Monday, February 9, 2015

Reading in 2014

For the past couple years I've written about my previous year's reading resolutions, how I met (or didn't meet) them, and made a list of what all I've read. It's a bit late in the year this time around, but I figure I can still do that.

Alexander, Jonathan F. -- Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies
Aristophanes -- Lysistrata
Bond, Stephanie -- Southern Roads: Baby, Hold On
Bryson, Bernardra -- Gilgamesh
Butcher, Jim -- Dresden Files: Storm Front*
Butcher, Jim -- Dresden Files: Skin Game
Cavelos, Jeanne -- Babylon 5: The Shadow Within
Collins, Suzanne -- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
Green, John -- Will Grayson, Will Grayson 
Hansberry, Loraine -- A Raisin in the Sun 
Ibsen, Henrick -- A Doll's House
Jacques, Jeph -- Questionable Content, Vol 1
Johnson, Alaya Dawn -- The Summer Prince 
Kaufman, Moisés -- The Laramie Project 
Keyes, Gregory J. -- Babylon 5: Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester 
Le Guin, Ursula K. -- Very Far Away From Anywhere Else
Ochs, Robyn -- Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World*
Pierce, Tamora -- Beka Cooper: Mastiff*
Pierce, Tamora --  The Immortals: Wild Magic*
Pirandello, Luigi -- Six Characters in Search of an Author
Roberts, Nora -- Inn BoonsBoro: The Next Always
Roberts, Nora -- Three Sisters Island: Dance Upon the Air
Roth, Veronica -- Divergent: Divergent
Roth, Veronica -- Divergent: Insurgent
Roth, Veronica -- Divergent: Allegiant
Shakespeare, William -- Hamlet*
Shakespeare, William -- A Midsummer Night's Dream*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: Out from Boneville*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: The Great Cow Race*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: Eyes of the Storm*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: The Dragonslayer*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: Rock Jaw, Master of the Eastern Border*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: Old Man's Cave*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: Ghost Circles*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: Treasure Hunters*
Smith, Jeff -- Bone: Crown of Horns*     
Szymanski, Mike -- The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe
Wilde, Oscar -- The Importance of Being Ernest

*have read before

Goodreads challenge
As to reading challenges, with the Goodreads challenge I'd meant to read 55 books but managed 38.

I also took part some in The Artful Readers Club, and had my own reading list that I didn't complete. I don't feel like listing either out though, since yeah, I didn't finish my own reading list and eventually stopped participating in the arty club.

For 2015 my plan is to focus on enjoying reading without any real goal in mind. I think that's a good place for me to be right now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Butcher and Pierce

This would be filed under notes that may not be of any interest to anyone other than me, where I'm just jotting things down. I got to thinking about similarities between Tamora Pierce and Jim Butcher, bearing in mind that I've only read Butcher's Dresden Files.

Obviously, they both write fantasy. They both take characters who are figuring things out, still learning (at least, at first...but then, they never really stop learning) and follow their stories.

(Of course, Pierce follows different characters over various quartets, whereas Butcher has Harry plus a few side characters who we see grow over a longer period of time, but same sort of thing.)

Both of their characters get knocked down a few times, but that's just part of growing. They face bullies and outright enemies, and sometimes lose a few fights. Or at the very least, they go up against someone who would have killed them if help hadn't arrived in the (ta da!) nick of time. But they learn from these experiences, and ultimately wind up strong enough to win a fight with those who had just knocked them down. Which means, of course, that a bigger badder bad guy will come along.

Butcher and Pierce both write characters who are funny and likable, who the reader can really care about. The main characters tend to be idealists in an imperfect world, trying to be the white knights to set things right when that isn't really possible. And they might know that they can't set everything right, but they'll still try their best, even when others point out the harsh realities of the world to them.

Last, one thing that Pierce's Beka Cooper books have in common with Dresden Files in particular is that they're mysteries solved by magical people. They even both have a cat, though Pierce's Pounce is a bit more vocal and involved than Butcher's Mister.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Book Signing: Jim Butcher

The latest Dresden Files book by Jim Butcher was released last week. Much to my delight he did a book signing in my very own Portland Oregon, so I got to meet him. And of course, he signed my copy of the new Skin Game.

The signed book! :)

No, I haven't finished it yet, despite having had it for about a week. Why not? Because I've had a migraine for about a month, which reading aggravates, and since this is finals week at school I sort of have to decide where to spend my energy. *frustrated sigh* Strangely enough the computer screen currently doesn't bother me as much as books do, hence this blog post.

I did learn one very interesting thing during the Q and A at the signing. It turns out that Butcher actually doesn't like torturing his characters. Or, so he claims. Apparently what he really enjoys is tormenting his readers, and his books are the best way to do that without him winding up in jail. All I can say is that after reading chapter fourteen of Skin Games I've got to agree that yes, he loves to torment us.

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