Bookish (and Not so Bookish) Thoughts

Bookish and not so bookish thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Christine @ Bookishly Boisterious. I’ve spent longer in the part time to full time employment transition zone than I thought I would. Still living pretty far from where I work, not really taking the time after I finish a book to review it. I miss this though, the writing, the thought-recording, though I stare at a computer enough day to day. This weekly post was something I always enjoyed writing, so I thought it would be a good way to sneak a peek back into blogger-land!

  • Bookish thoughts first then! I’ve had a pretty good run with stuff lately. Especially the anti-superhero stuff. Vicious by Victoria Schwab was so wonderful. Following a pair of college roommates who become bitter enemies after an experiment takes a dark turn and each become an “extra-ordinary” it’s a smart, unique, and very entertaining twist on the superhero origin story. By total coincidence, I was reading Steelheart, another superpower loaded book, with more of a dystopian sci-fi bent, by Brandon Sanderson around the same time. In Steelheart, the people with special powers are the villains; twisted by their power to be cruel and tyrannical, brutally controlling and destroying entire cities. Vicious and Steelheart are entirely different books with entirely different settings and atmospheres, but they both play off the idea that superpowers don’t breed just stoic and noble men in tights. They portray a more realistic side to the fantasy trope: that of the super-human with a dangerously inflated sense of his own importance, his unshakeable convictions breeding tyranny, not justice.
  • See? I should be writing more posts more often. I totally wasn’t planning any of that. I just meant to say both of those books were great, since I had just started both when I last posted.  To that end I have to add that The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater was wonderful as well. She really knows how to build a rich world around a small town. It might be my favorite of her books, for all that I love The Raven Boys.
  • I’ve mentioned several times that I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks while I drive to and from work, over an hour each way. I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, Vicious, and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein this way so far and I’m currently listening to Entwined by Heather Dixon. Ready Player One is waiting in the wings. I enjoy them more than I ever thought I would. I’ve always been a visual person. If you tell me your name, I’ll forget it immediately, but if you’re wearing a name tag or you’re a high fantasy character with some weird and wildly unpronounceable name I’ll remember it forever. I thought I wouldn’t be able to follow a book read aloud to me, but I still got the skills I learned as a toddler. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was probably the best one to read that way so far, but The Art of Racing in the Rain narrator sounded so perfectly like a dog whenever he said “Yes!” I smiled to myself every time. I like the new and different experience. Sometimes I’m annoyed by the way a narrator does something, but those little extra good moments are pretty cool.
  •  Change of gear for a not so bookish thought: Why are one bedroom apartments so expensive? I really don’t want to have to deal with roommates anymore (I had pretty bad experiences for a couple of years in college, nothing super serious, but it’s never fun when you don’t feel comfortable in your own home), but having one would make so much sense when I see it would reduce my rent by almost half.
  • Related thought: getting errands and things done when working full time is all but impossible. More experienced adults need to give me some guidance on this.
  • These always end on such an anticlimactic note, but that’s all I’ve got for now!  Have a happy Friday and a great weekend! I’ll see you all when I see you, which is a not so subtle way of saying I should stop promising to post more often.

February Wrap-Up/March TBR

Hello there! I’ve been absent for a little while, but I hope to settle back into some sort of schedule here pretty soon. I’ve been busy adjusting to my new full time job, so I didn’t read as much as usual this month, especially in the latter half, and I didn’t review any of it here on the blog, so here are a few quick thoughts about what I did manage to read this month.

Books I Read in February

Lost Hero Cover Son of Neptune CoverIgnite Me Mark of Athena House of HadesMore than this TOATEOTL

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan-4/5 stars

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan-5/5 stars

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi-5/5 stars

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan-4/5 stars

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan-5/5 stars

More Than This by Patrick Ness-4/5 stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman-4/5 stars

Such a good month for quality over quantity! Not a bad one in the bunch.

I had started The Lost Hero in Januray and I finished it and the rest of the Heroes of Olympus series thus far this month. Riordan juggles even more main characters this time around, giving every one point of view chapters. It didn’t work entirely at first, but I adored House of Hades. I love when books can be funny and poignant or frightening all at once, not just at different times, and House of Hades definitely did so.

I paused in the middle of that series marathon, though, to read Tahereh Mafi’s Ignite Me, the final book in her Shatter Me series. Her writing style is incredible, and this installment was the pinnacle of that, wrapping up Juliette’s story in a very satisfying way. It did do my dystopian pet peeve of leaving off at a point where the societal struggles aren’t really solved just yet, but Shatter Me was always Juliette’s story alone anyway, following her from weakness and fear to strength.

I hesitate to even try to explain More Than This because it was such a twisty-turny ride of a story, but it was such a beautifully eclectic mix of genres and characters. Definitely check it out sometime, it is so uniquely YA without seeming like a cliche, though it did borrow a bit from a movie I love, but it does so in a way that works to its advantage. Can’t explain it. Just read it.

I got very, very busy this month and started a new job that involves almost three hours of commuting each day, so audiobooks are my new best friends. I chose The Ocean at the End of the Lane as my first audiobook experience and I loved it. Neil Gaiman performed it and I really enjoyed his (literal) voice and, of course, his writing. TOatEotL was a beautiful book, dark and lyrical and memorable.

March To Be Read

ViciousSteelheartAnna Dressed in Blood The Scorpio Races  Cress

I hesitate to even make a list, because who knows? I always seem to deviate from it anyway. I’m currently reading Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson and listening to the audiobook of V.E. Schwab’s Vicious, two books with surprisingly similar concepts. Apparently I’m having a super-humans phase. I’m not too far into Steelheart, though I’m enjoying it so far. Vicioius, however, is pretty much amazing, even though I don’t like the narrator as much on the audiobook. I am so glad I checked it out after hearing about it over on booktube (PeruseProject and JessetheReader are the ones who were over the moon about it, if I remember right).

After those, I have a couple of books from the library that need to get read so they can be returned: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Anna Dressed in Blood has a sequel, I know, so I might get to that in March as well.  I’m excited about reading The Scorpio Races. I love Maggie Stiefvater (even the Shiver trilogy, which is not as universally liked as The Raven Boys, but I enjoyed it.) and I’m excited to read her acclaimed stand-alone.

Then I definitely need to read Cress by Marissa Meyer. The Lunar Chronicles books so far have been amazing, full of rich, fun sci-fi elements with a fairy tale cast. I’ve heard good things and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. I picked it up the day after it came out, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I’ll need to get another audiobook about mid-week as well. Any of you audiobook listeners? Have any suggestions for me?