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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Recently Read, Since January

Way back in January, I made a New Years Resolution to read more. I love reading, and that's one of the main reasons I became an actor. What's better than being IN a story!? 

But in the past few years, I hadn't made much room for reading in my life. So this year that changes. Or goes back to normal, I guess, since as a kid I would devour books. 

So how did I make all this reading happen? TECHNOLOGY. I've been reading books on my Kindle and listening to a lot of books on tape. Thanks, Audible. Since a lot of what I do at my day job is filing, I have a lot of time to listen to books, and it's been awesome. 

Here's the run-down of the books I've read since January (not including Blogher Book Club books):

Title: A Homemade Life
Author: Molly Wizenberg
Read Via: Actual, physical, book. 
Stars (out of 5): 3
Comments/Questions/Concerns: My mom gave me this one for my birthday last year. Molly has a fun blog, Orangette, where she posts little stories followed by a recipe. And that's pretty much what this book is, too. No through-line, no overarching theme, no real point. But man, some of the recipes sound delicious! 

Author: Cherie Priest
Read Via: Actual, physical, book. 
Stars (out of 5):
Comments/Questions/Concerns: This is a fun, steam punk, series set in an alternate dimension Seattle, where a gas leak has turned the downtown area into a hotbed of zombies. The characters are pretty classic genre characters, but the action is nail-bitingly intense and all the steam-punk-y tech talk is addictive. The only reason I haven't read the sequels yet is that I am terrified of zombies. Seriously, after reading a chapter with a zombie attack, I couldn't sleep. And yet, I loved this book, and that should speak more than anything. 

Title: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J.K. Rowling
Read Via: Audio Book
Stars (out of 5): 4
Comments/Questions/Concerns: Like every other Harry Potter fan, I was excited to read Rowling's foray into the adult fiction world. After the first reviews poured in, naming this a crass piece of trash, I knew I would love it! No, but seriously: I loved it. She has crafted some intensely dark characters that I still cannot get out of my mind (I read this one back in February), that live within a realistically detailed world. On top of that, the audio book is read by Tom Hollander, and he's an outstanding narrator. 

Author: Diana Gabaldon
Read Via: Audio Book
Stars (out of 5): 3
Comments/Questions/Concerns: I listened to this because my mom recommended it, because she knows I love historial fiction. Although I enjoyed it, it was loooong, and that wasn't helped by the audio book narrator, who liked to draw out her sentences. A lot. I'm talking a 40-hour audio book here. So perhaps my rating relies too heavily on that experience, but in general I wasn't terribly thrilled with Outlander, and probably won't read the sequels. 

TitleA Clash of Kings
Author: George R.R. Martin
Read Via: Kindle
Stars (out of 5): 4
Comments/Questions/Concerns: After struggling through the first Game of Thrones book, I resolved to stop watching the TV series, and just read. Thank goodness, because reading the second book was really enjoyable. I'm totally sucked in, although I find Martin's writing style to be a bit... derivative and overwritten. That said, the man has crafted some very interesting characters, and I have to give him props for having making his 9083018230 story lines work, all at the same time. 

Title: The End of the Affair
Author: Graham Greene
Read Via: Audio Book
Stars (out of 5): 3
Comments/Questions/Concerns: Ok, I admit it: I started listening to this because it was narrated by Colin Firth, and I lurve him. So sue me! I was totally engaged in this classic at the start, but about halfway through, it lost me. I don't want to give it away, but the ending is surprising and strange, and I guess I should have done my research on Greene before starting. I didn't dislike it, but probably won't read it again. 

Title: Seriously... I'm Kidding
Author: Ellen Degeneres
Read Via: Audio Book
Stars (out of 5): 2
Comments/Questions/Concerns: While this book was slightly cute or funny, it mostly felt like a waste of time. Each chapter is a short story (or in many cases, just a list) with no connection to the next, except that Ellen constantly talks about 1. her show; 2. being a celebrity; and 3. that you SHOULD be happy. Thanks for that. 

What have you been reading? I'm on a roll, so recommend away!

Ps. Other book posts here.


  1. Ha! I just did a book post, too. But I'm not reading as many "real" books as you. I do like Game of Thrones books, whereas I don't know if I'd like the show. Boneshaker sounds interesting too.

  2. oh man I read The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin earlier this year and I have been wanting to tell everyone to read them because they are soooooo good! Sort of in the same vein as the Game of Thrones books, in that there are lots of characters and you get various points of view throughout the book, but set in modern day/the apocalyptic future. People refer to them as vampire books but they are not really vampires so don't let that deter you! They are both long books but SOOOOO GOOD!

    Also, The Fault in our Stars by John Greene is a great non-cheesy but sad YA book, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a great twisty, blow your mind book, you just have to make it through the first half.

  3. So far in 2013 I've read:

    1. I Don't Care About Your Band by Julie Klauser. I LOVED THIS BOOK!
    2. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. I LOVED THIS BOOK!
    3. A Bad Idea I'm About to Do by Chris Gethard. I LOVED THIS BOOK!

    These are all funny personal stories by the authors. This is my favorite type of book. If you have any you'd recommend, I would love to hear them!

    Books I started to read this year, but couldn't finish:
    1. Fargo, Rock City by Chuck Closterman. I don't know. It was too trivia-based. I think this is a music book dudes would appreciate more than women *yawn*

  4. Very interesting- Ironic that you didn't like Outlander yet did like Casual Vacancy...Maybe I will give C.V. another go just to see if I can find anyone I like in it. I also had a hard time getting into Boneshaker but maybe it was my time limitations. I am done with "off with her Head" historical novels for awhile though.


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