Apr 22, 2015

Reading Log - Fourth Week in April

One of the reason I miss updating my blog is that I enjoy going back and seeing what I was reading and if I liked it. Some of the books I have blogged about I still haven't finished. Some I never will.

Lately I have been working on really interesting mix of reading, especially driven by my personal research in dystopian literature and communal living.

Today I finished Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and it was basically amazing. It lost me in the last little bit, the moments just before the end. I am a little bummed out about this, but I think I will get over it soon and just go on loving the book. Hoping to try more books by this author soon. I "read" Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock via audiobook, and I just loved the narrator for it. I found out he is also the narrator for the audio of Perks of Being a Wallflower. Perks is one of those books I have been reading in a REALLY long time, this will be a good excuse to get back to it.

I am extremely good at starting books. Probably too good. I am not sure I ever felt any particular tie to a book I have started reading, the tie or obligation comes later. I switch from book to book until something sticks.

Earlier this week I also finished Girl on a Wire in audio format. It reminded me of how I hoped Like Water for Elephants would be, except I hated Like Water for Elephants and I didn't hate Girl on a Wire.

I am reading Huntress by Malinda Lo with my friend David. I talked him into reading Ash, which I found slightly disappointing. He felt similarly and we decided to read Huntress together. I am on page 22 and he somewhere in the mid 40s. We both think the writing and story is significantly better. I remember when I read Silver Phoenix and I wanted to read more books like it Cindy Pon suggested I read Huntress. I wanted to read Ash before though, and it took me over two and a half years to get to it.

Also on audio I have been intermittently listening to Area X. Area X is actually three books in one collection. I am enjoying it, but when I started reading it I was surprised, for some reason, that it had a female narrator. It is a pretty interesting book, and even though I like its use of flashbacks and backstory, I think it might move slightly too slowly for my taste. (Flashbacks are also really well done and enjoyable in Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.)

This weekend I started a new research book even though I am in the middle of at least 7 already. It makes me happy that I am not actively going to school and just working on this research as a sort of personal project. I just started Imaginary Communities: Utopia, the Nation, and the Spatial Histories of Modernity by Phillip Wegner and it is basically everything I have ever wanted in a text. Some of the other research titles I have been working on are Utopias and Utopians: An Historical Dictionary. Scraps of the Untainted Sky, and The Palgrave Companion to North American Utopias. I have been working really hard to build my background knowledge on both actual communes and utopia projects and well known utopian fiction. I am not as well versed in these topics as I might like to be. Though even this small start I have made has been very helpful.

I have also been research children's literature. I am interested in both the general history of children's literature and how it is used in education. I have be working on Should We Burn Babar? as part of my exploration on this subject. I haven't finished the first essay yet, which discusses various issues that lie within the text of Babar. I mostly disagree with the author on the points they are making, but I am also extremely uniformed as it occurred to me I had never read Babar. Hope to fix that soon!

For several months I have been reading A Circle of Quiet in hopes of getting a little insight into L'Engle's writing and specifically any tidbits about A Wrinkle in Time. It is considered to be the first young adult dystopian novel. Recently an article came out about pages that were edited out of the text that have been of particular interest to me. A Circle of Quiet had less insight about A Wrinkle in Time than I had hope, but is overall very worthwhile and interesting.

Finally, tonight I started the audiobook of The Martian. I am enjoying it quiet a bit, but find that if I am not careful I will zone out when reading it.

It is so hard to pick books that I want to read or decide which books in my endless list deserve to be moved to the top of the list. It is not often that the deserving title is moved to the top. Usually I am driven more by convenience and mood than I am by quality. I can't help feeling a little like as I have gotten older I have settled for less artful books out of a desire for more mindless entertainment.

I hope that I can keep writing these general logs about what I have been reading and I what I want to be reading, they are part of what I miss the most when it comes to looking back on the content of this digital place.
Bibliophile Exploring Dystopia | Speculative Fiction