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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Not Listening and Making Goals

Top Ten Tuesdays
Not even going to apologize for my horrendous absence, they keep happening and I keep apologizing, and as my mom always told me “Sorry means I’m never going to do it again.” And I really do feel bad for being gone all the time but to be completely honest its probably going to happen again on more then one occasion.

I am also going to be sneaky and not do this weeks Top Ten Tuesday, and do the one from last week. Partially because I cant think of any debut novels I am really looking forward to, the other part is because its my first book blog of the year and I should probably lay down some goals and plans or what have you.

Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2013

1. Continue running the EOG Book Club: This last year has been so amazing with the book club, while some of the ladies have floated in and out and are kinda irregular we have a pretty strong core of about 4 of us that have been keeping strong. Every month brings new insights about new books and genres, and way more laughing then is entirely healthy.

2. Give the EOG Book Club a stronger online presence: I’ve been absolutely awful this year when it comes to blogging consistently, both with Top Ten Tuesday and with the book club. I’d like to at the very least have this happening regularly again. Its once a month I have zero excuse. We also discussed in our December meeting how much fun we think it would be to record our discussion and pop them online. I have no idea how realistic that is, or if we will actually do it, but its something I’d love to explore. I think we are all intelligent and hilarious and I think would make for good listening.

3. Explore more Canadian authors and Canadian settings: I love this great big country of mine, its beautiful and diverse and has so many lovely delicious differences. This month for book club we have Canadiana for our genre, we agreed to choose either a Canadian author or a book set in Canada, which if we are going to be honest are probably going to be pretty mutually exclusive. There just are not a lot of non-Canadian authors flexing their brainpower in a Canadian setting. When i was a kid I was obsessed with Canadian authors, and if I could find them, Albertan authors. I was lucky enough to stumble onto Kit Pearson, and Monica Hughes, two authors who were not only from my home province, but who also lived in Edmonton, which was the closest major city to me. They continue to be my two favorite authors over a decade later.

4. Read more to my niece and nephew: Sadly i live about an hour away from my niece and nephew, and therefore i dont get to spend a tonne of time with them. One thing I have thankfully been able to do is read to them. My sister has been very good about making sure my darling babies have lots of books around and love reading. I go out of my way when I’m in town to be at her house before their bed time so we can sit together, one tiny person on each side and read 3 or 4 books. I love it and I want to do it more!

5. Blog at minimum once a week: I’m not perfect and I know it, I want to blog so much more, but I want to nail myself down to at least one a week.

6. Join a couple of reading challenges: There are a whole bunch of reading challenges over at A Novel Challenge, so far I am interested in the Kidlit Read and Review challenge as well at the YA challenge. Obviously if I do the Kidlit one its going to involve extra blogging, but I mean I dont think thats a huge issue on such little compact books. And even if I do some of the others I dont need to necessarily do a full review but just check in and let you know what i’ve been reading.

7. Get Growing Up Without Harry off the ground: I mentioned it a long, long, long time ago, but believe you me I definitely haven’t forgotten about it. I’ve kept on reading, and will honestly probably need to go back and get a refresher, but I want to write this so so so so so so bad! I cant even pin point why, but it just feels right so I hope to get it right.

8. Get Sequential Genesis off the ground: This is another project I mentioned super briefly. I have found comics due to the beautiful lady who lives over at FacelessMasses, and I have been absolutely enthralled by the medium. I am by no means an expert on the topic of comics and sequential art, but I am loving it none the less. I’d really like to give this some perspective as an outsider looking in. Comics were not something I was into, manga yeah, but comics are a whole different beast.

9. Show my e-reader some love: I have a pretty awful/awesome habit of buying books. Like copious amounts of books. I love to be surrounded by them. Mix this with my growing love of comics. My very very very tiny apartment is running out of space. So what I’d like to do, with the exception of books that continue a series I’ve already begun, or by authors I religiously follow, I am going to get the book in a e-reader format whenever possible. I figure this will save me a lot of space, as well as save me a bit of money.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Who are you?!

Hello again everyone!! Its been a while since I have updated this blog, I do apologize, I even have a giant update to post about last months EOG Book Club (Spoilers: It was epic). But seeing as my brain is currently a wad of cotton-pudding hybrid, I figure I should start out with a Top Ten Tuesday to get me going. This weeks topic: “Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving (those covers or titles that don’t fit the books, a book that was totally different than its summary, or those books you thought were going to be fluff that turned out to be more serious etc etc.)” Me likey this topic! Its one where I can pick favourites or disappointments. Though in retrospect maybe I should call it misconceptions in a few places.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Spent years trying to muscle my way through this novel, but in the end Cole’s Notes’ed my way to  a passing grade. I adored both the movies, (Colin Firth have all my babies please) and was determined to read the book. About a year ago I stumbled on a cheap copy of the book (my previous attempts were from school or my enormous complete works of Jane Austen 20lb tome.) It was simple, clean, and hard cover bungee bound, which meant it could survive the various abuse it was sure to suffer during its travels in my purse. When I got it home to finally read it I was delightfully surprised that the otherwise very boring cover hid some treasure, the book had not only the novel, but several essays, graphs, and character synopsis’s that helped me to see Austen’s world in context, and know who the heck everyone was. With this new knowledge and understanding I was able to pound through Pride and Prejudice and actually enjoy it, pick out the little jokes and laugh and feel Elizabeth’s emotions.

2. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: Had heard a lot of really good things about this book, and the synopsis made it sound like it would be an engaging and thought provoking book into the mind of a mother dealing with the guilt of a son jailed for a school massacre. Opened the book, tried reading, and found myself face to face with some of the densest and (in my opinion) the most pompous writing I’ve ever read. Its supposed to be written in the style of letters, but to my knowledge no person on earth writes personal correspondence   as though they are trying to write the next great Russian novel… I was super disappointed and gave up after the first letter.

3. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham: Bar none one of my favorite novels. Bar none one of my least favorite covers… OK, there’s a cuckoo, on someone’s head, whose lying on the ground, with their eyes open, staring all creepy at you. Granted after reading the book I get the symbolism , but for a person picking up the book for the first time it looks like crazy birds are running around killing people, and while that is an awesome story, it is not this story.

4. The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde: I found this book by asking around my local book store. I wanted another fairy tale retelling and had hit a wall in my search. Not a fairy tale but nursery rhyme retelling I was game to try something new. Though billed at a detective story I really didn’t expect it to have much of a mystery involved. Boy was I wrong, I have never in my life been more surprised by an ending. The twists and turns were wild and unexpected and lead me on a epic romp that I will never forget. Something I expected to be quick comedy turned into a delightfully complex mystery.

5. Mine Until Midnight by Lisa Kleypas: I apologize to the world!!! I actually liked this book!! They synopsis and cover quickly lead the observer to draw all sorts of conclusions about the quality and content of the book. It was my pick for our mandatory romance book for last months book club, I picked it cause it looked like it would be hilariously silly… not so friends, not so. The story was well thought out, and while not perfect by any means, much better then I had anticipated. I found myself getting invested in the well being of the main character and when it wrapped up suddenly, running to the book store to pick up the rest of the series.

6. Door in the Dragons Throat by Frank Peretti: Its a kids book, I read it when I was 14 because it looked interesting, and like a quick light read. It was in fact quick, light not so much, what I had not anticipated, absolutely terrifying. Frank Peretti is a fantastic suspense/thriller writer. 14 year old me did not know this, 14 year old me did not expect this, 14 year old me had nightmares that had me sleeping with the light on for at least a week.

7. Identical by Ellen Hopkins: I had read one book by this author before on  suggestion from a friend. I had greatly enjoyed the book despite my less favourable attitude towards the writing style. When I went to the book store to look into more of her titles I found them to revolve mainly around drug addiction, something that didn’t peak my interest. Then a few months later Identical came out. Nothing, and I repeat nothing could have prepared me for how this book wrecked me. Without saying too much about the plot lets just say the synopsis and cover while accurate are insufficient.

8. Secret Six – Unhinged by Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Doug Hazelwood: Woo, a delicious comic for everyone out there!! 😀 I have had the great luck of finding a large company of nerdy comic book type friends in the last couple of months. They are amazing. ❤ I however am a nerd of a different sort, more sci-fi and manga then comics and super heroes. One lovely friend did me the great honour of borrowing a few trades of one of her favorites. It was DARK! I had anticipated the fighting and the nitty gritty, but it was infinitely darker then I could of imagined. I was thinking back to my cousins comics with Spiderman stopping kids from doing drugs and busting smugglers in Manitoba (an issue I still love and cherish). Not to say I didn’t like them, the writing was superb and the characters dynamic,  it was just so much different then I thought.

9. The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C Hines: If you’ve never read a book by this author then you are really missing out. His obvious love and care for his characters bleed through the pages, while his imagination takes you on wild adventures filled with magic and sword play. I was lucky to have stumbled onto this series by accident when trolling the science fiction/fantasy section at Chapters, their system while nice does not allow for searching by plot or theme like the magic card catalogue at the library. The cover makes it looks like silly fluff, fantasy written specifically for girls, with no real meat or substance to it. The synopsis while not horrible does nothing to dispel this myth. These characters were some of the most complex and interesting ones I had found in a long time, and the stories while they did have their share of fluff, were complex and interesting.

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack: I know, I know here it is again! 😀 And if it wasn’t such a good book then maybe I would feel bad, but its awesome so I dont… This book is marketed for tweens and teens, thus a lot of adults shrug it off as inconsequential. A person could never be more wrong. I have harped on the awesome that is this book in almost every Top Ten Tuesday because it is so well written and moving, so honestly if you haven’t read it get off your butt and get on it!