Books. I love them. They make me happy. They take me far, far, far away. And I like that. This year is, so far, a book-heavy year with a significant emphasis on flights of fancy. Which makes a lot of sense. When the real world becomes uncomfortable and stressful, it’s nice to run away as fast as you can. And the way I do that isn’t by drinking myself into oblivion or losing myself into a video game, or dropping acid, or smoking weed, or cosplay, or anything other than reading my eyes out.
In 2011, I read 55 out of my targeted goal of reading 60 books. In 2012, I set a goal to read another 50 but fell short and ended up with only 36. And I remember being unhappy about that because I really wanted to read more but things like depression and stress were really messing with me. Oh and school. So for this year, I settled on a more realistic goal of 40 although honestly I’d like to blow that one out of the water. So far, my pace is great. I’m 7 books ahead of schedule and am receiving a steady stream of books from the library.
By the way, for my fellow nosy book lovers, I am on Goodreads of course and also I made a little widget at Amazon, it’s right under my tag cloud on the right hand side. Every time I pick up books from the library, I add them there. I think it’s pretty since it scrolls through them all.
If you’re not interested in click through at all that, here are the books I have read so far and brief blurbs I wrote about them on Goodreads.
- The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown: 3/5 stars I didn’t write a blurb for this on Goodreads, so I’ll write one now. It’s a nice lighthearted read. With the heavy amounts of Shakespeare I studied in college, I appreciated the love of the bard that was spread everywhere. This isn’t one of those groundbreaking novels but it’s not a waste of time either. This is light fare, perfect for the spring and summer activities of lazing about.
- God Save the Queen by Kate Locke: 3/5 stars Hooray for fluffy and fun reading in an alternate universe. I always like it when lesser explored monsters are developed in books and in this case we get a good look at Goblins. Interesting idea of how these monsters develop and exist. I like the monster-ridden alternate universe very much actually. Main character is fun but sort of stereotypical bad assish. But I enjoyed her little twist.
- The Tent by Margaret Atwood: 3/5 stars Enjoyable tiny little snippets of Atwood writing. But I found it left me wanting. And I wonder if Atwood shares my brain because a lot of these things echo many bizarre little thoughts I’ve had myself. I like her novels better or her well developed essays. These are like interesting little fragmentations of her brain.
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg: 4/5 stars Super super super interesting. And while extremely insightful I also found it to be discouraging. As much as it shows you why and how habits exist, it also seems to enforce how freaking hard they are to break out of.
- The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars FINALLY things are starting to make sense and our familiar Percy is back. Fun read. I am loving the tour of the country, especially Alaska.
- The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan: 4/5 stars Sucks me right in with these books every single time. Now that I’m older these passionate young romances annoy the heck out of me but I get why they’re there I suppose. Still it bugs me these authors are so driven to write the greatest love story ever told as it unfolds with a couple of teens. But that’s me being an old fart. I am enjoying the twist of Athena versus Minerva and how that causes so many rifts. The Arachne storyline was unexpected as far as I never imagined her as a major villain but it makes perfect sense. Can’t wait for the conclusion.
- The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan: 3/5 stars Fun conclusion to this series. I don’t think it’s as well done as the Percy Jackson but I have a feeling it’s because of the obscurity of the Egyptians. Which is sad because I think they are more interesting than the Greco-Roman but when it comes to the books the other ones are better. Still fun to read. I always had a soft spot for the Egyptians.
- Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins: 3/5 stars Alright. Very rushed. Shallow characters. Entertaining. My son loved it.
- Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket: 4/5 stars I am silly and didn’t realize this was a series in the making so I was surprised by the loose ends. I love Lemony Snicket’s style. The vocabulary is great. I love that my son reads these and really encourage any parent to get these books into their kids hands ASAP
- Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore: 4/5 stars Didn’t write anything for this one either. Crazy storyline. Not Suitable For Young People You Don’t Want Seeing Fetish Nakedness! the ending was… confusing. It made me feel dumb, like I wasn’t getting the joke. Which I think is good because maybe that means I’m not psycho.
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi: 4/5 stars Great book. Very hard to put down, very easy to read. This is one of those books where I sensed a subtle shift in something towards at the end. It happens a lot in serialized books I’ve noticed. This one came right at the end but still picked up on it. It’s a pet peeve but this was hardly a noteworthy offender.
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: 4/5 stars Great story. Not appropriate for younger crowds but ok for high school and up. Adding: For young people, I like Stardust better. For older people, I like American Gods better. I really, really, really loved American Gods.
- The Belgariad, Volume One by David Eddings: 4/5 stars So much fun… I am desperately waiting for Volume Two at the library. Also, this one is appropriate for younger crowds. Going to let my son read it if he wants to. I have a girl crush on Lady Polgara.
- Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce: 3/5 stars It was a fun read and the rest of the series looks interesting. I wasn’t completely hooked by it to keep reading but because so many recommended the series, I’ll probably go on to the next one. Definitely refreshing to see girls saving the boys!
- The Belgariad, Volume Two by David Eddings: 3/5 stars Fun fantasy series for sure. I liked the first three books better than the last two. I felt the last two got overly fluffy and drawn out. Once it was clear what had to happen, let’s just get to it instead of all this dilly-dallying! Also I could do without the whole You get a wife! And you get a wife! And you get a wife! Good job everybody! You’re all winners and these wives are your prizes! WOO HOO!
- The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro: 3/5 stars Fun and fluffy for sure. Doesn’t leave you hanging at the end of the book which is a relief but it doesn’t really leave you wondering about what could happen next. Interesting concept of magic for what it’s worth.
- Redshirts by John Scalzi: 3/5 stars I thought the book was a pretty funny read but then again I am a fan of Scalzi’s sense of humor. I think I liked Old Man’s War better though. This one didn’t dig in deep enough. I am sure avid fans of Star Trek will enjoy it in a way that is more layered than someone like me. I get the feeling a few things went right over my head. Definitely a fun read though, and super easy to devour. You can easily read this in a day or two. With summer coming, definitely keep this one in mind for the pool, beach, or airplane.
I just noticed I abuse the word “fun” in my book reviews. It just goes to show you, I really do think reading is fun. I never can understand people who don’t. So that’s what I’ve read so far.
Today, I started Kushiel’s Dart which was highly recommended on Google+. Also recommended on Google+, and by NicoleAndMaggie, is the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I am dying to read these but my library is apparently not a fan. It has very few copies of the books in the series, and I’m not even sure they have the entire series. The thing is, I am so used to free books, I really don’t buy them anymore. I haven’t even finished the Parasol Protectorate Series because the only one my library carries is Soulless! And you guys, I loved that series. For now, they’re on my Wishlist.
Hmmm…. I just had a lightning bolt idea.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned here but I recently decided to part with some things K-Fat had given me while married. I had kept them to give them to Daughter when she was older but, that didn’t feel right either anymore. So I gave my grandmother the wedding ring and the Tiffany & Co. bracelet. I was going to give her the diamond studs too but she told me my grandfather picked those and the stones were excellent. Those, she said, were definitely worth holding on to. Since my grandfather is the one that got them, I relented, and have saved them in a box. When she is older, I will give them to her. My grandmother is giving the other jewelry to MutantWino’s mother-in-law who is a jeweler to sell. I can use that money to buy books!
The other things I’d held onto were two purses– a Louis Vuitton epi leather pochette and an Isabella Fiore bag. The idea of selling the Louis doesn’t bother me at all. It was a basic black wristlet, nothing special about it really. And it looks like it’ll fetch around $100 on Ebay so, more books!
The Isabella though… I went through a Covet Isabella phase for a very long time and the bag he got me, his sister picked out for me. She knew my taste so well. The bag is very me. It’s a gorgeous old school frame bag with a beautiful pattern on it similar to the one shown here. I’m annoyed it came from them given how things turned out. I can’t help it, I associate the bag with them even though it’s gorgeous and I adore it but I don’t wear it anymore. Every time I do, someone compliments it and eh. It doesn’t make me happy. So I had thought of giving it to Daughter but… I don’t know. It won’t get me much on Ebay- maybe $40 if the searches are any indication. Maybe that one, I will give to her with the earrings and a couple of dresses I have saved from my super skinny days. Put it all in a box in her room labeled Future Daughter.
All of this talk about books reminds me NicoleAndMaggie requested pictures of bookshelves. I need to work on mine and do that. Most of my books are not on a shelf, they are stacked in a cabinet. My kids’ bookshelves are a disaster. I don’t like my bookshelves are crazy and/or empty. I just keep going back and forth on the idea of book ownership. I recently went through and tossed a bunch of books into a bag for the library. It hasn’t actually left the entry of my house, but the bag is there, holding the books. I like giving to the library because it feels like a two-way relationship. But I also do enjoy the look and feel of full bookshelves.
Where do you stand on the book ownership thing? If you have a personal library, how do you use it? Do you have issues spending money on books? Why or why not? Also, how do you handle emotional attachments to items? Especially items that mean something not good to you, but might mean something positive to someone else.