Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List

I looked at my summer to-be-read list, and saw that I only got to half of those books! Woops! Which is why you’ll see some repeats this go around. But I got through some of the nice big thick ones, and even an extra monster book, Words of Radiance, the second in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series, so I think I did pretty good.

Here’s what I think I’m going to read this fall — but we’ll see!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. This fall is actually made a little easier, since there are some books coming out I’m looking forward to. One is Carry On, the oversized fanfaction that that Cath writes in Rowell’s Fangirl. I have to read this one, because if I don’t, I just failed as a version of my own self.

Ice Like Fire by Sarah Raasch. This is the sequel to Snow Like Ashes, a majorly fantastic YA fantasy. I devoured the first one, and I look forward to slurping this down when it comes out in October (right after Carry On!!)

Fairest by Marissa Meyer. This was there last time! But I really do need to read it, because in November I’ll have to get…

Winter by Marissa Meyer. The last book in the series! I can’t wait! Exclamation points!!

Saga volume 5 by Brian Vaughan. Saga is one of the greatest comics I’ve ever read. Period. Done. I only haven’t read it because I’m getting it through the library, and it hasn’t. Come. In. Yet. Blargh.

Jingo by Terry Pratchett. I actually got to Feet of Clay, and now I’m back on my Terry Pratchett / City Watch kick. Next bookstore stop, I’m grabbing this.

Step Aside, Pops by Kate Beaton. Kate Beaton is hilarious and smart and beautiful. I’m going to buy this one and it will sit so pretty next to Hark! A Vagrant.

These are the books I know I’m definitely going to read — I mean it! What’s in your pile?


This post is done as part of Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and the Bookish.

Goodbye, Sir Terry

I’m going to keep this short, because I’m not going to pretend I’m one of the Terry Pratchett fans who loved him for years, who owns most, if not all, of his books. I didn’t fall in love with him as a teenager, though I probably would have benefited from someone so brilliant. So, I’m surprised at how much news of his death made me hurt.

I never heard of him until about 3 1/2 years ago, when my writing mentor, Tony Abbott, suggested I read both The Wee Free Men and Men and Arms, maybe to see how a writer can seamlessly weave humor into a serious story (or seriousness into a humorous story), or maybe just to study how a master of fantasy crafts something inarguably good.

I kept meaning to read more of his books. I finished all of the Tiffany Aching series, I read The Color of Magic. The Hogfather and other Night Watch novels sit on my shelf, waiting for me to dive in. I’ve been wanting to learn more about Granny Weatherwax ever since she made her first appearance in Tiffany’s life. But I kept putting it off, because there are so many things to read, and Terry Pratchett has so many books — so many — without direct suggestions, it’s a little hard to know where to start.

So I put it off, and now I have a feeling like I ran out of time. It’s silly; Terry’s gone, but his books still exist, will always wait for the probably years it will take me to make my way through them all. But I missed out on knowing him, on fully appreciating him, while he still existed on the planet, so it feels a little bit to me like that grandfather or great uncle you always meant to get to know better, and then suddenly they’re not there anymore.

I’ll stop putting it off. There’s still so much to read, but his books are moving closer to the front, where they always should have been, and I’ll hope that some of the wit and insight, which really I’ve only caught a glimpse of so far, will rub off on me.

I didn’t know you well enough, Sir Terry, but I still miss you very much.

Bonus material: Terry Pratchett Quotes

What I’m Reading: A Hat Full of Sky

Considering how enamored I became of Terry Pratchett after reading Men at Arms and The Wee Free Men, it’s taken me a surprisingly long time to scoop up as many copies as I can and read until I can’t see straight. Maybe it’s because there are so many Disc World books that without suggestions I don’t know where to go next, maybe it’s because I thought The Color of Magic was only okay, or maybe it’s because the Pratchett books I did read were for school, and who the hell has time to read for fun when you’re in a graduate program. Whatever it is, I decided to shovel out some time and dig into those books again.

I decided to take it easy and get back into Pratchett with A Hat Full of Sky, the sequel to The Wee Free Men. We’re with Tiffany Aching again, and she’s on her way to the mountains to learn “haggling” from a real witch, Miss Level. The book is, of course, peppered with Pratchett’s wonderful, almost inexplicable humor. When Rob Anybody, a Nac Mac Feegle, refuses alcohol because he’s worried, his wife screams that he died: “He’s deid and still talkin’!” And one of my favorite bits in the book is funny in the way he words it, and the way he talks about something very, very true:

In the cupboard drawer under the sink, forks, spoons, and knives were all in neat sections, was was a bit worrying. Every kitchen drawer Tiffany had ever seen might have been meant to be neat but over the years had been crammed with things that didn’t quite fit, like big ladles and bent bottle openers, which meant they always stuck unless you knew the trick of opening them.

But aside from the humor, what makes this book so enjoyable is Tiffany. An 11-year-old girl who’s smart, brave, clever, and talented, and yet still worried about boys and upset when others are laughing at her. I want her to succeed, I want her to get credit, and yet I understand when she lets things pass her by. I’ll probably snag the next one, which I believe is Wintersmith, next time I get to the bookstore, and I’ll probably have just as hard of a time putting that one down.

What I’m Reading: Lirael, Color of Magic

Again, I’ve been very terrible at keeping up with this blog. I really do have to write out a schedule and just keep to it.

This week I went on vacation with my mother to Sanibel Island, Florida. It’s a lovely place, with lots of animals and warm ocean water. And, plenty of time to read.

Starting with the plane ride down here, I read the sequel to Sabriel by Garth Nix, Lirael. This book was a long one, just squeaking over 700 pages, but thanks to wonderful free time I finished it in a few days. I’m always a little disappointed with sequels when the characters from the first book have grown up, and now we are following a new set. As interesting as the new main characters, Lirael and Sammeth, are, I had been looking forward to going back into Sabriel’s head, at least for part of the book. It’s sad that wasn’t to be, but like I said the new kids were great fun. Nix’s characters have so many layers to them, and it’s very fun to see Lirael as both a self-pitying child and a strong and intelligent female lead, often close to the same time. Like with Sabriel I feel like this book is too long for itself, but that didn’t keep me from getting sucked in for hundreds of pages at a time. Still, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who didn’t already enjoy fantasy and was ready to dig in and read. Unlike Sabriel this book ended with a distinct cliffhanger, so now I have to find myself a copy of Abhorsen.

I have also begun reading another Terry Pratchett novel, The Color of Magic, which tops out at a much less imposing 200 pages. While it’s been funny so far, I’m glad I started the Discworld series off with Men at Arms and The Wee Free Men. This one just isn’t hooking me quite so well, and there’s no Corporal Carrot or Tiffany Aching! Travesty.

Also, as I said, I am on Sanibel, and this island is about 50% nature preserve. So there are birds everywhere. Everywhere. Beaches, side of the road, rooftops, backyard – big ol’ birds. So of course I brought my Peterson Field Guide to Birds, and I’ve been bringing it everywhere in an attempt to figure out what I’m looking at (there are a lot of snipes/sandpipers/plovers, and they all look so, so much the same).

My second MFA semester is just about finished, which means for about two weeks I can read whatever I want! A lot of this will consist of review copies that are literally stacking up, but also so, so much Terry Pratchett.

What I’m Reading: Wee Free Men, Kamisama Kiss

This weekend I started another Terry Pratchett novel, The Wee Free Men. This one is about Tiffany Aching, an 8-year-old who wants to be a witch. She learns what that really entails when the fairy world starts merging with hers, and the Queen steals her brother. Pratchett is just as cute and clever with his words in this book as he is in Men at Arms, and so far I’ve been finding the entire thing delightful.

The moan rolled around the clearing, as mournful as a month of Mondays.

I’ve also gotten back into the manga Kamisama Kiss. I reviewed the first two volumes on Suite 101, and while I enjoyed it I wasn’t quite sure that it was a manga worth carrying through with. Then I read Michelle Smith’s quick review of volume 4, and became intrigued enough to go pick up the next two volumes. It was well worth it. The story has gotten a bit more exciting on the whole, but even better, the romantic part of the manga has jumped up a few notches to a level that gets my heart all swelled up and has me giggling like the fangirl I am. I’m really excited to read the rest of this.

I have a big stack of books from Borders (more on that later) that I’ll be digging through this week. And of course I’ll finish The Wee Free Men. What are you reading?

What I’m Reading: Terry Pratchett, Finally

Men at ArmsDespite having a low-stress weekend at the Cape, I didn’t get much reading done. I’d be surprised, but then I remember how people always seem to be very intent on having a conversation with me the moment I pull out the bookmark.

All I really got around to reading this weekend was most of a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, Men at Arms, which I’m reading for a craft annotation this month. I have never read Terry Pratchett before (which I realize is weird since I love fantasy so much) and boy do I regret it. Between wordplay, footnotes and wackiness, this book is funny, and added to that I’m really enjoying the characters and the world set up. I have to read another Terry Pratchett novel later this semester, but I don’t think that’ll be the last one I pick up.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you found anything new and fun?