What I’m Reading: Electric Sheep, and Kevin Henkes

This week I finally finished my slow, plodding trip through Phillip K. Dick’s science fiction novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I don’t know why it took me so long to read; for whatever reasons, I only really felt like delving into this book a chapter or two at a time while on lunch breaks. It’s a very interesting book, though the religion, Mercerism, confused me at first. I also had to dwell on the ending a bit, and still catch myself thinking about it, trying to figure out exactly what it means. A very interesting book, even if it left me feeling a little melancholy afterward.

I’ve also continued reading a pile of picture books. In particular, I find myself reading the mouse books by Kevin Henkes. This week I even took Sheila Rae, the Brave and Wemberly Worried out from the library. I’ve begun to notice that all of these books follow a similar pattern, where he spends almost half the book introducing the character before we get to the real big problem she’s going to face. In most cases that’s a no-no for a modern picture book, but Henkes comes up with such awesome characters that I think it works out really well in the end.

I’ve begun reading The Handmaid’s Tale (See all Literary Books) for my MFA, and also plan on starting the Book Girl light novel series. I also found a nice looking copy of Lirael at the used bookstore, and it is just staring at me…

What books are you delving into?

What I’m Reading: Gunslingers, Androids and Other Borrowed Things

I’ve been a little ADD with my reading recently; I keep starting new books, even when I’ve only made it a couple dozen pages into another one. Part of this comes from the fact that I keep borrowing books from the library, and other people.

The GunslingerMy brother had been trying to get me to read The Gunslinger, the first novel in Steven King’s The Dark Tower series, for a while now, and last time I visited I finally took the book back with me. I had tried to read it before, but I had trouble getting into and wound up setting it back down. I had an easier time of it this go around, but it’s still frustrating how little King lets you know about what’s going on. I’m not sure why the gunslinger is chasing the man, or what the importance of the tower is. I’m near the end, and I still don’t know if I’ll be let in on the secret. Still, that I’m interested enough to keep reading is a sign of how good of a job King did with the gunslinger’s character; despite my frustrations, I’m still more interested in learning about him. I’m just under 50 pages away from the end, so I should finish the book today if I don’t get distracted…

Which I just might. Another book I’m borrowing is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick. A co-worker handed it off to me a couple weeks ago, but I’m still only a few chapters in. I’m having my usual issue with science fiction stories where I blank out during some of the more technical descriptions, but I’m enjoying the futuristic world set up here, like how owning a real animal versus an electric one is a sign of higher social status, but it’s also something embarrassing that people just don’t ask about.

Other books I’ve been picking at:

OtomenI finished volumes 2 and 3 of Eyeshield 21, a football manga about a scrawny kid who’s really, really fast. It’s been a great bunch of goofy fun about a kid learning he can be good about something. I’ll probably request the next couple of volumes soon.

I also started Otomen, also from the library. This is a shojo manga bout the toughest guy in school…who loves girl manga, sewing, cooking, and cute things.

I’ve also started Speak, a young adult novel about a girl who has been abandoned by her friends after ratting out a party. She feels she can’t talk about why she did it, even in narration to the reader, so she’s left to suffer alone. It’s making me very anxious.

I’ll probably still work on my unfinished books this week, though I’ll be reading a couple other manga and comics for reviews. What have you been reading?