Books Read :: February, March, April 2014

Opening Remarks
I'd hoped to read more, really. February came and went so quickly, though, that I didn't read as much as I'd wanted. There was no point in posting a blog about what I did read, as it was scarce. A combination of February and March's books read proved a better idea. And then, I made a draft of a post & never posted it. So now April is included to...

Books Read (according to GoodReads)

Notes on Books Read
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
This is the second book in a YA series that I began reading way back in the day when I was in a bookclub. I am enjoying the series, but every book ends on such a cliffhanger that as a reader, the books feel like they really should be one long book. This is extremely frustrating, though I understand why this is done. I don't have time to reread the previous books, and I didn't reread the first in the series before reading this one-- that turned out alright, I got right back into it. The cast of characters at the beginning helps a lot.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
I read this book for the reading challenge I found on tumblr, as it was a book recommended by a blog, February's prompt. It took me forever to get into, but then for the last 60 or so pages, I couldn't put it down. I am not sure what my initial frustration with it was-- the weight of the volume & my inability to carry it around with me to read? The lack of determined women characters? The emotional toll taken by knowing that everything was about to go to shit and then having to watch it all going to shit throughout the first 2/3rds of the novel? A combination of the three, I'm sure. I was much happier to read about the characters' lives (mostly) on the up and up, not their undoings in the middle, there. By the end, I was glad I read the book.

Birth Marks by Jim Daniels
Great volume of poetry that evokes a city I am unfamiliar with in all terms except through literature/music/film-- Detroit. Gigantic Sequins published a poem that's in this volume, a villanelle. I bought this at AWP, started reading it there, and finished it soon after. It got me through a lot, considering I went through a lot travel-wise during that period!

In the Songbird Laboratory by Lauren Eggert-Crowe
I read this dancing girl chapbook of poetry on a beautiful sunny day in mid-March, Geoff and I took Jezebel for a walk and I brought this with me. I wasn't sure at first if I were supposed to subscribe to a certain fiction to feel the poems, but then I caught on in my own way without that worry and let myself enjoy the way the words sound and feel and let them mean something enough for me to enjoy this chapbook pretty thoroughly.

I reread Neil Gaiman's Sandman Vol. 5 A Game of You, Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Tao Lin's Shoplifting from American Apparel. One for pleasure, four for school. Guess which.

O, Democracy! by Kathleen Rooney
I will have more to say about this when I interview her. FOR NOW: this book is great and you should buy it and read it.

The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather by Sampson Starkweather
I gave this book five stars on Goodreads because it deserved it. I had to try really hard not to dog-ear all the pages at times. I liked all four of the books that were compressed into one. Awhile ago, I had a chance to buy this book when it first came out and I thought (and said out loud) "it's too long. I will not read it." But then I bought the book this year at AWP, a year later, and I read the whole thing pretty quickly, all four books, because it was great and I in fact wished it were longer.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I needed some light fiction reading for the end of the semester stress, so as soon as I could, I downloaded this to my Kindle and read it, pretty quickly in fact. I limited myself, at first, to two chapters a night so that I wouldn't blow through it too fast. But after I was halfway through, I was too curious to slow down. Everyone who reads this book knows it's going to end sadly somehow. From the first page or the description on the back cover, even. I thought the main character had a unique voice, and I think her story is worth telling... it just wasn't my cup of tea. I guess I'll stick to fantastical/sci-fi YA or something.


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