Guards! Guards!

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Date Read:  December 3, 2018
Title:  Guards! Guards!
Author:  Terry Pratchett
Genre:  Fantasy
Audience:  Adult
Rating:  4 stars

Slowly but surely I’m working my way through the Discworld novels…and I can’t get enough of this version/edition/publisher.  I adore the way the books look!  Not a great reason for reading a book, I will admit, but it definitely increases my pleasure in a series I already adore.

Anyway, enough about the book’s looks.  This is definitely one of my favorites in the series.  I cannot get enough of Captain Vimes.  He’s equal parts cynical and a hopeless optimist.  For me, it’s a toss-up between him and Vetinari (the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork) for most ingenious character.  I don’t necessarily mean the characters themselves, but more how Pratchett presented and developed them.  Again, I can’t get enough of the two of them, especially together.  Pratchett’s satire at its finest!

 

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December TBR

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Sigh.  My TBR lists are starting to depress me.  There’s so much overlap from month to month.  Also, I wish I was better at the visual part of blogging.  Because I suck at it, and I don’t see that getting much better.  Goals for 2019, maybe.

November Wrap-Up

 

 

Number of books read:  9

Popsugar Reading Challenge books read:  2
#26 – Turtles All the Way Down
#29 – A Night in the Lonesome October

Book of the Month books read:  0.  I actually skipped getting a BOTM this month and I STILL didn’t get through any of the backlog.  

OwlCrate Books read:  0.  Again, not really feeling much of these book subscription boxes this month.

#MountTBR/#TheUnreadShelfProject2018 books read:  Yep, 0.  

Book group books read:  2

Average rating:  3.33

Favorite book (not including rereads):  Turtles All the Way Down.  As difficult as it was for me to actually finish this book (see my “full” review here), John Green’s newest book was great.  

Whoa.  I should NOT have taunted November to bring it.  Because it was not brought.  Sigh.  All around not a great month.  Here’s hoping December brings a relief from reading slumps and other unfortunate events.

The Essex Serpent

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Date Read:  November 29, 2018
Title:  The Essex Serpent
Author:  Sarah Perry
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Audience:  Adult
Rating:  3 stars

I thought our book discussion would solidify my thoughts on this book, but it really didn’t.  I have no strong feelings about this book, in any direction.  It was okay.

The story is set in late Victorian-era England, where a middle class woman’s husband has just died.  The story is also about a seaside town dealing with the alleged sightings of a mythological sea creature (hence the title) and the ramifications resulting from said “sightings.”

Basically the story is about a bunch of different people with mediocre morals doing some morally questionable things, which end up leading to nowhere.  Again, nobody is particularly hateful or difficult to understand.  It’s just…meh.  I love Perry’s writing style, though, and I did enjoy bits and pieces.  I think I would’ve liked more focus on fewer characters, though.

Overall, a fairly decent historical fiction novel with some unique features.  I did like the undercurrent of feminism that ran throughout the book in fairly subtle ways.  The story felt so different from what I’m used to in Victorian era historical novels.  I’d probably recommend this to book groups who actually enjoy discussing historical fiction 🙂

 

The Unadulterated Cat

Date Read:  November 12, 2018
Title:  The Unadulterated Cat 
Author:  Terry Pratchett
Genre: Humor; parody
Audience:  Adult
Rating:  3 stars

Is it a bad idea not to research a book before reviewing it?  Probably.  Which is why I’m going to state once again that I am not a reviewer.  This is simply an outlet for my reactions, thoughts, and reflections on books.  Defensive much?  

Anyhoo, this book was fantastically silly.  And probably a parody of something (it IS Terry Pratchett, after all), but as I didn’t do my research (please see opening paragraph), I’m not sure of what.  However, having 2 very high maintenance Real Cats, I can appreciate this on its own.  Cats are assholes, you know that, right?  And I say that with all the love and respect in the world.  I love their assholery. 

A fun addition to my Pratchett Posse library.  

PS Reading Challenge #26 – A Book with an Animal in the Title

Date Read:  November 11, 2018
Title:  Turtles All the Way Down
Author:  John Green
Genre: Contemporary; general fiction
Audience:  Teen
Rating:  4 stars

This was another case of “I should never have set this down.”  Why, in fact, did I set it down?  Oh yeah, reading a book about a teenager’s struggles with anxiety makes me anxious.  To the point that I can’t read the book for a while.  This felt SO REAL.   Like, hyperventilating-ly real.  Granted, Aza’s anxiety is tied in with her OCD, which I definitely can’t imagine experiencing, but still. 

Green’s novels are usually about teens dealing with serious life-changing events (cancer, suicide, sex, etc.), but this one felt…different.  The tone seemed more serious or, perhaps, more adult? I’m guessing it feels that way because the topic is so personal for Green, who himself struggles with OCD. 

If I were going to recommend one John Green book to someone, this might be it.  It’s really wonderful.  Heart wrenching, but truly wonderful.  

The Art of Asking

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Date Read:  November 11, 2018
Title:  The Art of Asking
Author:  Amanda Palmer
Genre:  Memoir; self-help
Audience:  Adult
Rating:  4 stars

I do believe this book is going to become my go-to when I need a severe readjustment of my attitude.  I have so little faith in my own ability to ask for just about anything.  I’m terrified to ask for more of anything at my job (this fear is based on nothing. I just seem to have this idea that the quieter I am about my needs the more I’ll be respected); I can’t tell my friends when I need emotional support (like, ever. In fact, this gets worse by the year); hell, asking my husband if we can do something specific on the weekends trips me up occasionally (that was NOT supposed to sound like sex, but take it as you will).

Amanda’s book and theory can be summed up in four words: Take the fucking donuts.  Don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t be afraid to TAKE when something is offered to you.

The memoir is broken up between the text of her original TED talk upon which the book is based (check it out here, it’s pretty incredible) and more memoir-like essays.  Not to mention lots of incredible music.  Er, in the audio version, anyway 😉

I admire Amanda on some many levels, and this book just solidified it.  Her voice and experiences are so genuine, and the relationships she has created with her fan base is staggering.

Loved this even more the second time around, probably because I needed it more.  Perfect book for my recent frame of mind!