Sunday Seven

Argh, I have no inspiration for a blog post today, even though my desire to make a blog post is high. How does that even work? Anyway, I guess that means it’s time for a meme! Google led me to something called Sunday Seven on Patrick’s Place. Today: Seven Books I’d Like to Read in 2012. I guess that works, given that I’ve been poking around for something to read since I finished TFiOS Friday night. Here’s my seven:

1. World War Z by Max Brooks. I’ve had this loaded on my Kindle for a while, but had wanted to read Brains, A Zombie Memoir first. Since I finished that a couple of weeks ago, so I guess it’s time for WWZ.

2. The Clockwork Earth Trilogy by Jay Lake. I’d read the first book, Mainspring, a couple of years ago. It was SO GOOD, but I had kind of forgotten that he was writing sequels. But then I remembered! And so here it is on my list. (So, does that count as 3 more books? No, I will count it as one.)

3. The Terra Incognita Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson. I read about the third book in a Big Idea post over on Whatever when it came out and it sounded like a real good time.

4. The Dervish House by Ian MacDonald. Another Big Idea from Whatever. I can’t remember what it’s about, but the write up must’ve been good because it’s been on my list for a while.

5. 2030 by Albert Brooks. Who doesn’t love a little dystopian comedy? And when you read it, you will read it in the voice of Nemo’s father!

6. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. My bookselling friend read this over the summer and said it gave her nightmares. I mean, how could I not?

7.  11/22/63 by Stephen King. I am a shameless Stephen King fan. Evidently he had the idea for this book years and years ago, but felt like he needed to hone his craft before he could do the story justice (Under the Dome, too, which was excellent). I guess the time has come because here it is!

There’s a few more books on my To Read list, but those are definitely the top seven. How about you? What’s on your To Read list?

An Existentially Fraught Book Review

Tonight I finished reading the most amazing and painfully beautiful book, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Wow, you guys. I mean really. I read the entire last half of this book with tears streaming down my face, I was so moved. In the interest of not spoiling the book for anyone who is yet to read it, I will not say what the book is about specifically (here is a review from the New York Times), but I will say that it deals with a difficult subject matter tenderly and, if not hopefully, then realistically. I love that a book like this exists, that teenagers are going to read it in English class and they are going to talk about (or at least think about) the utter absurdity of human existence and that they will, hopefully, ponder whether Sisyphus was happy.

If you don’t yet have a copy of The Fault in Our Stars, I urge you to get one. And, if you decide to go with the dead-tree version, the entire first printing is signed by the author (and you might even get a hanklerfish)!

A Reading Update

Way back when (like last year), I had this goal to read a book a month and do a blog post whenever I finished a book. Like most things with this blog, the posting part of it fell by the wayside and then eventually so did the reading part. It’s not that I haven’t been doing any reading, but a lot of days it seems like most or all of my reading is done on the internet. I pass no judgement on whether this is a good or a bad thing. It just is. So anyway, last year I read:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Under The Dome by Steven King
The God Engines by John Scalzi
Wings of Wrath by CS Friedman (ugh, couldn’t finish)
The Hunger Games Trilogy (FABULOUS!) by Suzanne Collins
Towers of Midnight by Brandon Sanderson (and Robert Jordan)

And the list of books which I would like to read grew from a few to I-better-get-my-ass-off-the-internet-and-read-some-damn-books-before-I-die. First up this year is the newest novel in the Bartimeaus universe by Jonathan Stroud: The Ring Of Solomon. It’s such a fun story! If you haven’t read any of the Bartimeaus books, I highly recommend them, like ASAP. They are very entertaining.

What are you reading? Well, besides my blog right now, lol.

Does listening to the audio book count as reading?

Back in January I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, mostly because of all the buzz surrounding the movie. I enjoyed it a great deal, although it was, at times, a harrowing read. I probably won’t be seeing the movie. Still, it was a moving and thought-provoking tale, artfully told. I enjoyed it so much, that I decided I would try to read a book a month this year, but have become somewhat distracted by listening to the audio book of Steven King’s Under The Dome.

I love listening to audio books, (hands, eyes free for knitting!) and Under the Dome has been no exception. Steven King is still a master storyteller. But I’m torn as to whether or not I can count listening to a book as “reading” it. When I read a book, I become gripped by the momentum of the plot and tend to rush through, especially as the story nears the end. But in listening to the book, I’m at the mercy of the reader’s measured pace, forced to slow down and savor the story.

Moreover, I’ve found that I can’t listen to the book in place of reading it because there are places and situations where audio books just don’t go, like into the bathtub with me or over my morning coffee. This is why we’re just past the middle of February, and I’ve only listened to about a third of the book. Perhaps I need a hard copy of the book, in addition to the audio version?

ATTN PUBLISHERS: please include hard copies with your audio books from now on! kthxbai

What? I’m allowed to fantasize, aren’t I? lol

What are you reading (or listening to) right now?

How about a reading update?

Back at the beginning of the year, I resolved to read more. You see, I have been telling myself for many years that I am a writer at heart and, in fact, the primary purpose of this blog was to flex my writing muscles while showing off my knitting. Yet, in all honesty, I hadn’t been reading very much. And since they tell us that reading is to aspiring writers as a mountain stream is to thirsty hikers, I set my goal this year to read a book a month. Surprisingly, it appears I am ahead of the game. So far I’ve read:

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (well written, accessible, thought provoking)

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen (absolutely amazing and thoroughly satisfying)

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (wow.)

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (double wow.)

Bodies by Susie Orbach (clinically dense, but paradigm shifting)

Overcoming Overeating (clinical but what I needed to read at the time)

Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby (fun and enlightening)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (holy shit this guy is just… wow.)

And currently, I’m reading:

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (loving it!)

and

The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch (I’m reading this to Isaac and we are both enjoying every minute of it. Go now. Go get this book. But DON’T read it, it’s dangerous!!!)

Still ahead of me is the release of the next book of the Wheel of Time series (to be finished by Brandon Sanderson and to be three books instead of one–SQUEE!), in addition to:

Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff
A Bad Spell in Yurt by C. Dale Brittain
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
Wings of Wrath by C.S. Friedman
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Already I feel the stories coming together in my head, ready to be spun into something new. I can’t wait for November and NaNoWriMo.

Dear Reader, how has your summer reading been?

Getting Stuff Done

I finished reading Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell. It was a thought provoking and enjoyable read. Next I’ll be reading/critiquing the first draft of “Just Another Vampire Book” by my friend Sean. I’ve already read the first chapter and it was great, so I expect the rest of the book will be fabulous as well.

I finished half a pair of socks:

[ravelry]

and the decrease section of the Baby Surprise Jacket for my friend Sage:

[ravelry]

and I finished the first two charts on the cuff of the Bird in Hand mittens:

[ravelry]