Read shelf: April

I was just a little busy this past month.

Akira Vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels
Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design by Christiane Lemieux
The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Brain Droppings by George Carlin
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Princess Jellyfish, Vol. 10 by Akiki Higashimura
Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
The Red Tent by Anita Diamanat
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin

15 books! That’s one book every two days! I have not read that many books in one month since I started keeping track. Possibly ever. Well, at least since I started reading chapter books.

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Busy Bookworm: Carlin Crazy

I have been just absorbed by books this week. Four books and two audiobooks in one week! Somehow my bookworm side was tired of being ignored and would no longer take it.

Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
Napalm and Silly Putty, More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
These two audiobooks are wonderful. They’re mostly bits of his from his shows and albums, but this time he reads them with a calmer voice and as more of the thinker that he is. I love them!

The Jungle Book by Rudyard KiplingThe Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
It was really nice to reread The Jungle Book after many, many years. I was first given the book at Christmas when I was in the 6th grade, and I loved it then. My favorite story of both books, not just this one, is “Rikki Tikki Tavi”. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but it was and remains my favorite story.

I do find it amusing to read it and see how much Disney sugar-coated Mowgli’s story. I think this was the first time in my life I had that realization. Now I know, Disney makes a movie, know that it’s covered in layers of sugar.
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book is sadly a case of watching the movie and noticing in the credits that it was based off the book. Yet again, I have to say that The Book Was Better. There are certain aspects of the book that I can understand being left out. But there was so much more that was conveyed better by the book than the film. It was an amazing film. It is one that I will still be able to fully enjoy after reading the book because it was adapted well, but I do wish I had read the book first. The ending of the book was much better than the movie, in my honest opinion. I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Go and read it and watch the movie for yourself!
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Babe in Boyland by Jody GehrmanBabe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
“I need to come up with the most amazing article ever. I know! I’ll become a boy for a week and go to the local boys academy.” That is the premise for this whole book. And you know what, it’s great! This is a great book for all teenagers, boys and girls. Although I can see more girls reading this than guys. But it’s a great book that gives you a good perspective on the opposite gender, no matter what your gender is. I’m almost 30 and it reminded me to simply be myself and not let the expectations of my gender determine who I am. It is a wonderful read.
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The Red Tent by Anita DiamanatThe Red Tent by Anita Diamanat
I loved this book from the moment the audiobook began. This is my first time actually reading the book. It is just as wonderful. It gives you a whole new way of looking at the Old Testament and gives you a better context to put it in.

A look back at April, May, and June

Yeah. Somehow I forgot to post this for three months! I guess I was so focused on getting the SBC done that I totally forgot. Well, it’s done now and I’m not even trying with the SuBC. I’m personally going to keep track of what would fit where, but I doubt I’m going to bother with the challenges again. No matter how hard I try I just can’t get it finished. So I’m simply going to read for me and enjoy myself.

Anyway, here’s my book breakdown for the past three months:
April
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 4: Out of the Ashes by Keiji Nakazawa
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
Ranma 1/2 Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi
Peach Fuzz Vol. 2 by Cibos & Hodges
Legends of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 1 by Barbara Randall Kesel
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour by Brian Lee O’Malley
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

May
Feed by Mira Grant
Wide Awake by David Levithan
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer
Deadline by Mira Grant

June
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Blackout by Mira Grant
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 5: The Never-Ending War by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 6: Writing the Truth by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 7: Bones into Dust by Keiji Nakazawa

Now I get to sit back and read whatever I want at whatever speed I want. Yay!

I surrender

I tried. I just can’t do it. I finished The Hobbit on Friday (post will hopefully be up soon). There is no way in the world I can get a 700+ page book finished by Saturday. Not with work and class and everything else. But I got everything else done. I am happy. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue to do the challenges. While they are fun, I just don’t have the time to get all those books read. Also there are a lot of books that I want to read that just don’t fit into the tasks. So I think I’m just going to sit back and relax and bury myself in the books I really want to get read. Granted, if it looks like I can actually get a challenge completed, I’ll go for it. But I don’t see that happening for a while.

Hope

I have hope that I can get the SBC finished!  I finished The Yiddish Policeman’s Union the other day.  I started The Hobbit Tuesday.  Yesterday Blackout came in at the library and I started that.  If I can finish it this weekend, and don’t take too long to finish The Hobbit, I might have enough time to get His Dark Materials finished before the end of the month!  Yay!

Finished! Catch-22

Synopsis from Goodreads:

At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war. His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he is committed to flying, he is trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

Review:
That is an interesting book. There’s only one way to truly describe it. It is a book about the insanity of war. It really reminding me of M*A*S*H. The ridiculous, the serious, the funny, the depressing. It’s all rolled together into one cohesive view of war.
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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Rating: 4 stars

Progress

I am so glad I took a break on Catch-22. I’m really getting back into it and I might be able to get it done by Monday. That would be wonderful! It would leave me with just 4 books to read next month, and I know I’ll blow through Blackout. I just don’t know if I’ll be reading our copy or seeing if the library has it.

Finished! Flowers for Algernon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Following his doctor’s instructions, engaging simpleton Charlie Gordon tells his own story in semi-literate “progris riports.” He dimly wants to better himself, but with an IQ of 68 can’t even beat the laboratory mouse Algernon at maze-solving:

I dint feel bad because I watched Algernon and I lernd how to finish the amaze even if it takes me along time.

I dint know mice were so smart.

Algernon is extra-clever thanks to an experimental brain operation so far tried only on animals. Charlie eagerly volunteers as the first human subject. After frustrating delays and agonies of concentration, the effects begin to show and the reports steadily improve: “Punctuation, is? fun!” But getting smarter brings cruel shocks, as Charlie realizes that his merry “friends” at the bakery where he sweeps the floor have all along been laughing at him, never with him. The IQ rise continues, taking him steadily past the human average to genius level and beyond, until he’s as intellectually alone as the old, foolish Charlie ever was–and now painfully aware of it. Then, ominously, the smart mouse Algernon begins to deteriorate…

Review:
That was amazing. Where to start? Poor Charlie. He wanted so bad to be smart. And he was. It was just too much too fast. Then, being the one to figure out that you are going to regress and when and how fast just makes it worse.
One thing I found interesting was how he talked about ‘Charlie’ like he was another person. It made me wonder how he referred to himself.
In the end, I understand why he decided to go. He wanted to be somewhere he could feel safe and good about himself. At least he made the decision himself, and he’s hopefully reached the lowest point he’s going to reach.
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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys
Rating: 5 stars

Finished! Beloved

Beloved by Toni MorrisonSynopsis from Goodreads:

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, bur eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.

Review:
This book makes so much sense when read. Her writing style in this book is simply confusing in audiobook form. All the time changes and the perspective changes just get confusing.

This is an interesting book. It is a book about… a lot of things. It is a book about slavery. About life after slavery. About escaping from slavery. About family. About motherhood. About being a protective parent. About children. About siblings. About love. About Life. It is a fiction book set around the civil war with a mysterious young woman.

Spoiler Alert!

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Beloved by Toni Morrison
Rating: 4 stars
SBC: Read a book set in a place you’ve been.