WordPress 032 – Monthly Wrap-up 004 and Book Haul 005 (July and August)

Hi everyone, let’s see if I can actually remember how to do this, shall we?

First of all, I’m combining the past two months into one monthly wrap-up and book haul post, mainly because July was a rather hectic time, especially near the end.  I won’t go into that too much though, but it was mostly good in the end.  I’m just all aflutter sometimes.

Anyway, to the post!

Finished in July and August


Selected Poems by Robert Frost

It was probably not the best idea to start a read-a-thon like two weeks before classes ended, but that’s what I did.  And I ended up starting on this book of poetry first, which wasn’t even on the “official” list of challenges, but what the hey, I finished it at least.  I only really knew two poems by Robert Frost, one of which I had to memorize in 6th grade, so it was nice getting to read the others.  And as I mentioned, the cover is gorgeous.


The Julie series by Jean Craighead George

I finished this series as well that I had planned to during the read-a-thon (though not during the read-a-thon itself).  I especially liked the last book since it focused more on the wolves’ point of view.  I think wolves are very cool (as do many other people, I’m sure).


Mariel of Redwall by Brian Jacques

Also in the midst of things, I finished this book, which is the 4th in the series.  I started this a long time ago, and finally got around to finishing it.  I have many books by him, for nostalgia’s sake (Mr. Jacques, thank you very much T-T), and I’m going to get through them eventually.  I definitely haven’t caught up with my brother yet, who has already read most of them!


The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

This was an interesting book that I found this past month or so, and I read one other book that was co-written by him and another (rather famous) author, John Green.  Basically this book is laid out like a dictionary, with words and their part of speech at the time, but instead of the definition, Levithan writes a scenario that sort of captures the meaning of that word.  There are both good and bad times in the book, as there are in any relationship, so it was a rather real portrayal of what love is/can be.

Book Haul for July and August

Impressively, I didn’t buy too many books these past two months at all, which is a plus (hopefully) because I’ll just read more than I am acquiring.  Aside from The Lover’s Dictionary that I bought, I also got:


Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

This was recommended to me by one of my classmates in the Master’s program, who basically posted it up on the discussion forum and told us to give it a read.  I finally got a copy of it, so hopefully I’ll get into this one soon enough.


The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag

I believe this is her latest book, and I’ve read quite a lot of her books so far.  I like the duo in this one (Kovac and Liska), and I should get back to reading more of her books to get them finished.

Anyway, apologies for all the sporadic updates and all, and I hope to get back to a more regular schedule, but who knows with real life!  Thanks for reading as always, and take care!


WordPress 025 – Monthly Wrap-up 003 (June 2013)

Hi everyone, and happy Thursday!

I really love doing these monthly wrap-ups, just seeing how much I’ve read this past month as well as looking forward to what I will be reading next month.  So, this is my monthly wrap-up for June 2013, and I have quite a few books I plan to read soon.  Soon soon!

Finished in June

I was able to finish 2 of the 3 books I pulled from my Book Vase, so I’ll be doing that more each month!


Anthem by Ayn Rand

This was shorter than I expected it to be, but it was incredibly thought-provoking for me.  I have my Book Experience up on this, even though I wasn’t able to use enough words to adequately explain or describe what it made me think about.  I think it needs to be taken as a whole and see what you got out of it.


The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

This one was another surprise, and I’m so glad to have read it.  Good story, nice strong characters, and I already have the next two books that I will hopefully get to one day.  My Book Experience on this is also up, so you can take a look if you’d like.


Rules by Cynthia Lord

This is a book I’m reading with a student of mine who I tutor (and she picked it out), and I seriously just sat down with it one day and read the entire thing in like… an hour and a half or maybe two hours.  This book just pulled me in, and I loved the relationships between the characters (as siblings, as friends, etc.), especially when they have to deal with things that not everyone knows how to deal with, e.g. autism or speech impairment.  And they are really young as well, so there’s a kind of strength there too as well as some really surprising life lessons.  The one that I have pictured there is a library copy, but I hope to get my own copy one day because it’s a book I’d like to reread.


Inferno by Dan Brown

Yes, it was a present for myself, and I finally got it this month and read it in a few days.  I really love his writing style, his story-telling, and his female characters because his female characters have been pretty solid and strong.  I like Robert Langdon as a character as well, and all the twists that Dan Brown puts into the novel.  Never would have thought it was this person or that person, but when he reveals it, it just blows my mind.  I love it.  I was looking forward to this one because it had a lot to do with Dante’s Inferno, which I had to read and study rather deeply in a comparative literature class.  Really awesome.


On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

I’m not going to count this book toward my yearly total because I read this one for class in the first couple of weeks, but it is a pretty good book on writing well for nonfiction.  I had to keep in mind that it’s for nonfiction because some of the things in here conflicts so much with other kinds of writing, like creative writing.  I don’t think it’s as black and white as he makes it out to be.

Planned Books for July


The Murder Room by Michael Capuzzo

Yes, this one was from my Book Vase last month, but I didn’t get around to it, so I will be reading it this month.


Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This is the next book I choose from my Book Vase, and I can’t believe I got Eragon!  It certainly has been on my shelved for a long time, so I suppose it’s about time I read it and see what it’s all about.  It’s like Percy Jackson or The Hunger Games that I need to read eventually to see what all the fuss is about.


With or Without You by Brian Farrey

I got this book a couple years ago from an English teacher convention, and it just seemed interesting.  I used to read a lot of GLBT literature, some that are very well-written, but I haven’t branched out too much because not all of them are well-written.  I decided to give this a try because hopefully, if it’s at an English teacher convention, it must have some merit.


The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Another book I’m in the middle of that was chosen by one of the students I tutor, and it’s about time I give this a read.  I’m pretty sure I can read this faster, but I don’t want to get too far ahead.

And that is it for my monthly wrap-up, and I hope that everyone has another grand month of reading!

Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care!

WordPress 017 – Monthly Wrap-up 002 (May 2013)

Hi everyone.  The end of May is near, and this year is almost half over already. Well, that was quick, wasn’t it?

I’m doing my monthly wrap-up today for May 2013 on the books that I have finished this past month, and also, I will be picking from my Book Jar Vase to see what books I will be reading, which is really exciting, so yay!

Finished in May


I Love You Phillip Morris: A True Story of Life, Love, & Prison Breaks by Steve McVicker

Nonfiction for once!  I picked this book up way back when I saw the movie I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.  I grew up watching Jim Carrey in his comedy movies and comedy role, so seeing him in this movie feels rather… out-of-place.  Because romance.  Not so much that it’s a homosexual romance (which takes it a step up), but just romance in general I suppose.  Anyway, enough about the movie, the story of Steven Jay Russell itself was rather interesting, so I enjoyed this book.  The “con” in “con artist,” as I didn’t realize and perhaps many people don’t realize, is “confidence,” and Russell sure had a lot of that to pull off what he did.


UBIK by Philip K. Dick

This.  This book.  I put up a Book Experience on this in my last post, and this could be one of my favorites overall.  Very fast-paced, keeps you guessing up until the end, and surprise!  Packs quite a lot for such a “short” book, a little over 200 pages for this edition.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Also have a Book Experience up for this, and well… it’s a bit wanting.  This is coming from me as a fan of both Pride and Prejudice and the zombie… genre?  Sub-genre?  The whole zombie thing.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

I really enjoyed this book, really did, even though I kept thinking about prison instead of mental hospital that this was set in because I had been watching a lot of OZ, and the entire setting reminded me of it.  It feels very… like it has elements of being controlled by the “authority,” and this one person trying to challenge and change the status quo by not-outright rebelling but by… going against the authority in some way.  Really liked it.


Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

This took longer than I expected only because I needed to really keep everything straight in my head, as the narrator jumped back and forth between events so much.  I think it was the last half or the last third of the book where it all came together and made me go, “Wha- Wait, what happened?”  Surprise after surprise that made me have to rethink the entire story from the beginning.  I believe this is a book where the more you reread it, the better you will understand it.  I do like the thoughtful, poignant moments that the book had, making me think and ponder about the simple things in life.  So thank you, Kevin, for recommending this to me.

From the Book Jar Vase

I’m picking from my Book Vase for the first time!  Yeah, I’m calling it a Book Vase because it’s a vase, so… yeah.  I decided I’ll do three for this month because I’m reading at a decent pace thus far, and it’ll still give me room to read books that I want to read and am looking forward to reading.


The Murder Room by Michael Capuzzo

The subtitle reads: “The heirs of Sherlock Holmes gather to solve the world’s most perplexing cold cases.”  Now, Sherlock Holmes himself has a rather special place in my heart ever since I read A Study in Scarlet and a few others (which I need to reread again by now).  There are so many adaptations into movies and TV shows, which I all enjoy, so this will be another take on it I think.  I’m pretty sure I got this a while back, so now I’m finally going to read it!


Anthem by Ayn Rand

This was also recommended to me by Kevin, now that I remember, so what luck that I pulled this one out!  I don’t know much about it other than it seems to be very dystopian, but flipping through it, I realized that it’s actually much shorter than it appears, especially since the last half of the book is a facsimile of the first edition with all of her edits and rewriting specifically for the American edition.  So… this might not take me too long.


The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

I showed this one off in my April 2013 book haul, but I actually had the paperback copy around for much longer than that.  I recently found a hardcover copy, which I prefer over paperback, so I decided to include it in the book haul anyway.  We’ll see how this one goes!

Well, that was fun, picking from my Book Vase.  I won’t add in any titles until I finish the rest off, so the more I read, the sooner I can add other titles in.  Summertime is going to begin soon, so I hope everyone had a great vacation and all that!

Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care!

WordPress 007 – Monthly Wrap-up 001 (April 2013)

Hi everyone.

It’s nearing the end of the month, and I thought I would do a quick post on the books that I finished in April and what I am currently reading and hoping to finish in the near future (though not necessarily in the next month).

Finished in April


Never Use White Type on a Black Background and 50 Other Ridiculous Design Rules by Anneloes van Gaalen

I picked this up earlier this month, and it will be included in this month’s book haul that will be posted up next week.  It was really the cover and the entire concept of white text on a black background that interested me because my eyes are rather sensitive to that combination (and perhaps even worse is red text on a black background).  It’s very short and quick read, and I think I got through it in an hour in between my tutoring sessions one Saturday.  Just quotes galore.


A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

I read another famous play by Tennessee Williams before (The Glass Menagerie), and I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while.  One of my coworkers was reading this for class, so I thought I would read along and actually finished it rather quickly.  I always knew I read rather fast once I set my mind to it.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Ah, yes, I finally finished this book and got a Book Experience up on it earlier this week.  Very interesting take on the unfolding of Nazi Germany.  Probably a book that I would most likely reread.


The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

This is one of the books I picked up last month, if you remember it from March’s book haul.  I decided to read it because I was just too curious as to what “The Secret” was, and as it turned out, the book itself was quite repetitive.  I can’t say that I didn’t get anything out of it though.


How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman

A graphic novel, if I had to describe it, just pictures everywhere.  This was a gift for my brother from a friend of his, and what does he do first?  He gives it to me, so I can read it.  How kind of him.  Anyway, yes we do have a cat, and some things in this really made me chuckle out loud.


Vampire Darcy’s Desire by Regina Jeffers

I started this book years ago, and I finally finished the last 150 pages.  This is the third book I read of her Pride and Prejudice adaptations, and I thoroughly enjoyed them all (yes, even this one with Mr. Darcy as a vampire, which yes, I was wary/skeptical of).  I like her writing style, and I think it reminds me of Jane Austen’s a lot.  I have other series that tells Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, and sometimes even beyond the original novel itself, so I am excited to get into that.


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

Now, I’ve been wanting to read this little book for ages, and when I finally got my hands on it, I finished it in one night in bed.  Quite poignant for such a small book, as you can see by the amount of Post-It tabs I stuck into it.  I like it very much.

Currently Reading

I am normally in the middle of multiple books at a time, so these are the ones I am currently reading.  I might pick up quick ones to read through as well here and there, like I did for this month.


Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

This was recommended to me a while back by one of my penpals, Kevin, so I’m working my way through it.  The only other thing I’ve read by Chuck Palahniuk was “Guts” (and it was for a class as well… imagine our surprise).


UBIK by Philip K. Dick

Another recommended to me by Ken, and while it took a bit to get into the plot, it was rather mind-blowing already, the world that Dick created.  How did he think of these things?  Mind-blowing, I tell you.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Another one I’ve been meaning to read, and one that my coworker is reading now after he finished A Streetcar Named Desire.  He said he didn’t quite understand what was going on and thought I might help.  So far, I’m just having a hard time remembering “mental hospital” instead of thinking “prison” because I’ve watched too much OZ.


A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

This is a bit of an ongoing series for me because I’m just trying to savor it each time I read.  I am getting through this incredible fast, much faster than I anticipated, so I feel like I have to set it down, or I would just devour it.  I’m just letting it all sink in and enjoying it.  I watched the TV series already, and I am just getting the best of both worlds because each one has something to give.

That’s all I have for now.  I think I’m reading much more and faster since I started this blog, which is rather exciting.  Granted, some of the books were short and fast to read (and one just had pictures just as much, so I might not even count that one).  We shall see how well I hold this up.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care!