March 21, 2016

What I'm Reading 3.21.16


Hosted by The Book Date

It has been a while since I participated in this meme, as I have been having a motherload of a reading slump. But luckily things are once again on the upswing.  Not to jinx it or anything!
So I thought I'd do a recap of the 12 measly books I've read so far this year and then get into the way too many books I'm reading (because of course) trying to get my reading mojo to stick around.
 
Kampung Boy by Mohammad Nor Khalid - 4 STARS
El Deafo by Cece Bell - 4 STARS
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta - 3 STARS


Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples - 5 STARS
Saga Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples - 5 STARS
Boxers by Gene Luen Yang - 3 STARS
 

The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys - 4 STARS
What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler  - 3 STARS
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - 3 STARS
 

Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince - 4 STARS
Deathwatch (Broslin Creek #1) by Dana Marton - 3.5 STARS
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge - 4 STARS

As you can see, it is over half graphic novels and graphic nonfiction. 
Now, for the currently reading, which is an insane number EVEN FOR ME, THE QUEEN OF MULTI-READING.  I still reign supreme.  In fact, I should get myself into some sort of 12-step program. Pronto.

ON THE KINDLE:

# of Pages: 288
Read 17%
Pages Read: 48
Thoughts: Great read so far. I am very invested in these manuscripts. I feel like I am on the race with him trying to save them, trying to prevent a disaster of The Library of Alexandria proportions. SAVE ALL THE MANUSCRIPTS!
 
 Zero Footprint: The True Story of a Private Military Contractor's Covert Assignments in Syria, Libya, and the World's Most Dangerous Places by Simon Chase
# of Pages: 352
Read 7%
Pages Read: 24
Thoughts: When I started reading this for review, I was immediately pulled in. The stories are amazing and I am a sucker for military stories. Then I saw it - reviews stating that Chase didn't actually do all the things in this book that he says he did.  Apparently he took a lot of artistic license. Others who served with him stating he is making false claims. UGH! Really, Chase? You can't just tell a story about something that happened to your buddy, you have to pretend it is your own?  Not cool at all.  Now I am trying to decide if I want to keep reading it as a half-biography/memoir, half fiction, or if I want to just cut my losses. What would you do as a reader?? Advice!

# of Pages: 464
Read 29%
Pages Read: 134
Thoughts: Just when I think I know what this book is about and where it is headed, it takes a turn. With each twist, I get accustomed to the new story line, only to have it twist again. It's both genius and unsettling all at the same time.
 
 Next Stop: Nina by Robin Raven
# of Pages: 242
Read 39%
Pages Read: 94
Thoughts: A woman finds herself to have unexpectedly gone back in time to before her father murdered her mother and brother when she was a child. Like a dark 13 Going on 30.  She needs to figure out why she was sent back in time like this. Was it to stop this event from happening, if she can?  Or is it something else altogether? Pretty quick read.


# of Pages: 240
Read 21%
Pages Read: 50
Thoughts: First thing you should know is that this is Christian-based nonfiction. So if that's not your thing, now you know. So Jess and Hayley are friends who are two sides of the same coin - Jess is rebellious and outspoken and fearless and thinks this is how to be a woman, while Hayley feels like she needs to shrink in order to be the perfect woman.  Both decided to write a book about how there is a way to live the life God intended for us as women without feeling the need to not rock the boar or rebel at every turn. So far it has been a pretty liberating read. I'm finding myself in Jess and finding out more about women like Hayley is increasing my empathy.  So great stuff happening all around.
 
 The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell
# of Pages: 384
Read 35%
Pages Read Since Last Update: 60
Thoughts: I find women's fiction to be on the slow side. On top of this, Genevieve is not nearly as interesting as her mother, Angela, who we meet in flashbacks. Genevieve is no doubt going to find herself, but I wish she'd hurry up and find an ounce of spirit. She's so depressed and flailing. I get why, but without any background personality to hold on to, it makes it hard to identify with her. So her marriage fell apart, it sucks but why should I care? Give me a reason to care, please. If it were not for Angela and the great descriptions of Paris, I would've DNF'd already. I still might.
 
 White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen
# of Pages: 448
Read 22%
Pages Read Since Last Update: 85
Thoughts: As I stated above and will state below for Under the Same Sky, I find women's fiction to be slow of pace and this is no exception. I was looking for this to be a "Peggy Olson from Mad Men" kind of read, and it is. But it lacks all of the Peggy Olson spunk.  This girl, Jordan, is ambitious and determined and clever and good at her job, but her personality is a little flat. SPUNK. It's necessary.
 
# of Pages: 245
On pg. 74
Pages Read Since Last Update: 0
Thoughts: I was really really into this story for a while. I was reading it on my phone every time I was in a waiting room or in line at the post office or pharmacy.  Lately, I find myself wondering why I'm not reading it. I still remember the story and I still want to know what the deal with the runes are, but for some reason I am no longer captivated. I'm procrastinating reading it.


ON PAPER:


# of Pages: 352
On pg. 102
Pages Read Since Last Update: 44
Thoughts: I like this story, but it is fairly slow moving. I tend to feel that way with women's fiction. Which makes me wonder why I'm reading so much of it right now. At any rate, I want to continue reading the story, find out where Hazel goes, what happens to her, but I'm also not under any false notions about how long it will probably take me to get there.

# of Pages: 224
Pages Read: 70
Thoughts: While I don't care a thing about being discovered, I do like the inspiration Kleon gives for trusting in your creativity and having that be enough. I tend to be WAY perfectionist about my art, just as I am about my writing (clearly blogging excluded haha!).  I think it has to get to a certain point before I can share it or I can't seem to go back and complete a painting because I'm terrified I will mess up the good thing I started- but how good can it be if I never get around to completing it, you know?  So I'm trying to let go of that and be more zen about sharing my work.

# of Pages: 258
Pages Read Since Last Update: 58
Thoughts: I got invested in this story and this family's life pretty quickly. It's a heart-tugging read, but I NEED to know the outcome of this family. Like NEED.



# of Pages: 496
On pg. 149
Pages Read Since Last Update: 46
Thoughts: Lucy is awesome and she has really done her research with this book. We readers often know many referential works from great influential characters like Hamlet and Sherlock Holmes and Don Quixote, but Lucy delves deeper and uncovers the significance of the influence surrounding these characters. Not to mention she has gotten me to pick up A Tale of Genji and Hamlet already. What more lays in store for me?

# of Pages: 338
Pages Read: 38
Thoughts: So far I've read about Understanding Human Nature, The Gift of Fear, and Games People Play.  I love the concise yet well-constructed overviews and summaries of these texts. It gives the reader a basic understanding of the work's core insights and the author's background. You can then decide for yourself if you want to dive deeper into the subject matter and read the book.  It also cross-references with other books that are written about elsewhere in the collection.

# of Pages: 285
Pages Read: 12
Thoughts: I am one of those weirdos who reads textbooks for fun sometimes. I had gotten this one years ago from a used book store and forgot I had it. I decided to pick it up and see if it was really something I still wanted to read. I quickly read through the first chapter. It's packed with info, like any textbook, and I quickly learned that cultural anthro was what I should have gone to grad school for, as oppose to sociology, which couldn't hold my interest enough to make the energy drain worth it. I find sociocultural anthropology fascinating.


Hamlet by William Shakespeare
# of Pages: 374
Pages Read: 78
Thoughts: The pages are more of a guesstimate since I am reading out of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and the writing is smaller and more is condensed on one page, two columns per page. Hamlet is a really interesting tragedy. I quite prefer it over the other couple I've read.
 
 The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu
# of Pages: 1182
On pg. 45
Pages Read Since Last Update: 24
Thoughts: If you don't know, The Tale of Genji is widely regarded as the first novel, and it is definitely an epic one. It was written in the eleventh century and it spans well over the lifetime of its principal player, Genji. It's not an easy novel to read so I've been quite slow about it. In fact, I barely picked it up for a couple of months. I was supposed to read 20 pages a week to get done by the end of 2016. That might be a pipe dream, but I'm going to keep at it. It really is a fascinating look into ancient Japanese royal life and love.
 
 Saga Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
# of Pages: 144
Pages Read: 70
Thoughts: Obviously I'm in deep love with this series. It's my graphic novel soulmate.



The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
# of Pages: 567
On pg. 138
Pages Read Since Last Update: 55
Thoughts: I love this book, but I had to put it down for a bit because sometimes life imitates art too much.
 
 Compulsion (Heirs of Watson Island #1) by Martina Boone
# of Pages: 464
On pg. 330
Pages Read Since Last Update: 177
Thoughts: I put this one down for a while because I honestly wasn't sure if I wanted to continue it, but I did miss it and when I picked it up again, I knew I had made the right decision to keep reading.
 
 Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin
# of Pages: 353
Pages Read: 47
Thoughts: I got this from my blogger friend, Sandie, and I really am enjoying it. Memoirs about foodies can be so hit and miss for me, but I like Martin's style. The recipes are thrown right into the narrative as soon as she mentions them and I kind of like that. You can get an idea for it while you are still reading about her experience with it. Some ppl might be thrown off by that, but I kind of like it.

DNF:


As you can see, I am totally out of control.  BUT I am reading and that is the important thing.


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