Saturday, July 26, 2014

What I've Been Reading...

July has been a pretty good book month for me! The month isn't even over, and I've already finished a fair amount of books. Two of them were on my summer reading list! For the most part they were all pretty good :)


The Trickster's Hat, a Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity, by Nick Bantock
Evil Librarian, by Michelle Knudsen
Boxers, by Gene Luen Yang
China Dolls, by Lisa See
Songs of Willow Frost, by Jamie Ford

The Trickster's Hat was definitely interesting, but I'm not sure how much I liked it. It's a book filled with activities designed to harness and unleash your creativity. I picked it up from the library on a whim, once I noticed it was written and illustrated by Nick Bantock. He wrote a trilogy called The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy, which I found really interesting and disturbing all at the same time. Unfortunately The Trickster's Hat was not quite as interesting (or disturbing) and I didn't find it particularly inspiring, either. The illustrations are cool, though!

Evil Librarian is a YA book. Because I cannot stress it enough, I will say again that I normally can't stand YA novels. While I was able to make it through this book, it did bear many of the contributing factors that make me dislike YA. As the title says, the book is about an evil librarian. He's an attractive demon that starts taking over a highschool, and the protagonists best friend falls in love with him. This book also talks a lot about theatre, because the protagonist (her name is Cyn) is the technical director for the schools musical, Sweeney Todd. I thought the theatre part would help me like it more, but meh. Throughout the book there is too much teen angst, too much awkward high school romance (in the authors defense I suppose all high school romances are awkward, I just don't like reading about them), and an incredibly inaccurate and almost offensive take on technical theatre. However, it was a quick and easy read. The plot moves along very quickly, which made it a lot easier to finish. I read most of this book at work when I wasn't doing anything, so for that purpose it was alright. I don't like dragging big and in-depth books to work with me!

I found the graphic novel Boxers, very interesting. It really got me thinking. Boxers is a companion to its sister graphic novel Saints, also by Gene Luen Yang. Together they tell the story of the Chinese Boxer Rebellion from different view points. I haven't had a chance to read Saints yet, but I've ordered it from the library and it should be here any day now! I plan to write a separate post for these two books, so I'm not going to explain them any more here, hahah.

I was really looking forward to reading China Dolls, because Lisa See is one of my favorite authors. As always, her new book was pretty great. Sometimes I wish the female characters in her books would stand up for themselves a bit more, they're such pushovers! Unfortunately, her books are all Chinese/Asian-American historical fiction, and in the time periods her books take place, a woman standing up for herself wasn't really a thing that happened much. This book is about a set of three friends, and follows their friendship starting when they meet as teenagers, and all through their adult lives. They go through their ups and downs, and even go through bouts of not speaking to one another. While it's sad, I think that's what many friendships go through, and it made their relationship feel very realistic. Some of the things these girls went through with each other felt a little too familiar to me! As we all have, I've gone through some friendship troubles in the past. Most of it I'd say was in my early teen years. Definitely glad I'm out of that phase of my life, hahah.

Songs of Willow Frost was another book I was really looking forward to reading. Awhile back, I'd read the authors first book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and loved it. Like Lisa See, he writes Asian-American historical fiction, so I often feel bad for the female characters. That aside, I really enjoyed his new book. It is told from view of a 12 year old boy, wondering what happened to his mother who left him in an orphanage years ago, and his mother, as she recounts her life, explaining why things ended up the way they did.

So that's what I've been reading this month. I'm reading a few things right now, but they probably won't be finished until August. Look for those posted here next month! :)






11 comments:

  1. Looks like some awesome reads! I've been really wanting to pick up a good book that isn't a text/reference book lol! :)

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    1. Awe! Find a good book and relax! I definitely do not miss reading textbooks, hahah ;)

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  2. I'm always looking for new books to read so thanks for these suggestions!

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    1. Yay! Thanks for stopping by, Julie! Hope some of these books work out for you!

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  3. I'm a bookworm too! I like and dislike some YA books as well, however, majority of the fiction books I read are YA. Songs of Willow Frost sound like an interesting read.

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  4. Boxers and Saints are graphic novels I have been wanting to read for a long while now. They look really good. I sometimes don't enjoy YA myself. But I have really enjoyed some series like the Lunar Chronicles. That is a fun series.

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    1. They were very good! I recently finished Saints, I plan to blog about both of them soon. I haven't heard of The Lunar Chronicles, I'll have to look into that!

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  5. Boxers and Saints are amazing. Gene Luen Yang is one of my favorite authors.

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    1. I just finished Saints the other day! I think I liked it even more than Boxers :) I will be writing more about them both soon!

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