Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May and June 2015

We know, we know. It’s been ages since our last post. But we promise we’ve been reading! We had a lot to deal with these past few months: school, work, boredom, excruciating heat, household chores, catching up on movies and TV shows, family get-togethers, personal issues, among others.

Kubi and I have read plenty of brilliant books for the past two months, and these were our favorites:

MAY

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Hanna’s Favorite May Read: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Runner-up: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

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Kubi’s Favorite May Read: Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver
Runner-up: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

JUNE

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Hanna’s Favorite June Read: The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Runner-up: The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

What were your favorite books from the last couple of months? What are you looking forward to reading this July?

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Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May and June 2015

Hanna’s May in Reading

May was restless and temperamental. It was a struggle to juggle work and play and emotions and life, which explains the crickets and lack of updates, but I think I did a pretty decent job in terms of squeezing in a bit of reading time.

I went to Manila on the first weekend of the month to visit my best friends, eat good food, fangirl over Marvel’s Daredevil and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, raid Kubi’s bookshelves, and inhale comic books on Free Comic Book Day.

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IMG_2558FCBD haul: Trese by Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, and Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (photographs courtesy of the sister)

While I was there, I found The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Rydell on Kubi’s bookshelf and devoured it in one sitting. I also read Lem’s copy of Comic Books 101: The History, Methods and Madness by Chris Ryall and Scott Tipton, as well as Kubi’s Mythspace, Vol. 1 by Paolo Chikiamco.

As for this month’s YA fix, Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun was a heartbreakingly beautiful read, while Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything surprisingly had more depth and less of the romance that has become a staple in her novels.

Among the books I borrowed from Kubi is a slim novel called Light Boxes by Shane Jones, which kept me company on an uneventful summer afternoon. I’ve also been on a Harry Potter fix lately – a direct result of a spontaneous movie marathon of all eight films. I’ve been re-reading the novels as well, and I’ve just finished Prisoner of Azkaban, which still managed to make me burst into quiet sobs.

Anyhoo, the latest issue of Lumberjanes (#14) was still a riot, while Saga #28 could only be described as holy fuck.

My Civil War reading mission is still going swimmingly, thank you very much, although I read most of them on the last day of May because I wanted to take my mind off the harrowing Outlander season finale. I’ve also crossed out a few more items from my Eclectic Reader’s Challenge reading list, such as Jim Butcher’s Storm Front and Matthew Quick’s Boy21.

But my favorite May read is Emily St. John Mandel’s spectacular Station Eleven, which was dark and wonderful and eerie and touching. It also made me miss my Shakespeare class and being involved in theater productions. I wish I could articulate my feelings about this book, but I can’t at the moment. It’s frustrating, but I’m in the middle of attempting to finish my writing projects and that takes up most of my time these days.

That’s it for now, duckies. Happy reading!

Hanna’s May in Reading

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: April 2015

KUBI’S APRIL READS:

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Favorite April Read: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Runner-up: The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

HANNA’S APRIL READS:

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Favorite April Read: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Runner-up: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

What were your favorite books from last month? What are you looking forward to reading this May?

 

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: April 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Hell-o, multiverse.

I let myself be gutted and finally finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things. It was soul-smashingly beautiful, and it needs to be required reading for me and you and everyone we know.

In other news, my Civil War reading mission is going swimmingly, and I managed to read five more books from the list.

A progress update on this year’s Eclectic Reader ChallengeSaga, Vol. 1 was abso-fucking-lutely brilliant. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are, to borrow a phrase from Cheryl Strayed, “über-cool sparkle rocket mind-blowers,” and I loved every tiny beautiful thing about it.

I am currently reading T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, which has been sitting on my shelf for far too long. I almost feel ashamed that I have not read it sooner, but I’m just glad that I’m reading it now. This week, I plan on devouring more titles from Marvel’s Civil War, and read more about the magnificent omnishambles in Saga.

All for now, duckies. Have a wonderful reading week!

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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 Monday! What are you reading?

Review: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

“The fuck is your life. Answer it.”

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I am exhausted. And yet, I feel lighter, somehow, after reading it.

This book is one of a multitude of tiny beautiful things in this world. It should be carried around in bags, lunch boxes, and back pockets. It made me think a lot about my ghosts and monsters and questions and decisions. It made me bawl my eyes out – although some chapters squeezed my heart dry more than the others did.

I was a mess of rainbows before reading it, and I still am after doing so. But I feel like I have someone who understands deeply, who isn’t afraid about calling me out on my shit, and who is kind and generous with stories and words that are truer than true. Sugar is that friend, and I feel a little bit better knowing that this beautiful book exists in this universe.

Review: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Last week was grueling, but I managed to get some reading done during stolen moments.

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli was dark and gritty and riveting. It touched on Bruce Wayne’s tortured humanity, and showed Gotham City as a horrifying hellhole. But it’s not just about Batman’s story—it’s about Jim Gordon’s as well. Gordon is one of my favorite supporting characters in comic books, because he’s such a decent person and he tries so damn hard to do the right thing. In Year One, we see him struggle as a good cop in a city ran by scoundrels. He rises to the occasion and takes action because no one else will. Batman: Year One shows the parallels between these two flawed and conflicted individuals, and I just really want to give each of them a massive hug.

Speaking of brilliant graphic novels, House of M by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel was fucking fantastic. Wanda Maximoff’s mind voodoo is scary as fuck. It also made me ecstatic about Avengers: Age of Ultron and AKA Jessica Jones.

In other news, my Civil War reading mission got off to a great start, and I finished the first 19 titles on the list. I still have a long way to go, but I’m determined to go through with it. I also managed to squeeze in Runaways, Vol. 3: The Good Die Young by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing with the series.

I still haven’t finished Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, and it’s mostly because I don’t want to devour it in one sitting. She writes beautifully and with so much honesty, and my fragile heart needs to come up for air every once in a while.

Anyhoo, on my TBR pile are The Once and Future King by T.H. White (Kubi’s copy is having tea and scones with the rest of the unread books on my shelf), and Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. The latter is included in my reading list for the Eclectic Reader Challenge, which I’m trying to accomplish this year.

Two more books that I’m excited about reading in the future are Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life and Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days. I know I won’t be able to read them this week, because LIFE, but I hope I’ll get the chance to do so.

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All for now, lads and lassies. Happy reading!

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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!

monday reads

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Of Lists, Monster TBR Piles, and Frittering

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Illustration by Ping Zhu for The Oyster Review

Earlier this month, The Oyster Review put together a list of 100 best books published since 2010. I’ve read only four of the books in the top ten: Patti Smith’s Just Kids (#2), Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life (#3), Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies (#6), and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit to the Goon Squad (#7).

A multitude of my favorites showed up on the list, but I still have a lot of catching up to do. Looking through the entire list, I felt like Rory Gilmore in The Road Trip to Harvard, when she found out about the number of books in the Harvard Library:

I’m a failure. I am stupid. I am uninformed and ignorant and… I can’t even think of a second synonym for uninformed. I suck. Thirteen million volumes? I’ve read like, what, three hundred books in my entire life and I’m already sixteen? Do you know how long it would take me to read thirteen million books?

It’s impossible not to feel like I’ve been frittering away my whole life when my TBR pile is of gargantuan proportions, and there are lists, such as this one, that remind me of the number of books that I still have yet to read.

Anyhoo,  how many of The Oyster Review‘s 100 books have you read? What books would make it to your top ten? If you’re looking for excellent book recommendations, check out the list and let us know what you plan on reading.

Of Lists, Monster TBR Piles, and Frittering

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: March 2015

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Favorite March Read: Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen
Runner-up: Lexicon by Max Barry

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Favorite March Read: The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
Runner-up: Just Kids by Patti Smith

What were your favorite books from last month? What are you looking forward to reading this April?

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: March 2015