This week has been a long one, because my school work is really stressing me out. I have to turn in proposals (aka outlines) and sample scenes for three short stories tomorrow, none of which I have written or even really fleshed out yet. I know I’ll have time later to work on them, and the perfectionist in me is making this more stressful than it needs to be, but it’s seriously making me question whether or not choosing to concentrate in fiction writing was a good idea. Ugh, the closer I get to the end of grad school, the more anxious I get. Because I’m really close to having to start my thesis, and after that, I will have to grow up and get a real job, and that likely means moving to a different state (and all the accompanying adult things I don’t want to do, like switching voter registration and getting my own cell phone plan). If Neverland was real, I’d be there right now.
Anyway, on to the reading I got done this week. This week, I managed to finish four books, which I’m pretty happy with (until I remember all that time I should have spend working on homework, and then I get annoyed). The first book I managed to finish was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this one, because I didn’t love Throne of Glass, but then I saw everyone talking about A Court of Mist and Fury, and I was curious. I did enjoy it more than ToG, especially the fact that the heroine of this book actually was pretty badass. But there are some things about Maas’s writing that I don’t care for; she tends to repeat a lot of favorite words and phrases, for example, and it’s pretty noticeable. But it was still a good YA fantasy, something I’d been wanting to read for a while.
No surprise that my next read of the week was A Court of Mist and Fury. This one was leagues above the first book in the series! I really enjoyed it! Some of my writing pet peeves were still present, but the characters and story were a whole lot better. In the first book, a lot of the plot was driven by a certain character or characters being selfish and a bit stupid, and – shocker (literally) – that is actually addressed in the sequel. I was really impressed with the character growth. And, because I can’t mention this book without saying it, the romance was great. It was so good. And I loved that it was a major plot point without being close to the only major plot point (which is probably why this book is so long). Even though they are over 1,000 pages combined, I managed to read both books in about three days. So, obviously, I was pretty into it. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
Next, I finished A Good Month for Murder by Del Quentin Wilber, which is a nonfiction, true crime account of a particularly active month for a homicide squad in Washington D.C. I thought this was a great read, and I loved that the stories were so interesting. I haven’t read much true crime, but this book definitely made me want to read more. This book will be available on Tuesday, and I have a review scheduled for Monday, so keep an eye out for that.
And, finally, I read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. This is a sequel to Jane Eyre published in 1966. You probably already know that I recently reread Jane Eyre and loved it. This book was recommended to me the first time I read Jane Eyre, so it’s been on my reading list for a while. And, sadly, I was disappointed. I didn’t care much for the writing style, so it was difficult to get invested in the story. And I found myself getting annoyed at the racism in this book. It was meant to portray Jamaica in the mid-1800s, but it was just a bit too prevalent for my tastes, and I didn’t like that so much of the plot was reliant on the tenuous relationship between the native Jamaicans and the white settlers/slavers. I’m glad I finally read it, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea.
If you follow me on Goodreads or Twitter, you may have also noticed that I read quite a few short stories this week. Because I will be reading a lot of short stories over the next couple of months for my fiction writing class, I decided to do a weekly mini review post of all the short stories I’ve read that week. So check back tomorrow for my first installment. There are a lot of great short stories I’m excited to share with you!
Finally, because I have reading ADD, I started a lot of books this week. I am still reading The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. I’m only like twenty pages in, and it’s slow going. Which is really frustrating because I can already tell I’m going to like this book once I get into it. It’s just taking forever to get into. Does that ever happen to you?
This week, I finally started reading The Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre, which isn’t my usual genre, but I’ve heard so many people raving about it that I had to pick it up. And I’m really enjoying it! It kind of reminds me of a much more explicit Caroline Kepnes book. I’m into it.
I also picked up Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds on a whim. I’ve had an ebook copy for a while, and I honestly don’t know why I started it, but I did. I’m liking it. It’s interesting, and different enough from all the other YA dystopian novels I’ve read.
Lastly, I started Neil Gaiman’s newest book (which was released this week), The View From the Cheap Seats. I’ve been alternating between the book and the audiobook – because Gaiman’s voice is aural magic (seriously, if you’ve never heard him speak, go on YouTube right now; I’d suggest his “Make Good Art” speech) – and I am loving it. Probably because my brain is programmed to love anything written by Neil Gaiman.
And… most of these books are being put on hold for the moment because the Tome Topple readathon starts tomorrow, and I’m really excited. Because I’ve been waiting to read The Name of the Wind and reread A Game of Thrones and now I finally get to jump in! I will also be reading Persepolis at some point during the next two weeks.
Last time I did a readathon, I kept an update journal – would you be interested in something like that again even though this is a much longer readathon? Let me know! I’d also love to hear if you’re participating, and what you’re planning on reading.
Sorry this post was so long, but thanks for reading! I hope you all have a great weekend! (And keep an eye out for my short story mini review post tomorrow.)