June 7th, 2012 - 9:19 am

» 36 Books: April & May

GoodReads shamed me quite a bit about how far I was behind my 2012 reading goal. (To be fair, it just kept a small, helpful tally for me — it’s not like it was throwing tomatoes or something. I love you GoodReads!) So I tried to step it up, and mix some faster reads in amongst the epic ongoingness of George R. R. Martin.

  • Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut – So good! I’m both sad and glad that I wasn’t introduced to this via school, since now I don’t have a bunch of lit crit and memories of paper-writing floating around in the back of my head when I think about it.
  • A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin, read by Roy Dotrice – So long. So much. So many characters. I would never, ever, ever meet this year’s goal if I read these books vs listening to the audiobooks — they are just so, so long — but it’s kind of a shame, because I am very guilty of tuning out the audiobook when characters I’m not as interested in come around. The problem is the boring characters have this way of becoming suddenly interesting and really vital to the story, and I’m left with a memory of the name but no earthly idea who the hell this person is and what they’ve done. Still enjoying it. (I also think these were probably my exact same comments for the first book.)
  • The Seal Wife, by Kathryn Harrison – So lovely. SO lovely. The language, the story — this is my favorite kind of book, the sort that kidnaps you away from your life.
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, by Jenny Lawson – The inimitable Bloggess! If you aren’t familiar, I Highly recommend you check out thebloggess.com. So much funny! The book does not disappoint.
  • Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal – I originally started listening to the audiobook of it. I’m reluctant to say this because it was narrated by the author and I feel bad, but — it was horrible. I found it pretty unlistenable. She faked this British accent and just…ugh. I hated ALL of the characters and wanted to punch them. But I’d heard it was a fun book, a sort of Jane Austen plus magic, so I tried just reading it instead. I enjoyed it, though it reads like Jane Austen fanfic. It was a shame the characters and relationships were so unoriginal, because I thought the magic the author introduced was pretty and interesting.
  • Enchantments: A Novel, by Kathryn Harrison, read by Julia Emelin & Rustam KasymovThe Seal Wife made me fall in love with Harrison’s writing, so I immediately snagged a couple of her other books from the library. This is a book about Rasputin’s daughter, and Russia around and after his death. I liked it a lot, but not as much as The Seal Wife.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James – By now I think everyone in the world has heard of this one. I really liked it. Yes, it’s Twilight fanfic, blah blah blah — but it’s not pretending to be great literature, and it’s fun and steamy.
  • The Kiss, by Kathryn Harrison – Wow. This is Harrison’s memoir about her incestuous relationship with her father. Tough subject matter, beautifully written.
  • The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway – Oh Hemingway, it’s been so long! This was a reread, but the last time was in high school. Lovely to come back to it knowing the skeleton of the story but having forgotten so, so many details.
  • 2012 Book Count: 14
    January: 1
    February: 3
    March: 1
    April: 4
    May: 5

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