Sunday, December 8, 2013

My New Problem with eBooks

2013 has been a year of ebooks. I'm speaking from personal experience. A third of the books I've read this year have been kindle reads. I'm not here to complain, lament the state of publishing, or whine about the decline of the physical book.  I love my kindle. It's there for me when I really want to read a tome that is too heavy to jam into my purse. It's perfect for when I'm looking for a new book and don't want to change out of my pajamas. Plus I've had mine signed by Neil Gaiman and I think that's pretty awesome. What I'm getting at is that I've had some truly magical reading moments with ebooks this year.

But I've noticed a problem.

The other night I was making goodreads shelves for all the years I've had this blog. I thought it would be a torturous process. I've always been a reader but it wasn't until I really started taking blogging seriously that I kept track of how many books I was going through and goodreads wasn't the first site* I used to cateloge my growing collection.

I found pretty quickly that while I only had a vague memory of some plots -2009 and 2010 were years ago - I had vivid memories of reading each book I archived. Some were simple, just me lying in my first apartment tearing through The Heights just so I could finish it and return it to the Library. Others were whole scenes, like reading The Boy in Striped Pajamas and pausing to rant to my roommate about how upset I was that I was crying over a children's book.  There were books I read on trains, and some on my patio in the summer sun. There were instant favorites and quite a few that I read only out of obligation. At the end of the day, well, at the end of 2013, I still have a perfect memory of each and every one of these books.

This probably isn't unique to me. However I've found that even looking at my list of books from this year I don't have those same warm memories. I'm finding this problem more with books I read on my kindle. Those books actually needed to resonate with me as stories to be memorable. I can gush about American Gods and The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, but Vile Bodies and The Fun Parts? Not so much. Even some of my least favorite books of this year still send me down memory lane so long as I have a real copy of it. I can remember sitting in the break room finishing Office Girl but there's a handful of eBooks that are lost to me.

I saw a post a few years ago that talked about how the biggest threat ebooks posed to that readers life was a library that would never see a post Kindle age, one where every hardcover that they owned was published before 2011. That's a real concern for me, but I've discovered it's for another reason. I need a physical book for some of these memories to set. For me that's enough of a reason to spend an extra few dollars on bound paper.

What about you guys? Are you finding your relationship with ebooks is any different from the one you had with paper? Let me know!
*Does anyone still use Librarything?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Readathon Update Numero Dos

Full disclosure: I didn't wake up till eight thirty. I went out to breakfast. I got cider. It's been kind of a weird Saturday. Still, I've finished my first book of the readathon. I'm glad I started with something short and easy, like Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. It's a children's book. Don't judge, it's flawless.

Now I'm on to slightly more mature things. I've had Fraud by David Rakoff mostly done for a month. Time to bite the bullet and read those last 80 pages!

Okay, I totally will go back to reading, but I just love book-spine poetry and  can't resist this challenge hosted over at Capricious Reader.

As I Lay Dying
Laughable Loves
Sleepwalk with Me
Where the Sidewalk Ends

Not gonna lie, I had way to much fun doing this.

Happy reading!

Readathon Introduction!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The metro Detroit area. It's nice out, maybe time for cider and sweaters and midday reading outside?

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

The Circle. Fall seems like the perfect time to read Dave Eggers.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

All snacks are created equal in my mind, but I kind of want a cheesy bagel, so that might be important later.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Ummmm, I've got an adorable puppy, Oskar, who is going to be my reading companion today.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

The last few readathons I've been very focused on milking the day for every second, reading until i'm not really comprehending what's going on in books and trying to force my page count up. Today is just going to be a relaxing read at my own pace and take whatever breaks i want kind of readathon. Even if that means I stop to watch the Tigers game or go out to breakfast (as I am actually about to do, but don't worry I'll have a book with me and my friends are usually late!)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A note

Life has been kind of strange around these parts. Sorry for the silence. I'll be back on Saturday for the Readathon!

Love you all!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Books I'm Psyched to Tackle this Fall

Top Ten Tuesday

Book's I am excited to read this fall:

1 - 3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix/ Half Blood Prince/ Deathly Hallows
I'm in the middle of an epic Harry Potter read through. Currently I'm making my way through Goblet of Fire, but the final three books obviously a must read for a enjoyable fall.

4. Fortunately, the Milk - Neil Gaiman
The second Neil Gaiman release of 2013, and this time a children's story! After Ocean at the End of the Lane and finally picking up American God's this year I'm excited to go back to the first version of Neil I encountered, that of a children's storyteller.

5. The Fallback Plan - Leigh Stein
Sometimes I'm a masochist. I watch Girls at 11 am on a Tuesday. That's what being part time at a financial institution and living with your parents let's you do. Though I'm sure Fallback Plan is going to hit way to close to home and give me a major case of the "listening to the National and dreaming of preschool" I can't wait to start it.

6. Fraud - David Rakoff
I've been looking for the David Sedaris sized hole in my future reading plans since finishing Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls back in April and purchased Rakoff's first essay collection. Fingers crossed I picked the right collection to start with!

7. The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

8. Bellman and Black - Diane Setterfield
I am equally excited Diane Setterfield's follow up the The Thirteenth Tale. I'm going to try and manage my expectations though, there are only so many "can't put it down" books one author can write.

9. White Teeth - Zadie Smith
This year I've been tackling authors that I've previously had little success with. I've tried reading three different Zadie Smith novels and have never gotten past the 100th page. I hear good things about White Teeth and if 2013 let me finish a Ian McEwan novel I sure hope it let's me finally form an informed opinion on Ms. Smith.

10. Necessary Errors - Caleb Crain
Error's came out this summer and is the one book I've bought for my Kindle this year that I haven't finished. This is unacceptable. You're next, buddy.

So those are my OMG I'M STOKED picks for fall. It's new releases and old favorites, dark and funny, second tries and new experiences. If that doesn't describe fall to a T I don't know what does.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall at Hogwarts

It's that time of year again. No, I'm not talking about the season of pumpkin flavored everything - though I just found out pumpkin spice M&M's are a thing. In my house the beginning of September can only mean one thing and that is that it's time for me to be cardigan deep in Harry Potter.  Some years this means I watch a movie every few days, some it has meant binge sessions on pottermore.

However since I graduated from college I find that instead of lazily reading about Harry's adventures over a short summer I push back my yearly reading until the start of the Hogwarts term. Without classes to mark the changing of the seasons I've taken to living vicariously through my favorite wizard. I'm already a third of the way through Prisoner of Azkaban!

Now I know I've written extensively on this blog about Harry Potter and there isn't a lot more for me to say on the subject. At least not much that isn't just incoherent fangirling. That's what my tumblr's for. Instead I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite Potter related things!
This is my Harry Potter shelf. Yes the series gets it's own shelf. It's got my set of Scholastic hardcovers , the DVDS, the Bloomsbury Adult Editions (in the box, they're paperbacks), A mini Hogwarts express, a misleading snow-globe that has Snape instructing harry and a custom mug from etsy. 

I'm obsessed with the cover art on the 15th anniversary reprints of the series. Kazu Kibuishi did a remarkable job capturing iconic moments in each book. When put together the spine also make a beautiful outline of Hogwarts. 

I'm  can be a girly girl. I love jewelry. So when I found this necklace on Etsy for under $5 I was one happy muggle. Remember, hallows, not horcruxes, guys.

Back when I used to check teefury every day I came across this Ravenclaw Quidditch shirt. I usually only wear it to the gym but it's super comfy. I do see shirts for the other three houses come up fairly frequently, but I'm Ravenclaw at heart. 

One last piece of Potter related squealing: JK Rowling announced today that she is going to write the screenplay for a Fantastic Beasts film. Queue screaming and fainting.

Do you have any fun Harry Potter related memorabilia? Hit me up in the comments!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer Reading Wrap-Up

While 2013 has been a mixed bag of good  and okay-who-was-I-in-a-past-life-to-deserve-this terrible luck overall this summer is already establishing itself as a pleasant memory. A memory tinted by a new house and some good books and not by the loss of a beloved pet and chaos of my personal life.  Not that those things didn't happen, i'm just choosing to remember the past three months as ones I was engrossed in the Land of American Gods, or the Brooklyn of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. I'm remembering make shift book clubs, both here in Michigan and ones conducted via text several hundred miles away.

 Maybe the occasional birthday celebration or late night philosophical chat session with some of old friends will find their way into the narrative I'm remembering, only time will tell. What I do know for certain is that I finished these books between July and now. They were mostly pretty amazing.

American Gods - Gaiman
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Gaiman
An Abundance of Katherines - Green
The White Queen - Gregory
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. - Waldman
Dispatch from the Future - Stein
The Kite Runner - Hosseini
The Cuckoo's Calling - Galbraith/Rowling
The Enchantress Returns - Colfer

Now that Labor Day has passed and all the lucky ones are back at school I'm starting my annual binge read of Harry Potter. Time for oversize sweaters and my Ravenclaw scarf!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Kite Runner - Hosseini

The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini

Amir is haunted by a secret he's kept since he was a boy.  A secret about his closest friend Hassan. He will carry this secret from Afghanistan to America and back again. Will Amir be able to right the wrongs of his past? Will he have the courage to even speak of these events?

Me: Amanda this is really sad.
Amanda: It's not going to get better.

The Kite runner feels a lot bigger than it's 372 pages. Not longer, but bigger in scope than it's page length would suggest possible. Hosseini stuffs in a brief history of Afghanistan, lessons on culture, some mixed feelings on America and, oh yeah, a story about a spoiled boy who deserves the guilt he carries around for three decades.

It's easy to see why The Kite Runner remains one of the most talked about books of the last ten years. It's subject matter is sometimes shocking, sometimes illuminating and all the time difficult. My feels on the end result are mixed. I found Amir to be near impossible to tolerate. Amir is the snotty nosed kid that sat behind you in class that had all the cool toys but still threw tantrums and miraculously had cooler friends to fight his battles for him. He's hard on his father, deplorable to his friends and always brooding. By the time he gets a chance to redeem himself he can't even carry that out without bringing on more trauma to innocent bystanders.

Even with a negative impression of Amir I still found myself crying over certain chapters and reading till I was too tired to continue. I actually finished The Kite Runner in a little under a day, a feit I could not have done without my reading buddy Amanda suffering with me. I can't honestly say I enjoyed what I read but it's stuck with me for the last two weeks and left me with this haphazard review.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bookish Me A to Z

A few days ago I saw a this A to Z survey over at What Red Read. I'm not usually big on posting long pre-made surveys/quizzes/whatever you want to call them here at Loving Books. Actually I'm not big about posting them anywhere. However this one was fun, and it's brings up a lot of topics I've touched on previously. Welcome to a quick snapshot of my bookish life, it's alphabetical! 
Authors you've read the most books from:
I just realized that all of my favorite authors have written a shockingly small number of books. However I've read eleven books by Phillipa Gregory. 

Best sequel ever:
Just a sequel? I'm not sure I've ready any series that are just two books. If you'll allow me to count whole series then my answer is Deathly Hallows. Otherwise I don't have an answer

Currently reading:
I've been been chipping away at If On a Winters Night a Traveler for about two months. It's not long enough to justify that time frame.  

Drink of choice while reading:
I don't purposefully drink anything while reading but I do usually have a Diet Pepsi somewhere near by. 

Ereader or physical book:
I'm split down the middle. I still love physical books but my kindle is one of my most prized possessions (it's even signed by Neil Gaiman!). I use them for different types of reading and I love both equally.  

Fictional character that you probably would have dated in high school:
Ron Weasley. Please?

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Dispatch from the Future by Leigh Stien. I'm not usually big on poetry but this collection has opened my eyes to a whole new world where poems don't make me roll my eyes at teachers and instead make me want to write really cryptic tumblr posts about feelings. 

Hidden Gem book:
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma. I've been singing Jansma's praises sing I finished his debut novel back in April. It's the best book I've read in 2013

Important moment in your reading life:
Reading Pride & Prejudice in college and realizing that there was a way to enjoy classics in stead of my high school go to of "read all the high brow literature to seem well read/smart/pertinacious". 

Just Finished:
The Cookoo's Calling - the Robert OOPS PSYCH IT'S REALLY JK ROWLING mystery novel. 

Kind of books you won't read:
When I was younger (read 13) I would go gaga over chick lit. Now I avoid it like bad fan fiction. 

Longest book you read:
Les Miserable by Victor Hugo. Easily. 

Major book hangover because of:
American Gods. Gaiman you give me all the feelings.

Number of bookcases you own:
Five in my bedroom. There's one with my cookbooks on the ground floor. So six total.

One book you've read multiple times:
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I first read it in middle school and eventually wore out my first copy. I still pick it up every couple years. 

Preferred place to read:
My bed. usually laying with my head towards the foot of it. 

Quote that inspires you:
Metaphors are not to be trifled with . A single metaphor can give birth to love. - Milan Kunera

Reading Regret:
That I've never pushed myself through Infinite Jest. I've started it three times and gotten to the same mark about 30 pages in each time. 

Series you started and need to finish:
A Song of Ice and Fire.  Let's be real, I'm not going to make it through A Clash of Kings. I'm just going to keep watching Game of Thrones. 

Three of your all-time favorite books:
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
PS: I think it was mean to make me pick just three. 

Unapologetic fangirl for:
Phillipa Gregory's Cousins War series. 

Very excited for this release:
The Goldfinch. We're all excited for new Donna Tartt, right? RIGHT?!

Worst bookish habit:
Buying more than 1 book at a time. If I buy books in bulk I end up reading 1, maybe 2 before going back to Amazon/Barnes and Noble and browsing for a new book so anything else I've bought will sit unread for at least six months. I have a personal rule with my Kindle where I can't buy another ebook until the one I'm reading is finished. 

Xmarks the spot! Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Rules of Attraction by Ellis 

Your last bookish purchase:
the last physical book I bought was The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. and the last ebook was The Cookoo's Calling. 

Zzz-snactcher. Which book kept you up way to late:
The Kite Runner.

I really had a lot of fun filling this out. Hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Behind Every Girl is an Amazing Nail Polish : Jane Austen Edition

Two things have been brought to my attention in the last week.
1. Austen in August is happening again.
2. I have a lot of nail polish.

While neither are shocking revelations, one is a yearly event hosted by the lovely Misty over at The Book Rat, the other is something I have blogged about before and has recently reached obsession level status.
Since I love Jane Austen, nail polish and blogging it would appear that it's time for another Behind Every Girl post.

Elizabeth Bennet

I've done Lizzy before. While I stand by this choice a few marathons of The Lizzy Bennet Diaries and a handful of viewings of the Joe Wright film colored my feelings on dear old Elizabeth's obviously chipped manicure. As a busy modern girl I see Lizzy wearing Lady Muck by Butter. This blue grey is more nuanced in person. It's fun but not shocking, professional but not boring and has just the right amount of personality to make it a signature color.

Jane Bennet

As before the LBD have changed my views on practically perfect Jane. To combine her shy, kind bookish character with the fashion forward, but still shy and sweet modern update I picked French Quarter for Your Thoughts by OPI. This taupe is subtle enough not to draw any unwanted attention but is chic enough to go with most outfits! 

Lydia Bennet

Lydia loves to shock. This attention seeking behavior would be perfectly aided by Essie's Brazilliant. This orange, which is MUCH brighter in person, would let Lydia be the center of attention at ever card game and ball she forced her way into.

Kitty Bennet

We all know that Kitty will follow where Lydia leads. With the guidance of her much wiser older sisters I would like to imagine that while she keeps tries to keep up with Lydia and her attention grabbing color she'd find something like Dotty by Maybelline to be a more interesting and sublet alternative. 

Marianne Dashwood

Marianne is full of life and love. Her carefree attitude and her tendency towards reckless abandon lead me to choose a lovely blue by China Glaze. For Audrey is light enough to be fun but is still a shade that Elinor and their mother would find improper.

Elinor Dashwood

Elinor has proven the most difficult. She's quite, like Jane, but with a twist. She's wise and well aware of what her family is going through. Her level head and realistic worldview lead me to eventually settle on A Piers To Be Tan by OPI. 

Emma Woodhouse

What is there to say about Emma. She's headstrong, but proper. She's bubbly, but then pushy. She's oblivious but would make a great tabloid reporter. Yes, I think that's the best way to describe her. She'd be great running some celebrity news blog that gets all it's facts 25% correct.  Her lack of understand wouldn't keep her from looking fabulous though. She'd totally rock Kerfuffle by Butter.  This delicate pink clashes with her forceful personality but easily fits the way Emma sees herself.

Catherine Morland

Catherine wants her life to resemble a Gothic novel so it stands to reason her nails would follow suit. Skyfall by OPI (yes like the James Bond movie) is a beautiful deep red. It looks like danger and castles and hidden secrets. All things Catherine salivates over!

What do you think of my picks for these Austen heroines? Did I miss your favorite? Let me know!

*Disclaimer* none of these images are mine. Except for my name. That's me. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reading with Friends

I've always wanted to be in a book club. The idea of a group reading has always appealed to me. Unfortunately my taste and geographical location has hindered my abilities to any real book club that doesn't have a median age of 57 and their hearts set on reading the second Shades of Grey book.

However last year I talked one of my friends into wading through Anna Karenina with me. While we rarely read in the same room, or really did more than go "ugh Anna just STOP" via text, it was nice to have a companion in my reading endeavors.  Being someone who has no qualms about putting down a book when it gets dull for a tome like Anna I really did need a friend around to help me push through talks of farming and politics.

This year my AK friend and I took on American Gods in what was originally intended to be a real book club, with real meetings and a reading schedule. This fell apart quickly but being real life friends with other real life obligations we took our time with Gods (and lost one of our readers) and would take some time our of weekly dinners to fangirl over Neil Gaiman.  It was a great experience to actually talk about a book with someone who was just discovering things at the same time I was. I do tend to look back at this with rose colored glasses because right after finishing American Gods I saw Neil Gaiman speak at the Michigan Theater. He signed my kindle. Bookish highlight of the year!

Last weekend my good friend in Dallas texted me about a book she was finishing which got us talking about this list and before we realized what we were in for we were hundreds of pages deep into The Kite Runner. Being hundreds of miles apart didn't hinder the experience. I have a slew of texts that show our emotional distress at every passing chapter and honestly without her as a reading partner not only would I have chucked Kite Runner aside halfway through but I probably would have still needed therapy for all of the emotional turmoil it created. Pro tip: Don't read a Hosseini novel in under 24 hours. We are now happily reading Cookoos Calling. Nobody has cried since Last Sunday.

I know reading is usually a solitary activity. I spend 95% of my bookish time quietly squealing in my room as i underline passages and check book blogs. However if the past several months have taught me anything it's that sometimes you need a friend to push you through those dry/uncomfortable/seemingly unnecessary chapters.

Do any of you have a reading buddy? If so I want to hear all about it!

Shout out to Kirsten & Amanda for being the best reading buddies out there!

Friday, August 16, 2013

An Abundance of Katherine's - Green

An Abundance of Katherines

John Green

Colin Singleton is many things. He's a prodigy, he's quite good  at anagrams and, he loves girls named Katherine. Though as much as he seems to love Katherine's (that's with a K. Spelling is important here) they seem to love dumping him in equal measure. After getting kicked to the curb by Katherine XIX Colin embarks on a road trip with his friend Hassah to try and get his mind off the pain and avenge dumpees everywhere.

There is something about John Green that makes all the YA fans swoon. He writes heartwarming tales about nerdy underdogs, and while they might not always have a happy ending they leave you feeling moved. However after reading two Green novels I can confidently state I'm tired of his male characters and their dream girl counterparts. Colin is smart, but he feels burdened by potential and is constantly thinking about what will make him one of the true geniuses.Oh, and he loves bothering Hassah about his lack of motivation. Even though we spend the entirety of these 200 pages in Colin's head he still doesn't feel like a complete character. Though he is a lot closer than his love interest, Lindsey. She's funny, pretty and troubled but feels like a cardboard cutout for Colin to throw feelings and tantrums at.

Overall I wasn't impressed with Green's characters and didn't feel like road trips and tampon factories in rural Tennessee made up for them. A solid 3 stars. Not awful but not a book I'd recommend.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

THe Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. - Waldman

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P

Adelle Waldman
Nate's never been popular and that's fine. Now a Harvard grad with a book deal living in the Brooklyn literary scene he spends all his time thinking about high brow things like western guilt and how he thinks that girl in the low cut top probably does have a great personality. Once he meets Hannah he's sure that she is different but is she really enough to shatter his mold?

There has been a lot of buzz around Adelle Waldman's debut novel and I for one think it is much deserved. Equal parts funny and cringe worthy Nathaniel P. is a engrossing and quick read. However don't be fooled by the title, the story may be about the many loves of Nate but this is not a love story.

Nate, for he is never called Nathaniel, is actually kind of a jerk. A likable jerk, but a jerk nonetheless. He is constantly focused on his work, on his past relationships, on how progressive and supportive he can be. In any other novel he'd be intolerable but here, in these pages that feel so much like Brooklyn he springs to life. While he musing on about how he's really not superficial and that he is just as interested in plain smart women as their superficial counterparts he becomes less likable, but more real. Really where Waldman succeeds is in the verity of her characters.

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is currently sitting atop my "favorite books of summer" list. You should totally check it out.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Life and Blogging

I love blogging. I do. I know it doesn't always seem that way. What with my long absences and lack of comments it would seem as if I might have actually forgotten about all of you.  I say you like anyone is still here. If you're reading this: Thanks for sticking around! Hi! You are wonderful!

Anyway, I love blogging and I clearly love books, but sometimes when life gets me down or complacent I fall into a trap of procrastination and Tumblr. I wish my excuse was moving (which I did) or work, but there's no point in lying. Here's too blogging more, reading a ton and Tumblin. Always Tumblin.

I'm glad to be back guys, I promise I won't turn into Dan Brown or anything.

PS: Sorry for the lame "i'm back" post. It'll get better from here. Pinky swear. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Map of Tulsa: A Novel - Lytal

A Map of Tulsa: A Novel

Benjamin Lytal

After his freshman year away at a university out east Jim finds himself back in his hometown of Tulsa for the summer. While home he meets the enigmatic Adrienne who will change his life forever. Over the course of the summer Jim will rediscover Tulsa while mystifying the girl he has quickly come to love. However summers must end, and with the start of a semester Jim will learn how much three months can change a person.

Maybe it's my liberal arts background, or my return to my own hometown after years away at university but my feelings for A Map of Tulsa are a lot like a famous John Green quote, or very slowly and then all at once.    While I found Jim less than desirable his single minded obsession with Adrienne was interesting, and their summer adventures got me excited for the heat and stupid decisions of late July.

The second half of A Map of Tulsa is set five years later. With a directionless Jim, an emergency and a spur of the moment trip back to Oklahoma Lytal loses some of his luster. However the end result is a novel that resonated very strongly with me.  In the end it's not so much about Tulsa or Jim, but what it means to go home again, and how memories can be muddled.

Overall I really enjoyed A Map of Tulsa. It's not the best book I've read this year, but I continued to think about Jim and Adrienne for weeks later. It's short, sweet, and would make a great summer read.

Benjamin Lytal wrote this piece for the Paris Review, talking about Tulsa and geography in fiction. You should totally check it out.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mid Event Survey #Readathon

How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
I'm doing very well! I haven't been as strict as i've been in the past about readathoning so I'm not as tired.
Mostly because I took a nap when I wanted to. I'm also as caffeinated as always, so i'm good to go for a while.

What have you finished reading so far?
I finished The Alienist and Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. I'm currently in the middle of The Fun Parts and The Distracted Preacher. I hope to finish both before the end of the readathon.

What is your favorite read so far?
Since I've only finished two books it's not a very hard choice. I really loved Diabetes with Owls. I love Sedaris and this new collection is a breath of fresh air!

What about your favorite snacks?
I was dumb and didn't stock up on snacks. I did go out for a cream freeze and then had ribs for dinner, so I think those make up for my lack of carby treats.

The major problem I've been having with today's readathon is that I've already been reading like a maniac for weeks. When I first made my book list for today It included A Map of Tulsa, Looking for Alaska, The Horla, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards and The Last Runaway. All of these are books I have read in the last 10 days.  So my reading list for today started off much shorter than I wanted it to be, and when I finished Diabetes with Owls I had to pause and regroup with some fresh book ideas.

However I will be pausing for the Red Wings game. This is Michigan and we are serious about our hockey.

Seriously, Wings, don't let me down. 

6 Hour Update #readathon

It's now 1 pm here in the metro Detroit area and that mean's I've been reading for six hours!
this is my book spine poem. 

Alright, it mean's I've been reading for about four hours because I fell back asleep after a chapter in Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. It happens. It's Saturday.

So far I've finished The Alienist, by Machado De Assis. As it is a 88 page Novella it wasn't the biggest accomplishment but it helps to have a number in my finished column!

I'm still reading: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls and plan on starting The Distracted Preacher by Hardy next.

However it is now probably time for a lunch and tea. Gotta stay nourished and caffeinated, amiright?

This is kinda a dull update. I'll try to have more interesting bookish adventures for the next one. Happy reading!

Ready to Read! #readathon

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Michigan. It's cold here right now, but I expect it to warm up so i can read outside!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I'm not sure but I'm already thinking of sending someone to get me starbucks

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I'm a 23 year old bibliophile (duh!) who loves tea, most things british and my cavachon puppy. 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
The last time I participated was the spring of 2011. I'm really looking forward to making a dent in my TBR pile. Oh, and relaxing with some great books!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Beautiful Redemption - Garcia/Stohl

Garcia & Stohl

Ethan Wate is dead and the place he's in clearly isn't heaven. Now he needs to find a way back to earth, back to Lena and Gatlin. Lucky for him all of his Caster companions want him back as well.

Beautiful Redemption is the last book of The Caster Chronicles. Unfortunately Redemption resets the tone of the entire series. If you'll remember, Creatures, Darkness and Chaos all had their flaws but regardless I was enamored with the world that the authors had created but half of Redemption is set in the "other" world. The one where all the dead people are. It's not a very interesting place to be and it makes Ethan so single minded that he has less dimension than a paper doll. Of course Ethan's death send's Lena into one of her manic mourning spells.

Even though Ethan goes through a very literal, by the book, hero's journey his highs and lows weren't big enough to strike a chord. Even the two big "fight" scenes at the end of the novel were a letdown.

In short: I loved The Caster Chronicles as a series. Really, I enjoyed these books so much more than I had ever expected to, or would have dared to admit this past January as I was making snarky comments through Beautiful Creatures. I just felt that Beautiful Redemption wasn't on par with the rest of the series, and to be honest, I would have rather seen things end after Beautiful Chaos than have to remember Ethan & Friends journey through the underworld as canon.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Books I HAD to buy

Top Ten Books that I just HAD to buy and are now sitting sadly on my shelves.

The Painted  Girls - I just bought this last month while I was reading at a pace of 2 books a week. I couldn't get past the first few pages and moved onto a spirited reread of Pride & Prejudice. I'll go back one day, unless I forget about it.
Wise Children - This came in the same package as The Painted Girls. Wise Children was on a flavorwire list a few weeks ago and piqued my interest. It's obviously still in my unread pile. If anyone is interested my new City in Sim City is thriving, though. These facts may be related.

Never Let Me Go - I was on a Keira Knightly kick and couldn't find a copy of the DVD, so I got the book instead. I ended up watching the heart-wrenching film before starting the more emotionally damaging book. I really want to read it but I don't want to be that depressed for a while.

Mists of Avalon - I really love Arthurian mythology.  Wait, let me amend that - I really love the Arthurian Mythology that I can find on Wikipedia. Which is why when I saw Mists of Avalon at a thrift store I picked it up. I love Morgan La Fey, or what the Internet's most used and often sketchy encyclopedia tells me of her, but Avalon is LONG and I'm afraid of bookish commitments.

Atonement/Saturday/Amsterdam - I have so many Ian McEwan novels that sound amazing. Like new favorite book amazing. Only I can't get through the first fifty pages. I actually finished my first McEwan novel this year and was not satisfied, so they'll probably be on my unread shelf a little longer.

White Teeth/On Beauty - Pretty much the same as McEwan, probably because amazon recommends both to people who like Foer and Krauss. I just can't get into her prose despite how awesome her plots sound .


The Last Runaway - Then new Tracy Chevalier novel, which I found out about after it was published and promptly bought only to forget about it immediately.

War & Peace - Last year I finally dredged  through Anna Karenina. My pristine copy of War & Peace will probably remain unread for some time.

The Forgotten Garden/ Distant Hours - Both are books that I should really enjoy, only they've been on my shelf for years and are getting a little dusty.

Neverwhere - I love Neil Gaiman, I really really do. I just haven't gotten around to reading one of his more famous works. That doesn't make me a bad fan, right? No you're right, it kind of does.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald - Fowler

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Therese Anne Fowler
There are usually two sides to every story, but in the case of the Fitzgerald the world only knows the very public third. We all know F. Scott Fitzgerald and his flapper wife Zelda. Their parties and fights have stood the test of time and their jealous love is the stuff mythology is made of. Z presents a refreshing take on the Fitzgeralds lives from the point of view of Zelda. Starting with her at 17 year old and anxiously waiting for her real life to begin Fowler takes her readers through the twists and turns of Scott and Zelda's relationship, eventually ending with the broken women the world remembers today. 

In 384 short pages Therese Anne Fowler was able to depict a fully developed Zelda. Zelda's characterization is what makes Z such a compelling novel, she is both flawed and sympathetic. She comes across as much wiser than I would have ever though of her previous to finishing Z. In other works, like The Paris Wife or Midnight in Paris (I know, two different mediums, we'll deal) Zelda is portrayed as the "crazy wife" of the great F. Scott, but the only instability here is of her very real bi polar disorder (which she was never officially diagnosed with in life). 

One of my favorite quotes, and one I was very glad to see make an early appearance in Z, is "Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy." That's what Fowler did. Scott may be the hero that took Zelda away from Alabama, but their love is to strong and toxic for them to continue their party lifestyle with no consequences. 

Guys, when this comes out next month pick it up. It is definitely worth a read.