Tuesday, July 21, 2015

April 2015 mini reviews

Mini Reviews
April 2015

Dear Reader,

Maybe it seems as if I haven't been reading much lately. That is decidedly NOT TRUE, but I have felt a little less eager to write long reviews (maybe it's the languorous summer days?), and I apologize for that! Amber gave me the great idea to write a single post about a few books that I've read but haven't reviewed this year. Please, no psychoanalyzing me! - I didn't choose to not review these for any specific or consistent reason. Sometimes it was because I was lazy. Sometimes it was because I was eager to crack the next book, and then I got so into it that I didn't recall what I had to say about the previous book. Sometimes? I just didn't have much to say about something I'd read, for whatever reason.

So, apparently April was a BAD review month for me. Perhaps that had to do with my travel to Minneapolis for work and the planning of Candy Picnic (Amber's and my annual joint birthday party extravaganza! - I can't even begin to explain the amazingness). Perhaps it was other reasons (anxiety, busy with work, etc.?). Whatever the case, here are a few I finished that month but missed mentioning!

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Haruki Murakami
4 / 5
I just could not bring myself to write a review of this book. There was so much to take in! I didn't love some of the magical realism (that is not really my jam), but I did love some of the characters and will not soon forget many of the stories which the book encompasses - especially those of the soldier in Mongolia.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1
G. Willow Wilson (Author), Adrian Alphona (Artist)
5 / 5
I'd been meaning to pick this graphic novel up for ages, particularly since I have the poster of Ms. Marvel in my office (it's actually a poster for ACRL 2015, but I loved it so much I had to put it up). It could only go unread so long when I was flying the Ms. Marvel flag! So of course once I picked it up, I flew through it. I loved the humor, the amazing female lead, and the cast of side characters. The story felt real, and feminist, and, well, super. I definitely plan to continue with this series.

Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro
4.5 / 5
I really loved this book. I actually started writing a review of it several times. It had so much to say - about regret, about time, even about the disappearance of the British gentry following WWII. I really enjoyed the feel of the book - it reminded me of a more serious version of a Wodehouse novel - and the strong characters. I have to say I might have rated it 5 stars except for the ending, but that is kind of unfair, and I might have to revise that. Gorgeous and heartbreaking prose.

Paper Towns
John Green
2 / 5
I read this in my hotel room in Minneapolis. I don't know why I keep trying to read John Green - apparently he just doesn't do it for me. Even though I like him as a person (his YouTube channel is pretty great) and even do like the premises of his book! But his characters seriously grate on me. They are too pretentious and FAR too full of themselves. I will die happy if I never hear the name "Margo Roth Speigelman" again, and boy did I want to punch that incredibly selfish girl in the face at the end of the book.

However, I did really like the concept of "paper towns" and the ideals behind the story itself - the main character was very sympathetic, and sounds like someone I would have wanted to be friends with in high school. And I understand very much dying to make a huge and life-altering change in high school! The world seems terribly narrow and impossibly huge at the same time. There was certainly a lot of beautiful sentiment in the book. It just didn't balance out enough for me, I suppose.

Off to Be the Wizard
Scott Meyer
4 / 5
Troy & I audiobooked this during several car rides. We loved it and laughed our heads off constantly! The narrator was also priceless. We still quote from or reference it from time to time, two months later. A totally worthwhile geek read.

A very ecclectic collection, huh? I am actually fascinated by what stuck with me from those books, even months later. Ah, I love books. (Could you tell?)


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