Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Ins and Outs: What I Bought and Read Last Month

August Ins and Outs

Recently, a couple of books about what happens in our brains when we read have been blowing my mind. The first, What We See When We Read, I've just glanced at and haven't delved into just yet, but a glance is all it takes to know it's gonna be awesome. The other is Understanding Comics, and reading it feels like sitting in on a very, very good art history class. 

I've been enjoying Bad Feminist, but taking it slowly. It's nice sometimes to read essay collections because you can pick them up and put them down. 

As for the Archie Comics, I used to read Archie as a kid, and I recently heard that the new experiments they're doing with this series are worth looking at. So far I'm enjoying the cheesy, familiar world. 

I read In Cold Blood for book club. I liked it a lot, and I'm looking forward to discussing it. It's definitely weird, as a modern reader, to read something billed as nonfiction that has clearly taken a lot of liberties with constructing scenes. Knowing that Capote was really treading new ground here and that fact checking as we know it didn't really exist in the early sixties makes the experience of reading it all the more engrosing. Plus the story is simply riveting.

Austenland was just fine. I enjoyed the movie, so I thought I'd give the book a whirl. Longbourn was kind of mesmerizing. Both put me in the mood for more Austen, so I've started Persuasion for the the first time. 

Mr. Penubra's 24-Hour Bookstore was enchanting, Some of the characters were a little flat, but the concept was a lot of fun. Even though it was thoroughly modern, it kind of reminding me of The Night Circus

The Leftovers was really good. I've started watching the show now.

I thought Look At Me was just okay. I enjoyed Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad, though I had some issues with it, especially the last story. But, after this experience, I think she may just not be the writer for me. I really love the way she can parody culture so sharply, but then there are all these other nebulous ends of things that I don't enjoy as much, and they fill up so much of the book.

Spike: Into the Light was fun but not that great. I always enjoy the character, but there just wasn't a lot to the story. 

Boy Snow Bird was really interesting. There were definitely some parts that I found more interesting than others. But, all in all, I enjoyed this thoroughly unique book. 

Happy Handmade Home was disappointing. I'm a fan of A Beautiful Mess, and I liked Elsie and Emma's first book about photography, but this one just left me wanting more substance. It was mostly just ideas, a lot of which were variations on the same idea, without a lot of information about how to execute bigger projects. 

Fangirl absolutely roped me in like almost all of Rainbow Rowell's books before it have. If you like smart romantic comedies with realistic and flawed characters, and you're not reading her stuff yet, you need to get on that, stat!


  1. I'd love to hear what you think of the show, The Leftovers, considering you've read the book. I didn't know it was based on a book and have only been watching the show. So far, I'm confused, but determined to continue watching.

  2. Glad I stumbled upon your blog--I love finding out what other people are reading, liking, and not liking. I felt similarly about Look at Me, although I never ended up finishing it. It was interesting but a little too weird and aloof. And I love Bad Feminist too, though I have only read bits and pieces so far. I've heard great things about Helen Oyeyemi (mainly from Flavorwire) and can't wait to dive into one of her books next.