Sorry about the dust in the photo. I didn’t notice until after the fact that I hadn’t wiped all of it off, and honestly, I didn’t care enough to take another. (#sorrynotsorry)
I feel like I just devoured books last month. On the one hand, I had to renew a bunch from the library, which is a bit disappointing on a personal level; on the other, after I renewed them it seemed like I flew through them, and I wasn’t disappointed (much).
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
This was kind of a funny read because it was chock full of information–like the rest of the series–that I didn’t really feel like reading. I’ll admit I skimmed some of the background information on certain characters. I just don’t feel like I need the life story of every character, y’know? Honestly, I kind of only finished because a. I’d already put so much time into the rest of the series and b. I love Lisbeth too much not to go to the end with her. And the (spoiler?) trial at the end made it so worth it. As I read that whole section I would just growl, “Yes!” under my breath because I was so happy with how things were going. I’m really glad I saw the series the whole way through.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Once in a while as I read this I would turn to Dan or text a friend and just say, “I hate books. They make me feel feelings. Gross,” because that’s exactly what was happening with this book. It was adorable and frustrating. Of course all the character conflicts were caused by the most irritating (but arguably realistic) issue I see in novels: lack of communication. It’s so common for me to get mad and yell, “Why don’t you just TALK to each other?!” at the characters.
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
This family, man. They can write some first-class horror. I’ve been a fan of Joe Hill for, I don’t know, some months now, having read Horns and Locke & Key vol. 1, and I’m not usually one to pick out short stories, not because I don’t like them but because I just…don’t pick them. I don’t know why, though, because they’re short enough that there’s almost a bit of instant gratification that you don’t get from a full novel (though those have their own satisfaction in putting the time in to read the whole thing). Anyway, these stories were all wonderful. There were some that simply had an air of mystery and morbidity, and there were others that had me squirming in my seat. I recounted one in particular to a friend who decided he’d rather stick to Poe, although I find Poe can have his own squirm-worthy moments.
Cometbus #54: In China with Green Day by Aaron Cometbus
Ah. My first encounter with Cometbus. This was such a fantastic, heartfelt read. It was thoughtful and reflective. At the same time, it made me feel both completely inadequate in my own writing and totally inspired to improve. Admittedly, I got this because I love Green Day. I’ve loved Green Day for something like ten years now, and I will probably go on loving Green Day for the rest of my days, so I couldn’t resist a peek inside their tour life from Aaron’s perspective. I was not disappointed in the least. I’m actually considering letting my dad borrow this to read because I think he’d be as curious to read it as I was. For a Cometbus starting point, this was perfect for me, and I already have a whole to-read list now.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
This was my IGGPPC review book for the month because I wanted to review a book that, it turns out, I did not fall head over heels for. The majority of this book simply did not resonate with me. Not only did I find Tally kind of annoying, but a lot of the novel just didn’t keep me interested. I mentioned it in my review, but the only parts that struck me were The Smoke and the action towards the end. I’m still not sure if I want to continue the series, because while The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was an arduous read, it was the last of the series, and the rest of the novels kept me interested enough. I’m just not sure if Uglies did.
Both Flesh and Not by David Foster Wallace
Like short stories, I also don’t choose essay collections often. Again, there’s no particular reason why, other than they’re not something I often consider. But also like the short storiesn for June, these DFW essays were on point. I mean, a page in and I was both amused and intrigued. I think my favorite piece of the collection was “The (As It Were) Seminal Important of Terminator 2.” I haven’t seen any of the Terminator films, but I was still interested in the piece. There was humor, a characteristic abundance of footnotes, and a genuinely fascinating set of observations about actions films of the 1990s–not something I would normally want to read about, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The Most Beautiful Rot by Ocean Capewell
This might have been my favorite book of the month. Yeah…yeah, it is. Even though they are very different, it struck me in a similar way to Ragdoll House, and I can see myself reading this again and again. It was quite a process reading about the different characters, because (inevitably) I found one I connected with the most (Lydia, the most responsible, least visibly punk member of the group) while having lukewarm feelings for certain others (sorry, Xandria). I have an affinity for stories about adults who aren’t quite adult, and this struck me as just that; the characters are trying to navigate their own existence, and I could relate to that in a way that helped the book really resonate with me.