Reading in Q1

Lately, reading has felt like my full-time job, so I’m going to make a quarterly report of the books I’ve read. I was so ashamed of the low number of books I read last year (59, my lowest in a decade) that I vowed to step it up this year. So far, I have.

Keep in mind that these are not ALL the books I’ve read, but most of them. As I continue to do this, I may sometimes leave off books I’ve reviewed for 225 or elsewhere, unless those reviews have already printed. Them’s the rules of this new game, but I think it will be fun.

January

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Steig Larsson – I feel satisfied to have concluded the series. I’m glad I read them, but I probably won’t feel the need to re-read. We’ll see. Only time will tell.

February

Dirty Little Angels, Chris Tusa – Read the 225 review here.

The Wavewalkers: Pirate Wars, Kai Meyer – This book was also the conclusion of a series, the second I’ve read by this German writer. They’re a lot of fun, full of remixed world mythology and fables, which I love and I was really happy with how this series ended.

12 Reasons Why I Love Her, Jamie S. Rich + Joelle Jones – This is a graphic novel that Maurice recommended and loaned me. I felt like it could’ve been meatier story wise, but there were a few glorious moments and I continue to be interested in how image and text work together.

March

House of Prayer No. 2, Mark Richard – Read the 225 review here.

Only the Good Spy Young and Heist Society, Ally Carter – I’ve loved Ally Carter’s girl spy series for a while, so it was really good to catch up and read the latest book. But I am OBSESSED with her new series that begins with Heist Society. I want another Heist Society book like NOW. It was soo clever and fun. If you’re reading this Ally Carter, feel free to send me an ARC of the next book anytime.

The Red Garden, Alice Hoffman – For some reason, I keep thinking I’ve grown out of my Alice Hoffman phase. But, it’s habit to pick up her latest book each time and she never disappoints me. I don’t know why I keep thinking that. I was disappointed in Hoffman’s Twitter fracas last year, since she’s been one of my absolute top favorite writers for years, but her books continue to be lovely and chilling and inspiring. Every time.

Across the Universe, Beth Revis – The morning after I finished this book, I woke up from a dream about it and reached for the book to continue reading, only to remember I’d finished reading it a few hours before. I was so disappointed not have more of the book to read for the first time. I really loved the new world created here. It was absolutely tragic and interesting and cool.

Whip It, Shauna Cross – I really loved Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut Whip It, with Ellen Page, so I’ve been wanting to read the book that inspired it, formerly titled Derby Girl. I can totally see why Drew was inspired to make a movie because the character of Bliss just SCREAMS out from these pages, so funny and funky. It was a fun book and inspired a really good movie version.

Like Pickle Juice on a  Cookie, Julie Sternberg – Read the 225 review here.

Peter and the Sword of Mercy, Dave Barry + Ridley Pearson – I love this series a lot. It started off as an origin series about how Peter became the Peter Pan we know and love. They finished the series and I love that they listened to their readers and wrote this book for us, continuing the story. The last line made me cry big time. So perfect.

Dinner with Tennessee Williams, Troy Gilbert, Chef Greg Picolo and Dr. W. Kenneth Holditch – Read the 225 review here.

Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater – Another book that I got absolutely obsessed with. I ordered the sequel online before I’d finished it because I was consuming this book at such a rapid pace and the Borders by my house was closing and no longer had a copy. I’m not as engrossed by the sequel so far, but I love how innovative this first book is.

How the Hangman Lost His Heart, K.M. Grant – This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. That should tell you something. I loved, loved, loved K.M. Grant’s de Granville trilogy so passionately that I immediately bought an entire set for my sister, who is the mother of a toddler, and bugged her till she read them. So I’ve been searching for this stand-alone book ever since I heard about it. My library finally got a copy and it was not what I was expecting. Well, honestly, I don’t know that I could’ve expected this book. Who could? It’s a really surprising and clever adventure story about a stubborn girl who convinces people to risk their lives and their families to help her. And what mission are they helping her fulfill? She’s determined to rescue her uncle’s severed head from where it has been displayed after he was executed for treason. The story is based on K.M. Grant’s ancestor, who was the last man in England hanged, drawn and quartered. Did I mention it’s a book for young readers? I really love the renaissance literature for young people is undergoing.

I know I used the word “love” a lot in this post. I’ve decided you’ll forgive me because there are some really awesome books in my quarterly reading report. Check them out!

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9 Comments

Filed under books, freelance work, literature, New Orleans, pop culture, what I'm reading

9 responses to “Reading in Q1

  1. try jo nesbo’s fiction. and henning mankell. both are better than stieg larsson.

    • emofalltrades

      Yeah, the April 15th issue of Entertainment Weekly calls Mankell “Sweden’s True Master of Mystery.” Which would you recommend I start with? I found Stieg Larsson’s books interesting, but not nearly as revolutionary as they were said to be. I’ve only read a minimal amount of mysteries or even thrillers, but the amount I have read combined with all of my Law & Order/CSI/Criminal Minds viewing has probably ruined me because I called EVERY plot “twist” in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at least 30 pages before it arrived. I felt like Larsson really needed a better editor. Each of those books could and should have been trimmed by at least 100 pages. There were too many unnecessary details and processes listed (Blomkvist wakes up, he sleeps with somebody, he drinks coffee and reads the paper and then he goes to the toilet) and they were probably “devices” to disguise the minute details that would later matter. I think the most revolutionary thing about The Millennium Trilogy is the character of Lisbeth Salander. For the record, if you think I’m tough on the books, I actually sort of liked them. I hated the first Swedish movie so much I won’t watch the other two. Most of the people I’ve met who love the Swedish movie haven’t read any of the books. The only redeeming thing about that movie was Noomi Rapace’s performance.

  2. Ali

    Thanks Emily– I will try an Ally Carter book and let you know what I think!

    • emofalltrades

      I’d suggest either starting with the first Gallagher Girl book – I’d Tell You I Love You But I’d Have to Kill You – or Heist Society. The second Heist Society book is coming out in June. 🙂

  3. Emily, I am so impressed by your reading — comments too. You inspire me to get off this damned computer and get back to my book! Great post! Arthur

  4. emofalltrades

    Aww, thanks, Arthur. 🙂

  5. Aimee

    Across the Universe interests me. I love/hate that feeling of having come to the end of a book and wanting more because I’m not ready to be done with the experience of reading it. I did enjoy K.M. Grant’s books, but not as much as you did. I’m glad I read them, but probably won’t repeat. I’m not really sure what it was that made me not absolutely love them. I should have. Never can tell. You make me want to run out to the library and pick something up. Haven’t read anything unrelated to work in a long time.

  6. emofalltrades

    @Aimee: I’m glad I’m making you want to read – but I hope you can carve out some time to do it. It’s tough when you’re yearning for something and not able to have or do it. Thank goodness for audio books because I’m actually “reading” a book a day that way with my new job. It’s exciting. If you’re not going to re-read KM Grant, maybe we can do an exchange. I will take back the trilogy (cause I didn’t get my own copies of the set for some reason) and give you something new. Sound good? 🙂

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