Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mid-Weekly Wrap-Up: Because I'm Still Getting Used to This

This week I’ve been getting back on my feet reading-wise, and it’s been great! I’d kind of forgotten what it was like to get into a book and have it affect the way I saw my life.

I’ve been trying to find long blocks of time to read, and since I’m going running in the mornings again, I’ve found I have all the time in the world to read when I get back home and everybody’s still asleep.

I went to the library earlier this week and basically checked out every book that was on my reading list, minus a few exceptions that I either had at home or couldn't find. Needless to say, there’s a teetering stack of books on my bedside table, the couch, and the ground. I also ordered a couple of my books from Barnes & Noble, so those should be coming soon!

The books that I ordered from the Book Depository finally arrived, and they’re gorgeous. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish on time in the Moby-Dick readalong, but I’ll definitely read both of these soon.

Aren’t the whales so cute?! And the way the geometric shapes on the cover of The Knife of Never Letting Go catch the light is just dazzling (I couldn't capture it in the photo though). 
I really like these Penguin English Library editions. The cover designs are lovely, on the inside there’s a quirky little author picture, the book feels like velvet (or something equally soft), and at the back there’s an essay. At the back! I love it when the essays are at the back instead of the front.

Onto what I read this week:
This week I finished Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Monster by Walter Dean Myers, and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Persepolis was not at all what I was expecting, although to be honest, I’m not sure what I was expecting. But it was great. As a graphic novel, the black and white illustrations were a good fit for the subject material, and it was a nice balance between text and picture. 
Some of the events in this book are just heartbreaking (like the last scene with her uncle), and others make me want to punch somebody in the face. Because this was a memoir it made every scene sharper and every horrible thing more painful. 
Sometimes when reading a story I can remind myself, “This isn’t actually happening,” but I couldn’t do that when I read Persepolis. Still, this wasn’t a gruesome and depressing read, there were light and funny moments, and Marjane was someone anybody would love. I’m definitely going to pick up the sequel soon! I’ve just got to find it in my stack of library books.

Monster was such a whirlwind of emotions. I kept on going back and forth between whether or not I should be rooting for the main character, Steve. I’m not sure if this book would count as an example of an unreliable narrator, but Walter Dean Myers deserves credit for leaving it unclear as to whether or not Steve was guilty. I thought that he was, but that was only after I finished the last page.
During the beginning I thought “No, the protagonist couldn’t possibly be a bad guy!” Oh, young and foolish self from two days ago…
Even Steve didn’t know whether or not what he did could be considered as murder. Either that or he was trying to fool himself into believing that he was innocent. Denial or no, I don’t think he's a cold-blooded killer, just a guy who made a mistake. 

My last book of this week was Eleanor and Park, and wow oh wow was this one a surprise. I’d expected a cute little romantic comedy filled with awkward situations and witty one liners. 
It was nothing like that at all, except it was a romance, and there were awkward situations, and the people were witty. Eleanor and Park caught me completely off guard with the side-story of Eleanor’s situation with her step-father. But even though it was peppered in between all the fun of Eleanor and Park actually falling in love, it didn't overshadow their story. I can’t wait to reread this book with a copy of my own.

I’ve also started but haven’t finished Catch-22 and Divergent this week. Catch-22 easily wins the award for most confusing book that I’ve ever read, but luckily I can use the infamous SparkNotes to help me out with understanding everything. I picked up a copy of Divergent the other day and I just decided to reread it for no good reason, probably because It’s not on my TBR list and I’m such a rebel.

I was going to read Much Ado About Nothing but then I realized that I’d missed it in theaters, so I figure I’ll save it for later. Maybe when it comes to Redbox…

I’m looking forwards to participating in the The Odyssey readalong  later this month, too! I can’t wait to dive in (I just need to find a copy!).

Have a great reading week!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR List!

So... it's not actually a Tuesday. It's a Wednesday. But I can't resist any sort of list-making, especially not TBR list-making.

This summer I want to concentrate on two things: my Classics Club reads and my school's summer reading list. For the reading list, you're supposed to read a minimum of three books from the twenty-two fiction and non-fiction titles available, but I want to see if I can read them all. Crazy? Yes. Possible? Maybe. There's also the Moby-Dick and The Odyssey read-a-longs that are definitely going to be fun.

So without further ado, here's the list:

1. The Odyssey by Homer: Allie at A Literary Odyssey is hosting a read-a-long for this, and I just can't wait to dive in! This is one of those books that I'd always wanted to have read but I'd never gotten around to it, mostly because I could never decide on which translation to read.

2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville: This book is considered to be one of "the Great American Novels" so of course I have to see what this book has to offer. Also, the edition that I ordered is gorgeous, and I'm looking forward to holding and looking at this book almost as much as I'm looking forward to reading it. Reading in Bed is hosting a read-a-long and it looks great!

3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: I can't believe that I haven't read this series/giant super-book yet. It looks pretty epic!

4. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare: Hopefully I can finish this in time to see the Joss Whedon adaptation before it goes out of theaters.

5. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: This is one of my favorite books, and every time I re-read it, I pick up on something new. The movie is coming out soon, and I might as well brush up on the details before I see it!

6. Looking for Alaska by John Green: I loved An Abundance of Katherines and The Fault in Our Stars and I'm excited to read more of his work.

7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: This is another one of those books that with every re-read I find a new detail to laugh about. I might read the entire series this summer (if there's time).

8. Emma by Jane Austen: This is going to be my first Jane Austen! I'm probably going to read it during Austen in August at Roof Beam Reader.

9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer: I'm going to be honest here and say that I don't really know anything about this book, except that it's good, and I want to see what all the fuss is about!

10. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Once again, I want to see what all the fuss is about. I think the movie's coming out in August and if I want to see it, then I'm going to have to read the book. I'm crossing my fingers that it's as great as people are saying that it is!

Luckily, a lot of these books overlap between my summer reading and the Classics Club. I can't wait to get started!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Beginning

 It's taken so long to actually write this first post. In my wish to make every detail perfect, I've written and edited the same three sentences over and over again for about half an hour, and I'm still not sure about them.

I'd been thinking about starting a blog for the past couple months. But, I had absolutely no idea what to write about. While spending an afternoon browsing the "booktubing" community on YouTube, I realized that it would be perfectly fine and dandy if I talked about books on my blog. It was so exciting watching the YouTubers’ videos, and it made me want to jump into the conversations with my own thoughts.

 Flash forward a week or two, after I’d read and researched book blogs that I loved, and it was decided that I would start a blog of my own.

 I don’t want to limit myself to just books here, though. Like the title suggests, I guess I’ll write about whatever takes my fancy. Hopefully I can also stop being so much of a perfectionist/pain in the butt about my writing along the way.

I'm really excited and I've got some things in the works for the next few months. As cliche as it may sound, this is definitely going to be a learning journey.

About Me

I'm a student wanting to get to know the classics a little better. I'm a geek. I love chocolate and iced coffee and rainy days when I can just curl up and read. Either that, or watch Parks and Recreation on Netflix. I love getting to peek into different lives when I read, and I want to read as many books as I can.