March Wrap Up

Its the post that no one asked for but that your getting anyway!
The name of the game for March was making a dent in the comics and graphic novels in my collection.
Ok Team! Lets get a run down of what I read and how I felt.

25489134The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: I started this one in Feb and finished it in early March. I was completely sucked in and only really stopped reading when I got super spooked in some of the later chapters. I really enjoy fairy tales and folk takes and was delighted to get some insights into stories of the Russian variety. I was also really interested in the way the church was portrayed, not as the enemy, but as deceived.                      4.5 Honey Cakes out of 5.

23129410Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor: I had such high hopes. I really love the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Cecil and Carlos are my OTP and I am all about the episodic randomness that pulls together into a beautiful surprise. Unfortunately I just didn’t feel connected to either of the main characters. Neither Jackie or Diane really drew me in, and I was honestly much more interested in learning more about Josh or Old Woman Josie and the Erica’s. I did listen to this on audiobook, which is the only reason this got a 3 rather than a 2.
3 Flamingos out of 5.

29780171Archie Vol 2 by Mark Waid: I’ve really been enjoying the re-emergence of the Riverdale fandom. Archie himself has never been a favourite character, lets be real, he’s a total jerk. I’m here for Betty and Jughead and Dilton and Ethel. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep going with the next volume, not because I don’t like these last two volumes, but because I just don’t like Archie enough to keep investing $20 into these.
3 Fickle Redheads out of 5.

27405590Jughead Vol 1 by Chip Zdarsky: This is what we are here for!! Juggie has always been my fav. He was snarky and sarcastic and just not about that date life. This first volume paid hommage to the classic Jughead stories and it made me so incredibly happy. Can we also talk for a moment about Juggie being asexual? As someone who identifies as demi, I’m all about this. Its only dropped in passing, but I’m happy they did it this way rather than making it a big production.
4 Burgers out of 5.

2057897925943106Amulet Vol 6 and 7 by Kazu Kibuishi: I’ve been working my way through this series and have been liking it quite a bit so far. The only issue I’ve had so far is that the story can be hard to follow at times. I’ve found myself needing to go back and reread sections, and in more then a couple cases, feel parts of the story are skipped over and we are expected to fill in the gaps. Its a very interesting fantasy story with a delightful mix of mechs and sci-fi.
3 Robot Houses out of 4.

28354793Chupacabras Song by Jim C. Hines: I have weird feelings about this one. I love Jim C. Hines. He is a phenomenal writer. I have loved everything I’ve read from him. Sure it can occasionally be a little fan servicey, but heck, you do you Jim. I had to read this tiny short story 4 times before I got a solid idea of what was going on. I’m not sure if I just wasn’t in the right headspace for the story, or if it just wasn’t up to Mr. Hines usual calibre , but this one wasn’t for me.
3 Magic Vet Assistants out of 5.

30776605Jughead Vol 2 by Chip Zdarsky: Yes, just Yes. 100x yes. This volume was perfect, it was everything I wanted and more.  We get more Juggie, being Juggie, this time in less episodic and more slice of life story telling. Which is what I live for. We get to see Juggie interacting with his friends, and going on a date, which is a beautiful thing. That Juggie is ace is further developed in this volume and it truly gave me life. One of the things I found myself enjoying more than I thought were the interatctions between Archie and Jughead, where we explore how friendships change over time, and it was really delicately done.
5 Burger Women out of 5.

25138266B26067583atgirl Vol 1 and Vol 2. by Cameron Stewart: I don’t know team, maybe Batgirl just isn’t for me. Batwoman? Yes, always Yes. Batgirl… Meh. I had a really hard time with this one. I don’t know if its because despite this being a Volume 1 and 2 there is a tonne of back story that is hinted at rather then explained. I don’t think the story is inherently bad, it was just not an ideal jumping in point. I also found our main character to be rather dislikable over all. I’m down with flawed characters, and that your protagonist doesn’t have to be a nice person. I honestly just find her more annoying than anything.
3 Needy Batgirls out of 5.

28954189Scythe by Neal Shusterman: I need to stop trying to describe Neal Shusterman books to my friends. They can tell by my face how excited about them I am, but the content is so dark, and psychologically messed up that my friends become concerned. Scythe was absolutely phenomenal and I would 100% recommend. I will do a full on review of this one. I love it too much not to. Long Story Short: World without death gives two teens a license to kill.
5 out of 5 Flamethrowers

28186137Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood: I might have been mildly disappointed by Welcome to Night Vale, but that honestly is nothing in comparison to Angel Catbird. This thing was a monstrosity. Maybe it was intended to be one of those its “so bad its good” cult comics, but it blew past that and exploded into 3 years of unchanged kitty litter. Margaret Atwood has written a couple of my favourite books, and even though I had seen pretty brutal reviews for it, I wanted to give Ms Atwood the benefit of the doubt. This was a wrong choice. The art was good, but the dialogue was juvenile and story went from 0-60-300 in a matter of panels. The only reason my Goodreads says 1 star is because there is no option to give 0 and still give a rating.
0 Creepy Half Rat Harems out of 5

Thats it team. It was a pretty wild ride. I had some really amazing reads this month, and more then and a few disappointing reads. Heres to April and a beautiful new month of reading.

Reading Intentionally

So its been a while.
Lets be honest. I’m never going to be very good at staying up to date, logging in regularly, or sticking to a plan. There are a lot of things I say I am going to do that I never get around to, or things that, if we are being completely honest, I wouldn’t keep up with if it wasn’t for friends (lovingly) finger wagging.
One thing I do regularly, out of both habit and as a necessity, is read. I like reading, I love reading, I down right need to read. It helps me escape, and cope with a world that righteously blows some times. Reading is not something that I will ever really need to be forced to do.
So while I have a litany of other resolutions I’d love to try my hand at this year, I’d like to make at least one that has a chance of succeeding. This year I want to read more intentionally. My book collection has almost doubled in the last 3 years, and I’m constantly trolling the various Value Villages in my city for new books to add. Some of my hunting has been intentional. There are two Canadian children/middle grade authors that I purchase on sight, and have multiple copies of their titles. I constantly keep my eyes open for titles I recognize from my childhood that I never hesitate to throw in my cart. But if I’m being honest with myself, a majority of the books I’m picking up are impulse buys. Books I’ve either heard about on BookTube, authors I’ve heard about but never read, or books with an awesome cover and half decent synopsis. Considering I’m really only spending $20 at a go and walk away with 3-6 books, I guess it’s really not too bad. The problem is how many of these books just sit on my shelves, looking beautiful and not getting read. I’m much more likely to pick a book from a most recent haul then I am to browse my own shelves.
This year I want to pull up my socks and give my books the respect they deserve.

To do this I’d like to challenge myself to the following:

5 Book Challenge
There is a 5 book challenge that has been floating around for a while in the blogger and BookTube community. It’s not particularly new or revolutionary but it’s really smart. The idea is that you have to read 5 books before you are allowed to purchase one new one. The rule does not apply to books given as gifts or books received for free, but I’m personally only going to allow gifts. This will still allow me the freedom to pick up the out of print titles I am hunting for, while ensuring I’m purchasing more responsibly.

img_20160520_190823EOG Book Club
The Edmonton Open Genre Book Club is going on 5 years strong this year, and I’m pretty dang proud of it. What started out as an excuse to talk books without having to force a particular title on people, has turned into a solid group of friends. Yes, we can find just about way to justify how your read fit the theme, but the idea is to have fun and get us reading. I’d say I read about 40% of the genres in a given year, but this year I’d like to commit to reading at least 80%. I could aim for 100%, but think of how awesome I will look if I over achieve?!

img_20160618_224130

Monthly TBR
Loads of people have TBR piles, I have TBR shelves. Heck, I could probably make a whole bookcase of TBR without breaking a sweat. The problem is I have very little documentation to just how big my current owned TBR is. I can look through my shelves and easily recognize titles I’ve never read before, but I don’t have a list telling me just exactly which books those are. I also dont ever have a plan when it comes to what I’m going to read. I might pick up something from a recent haul, or take a quick glance and see if anything tickles my fancy, but I’ve never sat down at the beginning of the month and said, “These are the books I’m going to read.”. This year I’d like to give this a shot. Even if I dont stick to my list precisely, I think I will be good to know that I have a plan. This year my reading goal is 70 books, which equals ~6 books per month (or 5.83333333). By the 1st, I’d like to have a rough list of 5 books (leaving one free for book club) to get through that month.

So it’s not a lot, but the idea is not to overload myself with so many goals that it becomes unrealistic. I think all three of these “challenges” will help me to read with greater intention, as well as help save my pocket-book and floor space.

Heres to a bright and literary new year, and (hopefully) many new blogs to come.

img_20160704_202857

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: What Books?

Top Ten Tuesdays

Hola!
How goes internet peeps?! I am back! Hopefully? Maybe? In an attempt to create some regularity and scheduling in my life, but I’ve made these promises before, so lets be forgiving shall we? At the very least I feel like I can do my memes. So lets take a trip back in time to the world of Top Ten Tuesday hosted over on The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks topic is Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year, and unfortunately I’m going to have to cheat. See problem is this year has been 100% bunk in the way of reading. I’ve barely gotten any in, and some of it has been re-reads, and the rest hasn’t necessarily been awesome, so realistically this is going to be The Only Books I’ve Read In the Last Little While. But hey, its a start?

1. The Circle by Dave Eggers: Bought this book on a whim when I was in Costco, I cant seem to stay away from that giant isle all covered in books. As mentioned before, I 100% judge books by their covers, and this one drew me in. Flipping it over I saw a glowing quote from Margaret Atwood, a very strong point in its favour. But then I opened it up and saw the following quote, emphasis mine:

The Circle is Brave New World for our brave new world . . . Now that we all live and move and have our being in the panopticon, Eggers’s novel may be just fast enough, witty enough and troubling enough to make us glance away from our twerking Vines and consider how life has been reshaped by a handful of clever marketers . . . There may come a day when we can look back at this novel with incredulity, but for now, the mirror it holds up is too chilling to LOL.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

I knew I had to read it. I fell into this book and emerged a couple of days later more wary of Facebook then I had ever been. It was eerie in that this could be today, or tomorrow or 5 years from now. Its the future but today, and nothing is so blatantly wrong, but everything is just off enough to make you feel super uncomfortable, like someone shifting your furniture 3 inches to the left. It was marvellous.

2. Codex Born by Jim C. Hines: OK remember a million years ago? I had Libriomancer on my TBR for fall list? (OMG I looked it up, its from way back in Oct 2012) Well I read it, and I loved it. And I will be the first to admit that its not perfect. It gives into fan service a little too much, and all of the references will make no sense to anyone in 1o years, but dear lord was it fun. The premise is filled with potential, and despite some of the characters being a little flat, I loved just how nerdy Isaac is. So I read the first book and this year I devoured the second, Codex  Born. I would not say that it was as good as the first one, but I was glad to see old friends come back into the picture and have a chance to get fleshed out. The biggest downer to this book were the flash backs. I get it, Lena is a dryad created from a sci-fi smutt novel, she is going to be sexy and have some sexy times, but i feel like it got a little out of control at times. Lena is trying to grow from that, become a person in her own right so to keep throwing her own trope at her time and time again felt a little defeating. Don’t get me wrong, I will read the next book. And I will likely read just about anything that Jim C. Hines put out, I just wish he would trust his readers to be a little more intelligent and less hormone driven.

3,4. Orxy and Crake/Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood: So in an attempt to finish off the MaddAdam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood, I’ve gone back and done a little rereading. It was great going back and falling into the amazing world Atwood has made for us. Also, because I read them in quick succession it was easy to pick out all the places that the stories crossed over. I had initially read each book after it had been written, meaning I had a hefty 6 year gap in between, so getting the chance to read them both so closely together was a treat. Sneaky references to characters I loved and hated popping up all over the place. I’ve started reading MaddAdam, but shortly after starting reading it, I found The Circle, and if you cant tell from my love letter to it above, it consumed all my reading. Its back on my radar, but is playing second fiddle to The Cloud Atlas, which i need to crack out for book club this month.

5. Wandering Son by Hōrō Musuko, illustrated by Takako Shimura: There is always room in my life for manga, but I feel like I’ve completely ignored this medium as of late. So when we had Graphic Novel up for EOG Book Club last month, I decided to renew this passion and dive head long into this beautiful manga. Manga in general gets a lot of criticism for looking the same, and I cant agree more. A majority of the titles have a very similar quality to character design and plot, which means that you can have two characters from two different titles look identical. With that being said, I feel that i gravitate to the more unique drawing styles. This title isn’t vastly different, but the sketchy style and slow, very natural pacing of the story makes it stand out. The story (in as far as I am, because I am only at volume 4) follows two children, a boy and a girl, who are struggling to come to terms with their gender identity. Without going into it too much just let me say that its beautiful. The author broaches a very delicate subject with charm and tact, and like i said a slow plodding pace that is absolutely essential to the material. To have children come to conclusions and figure everything out at a normal manga style clip, would do the characters a total injustice. I will 100% continue to follow this series.

So its only five, but its a start.
Here is to trying again!

Much Love!
Micheline

Growing Up Without Harry

. growing up I was raised in a Christian home (I hate the word religious it sounds like we chased people with bibles and carried around spritzers of holy water), as such there were certain things that my sister and I were not allowed to watch and read. I would by no means call myself sheltered. I watched all manner of Disney movies, with and without magic characters and dont consider my childhood lacking in any way. I was an avid reader and gobbled up C.S. Lewis, Tolkien (started with the Hobbit) and other books that may or may not have had a creature or theme linked to magic. One series though that was never allowed in the house was the Harry Potter series. To be fair by the time I had even heard of their existence the first four books had already been released and the movie was coming out sparking a fresh hysteria among parents both religious and not about the books and their impact on children.

I didn’t have a real interest in reading the series in general, as at this point my  reading had starting its beautiful and continuing bent for science fiction and Canadian authors, but I was aware of the general premise and that I wasn’t allowed to watch for a variety of reasons. However my mom wanted me to be informed, to be able to back up the reasons why she thought the series wasn’t appropriate for kids my age (elementary/junior high). So she took me to see the first movie when it came out, and we spent an evening watching it and then an equal amount of time afterward discussing it. My main memories of the occasion is that there were a number of instances I found deeply frightening, and very dark. I felt fairly well armed to go back to my comrades and tell them the reasons I wasn’t allowed to read them, and my total lack of desire to read them.

The books (and consequently movies)  continued to come out and as I grew older I was given more freedom with my movie choices, and while the Harry Potter movies were never a first choice, through one circumstance or another I ended up seeing a movie most of the films. Each one to me seemed darker and darker. Not exactly movies to my taste to say the least. So when the third book in the series showed up on my syllabus for Children’s Lit in college I felt a little scandalized. I read the book, and while not scarred, didn’t give the series any more notice then necessary to pass my test.

Off and on throughout the years people have implored me to just sit down and read the series and get a proper feel for it. Because as we all know Hollywood tends to either at best get  a general idea and at worst murder the original literature. I told them all to lend me a copy and I would, and it never really ended up happening. Then I got my Kobo, and a friend generously loaded the entirety of the series onto it for me, and I though well, lets do it then. Lets finally read the Harry Potter series.

I find it interesting that so many people I know grew up with Harry, they aged along side him and feel like his story was a huge part of their maturing. I seemed to make it through by other means, and have always had a hard time understanding the near fanatical at times following that the series has. So I propose to write out a blog a month detailing one book at a time and my feeling and thought on it. I will obviously be reading them much much faster then that (3 weeks and 3 books consisting of lunch breaks and the odd hour or two), but really want to have something  consistantly scheduled. So I will type these out at I read them, and pop them on an auto posting doodly-do. I really hope it will be a learning process for me, and for you and that in the end we enjoyed our time together.

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Between the Tan Lines

Upon rereading my title I figured maybe it might sound a little naughty, but its not, so shame on you! This week over on Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the darling blog The Broke and the Bookish) our topic is Top Ten Books I’d Recommend as Beach Reads. Now I am in Central Alberta, Canada and contrary to popular belief we don’t have beaches and palm trees and movie stars everywhere. We do however have beautiful roasting summer days that are perfect for sitting out on the patio or by the lake, and what better to do while tanning your self then picking up a good book and wafting away?

Now for something to be a good Beach/Summer read it needs to be two things; 1. Easy to tote around/the cover is no so incredilbly embarassing your afraid of people seeing your read it in public*, 2. The story is easy enough to pick up and put down multiple times (cause its the summer and heck if I’m going to spend all of it sitting) but still keeps your interest. So I will go with those two qualifiers and be on my way!
*Obviously if you are lucky enough to own an e-reader of some sort this may not be an issue, but I am personally afraid to bring my Touch Screen Kobo any where near sand and water.

Rose Daughter – Robin McKinley: Two Tuesdays in a row and its far from coincidence. Robin McKinley is a favourite author with a splendid imagination. Her second retelling of Beauty and the Beast is less childish and more complex, but just as beautiful and elegant as you remember. The good points? Its a story that’s familiar to about 99% of us, so we can go and come back and still have a good idea of who the characters are and the general idea of what is going on. Also the cover is rather non-descriptive so your safe from hecklers. Bad points? It starts off a little slow, so don’t give up if it doesn’t grab you in the first 50 pages.

The Story of Beautiful Girl – Rachel Simon: If you checked out my EOG Book Club review from April you will know just  how much I loved this book. The characters are beautifully written and the author well researched. The story follows Lynnie and Homan and their dash to freedom from their terrible treatment in the School for the Incurable and Feeble minded. Lynnie is recaptured and sent back, Homan is feared lost in a flooded river, and Lynnie’s baby being cared for by the elderly widow Martha. Good points? The chapters focus on one character at a time at a specific moment in time, it doesn’t jump all over the place willy nilly so following the story even after leaving it for a week is rather easy. You also have your choice of covers, all of which are well put together. Bad points? I cant even think of any, this book is perfect.

World War Z – Max Brooks: Not going to lie, I have learned to love Zombie novels! Zombie movies not so much, because they are far too gory. In a book I can choose to jump a gory part, or since its my imagination limit the blood and off screen the gore. A friend turned me onto this book, and after reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series (a teen zombie series) which I loved, I was game. Good points? There are enough thrills and chills to keep you coming back for more, but it written as episodic stories of peoples experiencing the Zombie war so its pretty impossible to get lost. Bad points? I personally hate my cover, more cause its ugly then anything. Also if your a wimp like me the chapter in which you meet the first case may terrify you.

The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury: This one is a little heart breaking as we lost Mr. Bradbury last week. He was an amazing writer with an imagination like no other. I remember my first experience with his work in grade 10, we were reading short stories and we had to read a creepy short by him called The Veldt. The story stuck with me and I spent the next 7 years (oh man I feel old now) trying to find a copy of the story.  Two years ago I was searching Veldt on the bookstore computer (a habit I ritually do with 2 authors and a number of out of print titles) and got a hit! The whole collection quickly became a favorite. Good points? Each story is self contained and doesn’t require any previous knowledge of his work to understand. The stories while dense, are  on average 10 pages or less. Bad points? If you don’t like classic science fiction this is not the book for you. I personally find reading 1950’s science fiction in a modern world fascinating. (Was super hard to find the same cover as the one I have, I personally like this cover infinitely more then the modern artsy covers, this is classic sci-fi dang it. Hand drawn is key!)

The Princess Series – Jim C. Hines: If you want a series of fantastic adventure written for grown women, that’s easy to read without being childish, and will make you laugh, yell and cheer I highly recommend this series. It follows the adventures of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty in the years after Cinderella’s marriage to the Prince. Cliché you say? You couldn’t be more wrong! Hines mixes our Disney girls with the original Grimm tales and a good helping of his own brilliance to make 3  lead female characters you cant help but love and root for! Good points? Its action, adventure and fantasy for women. It doesn’t talk down to you, but is light enough to be enjoyable. Bad points? I really don’t like the covers, especially of the first one, it makes it look like its all cotton candy and bubble gum which its not. Not so embarrassing I wont take it to public (this series and I were inseparable)  but if I had had the option of an e-reader I probably would have gone that way.

Top Ten Tuesday: Rewind to Nostalgia

Oh man, hello Top Ten Tuesday! Its been a really long time hasn’t it? Well I’m back, and it looks like I picked the perfect week to ease back into it. For any of you lovely people who wandered here through my facebook or twitter Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, which is a delightful blog in and of itself.

The topic of the week is Rewind, which lets us pick any topic we like. The term makes me laugh, remember when we actually had to rewind our VHS tapes? You’d rent it from the video store and it would have that corny sticker that said “Be Kind, Rewind”. Pretty soon kids are going to have no idea what it means. Anyway tangent, the word rewind is making me feel nostalgic so I am going to go with Top Ten Books I Loved as a Kid. It also has me rocking out the Newsies soundtrack from the 1992 movie, man I had the biggest crush on Racetrack… 😛

 The Hollow Tree – Janet Lunn: This is the first children’s historical fiction book I ever read of my own volition. I had done novel studies in school but none of them had ever really stuck with me. Looking back though, all of the the novel studies I can remember also featured male leads, so while the stories were good, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I cant remember where I got my copy, an inkling says my auntie might have picked it up for me, but Its been a treasure ever since. I read it every couple of years and still really enjoy the characters and writing style and setting. It is such an excellently written children’s book with a believable and strong girl lead.

Devil on my Back – Monica Hughes: My first foray into Monica Hughes’ writing was with Guardian of Isis, which is definitely another one of my favourites. I stumbled onto her while stumbling around the stacks of my junior high library. Hughes also being a local author sealed the deal for me. After finishing off what I thought to be the rest of the Isis series (I would find out years later that there was in fact a 3rd book) I greedily devoured the rest of Monica Hughes books and while each one holds a special place in my heart Devil on my Back was my first foray into the dystopian future genre that would later take hold of my life.

There Will Be Wolves – Karleen Bradford: I spent a lot of time in my grade 5 -7 years hanging out in the Library, our Librarian Ms Taylor would let us spend our recesses and lunches in if we liked, and I got the chance to play on the old type writer and browse through the stacks. I found this book during one one such browse. I had never read anything that was set during the crusades and it had a female lead (something I stuck to almost exclusively, Monica Hughes’ books being one of the few exceptions), so I was willing to give it a try. The book had no qualms about showing the harsh reality of life during the crusades, both for those who were being concurred and for those who followed in the shadows of the armies.

Galax-Arena – Gillian Rubinstein: This book was delightfully spooky in places and ridiculous in others. Once again my thirst for a dystopian future with all its terrible consequences. The mix of gymnastics in space with aliens and a little bit of Lord of the Flies. It was also the first book I ever read with a swear in it, which maybe should have traumatized be but instead made me feel so grown up.

A Handful of Time – Kit Pearson: This  book I got from my favourite auntie (I’m a terrible person :P). I had told her all about my love of Kit Pearson’s book Awake and Dreaming and in all her infinite wisdom bought be a copy of  A Handful of Time for my 12th birthday. It had everything 12 year old me could have wanted, a girl who was 12, set in cabin country Alberta, and a watch that let you travel through time. Throw on top of this that the main character was dealing with a lot of the same social anxiety as I was and you had a perfect escape.

Beauty – Robyn McKinley: I grew up on Disney. My mom had a copy of every Disney VHS that came out, sometimes two if they came out with a special edition. The splendour and magic of fairy tales took me out of my boring life and dropped into a place more extraordinary then I had ever known. When I found McKinley’s retelling it took a story I already knew and loved and gave it a whole new dimension. It has since grown my love for retellings and has branched out into the grown up versions of both fairytale and classic story retellings such as the Wicked Years series and The Big Over Easy.

Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien: The first of the LOTR movies came out when I was still in junior high, but the lead up was immense. I was swept away in the thrill of a new fantasy adventure series  and learning it was based on a book series made me determined to finish reading the entire Trilogy before the movies came out. I was sadly not able to finish the entire series before the first film but was able to polish off The Fellowship of the Ring and a good chunk of The Two Towers. If it hadn’t been for the impending movies, and a love of The Hobbit, I dont know if I would have found the will power to muscle through some of the denser chapters of what is now a favourite series.

Exodus – Julie Bertenga: This is the first book I remember buying, like actually walking into a bookstore picking up and paying for it with my money. It was the beginning of my buying beautiful books phase, and it treated me well. I honestly hate the redesign for the series covers, they are ugly and play into the whole “Teen Lit novels need to look dark and moody”. Exodus brought me into one of my favorite genres, it was a step above the distopian future I loved, and dropped me into a distopian apocalyptic future, which was a delightful change of pace. And for all the books in that genre I have read this one still feels beautiful and unique with its watery planet and ancient internet.

Alex Series – Nancy Simpson Levene: Aww man the names of these book were simple priceless! Grapefruit Basket Upset, Hot Chocolate Forgiveness, Crocodile Meatloaf. In elementary I ate these silly books up! They were written by a Christian author specifically to teach morals and values in a fun way for kids. My mom bought me one and I was hooked! Alex was delightful silly and brash and was the epitome of a little girl. I remember on several occasions my mom bribed me with these books to get me to do extra chores around the house!

The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle – Bill Meyers: Another one of those Chrisitan series that was about morals and values, but this one was absolutely hilarious. It was another one of the new exceptions I made to having a boy lead character. But Wally was nerdy and clutzy and all around loveable oaf who on top of living his own increadibly unlikely and funny story was also creating his own worlds and stories on his laptop.

EOG: Only The Good Read Young

I am a terrible leader! 😛 I have been harassing the rest of the members for the last week to hand over their blog posts for May and yet I just finished wrapping mine up an hour ago.

However I will say that our group verges on the point of being too epic to even be described! I was both pleased and apprehensive when our little band of 4 sprang to 6 with the addition of two fabulous new ladies to our group. Would they meld well with the rest of the group? Would they laugh at our stupid jokes? Thank goodness not half an hour in we were all cracking jokes and piping up and getting along just swimmingly!

One of the many many things I love about this book club is the freedom to say just about anything. We seem to have tackled a lot of books lately with real gritty or heart wrenching themes or plots, but have been lucky enough to have one book that is either so ridiculous or so different that we are able to grab something and turn it into a running joke. Last time around it was Genghis and the marvellous poop sword, and this time it was Bumped and the  crazy teen who slept with a boy who looks like Jesus so she could “feel God”.

In between the laughing and joking and eating the amazing vanilla cupcakes filled with lemon curd and lemon meringue buttercream frosting (I almost died from the numminess), we were actually able to delve deep into our books and find meaning in the mass of easy to read fiction.

Jenna dove into Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan and found a book that looked unflinchingly at LGBT teens and their struggle to come to terms with who they are, as well as big gay musicals.

Dana read White Cat by Holly Black filled with curse-workers whose very touch can change the essense of who you are and  how you think, it also gave us a good laugh over the term blow back, which were the consiquences of using their touch.

Amanda got a taste of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and was happy to finally encounter a strong female lead in today’s teen fiction, and I tried desperately not to give away all the juicy bits.

Christine read Bumped by Megan McCafferty and was enraged by its interesting premise and terrible execution, but it did provide us with our joke book of the night and so many incredibly hilarious laughs. Read her review of this book and the last 3 EOG Book Club books over at her blog : Delusions of Grace – Sex, tears and books thrown in anger

Andrea fell in love with A Fault in Our Stars which was also by John Green as she found a book that spoke to her on a very personal level and reminded each of us that no day is guaranteed. Check out her review over at: facelessmasses – A Fault in Our Stars; or how to break a nerdfighter.

I read Insurgent by Veronica Roth which gave me a feisty young heroine in a world divided by personality types, and addressed suicide without glamorizing or trivializing. My review is hanging out over at: Where You Go I May Not Follow – Insurgent

We also have a couple people who are joining us long distance and are reading along:

Tawnie is out in Hong Kong right now and gave us a write up on Cinder by Marissa Meyer, nothing like a dystopian future fairytale to get the blood pumping. Take a look at her review over at: There is joy to be claimed in this life – Book Club May

All in all, May Book Club was another fantastic time of good friends and great books.
Looking forward to another Month.

Our Genre for June: Fantasy

 

Our List Thus Far

historical fiction
fairytales
biography
science fiction
fantasy
teen/young adult
memoirs
urban fantasy
romance
mystery
classics
chick lit
thrillers
true crime
self help
religious fiction
children’s literature
dystopian
foreign translated
non-fiction
conspiracy