What I’m Reading – March 2017

Fracture
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  February turned into another big reading month for me.  In this case it was mostly audiobooks and graphic novels (as I learned to dip my toe into those). This month I’m trying to get back into some full length books even as I continue on with some graphic novels. Once again, with so many read, I’ll try to be concise. What I’ve Read The Amulet Series (7 Graphic Novels) This series was a big hit in this house this month. Both of my tween girls and I scarfed them down and are lamenting the fact that book 8 doesn’t release until 2018. If I’d known it was an unfinished series I might have tried to hold off somehow. It was a very fun, active, and creative series. Twists and turns kept you captivated, and each book was easily read in a day. This definitely made me appreciate the GN genre a little more. Between this and Through the Woods (see below), I found myself hooked and seeking out more graphic novels. Star Wars: The Illustrated Novels Series (audiobooks) It seems a little counterintuitive to read “illustrated novels” via audiobook, but to be honest I missed that “illustrated” part when I was glancing over titles.  Plus, the narrators on this series were spectacular. I am so glad I picked them up.  The least favorite of the three was “So you want to be a Jedi” because the fourth wall was completely broken in that one and I didn’t enjoy it so much. Still, the series as a whole is well worth a listen. One Wooosh. This one is killer. It’s a book of poetry, but wowza…it’ll knock you hard right in the feels, I kid you not. Don’t let the “Young Adult” title fool you, it’s a hell of a book. Yes, I am a sucker for anything involving siamese twins…and I just jumped for joy that the famous Daisy and Violet Hilton were, in fact, mentioned in this one. A wonderful, but totally heart wrenching read. Worth every heart-stopping moment. Seriously, read it today. Go. Now. * Through the Woods (Graphic Novel) I had some issues with my first attempts at graphic novels. None of them were hitting the right chord for me, at all. Then this gem came along. A series of short little horror stories that are certainly creepy. The illustrations are captivating and with this one little book I was hooked on GN’s. The Sleeper and the Spindle Super short in the realm of audiobooks – seriously, it was like an hour long. I really liked the twist on the classic fairy tale. The ending wasn’t what I expected, and the full cast-read was definitely enjoyable. Worth the hours time for a listen. * Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Finally finished this one!!  Totally loved it, of course, as I did the movie.  And yes, the movie is totally in my Amazon cart awaiting release – and we went and saw it at the cheap movies I totally forgot existed. 😉  Anyhow, I breezed through the rest of this one quickly once I realized it had been on my list and embarrassing amount of time. It is now in a treasured location with my copies of the Harry Potter series and will get a special place in my new office for sure. 🙂 Honorable Mentions Again, seeing as I read so many books this month, I’ll finish up with some honorable mentions, quick and dirty version. Furiously Happy (Audio) – Jenny Lawson voices her own audiobooks…and the whole book and read through of it was exactly what I expected after reading her blog for quite some time. A little bit wild, full of curse words, and tragically hilarious in some places. Everything I Never Told You (audio) – This was just okay. I wanted it to be more than it was. Not sure if it was the audio read or the story itself. I just didn’t really care by the end. Seriously…I’m Kidding – Hey, it’s Ellen…of course it was funny. I’m not big on memoirs but I’ve been pushing myself this year…and this was another quick one to read. The Wicked & The Divine (Graphic Novel) – I don’t know what I was really expecting on this…actually, I wasn’t expecting anything. It was different, good and bad and confusing. I want to get more for the purpose of seeing what happens next. Wytches (Graphic Novel) – Creepy as heck, strange…but totally cool. I enjoyed this quick read. Glad I picked it up on a whim as it was later recommended to me by several sources.   What I’m Reading Now Difficult Women Another one for my “challenge” list (which I’ve sort of forgotten about in the past month in favor of reading whatever I can get my hands on. lol)…a collection of short stories. I don’t remember where I heard about this one, but I recommended it at my local library and when it came in, it was automatically loaned to me. I have no opinion on it as I am just cracking it open today. I’ll let you know next month. 😉 * * Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation Loooong title on this one…eesh.  Anyhow, I took this one out from the library for some dual research (writing related & personal related)…when I found myself wanting to make actual highlights in the book, I bought it off of Amazon. This will be an ongoing read for a couple of months, I think…but I’m learning a lot. For person that claims to not like non-fiction, I’m finding myself reading a lot of it lately. Anyhow, expect to see this one on the list for a couple of months, probably 😉 * * Feed This is another one that will go on the challenge list “A book you started but never finished”.  I’ve had this sucker for YEARS on my nook.  I started reading it, even enjoyed it…only to stop for one reason or another…and as my Nook is sadly dying a very slow and painful death so that I hardly pick it up anymore, despite the number of books I have left to read on it. Anyway, I picked it up randomly at the library today when dropping a couple other books off…and quickly found where I’d left off (surprisingly, I remembered after all these years). Hopefully I’ll actually finish it this time. Rebecca This one has been on my list for over a month…I’ve had to renew it twice at the library. I now have 3 weeks left and no renewals left. I have GOT to read it. It’s been on almost every single “You need to read this book” list I have ever found, and when I said I was starting it, I got a lot of positive responses… I have started and it was a slow start, but I’m starting to get into it. The goal is to read it before it’s due back. I’m sure I’ll manage…I hope…maybe… The Sculptor Recommended to me by someone in book club, I picked it up when I discovered my library happened to have it on hand. Haven’t started it yet, but as you see I’ve got a lot I’m reading right now. Hope to pick it up in the next day or two and see what I think.  Fingers crossed it’s another good one! Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix Yup, this one is STILL here. We’ve been distracted by all the things, and volleyball, and school, and my insomnia making me grumpy and headachy and not so up to reading aloud. But, we will get through this, hopefully this month. We are fully on board. 😀  As we always are. Harry Potter wins with us. 😀 What I’m Reading Next What’s Left of Me This has been on my TBR for some time.  It happened to come available at the library and I grabbed it up. Looking forward to getting into it ASAP. I have a lot to read, but hoping to get this one read up quickly. * Etiquette and Espionage (Audiobook)  It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the audiobook world for me.  I’ve tried several that just haven’t panned out.  This is the last on the list while I wait for some that have been recommended to me (some have VERY long hold times…VERY long…been waiting over a month on a couple of them). This one seemed to sound decent in the sample and I’ve been wanting to read this series for a while, so I’m hoping to start it in the next couple of days. Magical Power for Beginners Netgalley pickup for research – again, personal and writing related. I actually have a handful of books for that purpose on netgalley, but I just picked this one to go first. Looking forward to getting started. Hoping it is a quick and easy read.   The Girl on the Train Okay, this is a repeat…I still haven’t gotten to this either. However, “a book bought from a small, independent book store” is on my reading challenge list – and that’s precisely where I got this from. So it will get read, gosh darn it. One way or t’other. If I can stop impulse checking out from the library, I will do it. I swear it. Ensnared This one is a netgalley SUPER ADVANCE copy (so advanced, there is no listing on Amazon yet…it doesn’t release until December). I’m not even sure how I got it, but I’m super stoked to read it. A Beauty & The Beast retelling, it looks utterly fascinating…and the cover is just to die for. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to this one soon, too. The Queen of the Tearling Another impulse pickup from the library today…another that’s been on my TBR for a while. Luckily with library books I tend to make sure I get to them…so here’s hoping I get to it this month! I’d really like to see what the fuss is about on this one.   Saga Another recommendation by book club. I know next to nothing about it going into it, so we’ll see what we find. This and Fables (& The Sculptor listed above) are among the last handful of graphic novels I have on my current list. I have plans for more once I get through these. There are Buffy and Serenity GN’s to get my hands on, after all. 😉 * *~* So, according to goodreads I’m at 32 books completed so far this year. With a goal of 50 for the year I think I’m well on track…I might have to bump up that goal number pretty soon. lol. Of course, I also started writing again this week, so we’ll see how the continued reading attempts go with writing thrown back into the mix. Read more »

The Book Snob Opens Her Mind

The first time I saw “The Baby-Sitters Club” in graphic novel form, I rolled my eyes. “Why on EARTH would they make those into graphic novels when there are perfectly good books out there?” It annoyed me. It seemed a cheat. I was a snob. It took me looking at my child, my Molly, eagerly reading for the first time in ages after declaring she now hated reading.  Her attention span wasn’t enough for chapter books to hold her interest, but graphic novels were another story. It took me letting go of my bias to see how graphic novels could benefit a child like my girl. I picked up those exact Baby-Sitter’s Club books for Molly at the library. I picked up a  bunch of graphic novels for myself to try. I found I don’t care for the comic-book ones…but those that tell a story (or stories), I enjoy. My favorites so far have been Through the Woods and Amulet. I have several more to try, and I’m excited to do so once this chaotic work week is over. The best part of opening my mind has seeing my daughters both excited to read again. Molly is so excited that she’s actually begun picking up chapter books again. Kennedy is enjoying interspersing her chapter books with these quicker reads of graphic novels. I’m enjoying expanding my painfully narrow repertoire of reads to include something different, and learning what I like in this new area. So, in short…you can teach an old dog like me new tricks. It just takes me letting go of my bias and opening my eyes to see the benefits. So now that I’ve opened my eyes, I need your help!! What are the best graphic novels for my girls? What are the best ones for me? Read more »


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.


What I’m Reading – February 2017

So January turned into a big reading month for me.  Most of them ended up being library books. I really need to stop borrowing from the library and start reading the books on my shelves/Kindle. I have hundreds of those…but can’t seem to make myself read a one…I take them out from the library instead. Don’t ask, I can’t explain it. So, anyway…my “What I’ve Read” list is rather impressive this month. I’ll try to be concise as I can. 😀 What I’ve Read Big Magic Like I said last month, this book was a huge departure from the norm for me. Being that it was non-fiction and all. Still, I really enjoyed it and it stirred my long-dormant muse to life a bit. I’m not writing yet, but I’m feeling the pull that direction. Gilbert had a way of touching on many of my existing fears and helping me see another way of looking at things. There was a bit of floof in it that I can see others thinking was just wack-a-doo…but I honestly enjoyed it all. This one is staying on my shelf for when I need a boost of Big Magic. World War Z (audiobook) Another one that was also out of my comfort zone…but I ended up loving a LOT. My first audiobook…and I picked a 100% winner. I was scared to “read” another b/c this took the cake. (For the record, I have read another, and have another on my onedrive app) A great cast of characters – and a story that wasn’t so much about the zombies as it was about the people, their stories, and the horrors of war (especially war against this sort of opponent). Intriguing, deep, and emotional…I will refuse to watch the movie (not that I’d ever planned to)…because from what I have seen of it…it just can’t compare to this oral history in audiobook form.  I think audiobooks cost an insane amount of money…but I think it would be worth it to buy this one. The Lonely Ones I made an insanely long book challenge for this year. Not on the theory that I would finish each of the items (although that would be cool)…but on the theory that I’d never run out of ideas for books. On the list was a book of poetry – and this is the one I chose after an internet search. I read it in a total of probably 2 hours over 2 days. A super-quick read, and delightful. Being Jazz (audiobook) The next audiobook on my list also served to fulfill another item on my challenge list – a book by/about a transgender.  It wasn’t bad…just clearly written by a teenager. A little stilted, but straight-forward and funny.  I enjoyed “reading” it. Geek Girl To be honest, I’m not even sure what I read here. I weirdly enjoyed it – even gave it four stars, even though it was completely fantastically unbelievable. I think the weirdest thing for me was that every time the designer Yuka Ito came onto the page, I could only picture Edna Mode from The Incredibles. It was a weird, jarring picture in the midst of the rest of the oddness. Honorable Mentions Seeing as I read 11 books this month, if I went into them all this post would get too bigly. So here are some of my honorable mentions in super-brief review. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – it was a quick read, fun. Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons (Audiobook) – I’ve “known” Brittany for some time. It took my recent audiobook love to get her book read. Just as expected, it was as great as she is. The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick – It was a quick read. I actually had to warm up to the characters, though. Not my top read of the month, but cute by the end. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – enjoyable coming-of-age type of story. Really like the development of the main character in it. I didn’t even mind the flashbacks. Star Wars: A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy adaptation by Alexandra Bracken (Audiobook) – LOVED this. The adaptation was an interesting take, that i wasn’t sure about at first…but the voice actors made it work for me. The male (Marc Thompson) was my favorite, and the background sound effects are straight out of the movies. It really adds to the atmosphere. What I’m Reading Now Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want To Be A Jedi? (Audiobook).  Happily, Marc Thompson is narrating this one again, and all the side effects are back…however as the title says “So you want to be a Jedi?”…well, it addresses you – regularly – and you are the protagonist and…I know, this was made more for younger readers so it’s probably really cool…but it’s not my favorite way to read it. Still, it’s fun and a diversion and as an audiobook I can listen to it while I work on puzzles or cleaning or…oh, let’s face it, it’s always puzzles lately. 😀 * * One Another poetry book. This one was recommended to me by a friend in my facebook book club. Soon as she mentioned it I put it on hold at the library – because if you say Siamese Twins, I’m so in. I blame it on my time in the musical Side Show about Daisy and Violet Hilton some years back. 😀 Anyway, I’ve just opened it tonight so I can’t really say too much what I think about it, but based on all the reviews I’ve seen it’s supremely emotional and I don’t know how ready I am to be wrecked…but I am all in. I want to read this very much. Looking forward to it in every way. Assorted Graphic Novels As part of my push to get myself out of my comfort zone I’m trying to dip into the realm of graphic novels. These are just a start, and I’ve got quite a few more coming. Black Widow: The Finely Woven Thread – I like the character and this was among the recommendations I found when looking for good places to start reading graphic novels. Alice in Sunderland – A mix of the real Alice, and the Alice in Wonderland…sounded intriguing. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins – Been thinking of taking up these books, but the graphic novel was available now instead of having to wait. 😀 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – We have the movie and have watched it quite a few times, so I am familiar with the world somewhat…and this wasn’t on my initial list but when I saw it on the shelf at the library I grabbed it up.  Hubby is actually reading it first, but as I have several others to read, that works out perfect. 🙂 Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix Yup, this one is STILL here. We’ve been distracted by all the things, and volleyball, and school, and my insomnia making me grumpy and headachy and not so up to reading aloud. But, we will get through this, hopefully this month. We are fully on board. 😀  As we always are. Harry Potter wins with us. 😀 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them This one I’m a little ashamed of still being on my list. I really should have finished it…but it’s my current night-stand book and I was waiting for a reading light so I could read it in my new comfy mattress…and now have it so I’ve begun to read it again. 😀  It still makes me very happy and keeps me company on insomnia nights.  Over halfway done and expect to finish it soon. Then I’ll need a new night-stand book. What I’m Reading Next Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side (Audibook) I will be finishing the series as soon as I get this from the library.  Currently on hold, I think I’m #4 in line for it.  That’s better than the Harry Potter book I’m on hold for, though…I think I’m #70 there. 😉  Anyway, still narrated by Marc so I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this one comes out. The Glass Dragon I read this series AGES ago. Like 20 years ago-ish.  One of the challenges on my list this year is to read a book you loved again.  I really liked this once upon a time, and even re-purchased the entire series (in omnibus form) last year so I can re-read it again. Here’s hoping my memory of enjoying it wasn’t all nostalgia!!  I’ll find out. Unmentionable Yup, this one is still on here. I’m really looking forward to getting to it, if I’d ever remember to actually open it on my kindle. Supposed to be funny and full of facts and I can’t wait to dive in (but have to wait until I get through some of what I’ve borrowed from the library)   The Girl on the Train Okay, this is a repeat…I still haven’t gotten to this either. However, “a book bought from a small, independent book store” is on my reading challenge list – and that’s precisely where I got this from. So it will get read, gosh darn it. One way or t’other. Heartless I’m seeing this sucker EVERYWHERE. It’s crazy nuts and I want to read it so bad. There seem to be a lot of Alice in Wonderland retellings everywhere these days…but I like that this is the backstory of the Queen of Hearts. I’m very intrigued into what Meyer did with this story. Looking forward to diving in ASAP (is another library book) Rebecca Every list I ever look at says I need to read this, and so here it is…and borrowed from the library so I can’t wait too long (or else I’ll have to take it back and never read and feel guilty for not reading it).  I have no idea how I’ll feel for having read it, but everything is worth a shot. Queens of Geek A netgalley book. Anything with Geeks, I’m in. I didn’t even read the description before I requested it, just saw the “Geek” in the title and went into request mode. So we’ll see what we find! * *   *~*   So far this year I’m at 12 books – although I should say 11 because one of those I started in 2016, and just happened to finish on the second day of 2017 due to time and me remembering to read it as it was a kindle borrow from the library. It was a good strong start that I hope to keep up. The discovery of ebooks has really sort of propelled me foreward. not sure why I resisted them so long. P.S. Plan to have a post about graphic novels soon and what inspired me to pick them up beyond my reading challenge. Read more »