Monday, March 31, 2014

March 2014 Reading Update

My original plan for this blog was to have 4 genre-focused weeks a month. That leaves us with some extra weeks in between. I thought I'd take this week to interject one of my old-fashioned Reading Updates and miscellaneous posts while I work on some upcoming things for April.

On my time away from this blog, I still did my usual reading, though I didn't keep up with the reading updates. At this point, there are far too many books to do a 3-month collaborative update, so I'll just stick to March.

I didn't spend much of this month exploring. Reading one David Sedaris book led to an addiction. And starting two different comic book series, led to more.

Keep reading to find what books have been occupying my time.

(all photos below courtesy of Goodreads)


Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls - David Sedaris

I started this collection of essays last year and am only now finishing it. I don't know why I ever stopped. It's humorous, as Sedaris usually is, and sparked a domino effect in me with reading more of his books.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris

So far, this is my favorite collection by Sedaris. A lot of these stories are about language in one form or another, as Sedaris talks about his attempts to learn French, his experience as a creative writing instructor, and, even more stories about his family.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Naked - David Sedaris

Another enjoyable essay collection by David Sedaris. This collection is predominantly stories of his family, which are some of the funniest and revealing ones.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Barrel Fever - David Sedaris

I was hesitant to read this collection since it contained more fictional stories than essays, and I have yet to love any fiction Sedaris has written. But, it wasn't bad. Some of the stories were pretty funny.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Lean In - Sheryl Sandberg

As someone who isn't entirely interested in reading business/self-help books, I read this book on a whim, and it turned out to be a pretty good read. Sandberg combines her personal experiences, statistics, and career advice into what she says is "sort of a feminist manifesto." I did a full review, which you can find here.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads


Dog Songs - Mary Oliver

A book of poetry (and essays) about dogs. I don't even remember how I came across this book or why I chose to read it. It's just one of those impulses that I'm thankful for afterwards. I'm not a large consumer of poetry, but I had fun with this one (although I should probably add the disclaimer that I'm a dog-lover and owner). If you're one of the same, you'll get those "aww, my dog does/did that too" moments. If you're neither a dog lover nor a dog owner, I'm not convinced you'd like this book at all.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads


How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff

I really wanted to like this book, because I felt I knew what it was trying (but failing) to do. The story is told in first-person of an anorexic American teenage girl who goes to the UK to live with her cousins, only to fall in love with a male cousin right before some future apocalyptic world war breaks out. The major problems: I found the lead incredibly annoying, the love story horribly underdeveloped and unbelievable. It's supposed to be a story about how we can all unexpectedly change, but it was just badly executed.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

This is one of those books that I bought years ago, knowing that I'd get the urge to read it sooner or later. That urge came later (2 years to be exact). I greatly enjoyed the first half of this book, but the second half fell very short. My least favorite part was the romance. It was unbelievable and dominated all the parts I had previously liked about it. Full review to come next week.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories - B.J. Novak

Oh, B.J. Novak. I was such a fan of his writing/acting on The Office-and it was this reputation as a writer that made me want to read his book. But this collection of short stories was just a big let down. It wasn't completely horrible, but not great. There is only one story in the entire book that I actually liked and would maybe go back to reread. But the rest of it? Just one all-too-obvious piece of satire that got nauseatingly repetitive in its attempt to shock you.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads


In the Night Kitchen
- Maurice Sendak

I like Maurice Sendak. His illustrated children's books have this magical quality to them, as if he still possessed the mind of child when he wrote them. I didn't like this one as much as Where The Wild Things Are, but it was still fun.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads


V for Vendetta -Alan Moore, David Lloyd

Hailed as one of the best graphic novels of all time, I was disappointed to finish it and think it was just okay. I can't say I didn't like it because it was "too political," because I like Orwell's fiction, and all Orwell is political. I just felt the story outside the politics was blah. I was reeled into the history behind V, but was neither interested in his present nor his future. I would read and feel really into it, then suddenly not. Not bad, but not great either.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1-3 - Robert Kirkman, et al.

So far, it's just your average zombie apocalypse story with flat characters. I may just keep reading because 1. I already started and, 2. They are pretty quick reads. (My low rating my be due in part to reading Locke & Key simultaneously.)

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Locke & Key, Vol. 1-5 - Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke & Key is about a house, Keyhouse, and all the magical mysteries that lie within. The house contains numerous keys, each with their own magical function. The series contains a lot of background story lines, a lot of magic, only a smidgen of romance- all of which I love! Combine it with believable and lovable characters, great art and beautiful coloring and you have a complete winner. I love, love, love this comic series and it's heartbreaking that I only have 1 volume left until I'm completely done.
**warning: graphic violence within

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Saga, Vol. 1-3 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (1 & 2 are rereads)

Volume 3 just came out this month, so I reread volumes 1 and 2 in preparation. The first two were just as good as I remember and 3 was a great addition. The paced slowed down, but I thought it was about time it did. One of my current favorites alongside Locke & Key.
**warning: adult content within

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Thanks for reading. 
Come back soon~

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