Before I started this post, I would have told you I have been in a reading slump. But when I gathered the (hard copy) books I’ve read over the past two months, I found that was an inaccurate statement. Isn’t that always the way? I’m harsh with myself – not reading enough! this is a slump! what’s wrong?! – and then I take a closer look and I see that I was doing fine all along.
I did slow my usual momentum over the past two months. Life interfered, and then I came down with a terrible cold. I wear glasses for reading, and glasses sitting on the bridge of my nose just did not mix with sinus pain and congestion. I had taken to my bed and couldn’t even read. Thank goodness for Friends streaming on Netflix.
This was a fun and eclectic reading month(s). I like when I look at the stack of books and see a wide variety of books: comics, graphic memoir, foodie novel, literary fiction. And I have some fun highlights to share with you, in addition to the full list at the end of the post.
Currently Reading at Time of Publication
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson (and company). So, I’m new to comics. I read Ms. Marvel back at the beginning of the year, and I really enjoyed it, and the good folks over at Book Riot heartily recommended Lumberjanes. And with good reason. Lumberjanes is about a ragtag group of campers at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types. The girls are, by all accounts, a bit unruly, striking out on their own and having adventures, but they’re also smart, resourceful, and bound by loyalty and friendship. There’s a cute budding romance between two of the girls, there’s a mystery to be solved, and this comic is so funny, so lively, and so addictive. Volume one covers the first four issues, and I am trying to find a comic book store where 1) I won’t feel like an intimidated newbie, and 2) that carries this comic because I want to read more.
Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders by Julianna Baggott. Don’t hate me, but I’m going to gush about this book even though it doesn’t come out for another few months (in September). Harriet Wolf is the author of a beloved series of books – six of them, in fact – and developed a cult following during her life. But now, she has left her legacy to be protected by her daughter and granddaughters, a group of women attempting to reconcile all they do and do not know about their beloved matriarch, and what they do and do not understand in each other. Harriet Wolf died with a lot of secrets, and in the course of this novel, they come to light, bit by bit, in a way that will change life for everyone involved. This book is about loyalty, love, and family secrets. The Harriet Wolf Society will appeal to the lit nerd in all of us, (especially if you’ve ever worked in academe). I was riveted throughout this book, and I so highly recommend it.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Technically, this is Persepolis #1 – I am getting the second one this week – and it’s the story of Marjane’s youth in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. As a girl growing up in Iran during that time, Marji found herself constantly forced to adjust her expectations, her faith, her understanding of right and wrong. And though this graphic memoir is quite serious in its historical treatment, it is also very human. This is a young girl being a young girl in a historical moment that makes that young girl-ness incredibly difficult and dangerous. This was a “read it in a day” kind of book, and it was so good.
My Reading Months: May and June 2015
* Denotes a book that satisfies part of the Whisks & Words 2015 Reading Challenge.
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson*
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders by Julianna Baggott
The Table Comes First by Adam Gopnik*
Quicksand by Steve Toltz*
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi*