What I read in July

I have been a MEGA slacker with this blog, but I still manage to post semi-regularly on Manga Report and contribute to some of the weekly features on Manga Bookshelf. Anyway, I hope to post a bit more here, even if it is a bit dusty. Maybe I will cover a bit of knitting progress, books I’ve been reading, and one of these days I want to finish out my posts on Amethyst Princess of Gemworld by outlining some of the references to her in Legion of Super-Heroes.

Along with lapsing in blogging, I stopped updating goodreads very often, so I lost my reliable metrics about what I’ve been reading. I’ve been trying to do a much better job though, so this is what I was reading in July. I actually had a vacation in July so I was able to breeze through many many books.

Rereads – Vast portions of the Dark Hunter Series. I bought this bundle when it was on sale for the low low price of $20:

I started wading through this in June, then my interest petered out in July after finishing Acheron.

I read books 1-6 of the Charley Davidson (haha) series:

This was a good, clever paranormal series, even if some of the mysteries explored in the books end up a bit obvious. Great and engaging cast of characters.

Historical Romances:

I read a couple of Eloisa James’ fairy tale series, The Ugly Duchess and The Duke is Mine. James is really up there with Loretta Chase and Courtney Milan as my favorite romance authors. These books were witty, with memorable characters. It is always interesting to see how James interprets the fairy tale inspiration of the plots, set in a non-magical historical setting.

I read the Suffragette Scandal, by Courtney Milan, a book that should be celebrated for many reasons, not the least is the phrase “puppy cannon”. I also read Proof By Seduction and Trial by Desire.

I also read the Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood, Scotsmen Prefer Blonds by Sara Ramsey and a couple linked books by Lorraine Heath, In Bed by the Devil and Between the Devil and Desire. The Heath books were a bit different from the typical historical romance, since they were a bit inspired by Dickens’ Artful Dodger and his band of thieves.

For contemporary romance, I read Sarah Morgan’s Sleigh Bells in the Snow, which is really a great example of a contemporary Harlequin done well.

I also read Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire, which I had to force myself to finish. It was clever, but it was clever in exactly the same way to a degree that reading it became a bit grating. Also, the heroine interrupted the main flow of the story so many times to digress about thinks like her Great Aunt Myrtle’s adventures in dragon hunting, I realized the book was 85% asides and 15% actual plot and character development.

YA

My book group was reading Paul Zindel, so I read the classic The Pigman. It is very odd but nice going back and reading books that I had practically memorized when I was 14 years old (oh so very long ago)

That’s what I finished reading!

On the horizon for August:

Book club book Code of Silence
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Book of Live by Deborah Harkness

Recent Reading for January, February, and March

I’ve been less rigorous about tracking my reading. I used to be really good about logging everything in GoodReads, but I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t even managed to do that! But I want to have a record somewhere, so here are some of the things I’ve been reading for the past few months.

For whatever reason in addition to my usual diet of manga, I read VERY LONG Books.

Lies of Locke Lamora – amusing fantasy novel about a gang of con artists. Would appeal to people that like the Vlad Taltos series by Brust. Great worldbuilding, but sometimes gets bogged down a bit with the descriptions.
The Twelve by Justin Cronin – This is one of those series that is so much better than the plot makes it sound! I love the shifting points of view and the way the narrative all comes together between characters scattered across a post apocalyptic America.

Romance Novels

I’m forgetting some of what I read here, but I did finish up:

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Ann Long
Heiress Without a Cause by Sara Ramsey
Heart of Iron and Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster


Young Adult Books

I’ve been on a big YA reread binge recently. The Vampire Academy sale on the Kindle happened to match up with a work trip I was taking, so I reread the entire series. They are the perfect airplane books, easy to read but engrossing enough that I almost forgot that I was crammed on a plane for untold hours.

I reread the first two books of Divergent, and read the final book Allegiant. I enjoyed the first book if I didn’t think about it too hard, but as the series develops there’s just so much that makes no logical sense, and I found myself getting really sick of the characters to the point where I was delighted when they started to die off. I actually think these books might be better served by the movie adaptations, because at least then the audience would be spared the whiny self-indulgent first person narration that I found so annoying in the last book of the trilogy. Also the charisma of the actors might cause the audience to not thing so very hard about the abundant plot holes.

I also read Eleanor and Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, both of which were excellent!

Hideous Love: The Story of hte Girl who Wrote Frankenstein was my YA book club pick for the month, and it was an interesting blend of fictionalized biography and blank verse.

Graphic Novels

There was a Johnathan Hickman sale on Comixology! I finally picked up some of his work on Fantastic Four and really enjoyed the first couple volumes. Hickman really did an effective job of balancing the cosmic themes and family problems that I’d expect to see in a FF title. I plan on picking up more of these collections soon.

I also did a fair amount of Captain America rereading in preparation for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Yes, I have been knitting

Here are a couple ways to get codes for free ravelry pattern downloads from a couple knitwear designers, by signing up for their newsletters in January!

Lucy Hague

Janukke

I got yarn for Christmas!

Some Madelinetosh Merino Light:

2014-01-20_21-42-55_668

2014-01-20_21-43-09_579

And some Brooklyn Tweed Shelter:

Thistle

Thistle

I’m working on a secret project for my Stitch N Bitch group’s anniversary party. We all knit something and swap projects! I’ve gotten an awesome cowl and some great slippers in previous swaps.

My kids both requested scarves, so I’m working on finishing up one. Just a very simple striped scarf. I have a bit more to do with this, then one more to go!

2014-01-20_21-42-46_339