summer reading 2015

Summer Reading 2015 | part 4

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my summer reading!  Well, the summer’s almost over, isn’t it?  August always tends to be slower for me, as I’m not hitting the beach as frequently because I’m trying to catch up on all of the other things I forgot to do this summer!  The good news is that I’ve officially passed last year’s count.  Here are books 10, 11, & 12!

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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman | This was my first Gaiman venture, and I must say that I am so excited to read more!  This took me a bit to get into, but once I was in, I felt pleasantly completely submerged in the world created.  Don’t you love that in a book?  I found myself wanting more when this was done, and weirdly, found myself thinking Door was a pretty cute name.

Armada by Ernest Cline | After reading Ready Player One last year, I couldn’t WAIT to get my hands on more Ernest Cline.  Armada didn’t disappoint, but I must say, I liked Ready Player One much better.  The world created in Ready Player One was slightly more plausible, but Cline really does an excellent job at, to quote myself, writing love letters to geeks everywhere.  Armada may have been slightly more difficult to get into, but it did cause me to shed a tear and, like Cline’s other book, really made me want to play video games!

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee | Alright, I’m sure a lot of you have read this by now and I honestly want to know what you think.  I find myself dying to take this as a completely separate work from the (obviously related) To Kill A Mockingbird.  To me, it’s like Harper Lee brought this to her publisher and was like, “good try, but what’s actually the story here?”  And then came TKAM.  My friend Celina (who frequents Russian authors) said she was basically told to write it 20 years earlier, which is how TKAM came to be.  I can’t say I was floored.  Opinions?!

This could be it for this summer, guys… stay tuned to see if there will be a part 5!

Summer Reading 2015 | part 3

Hello friends!  I seem to be a bit short on words this week, huh?  Well, never you fear.  I have many words for you today!  In spite of my stupidly busy work schedule, I’ve made a great dent in my summer ready.  Here are the three books I read over Fourth of July weekend, numbers 7, 8, and 9:

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The Book of Life – Deborah Harkness

Maybe it’s because I knew this was the last book of the trilogy, but I was probably most engaged with this one. I actually thought the beginning was hard to swallow which made it a bit difficult to get into, but once I did, I moved through the book quickly. I’d invested thousands of pages worth of words in these characters and I wanted to see where this story was going! Do I think this series is a must-read? Probably not. Did I enjoy it overall? Definitely. Would I read additional Deborah Harkness material? Absolutely!

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

What I was actually expecting with this book, I couldn’t tell you. I will say that there is something a bit magical about this little story. Alchemists may turn ordinary lead into gold, but Coelho turns a rather simple story into a rich adventure. In a weird way, I felt like this entire book was kind of one long sentence– I couldn’t find a logical place to break away, even though one is built in. I mean this in the most positive way possible. In just a short time, I followed this boy across the world and through years. It was amazingly simple, yet beautiful.

Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde

Ah, futuristic dystopia fiction! I can’t read one without thinking of the Giver, especially this one with its story being inherently tied to color. The creation of this world was fascinating to me– governed by a long gone figure after an unknown destructive event, organized entirely by what colors people can see. There was so much more here that I was dying to know. Only the surface of this life is revealed. Though the ending was a bit unsatisfying, I thoroughly enjoyed this book more than I ever could’ve predicted. I’m hoping for a sequel!

So, for those of you keeping score: I have officially tied my number from last year’s summer reading!  Number 11 is already underway… I just can’t wait to get to the weekend so I can pick it up again.

What are you currently reading?

Summer Reading 2015 | part 2

It’s been a while, but I’ve actually made a lot of summer reading progress!  Today’s selections, numbers 5 through 7, were all completed prior to this weekend, so stay tuned for more soon!  Until then:

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Chop Chop by Simon Wroe

I picked this up at B&N after leaving Shadow of the Night on the couch at my beach house. (There have been obstacles to my summer reading saga!) I wanted something completely unrelated to the All Souls trilogy and something quick. Because I sort of read it half mid-way through Shadow of the Night and half after, it didn’t feel like the quick read I anticipated. The story starts a bit slow, but definitely picks up in the middle and comes around to a pretty satisfying ending. I happen to love all of the restaurant terminology. If you’re a Hell’s Kitchen fan, I recommend this book for you!

The Fine Art of Fucking Up by Cate Dicharry

Another one-off I picked up, not wanting to dedicate my summer solely to a series. This is a funny and quirky little book. I don’t work in the arts, but I went to art school and identify with this crazy world. It’s a rather absurd set of circumstances and most of the characters are pretty outlandish, making it a fun one.. The main character, despite the absurd set of circumstances, it’s very real and relatable. It’s nothing to write home about, in my opinion, but it was a quick and enjoyable read.

Grace’s Guide by Grace Helbig

I’m on a Youtube kick, aren’t I? Grace Helbig’s first book has been sitting on my bedside table for a while. I flipped through it when it first came out/I first bought it, but I wanted to revisit and really read it since I had just sailed through iJustine’s. Grace’s Guide is really not meant to be read cover to cover. I did, because I was sick and wanted to take my mind off of that. It reads very true to Grace, like you watched several of her advice Youtube videos. The thing is, Grace’s advise, though silly, is good! I identify with a lot of it, like cleaning your dishes to clear your mind. Definitely more of a coffee table book, but a must for Grace fans!

Any summer reading suggestions for me?!

Summer Reading 2015 [part 1]

Well friends, last summer I managed only ten books. Considering that I only read on weekends, (my job is super demanding) I guess that’s not horrible… but it doesn’t really sound like me. I’m hoping to blow that out of the water this summer. Or at least surpass it. Here’s what I managed to accomplish thus far:

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The Rule of Four – Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason

This was marketed as Dan Brown meets Umberto Eco meets F. Scott Fitzgerald. I was into this. And it delivered as such! This was a quick but seemingly fulfilling read, weaving historical fiction into college adventure into real world danger. It was fun and interesting. The ending, however, I found to be a disappointment. I like it when books end and this kind of… hung there. It’s definitely worth a read, despite the many lackluster reviews I read on Goodreads. I liked reading it.

Shadow of the Night – Deborah Harkness

This is the second book in the All Souls trilogy. I read the first, A Discovery of Witches, during last summer’s reading project. I was on the fence with it, but thought about it enough afterward that I decided to read through the series. It was a similar experience to reading the first– the beginning is easy to swallow, bordering on historical fiction and magical fantasy, then things get a little too Twilight-y. I’m still up for reading the last in the trilogy, which you can look for on my list later this summer.

I, Justine – Justine Ezarik

I have loved ijustine for years. She was my first exposure to the world of YouTube, and she’ll always be my favorite. Now, Justine Ezarik is not a prolific writer. This isn’t a behind the scenes, earth-shattering tell-all. It is really interesting, especially for those of us who have been watching her videos for the better part of the decade. There’s that element of nostalgia for the days of hey hey you can ask IJ! It’s genuinely in Justine’s voice, and there are some tidbits that we’d never have known– like Justine once went to Hawaii with a boyfriend who didn’t want to be on camera so it looked like she went alone. All and all, this is a super quick read and a MUST for iJustine fans! I finished with a smile.

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison – Piper Kerman

I’ve meant to read this for the last two years after finishing the latest season of OITNB. This year, I finally got around to it! I knew that there would be differences in the Netflix series and the actual memoir, but the differences are greater than expected. I tried to match up characters– I thought everyone was Morello, who is clearly a composite character. Red was an easy match to the woman Piper Kerman called Pop. The memoir’s Delicious became Taystee of the series. Though there is a Pennsatucky in the memoir, the character in the series is a composite as well. Reading this, you’ll recognize many scenes taken from it for the Netflix original, but ultimately, the story is different. Piper is different. I guess the main thing is that this book is about Piper, while OITNB really isn’t anymore. Quick, interesting read, though!

In truth, since I’ve written and photographed for this post, I’ve got another book under my belt… but you’ll have to wait for part 2 for that!  What are you reading this summer?