Reading update, May 2015

I’m using two book lists as inspiration and challenge to myself this year and I’m keeping track of what I’ve read via Goodreads, even though it doesn’t include some of the indie books I find. See last update

I had a really slow start to this month. And a very busy end of the month, so I don’t feel like I read very much. But, what was read was wonderful!

1. How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens

Publish by my friend Joanne Merriam via Upper Rubber Boots. She does a lot of poetry (she’s a poet), but I’m a big short story fan, so I’m always excited when URB publishes an anthology. This one is definitely my all time favourite! It had so many great stories (and some really great poetry). I wrote a separate blog post about it because I loved it so much.

Both lists: A book published this year – Self explanatory.

2. Vincent

By the time I discovered the existence of graphic novels about two of my favourite artists, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find them in Canada (purchasing and shipping from the States is really expensive). Thankfully, I found both at Chapters. Vincent (about Vincent van Gogh) is the first of them. It’s a short, but lovely look at his final years. I really liked how Stok (and illustrator/author) illustrated how he saw the world and used his art as inspiration for the last few panels.

PopSugar list: A graphic novel – Self explanatory.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book with a blue cover – Self explanatory.  Though, I do have another book that I had in mind when I first saw this criteria, so maybe I’ll be reading a second book based on it’s cover colour.

3. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

I love Knisley’s books! If you aren’t familiar with her. she does really lovely illustrated autobiographical books (as well as illustrations and comics, which  is how I first discovered her). This book is about her life-long love of food. It has lots of great stories and she includes a relevant illustrated recipe with each chapter.

PopSugar list: A book written by someone under 30 – I’m sort of cheating on this one. The author is 30 this year, but she was under thirty when she wrote this book.

Bringing Up Burns list: [none]

4. The Crow Road

As previously mentioned, I picked this book purely because of it’s great (and very intriguing) first line: “It was the day my grandmother exploded.” While the “explosion” was a bit of a let down, the book was very good. It’s a family drama, murder mystery type of novel with interesting and engaging characters. But, man they drank and did drugs a lot. Maybe I’m just too straight laced, but sometimes I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and being distracted by how much my liver hurt just thinking about how much they drank.

PopSugar list: A book with a love triangle – A love triangle that almost resulted in a broken relationship between two brothers in a dwindling family.

Bringing Up Burns list: A book with a great first line – As mentioned above, I picked this book to match this criteria.

***

In progress:

I just started Choose Wisely, another anthology from Upper Rubber Books and the first story had me hooked. It was a fresh look at a very regulated society and it reminded me of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

I’m still reading My Paris Kitchen, which is part stories, part cooking/ingredient advice, and part recipes (so, sort of like a more serious and less illustrated version of Relish). It’s a very big book, but I really enjoyed reading the first tiny 3% several weeks ago, so I want to get through more of it. I have been skimming (and sometimes outright skipping) some sections because they just aren’t relevant to me (for example, I only eat fish for meat, so I typically skip over meat related sections in cookbooks, though sometimes I read them out of interest). It’s been slow because it’s been so big and I’ve been distracted by other things.

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