Well this year is absolutely flying by! I hope you are enjoying your summer, and with it your summer reading list! I’m so proud of myself, reading as many books as I did this month! (Yes, I am totally patting myself on the back right now.) I cheated because two of them I didn’t actually “read” as I had the audiobooks, but I am counting them. I don’t know if anyone else is weird about that. Technically I know the story, but I didn’t read it. I feel like a fraud. Sigh. Oh well.
First up, Better Than Life by Grant Naylor. So flipping good! Quirky and crazy, fast paced sci-fi. Everything I would want in a follow-up to Red Dwarf. So bizarre and so well written, they’ve made me fall in love with characters that I wouldn’t normally even like if they were in another story. Genius storytelling. I cannot wait to read the next installment! Adventures in time with nukes and reverse aging and all sorts of craziness with Cat. Gotta love the Cat. (Also, fun fact…Grant Naylor is not one person. Did not know this until I finished this book. It’s two people, who wrote these stories together and then mashed their names together. Perfect.)
I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle next. I had read this as a child, I don’t remember what age. All I remember is that it was my first sci-fi book ever. I really liked it after re-reading it. What I imagine she was trying to accomplish must have been very difficult for her. She was trying to break out of a mold of traditional women roles and interweave some of her beliefs into young minds with an awesomely fantastical story. Considering the time in which she wrote it, and the audience she was directing her story towards, she did a pretty phenomenal job. (Another fun fact, this is a series. A fact I didn’t realize until I was reading the Goodreads reviews. Will definitely be finishing the series!)
The next “book” I read, was a comic book. In keeping with the idea of branching out, I decided to pick up one of the comic books I bought back in February. I read Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Change is Constant Vol. 1 by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz and Dan Duncan. It was very different looking at so many pictures and reading so few words, as I have never read a comic book before. It was an interesting experience to translate pictures to words rather than the other way around. Ever since I was a kid I have been obsessed with Ninja Turtles, Superman and the like, but didn’t realize until I was older that they were comic books, not just movies and TV Shows. I didn’t grow up with parents as nerds. They did their best to allow me to be me, they just didn’t know about any of that comic book stuff so they didn’t know to tell me. (They let their 8-year-old daughter have a Ninja Turtle birthday party, complete with a Michelangelo cake. Yeah I know, they’re awesome.) So now that I’m all growed up, I decided it was up to me to make up for lost time and start reading some comics. I had no idea where to start to be honest so I just grabbed that one. I probably began all wrong but as there were literally thousands of comics lining the shelves, I knew I would never ever leave the comic book store if I didn’t just pick one. I have much to learn in this facet of the realm of nerd, but I’m excited to get into it!
One of my reading adventures this month was a writerly adventure too. I read 250 Things You Should Know About Writing by Chuck Wendig. This book was sort of set up similarly to Writing Down the Bones (which I talked about in my May Reading Recap). This book was full of advice to writers. Those two things are where the similarities ended. While Goldberg is very Zen about all of her experiences, Wendig is very blunt and a little angry. Maybe angry isn’t quite the right word. It’s not a bad thing, more of an asinine people piss me off kind of way. Which I respect and really enjoyed about his book. I love that I’ve read two very different approaches to the same idea of passing on wisdom from one writer to another. His witty word play, although undeniably bawdy is clever and sometimes just downright hilarious. If someone can give me sound advice, while being relatable that’s great. If they can do those things and make me snort milk through my nose because I’m laughing so hard that’s just downright awesome. Except milk coming out your nose hurts. My advice, don’t read this while drinking milk. Also, don’t read this if easily offended. His jokes are not for the faint of heart.
Then, Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson. I kept picking it up and putting it down throughout the month. Not that I didn’t love it. I absolutely did. I was trying to put my finger on what exactly made me hesitate with this book. I landed on two things. First, it was pretty dark with a great battle brewing between good and evil, ethereal demons and some pretty ominously sinister things lurking just at the edge of consciousness. I absolutely love these features in a book because I find them extremely compelling. However, I will admit I get nightmares easily. The other thing was the fact that I am not a physicist. I wish that my brain worked that way, it just simply does not. Any of the chapters where Wilson began discussing more in depth sciency things, even if some of them were of his own invention, I got hopelessly lost. I pushed forward in spite of it and like to think I understood enough to get the gist of what was going on. As far as I can tell, what he did was pretty freaking brilliant. So I’m sure anyone that could follow what he was talking about when he got into the science bit would really love this book.
My last two books this month were both audiobooks. First was You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. Oh boy, fan girling so hard over her. I knew a little bit about her before reading (uh, listening to) this book. Mostly her work with The Guild which I absolutely loved and could definitely relate to as having gone through a several year obsession with World of Warcraft. (I still itch to start playing again, but I’m terrified I would turn into Clara.) Now that I’ve gotten a peek inside of her head, I love her even more. She is so encouraging and inspiring! In spite of crazy addictions to videogames, simply being just a little bit weirder even than most weird people understand because of being homeschooled (which I can especially relate to haha) and crippling anxiety she has chosen to rise above and accomplish her dreams. I adore her and want to meet her someday. So very badly.
The other audiobook was After You by Jojo Moyes. The follow-up to the very popular Me Before You. *Spoiler Alert* If you haven’t read the first book, don’t read this or I will give things away! * I almost didn’t read this one, because again. Romance. Ew. Well I did, because I thought, if an author can take the typical outline for a romance story and completely screw you over like she did in Me Before You, she’s bound to write another good one. Well she did. Moyes has succeeded in writing a story about a woman’s life and dealing with grief more than writing a romance. Romance features into her story yes, but it was more than that. Over-all it was the story about a woman finding herself, learning to fear nothing and embrace her life in spite of the terrible things that happen to her. Loved it.
Well, as Porky Pig says. “That’s all folks!”
What did you read in June?
What is in your To Be Read pile for this summer?