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Books, Lately [August]

Books, Lately [August]

Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately. So I read eleven books this month, and it felt amazing. There were definitely several shorter novels, and […]

5 things not to do when your life is a bit overwhelmed

5 things not to do when your life is a bit overwhelmed

Why am I overwhelmed? Well, because I’m a 20-something. Wasn’t that a given? Do we even have a choice? But specifically, I’ll get to that at the end. Maybe. Unless I get too overtaken by feelings to finish. 1. Avoid putting things away, specifically clothes. This is […]

Books, Lately [July]

pages of the book as a bird flying away
Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

So apparently these posts become just as much about my life surrounding each book in question as about the book itself. Which may or may not be a good thing. I suppose those already reading my reviews get a better taste of who I am, but anyone who would read life-posts but doesn’t read book-posts probably isn’t going to read the latter to get the former.

If anyone reads anything here, that is.

Solution: blog more.

Obstacle: all of the excuses in the world.

Conclusion: indecision and writer’s block and I’ll probably just see you next month for another book post, kay?

THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR
Scott Hawkins

So sometimes you read something on a total whim, and sometimes you request books off NetGalley based on very, very little. And then sometimes those books are meh, and clearly you should choose more carefully.

And other times an awesome book reinforces your laziness. This is one of those.

Don’t you love when a fantasy author takes mythology you know of and goes a little crazy with it and gives you wonderful backstory and interpretation for that mythology? This *isn’t* one of those. I don’t recognize a single bit of the mythology in here (though that doesn’t mean much), and Hawkins doesn’t baby you through explaining. You’re tossed into a world of gods and ancient powers and a library with all of the knowledge of this age (as opposed to earlier ages, obviously) and pocket universes and suns that are made of a single pure emotion and lions.

So have fun and good luck figuring it out as you go.


SILVER BAY
Jojo Moyes

I don’t have a lot to say for this one. It’s earlier Jojo Moyes, and not nearly as good as her recent stuff. But judged on it’s own caliber and not against what we now know she can do with a story, it’s… still just decent. It moved sooo slooow and I wished Liza’s backstory was revealed sooner as the tragedy informed so much of her character. The slow reveal just added to the slowness. Did I mention this was a bit slow?


Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Robin Sloan

Time to talk book club, because book club is clearly not going to get its own post anytime soon.

So, I started a book club two months ago, because in the span of a week two different people told me if I started one, I should let them know. (Sometimes you realize the world just might be trying to tell you something.)

There were five of us (and now there are only four, so if you’re interested…) and we’ve only met twice, but it’s been pretty great. Fair warning: there’s not a *ton* to talk about with this book, especially as opposed to last month’s Peace Like a River, but I actually liked this book a lot better than last month’s. It’s a lot of fun, and goes quickly, and is all about books and secret organizations. So worth a book club that was mostly just wine and life-talk.


ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
Anthony Doerr

Let’s just start with the confession, huh? I haven’t technically “finished” this book. I’ve read approximately 70%, and that includes the last 20%, so that counts for something!

Twas the night before morning work-book-club and all through the studio, I was frantically pulling up reviews with spoilers trying to decide if I should stay up all night finishing the book or just not go or go and pretend I’d read things I hadn’t.

The compromise: read some spoilery reviews, then read the ending. So how could I possibly have appreciated this book properly without that middle bit? Well, maybe I didn’t appreciate it “properly,” but I really did appreciate it. The massive amount of detail is exquisite and somehow didn’t even bore me–quite a feat.

I’m on hold for a renew of this to (maybe) go back and read what I missed!


WHAT’S UP NEXT

More summer reading, catching up on some eGalley’s, this month’s book club pick, and maybe finally actually reading Gaiman’s American Gods.

Summer Reading List (and beyond)

Summer Reading List (and beyond)

Note: WordPress glitched and I published a half-done version of this post! Hence the re-publishing. Woops. I’ve learned from my Fall Reading List and Spring Reading List that setting myself up to read a set of pre-determined books for three months is one of the […]

Books, Lately [June]

Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately. So this month we had our first book club, reading Peace Like a River, and it was great. The meeting, […]

What are ten things you still want to learn?

What are ten things you still want to learn?

1. The first is entirely due to Netflix. Is it weird that I never cared about art history before watching White Collar—but now want to know all of it? I’m pretty much determined now to eventually take some sort of class on this.

2. Science. There is a lot that I’m missing. Because I went to Moody.

3. Kick-boxing. Is anyone in Chicago interested in taking a class? I’d need to find something really inexpensive, unfortunately.

4. Coding.

5. To use InDesign better, to know more about what Photoshop can do, and to know how to use Illustrator at all.

6. How to dredge up the energy every evening to keep up a clean apartment. Or cleanish, you know, whatever.

7. How to sew my own clothes: I’m starting to work on this one! As in, I have pretty much everything I need for a dress pattern, except printing out the pattern. And practicing on the machine I haven’t used in years, first.

8. Pretty much all of the skills involved in being a spy, a con, a space pirate, Arrow, and/or a Time Lord. I’d also accept merely being outfitted with the Intersect in my brain like Chuck (but with better control), and/or allomancy.

9. To draw. A friend and I have started working through a “You can draw too!” sort of book, and by started, I mean we’re both terrible still. We also just sort of skipped a month (or so…) without planning to, so, this may or may not work out. (Sarah, oops?)

10. To be moderately successful at being a functioning adult.

This is not, by any means, all of the things I want to learn. But you have to start somewhere, right? Also, a longer list would become depressing, especially if I have to include stuff like “holding my breathe underwater properly” and other embarrasing things.

Yeah.

What are yours?

When you couldn’t be bothered to fix your old “About Me”

I wrote an “About Me” sometime in 2011 when I began this WordPress blog, and then never bothered after that. I left it up so long I finally added “from 2011” at the top to explain anything that felt out of date, and another time made a […]

Life, Currently // Three

Life, Currently // Three

Time //  Wednesday night, finishing up a few posts that aren’t time sensitive that I can actually schedule. Blogging ahead? That’s a thing?! Reading // Mistborn. I’m madly in love with this universe right now, and all my other books are just going to have to deal […]

Books, Lately [May]

pages of the book as a bird flying away
Welcome to Quick Lit!
This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

This month is also extra colorful. Literally, not literarily, colorful. I’m not actually sure what I think of it.

MS. MARVEL
G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

I don’t read a lot of comic books and graphic novels. But I actually really like them, I just find the vast expanse of what’s available to be completely overwhelming (and potentially expensive). So reading a new series from the start is really working for me. The second volume is out, but I’ve been saving it in my cart for the next time I feel the need for some Amazon retail therapy. Or when I’ve actually read more of the books I’ve already paid money for!


MISTBORN
Brandon Sanderson

I’m in love. The Mistborn series is everything I ever could have wanted in a long term commitment. And I mean long long term commitment. I’m currently on the third of the series, which technically ends this triology, but Sanderson has QUITE a few books set in the same universe, and in the next six months will be putting out two books which will finish the second trilogy on this particular world.

It’s intense.

But about these books specifically! Um, they’re great, and I’m in love. Is that enough? No? Well, it’ll have to be. When I finish the third book, I may try and summarize the series, but no promises. Suffice to say there’s a fantastical powers-system (calling it magic doesn’t feel quite right), characters I love, characters that are really enjoyable to dislike, and  and a couple of crazy-unique races, and plotting, and intrigue, and really cool powers (worth two mentions), and an intense mythology,

And I am such a sucker for a world with a good mythology.


AT THE WATER’S EDGE
Sara Gruen

Once upon a time I started watching the Water for Elephants movie with friends, and I never finished it. I really just didn’t care. But then I read it, and then I cared, because Gruen is quite good at what she does. I got At the Water’s Edge as an ARC from Netgalley (though I accidentally neglected it till it was out anyways, oops) because of how much I liked Elephants. And because of that cover, isn’t it gorgeous?

Water’s Edge is set primarily in Scotland and explores the myth of the Loch Ness monster through the lives of of three Americans who came monster hunting to escape their current situations (and to find a monster and be famous for it, of course). Maddie, a great character who someone described well as being both strong and naive at the same time, is married to Ellis, who just lost his Father’s favor (and money) and is also there to redeem himself to dear old Daddy (it’s complicated). While the boys try to capture a monster on film, Maddie gets to know the people of the town, and through that and seeing her husband and marriage for what they really are, Maddie has to decide what she wants, and who she even is.

It’s occasionally slow, and I can understand reviewers who called it thin, but personally I was into it from the start. The interactions are great: between Maddie and the maids, between her former identity as a socialite and her even more former identity as daughter of a scandal, and between Maddie and Angus. Themes of complicated infidelity and abuse might turn off some readers, but Gruen handles them well.


lostlake

LOST LAKE
Sarah Addison Allen

SAA ‘s world is that of southern contemporary magical realism. It’s not a subgenre I spend a lot of time in, which is part of why I put off reading her two most recent books for a while, but I’ve liked almost everything I’ve read from her. Lost Lake isn’t as good as my favorites (Garden Spells, Girl Who Chased the Moon, and even Sugar Queen), but it was a big improvement IMO from Peach Keeper. The setting kept Lost Lake from feeling too similar to her other books, and I felt like I could emphathize with Kate, the protagonist. On the meh side of things, I felt like the magic felt more… contrived than her other stuff? I still ended it feeling content, which is something I like with her books.


BURN FOR BURN
FIRE WITH FIRE
Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Highschool revenge drama with a twist. Like, a really big, unexpected twist that leaves you not entirely sure what genre you’re reading. I’ve never read Vivian, just Han, so the [spoilers!] element might have been less of a suprise if I was acquainted with both. Either way, I’m definitely not unhappy with the kind of twist these books throw out!  I really liked the elemtents of healthier female friendships (as healthy as you can get when you’re plotting big revenge together) to balance out the expected, but not too overdone, catty ones. I also liked that it dealt with heftier issues and was grittier than Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.


WHAT’S UP NEXT

Honestly? More Mistborn. I’ve still got a ways to go in the third book (these things are nice and long!). And when I’m done, it’s going to be a challange not to just jump into more books in that universe right away.

When I can tear my eyes from Vin and Elend, I want to finish Searching for Sunday and Moral DisorderAnd I really need to turn my eyes back to the rest of the books I promised myself I’d read this spring! There’s still too many to finish in May (Mistborn ruined everything!), but I’d like to at least try to tackle a couple of these: Glittering Images, I Capture the Castle, Almost Famous Womenand Damaged Goods.

Although let’s be honest. With the lack of restraint I’ve shown lately towards series, I should probably avoid Glittering Images and anything else with a #1 by it’s name!

When it’s possible to enjoy both ebooks and real books (and libraries for both!)

When it’s possible to enjoy both ebooks and real books (and libraries for both!)

In my first year of college in Chicago, I fell madly in love with the main Chicago Public Library. It’s huge and amazing and I just loved entering. It’s got gorgeous architecture, and it always felt like a shame that the North side of the building was […]