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 »
Well, it’s a new year. Once again I’ve set a goal of reading 50 books this year. I’m off to a good start, and starting by stretching my usual reading boundaries. So far, so good – so hopefully it remains as such!! Don’t think I’ll have much on my “What I’ve read” list…as until recently I hadn’t read much. Without further ado…here is the reading list. What I’ve Read How the Ghost Was Won — This was, admittedly, a short book 100 pages. I happened to see it in my Facebook feed one day and was completely captivated by the cover. The blurb, however, did me in. I knew I had to have it. What’s more, I actually read it (a short time later – probably 6 weeks). And read it FAST (and not just because it was 100 pages). I really enjoyed this book. I didn’t care that I’d sort of guessed the twist early on (Guessed, but didn’t KNOW. Misdirection was entertainingly maintained to keep me guessing). Definitely a keeper…I’m even considering putting out the money for the paperback to keep around. I hope we see more in this world. So.Much.Fun. The Hunger Games Trilogy Months ago I posted about the random act of kindness that had a customer handing over this trilogy, in print, to me at work. I didn’t know when, or if, I’d get to them. Then one day I randomly caught the first movie on TV. I enjoyed it more than I’d expected, so I picked up the first book. And then the second. And finally, the third. I really enjoyed them more than I expected, considering my usual reaction to extremely popular books/movies is “eh”. The first two were great and held me captivated. The third…well, not so much. Reading through some reviews, the things that annoyed me/pissed me off about the last book were not what annoyed/pissed off everyone else, so I’m still out of the norm in some ways. 🙂 (translation: I didn’t give two figs who she ended up with) Anyway, I can finally say I read this trilogy and get it off my list. I’ve read, or attempted to read, three others in the past couple of months. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore had been on my list for a while. I read it, but didn’t enjoy it so much. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty was so ridiculously unbelievable, and the characters so cloying I had to stop reading. I suppose the biggest disappointment of the three was Crewel. I bought it ages ago based on cover alone – bought the whole trilogy – but I couldn’t even finish book one. I’ve already sold it, actually. When you find yourself questioning some key characters straight off – and then really getting pissed off at one you know is going to be a major player (when you’re not supposed to)…you know it’s going to not be enjoyable. So I bid farewell to the pretty covers and moved on, happily, to other reads. What I’m Reading Now Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix Not forgetting that this is a LARGE, VERY large book in the Harry Potter universe, I’m not quite as ashamed to admit that the wee one and I are STILL on this one. There are many reasons why we’re still here, but we are moving our way through slowly…and have passed the halfway point. Hopefully we will finish before the end of January, or February at the latest. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The first book that stretches my comfort zone right now. As it’s a screen play, I was nervous to begin, but I find I’m loving it. Thankfully (and of course) I have seen the movie, which helps make the reading of it all the more smooth for me. I can picture it all just as if I were sitting in the theater watching again (which I’d love to do). Very glad hubby surprised me with this for Christmas. 🙂 Freeks This is a netgalley find – one I hadn’t expected to get, actually. I thought the cover looked great and ever since my performance in the musical Side Show, I’ve had a soft spot for freaks. 😉 A short way into it, and definitely intrigued. I have a lot on my plate, but looking forward to finishing it! Big Magic This one is a huge, giant step outside of my comfort zone. It’s NON-fiction! ~gasp~ And “self-help”. However…everyone I know that’s read it raves about it. Then, when hubby and I went out for an afternoon away from the kids (2 weeks of Christmas vacation gets a bit much sometimes 😉 ) – I found this in Barnes & Noble and started to read. I got so hooked in that I bought it there instead of the zon where it’s cheaper. I didn’t want to wait for it. It really is speaking to me where I’m at right now and I’m breezing through it pretty fast. World War Z (audiobook) Well, speaking of WAY out of my comfort zone…here’s this one. It’s a zombie book – and I’m not a big fan of such things. And…it’s my first ever audiobook. I have to say – if I was going to pop my audiobook cherry, I don’t think I could have picked a better way to do it. I am having so much fun listening to this (while working on puzzles) and hearing some familiar-to-my-geek-ears voices lending themselves to the story. I’m really enjoying that the story is not so much about the zombies themselves as the politics and such that led to the outbreak and it getting out of hand. I’ve got about 8.5 hours left to go, but find myself really enjoying this. I certainly won’t do an audiobook all the time (and have through trial and error that some narrators really annoy me)…but this is a nice change of pace, and knocks something off of my challenge list. 🙂 What I’m Reading Next Unmentionable I actually totally forgot I had this on my Kindle (thanks to netgalley) until making this list. As a historical writer, I really want to read this – of course I’ve heard some great things about this and imagine that I will (hopefully) be acquiring this in hard cover some time soon, if I can. Either way, it’s definitely next on my list. The Girl on the Train I am probably the only person on the planet that hasn’t read this one – but here I am. I bought this on my birthday trip last year from a little bookshop we happened upon. As one of my challenge items for the year is to read a book from a small, independent, bookstore – this would be the one. It will be stretching me out of my comfort zone again – but so far this year it’s working for me, so I’ll give it a try! Down the Rabbit Hole Another netgalley book I didn’t expect to actually get. It looks terribly interesting, and I always enjoy takes on Alice in Wonderland. It will also knock another item on my list – a take on a fairy tale. I was pretty excited to get my email saying I’d been granted permission to read, and look forward to getting started – once I get through the ones I’m working on now. 🙂 * *~* This year I hope to do better than last – where I barely made it to half of my goal. I also hope to put a moratorium on buying books, and to read what’s on my shelf, my kindle, and to utilize the library. And that’s where I’m at for now. More books coming in the near-future I’m sure. Here’s hoping I get through them all quick. 😀 Read more »
by Sarah CassMulti-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.
We started when they were little ones – infants, babies, toddlers and grade-schoolers. We stepped tentatively into the community with a post. Reached out to find others. We formed a bond. We formed a community. The world was a bit smaller for our camaraderie, our shared triumphs, our ‘misery loves company, our cheering each other on, and maybe just a wee bit of shadenfreude. Our kids started to grow, and so did the community and the eruption of social networks, viral feeds and competition for STUFF. Our kids are now rapidly approaching those teenage years (or, as in my case, I have one that is exiting them). They aren’t as cute or adorable, and the stories are more difficult to tell in their search for privacy, and our confusion and pain and sense of loss as their youth turns into a searching grasp toward grown-up-life. Social media has reduced our sharing to sound-bites on Facebook and Twitter (or not – does anyone use it anymore?) or Reddit or…okay, I admit it, I’m a social media dunce…what do people use now? I can’t remember the last time I saw a blog post in my FB feed…and if I even clicked on it. That all ended 3 days ago when a real, honest-to-goodness BLOG POST came across my feed. I’m not sure what it was about it, or why I stopped…except maybe that it was a BLOG POST! From an old friend I used to read all the time. Whatever it was, I stopped. I clicked. I read a post by the fabulous Ali over at Cheaper Than Therapy (check it out, it’s awesome). Thanks to the click I made and the ensuing Facebook conversation it sparked, I realized something. We still need each other. Speaking from experience, teenage years are HARD. I mean, brutal. In so many ways I feel like we barely made it through the teen years with Denver, and we have two more coming up…worse, they’re girls. I could use my community now even more than I did then – I think we all can. Parenting never gets easier, and it takes more than sound bites. I hope we can share again, I know I plan to. I have a list of posts waiting to be written. I hope you’ll join me, and Ali, and the rest of us still struggling through this parenting gig. We’re stronger together. Read more »