Thursday, October 16, 2014

What I've Been Reading

Well I haven't talked about books in a long time aside from the vlog from yesterday, so let's go ahead and do that for a change around here!'s really sad how few books I've reviewed this year. Not that I've read all that many compared to "normal" years. This year so far, I've read 46 books and I've reviewed maybe a handful of them. Which really sucks, because I've loved so many of them! I'll just have to do an extra good job of telling you about my favs at the end of the year. For now, I'll give you some mini thoughts on what I've been reading.

I've just finished two books. The first was the audio version of Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl and I really loved it! Both the book itself and her narration of it. About three months ago, I discovered Girls, Dunham's show on HBO which she created and stars in. I fell in love with it immediately because of the no bullshit, no glitz and glamour, true to life feel of it. And that's what you get with her book. Well, that's oversimplifying it quite a bit and that's oversimplifying the show too. Not That Kind of Girl is imbibed with humor throughout, but underneath the humor is a voice that needs to be heard....a voice that talks about mental illness, insecurities and imperfections and owning them, all the stuff about sex that no one else will talk about, learning that it's ok to not be ok sometimes. She talks candidly about her experience of being raped and denying to herself that it happened, opening up the conversation that we need to have about this. Sometimes I wish I were a teacher just so that I could assign books like this to people to read. This book is like a hodgepodge of important, awesome, relevant essays for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, profession, age or any other factor. Or maybe because of those things.

The other book that I literally JUST finished before starting this post is The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero and HOLY SHIT is that book omg amazing! I dare you to make it to the halfway point of that book and not read it straight to the end. The beginning will scare the hell out of you and the end will leave you with so much suspense that you may want to just put sticky notes in the book reminding yourself to breathe. I won't tell you much about the book at all, because that's how you have to read it. But the short premise is that a young man, known only as "A", inherits a house named Axton House from his second cousin, twice removed that has, as the title suggests, some supernatural enhancements. He goes to the house with his mute friend/partner/weird relationship, Niamh and the book tells the tale of the mystery of the house and it's contents unfolding through A's diary, Niamh's notebook which she use's to communicate, videotape transcripts, audio tape transcripts and various artifacts. This is the PERFECT October read and would be awesome for the readathon.

I'm currently in the middle of Cristina Moracho's Althea & Oliver and I honestly don't know how the hell I feel about this book :/ Part of me really really loves the characters and part of me is severely disturbed by the story line. But I'm not even halfway through the book yet, so I'm saving all judgment until I'm done. And I don't even know if I'm going to write about this book, because I'm having a serious Wicked Lovely reaction to it right now and my post on my thoughts on that book did not go over so well. The book, so far, is about two friends in the 90's who are into the counterculture scene who have always been super close, Althea and Oliver. Oliver has a sleeping disorder of some sort where he falls asleep literally for weeks on end and in the midst of this, Althea is realizing that she's falling for him. Oliver has moments where he wakes up momentarily during his sleeping fits but isn't actually awake...he's not himself, driven more by just his carnal, bathroom, etc. And then he wakes up and doesn't remember anything that happens.  I'll leave it there for now and come back to this. I just don't know how I feel about this book right now. I still have lots to go.

The last book that I started on audio is Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods and I LOVE it! I've been wanting to read Bill Bryson for years now and ever since reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I've wanted to read another hiking book. Because these books are so much more than just the hike. I love Bryson's writing voice so much. I see why he's so beloved now! This book is about him hiking the Appalachian trail and much like Strayed hiking the PCT, he has me wanting to go walking through the woods myself.

Phew...ok, that's what I've been up to reading wise! How about you guys?


Debi said...

You're making it impossible for me to resist The Supernatural Enhancements much longer...oh, but I so don't need to be spending any money right now...oh, but I want to read it sooooooo badly after reading this post... Yeah, one of those kind of moments...hope you're pleased with yourself. :P

I've got a feeling about what might be upsetting you about Althea & Oliver, and if I'm right, yeah, I can totally see why. :(

Bookfool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bookfool said...

Ditto what Debi said about The Supernatural Enhancements. I already spent my birthday gift card money, but gah . . . want to read, now!!! Andi already had me drooling over it. I'll wait, though, painful as it is.

You've never read Bill Bryson? Oh, Chris, you have some great reads ahead of you. I liked A Walk in the Woods but occasionally found it a little disturbing. My favorite of his books is In a Sunburned (or Sunburnt) Country. It's about his trip to Australia and is one of those rare, wonderful books I couldn't read in bed at night because I laughed so hard I shook the bed and kept my husband awake.

Sorry about the deleted comment. I just can't seem to type anything right, today. I've been deleting and correcting for an hour. Time to step away from the computer, I think.

Anonymous said...

I loved A Walk in the Woods. And I love the bright yellow of that cover.

Jeane said...

I liked A Walk in the Woods, too. Made me want to read more Bryson- it was the first book I'd come across by this author.

Kristen M. said...

Yep, totally the same for me with TSE - it took me a day or two to read the first half and about three hours straight for the second half because I couldn't stop. I feel bad harassing Edgar on Twitter but he does get so happy when people like his book. ;)

Chris Howard said...

Debs, Don't resist!! Readddd Eeeeeet!!!! :p Seriously, see if your library has it. If not, it may end up being a Christmas gift for you :p Nothing like a halloween christmas gift, eh? And you've gotten my full comments on Althea and Oliver by now, lol.

Nancy, TSE was SO GOOD! Hmmm, maybe I just need to send this book to everyone for Christmas ;) Nope, never read Bill Bryson, but I think I know what my next read of his will be! I absolutely love those books that make you laugh out loud like that! David Sedaris does that for me every time.

Booksunderthebed, I'm loving it too! And I really loved that cover too...sadly, it's about all I've loved of the book :(

Jeane, Isn't he awesome?? I can't wait to read more of his books!

Kristen, OMG that book was so hard to put down! I cannot wait for him to write some more!

Anonymous said...

Oh all right then! With you and Kristen both praising this book to the skies, I'll definitely need to read it. It's on my Nook now!