What I’m Reading: January-May 2014, and Kindle Adventures

One of my goals this year was to read at least two books a month. It’s really sad to me that I have to make this a goal now. I’m a very fast and avid reader, but I’ve been letting my reading habits slip after college. Some of that has medical problems to blame, but most of it is just a lack of effort on my part. Thus, the goal.

 

I bought myself a Kindle for Christmas, thinking it would make it easier to read on the train, but then made the mistake of putting off buying a case for it. The poor, very delicate Kindle screen broke at the end of January. I had a warranty, so I got a new one for free (I think I paid tax and shipping, maybe). Second one arrived with a defect and was also broken within a week. So I didn’t even take the third one out of its BOX until I got a case for it. So far, so good, but it did dent my groove.

 

In any case, here’s what I’ve read so far this year.

 

January

A Study in Sherlock – a series of short stories about Holmes or Holmesian characters. It pleased me.
The Night Circus – which was, fun fact, originally a National Novel Writing Month novel! It was a good read with truly incredible imagery.
Gossamer – much more of a children’s book than I expected, but good for what it was.

February

Knife of Never Letting Go – I have a soft spot for pretty much every trope in this book. YA fantasy.
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – This was really fun! It’s basically a preteen girl who solves mysteries and is obsessed with chemistry and poison.
Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Its sequel. Also fun. I get a little bored of all the chemistry, though, which is tough because a lot of it ends up being important.
Independent Study – Okayyyyyyy this is kind of trash. It’s the sequel to “The Testing”, which is a cross between The Hunger Games and Divergent. I read the first one last year and was very unimpressed, but I picked up the sequel (on my Kindle, from the library) in any case. It was no better than the first one, but okay for a trashy read. (Not smutty, just trashy.)
Kingdom of Many Wounds – This was REALLY GOOD. It’s a fairy tale about syphilis. Yep.

March

Monarch of the Glen – Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner that this existed?! A novella-length sequel to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
Clockwork Angels: A Novel – Not by Cassie Clare. This was… I’m still torn about it. It goes allllll over the place, and I like the sort-of twist at the end and the way it defies a few conventions, but the main characters also drove me nuts sometimes, and not in a good way. The premise is interesting, but took more suspension of disbelief than I expected.

APRIL

FAIL. NO ONE KNOWS WHY.

May

Silmarillion – This is a lie. I didn’t finish rereading the Silmarillion in May, but I’ve been working on it all year, so I’m going to put it in here anyway.
The Fault in Our Stars – I really liked TFIOS, and it made me decide to finally become a Nerdfighter, but the more I look at its following, the more I think… maybe they didn’t understand it the same way I do. I really liked the idea that the main characters were hugely flawed people trying and failing to find meaning, but it seems like a huge part of the following thinks Gus is perfect? I love when he misuses words and is absurdly grandiose, not because I think it’s endearing, but because I think it’s human. It’s really important that John Green made these characters who are imperfect, so I think people seeing them as super-romantic and idealizing them are totally missing the point.

June

Most of the books I want to read are on hold at the library, so I’ve been reading a ton of “Sample” chapters from Amazon, which are free. So far I’ve read the beginnings of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Mark of the DragonflyThe Name of the Wind, and The Glass Sentence. I also have samples here for The Castle Behind Thorns, Graduation Day (the third book of The Testing, why am I doing that to myself?), and John Green’s other three books.

I’m also reading The HypoThyroid Diet, which is 40% stuff I already know and 40% Not Real Science, but includes healthy meal plans, and some thyroid-specific workout advice I hadn’t heard before that seems to have some basis in science. (For anyone who isn’t following my Fit and Foodie categories, I have an autoimmune thyroid disorder that causes me to have hypothyroidism, which basically sucks. I’m medicated and better than I was, but still not satisfied with where I am in terms of symptoms, so I’m leaning on diet and exercise changes to help me lose my rather significant thyroid weight  gain and boost my quite low energy.) It was written by a guy whose wife had thyroid cancer, so I figured I might be able to learn something. But yeah, it’s mostly naturopath stuff, as far as I can tell. And he likes to underline everything! To me, that’s never a good sign.

This afternoon I also checked out from the library (in hard copy!) the two sequels to Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men, and also Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken. I think it’s fair to assume I’ll have finished one of them before Tuesday, plus the hypothyroid book, so June will be a last-minute success despite the failures of April and May.

Gettin’ back on track.

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