March reading round-up

  • # of books read: 14
  • audiobooks listened to: 3
  • ebooks read: 3
  • books from the Throne of Glass series: 2
  • graphic novels: 3
  • total page count: 3,998
  • year total page count: 12,251

Well, I still haven’t beat that crazy reading streak I had in January.  It does seem that I’m reading roughly 4,000 pages a month, though, and I can attest that several of the books this month were really long (including one that will end up being in next month’s round-up).

Only 3 audiobooks this month.  The first was the YA novel Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace, which I enjoyed despite its unevenness.  The other two audiobooks were both similar in genre and tone: Paul Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me.  Both dealt with mothers and the hidden lives of their teenagers.  Both were also interesting character studies as not much by way of action happened, but kept me hooked until the end.

Darkly amusing #bookstagram #thedinner #hermankoch #justfinished

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The Dinner was recommended to me by a friend, and it was both short and disturbing.  I enjoy disturbing.  This was the kind of real-world disturbing, a scenario showing how thin the masks of polite society are, and how easily people descend into violent depths.

One of my favorite reads this month was Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs.  This series continues to keep me hooked on the complicated political world of supernatural creatures.  Of course, Mercy Thompson is one of the strongest female characters I’ve ever read, and this installment revolves around that reputation.  I finished off another series just today, the Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle.  The final book, Dust to Dust, wrapped everything up nicely.  If you enjoy those ghost hunter shows, this series is for you.

I started watching “The Man in the High Castle” last month, and binge-watched both seasons.  The book doesn’t develop the characters quite so much as the show does, and is more about the randomness of possibility and choice rather than the concept of parallel universes, but it was a thought-provoking read. (I’ll have to include Girls on Fire in next month’s round-up, since I’m still only halfway through).

On the graphic novel front, I only read 3 and they were from the same series: Harrow County.  I had read volume 1 last spring and only now discovered that a.) there were 4 volumes out already and b.) my library consortium had them all!  These are kind of horror, but also strangely wholesome?  The main character Emmy is a witch, but she wants to use her powers to help people.  She also has a familiar in the shape of a boy’s skin that speaks to her, and an evil twin, and there are lots of “haints” around who are more than ready to do evil stuff.  (See what I mean about wholesome/horror?)

Two more books in the Throne of Glass series read this month: The Assassin’s Blade, a prequel which contains 5 novellas, and Heir of Fire, book 3.  It seems like each book in this series gets longer and longer… and Heir of Fire in particular felt long, more like a setup for a grand finale.  However, it’s still really good!  Only 2 books left to go…

Finally, I got around to reading Caraval, which I received via Owl Crate.  I was pretty psyched about this month’s theme, which was circus.  I was half-expecting to receive the book Freeks, which would have better fit the theme, but Caraval had its own charm.  It’s a fun read if you don’t take it too seriously.  It’s also a beautiful book, and receiving it through the mail with lots of luxurious little goodies fit the theme of the book.  I can’t wait for next month’s box!

I may decide to include a Wattpad reading round-up at some point in the future – but probably not next month, since I’ll be busy participating in Camp Nanowrimo and hopefully cranking out the third and final Wolf Point prequel!

What have you read this month that you enjoyed?

Book Signing Story: Jodi Picoult and Cassandra Clare

10thcircleI picked up a copy of this after I went to a book signing for Sing You Home (still haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet…) – one of the fellow librarians I attended with recommended it and I was intrigued when she mentioned that it was partially graphic novel.

This week I attended another book signing for Jodi Picoult, only this time it was more of an event centered around Cassandra Clare, and Jodi was there with her son Kyle to ask Cassandra questions.  It was fun to see Jodi being a bit of a fangirl about the Mortal Instruments, especially since the first time I saw Jodi she was very serious.

I had my max number of books for Cassandra Clare to sign, but when I thought about another book for Jodi to sign, I remembered this one sitting on my shelf and figured a.) I should probably read it since I’ve had for at least 2 years… and b.) I could have her sign it.  As I was waiting in the signing line, I flipped to the front and saw that it appeared that it had already been signed. Feeling sheepish, I went up to Jodi and told her. She laughed and told me it was just a handwriting font, then she signed it to show me what her real signature looked like.

heavenlyfireCassandra Clare was great to listen to.  She talked a bit about her upcoming series – one about the generation after Infernal Devices, although that won’t be out for a while (I’m dying for The Bane Chronicles, which is due out in November).  She talked a lot about how she writes and does research and how she got the idea for the Mortal Instruments series, and also about her favorite relationships and characters.  She was very approachable even though I was still a little tongue-tied when I finally got to the signing table.

I shall finally start reading City of Heavenly Fire tomorrow!

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why (autographed edition)

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Summary: A high school boy, Clay, receives a set of 13 cassettes in the mail, recorded by a classmate who recently killed herself. On the tapes, she gives 13 reasons why she committed suicide, and is sending the tapes to the 13 people she considers the reasons.

Mini Review:  This book was a very compelling read – like Clay listening to the tapes, I felt like I had to read to the very end.  I’ve read this one twice (4 years between readings) and it remained as powerful and compelling as the first time.

I met Jay Asher when…

He did a book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Manchester, NH, back in 2010.  He’s a funny guy despite the dark subject of this book. One cool thing he did was have a girl from the audience read a short section of the book with him, so you could hear “Clay’s” voice and “Hannah’s” voice. It was really powerful and I imagine the audiobook would further give life to the story, seeing as how the story is told through audiotapes.

He signed my book with the phrase “Everything affects everything.” That pretty much sums up the book and will hopefully make readers more aware of how their actions influence others, both positively and negatively.

I also discovered that on the back of the book jacket (the hardcover edition, obviously), is the map that Hannah gave to Clay to follow as he listens to the tapes. I liked being able to look at the map when I re-read the book and figure out what the phrases beside the red stars meant.

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