Week 42, 43, 44 & 45

I finally found a fun and entertaining fantasy novel that wasn’t overly trite, interesting magic scheme, and decently well written. I really enjoyed Islington’s book, and am looking forward to reading the next in the trilogy. I started reading this book to get psyched about the next Stormlight Archive book, coming out next week!!!

I loved Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. It was tough to get into at first, but as I got into it it stared to feel more like a murder mystery (Murakami style of course).

It’s done. Six months on my current reads list, and I have finally finished A Stormof Swords. This was by far the most difficult of the series to get through. I can move on to the next book, and hopefully be done with the booksbefore the final season starts.

My Current Reads:

  • The Shadow of What Was Lost : James Islington  (ebook)
  • A People’s History of the United States : Howard Zinn
  • Dead Letters : Caite Dolan-Leach (hard cover)
  • The Buried Giant : Kazuo Ishiguro (audiobook)
  • Shadow of the Wind : Carlos Ruiz Zafon (audiobook)
  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

49/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
7 /12 – Flights of Fantasy
2/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Weeks 39, 40 & 41

Picked up my reading pace a bit in the past two weeks. Finished up What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I enjoyed it, though wasn’t blown away by any means. It was interesting to hear Murakami’s narative voice outside his novels, and it was a motivating read for my current running endeavors.

I took a good chunk out of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, and I am really enjoying it. It was slow going at first and I wasnt really feeling it, but it’s hooked me in and I hope to finish it this weekend.

Howard Zinn’s A People’s History is a real eye opener. I am enthralled by his inclusion of all the marginalized peoples in the US’s relatively short history. I am trying not to get swept away by it and have to remind myself of his very clear bias and what his message is leading to, but I am glad I am being exposed to these parts of American history within the the shaping of this country.

My Current Reads:

  • A People’s History of the United States : Howard Zinn
  • Dead Letters : Caite Dolan-Leach (hard cover)
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running : Haruki Murakami (audiobook)
  • The Buried Giant : Kazuo Ishiguro (audiobook)
  • Shadow of the Wind : Carlos Ruiz Zafon (audiobook)
  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

46/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
2/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Week 36, 37 & 38

I just can’t seem to finish a book. I’ve started three more… but still have so many I am in the middle of.  I’ve been distracted by podcasts lately.  I suppose the good news is I only have to read 7 more books to make my 52 Book challenge by years end. I think I van manage that at least.

My Current Reads:

  • Gilded Cage : Vic James (ebook)
  • Dead Letters : Caite Dolan-Leach (hard cover)
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running : Haruki Murakami (audiobook)
  • The Buried Giant : Kazuo Ishiguro (audiobook)
  • Shadow of the Wind : Carlos Ruiz Zafon (audiobook)
  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

45/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
2/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Weeks 34 & 35

Despite my decision not to read anything new until I had taken a chunk out of my current list, I started and finished Room by Emma Donoghue. It was a lovely book, with a really unique narrator, a 5 year old boy. Donoghue is able to really put you in Jack’s shoes and make you see the world in his own way.

I am almost done with the Buried Giant. It’s strange and dream like, but leaves something to be desired, as if it just missed it’s mark. I have really enjoyes Ishiguro’s other books, but this one is a bit out there.

My Current Reads:

  • Room : Emma Donoghue  (ebook)
  • The Buried Giant : Kazuo Ishiguro (audiobook)
  • Shadow of the Wind : Carlos Ruiz Zafon (audiobook)
  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

45/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
2/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Weeks 31, 32 & 33

I’m slowly chipping away at Anna Karenina and A Storm of Swords, but making minimal progress on the rest of my current reads list.

I did start and finish Hidden Figures, since I waited over 3 months for it to become available through my library. It completely blew me away, well rather the subjects of this biography did. I have always taken for granted the narative that white men got us to the moon. Boy was that an incorrect assumption.

Our lunar venture was built upon the hard work of hundreds if not thousands of women, a large portion of them African Americans. It was an awesome read because it opened up a part of history that just does not exist in any mainstream memory. My only critique of the book was that I never got a real sense of who these women were as people, only what they did.

My Current Reads:

  • Hidden Figures : Margot Lee Shetterly (ebook)
  • The Buried Giant : Kazuo Ishiguro (audiobook)
  • Shadow of the Wind : Carlos Ruiz Zafon (audiobook)
  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

44/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
2/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Week 29 & 30

I have certainly slowed down on my book consumption this summer. I am still in the middle of many books, and only been able to chip a few away.

One of them was The Danish Girl, a story loosely based on the lives and marriage of Gretail Waude and Lili Elbe, the first tranwoman to undergo  a sex change operation.

Initially, I didnt like either Greta or Einar (Lili before her transiton). I felt that both of them were overly selfish and self absorbed in someways. But the more I read the more I came to realize what I saw as selfishness was actualy a strong sense of self and acceptance of each other.  Their lives and choices were never in spite of others but always for themselves or each other.

My Current Reads:

  • The Buried Giant : Kazuo Ishiguro (audiobook)
  • Shadow of the Wind : Carlos Ruiz Zafon (audiobook)
  • Morning Star : Pierce Brown (ebook)
  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • The Danish Girl : David Ebershoff (ebook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

43/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
2/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Week 28

I seem to be in the habit of picking up books and not finishing them. In part it’s due to the timing of my library holds becoming available, but also I feel a little like I’m being distracted by shiny things.  The next two weeks are going to be focused on shortening my current reads list.

My Current Reads:

  • The Buried Giant : Kazuo Ishiguro (audiobook)
  • Shadow of the Wind : Carlos Ruiz Zafon (audiobook)
  • Morning Star : Pierce Brown (ebook)
  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • The Danish Girl : David Ebershoff (ebook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

41/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
1/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Week 26 & 27

I forgot to post last week and almost forgot this week!

I finished the Namesake and didn’t feel all that thrilled with it. I thought that the writing was lovely and there was a solid story being told. Until I realized that in the end that the characters never found real meaning in their lives and was rather disappointed by the flatness of it all.

Golden Son, on the other hand, I couldn’t put down. Number two in the Red Rising series, it was just as good as the first. He does a great job balancing the character’s successes and failures, that you arent feeling constanty depressed or bored that all is going well. I am excited to start the third and final book in the series next week.

My Current Reads:

  • Out of Africa & Shadows on the Grass : Isak Dinesen (audiobook)
  • The Danish Girl : David Ebershoff (ebook)
  • Golden Son : Pierce Brown (ebook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • The Namesake : Jhumpa Lahiri (audiobook)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

41/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
4/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
1/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Week 25

All the Birds in the Sky ended like I imagined. Super cheesy, deus machina, with the message to love our planet and embrace technology. I don’t mind spoiling a bit here, but while I’d give it 3 stars for entertainment, I’d not recommend it to anyone unless you are looking for a book that throws around references that may have once made you think you were cool to get them, but now you realize just how small the world is.

I devoured The Language of Flowers. It’s been on my list for ages, and I know why this was recommended to me do long ago my multiple people.  It was lovely and such a colorful story. I had no idea that in the Victorian era people spoke to each other through flowers, and Diffenbaugh uses flowers to show us that people can communicate beyond words yet through meaning.

My Current Reads:

  • The Language of Flowers : Vanessa Diffenbaugh (ebook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • All the Birds in the Sky : Charlie Jane Anders (ebook)
  • The Namesake : Jhumpa Lahiri (audiobook)
  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight : Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (ebook)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

39/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
3/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
5/12 – Flights of Fantasy
1/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

Week 24

All the Birds in the Sky is a really wierd book. It’s about two kids who don’t really fit in the world, who find in each other their only friend. Thier friendship has been prophesied to bring about chaos and the end of the world. Oh, and the girl is a witch and the boy a super genius who builds a mini time machine by the time he is 12.  I have mixed feelings about the writing, but overall I am enjoying it.

Everytime I read Murakami, I am bowled over by the shifts in perspective his writing provides me with. His writing is slower than I typically like, but I always feel suspended in a dream. So far, Colorless feels like his other books, and I am ready to take my time and zen with this book.

My Current Reads:

  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage : Haruki Murakami (hardcover)
  • All the Birds in the Sky : Charlie Jane Anders (ebook)
  • The Namesake : Jhumpa Lahiri (audiobook)
  • Death Comes To Pemberly : P. D. James  (Hardcover)
  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight : Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (ebook)
  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Five Quarters of the Orange : Joanne Harris (ebook)

What are you reading?

36/52 – 52 Book Challenge
2/12 – Back to the Classics
2/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
4/12 – Flights of Fantasy
1/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess