January Reading List

Finally it’s February! Finally I can stop writing letters and obsessively checking my mail for replies (four people have replied so far–yay Bova, James Fox, Barbara, and Mom Ladd!!) I would put up a finished letter map, but most of the latter letters have not been sent from not knowing people’s addresses. Spoiler alert: a bunch of them are probs going to Houston anyway. It’s apparently my favorite place to send mail.

You might think I will be sad to finish my New Year’s Resolution already, but I have two SECRET other New Year’s Resolutions to concentrate on! The main one I thought of midway through January while totally failing at recommending a 5th grade fantasy book despite all the 5th grade fantasy books I’ve read, is to keep better track of the books I read. Normally I average about 3-4 per week, more if you count graphic novels. In the past I’ve tried posting reviews of books that I thought were interesting for whatever reason, but those were long and so only represented a small percentage of my actual reading. I’m hoping to keep track by month, although January is kind of sketchy because most of the list I constructed from memory. Here’s what I got:

January Reading List

With Steven
Secret, possibly embarrassing fact: Steven and I read to each other almost every day. It started just during car trips, and just trashy romance novels, until one trip I decided to bring along a ridiculous fantasy series from my past that I thought Steven might find hilarious. Unfortunately, there are ten books in the full series, and only 10 hours in the drive, so we ended up finishing it over a period of months by reading a few chapters every night. I am, of course, a total rock star librarian and do all the voices. Steven–to all appearances–is also completely into this whole idea, since we’ve been reading various books together ever since. Pretty much right up until the day I left for college I did the same thing off and on with my parents, like reading Terry Pratchett books to my dad while he cut up oranges and grapefruit in the kitchen, so this does not seem weird to me at all. However, various people–like Steven’s sister–have pointed out that this is actually kind of strange, by asking “Are you guys…. reading?” like this is the weirdest thing we could be doing in a room alone together. Clearly she does not know Steven Wiggins very well–he is all about playing The Floor is Made Of Lava.

Anyway, lengthy explanation aside, here are the books Steven and I have read together in January:

Master and Fool by J. V. Jones

The third and final book in the kind of vaguely titled Book of Words Trilogy, which we started last year. It is tightly plotted fantasy and it is awesome. Steven’s favorite part was the terrible relationship advice offered by Bodger and Grift, the two drunken castle guards (ex: “The only way to tell a girl is a virgin is to lock her in a room with a badger. If it falls asleep in the corner, she’s not. If it falls asleep in her lap, she is. If it bites her, she probs has VD”.)

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

This is a 423 page book we finished in two nights because it is SO AWESOME. Steven shed tears of joy at the end.

Books I’ve Read On my Own

Already Dead by Charlie Huston

A hardboiled vampire detective negotiating the vampire gang violence of New York City to solve a zombie murder/missing person case? Or an excuse for Charlie Huston to write about incest? Can’t really tell. This book was ridiculous, and kind of awful.

The Wedding by Danielle Steel

Allegra is a strong, beautiful, confident, amazing, talented, effortless entertainment lawyer who falls in love with a member of New York’s literary elite. Countless comparisons between the “Eastern attitude” and “Western lifestyle” are made. Also her little sister gets teen pregnant and various adoption/secret wedding drama happens. I read this for class, and to say that I had read something by Danielle Steel.

Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts

Also read this for class. Nora Roberts, sick of writing the same romance novel over and over again, attempts to write a book about time travel, vampire-hunting sorcerers, and then wedges in some romance to keep her followers happy. Neither storyline flourishes. And it takes a lot to ruin vampire-fighting time traveling sorcerers for me.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughling and Nicola Kraus

Summary in four words: Rich people are ridic!

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg
This book was incredibly interesting, mostly because a huge portion of Brumberg’s research comes from teen girl diaries from the 1890s through the 1980s. I am all over any book that proves its point through copious teen girl diary excerpts. Bonus points for awesome old timey euphemisms for hooking up.

The Private Life of Helen of Troy by John Erskine
This was a bestseller in 1926, and is written ENTIRELY in conversations. Basically, Menelaos and Helen bicker like an old married couple and Hermione rebels by conforming. Also for class.

Captain from Castile by Samuel Shellabarger
A bestseller in the 1940s and an awesome historical adventure following a young Spanish nobleman who joins Cortes’ expedition to conquer the Aztec empire and get super rich. He learns that Not All Heathens Are Bad, But Most of Them Want To Kill Me, and that sometimes it’s better to marry your ho than your fancy betrothed. The most swashbuckling I have ever read in a book for class.

Trying to figure out what to sew from my old jeans

Generation T
Likewise old t-shirts

Nana series by Ai Yazawa
I started reading this graphic novel series because I have a presentation on the format in class and because the library had all of the 21 volumes checked in at once. It’s an awesome manga about two girls with the same name–Nana–who both move to Tokyo to start new lives and end up being roommates! One is a punk band trying to make it big, and the other falls in and out of love almost constantly. It is super dramatic and variously contains: surprise pregnancy, drug addiction, prostitution, porn stars, a bald guy who’s consistently called a “skinhead” but I think that’s just a translation issue, devious major music labels, evil evil paparazzi, long list half-sister plot twist, sudden death, and faking your own death. The only thing I love more than regular drama is Japanese manga drama. Can’t wait to netflix the movie!

That’s all I can remember; since I thought of this idea kind of recently I wasn’t keeping track of non-school books like I should have in January. Hopefully I’ll do better this month!

2 responses to “January Reading List”

  1. Wiggins says:

    I must say, in all fairness- I never remember asking if ya’ll were …*gasp* Reading.
    It just sort of was something ya’ll apparently did. It wasnt that either of you were on a phone as one might normally assume when walking past an open door and hearing conversation that was clearly not between the 2 present parties. But given that my brother is.. well, special at least, and you are You- it doesn’t seem so far fetched at all that you would spend time reading together. In some way its actually rather cute.

  2. […] accordance with my new year’s resolution, here’s every book I read and completed in […]

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