A little bit of reading…

Or at least I would like this week to involve a little bit of reading. It’s July 2nd, which means the Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon officially kicked off yesterday. I found myself on the busy side of things, so I accomplished little reading. Today, I hope, will not be a repeat of yesterday! Either way, I took a trip downtown for a scheduled library raid to pick up several books. Although most of the books I plan to read are from the library, I won’t make an official Library Loot post. I don’t have an exact “reading schedule,” either, but here is what’s set for Summer Lovin’ week!

reading 1

CURRENTLY READING:

I thought I would have finished Neftzger’s book by now, and I easily could have. I enjoy her writing and the story immensely, told in fairy tale-like fashion, and the book proves highly readable. What stands between me and finishing The Orphanage of Miracles are other books! You might say I started Summer Lovin’s Read-A-Thon a few days early, as I took the weekend to read up through the third book in Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series. (What can I say? The series is addicting. Thank you, Tamora Pierce.)

As you can see, I also started Battle Royale. This is for Underrated Bookers, a group run by Rebecca (thebooker) on Goodreads. From the Underrated Book Project, books are chosen each month. For this month, the group picked books from the dystopian genre: Battle Royale, Ready Player One, and The Darkest Minds, so if you’d like to take part feel free to join the group! (You do not have to read all three books.)

Moving on to library books, now…

LL 1

I’m starting the library loot list off with leftovers. Yes: these are the very same books from two weeks ago. You can bet I’ll finish Lioness Rampant, if not this week then certainly by the following week.

LL 2

I am terribly excited to read this stack! I’ve said recently that I am itching for fantasy and steampunk, and, well… steampunk took over. My one and only worry is that I won’t enjoy these books as much as I’d like to. I can’t say I’m new to steampunk, as I do love the fashion and steampunk concepts that are used in films, but I am new to steampunk in literature. I’ve read so-so and mixed reviews for The Pearl Wars and Boneshaker–though I must say that my eagerness to read them doesn’t waver. I think the most promising out of these three might be Westerfeld’s Leviathan. His Uglies series isn’t for me, but Leviathan sure does have an appeal.

LL 3

Again: another great stack I look forward to. The Darkest Minds has sat on my to-read shelf since before its publication, and I am hoping to use Underrated Bookers as an excuse to finally read it. The sequel is due out soon enough, so I really do hope to make room for it at some point during July.

Of course, I believe I mentioned The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Wildwood Dancing in a Top Ten Tuesday post, which I still hope to read before summer turns into fall. I admit that I’m most antsy to start Jemisin’s book, as the summary and cover have a fancy, wondrous appeal that I have trouble denying.

LL 4

Sky Castle is a quick children’s picture book, which I discovered in the library’s catalog as I hunted down steampunk titles. Just to clarify: Sky Castle is NOT a children’s steampunk picture book, but I don’t deny the allure of one. I also have Melina Marchetta’s The Piper’s Son here, and I’m awfully excited to read it. I loved Saving Francesca, so I am eager to start the companion novel, like, right now.

Naturally, as an ATLA fanatic, I need to read The Search, where Zuko teams up with Azula to discover the truth of what happened to their mother. I weep tears of joy. Really, I do–and for a couple of reasons. The first being: Azula. She alone is one of the best villains I love to love, and I love her character all-around. (As I do Zuko. How can you not like him?) Secondly: we may finally learn the truth! ATLA’s finale slapped me across the face when the creators left this cliff hanger dangling on all of our faces.

Last up…

book 2Yes, we all know I picked up Battle Royale to read and finish, but the one book–above all other books–I am dying to read is Airman by Eoin Colfer!

Eee! What is that sound? Squeals of excitement and bliss.

Once I finish The Orphanage of Miracles and Battle Royale, which books am I picking up next? Who knows. As much as I want to read Airman, I am known for neglecting my own books so that I can plow through towers of library loot. I’m also a mood-ish reader, and I will waste a day trying to figure out which book out the many I should read.

Problem solved:

reading mug

I point out: the creepy-faced reading mug, for it has an actual face, and I refuse to drink from it.

I pooled together titles that interest me and wrote their names on paper scraps before placing them in my “reading mug.” If I ever have difficulty choosing what to read, I can blindly pick a title. Suddenly: choices becomes less problematic.

(Remember: sign-ups for the Summer Lovin’ read-a-thon are open through July 6th! Just before the 24-hour reading marathon starts.)

Happy reading!

Advertisements

Library Loot # 13

  • Library LootLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post — feel free to steal the button — and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

It took a few minutes of self-lecturing/scolding to cancel some of the items that came in, and it took even longer not to request more books than what I’m currently waiting on. There was no chance of getting through the original 10+ items when I have yet to finish my two library books from last week. (Then again: I’m not feeling you, Contemporary.) In any case, I’m determined as well as excited to read the books I picked up, especially these first four…

LL 1

I have seen people’s jaw snap open and hang from shock when I say, I’ve never read a Tamora Pierce novel! Her work has been recommended to me before, but I never knew where to start — Tamora has so many books and series that it’s almost intimidating. Someone suggested I begin with the Song of the Lioness series, so that’s what I intend to do. I’ve been warned that the world-building is not as good as her later books, so I don’t expect to be mind-blown. At the same time, I’m sure the series is wonderfully entertaining and I hope to enjoy it!

LL 2

I did not expect The Rithmatist to become available so suddenly. My own copy of The Emperor’s Soul recently arrived, and I had planned on reading it first. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll get around to reading The Rithmatist before the due date creeps up anyway, as I already have a full ARC schedule–and, well… 378 pages feels more intimidating once the book shows up in all of its mighty weight and page-thickness.

LL 3

More books and their large page-counts! I’m not sure I will read Icons, because although I do want to read it and like the summary, I’m not in the proper reading mood for a YA dystopian. Firelight, however, still has my interest, and I admit to requesting it last-minute–it was too tempting not to! I learned of it recently through Carrie’s five-star review, and that coupled with Seraphina-like similarities* makes for an enticing book.

*Okay, so the only Firelight/Seraphina similarities I gather are
1. Dragons
2. Half-dragons
3. Complicated romance
4. Female protagonist

and

5. It’s fantasy

They’re not exactly twins, but can you blame my excitement given the overall quality of Rachel Hartman’s book? At this point, I will squeal at the mere mention of dragons.

Library Loot #12

  • Library LootLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post — feel free to steal the button — and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Now that finals are over and classes have ended, I find myself swimming in ample reading time. The fact that I’d been looking forward to this moment for months doesn’t matter, because I’ve used this time not for reading but for tossing out note cards, trying and failing to figure out where my texts books should go, and napping. Precious, beautiful sleep. No more staying awake until 3 or 4 in the morning working on some paper that’s bent on ruining me. No more reading chapters about diseases and medical terminology. No more cursing test dates with they coincide. No more classes and now more college-stress. At least not for the next three months–a thought I’m still basking in.

In the mean time, I moseyed on down to the library earlier this week — only two books this week, but they’re books I’ve been eager to start:

Library Loot

My list of books for review just hit the double digits, and the publication and archive dates are all cramped around each other. That being said, I have no idea if I will have time to read these, yet alone review them — though of course I prefer to do both! I was lucky that my request for Openly Straight put me in at number one for holds, so I’d hate to walk away from Konigsberg’s book. Eleanor & Park is one I’ve come close to buying a few times, and while I’ve sided against a purchase for now, I’ve had my eye on it since before it was released. I had hoped to have a “Rainbow Rowel reading week,” but the requests on Attachments spiked and… I’m waiting and waiting. Patiently.

With my new library books checked out–not to mention those ARCs and my current re-read–I have a lot of reading planned out. Which book(s) do you plan on reading this weekend?

Happy Friday and happier reading, everyone!

Raya
x

Library Loot #11

  • Library LootLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post — feel free to steal the button — and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

The weather went from hot to drafty to… cold and rainy. With the nice weather went my brain, apparently, because I’m not only in a “school slump” but a reviewing slump. Or maybe it’s a case of writer’s block. Either way, I figure the best way to combat any pressure I feel to review certain books is to read books I don’t intend to review–or have already reviewed (like Seraphina!). I have two ARCS that need reviews written up before June 1st–one of which I’ll post next month–as well as a research paper due June 4th that I should be working on. Hardly a full plate, but with spring comes longer days and shorter tolerance levels.

Basically, I feel cramped. So I went to the library.

LL 1

These are for my research paper–a large part to my medical anthropology grade–which I feel an urgent need to start. (See, I didn’t stop by the library just to peruse shelves and grab a few recreational reads!) I chose to focus on HIV/AIDS in the U.S. during the 1980s — I may have stubbed myself on this, because I’m almost afraid I’ll turn up with little information that won’t churn out a five-page, single-spaced essay. Published field research appears scant, and it seems there are more sources that focus on AIDS patients and not ‘behind the scenes’ politics of the medical community.

My topic does, however, give me an excuse to re-watch And the Band Played On. I watched this back in February as part of my HIV/AIDS education for my CNA class. The book looks intimidating, though I’m sure it’s highly resourceful, but I do recommend the movie.

I also went wandering in the back of the library and picked up several books on whim:

LL 2

One book I am anticipating the release of this summer is The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo, and I dumped my excitement for it on Ryan’s Water Ghosts. Of course, the only similarities these two books seem to share are 1) ghosts and 2) Chinese characters. While I’m waiting on Choo’s book to hit stores, however, Water Ghosts sounds interesting enough. I’ve also heard a lot about The Brothers Sisters –hopefully I’ll have time for it! I’m wary to approach Connolly’s book, as I did read The Book of Lost Things last year. While I enjoyed the story, it did feel like the plot jumped from here to there without bearing significance on most of the main character’s interactions. I’m hoping The Gates is an improvement in that regard.

That’s all the library loot from me this week. In two week’s time, I can only hope that I’ve managed a decent research paper and have two ARC reviews out of my hair!

Tell me which book’s you’ve snagged from the library lately. How about summer books you’re looking forward to?

Raya
xo

Library Loot #10

  • Library LootLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post — feel free to steal the button — and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I’m back with more loot! A lot more loot, at that, which is a sure-sign of spring quarter burn-out. The first indication of school burn-out is actually when I’m spotted wearing Ugg boots. Yes, boots in spring (and silence yourself before judging my fashion sense, because it doesn’t matter what anyone says: those are the most comfortable footwear to exist, and wearing them is my way of saying “I don’t care about a thing unless that thing is doing nothing.”) Pffft to what Steve Pool says (only my favorite weatherman). Just because it’s spring does not mean it’s warm. (*Okay, it’s warming up. That still doesn’t mean it’s warm.)

Lazy dress code aside, the next thing I go to are books. Lots of books. Too many books for me to possibly read in a one to two-week period. But if you dump too many reading assignments and papers and tests on my lap, and I will instinctively seek to crawl up in a book pile where I can forget about all this work.

Work is bleh, and here is how I deal with it:

Library Loot 1

It finally came in! Not Watchmen but Saving Francesca. My library doesn’t have the book, so I requested it through an inter-library loan. Months ago. And several times before that, I swear it, but it seems like not all my requests go through or they are cancelled for some reason or another (like my ever-growing library fee). Marchetta’s novel takes reading priority above the rest, since I hate trying to renew loans. Obviously, I also picked up Watchmen — I was eager for it!

Library Loot 2

I went a tiny bit overboard on the “gritty” YA books, but they’re all titles I’ve had my eyes on for a long, long time. (Zevin’s book is probably more of a YA contemporary chick-lit, though.) I recently watched the film adaption of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (movie trailer!), which I think is a giant two-hour waste of BLAH and BORING and basically UNEVENTFUL. I have a feeling the book is better, which is why I decided to pick it up. Alexie’s novel, I’ve heard, is really quite good, so I hope to fit that in before the due date creeps up.

Library Loot 3

Oh, chick-lit. I gotta say it’s not always my cup of tea, especially the melodramatic and predictable ones. *cough*lola&theboynextdoor*cough* However, if there is one thing I do like about this genre, it’s that they are generally light. Right now, I need light novels. Cohn and Levithan’s collaborative work sounds like the most promising, but I have no idea what to expect from the other three. Eulberg’s book is something I want to check out for what sounds like a fun, possibly humorous read. Love & Leftovers is a novel in verse, which I’m generally wary to approach, but I hope to be surprised.

Library Loot 4

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Slam by Nick Hornby

These, along with Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour (hey, I saw it there on the shelf and went for it), are random grabs. There is something about reading Shakespeare on my own that feels intimidating. I remember reading Macbeth in school and how the complementary lessons lent me insight for a deeper read. Unfortunately, Macbeth remains the only Shakespeare play I’ve read thanks to my ninth grade English teacher. (While everyone else read up to three Shakespeare plays and classics like Animal Farm, my class spent half a semester watching Amistad so that we could understand  racial inequality and “big words” like “to scold” in To Kill a Mockingbird. It was all very insulting, not to mention disappointing.)

Now if you’ll excuse me: I have a medical anthropology textbook to murder.

Library Loot

(*All right, it is warm. Or: No, actually, it’s hot. Too hot for any boots–especially my favorite comfy pair, dammit.)

Library Loot #9

  • Library LootLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post — feel free to steal the button — and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I really don’t have any right to bombard the library at this point. School stress is mounting and I already have bundles upon bundles of books to read. Being me, however, I couldn’t stop myself. So let’s see what I picked up, shall we?

Library Loot 1

I could have gone all-out and raided the entire graphic novel section, but I restrained myself. (I really wanted Watchmen! Next time, maybe.) Some might be familiar with my love for Jason’s The Last Musketeer, as well as a few other of his graphic novels, so of course I had to snatch up another. Seeing as how I snuck over to the library late last week, I’ve already read Jason’s graphic novel — enjoyable, but I don’t enjoy it as much as his other work. Otherwise, I’m excited to start Kabuishi’s Amulet! I know of many bloggers who’ve read and greatly enjoyed the series, and I hope to be among the satisfied.

As quick, last-minute grabs, I also decided on a few poetry books…

Library Loot 2

Because, you know, April is National Poetry Month (but of course it’s May now). It’s been a while since I’ve delved into any poetry, and I honestly haven’t felt like reading any, but I’ll give ’em a go anyhow.

Library Loot 3

Library Loot 4Anna Dressed in Blood has been the center of hype, and I admit to keeping my distance for a long time — until I finally caved and grabbed it from the library’s shelf and realized: Oh. It doesn’t sound bad. It sounds kind of interesting. That was last October, though, and I simply didn’t have the time available to read the book. By now I’ve only read a small amount, and… I’m not all too interested. I’m not sure if it’s not the book for me, or if I should prevail a bit longer in hopes that the story picks up. (I am, after all, only on chapter four…) At the moment I’m moving through The Virgin Suicides, which I find much more engrossing.

That’s all the loot from me this week. What did you get?

Library Loot #8

  • Library LootLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post — feel free to steal the button — and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I feel like every time I get an open slot of free time — time I’d like to snatch up and use for this blog — something happens. Something always happens, and I’m found sidetracked and busy or sitting down somewhere with a terrible headache and dumbfounded brain.

My clinical last weekend was canceled! Because I have Fridays off, I had a three-day weekend of nothing do except study for one test, but things happened. (I did, however, accomplish a massive spring cleaning, and it feels good. Very good. No one tells me I can’t spring clean in winter.) I had hoped to write my review for Markus Zusak’s I am the Messenger, but that obviously did not occur. (It also doesn’t help that no words come whenever I try to review it. My brain becomes stupid and blank.) This weekend I have a five days off, and let me tell you: I will be upset at myself if there’s no review by the time February 20th rolls around. I challenge myself to review I am the Messenger and Teeth by then, all right. Until then, here are my latest library borrowings:

Library Loot 1

In past Edward Gorey encounters, I generally find that I’m not as taken by his work as other people. I do enjoy his rhymes, I enjoy his illustrations perhaps more, and I like the oddball presentations and twisted mind of his. So what is it about Gorey that doesn’t work for me? I can’t say, because I can’t pin it down. Although I continue to dig around in his work without anything more than a three-star result, I still enjoy checking his books out every now and again.

As for Marciuliano’s book: I have intended to check this out for months, and why wouldn’t I? To keep honest, I did have doubts — especially after reading several incredibly dull or disappointing cat-related poetry books — but I Could Pee on This is everything it should be and more. It proved funny and truthful to the cat stereotype, which I must say as a cat-lover myself, is a stereotype that does describe a lot of our loveable domestics.

Suetdhe8defdisjas
I just typed a poem
Chsothekstevdswdj
I just typed a joke in your email
Nosyd76mhdlwdag

Next along the list are a couple of young adult novels I snatched:

Library Loot 2

I felt almost as excited for Stasse’s The Forsaken release before the publication date as I felt for Hartman’s Seraphina. The latter,  let me say, is the one to get worked up for. Once negative reviews started to flood and pile and drag the average rating down, my excitement dulled. Don’t let the fancy cover and interesting summary dupe you like it did me, because the unfortunate hope I had for The Forsaken to still kick ass was just that: unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because if I had not had any hope in the first place, I never would have wasted time reading this disaster. Most likely I will not review this — I think my GoodReads updates, in summary, do that for me. Enough said. On to better books!

I am also a bit glum to report that I will return Forman’s Just One Day without so much as flipping the pages. Curiosity squirms all about me ever since I came across Forman’s name a couple of months ago. Another day, Gayle Forman. Another day. Right now I’m much too interested in books I own, and I will never get through them so long as I have a library stack that towers in my bedroom. (Not that I would dare call this tiny tripping hazard a tower. It’s when the books hit 15+ that I grow concerned.)

Lastly, here, I have a few graphic novels:

  • Library Loot 3We3 by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely

(Pause this post. Time out. Take a couple minutes — a few, if you must — to appreciate Frank’s name. Frank Quitely. I have to wonder if that is self-constructed or parent-made. Google check: Good morning, Vincent Deighan. Thank you.

Resume.)

Sorry, I can’t hear you over the loud injured cries that sound a lot like whale noises. Those whale noises are my whale noises, because my heart still hurts. We3 played with my feelings, and I think I nearly cried (and no, it was not 4 AM. It was the respectable hour of 10/11 PM-ish). I will never trust a cover with animal cyborgs again, but here: take it and read it, because I highly recommend itNothing can beat the feeling of having a book scoop your heart up only to stab, crush, and light it on fire.

I will recover eventually. When the memory of reading We3 becomes a distant speck of vague recollection, I will be okay. Until another book comes along with a pickax and hammer, that is.

Happy Friday, everyone! Grab a book and cry yourself inside out.