Hey, so. It’s been a while.
You might remember from my last post that I recently started a new job. I’ve been there almost two months now, which is kinda crazy, and things are going well! However, it’s taken some getting used to – there’s a lot for me to learn, and I’ve only ever worked retail. Plus, it’s hard being the new person! I was in my last job for five years, so it’s been a long time since I’ve been the new face. Like I said though, it’s going really well and I’m enjoying it. But I’m super tired and I’ve had so much going on that blogging just kind of fell to the wayside.
Unfortunately, the same can be said for my reading. I get the bus into work and I initially intended to read on the bus, but then I got kind of obsessed with a few podcasts? So reading is just…not happening. Or, well, it wasn’t until I decided to reread American Gods, because I’ve been super hyped about the TV show, but when it came to actually watching it I found that I wanted to reread it first. It’s been so long since I reread anything that I’d forgotten just how good it can be to read an old favourite. Since then, I’ve been reading pretty much every day after work, and it feels so good to finally be back on the horse.
Anyway, my recent reads posts clearly aren’t as frequent, or recent, as I’d initially intended. I’ve read 20 books so far this year, which puts me super far behind on my goal of reading 60 books this year, but that’s… fine. I guess. Honestly, I’m okay with this because I managed to cut down my TBR a bit by having a huge book clear out when I redecorated my room recently. I mostly got rid of books that I’d read and didn’t want to reread, but it’s just made my collection so much more manageable, and so much less daunting. I mean. I still have like 120 books that I own and haven’t read, but now I can see all of those books, and also I’m mostly over hoarding books that I know I’ve no interest in reading.
Now that I’ve done a sufficient amount of waffling, let’s have a look at what I’ve actually been reading shall we?
Covers = Goodreads.
HOUSE OF LEAVES BY MARK Z. DANIELWSKI
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember that I’ve been reading this book since April 2016. It was assigned reading for a module on my MA that I just never had the time to finish for class, and then I just didn’t prioritise it after. It’s hard to review this book, especially since it’s been given so many high ratings. The concept is incredibly cool, but I don’t think the book itself lived up to all the mystery that surrounds it.
House of Leaves is a (fictional) essay written by Zampano about a film made by a photographer named David Navidson. After Zampano dies, one of his neighbours, Johnny Truant, acquires the fragmented manuscript, and begins to bring it together as a semi-cohesive piece of work. Throughout, Johnny writes footnotes that eventually begin to chronicle his descent into madness.
Which is cool as hell, right? But when I say it’s an essay, I mean it’s an essay. Huge passages of this book are straight up boring, and there are so many tangents and footnotes that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s not lost on me that this is the point. To me, at least, the book and the house are reflections of one another. So really, you can choose your own path. You can just read it straight through, or you can follow every footnote it asks you to. To that end, I don’t think that this is a book that I’ll ever really be finished with.
I guess I’m still kind of surprised by its mass appeal. This is largely marketed as horror, but I wouldn’t say it was scary. It does mess with your head, and I really did like that. My favourite thing about this book was what it did with reality. The book itself is presented as fact, and really, it is easy to forget that it’s fiction. Danielwski employs so many different voices that I found I had to remind myself that the whole thing was written solely by him. However, it constantly contradicts itself, which again, I really liked. For instance, Zampano supposedly wrote this whole thing based on a film. However, Zampano cannot have seen this film, because he’s blind. Also, there’s no record of the film ever having existed. There are so many things like this that were so good.
I ended up giving it 3 stars, which feels harsh, but it’s a long book and sometimes I wasn’t really enjoying it. It’s also really hard to recommend because some of it is really inaccessible so I ended up with this non-committal rating, which sucks, for a book that clearly took so much work.
THE WISE MAN’S FEAR BY PATRICK ROTHFUSS
As I’m sure pretty much everyone knows, this book is the sequel to The Name of the Wind, which I read last year and completely loved. I similarly loved this book. Obviously, I can’t really say too much about it, given that it’s a sequel, but I’m just completely charmed by Kvothe and this whole world. I like that this series goes at a slower pace than I’m generally accustomed to. I love exploring this world, and seeing how Kvothe grows and changes. I don’t know that I enjoyed this quite as much as The Name of the Wind, but I still loved it. My favourite parts were still the parts at the University, but there were so many characters that I loved in this. I’m aware that I’m just gushing at this point, but this series really does live up to the hype. I know that they can seem really daunting, especially The Wise Man’s Fear, since it’s over 900 pages long, but it’s so worth it. Unsurprisingly, I gave The Wise Man’s Fear 5 stars.
BEEN HERE ALL ALONG BY SANDY HALL
So, after reading The Wise Man’s Fear I had a pretty big reading slump. Most of this was just a book hangover, where all I wanted to read was fantasy but I also got super into Dragon Age – I’m pretty sure I’ve told you this before. The point is, I felt like reading and I just wanted to read something light and cute. This fit the bill perfectly. It’s a really sweet story about a guy who realises he’s in love with his childhood best friend. I thought it handed sexuality well, especially bisexuality. Really my only complaint about it is that it was a little shorter than I was anticipating, so at times it did feel a little underdeveloped. There were also four POV characters, which I don’t think really add anything but it was never distracting, I just think it might have benefited from having a little more focus. Still, it was really cute and I read it all in one sitting. I gave it 3 stars overall, and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of YA contemporary.
SAGA VOL, 7. BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN AND FIONA STAPLES
At this point I’m kind of automatically giving new issues of Saga, but it’s just so good. I love these characters, and I love this story. Every time I finish one issue I’m automatically hyped for the next one. Really, I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to say anything about Saga that people aren’t already saying. So, if you haven’t already read it, and it sounds like it’s your thing, definitely give it a shot. I gave Volume 7 5 stars.
NAILBITER VOL, 2. BY JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, MIKE HENDERSON, ADAM GUZOWSKI, JOHN J. HILL
I read the first volume of Nailbiter back in October last year and really liked it. I don’t know why I put off getting around to the second volume for so long, but I pretty much ended up buying it on a whim. I have mixed feelings about the second instalment. I thought the first volume set up the story really well, but I just don’t think it was developed too much in the second volume. Each part felt like a standalone rather than parts of a larger story, so it just felt a little disjointed at times. I ended up giving it 3 stars, because there were parts of it that I liked, and I definitely want to continue the series, I just ended up feeling a little disappointed.
So those are some of the books that I’ve read recently! Hopefully I should have another recent reads up fairly soon, since I have read more books since finishing these, I just figured that this post was long enough!
Hopefully I won’t be so bad at blogging that I don’t post for like, 2 months, and I’ll manage to be more consistent. I’m thinking of just doing a general non-bookish favourites post if that’s a thing that people would be interested in? Naturally I’ve also been awful at blog hopping, so please feel free to link some of your recent posts in the comments! I desperately need to catch up!