Books in August
For the month of August, I decided I didn’t want to marathon TV. I didn't give up TV completely, I just didn't sit to watch it like I normally do (all day! yikes!) I've given up TV before, but this was a good balance for me. I watched what I wanted, scaled back and picked up reading again to entertain myself. Here's what I've read so far!
Winter, Fairest and Stars Above by Marissa Meyer Ok, so that’s 3 books but they’re all part of the Lunar Chronicles. If you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, this is all my life was for a moment. Marisa Meyer created a YA series unlike any other I’ve read before. Yes, I loved Harry Potter and nothing compares but this is a group of women, of diverse races, disabilities, and talents who fight a war in space. It’s also one of the first YA books I’ve read where one of the protagonists mentions she’s sexually attracted to someone with no shame (but I promise you t’s not 50 Shades of Gray). The series is long, each book gets longer and I began reading Cinder earlier this year and it took me some time to get through each one. I loved the characters, the wonderful and magical world where women rule in space and I was sad to see it end.
Sex Criminals, Vol 1, 2, 3 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zsardsky. This is a comic but not a comic for kids, at all. This is a graphic (and I mean that in both illustrated and genre) novel where sex is the main topic and it’s brilliantly done. Jon and Suzie find themselves stopping time every time they have an orgasm, not your average super hero trick. By chance they happen to find each other, fall in love and become criminals by stopping time together. It’s funny, sweet, and the illustrations are tasteful, but I was still embarrassed to read it in public. Matt Fraction has written for comics before (such as Hawkeye, and brought Kate Bishop to life, one of the best characters in comics) and gives them heart and charm and I’m looking forward to the next volume.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein- I wanted to give this book 5 stars by the prologue. I was surprised how well Carrie writes. She’s a great musician and comedian but I never thought her story about being in one of my favorite childhood bands would resonate with me so much. If you grew up loving Sleater Kinney, or music was a part of your growth to adulthood, this book is great. I loved when she writes about music and the connection to nostalgia. I always knew bands worked hard at touring and recording, but when I read the details about the life they gave up to change mine, I can’t help but appreciate them more.
Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen- There’s a little bit of Josely in me and by the end of the story I was hoping Sarah would write a sequel. She’s shy, loves her mother, is crushing on her mailman, and just all around kind of a nice bland girl, or so you think. The female characters in this book are all relatable at some point, and the men I either wanted slap or hug. I was about to give this book 3 stars, but without giving too much away, the last ten pages made me add the extra star.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami- I loved this book but I’m biased because Murakami could write about grass growing or paint drying and I would still praise it. If this is the first Murakami book, I don’t recommend this as an introduction. It’s a story about Tsukuru, a mid 30 some year old male going through growing pains. He seemed a little immature at first but I think Murakami wrote about issues no one in their 30’s will admit to- like a conversation you had with someone 15 years ago will effect you now, or how anxiety is still the same as a teenager. If you’re familiar with his work and love it, this is a great book to add to your library.
Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten. This wasn’t the thriller I expected but I appreciated the banter between the teenagers and the friendship grown throughout the harder issues. It’s a beautiful cover and what could have been a great story but something about it just didn’t capture me like I wanted. The book is under 300 pages and I can see this being a YA staple for others. It was an okay read but overall the “thriller” aspect fell a little flat for me.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I was so excited to read this book- I planned a full day to finish it and even if I wasn’t intrigued by page 100, I felt committed to doing so. Many people recommend this book to me and I’m not sure if it was the high expectations that weren’t met or the YA tropes that came chapter after chapter, it just wasn’t for me. I appreciated the strong female character and the ending that leads to the second part of the series coming out next year. If this book ever became a movie, I would love to watch it. The imagery of the costumes were beautiful and I’ll admit that’s what kept me reading at times.
The Nesting Place- This was a fun book on decorating and appreciating what you have. Even if you own a home or rent, you'll find something to take away from it. The author's decorating style wasn't anything like mine (I skipped the whole chapter on used furniture after my debacle with finding mold and asbestos on my favorite couch years ago) but I appreciate everything she had to say about making a home.
Currently Reading- The Psychopath Test Jon Ronson. I’m about 100 pages in and I love it so far. I can’t imagine many authors writing about a horrific topic and making it seem funny and charming. I’ll update this next month.
Any other books I should add to my list? You can keep up on my reading on Goodreads and the occasional bookish Snapchat under “ourcitylights”.