I really needed to do this earlier. I was crazy busy in May. There were three house-sitting gigs (which netted me a lot of money but subtracted a lot of free time since I was constantly driving between them). There was some parties, a lot of tree estimate appointments, movies, and Shadowrun. I had a phone interview which I was super excited about and went really well and then in June I got rejected from for no good reason (at least she wouldn’t give me one). Then I was super depressed for a while. Ha, who am I kidding. I still am. I haven’t applied to any other jobs in forever. WHAT’S THE POINT?
Meh. Let’s talk about books.
Books Read: 22
Books Partially Read: 10
Books Re-read: 3
Books Bought: 23
Money Spent: $8
Books Borrowed: 15
Books Given: 5
Books on To-Be-Read Shelf: 60 or 70 something. Who knows? I didn’t write it down at the time and now it’s the middle of June and is all different.
Favorite Books This Month: Out on a Limb by Sue Limb, Fire, Graceling and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, I ♥ the 80’s by Megan Crane, A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare, Dead of Night (39 Clues) by Peter Lerangis.
Out on a Limb by Sue Limb is a collection of journal articles written by Limb for Good Housekeeping. She wrote a series of YA books that I loved, the first of which was Girl, 15, Charming but Insane. She’s British and witty and the articles are primarily about her life with her Dutch husband, daughter, gardening, running for office, meeting studio execs, dealing with a word processor (they’re written in the 80s), etc. I enjoyed it all mightily though some chapters (which are very short) more than others.
Favorite Quote from Out on a Limb: “Earrings were big then [60s]; I had a pair of snakes, a pair of parrots and a pair of pigs. There was hardly a member of the animal kingdom that had not dangled from my lobes. At times I resembled nothing so much as a recently decorated abattoir.”
I liked it because it reminded me Eydie, Kris’s mom, who has a collection of animal earrings that is unmatched in my experience.
Fire, Graceling and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore are a series of books set in a fantasy world where some people are born and their eyes “settle” into being two different colors and it indicates they have a Grace. A power in which they are supernaturally gifted. I love these books. They are fabulously written, have great stories, and are never dull. Chronologically Fire comes first, then Graceling, then Bitterblue. But Graceling was published first (then Fire then Bitterblue). So you can read them either way. Fire is set in a distant kingdom where there aren’t Graces but there are Monsters–animals and humans that are bizarrely colored (as a hunting mechanism to draw you in) combined with telepathy to make you want to be eaten (or messed with if the Monster is a human–they generally don’t want to eat you, they just want to torture you for fun). There is a running thread of connection between each novel. I thought Graceling was my favorite for the longest time but having just re-read Fire…I might love it more now. Bitterblue just came out last month so I read the first two again before reading it. It is not my favorite (much like Fire wasn’t when it first came out). I’ll need to read it again I think to better love it but it was still good. I hope she writes more set in this world. Or just more. I really like her writing even if the stories do have very comparable themes/characters (esp Fire and Graceling which are eerily identical in a lot of things).
I ♥ the 80’s by Megan Crane is about time travel! Okay, it’s basically the Jennifer Gardiner movie “13 Going on 30” (her name is also Jenna), except that she goes from her 30s back to the time when she WAS 12 but is still in her 30s. And all this in order to fulfill her greatest wish of hanging out with a pop star who died when she was 12. Yeah. I wasn’t sure, honestly, where the story was going to go. I mean, I was pretty sure (I know stories) but there were some baffling interactions between Jenna and the popstar and then it was a romance novel and yeah. It was kind of….not well plotted out in advance but it was still kind of fun to be along for the ride. (Also I like time travel and celebrity/non-celebrity romances).
A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare is the second in the Spindle Cove series and I may have liked it more than the first. The guy in this one is far more appealing (because he’s funny) and the girl was delightfully a geologist (it’s fun when they have a serious hobby). So I liked the two main characters a lot though the story was patently ridiculous at almost every turn. Sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief when reading historical romances and, luckily, I am willing to do that, but if you’re not, I wouldn’t recommend this series.
Dead of Night (39 Clues) by Peter Lerangis is the 3rd in the second series of 39 Clues books. We’re in to the Cahills vs. Vespers now instead of Cahills vs. Cahills. I really like these books. They are each written by a different, famous kid’s author. They are well-plotted with great leads and secondary characters. There’s a whole tie-in with trading cards with the books. All in all they’re just a great way to get younger audiences involved in reading, I think. I have read all of them and will continue to do so (especially since my mom is always willing to get them from the Scholastic catalog for me and then I read them and give them back for her 4th grade classroom library. Win-win.)
Least Favorite Books This Month: How The Marquess Was Won by Julie Armstrong, Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers, Out of Eden by Beth Ciotta, Viscount Breckinridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens, Be My Baby Tonight and How to Tame a Lady by Kasey Michaels, An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James, Tangled Up in You and Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson, Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, The Fireman Who Loved Me by Jennifer Bernard, The List by Siobhan Vivian, Baby, I’m Yours by Susan Anderson, Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines, Black Hole Sun by David Gill, and Dragonswood by Janey Lee Carey.
Normally I just cherry-pick out the worst books for you, this month I decided to list all of the bad ones. This is a combination of romance and YA novels. Some I didn’t finish but a shocking number of them I actually read the whole thing and hated myself for it. Some of them were truly terrible. Like I wanted to beat the main characters up. Some were just horribly terribly written. Atrocious levels of bad. Some were just mediocre. Avoid them all is my advice.