Remember last month’s post, when I said:
“In June, I’d like to read over 2000 pages and finish two VSI books, including the one on my currently-reading shelf. I’d also like to finish the short story book I started reading months ago.”
Hahahahaha! I was such a funny, delusional girl.
Let’s take a trip into reality, shall we? (Also, I’m not posting links to my Goodreads reviews individually anymore. Here’s a link to my 2016 shelf – knock yourself out. You’ll generally find they aren’t very different from what I post here. Sometimes, I copy/paste.)
Follow You Home – Mark Edward – 4.5* – (June 3)
This novel was twisty, turny, creepy, crawly, and twisty again. There were a lot of characters to keep straight, but I mostly managed. My biggest disappointment is that I feel I was promised ghosts and the ghost element wasn’t quite as expected. What I enjoyed was that the author did a good job of dropping in small pieces of information as if they were no big deal, then later calling back to them in a way that made you realize you should’ve been paying more attention all along. It’s not the perfect story, but I enjoyed it overall and found it to be smartly constructed. I’ll seek out more by this author.
The Shambling Guide to New York City – Mur Lafferty – unrated* – (June 15):
I’m adding a short review of this one, though I’m not counting this towards my pages or books read. I only read the first 47 pages. I adore the author, Mur Lafferty. I listen to a couple of her podcasts, I Should Be Writing and Ditch Diggers (with Matt Wallace) regularly. But I couldn’t get into this book. It’s an urban fantasy about a desperate, talented, out-of-work travel guide writer in NYC who finds herself writing a travel guide for the… undead? Werewolves and zombies and other creatures. It’s witty and the voice is great, but it’s so far outside my comfort zone that I couldn’t keep reading. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes that sort of thing; it just wasn’t for me. I’ll continue to listen to and support Mur. This just wasn’t my cup of tea. (I don’t really care for tea, either.)
The Martian – Andy Weir – 4* – (June 21):
This is a science fiction book that is much less about little green men (despite the title) and much more about poop, potatoes, fire, and intricate (sometimes boring) scientific explanations. I’ll admit, I sometimes glazed over the science and could’ve done with less poop, though I understood why it was so important.
It’s also a lot about the human spirit, a little about politics, and somewhat about the power of the media to dictate billions of dollars of government money. I wish they had gone into that more, actually, because it was kind of there but not highlighted.
Since I don’t read much science fiction, mostly because I find it too weird and unrelatable, I stayed away from this book for a long time. But once I finally started it, I enjoyed it very much.
Night – Elie Wiesel – 3* – (June 23):
I wasn’t sure how to rate this one. I read a lot of WW2 fiction and for some reason, I didn’t connect with this nonfiction. Parts were chilling, and those were the situations where he added small details – things like eating snow off each others’ backs because they weren’t allowed to bend down. Other situations were hard for me to connect with because they seemed lacking in the detail that really grounded them. I was interested in the idea of him losing his religion, but that also felt underdeveloped.
I’ll admit the timing of this book may have factored into my feelings toward it. With some of the things happening current-day (the Orlando Pulse shooting, the clownery of current politics, etc), it was hard to lose myself in tragedies of the past. It doesn’t seem we’ve learned anything from them.
I have three reading goals this year:
- Read 50 books: – I finished 3 in June, for a total of 31. According to Goodreads, that puts me 6 books ahead of schedule.
- Complete the PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge: There are 40 categories, and I’ll count no book for more than 2. I also decided not to count re-reads (unless the category specifies it must be a re-read). Numbers below are new/add’l categories completed.
- January – 4 (blue cover, murder mystery, set in Europe, takes place in summer)
- February – 3 (culture unfamiliar with, translated to English, library)
- March – 10 (autobiography, political memoir, graphic novel, over 600 pages, satirical, guaranteed to bring joy, poetry, finish in a day, NYT bestseller, under 150 pages)
- April – 2 (road trip, published in 2016)
- May – 4 (YA bestseller, recommended by someone you just met, written by celebrity, protagonist with your occupation)
- June – 2 (Oprah’s book club, science fiction)
- (Total = 25)
- Read at least 3 classics from new-to-me authors: I did not.
Diversity? A memoir, and I finally knocked out that dreaded science fiction category.
Star ratings: I base this on the flat stars Goodreads displays in list-view, not the quarter-star system I assign in my reviews.
- 5 stars: 3 books (1 re-read)
- 4 stars: 16 books
- 3 stars: 10 books
- 2 stars: 2 books
- 1 star: 0 books
- 0 stars: 2 books (both books I started and abandoned)
- January – 1608
- February – 1420
- March – 2521
- April – 1258
- May – 2197
- June – 886
Clearly, I failed at reading over 2000 pages. I didn’t touch any VSI books or the short story book. However, I did well on mid-terms and we managed to move. This month, I have finals and I’ve set a goal to write 25,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s the 6th and I haven’t picked up a book yet. Let’s shoot for 3 books, 1000 words? I’m trying to be more realistic this time around.