It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It’s a fun way to keep track of current reads and to find out what other people have been reading. There is a linky thing at the end of the post, so go forth, visit new reading blogs, and add to your to-read list!
It’s been two weeks since our first Monday post, and in my absence, I waved goodbye to James Whitman (Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos), endured annoying text speak, (The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson), jumped into a boat with peculiar children (Hollow City by Ransom Riggs), ate Halloween candy and used a Ouija board (Teen Spirit by Francesca Lia Block), was in danger of going bald from pulling out all of my hair in frustration (Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi), and discovered a happy potion to thwart the evil Monday blues (Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill).
I also read a couple of short stories as part of Deal Me In 2014, but was unable to write my reviews in time for the weekly wrap-up.
Real Life has gotten in the way of my reading, you guys. I wanted to squeeze in as many books as I could devour in what little free time I had, which is why I’ve mostly read short stories and young adult fiction.
In other news, the bookshelf is finally done and I devoted an entire day to arranging my books into categories. Some of my books are still locked inside a closet in strawberry fields, and I’m afraid of running out of space for any of them.
This week, I plan on getting lost in the language of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the second time. As soon as I’m done with Pamela Moore’s Chocolates for Breakfast, I’ll be able to sing the body electric with Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Hopefully the universe will grant me more reading time this week so I can hop aboard a magical mystery tour with the second book in Clive Barker’s Abarat series, Days of Magic, Nights of War.
Alas, my friends, the time has come for me to get back to work. To quote the great Miss Rory Gilmore, “Sat and forever am at work here.”
Ho fellow readers. It’s been a good week in reading. In our last It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post, I was lamenting the state of my attention span. I felt that whenever I opened a book, I was stealing time. I was trying to come to terms with not being able to read Literary Things while writing my thesis. But late last week, due to certain circumstances, I suddenly came into an abundance of time. My days are still devoted to writing but I’ve loosened my grip a little. I spend my breaks making soup (sustenance!) and reading (sustenance!).
It took some doing but I finished Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. There were ups and downs, but mostly ups. Favorites include “Reeling for the Empire,” where young Japanese girls undergo a metamorphosis while working as silk factory workers in the Meiji era; “The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis,” where a group of friends discover a doll that looks disturbingly like a classmate they used to bully; and the title story, where an undead couple bears the weight of what it means to be together forever.
It felt good to finish a book so I rode that momentum into my next read, which was Libriomancer, the first book in the Magic Ex Libris series by Jim C. Hines. The boyfriend was reading a fantasy anthology called Gamer Fantastic and had really liked Hines’ “Mightier Than the Sword,” a short story about a man who could magically pull things out of books. It turns out that the short story eventually evolved into the Magic Ex Libris series (my friend Macy has written great reviews of the books here). Libriomancer is every fantasy geek’s dream: nods to fantasy and science fiction classics (“[…] had locked the book to keep the ring of power from escaping.”), references to newer series (“I had nearly given myself carpal tunnel trying to levitate that damn feather.”), love for Firefly and the Doctor (“What is it with you and brown jackets?”), and progressive women. I see the sequel Codex Born in my near future.
For now, though, I’m wrapped up in Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Afraid of how it might draw me in, I had taken to studying it warily from a distance (i.e. the half meter from my desk to the shelves). Last night, we had words and I gave in. I’m often giddy, struck by how fortunate the world is that this book exists. It’s witty (“Oh god, it’s funny,” I wanted to tweet, but stayed my hand and kept reading instead), skillfully constructed, and surprisingly easy to read. I’m currently three quarters of the way in and have been wanting to sing its praises from the rooftops. It is just so good.
Here is the book trailer, which freaks me out a bit (and also, maybe, it’s a little spoiler-y so beware):
I guess that’s it for now. My science beckons. Have a great reading week, all!