What I’m Reading: March to May

Since one of my goals for the year is to read 26 books (that’s one book every two weeks for those of you playing along at home), I thought it might be fun to share some of the books I’m reading and liking with the internet.

This is round three, and I’m at 20 books so far for the year.  I feel like I’m slowing down, so maybe my goal of 26 wasn’t too far off.  The program I’m in right now is kicking my ass so I haven’t been able to read as much as I would have liked.  In fact, I had hoped to be done with at least one more book before this post went live.  Alas, it was not to be.

In the meantime (sort of) since I last did a book review round up I’ve joined Goodreads, a site that helps keep track of books that I’ve read and what I’d like to read.  Now if only that would sync to the public library and they would just send me stuff.  Like a Netflix for books.  That would be awesome.

Goodreads makes it really easy for me to make up this post because I review books as I read them and then to make this post I simply copy/paste the reviews into WordPress.  If you’re on Goodreads, let’s be friends.  You’ll also be able to see what books I’m currently reading (usually about three), and leave comments.

Fed Up with Lunch by Sarah Wu
I remember following Mrs. Q when she was blogging back in 2010. I was a regular reader all through the project, but got a little lost afterwards. I knew there was a book and I’d been meaning to read it, but never got a chance until I saw it on sale at my local bookstore. A really fun read, and a very insightful book about everything that’s not quite right with school lunches.

Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty
I have adored the Jessica Darling Series for a long time, but somehow only just got around to reading this fourth in the series. I’m planning on reading Perfect Fifths soon too and I’m so excited. While the other books took place over years, this one is the thoughts and musings of Jess from only one week, the week the infamous Marcus Flutie has given her to think about weather or not she wants to marry him. As a life-long shipper and a big fan of Marcus, I had to quell my excitement over this development, somehow knowing it could never be that easy. This book is full of references and mentions of the previous books, but also brings in new characters and surprising stories that did nothing short of make my heart exceedingly happy. So exceedingly happy.

Maus by Art Spiegelman
Maus is the fantastically told, true story of a jew and his family in Poland during the rise of the 3rd Reich. Woven in between horrors, the narrator tells about dealing with his elderly father (the protagonist in the WWII story). Both stories are ripe with depth and honesty. The artist uses personified animals to show the different races and sects of the characters. I was moved by this telling of the Holocaust like i had never seen it before. Highly recommend to anyone interested in WWII/Holocaust stories or fantastically rendered characters.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
I have been casually interested in this story for years, always remembering in the back of my mind the story of a young man who died in Alaska. I don’t know how i came upon this when I was younger, as Chris died before I was old enough to understand what death was, but regardless I am glad to have stumbled upon this book. I think Chis was brave, perhaps a bit under prepared, but nevertheless a strong character and someone I would have been proud to know. His story is told well in these pages, with a heartfelt honesty that is both refreshing and shockingly simple. Well done. I hope that Chris’ story will continue to be an inspiration as well as a cautionary tale.

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Robert B. Grant & Thomas Lennon
This is not my usual reading material. For one thing I’m much more interested in TV then movies. I’ll admit my naivety, but most movie-specific guides turn me off from the get-go. To add onto that, I’m not really interested in making the “boat-loads of cash” they keep talking about in this book..

My Life Without God by William J. Murray
I finished reading this book in two days. There are a few factors in how quickly I managed to get through it. For one thing it’s good. The writing is easy to follow and I continually want to know what happens next, though… Another reason I read it so quickly because i kept waiting for the turnaround. To have a life without God implys that there was also one with God. I kept wanting the author to find God already so he could stop making mistakes. I kept thinking ‘oh, it’ll be in the next chapter…or the next one’ it’s literally the last chapter and I wish that he had gone more into how his life was changed after. The last and least of the reasons I read this book so quickly: no internet at my new apartment.

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Oh, that was six!  For some reason I thought there were only five since last update.  6!  Awesome!  Have you read any of these?  What did you think?  Any recommendations for me?

Previous Book Review Roundups:
January to March
March to May

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The Fine Line Between A Young Adult and Me

Jessie Willcox Smith's illustration of Alice s...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my newly acquired free time, I have been reading constantly.  I’m surprising myself even, by reading more than I am watching television.  I have finished five books since the start of the new year, and am set into a sixth.

The interesting part though, is the books that I’ve been choosing.  Out of the five finished, three have been young adult books, and a fourth was a rehash of sorts of Alice in Wonderland.  Clearly I have a type.  On one side I feel this needs no explanation   What’s not to like?  But all the same I want to share my exuberance for this genre with you.

Besides being short, well-written, and easy to read–at least from a college level’s perspective–young adult novels have a lot going for them.  They often deal with big themes that are still just as scary as a “grown up” as they are for kids.  Things like self-discovery and knowledge, love and loss.  As a teenager I wished these things would happen to me.  Now, I’m glad that most of them didn’t.

Books have a way of highlighting and heightening the good times that I remember from my own past.  Characters in books were not bogged down by things like math homework and chores.  Or at least, if they were they didn’t seem to take over a character’s life.  Books remind me of the times that I like to remember; an idealized version of my childhood and teen years in which I spent hours at friends houses and the only homework that needed doing was the fun parts.

Furthermore, I find the books that I’m finding or returning to are by the same authors I read as a kid.  Their voices and writing styles are quietly familiar.  Sometimes, they are loudly recalling the books I read as a kid (as is the case of Son, the final in a quartet by Lois Lowry).  Other times they are simply a similar feel (I never read John Green’s books as a kid, but love them now).

Whatever the reason, I will happily continue to read books “below my reading level” as long as they interest me.  While I am glad to read more grown up books, I see no reason to stop reading my current favorites as well.  Besides, the fiction section of the library is huge!  How am I going to find stuff I like in that monstrosity?