Saturday, November 30, 2013


Books Bought:
  • The Lady of the Rivers (Philippa Gregory)

Books Read:
  • A Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin)
  • High Fidelity (Nick Hornby)
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Mindy Kaling)
  • Girl at Sea (Maureen Johnson)
  • Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
  • Last Chance Saloon (Marian Keyes)

Clearly, I had more time on hand to read this month...mainly because I spent two weekends out of town, so I had a good amount of plane rides/airport time to fill. I finally finished GOT - now to tackle the (even longer) sequel.

I've read High Fidelity before, but I needed to reread it because it's basically the ultimate break-up book - and very revealing because it's written by a man from a man's perspective. I watched the movie adaptation with John Cusack after finishing the book this time, and I was unimpressed - perhaps because the setting was transferred from England to America. This was disappointing, because I generally love John Cusack, even in overall weak movies. 

I read Mindy Kaling's book because I needed more cheering up, and this book is definitely an easy way  to brighten your day! Now, I have to admit that I wasn't exactly sure who Mindy Kaling actually was before I read this book, but now I am inspired to start watching The Office (I'm pretty sure I've seen maybe five episodes...ever). She is so funny and open about making fun of herself, which makes her easy to relate to even though she's incredibly successful and probably super rich.

I had to reread Ender's Game after seeing the movie...I flew through it in about a day. I really enjoyed the book the first time around, so I was very apprehensive about seeing the movie. However, I have to say that ultimately I think it was a good adaptation. There were obvious challenges with adapting the book: the book covers a much greater period of time (Ender is 6 when he arrives at Battle School and 10 at the end of the book); the amount of graphic violence in the book would probably have been controversial with child actors; and much of the book explored psychological and emotional issues that don't transfer well to the screen. Because of these issues, the movie didn't pack the same punch as the book (and I was disappointed that the side-plot with Valentine and Peter was entirely left out), but it's definitely worth seeing.

Last Chance Saloon was another re-read this I've mentioned before in this blog, Marian Keyes is one of my favorite authors. I enjoyed this book more than the first time I read it, perhaps because I'm older now and identified with the experiences of one of the characters in particular. I'm just going to go ahead and leave it at that and recommend ALL of Marian Keyes's books. :) 

Monday, November 11, 2013


My thesis rules my life. Actually, that's not even true. October was a rough month, and my thesis should have ruled my life, but it didn't. But I made it through, and part of the reason I did so this month was by escaping into books.

Books Bought:
  • Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II (Annegret Fauser)
  • Now I'll Tell You Everything (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor)

Books Read:
  • Commencement (J. Courtney Sullivan)
  • Now I'll Tell You Everything (Naylor)
  • Z (Therese Anne Fowler)

I actually bought Sounds of War last month, but I forgot about it then. I haven't read any of it yet, but the way WWI and WWII affected music is something I'm interested in (both wars had massive effects on the American band tradition). I probably won't get around to reading this book until next semester at best, but it will be a good one for me to own.

Now I'll Tell You Everything is the last book in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's "Alice" series. Some people say they grew up with Harry Potter, and to some extent that was true for me, but Alice is my fictional best friend from my childhood (and beyond). I read my first Alice book in the fourth grade (which takes place in the sixth grade for her) and continued reading until this year. Alice was older than me until the summer before my junior year when we were the exact same age (the books were published once a year and each covered a semester or a summer of her life), so since then she's been catching up with me. This final book covered her college years until her sixty-fifth birthday (relevant because that's when her seventh grade history class opens their time capsule), so it's not really a book that would interest anyone other than long-time Alice fans because the entire thing is basically snapshots of her life. But for people like me who have been reading about Alice's life for over a decade, it's the perfect end to the series.

Z is a fictional novel about Zelda Fitzgerald covering her life from meeting Scott in Georgia as a young woman to her separation from him when her schizophrenia set in. I have an odd fascination with Zelda, and I really enjoyed this interpretation of her life, but I wish that it had been more in-depth. Still, I recommend it, especially if you enjoy Scott Fitzgerald's writing. I have no idea how accurate Fowler's representation of him is, but it's interesting. 

One more thing - if you've been keeping up with this blog, then you might wonder, "What happened to Game of Thrones? Did she ever finish it?" Truth is, October was yet another month that passed by without me finishing that book...but I'm very, very close. I'm going to blame this on the fact that we now have to erase written-in scores and books while working at the music library circulation desk.

Hopefully I'll get my November post written at the end of the month instead of a third of the way into the next one...oops.