Books read in 2014: first quarter

I’ve read 30 books thus far this year (or so says my spreadsheet.  GoodReads only lists 29 books, but I’m too lazy to check for whatever book I missed).  I’m well on track to finish 100 books this year (my arbitrary yearly goal).

If I was better at periodically blogging about the books I would have longer reviews and such to link to, but I don’t.  Oh well.  Maybe next time.

Books of note this season (listed vaguely in the order I read them):

Flora Segunda and Flora’s Dare by Ysabeau Wilce – I had been feeling really blah about the teen fantasy I was reading, so it was delightful to stumble upon these books.  I really enjoyed the first half of the first book.  And liked it enough to finish the book and read the second.  I’m not sure if/when I’ll read book 3 (is it a trilogy?  If it is, I’ll definitely read Flora’s Fury, but if it’s just an open series, I probably won’t.  I just checked – GoodReads tells me it’s a trilogy).  It really was nice to read a book where I really cared about what happened next.  And then it got really busy and I got confused about what was going on and why.  I think I have a reading attention problem when I can’t keep track of what’s going on in a teen fantasy book…

The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle – this was a very successful book club book.  We had all meant to read it at some point in our childhood and never gotten around to it.  I really liked this book and we had some fun discussions about magic 🙂

The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier – another fantasy book I really enjoyed.  I had read her House of Shadows and loved it, although I was only eh about her Griffin trilogy.  I think I might just not be in a series mood.

Consuming Kids by Susan Lynn –  I had previously read about the psych/soc side of things, but it was interesting to get more insight in how the marketing side of things uses that research.  Definitely making me aware of what/how I gift my nephew.

Bad Science and Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre – these were really interesting.  I’ve always been interested in science (in a reading about it sort of way) and these had really good examples/anecdotes/data about why people need to take scientific research more seriously.

Constellation 2 by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller – I love the Liad books and I love all these short stories.  I already owned a couple of the chapbooks and I was thrilled they released all the stories in a couple of bigger volumes.

Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns by T. David Gordon – I have strong feelings about the songs sung during church services and this book mostly agreed with my feelings.  I have a fondness for reading books that agree with what I already think and provide me with new ways to talk about it with other people.

Touch by Michelle Sagara – I had really been looking forward to this book and now I’m looking forward to the next book.  I know I just said I’m over series but I’m really really interested in what happens next.  This is weird for me because I’m not really interested in ghost/destiny/tragic-teen-romances, but these books are really good.  I had tried to read some other book by this author (maybe Hunter’s Oath as Michelle West?) back in high school and wasn’t really into it.  I probably should give her other books another try – Cast in Shadow is on my bookshelf.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk – another book club book.  I’m glad I finally got around to reading it, but I was pretty eh about it.  It was very male-chick-lit (which the internet is telling me is called “dick lit”) in the sense that it focused primarily on male relationships and male roles in society, but I’m not crazy about the style or worldview in the novel.  Maybe I would have liked it more if I had read it before seeing to movie?  Or back when I was a disaffected youth?

I like how my list of notable reads was 1/3 of the books I read.  And the other 2/3s were also really good (Fire and Hemlock made me hunt down different versions of Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin! The Book of Three isn’t quite as good as I remembered, but I still really liked it! I made recipes out of Food Matters!) but I didn’t feel up to babbling about all of them.

I’m doing better at eventually finishing books I start, although I’ve been lingering over the Bonhoeffer book for months now (I really am committed to finishing it!) I don’t count books as abandoned when I only read a dozen pages before I quit, because that’s just a prolonged deciding whether I want to read a book or not.

A book I started this quarter and abandoned after trying it for a considerable bit?  Another Insane Devotion by Peter Trachtenburg. I must have completely misread the blurb because I thought it was going to be a story of a guy who lost his cat and was estranged from his wife and then his journey to find them.  It was going to be filled will random stories and facts about cats and memories of happier family times.  Instead, it was much more  crass and pretentious than the type of memoirs I generally prefer to read.  I brought it with me on my work commute for a couple of days and I just never cared.

I’m pretty sure misunderstanding the book’s intent is all on me though.  I had read Cats Are Not Peas by Laura Gould several years ago and thought it was delightful and I was looking forward to reading another cat-centered book.

I have 35 books out from the library and will be out of town for the last two weeks of April.  I’m trying to read the handful of books that can’t be renewed (currently: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Tales from the 7000 Isles, Francis of Assisi in His Own Words, and Raising Steam) and then the fairly short books (Balfour and Meriwether, The Ordinary Princess, King of Elfland’ Daughter, the High King, Weather of the Heart and Wolf Tower) to try to clear out my shelves at least a little bit before my trip.

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