March: Read This Month

March was the month of series, it seems. I reread Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. I finally read Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. I even started The Hogwarts Library and Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Quartet.

There were some digital reads in the mix, but the books far outweighed my Kindle usage for the first time in a long time!

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Here’s the full list:

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Cecilia by Fanny Burney

Cress by Marissa Meyer

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The Horse Healer by Gonzalo Giner

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Dear Millie by Marco Previero

Lying by Lauren Slater

Four by Veronica Roth

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Mauprat by George Sand

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase

Quidditch Through the Ages by JK Rowling

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

The Iron King by Maurice Druon

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

Some books have been on my TBR for so long I can’t remember when or why they got added. When I finally get around to reading them, I almost feel obligated, even if I am not interested in them anymore.

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Chelsea Handler was one of those. Slapstick humor…not so much my thing anymore. But, who the heck knows how long she’s been on my list. Probably since Are You There, Vodka? came out in 2007. Seems about right. And since it was on audiobook, which is best for these sorts of memoirs, I decided to give it a try.

Raunchy is the only word I can really use to describe it. And while I am not a modest or easily offended person…this one was a bit (ok a bit more than a bit) over the top. Whoa Bessie. This is one of those that will offends in every single way possible. I’m pretty sure it is the entire purpose of the book. And when that’s the only point? It doesn’t make for quality entertainment, in my opinion. I may have smirked a few times, but mostly I just shuddered, and there were quite a few “ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwws.”

No thanks.

Hyperbole and a Half

Depression sucks.

Like literally sucks. It sucks the life out of you–feelings, desires, motivations, all of it. But the apathy is only the second part of depression. First comes the pain. Blinding, draining pain that does all the sucking.

For those of us who experience or have experienced the beast that this sickness is–because it is a real sickness–it can be really hard to put into words how depression feels. How it completely consumes everything. To anyone on the outside, those who have not experienced anything like this…it’s very hard to grasp what exactly is happening.

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Allie Brosh has found a way to bring her journey through the darkness to light not only through words but pictures. To say I related to her crude sarcastic sense of humor is an understatement, and I am pretty sure there are creases on the side of the book where I was grasping so tight at certain times because it just relates SO HARD.

Her book Hyperbole and a Half isn’t all about depression–there is quite a bit of comic relief about her dogs and her childhood. But the major chapters, which are taken from her blog (at least parts of them are…I know I’ve read pieces of them there), are very real and very poignant views into the mindset of someone suffering from clinical depression. The anxiety, the self-doubt, the rocky and sometimes nonsensical climb to recovery. It’s all there, in technicolor.

I will say that the book did not end as happily as I needed it to. There was no “YOU CAN DO IT!” mantra at the end. And maybe that’s fitting, because this isn’t exactly a self-help book. Still, the last chapter left me feeling a little…”But, I know I’m a shitty person. I FEEL SHITTY. TELL ME HOW TO MAKE MYSELF FEEL LESS SHITTY!” I dunno, I would have rather had another chapter about too much cake.

That’s my only criticism about the book. It’s a really really great book. It’s an important book–if you’ve ever suffered from depression, or know someone suffering from depression. If you are currently suffering…just be wary of that last chapter. It’s a little dangerous.

 

Because this post is all about depression…guys if you are suffering, please please please ask for help. It’s scary, TRUST ME I KNOW. But the other option leaves so many people without you in their life, and there will be a lot of people missing you, I promise.

If you need help, there are a lot of options, and a lot of people standing by waiting for you to ask:

 

Fulfills PopSugar #40:  A graphic novel

WWW Wednesday 3/18/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Dear Millie by Marco Previero

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Horse Healer by Gonzalo Giner

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Lying by Lauren Slater

Critical Incident by Troy Blackford

Four by Veronica Roth

Fairest

With the release of the new Winter cover, and all the controversy that caused yesterday, what a better time to read the 4th book from The Lunar Chronicles.

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I’ll be honest, when I first saw the new cover, I thought WOW! How striking! And someone posted a picture of it on their tablet, and I think the glowing apple and the purply pink color was made for an iPad or Kindle Fire. It looked fierce and really shined on that tablet. However, after I read some of the breakdowns and discussions, I do agree that next to the other four, darker hardcovers, it is going to look weird. It is not as ethereal as the others, and the hand is definitely Levana…not Winter. Which ok–except Levana had her time to shine in Fairest.

So…striking cover for a tablet…just not quite right to mesh with the other books. Ok, assessment over.

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As far as Fairest goes–it was a decent prequel. It did fill in a few of the details from how Levana became the evil witch we know her to be. However, some of it seemed a little too quickly written or edited or something. I had to reread a few parts to see if I had just misunderstood a tense or a phrase or a queue, and it just didn’t quite make sense. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong, other than it just didn’t seem to fit.

One last thing. If you’re looking to start this series, keep in mind that Fairest is a prequel, but do not start there. Start with Cinder. Don’t read this one until after Cress or things won’t quite make sense and you will be spoiled.

 

Fulfills Popsugar #16:  A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet

Selected Canterbury Tales

There’s nothing quite like sitting in a pub with a big glass of beer and swapping stories with interesting company. It is one of my favorite ways to while away an evening, and we have a couple of really great places to do that here in Texas.

I am always drawn to those sort of scenes in books–it doesn’t matter where or when the characters are drinking. If there’s a story to be told, it is often told around booze.

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The Canterbury Tales, while difficult to readwere definitely amusing. Who doesn’t love a good drunken story? These would have been so much better to listen to though, and it makes me wonder if there’s any Old English bard groups who act them out. That would be neat to have as entertainment in a dark pub some night, or maybe in a place like Universal where fellow nerds flock.

I will say that I’m glad I only had 3 (plus the prologues) to get through. Maybe some day I’ll finish them all, but for now…it was good to keep it short and simple. I can mark it off the list and move on. Out of the three The Wife of Bath was my favorite.

Have you ready any of the Tales? Which was your fave?

Fulfills PopSugar #8:  A Funny Book

Fulfills Boxall #77

March Photo Challenge: Signed

Now that I am reading more current books, and adding them to my home collection, something that I have gotten hooked on is finding signed copies. Barnes and Noble is great for this, because while I haven’t been able to make it to an actual book signing yet, B&N usually has a stash of great books from great authors.

I realize now a days that signed books maybe aren’t as rare or valuable, especially when you can find them at big box stores, but it still makes them seem more special, when you pull one off your shelf and see your favorite author’s signature there!

Here are the three I currently own. They just happen to be three of my prettiest hardcovers, too! (Ok, the Ransom Riggs maybe isn’t “pretty” per say…he gets the creepiest title, though!)

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All the Rage

My brain is screaming right now.

I should have been prepared for it. I should have.

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I’ve been hearing people talk about this book for a week. And I’ve been watching Courtney Summers tweet about it for longer than that.

But I wasn’t ready. Not for this.

Holy Jesus this was a damn good book. Think New Adult Gone Girl. That kind of heart racing suspense thriller. The entire time my brain was going “Is she killing them?” “Who is Kellan?” “Wait, what is going on?” “No, I’m wrong…this is happening…not that other thing….wait, what?!?!?!”

You are reading this on a Tuesday, but it’s Sunday afternoon when I’m writing this afternoon, and I started the book this morning. I’ve spent the last 4 hours with my Kindle glued to my hands. Once you pick this book up, you will not put it down.

I do have some bad news for you. All the Rage doesn’t get released until April 14. I KNOW! I’m so sorry. I was one of the lucky ones to get an ARC for this.

But, I do also have some good news. Courtney has been tweeting THIS LINK all week. She’s giving away a free copy of one of her previous books with any preorder. And trust me, you will want to order this book. DO IT.

 

Disclaimer:  I got a free ARC from NetGalley for this review.

Fulfills PopSugar #17:  A book a friend recommended

March Photo Challenge: Currently Reading

I am struggling to keep up with my Goodreads Challenge this year guys. Phew! Last year, I was zooming ahead of the curve, so I set my bar to 200, which is a little below what I read in 2014, and I’m barely keeping up with it.

But, this year, while I’m putting my number at the same level, I raised the bar on what I am reading. I’ve introduced a “Study Book” chapter every day, and I’m also reading a short story every day as well. And those are on top of my normal entertainment reads! So, I should cut myself some slack, right? Nope lol. I never do that. No slack here.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got going right now. I also just started Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea on audiobook, for when I’m doing chores and things, but that’ll take awhile.

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