Thursday, December 29, 2016

What I Read in December

December was a busy month, but that didn’t stop me from feeding my book addiction. Here is what I have been reading this month and what I added to my bookshelf.

What I read

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs by Caroline Knapp (borrowed from the library): A journalistic memoir in which Knapp describes her relationship with her dog Lucille and explores other people’s relationships with their dogs. This was written in the 1990s and Knapp has since died, which made me sad that there aren’t current works to read. I loved her storytelling. By the end, stories about other people and their dogs came with such frequency that I longed for the earlier part of the book where she told her own story so beautifully.

Zen Pencils-Volume Two: Dream the Impossible Dream by Gavin Aung Than (borrowed through Comics Plus Library Edition): A fun graphic work that sets famous written works and speeches to cartoon images. It’s fun to see how this artist adds story the words of others.

Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain by Dana Suskind, MD (gifted to me via Audible): An interesting exploration of brain development in young children that gave me a few ideas and made me nervous about my inability to go back raise my son from age 0 to 3 years again.

Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection by Sarah Andersen (gifted to me via Kindle): Silly cartoons about the truths of being an adult. This one is just pure fun. Read it for an afternoon of giggles.

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine de Landro (purchased at Book Riot Live in November): A graphic novel in which non-conforming women are sent to another planet to serve time. I wanted to like this much more than I did. Lots of people had great things to say about this, but for me, I preferred listening to their hype more than actually reading it.

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline (borrowed from the library): This was the December selection in my book club. It started off slow, but got rolling about 100 pages in (more than I would have given it had it not been a book club pick). However, I was stunned at the number of writing and editing issues in this book. It definitely needed more work before publishing.

Currently reading

The Dinner by Herman Koch (borrowed audiobook from the library): This is my book club’s January selection. I am listening to it because only the audiobook was available at the library, and I am so happy it worked out this way. The narrator is dynamite. He has a pleasant tone, uses all the right emphases and inflections, paces his reading powerfully, and changes his voice subtly and perfectly when characters speak in the story. I don’t listen to audiobooks often, but this one is making me rethink that decision.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline (received for free from BookBrowse in exchange for review): This historical fiction tells the story of the woman in Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World. I was already swooning at the language in the prologue and, so far, the story is delivering exactly what I expected.

What I acquired

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson: I borrowed and read this book last month in the Comics Plus Library Edition app. I am super excited to have my very own copy to re-read again and again thanks to a Christmas present from my fellow unicorn-loving, book-loving, copy editor friend. (Coincidentally, I gave her the same thing.)

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly: This is the February selection in my book club, and it was already on my wishlist, so I am excited about this pick. It wasn’t available through my library, so I went ahead and ordered the hardcover for myself.

How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics by Eugenia Cheng: This one hasn’t arrived as of the time of writing this, but it is on its way. I heard about it on a podcast and added it to my wishlist. I found a used hardcover copy on Alibris for $1.99 (plus $3.99 shipping), so I ordered it. I suspect it might pair nicely with Hidden Figures.

Your turn

What books have you loved (or not loved) lately? What do you have your eye on?

Disclaimer: I have used Amazon affiliate links throughout this post. Should you choose to buy something through those links, they will send me a small fee, which I will likely add to my book fund. Thank you.

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