September Currently Reading

September Currently ReadingSo, it has dropped from about 85 degrees F to maybe 55 degrees F here in the last two days. It’s full-on fall weather now AND I HOPE IT STAYS THIS WAY. I hate the heat so much. I’m very much a fall and winter person.

Chilly weather makes me wanna be under a blanket with fluffy socks, coffee and a book. It’s perfect reading weather. :”D

Currently, I am reading two novels:

Embassytown by China Mieville

EmbassytownThis one I feel like I should be loving, but I’m not. I’m honestly on the verge of putting it down. Not DNFing it, just… changing my reading format. Currently, I’m listening on audiobook and usually that’s all fine and dandy, but the narrator has the most irritating voice and the quality of the recording is kinda flat, like all the ‘s’ sounds comes out almost like a static noise. I feel like if I would pick it up via physical copy, all my irritations with the thing would totally disappear. I’m too busy being annoyed by the narrator that I’m barely paying attention to the plot… hence it’s not sticking with me, hence I’m not liking it, blah de blah.

And honestly writing this out has solidified my choice of switching formats. I’ve had a physical copy forever so I’ll just read that one. I’ll eat the scribd credit I spent on the thing I guess. Better than forcing myself through 6 more hours of that.

Aside from my irritations, this book sounds pretty decent: It’s about a woman who is used as a simile by an alien race whose language has no concept of things that aren’t currently present. Like, if they need to make a comparison, the object in question and the comparator both need to be present, hence, she’s always dragged around with them. The language itself is fascinating too: That’s the one thing I do like about the audiobook. The language sounds so neat! It’s like two voices layered on top of each other – the aliens have two mouths and speak simultaneously. For humans to speak it, they need a partner with a close mind-connection, enough so that they can each speak out one voice of the word in perfect harmony at all times.

Like I said, really cool. I really like the concept. I just… wanna change formats to enjoy it. Woof.

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)This one, I’ve been reading for ages. I’ve likely gone over the synopsis of this series a billion times at this point. Needless to say, I’m loving it. Just need to actually finish it.

And since I’m going to drop Embassytown as an audiobook, I’ll likely pick up another one pretty quick. I’m thinking The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss but not 100% positive yet. Otherwise, that’s it. :”D Happy reading!

January Wrap-Up 2015

If you follow my blog, earlier in the month I wrote a TBR for January. I kinda-sorta-alittlebit stuck to it. My goal was to read five books. Well, I read six books! Which is unheard of for me. Only problem is they weren’t all on the list of stuff for me to read.

My TBR Jar Challenge for January was to read a book that was not a novel. I had decided to pick up Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon. This book is written by a regressionist who logs her sessions with a man whom she is regressing. Regression is a form of hypnosis in which one can go so far under that it’s claimed they can recall past lives. So first of all, you need to decide whether or not that you believe this is possible (or at least, decide whether you will accept it as being a possibility). I fall into the parentheses category. Without getting too much into spiritualism and so on, I feel like anything is possible and a human being does not have the brain capacity to understand everything. So I can’t 100% deny that regression is possible. So I went into it with as open of a mind as I could muster.

So I sat down to read the book and soon enough, the man being regressed recalled a live that was not of human origin. An extra-terrestrial past live. It. Was. Awesome. The man went into how his life had went, what energies were used in space, etc. I found it all very fascinating. But, I ended up putting the book down. Why, but I thought you were enjoying it Emily?! Well I was, but it got to the point where it seemed to, I don’t know, drag I guess? Like, it was one of those books that had me thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it, which is great, but I found myself feeling like it was a chore to read it after a while. I guess I felt like the author’s message was taking too long to get across. I got bored, which spells defeat when reading a book. I found myself skimming, and if I’m skimming, I’m not reading. And if I’m not reading, why read the book. So I put it down.

Keep in mind, I’m a child of the age of technology so my attention span is shit. If this book sounds interesting to you, by all means pick it up. Don’t let my lack of focus deter you. The bits that I did read I would easily read 4.5/5 stars. And who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again. But for now, I’m giving it a break. Hopefully I’ll have more luck with my next TBR Jar Challenge month.

Otherwise, I did complete six books, three of which were on my January TBR post. The one above I feel was my only failure (as of yet, huhuh) Those would be:

Perdido Street Station by China Mievielle. This one is a steampunky fantasy-y, sci-fi-y book set in the most intricately written city that I’ve ever come across. This one took me a while to get through, but I’m so glad I did. I rated it 4.25/5 stars and my review can be found here.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Easily my favorite book so far. Loved it, solid 5 stars. I don’t know why I never read this before. I think I’m goofy. One thing to note though – in my tbr list, I mentioned wanting to read the compilation of all 5 books as one book. Well, I’m breaking them up. I’ve read the first one (so there). Currently on the second, which will show up in my tbr for january.

The Diviners by Libba Bray. This one I read as part of the Reading Adventures Book Club on goodreads. I rated this one a 4.5/5 stars. My review for it can by found here.

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit volumes 1 and 2 by Motoro Mase: This is a manga that I’ve had on my shelf for a long time. I own the first 6 volumes I belileve out of the 9 that are out – I don’t know if that’s the end of the series or not, but that’s how many there currently are. I read them a long time ago when I was in high school and decided to do so again (plus, a book came out that I wanted to buy, and i needed to read two more books to be able to buy a book, as per my read-five-buy-one rule, so these were perfect.) Ikigami is a strange bird. It has a very 1984y premise and it feels very dark and twisted. So far, both volumes have been 3 stars (which is a ‘I like this, will continue it’ rating from me). If you’re into messed up things, read this.

And the final book I read this month (which is the one I bought with my five other books being completed) was:
Saga volume 4 by Brian K Vaughn. Easily, easily easily five stars. If you have not read this yet, I highly suggest doing so. If you like Star Wars or sci-fi or cool creatures or anything like that, you will love this. It’s what is folding out to be an epic space opera, and I can’t wait for the next volume (I might even buy individual issues, I don’t know. We’ll see how long my withdraw symptoms from this series last).

So that’s what I read this month. I know my reading is going to slow down, if the last two weeks of classes are anything to go by, so I think my February tbr will be shorter. It’ll be posted up next. Thanks for reading!

Book Review: Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Let me start off by saying that this book took me a very, very long time to read. Today is January 9th, 2015. I don’t even remember the exact date I began reading this book. October, maybe September even. This book for me was a challenge to get through – it is not a bad book by any means (it’s actually really, really good) but it’s just so. damn. dense. This little book, this little unsuspecting book, that upon glancing at it might be an inch and a quarter wide, is over 600 pages. It’s packed to the brim with anything and everything. And I loved it.

The first thing one will notice when reading this book is Miéville’s writing style. This is the first book I’ve read by him, but I know I need to read the rest of his work now. It has to happen. I own the second book in his companion series and the third I can get my hands on if I want. It’s going to happen. Miéville’s writing is rich – it paints a picture in your mind of this intricate city and makes it feel like his characters are living and breathing and sitting in your living room. Without this level of detail or density, the book would have not been nearly as good as it is.

One thing that I noticed though, is that before I read the book, there are two synopses – one on goodreads and one on the back of the book. Both kind of touch on what the book is about, but neither one really… paints the picture fully. This book has plot in it for sure, but that’s not what the book is about. The book is about the city of New Crobuzon and those who live within it. China Miéville populates the city with these fantastic creatures, and they all are pretty damn cool. You won’t find elves running around here, but Khepri from Egyptian mythology and Garuda from Hinduistic lore and a bunch that he created himself that I won’t spoil. I just love them. It was so cool reading about these creatures and what they look like and how they interacted with the rest of society. It was just fantastic.

I think that one of my favorite parts about this book was that I sympathized with a lot of the characters. I almost teared up twice while reading this, I laughed a few times, I got tense, everything. None of these characters are 100% good. They all have something about them that is a bit unlikable. And I loved that. They had flaws, it made them feel more real.

The only thing about this book that I disliked was the ending. Well, dislike is too strong of a word I guess. More like, ‘wasn’t fulfilled’. I don’t know. The ending was good, but I felt like one of the plot points was tied up in a way that was unsatisfying, I guess. All the points were tied up, and I suppose the way the one I’m talking about was done so in a way that fit the characters and ended the book at a good time, but I don’t know. I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like how that particularly part resolved. It just didn’t sit right with me.

Otherwise though, I really enjoyed this book, and I’m glad that I didn’t quit reading it when I realized it would take me a long time to read. It was definitely worth the wait to get through this book. I know I’m going to be thinking about this city and these characters for a long time to come. My poor copy of this book has gotten so beaten up over the course of being read. It lived in my bookbag throughout my past semester – it’s corners are frayed, its spine is cracked, the color has started to fade in the creases… it’s well read now, well loved. I highly suggest reading this book if you’re looking for something steampunky fantasy-y, sci-fi-y. This book is addicting and it will suck you in.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5 stars
My heart, it twists.

Rest-of-the-year TBR

Good morning! I’ve decided that since I’m a slow-ass reader that my first post should be a TBR for the rest of the 2014 year instead of one for each month, because it just makes more sense for me.

I plan to continue (and hopefully finish) everything on my currently reading list, which is as follows:

1. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

This book I’ve been reading for a long, long time. Originally, it was rather slow for me. And then, I fell in love with the city New Crobuzon, and the book took off and has been keeping me on the edge of my seat since. The book mixes together fantasy and science fiction and action and mystery and all sorts of fun stuff, I’m loving it. As of right now (I’m half way through) it stands at a 4 star rating. If the ending is wonderful, I can easily see it being pushed up to 4.5.

2. Daredevil Volume 1 by Kevin Smith, David Mack and Joe Quesada

This one I’ve been reading even longer. This is the book that’s by my bedside that I pick up when I’m not really in the mood to read anything else. I’m liking it so far, but I don’t know, it’s just something about the illustrations that’s putting me off it, I think. The plot is great, but I can’t seem to get myself into it. As of right now, it stands at 3 stars.

3. The Diviners by Libba Bray

I just started this one what feels like a couple days ago, but it’s been more like half a month ago. I’m really enjoying this book right now, but I haven’t been able to read much of it lately – I blame Nanowrimo. I’m hoping to pick this back up again in December and finish it up.

4. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Honestly I’m kind of ashamed I haven’t read this one sooner. Right now it’s sitting at a solid 5 stars and I’m only half way through the first book in the collection! I have a feeling this will definitely be going on my all-time favorites list by time I finish it. This one is going to take me a good long while to read though. My boyfriend and I are currently reading it aloud to each other, alternating chapters. We usually get through one or two each night and read every few nights, so I can see this one stretching into spring. I highly recommend it, just having read the little bit that I have, to basically anyone who likes to laugh.

5. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku

I actually got this book when it first came out. I pre-ordered it as soon as it became available, which I typically don’t bother with. And it’s signed! On the rare occasion I wonder out of fiction books, I tend to lean towards book like this. I’m a fangirl for Michio Kaku, totally and completely. He’s just so much fun! So if you like reading about brains and lasers and consciousness, pick this up!

So that’s my currently reading list. I feel like if I can get through at least three of these by the end of the year I’ll be happy. Once my final exams have passed, I’ll be home alone all day errday, so I’ll have plenty of time to read, in theory. Let me know what you plan on reading before the year is out!