Reading update, January 2015

I’m using two book lists as inspiration and challenge to myself this year and I’m keeping track of what I’ve read via Goodreads, even though it doesn’t include some of the indie books I find. Because I didn’t start the lists until late in January, I had to go back and add some books I’d already finished, so, in order of when they were read, this is where I’m at so far:

Tales from Outer Suburbia

This is a kids book, but it’s so lovely and utterly magical. There was one chapter – a poem about what happens to scrapes of stray poems – that made me think of my friend Joanne. Many of the stories were bits of advice for life hidden in beautiful tales.

PopSugar list: A book set in a different country – This was easy because the book is written by an Aussie and some of the stories are clearly set in places that aren’t Canada.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book by an author you’ve never read before – Self-explanatory.

Station Eleven

This was a great post-apocalypse style book. It interwove the past and the present to tell the tale of several people whose lives interconnected through an actor who died just as the cataclysmic event was starting to get its grip on the world. It felt a little like multiple books in one: part romance, part drama, part thriller.

PopSugar list: A book by a female author – Self-explanatory.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book you picked solely because of the cover – Technically, I read this because of a good review, but the only reason I read the review was because of the cover. Yes, I sometimes judge books by their cover.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)

Weirdly fun, as are all of Douglas Adams’ books. I didn’t like it as much as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but it was still a good read.

PopSugar list: A book with a non-human character – There were several, but the horse was my favourite.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book by an author you love – Douglas Adams is one of the few authors I will re-read (and re-watch) a million times.

The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 8: True Stories from Around the World

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a collection of short stories. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and will definitely borrow the other volumes. All of the stories were very interesting tidbits of travel and life, and some of them were really touching.

PopSugar list: A book of short stories – Self-explanatory.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book with a female heroine – This one was hard to pick. There were a couple on the list that I could have used for this book, but as the premise of the book was stories about female travelers, I decided that this one worked the best.

Mega Fauna

Cloudscape Comics is a Canadian society that promotes and publishes works by artists in British Columbia. I like their anthologies and use them as an excuse to fund their periodic Kickstarter campaigns. There were some very clever stories and some really incredible artwork in this anthology.

PopSugar list: A book with magic – A couple of the stories involved magic or the idea of magic, but, to be honest, it was a bit of a stretch.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book with pictures – Well, it is a collection of comics!

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That’s what I read last month, and I’ve got a couple of other good books started (because I seem to be incapable of committing to one book at a time):

  • February – I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, partly because it will help me get back on track with my annual promise to myself to read at least one book from the Canada Reads list (this was the 2013 winner). It starts with a death and it’s sad, so sometimes I’m not in the mood to read it.
  • The Rosie Effect – I can’t remember why I finally decided that I would read this book, but I put it on hold at the library a few weeks ago and it’s finally come in. It’s going to be hard to read because it’s told from the perspective of an autistic man who’s frequently misunderstood, which seems to stress me out a great deal. I actually had to put it down and walk away from it the other night because my blood was boiling with outrage over behaviour from one character that felt malicious and offensive, given what I, the reader, knew to be true.

Also on my list of things I’m currently reading is a compilation of short stories I left at my aunt and uncle’s (in another city, so I can’t finish the last few until I next visit) and a book that I had a really hard time getting into and am now having a really hard time getting back to. I’ve also been making my way through the Eisner Award-nominated comic series version of Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which I read in 2013. I’m on volume 5 of 6 and have decided not to include each individual volume in my reading lists.

Given what I currently have on the go in terms of novels (a sad book and a frustrating book), it will be interesting to see how reading progresses this month. I might have to find a lighter read to pick up when I can’t deal with the others. My coworker suggested The Hundred-Foot Journey, which was recently made into a movie. She assures me that it’s a fun and easy read.

We shall see.

Happy reading!

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