Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: The Summer of Reading

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Summer of Reading

Well folks,
I have indeed been reading the summer away.  I couldn't resist bringing a box full of books along to the beach a few weeks ago, though I only managed to get through a couple.  Even Bryan has been getting in on it all, he's been reading the graphic novel series Fables as I get caught up on some of the volumes I've missed and has introduced me the comic series Promethea as well. (I'll be starting to read that next!)

So here's the lineup of all I've read since my last post!
Fables Volumes 17 & 18, the related Cinderella Volume 2, Y The Last Man Volumes 7, 8, 9 & 10, Changeless by Gail Carriger, along with Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless by the same author, Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup, Storm Front and Fool Moon by Jim Butcher.


Fables Volumes 17 & 18 continue the storyline about the various fairy tale characters, mostly focusing on the children of one of the central couples in the series.  At one point a prophecy was made about their futures, we see 3 parts of that play out over the volumes.  The storyline in the second book leans darker than the series has run in a while, and overall I found these volumes to be quite good.  I only wish the local library had the next two volumes, but alas, they don't, so it may be a while til I get completely caught up to currently published material.

Cinderella Volume 2 is a spinoff of the Fables series.  I was pretty underwhelmed by this one.  I believe this series hasn't printed any more issues, which makes sense given it's lack of a strong storyline.  The antagonist wasn't very believable to me, which might be a personal bias, but I felt the character's actions were completely off for someone who used to be completely one of the good guys.  I wouldn't waste my time on this series knowing what I do now.

Y The Last Man Volumes 7-9 were really great additions to the series, and things were starting to come towards what could have been a very interesting ending.  Unfortunately volume 10 involved what seemed a very rushed ending that was ultimately unsatisfying to me.  A lot of the character's actions ending up being sad tropes when there was so much potential for more.  I like what happened to Yorick in the final chapter though.  However, I found myself wanting to see more of what this new world had developed into, and wish that aspect of the series had more forthcoming.

Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series on the other hand, did not disappoint!  The whole series is 5 books long (I read the first, Souless, a while back before this blog existed.)  When I noticed Blameless on the library shelf I snatched it up right away.  The series is a great romp through a steampunk Victorian world where there are...yes, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts.  Plus Alexia Tarabotti, who's souless.  The books strike a good balance between adventure and a touch of romance, with lots of humor as monsters are expected to behave with impeccable manners since many are members of gentle society.  Alexia deals with married life, clockwork assassins, children who most emphatically do not want to take baths, secret orders, vampire adoptions, horrible hats, and werewolf retirements.  If this sounds at all interesting to you please, do yourself a favor and go read it!

Solomon Northrup's Twelve Years a Slave is a perfect example of why I enjoy and value reading so much.  The book chronicles the actual experiences of a man who was free and wrongfully stolen away as a slave.  Yes, there is a movie of the same title, which I have not yet seen, but it did inspire me to read the book when I spotted it on a Kindle book sale.  I have read that the story was ghost written by a white man, however I still found the story to ring true.  This is another I would recommend to people because it does what great books should do, puts you within the shoes of another individual.  It allows you to better understand how the prejudice and racism prevalent in pre-Civil War America has been twisted into what still exists in many people's thoughts today.

Finally, I also got around to reading the first two books in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series - Storm Front and Fool Moon.  While I enjoyed these books they were definitely a bit outside my norm as they have one foot solidly in the detective genre.  The other, however, is securely in the realm of fantasy as the protagonist Harry Dresden, wizard detective for hire, goes up against magical murders and werewolves.  It's very gritty stuff, but well written, which keeps you on the edge of your seat as Harry somehow manages to stay alive through all the crazy things his enemies throw at him.  I'll continue reading this series for sure, though I'll need breaks between each book to help cope with the dark tone of it all.

Coming soon to my reading list: Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Scout's Honor by Henry Vogel, The Promethea graphic novel series, and a variety of selections from Bryan's brother Michael's personal library!  Michael is about to head to Jerusalem for a year where he'll be doing all kinds of exciting stuff.  I'll be keeping his books warm for him, which should prove a great change of pace as he just got his degree in English and journalism from UNC.  You can read more about his adventures at -  http://michaelchecksin.blogspot.com/

On a completely different side note, I realized lately that in many ways I have grown far more private in the last year or two.  Pretty much since I got married, but even a little bit before that while working on my masters.  I don't think it's something I intended an any way to do, but it's a trend I've seen in my life when I'm a little more isolated socially or when I'm living with people who like to be more private.  Bryan is definitely a more private person than I am, which I value, but I'm sorry when it cuts back on how much I might share all the good (and sometimes not so good) parts of my life with others.  This is part of the reason I find myself blogging less than I'd like.  Other reasons are depression, and then days when I have so many ideas that I just don't know where to start.  I end up with loads of ideas, and when I finally get the mental energy to write I find myself pouring it all out and I always have more I don't want to overwhelm people with.  So I'm going to try keeping a file of partially written posts so I can write more overall.  I've had several people asking me when I'm going to post again, and I really want to keep up with this.  Some days it's just hard for me, so I keep trying to find good solutions to make better habits with.

Thanks for reading everyone, I know know this was a long post with all these books.  If I keep up my pace with reading I'll probably end up with two book posts a month.  Before that I've got some pictures and summer experiences to share.

Love,
Lydia

2 comments:

  1. Wow you've done quite a bit of the summer reading comics. Now that I'm a co-host on the Geek Fallout podcast I've been talking about various series I've been reading too, so I may need to brush up on your recommendations as I'm in between material at the moment.

    I had not heard of Parasol Protectorate before, but I may have to check it out if only because I just watched the season finale of "Legend of Korra" this afternoon and will need something to scratch my "steampunk superheroine" fix for the next seven to eight months.

    Good to see that you're still alive and active.

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  2. Thanks Erik! I really need to check out Geek Fallout, it sounds like a great project! I've apparently had some missed notifications from your comments. I've gotta be more on the ball about making sure I spot comments sooner, sorry bout that! I'm excited to hear what all you've been reading. I love adding more books to my list.

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