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.

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts-February 14

  • I mentioned last week that I had a second interview for a job I really, really wanted. I got the job that very afternoon and I started it yesterday. It is very overwhelming and I have a long commute until I can move closer. I will definitely try to keep blogging the next few weeks and on into the future, but we’ll have to see how everything goes. I made the leap to book blogger in no small part because I needed something rewarding to keep myself from getting too down every time a job opportunity didn’t work out or prospects were thin. I really love doing it though, and I don’t see myself ever wanting to quit reading, so I hope to want to continue blogging as well. But, at the very least, you all will definitely be seeing less of me the next few weeks.
  • Book-wise I finished The Heroes of Olympus series this week. I definitely regretted staying up late to finish The House of Hades on Tuesday night since schedule wise I couldn’t sleep much on Wednesday night before I started the new job, but I also kind of think it was worth it. I want to do a post on the series thus far, but in case I don’t get to it, I will just say that I think handling seven POV characters could have been a disaster, but it wasn’t. I still love Percy and Annabeth best of course, but the focus on some different gods has been fun too. Also, House of Hades was extremely funny and extremely scary all at once. It was pretty cool that it did both. I loved them all and I can’t wait seven months for the last book. I just can’t.
  • I also finally got to Ignite Me, the final book in the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi. I had wanted to re-read the entire series first, but I didn’t. I read the first few pages of Shatter Me before I got all anxious about starting Ignite Me, since it had been out for a few days at that point. (What a character transformation, by the way. Holy cow.) . I did read Fracture Me, the second novella that takes place between the second book, Unravel Me, and Ignite Me, before I started, which gave me something of a reminder of what had happened at the end of book 2. Plus the third one did a pretty good job of recapping things for us, so I wasn’t confused at all. I do still kind of want to reread the whole thing, because the prose in Ignite Me was so beautiful. The plot was pretty good. It didn’t examine post-war aftermath, which is always a pet peeve of mine, but it was always more about Juliette than anything else anyway and her story ended in a fitting way.
  • Speaking of pet peeves, though, Ignite Me was one of two books I’ve read recently that have blurbs that bug me. Heaven is Paved with Oreos, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, prominently displayed a blurb on the cover that was by Gilbert-Murdock’s sister, Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame). I don’t get the marketing strategy on this one, because, though Elizabeth Gilbert is relatively popular, the intended audience of Catherine’s books aren’t in the same age range as Elizabeth’s readers. The books are written for entirely different people (though both main characters are obsessed with the food in Rome). Ignite Me has a blurb by Ransom Riggs, whose audience at least intersects well with Ms. Mafi’s, but they are married to each other. I doubt he would refuse to blurb her book, or to say anything bad about it, because loved ones always help each other out. (Not I’m really questioning whether or not he likes the book/respects her work, but it is somewhat humorous to me).
  • I’m curious to hear opinions on audio books. I’ve never actually listened to one all the way through, but I’m doing the long commute thing for the next few weeks and my coworker yesterday mentioned he listens to them too sometimes when he’s doing the more monotonous aspects of our job. Do you like them? Do you prefer them to reading? What books do you recommend in the format?
  • I think that’s all for now! I will definitely still find time to check out the blogs of/reply to people who post comments as I always do, but otherwise I will visit you all when I can. Have a great weekend!