Posted in blog stuff, Weekly Reading

What I’m Reading Jan 24

As of today, I’ve read 12 books this month. I think I’m on a pretty good pace to meet my annual goal, especially for those occasional reading slumps that I get into throughout the year. Goodreads says that I’m eight books ahead of schedule. Woot!

Currently, I’m kinda sorta in the middle of four different reads. I say, “kinda, sorta” because two of them I haven’t touched in a couple months. Did you hear my sigh? I’m going to work from my most current read back. Click on the links to read more about the books. These are just my opinions of them so far.

The BookwormFirst up, I’m reading The Bookworm by Mitch Silver. This is a Netgalley book and I’m about 10% into it. I’m enjoying it so far. It has historical elements, mystery, and some violence to it. It’s also a little bit political, which makes me wary and we’ll see where Silver goes with that. It seems to bounce back and forth in time from 1940 to 2017 with the focus being on WWII, Nazis, and Russia. This is, according to my memory, my first book dealing with this subject matter. Where history is concerned, I tend to gravitate towards older stuff. Only being 10% into it, I haven’t formed a concrete opinion, but the character development is solid and the building of the suspenseful atmosphere is great.

The Bear and the NightingaleNext, I’m reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. This is a pretty popular book and I’m sure most everyone has heard something about it. I guess I wasn’t listening close enough because I didn’t realize this was the first book in a trilogy. Normally, I love trilogies and series, but I wasn’t looking to get into a new one, especially an unfinished one. That being said, I’m probably about 10% into this one too and I like it so far. Again, the character development and atmosphere building is great. It’s also a book set in Russia (what’s up with that??) but medieval Russia this time. I’ve found the storyline and characters compelling enough that I’ve been looking up names and events mentioned to learn more about this period in Russia’s history, of which I know nothing. The fantasy elements add to the story and have kept me engrossed in the book enough that I have to make myself put it down to do other things. I love the lyrical, mystical quality to Arden’s storytelling.

I’ve mentioned these next two books in a past post and because I haven’t actually gotten any further in them since that post, I’m just going to mention the titles here. I’m stillllll reading Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir. The reasons why I’ve stagnated on these books are that Monstress just didn’t hold my attention and I haven’t had the time and focus to devote to Queens that it deserves. I’ll get back to them both, but I’m not sure when.

What are you currently reading? What do you do when you’re really enjoying a book but have put it aside for whatever reason? Do you still consider it a “current read”?

Advertisements
Posted in Weekly Reading

What I’m Reading Oct 4

So, I decided to get back to blogging and then came down with the flu. I missed all of the Banned Book Week activities, getting started with Dewey’s pre-readathon challenge, and National Coffee Day. Talk about a major bummer. The only good thing to come of being a walking zombie is getting unlimited reading time in, guilt-free, which means I was able to start a few books while being laid up.

MontstressFirst off, I started a new graphic novel, Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and artist Sana Takeda. I’m only a couple pages in, so I haven’t formed an opinion yet. The artwork, however, is impressive and compelling. I thought this graphic novel would be a perfect accompaniment for this time of year. From Goodreads:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

grey mask Secondly, I began an eBook by Patricia Wentworth titled Grey Mask. It’s supposed to be a cozy mystery type of book. Set in London, post-war (I haven’t read any indications which war, but I’m assuming WWI. I could be wrong though. It’s really hard to tell from the context clues or lack thereof.) this is a tale of Charles, who has returned to his childhood home after being jilted by his fiance. His father has passed away and he’s returned home from abroad to claim his inheritance. Upon his arrival, he happens upon several uninvited guests in his house discussing some scheme or conspiracy. Deciding to remain hidden, Charles hires a lady detective, Miss Silver, to try and sort out the mystery on his own rather than go to the police.

I’m just short of halfway through the book and so far, it’s ok. The dialogue comes off as being written for a screenplay rather than a book so it’s different, but not hard to follow. The characters are a little one dimensional. I’m waiting to see if some development will occur as the story goes on. As for the mystery itself, I have no idea what’s going on, so I guess it’s a good one, lol. This is supposed to be the first book in the Miss Silver series, but it’s really hard to believe that an entire series is centered on Miss Silver whom we only see sporadically in the novel. She seems like a tertiary character rather than the main one. We’ll see, I guess.

Queens Lastly, I started Queens of the Conquest:  England’s Medieval Queens by Alison Weir. I am a huge fan of Weir’s and appreciate and respect her writing, opinions, and history that she imparts expertly about England’s monarchy. Her biography about Henry VIII was what started my journey into learning more about England’s history, which blossomed into learning about other nations and periods in history. Anyway, I’ve only just started this book and between being really tired and having to take notes on every page (because I can’t help myself), I’m only in the first chapter, lol. I’m enjoying it so far though and can’t wait to really get into the meat of it. Please click on the book’s title for a link to the Goodreads page. I didn’t want to include a lengthy description here.

How’d you bring in the month of October? Are you reading anything you’d recommend?

Posted in Reading Roundup

October Reading Wrap-Up

october

And a note from real life…

October was quite the month. As I mentioned in a previous post, my oldest daughter was in a car accident. She walked (hopped on crutches, but you know what I mean) away with a minor concussion, sprained ankle, and something else in her foot that we’re still getting checked out. She also had lots of bruises and scrapes from being thrown against the door on impact and the seat belt. The other driver has a broken leg. When the EMS crew, police officers, and ER doctors all saw the accident (or pictures respectively), they were shocked that both my daughter and the other driver weren’t killed in this accident. They were so very lucky. As a result of this accident, my life has been taken over. It’s been full of doctor’s appointments, car buying trips, phone calls to various insurance companies, doctors, etc., and taking my daughter out and about on her errands while she was unable to drive herself. This is why my blog was light on posts the past couple of weeks. I’m going to try and schedule some stuff for November since this is an ongoing thing. I’ve been so busy that I’m behind on EVERYthing in my life. I’m a week late for spring registration. I haven’t kept up with my bullet journal or hand lettering practice. I’m behind on writing book reviews and actual reading. My house is a disaster and the list goes on. I’m hoping that things are finally going to start to slow down and get back to normal, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

Anyway, with Dewey’s Readathon last month, my book totals are actually pretty good. I read a total of 12 books, which is two more than I read in September. To be fair, four of October’s books were graphic novels. But hey, they still count.

  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. 268 pages.
  2. The Mathematician’s Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer. 366 pages.
  3. To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin. 304 pages.
  4. Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire. 128 pages.
  5. Timekeeper by Tara Sim. 368 pages.
  6. Sepulcher by Kate Mosse. 560 pages.
  7. I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1 by Skottie Young. 128 pages.
  8. Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson. 128 pages.
  9. Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan. 152 pages.
  10. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. 499 pages.
  11. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. 352 pages.
  12. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria. 384 pages.

This is a total of 3,637 pages and an average rating of 3.58 hearts. My favorite graphic novel, by far, was I Hate Fairyland. My favorite novel for October would be The Mathematician’s Shiva. I’ve linked the books that I’ve reviewed to their original posts. If there’s something on this list that you’d like me to talk about, just leave a comment.

 

Posted in Book Review

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

(Disclaimer:  I previously posted this review on another blog for which I no longer write. This is why the formatting is a little different from my more recent reviews. However, I loved this book so much, I wanted to share my thoughts here. From Sept , 2014…)

Persepolis

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is by far, my favorite read for September. I remember when this graphic novel was first published and EVERYone was talking about it. I read the synopsis out of curiosity and didn’t like the sound of it at all. It sounded all political and dull. This year, I decided to read it for Banned Books Week and because I’m trying to find graphic novels that I like. I love this. Persepolis is a story that is going to stay with me a really long time.

It’s about an Iranian girl and her family and how they experienced, lived, and survived the Islamic Revolutions. It’s a first person memoir told from Marjane’s perspective from the ages of six to fourteen. As an American, I see the news reports on the Middle East and the places that we are bombing and the terrorists that we’re fighting against and it makes it very easy to forget that normal people and families have to live this life. Marjane tells her story without any “woe is me” despite the hardships and losses she and her family experienced. Can you imagine being a teenager in the early 80’s and being assaulted for wearing a jean jacket with a Michael Jackson button on it? If that had been happening here in America at the same time, just about every teenager would have been accosted on the street. Marjane brings these realities to life in her memoir and makes her experiences relatable to all her readers.

I also remember thumbing through this novel ten years ago and not being very impressed with the artwork. You have to read the story to appreciate the artwork that goes along with it. I can be a real numskull sometimes. The artwork, in its black and white simplicity, is poignant and portrays the emotions of the characters and the starkness of living in a city under attack without taking your focus away from the words.

5 Hearts