Recent Reads (i.e. books books books)

I’ve been trying to read as much as possible lately while still keeping up with the demand of editing. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

sinners welcomeSinners Welcome by Mary Karr | I really loved Karr’s memoir Lit, so I thought I’d try some of her poetry. While it wasn’t my favorite collection of poetry, I absolutely loved the essay at the end of the collection, which was about faith and art. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it was one of my favorite essays on the topic I’ve ever read– so real, so raw, a story that will appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike.

skirmishSkirmish by Dobby Gibson | It’s fair to say that I’m completely smitten with Dobby Gibson’s poetry. It seems like every collection of his I read just wallops me and leaves my head spinning in amazing ways. Skirmish was no exception. Up next for me is his book Polar, which I took off the shelf, cracked open, read a couple lines, and then slammed the book shut because those few lines threatened to change my plans for the afternoon.

grasshopperjungleGrasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith | Okay, so this book is going to be hard to review. I will say this: I don’t think that a lot of you will like it. I did. But even though I did, I’m not entirely sure why, since it’s not my usual cup of tea. Grasshopper Jungle is the story of giant praying mantises at the end of the world. But it is really about a boy named Austin as he explores his bisexuality. As I said, this would not be my typical read, but I won the book from a blog and gave it a go. It has a very, very different style of writing– full of teensy, tiny details that are oft-repeated– and I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone. It was also a little crass, so read at your own risk.

rose under fireRose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein | This book is the companion novel to Code Name Verity, which I read earlier this year and couldn’t stop raving aboutVerity was one of my favorite books I’ve read in 2014, and Rose Under Fire is also a magnificent book– incredible writing, amazing characters, thoroughly researched– but it was harder for me to read. It might have to do with the fact that the majority of the story takes place in a Nazi concentration camp, so it’s heavy. It’s marvelous, and I can’t wait for Wein to write another book, but it’s– well, as I said, heavy.

If_I_Stay_Where_She_WentIf I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman | My friend Kristin has been singing the praises of Gayle Forman, so a little while ago, I went whole-hog and bought four Gayle Forman books. I started with If I Stay, a story about a young cellist who, after a severe car accident, has an out-of-body experience while she is in a coma. It was decent, but the real magic happened in its companion book Where She Went, which takes place three years after the events of the first book. Where She Went was so raw and savage and heartbreaking that I could only read it in small doses before I’d have to give my heart a break. Needless to say, I loved it.

smoke and boneDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor | Let’s be honest: this is not the kind of book that I would normally read, but I’d heard so much good stuff about this story of chimera and seraphim that I decided to give it a chance. I tore through it: it’s packed to the brim with the kind of delicious imagery that lends itself to the fantasy genre. Just truly enjoyable and I look forward to the next book.

Up next for me: Polar by Dobby Gibson, City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (book six of The Mortal Instruments series– I have been waiting for this book since SEPTEMBER 2012!!), the rest of the Smoke & Bone series, and Cinder by Marissa Meyer (according to the vote of my blog readers!).

How about you? Have you read anything amazing lately?

3 thoughts on “Recent Reads (i.e. books books books)

  1. I was meh about If I Stay and had therefore decided not to read Where She Went but you say it’s the better book? I’ll have to re consider it then. Rose Under Fire was decidedly different from CNV but so full of meaning and such a strong sense of place and time. The core of CNV I think could have taken place in other times/worlds without losing itself, not so for Rose.

    I’m glad you’re experiencing Laini Taylor now! IMHO, Days of Blood and Starlight is the best of the trilogy but is very very very very emotionally draining. I look forward to hearing what you think!

  2. Pingback: Poetry 2015 Review: Polar by Dobby Gibson | Jackie Lea Sommers

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