June 13: The Art of Effective Dreaming by Gillian Polack. (I want to read more by Gillian Polack! I want to read EVERYTHING by Gillian Polack!) Oh wow. It starts slowly, and doesn’t pick up much speed along the way, but that’s not a bad thing at all! The protagonist is very relatable, with all her quirks and flaws. There’s not a traditional happy ending, but the ending isn’t exactly unhappy either. In fact the ending is so open (though hopeful, and the way it happens makes sense) that I want there to be a next book in which Things Get Resolved but I don’t think that’s the way Gillian Polack works. It would make a good paired reading with The Interior Life by Katherine Blake, I think, but I don’t feel like reading The Interior Life right now because I remember the cringey bits too well.
June 17: A Study in Sable (Elemental Masters #11) by Mercedes Lackey. I remember it as so-so but on rereading it turns out to be pretty good, with more depth to it than I recalled. The strangest thing about it is that the first 20% or so seems to be a standalone story, though motifs from it come back later in the book. Mary Watson is such a dear. John Watson is (presumably) a widower in the original Sherlock Holmes canon so I read this as a sort of crossover fix-it fanfic.
June 18: The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison. I love Thara Celehar so much! And I also love his kicked-upstairs apprentice, Velhiro Tomasaran. As one reviewer (who incidentally gave it five stars) noted, I would have liked a glossary and a list of dramatis personae, because I can’t keep everything straight enough to, for instance, write fanfic of it without rereading it again while making notes. But now I really want a third book to wrap up all those loose ends.
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