It was a bit of a slow reading month for me in September. I read 6 books, 3 of which were graphic novels and fairly easy to get through. Before this month, I never really read any graphic novels besides Maus (for school) and Alison Bechdel comics (Dykes to Watch Out For is my favorite comic strip). I’m really glad that I’ve found a new love for this genre and I’m open to any recommendations! Please shoot me an email or comment with your favorite graphic novels. Here’s this month’s breakdown:
Joe Gould’s Teeth by Jill Lepore (biography)- 4.5/5 stars
Edenborn by Nick Sagan (science fiction) – 3/5 stars
Sobriety by Daniel D. Maurer (graphic novel/fiction) – 4.5/5 stars
The Invisible life of Ivan Isaenko (YA fiction) – 4/5 stars
How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel/sci fi)- 5/5 stars
Stardust by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel/fantasy)- 4/5 stars
I’m aiming for closer to 8 books in October, as I have a lot of review requests to get through. I’m really excited for my TBR list this month but, like always, I’m constantly looking for new books and genres to try out. Thank you to the amazing authors and publishers that have contacted me for reviews—I appreciate all of you. Cheers to a great reading month and here’s to another one.
Another great reading month for me! I know I don’t have reviews up for all of these yet–I’m planning on spreading them out so my blog doesn’t spam your dashboards/email accounts. This month was 7 physical books and 3 e-books! Here’s the breakdown:
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel) – 5/5 stars
1984 by George Orwell (adult dystopian) – 5/5 stars
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link (fiction) – 2/5 stars
Voice of Innocence by Lindsey Detwiler (YA contemporary)- 5/5 stars
Adulthood Rites by Octavia E. Butler (sci-fi) – 4/5 stars
In the Blood of the Greeks by Mary D. Books (YA LGBTQ) – 5/5 stars
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (sci-fi) – 4/5 stars
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (fiction) – 4.5/5 stars
Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado (nonfiction) – 5/5 stars
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat (LGBTQ/Erotica) – 4/5 stars
Lately, I’ve been finding myself re-reading old books instead of picking up new ones. It’s a weird kind of reading slump and the reason for my lack of reviews. Here’s a short list of books I keep coming back to over the years!
1. 1984 by George Orwell
I just re-read this book last week! It was my 5th time reading it since I first bought it in 2009 for my freshman year summer reading. I definitely didn’t fully understand Orwell’s intentions until the second or third time I read it. I just bought a vintage copy of this book that I plan on never touching/ruining. 🙂
2. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
This has to be my all-time favorite books. I usually only re-read portions of this book–my copy is all marked up and I can easily find my favorite quotes/parts. I really, really relate with Holden and cherish all 3 copies of The Catcher in the Rye that I own.
3. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
This was one of the first Jodi Picoult books that I read and I completely fell in love with her writing style (no matter how repetitive it can get). I wish this book was known to more people! It’s one of the best, and only, adult paranormal novels that I’ve read.
4. The Odyssey by Homer
I’m a classics minor, so this is a must-read for me almost every semester at school. Even before then, I was required to read it 2 times in high school and ended up reading it multiple times for fun. I find something new in Homer’s poetry every time I pick it up. I think what I love most about Homer is that you find the same ideals found in The Odyssey and The Illiad throughout almost every modern novel. Even though it was written/spoken in 800 BC, The Odyssey still lives on in literature from all time periods. I think that’s so cool.
March was a slow reading month for me. I got sick a few times and couldn’t get myself to sit up, much less read a book. Still, I got through 7 books– 2 e-books and 5 physical books. I wasn’t expecting to finish The Glittering World until April, but I got it done last night. Here’s the breakdown:
Landline by Rainbow Rowell (Adult Fiction)- 3/5 stars
The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker (Nonfiction)- 4/5 stars
The Glittering World by Robert Levy (Fantasy)- 3.5/5 stars
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (Fantasy) – 4/5 stars
The Girl in 6E by Alessandra Torre (Erotica Thriller)- 5/5 stars
Tiger Tail Soupby Nicki Chen (YA Historical Fiction)- 3.5/5 stars
Awoken by Sarah Noffke (YA Fantasy)- 5/5 stars
I was super busy/distracted this month but somehow managed to read 9 books. I read a great mix of nonfiction, YA, graphic novels, LGBT fiction, and fantasy! Here’s a breakdown of my ratings:
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel (graphic novel): 5/5 stars
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (fantasy): 3/5 stars
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (fantasy): 4/5 stars
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (YA): 2/5 stars
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock (memoir): 5/5 stars
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (LGBT historical fiction): 5/5 stars
Room by Emma Donoghue (fiction): 3/5 stars
Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden (LGBT YA): 5/5 stars
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (fantasy): 4/5 stars
January was a good reading month for me! I read 8 physical books and 1 eBook (A Time to Reap by Jonas Lee). Instead of a Sunday Book Rec, I decided that I would just give a brief wrap up of this month’s books for me.
Nine Stories by JD Salinger– 3/5 stars
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children– 3.4/5 stars
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman– 5/5 stars
Sci-Fi Stories by Women– 2/5 stars
A Time to Reap by Jonas Lee– 4.5/5 stars
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach– 5/5 stars
The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber– 4.5/5 stars
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown– 5/5 stars
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins– 4/5 stars
Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott
I should probably re-read this book before I recommend it to people on the internet (thanks for reading my stuff, by the way!). The last time I read this was during my sophomore year in high school and I don’t think I fully understood it’s meaning. I’ll read it again soon and probably update this review.
Although it’s subtitled “A Romance of Many Dimensions”, this book is no romance. It’s definitely science fiction and philosophy mixed together. The novel is told by a character named A. Square who is, quite literally, a square. A. Square tells us of his life in Flatland, a 2-dimensional world, and what this place looks like to the triangles, circles, and hexagons, and other polygons living there.
The book opens with, “I call our world Flatland, not because I call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space.” Essentially, this book is just A. Square explaining the rules and limitations of Flatland (and Lineland!), like a manual. There is no central plot line, but with each rule of Flatland explained, A. Square has a little story to go along with it.
This certainly falls under a strange, mathematical genre of science fiction. It’s a pretty short read (150 pages) and very easy to finish in one night. A. Square has a sense of humor in his narration, which adds to the lightness of the book. If you have a free night or long afternoon, please try to pick up this book!
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Pages: 370 Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“What’s it like being dead? It’s very cold, my friend. Very dark, and very cold.”
Richard Mayhew lives a boring life in London, working at a job that doesn’t seem to interest him and engaged to a woman who isn’t right for him. He comes across a girl named Door, bleeding and helpless on the side of the road, and decides to bring her back to his apartment. Through meeting Door, Richard is thrown into London Below, another version of London full of people who “fell through the cracks”. He turns invisible to everyone from his old life, but he meets incredible people living below– Rat-speakers, beast hunters, and bird sellers. Richard and Door embark on a journey to avenge Door’s family and help Richard get back to London Above; a life far less interesting than the one he has below.
This is such a classic Gaiman novel. I’ve come to love Urban Fantasy through reading his novels. If someone were to ask me what urban fantasy is, I’d just hand them this novel in silence. There’s no way to put it in words. People who have read any of Gaiman’s novels will know what I’m talking about.
This book is great. Richard is the perfect protagonist who you kinda hate for being so annoying but end up rooting for him by the end of the novel. Door, too, is a protagonist and a strong female character. I often find books that are centered around a male character and consequently fail to represent any female power. Door is, in fact, very powerful and an important character not just for Richard, but for the novel in general. Yay for prominent female characters!
It was interesting reading the discussion questions at the end of the book/interview with Neil Gaiman. He says that that the novel can be read as a satire and commentary on the lower class and homeless populations living in London today. I definitely didn’t read the book that way, but it’s an interesting point of view. I might go back and skim this novel with this new lens on it!
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Pages: 127 Rating: 5/5 stars
“…You’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Full, and your whole body, form wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”
As a disclaimer–this book wasn’t originally on my January book list. My dad and I were at the bookstore and he insisted that he would buy it for me. He literally would not let me leave the store without this book. I am so happy I decided to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull this month instead of feeling guilty by having it stare down at me from my shelves. I will definitely be taking more book recommendations from my dad.
Jonathan Seagull is well, a seagull, who does not fit in with his flock. Rather than focusing on catching fish for dinner and other things that seagulls normally do, Jonathan loves to fly. He loves learning how to do tricks and trying to beat his nosedive record of over 100 mph. Upon seeing how different Jonathan is, his flock declares him an Outcast and leave Jonathan alone and without a family. Jonathan is taken in by another flock of seagulls, a colony of outcasts who, like him, live to fly. There he learns how to master his body and mind and discovers what it means to be free.
Although the plot summary of this novel paints it to be very shallow, this book means so much more than an outcast seagull discovering how to fly really fast. Trust me. The novel serves as a beautiful commentary on both society and religion, depending on how you want to view Jonathan and what he believes is heaven.
This book is one of the most definite 5 star ratings I’ve ever given. I think I may have to go back and read it a few more times before I fully understand it, though. Bach uses a wonderful story about a seagull discovering his passion for flight to analyze social constructs that exist everywhere today. The themes in this book are countless, but I can’t write about them without spoiling the plot. Like I said, I’m so glad that I bumped this book up on my reading list. I loved it.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Yes, this is a classic novel and yes, it’s almost 1,000 pages. Please, PLEASE, don’t let that turn you away from this golden work. I read this for my freshman year of college and, let me tell you, there was so much groaning over the sight of this book. But, after about 50 pages, no one whined about it anymore.
Tolstoy is a genius with words and literary devices. He can take 5 full pages to explain what it feels like to sit and spend the day on an electric grass mower and somehow not bore the reader. That takes talent.
There’s no way for me to even begin a summary of Anna Karenina. There are so many different plot lines going on that take place in different families and countries. I can’t even pick one theme to focus this recommendation on, because there simply are too many.
What I found really interesting about Anna Karenina is how it was written. An entire character with this own central storyline, Levin, was not part of the original novel. Tolstoy finished the book without a mention of Levin, re-read his draft, and decided to add a whole new character. The storylines flow so well that it’s hard to imagine the world without Levin.
In conclusion, please do not let the length of Anna Karenina stop you from reading it. It truly is a literary masterpiece that I will (try) to read again in the future.