by a motley assortment of followers who will help her in her cause—some for noble reasons and others for their own dark purposes.
With the enemy’s agents nipping at her heels, Rina must learn to harness her new and startling magical powers if she is to assert her rightful place as ruler of Klaar.
Zodiac Starforce #1 by Kevin Panetta — An elite group of teenage girls with magical powers have sworn to protect our planet against dark creatures . . . as long as they can get out of class! These high-school girls aren’t just combating math tests. They’re also battling monsters! But when an evil force infects leader Emma, she must work with her team to save herselfand the worldfrom the evil Diana and her mean- girl minions!
The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker — Italy 1899: Fiery-tempered, seductive medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist séance in Naples. A reporter photographs the miracle, and wealthy, skeptical, Jewish psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi arrives in Naples to investigate. When she materializes the ghost of his dead mother, he risks his reputation and fortune to finance a tour of the Continent, challenging the scientific and academic elite of Europe to test Alessandra’s mysterious powers. She will help him rewrite Science. His fee will help her escape her sadistic husband Pigotti and start a new life in Rome. Newspapers across Europe trumpet her Cinderella story and baffling successes, and the public demands to know – does the “Queen of Spirits” really have supernatural powers?
Nigel Huxley is convinced she’s simply another vulgar, Italian trickster. The icy, aristocratic detective for England’s Society for the Investigation of Mediums launches a plot to trap and expose her. Meanwhile, the Vatican is quietly digging up her childhood secrets, desperate to discredit her supernatural powers; her abusive husband Pigotti is coming to kill her; and the tarot cards predict catastrophe.
Inspired by the true-life story of controversial Italian medium Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918), The Witch of Napoli masterfully resurrects the bitter,19th-century battle between Science and religion over the possibility of an afterlife.
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch — An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.
A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.
Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.
Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying…
American Gods by Neil Gaiman — Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.
And of course, I wouldn’t be me if I had read any of these yet. In other words: I haven’t read any of them.