At the beginning of this year I decided that I not only wanted to read over 100 books/comic books again this year, but I wanted to read some big books. I think anything with 450+ pages is a pretty damn big book. These require commitment, time, and often tears to finish.
This week I’ve start reading two big books: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Combined these books total about 1300 pages! Ahh! I’m sure I’m a crazy person for trying to read these huge books at the same time, but they’re both so different. I find it much easier to read two books at the same time when they come from different genres. So when I need a break from the old fantasy world I can dive into summer camp in the 70’s.
So far I’m enjoying both stories. I’ve heard rave reviews from friends about The Interestings and I’ve been watching the past few seasons of GoT and knew I needed to read the books. I can’t wait to share full reviews with you in the next few months.
I find summer is a great time to dig into big books. I work shorter days at the school and find that lazy afternoons spent in front of a fan reading books isn’t a terrible way to pass the time. Also riding my bike to Laurelhurst Park and camping out in the shade with my kindle sounds pretty nice.
Do you have any plans to read some huge books this year?
Have you ever started reading a book and just knew you needed to tell everyone about it?
I started reading Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close last week and even though I’m only half way done I can’t help but rave about this book.
I especially like the type of story telling in this book. Rather than it being from only one person’s perspective, or only covering one event, it tells the story of several people in the group of friends throughout their 20’s. You get to see these girls grow up. They experience love, heartache, broken friendships, and hungover mornings. It feels like reading a really funny and sometimes embarrassing diary. The girls are all so easy to relate to and it’s really easy to picture yourself in their situations.
These are the times that I get really frustrated that books are not real life because I want to be a part of their circle of friends. Even through their rough patches they still love each other. They reluctantly put on big smiles and pastel dresses and attend yet another wedding. They go pick up Bloody Mary ingredients and come over after a bad night. And they accompany you to the emergency room after you slice your finger off. They’re friends to the end. Like 4ever.
Now that I’m an old married lady I especially love reading books about single ladies because it reminds me of what a crazy and wonderful time that is in a young woman’s life. It’s tough to be single. I cried a lot. But I also met some of my best girl friends when I was single. We went through some real shit together and it’s made us stronger because of it.
GIrls In White Dresses is definitely a book I believe any gal in her 20-30’s could relate to. You’ll laugh, cry, and cringe all the way through, and I think you’ll enjoy every minute of it. I just hope the second half is as good as the first half has been.
When I first started getting heavily into comic books I discovered Jeff Lemire and fell head over heels for his stories & art. So when I realized that he had started writing for the Green Arrow I knew I needed to check it out.
The best way to get caught up on comics when you decide to start in the middle of the series is to look for trade paperbacks. These usually consist of 5 or 6 comics in one book. The best thing is that you can usually get them from your local library, which is great if you’re unsure about spending $15 on a story you may hate.
Now Jeff Lemire didn’t start out writing the New 52 Green Arrow, and let me just be frank, it was awful in the beginning. The stories dragged on and just weren’t very interesting. But since I’m so familiar with Jeff Lemire I stuck out reading it until he finally took over the series, and boy am I glad I did. He really took Oliver Queen and gave him some substance. Now I’m feeling for this guy who lost his father, lost his company, and was stranded on a desert island for 3 year. He’s not just some a-hole with a ton of money to blow on some cool gadgets while he pretends to be a super hero.
I just finished reading the 4th trade paperback last night, Green Arrow Vol. 4: The Kill Machine, and it did not disappoint. I would almost suggest that you start with this one because it gives you a lot of his origin story and it’s not particularly difficult to understand what’s going on. Also, Andrea Sorrentino’s art work is superb and it gives this comic a very cool vibe.
So, did you know that it’s Free Comic Book Day this Saturday? I’m very excited because this will be my first time attending. Wook Jin Clark who does the art for the Adventure Time Flip Side comics will be there signing autographs and I may have a fangirl moment if I get to meet him. I’m sure I’ll mumble something about stalking his instagram and how great I think his art is and that we should totally be friends in real life.
Have I mentioned how cool I am in real life? Very cool obviously.
Last year when I finished reading Insurgent I started looking for a new series to dive head first into. I decided to let Amazon help me and took a look at their suggested reading list and found Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. I’ve always been a fan of science fiction movies & tv shows after growing up with Star Wars & Star Trek, but I mostly read fantasy, so this was my first introduction into science fiction novels.
I am so happy that I found John Scalzi! His Old Man’s War books are exactly the kind of stories I like to read. There’s action, adventure, humor, technology, crazy aliens, and even some romance. But really I love that he tells stories about how humans react to being in space and fighting a war for the first time. This isn’t some hard sci-fi with no emotions, Scalzi has created characters that you care about book after book.
The books mostly follow a man named John Perry who signs up for a chance at a new life. On Earth once you turn 75 y/o you have the opportunity to sign up for the Colonel Defense Forces. You’ll be taken to space, given a whole new super body, and look & feel like you’re 22 y/o again. Just one catch, you have to fight a war against alien races in a difference universe. If you can survive as a CDF solider you’ll be rewarded greatly, but surviving is key. Some alien races are far more technically advanced and not everyone makes it out of every battle alive.
Human Division is the 5th book in the series and I’m a little over 50% done with it. So far it is just as funny and captivating as the others. The books don’t all follow John Perry’s story, but he is a key character. Each books takes you deeper and deeper into this new universe and it’s great to see so many different perspectives. Much like Earth, every planet has it’s own problems. There’s mystery and corruption peppered throughout the series, but it’s all done with a lot of humor. These are great books if you’re looking to get into science-fiction for the first time. It’s not intimidating, and I promise you’ll end up falling in love with John Scalzi’s work and will probably read all the other books he’s written outside of this series.
I will be spending the next few days soaking in this book before I have to return it to the library. I’m really hoping that they’ll turn the series into a movie because I actually think it could be done really well. Plus I’m selfish and just want to have it in as many forms as possible.
What books will you be enjoying over this Thanksgiving holiday?
At the end of 2012 I set what seemed like a hefty goal for this year: read 100 books in 2013. I seriously thought I was crazy but figured what the hey, might as well give it a try. The point was to just read as much as possible since for years I had been so caught up in school, work, & friends and barely could finish a book in a whole year. I never thought that half way through November I would be announcing that I’ve not only reached my goal, but surpassed it! Holy smokes, Batman!
This has really been a great year in reading. My girlfriends and I started a book club back in March and it’s now almost doubled in size. Through book club I’ve been introduced to some great new (to me) authors and genres that I may have missed out on reading otherwise. Thanks to Nate I’ve finally been introduced to the world of comic books. I have fallen head over heels in love with some great stories. Thank goodness for trade paperbacks! It makes it so much easier to catch up on series that have been established for years.
I’m so surprised I haven’t worn my library card down to nothing this year. I try to check out everything I can from the library just because our apartment is so small and finding room for new books is so difficult. When I do purchase books it’s usually for my Kindle (which I love love love) but it’s still not quite the same as holding a real book in your hands. One day when we finally settle down in a house I’m sure we’ll work hard to build a real library full of books.
I decided to put together a short list of my favorite books that I’ve read this past year, so if you’re looking for something new to read check these out:
And for my complete list click here. I’ll continue to update it until the end of the year. Then I’ll have to think of a new reading goal for 2014!
How many books have you read this year?