2014 Books I Never Got Around to Reading

I read almost a hundred books last year, but even with that there are a few books I totally meant to read…and never got to, for one reason or another.

  • City of Heavenly Fire. I’ve read every other book in The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, but I haven’t been able to muster up the motivation to read this final installment. Maybe because it’s over 700 pages and I have enough giant books in my life, maybe because by the fifth book I’d grown rather tired of the two main characters. Mostly, I just couldn’t get excited to read it.
  • All the Light You Cannot See. A historical fiction that everyone I work with has read and loved. It’s a bit longish, so I’ve been waiting for a combination of the right mood and a shortened hold list at the library.
  • The Invention of Wings. Basically the same as above.
  • Dreamwood. I learned about this middle grade novel on another blog, put it on hold, meant to read it…and didn’t. I’ll get to it, I swear.
  • Caminar. A middle grade novel in verse, a storytelling mechanism I’ve come to really love to see.
  • Afterworlds. I still have yet to read this Scott Westerfeld novel. I don’t…I just don’t know.

Any new books from last year that you never got around to reading? What books are you looking forward to this year? Let me know!

 

This post was completed as part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

Books on My Fall To-Be-Read List

Once again I’m taking a topic from Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and Bookish. This time, the books that I want to read this fall.

  • 20312458A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I’ve been putting this off for a while, and I’m not even sure why. I think I’ve just been on a short book kick? And I never did finish rereading the whole series beforehand. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
  • Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler. I’m currently reading this, but it’s danged long (though not as long as Dance) so this will take me a while to read this.
  • Seconds by Brian Lee O’Malley. I have it, it’s sitting on my shelf, I’m gonna read it this week, I swear.
  • Extras by Scott Westerfeld. I’ve also been putting this one off, because I loved Tally and she’s not the main character here, as far as I can tell from the description. But I want to hand the whole book stack over to other people to read, so I’ve got to finish the series first.
  • Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan. Not only did I go to Lesley with Sara but her first book, If You Could Be Mine, was truly excellent. I can’t wait until this one comes out in a couple of weeks.
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I mentioned last week that I need to read more Sanderson. And I will. Perhaps on an upcoming plane trip…
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I also mentioned last week how much I want to read the next in her Raven Boys series. This also comes out in a couple of weeks. October is a good month this year.

Those are the books I plan to read this fall. will I get to all of them? Probably. Will I kick some out in favor of another one I decide I want to read more? Also probably. And obviously I’ll be filling in my months with more than that.

What books do you plan on reading this fall?

Reading List: A Storm of Swords, The Uglies, Sailor Moon

The new season of Game of Thrones aired on Sunday, and that re-inspired me to continue to rereading of the whole story. I dropped off on that partway through A Storm of Swords, not because the story isn’t interesting the second time around – far from it, I’ve picked up on so many things I didn’t notice/forgot in the slew of information. It’s actually because I was finding it too stressful to read again. The first time, I didn’t know what horrible thing were going to happen to my favorite characters – now I know, and I’m full of dread as I anticipate someone getting killed/raped/kidnapped/beaten up. But, I must make it through! (and I must read A Dance with Dragons...)

I’ve also started Uglies, the first book in another young adult series by Scott Westerfeld. So far Westerfeld is showing the same amount of writing skill as he did in Leviathan, but I also got so much more enjoyment out of Alek and Deryn’s characters. Let’s see if I wind up enjoying Tally and Shay as much.

I’m also finally going to pick up the third volume of Sailor Moon; I bought it a while ago, but it’s been sitting on my shelf, unread. I need to get through it so I can finally justify buying volume 4!

What do you plan on reading this week?

What I’m Reading: Behemoth, Ender’s Game

Have you ever found a book that you physically couldn’t stop reading? Those are the best. Nothing in life matters until you’ve gobbled up every last page. Obviously I read a lot of books, but I don’t always find something that I simply can’t put down. Recently, though, I managed to find two that I utterly devoured.

First up was Behemoth, the second book in Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy. This is Westerfeld’s steampunk retelling of World War I, and I was already hooked after LeviathanBehemoth just gave me more of what I wanted. More crazy beasts, more machines, more alternate views of history. And, most compelling for me at least, more of a love story. At this point in the series Deryn is still keeping up her facade as a male airshipman, and while it’s starting to crumble around other characters – Count Volger, a girl from Istanbul, and Dr. Barlow’s new critter the perspicacious loris – Alec is still utterly clueless. This makes the love story rather one-sided, but it also has me anxiously flipping through the pages to figure out when the big reveal will come. The setting is great, and the overarching story is fascinating, but even with that what Westerfeld does best is characters. I love all of them, not just Deryn and Alek, is what pulled me through this book, and got me to run out and buy Goliath as soon as I could.

And have I mentioned how intensely detailed the art is? I have to keep myself from flipping ahead to each picture lest I spoil myself:

Another book I read over the weekend is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. We can add this onto a list of books I probably should have read a long time ago. I picked this up on a combination of a passing recommendation from my mentor, and also because I’m reading Orson Scott Card’s craft book on character, so I thought it might be nice to actually read a story he’d written. This book is wordy and a little intense at times, but I managed to pack it away in about three days. As with Westerfeld, I’m going to lay the reasoning for this with the characters. Though there are some (violent) fights, and there is some action going on with the war games in the battle school, a lot of the story really takes place within Ender’s head as he deals with a load of crap: being a Third (families normally have only two children due to overpopulation); his jealous, psychotic brother; being forced into isolation; his jealous, psychotic classmates; and finally, knowing that he’s the best, and that all of humanity is depending on him to defeat the alien “buggers” before they come back and destroy Earth. One of the things that I find most touching about Ender is that he has a complete lack of desire to hurt people, but he is constantly and purposely put in situations where he must harm others, and sometimes even kill, all because his teachers know that this will turn him into the person who can save them. This is what made me love Ender, that he has to keep winning, fighting, and hurting to stay alive and get better, but he hates himself for it because he thinks he can’t help being a killer, even when everyone else knows that he’s just a gentle soul.

I’ve already gotten the sequel to both of these books. Now the big question is: which do I read first?

What I’m Reading: Leviathan, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

True to my word, I started Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan. I’m only about halfway though (I’ve been busy lately) but so far I’m loving it. The “fabricated” beasts are really crazy, and its surreal to read about a character running around on an airship that’s actually a whale. And I really like Westerfeld’s style of talking about these things, just mentioning fabs and steam-powered walkers like it’s something completely natural. And a great bonus, which I didn’t even realize until I was buying the book, are the illustrations by Keith Thompson. They don’t just help you picture the strange beasts and machines (I think Westerfeld’s own words took care of that fine) but they are just so detailed and interesting, I have to hold myself back from flipping through too look at all of them in case I accidentally spoil the story.

I’ve also begun reading the collected novellas by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was assigned by my MFA mentor, to learn about magical realism. While I’m picking up some things, I’m worried that I’m not really absorbing the things I’m meant to. I feel like too much of it is flying over my head. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything “literary”, so that could be part of my problem. Still the stories are very interesting, focusing on individual human struggles, and I’m at least enjoying the book for that.