This year, as in previous years, I’ll be aiming to read 52 books.
I’ve always updated the 52 Books page for this purpose – this year I’ll be doing the same, as well as posting a monthly round-up blog.
#1. Double On-Call and Other Stories by John Green
★★★★★ – This ebook was released as a reward for donating to the Project For Awesome. I imagine John Green wouldn’t be happy to see a rating applied to this book, especially since it’s so unusual for an author to share early work, and work that is unfinished.
I liked the third story, The Sequel. The others were clearly flawed but fascinating to read, particularly with Green’s analysis in the final section. Many authors aren’t great at critiquing their own work (at least in terms of readers’ vs author’s opinion) but this was a great insight into his writing process and growth as an author.
#2. Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli
I’m currently working on a volume which will be part of the Fan Phenomena series by Intellect Books. Anelli’s book on the Harry Potter phenomenon is heralded by fans and seemed like the perfect place to begin my research. This is part journalism, part memoir, which suited my purposes but at times wandered into nostalgia and extraneous detail. That being said, it is a must for those fans of JK Rowling’s series who want their story to be told.
#3. The Panem Companion by V. Arrow
More research, and what luck! This is a goldmine of Hunger Games trivia, including fandom theory, story deconstruction, and lexicography. I imagine this one has a very specific audience, but V. Arrow has catered to it incredibly well.
#4. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
★★★★★ – Tumbling deeper into the rabbit hole of YA post-apocalyptic literature, I knew I’d be remiss if I passed this one over. Inasmuch as there can be a classic of the genre, this is one. Well liked as it is, I wasn’t crazy about this one. It relies a little to heavily on ah-ha moments and convenient plot resolutions. Generally, though, it held my attention well enough and well-paced action sequences kept this one ticking over.
#5. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
★★★★★ – Sometimes a girl needs a little Steinbeck. You know how it is.
#6. The Giver by Lois Lowry
★★★★★ – Middle-grade dystopia and, with its intended audience in mind, a good one at that. More of a slow and creepy pace, but still climaxes into something of a chase – which is becoming a personal bugbear with this genre. Gentle, clever, and not too demanding.
#7. The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps by Michel Faber
★★★★★ – This was a book club read. Despite being listed as 300 pages or so, it’s a novella – and a quick one at that. Following an archaeologist at a small-town English dig, her inner torments, and a friendship with a recently bereaved Londoner and his dog, there isn’t a whole lot to get into. I enjoyed the prose style but thought the more spiritual elements fell flat. Not something I’d have picked up myself, but a nice enough wee read.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Appropriate author name, don’t you think?
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
I’ll be reviewing this one in the coming week, so stay tuned for that.
If you want to keep up with what I’m reading you can visit my 52 Books page, or add me as a friend on Goodreads.
What are you reading?