Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Books these days, with their sex and rock music...

I haven't been reading or writing very much the past few weeks. It's a strange mixture of working on the house and enjoying the house (read: not working on it). There are still staples on the edge of the stairs from the carpet we removed months ago. The front room has been emptied of stuff and then promptly filled again. We have a bunch of shows right now (Elementary, Korra, Masters of Sex, Homeland, Walking Dead, Amazing Race, plus I'm marathoning West Wing and it is SO GOOD), so Sundays are filled with watching TV. I bolted a shelf to the wall at chest height in the bedroom to be a makeshift standing desk, because sitting all day at work makes me completely opposed to sitting more while I write.

I really do love it.

I've read a few books in the past few months, and it's only fair that I tell you about them. Of course, I'm way late to the game on two of the three of them, but better late than never, I suppose.

 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I loved this book SO SO MUCH. It made my heart squeeze and I forced myself to make it last a whole week because it made me so happy to be reading it. I nabbed it as soon as it came out back in September. The romance, the writing, the fanfiction, the college setting... there is just so much to love. This one sits on my all-time favorites shelf. I don't have much to say about it other than if you have a heart at all you have to freaking read it!

The Shadow of the Soul by Sarah Pinborough

The US edition of this has been out for nearly a year, but I finally got around to it in early October. It's noir and a murder mystery and weird creepy gods and just wonderful. I felt like I was settling in for an old favorite as I read this one (even though I hadn't yet) because the setting and the characters were so real, which is a little creepy because this is definitely not a lighthearted book. It's CSI crossed with X-Files crossed with Game of Thrones, and I do not say that lightly. This is not a world I would want to inhabit. I do, however, want Cass Jones to be on my side. This one didn't have much of an ending, it flowed right into book 3, so of course I have to hunt that one down now. Definitely start with the first book, A Matter of Blood.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

As soon as I finished Fangirl I put this one on hold, and it's taken this long for it to get to me. A month and a half of anxiously waiting, and then I read the whole thing in a day. I never do that. It pulled me in so many directions that by the end of it I was an emotional wreck. I don't even know what I looked like to Phil when he got home, as he walked through the door exactly as I was closing the book. I am now in love with Rainbow Rowell, and will be hunting down everything she writes.
Attachments is next. This is the type of book that makes me so frigging happy just for the fact that I am reading wonderful words, and yet so depressed because how on earth could I ever top that? Not even top it, but compare? UGH SO WONDERFUL AND DEPRESSING.

What am I reading now?

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

I am reading this slowly, chapter by chapter. Thinking about it. Writing my reactions. Analyzing why Schwab did what she did. Why? Because I want to break down and discuss a book. I want to figure out what works and what doesn't, and I don't have an English class or reading group to do it with. Plus, I want to do it with an emphasis on the writing. I've tried to do this with books I've already read, but I always lose interest because I know what's going to happen. It's a really great story so far. I definitely recommend it.

Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer

This book is so cool! It's more of an art project, really. Fantastic illustrations, essays from famous writers, and a nuts-and-bolts guide to writing creative fiction. This is not something you read through. This is something you spend a year on, absorbing everything, marking it up with pencil, sticking post-it notes all over the edges. This is a crash course on writing that's full of all kinds of cool shit. If I was a writing professor, I would make every one of my students buy this book. Seriously, go to the bookstore and flip through these gorgeous pages, and I dare you not to buy it.

 Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

This book has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. Leckie takes all the gender/cultural/SF stereotypes and flips them on their heads. Read this post by Kameron Hurley, she said it much better than I did. She also convinced me to pick it up. It's a bit over my head at times, because it's been a long while since I read hard-core Sci Fi. But more books like this need to exist, the kind that make you think about how you live your life. I want books with characters other than straight/white/male. The world is bigger than that. In this same vein, I am really excited for Ascension, out in early December.

What are some other books I'm dying to read, you ask? Far too many to fit in the day.

The Lives of Tao - Wesley Chu ( GR | BN )
Miserere - Theresa Frohock ( GR | BN )
Alif the Unseen - G. Willow Wilson ( GR | BN )
Renaissance - Oliver Bowden ( GR | BN )
Pantomime - Laura Lam ( GR | BN )
John Dies at the End - David Wong ( GR | BN )
The Secret History - Donna Tartt ( GR | BN )
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marisha Pessl ( GR | BN )

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