December 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

I have been terrible about posting on this blog the past few months. I don’t think I’ve done a wrap up in a few months. Sorry everyone. I plan to be better now that I upgraded my computer and everything seems to be working better. I hope it lasts.

  1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 4/5
  2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson 4/5
  3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg 4/5
  4. The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia 2/5
  5. The Birds by Daphne du Maurier 3/5
  6. Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier 2/5
  7. Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger 4/5
  8. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger 4/5
  9. Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger 4/5
  10. It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis 3/5
  11. Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis 3/5
  12. Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend 4/5
  13. Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue 1/5
  14. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis 3/5
  15. Lift and Separate by Marilyn Simon Rothstein 3/5

That’s the run down for the month. I do really hope to keep up with blogging a bit better in 2017, both for dance and reading. Ta ta for now!

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March 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

What a busy month it has been! I did a lot of reading on vacation, then I petered out. Most likely this was because I didn’t read anything spectacular. I could really use a fantastic book soon.

  1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I wrote a review of this one for the Back to the Classics 2016 Challenge 2/5
  2. The Girl from Everywhere by Heide Heilig I honestly don’t even remember this one. 3/5
  3. Starflight by Melissa Landers. Another one I don’t remember. 3/5
  4. Devonshire Scream by Laura Childs 3/5
  5. Beyond the Red by Ava Jae 3/5
  6. Driving With the Top Down by Beth Harbison 4/5
  7. Dryland by Sara Jaffe 2/5
  8. Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Isla 1/5
  9. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson 2/5
  10. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy . I liked this one better!!! 3/5
  11. Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach. 3/5
  12. The Night Charter by Sam Hawken 4/5
  13. The  Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo 4/5
  14. Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty 3/5
  15. Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor 3/5
  16. The One You Really Want by Jill Mansell 4/5
  17. Summerlost by Ally Condie. Slow start, but worth it. 4/5
  18. A Tyranny of Petticoats by Various. DNF. I still don’t enjoy short stories no matter the author. Sorry.

As I was typing the titles and ratings it was sad. Most of these I only vaguely remember reading. Maybe this is what a reading slump is for me, where I can read a good book and still not enjoy it? I hope April is better. Quality over quantity, right?

 

 

Classic Book Review: The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

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From Goodreads: “The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon” is a fascinating, detailed account of Japanese court life in the eleventh century. Written by a lady of the court at the height of Heian culture, this book enthralls with its lively gossip, witty observations, and subtle impressions. 

Lady Shonagon was an erstwhile rival of Lady Murasaki, whose novel, “The Tale of Genji,” fictionalized the elite world Lady Shonagon so eloquently relates. Featuring reflections on royal and religious ceremonies, nature, conversation, poetry, and many other subjects, “The Pillow Book” is an intimate look at the experiences and outlook of the Heian upper class, further enriched by Ivan Morris’s extensive notes and critical contextualization.

I would have never picked up this book if it weren’t for the classics challenge I’m doing. It’s a non-fiction book full of descriptions and lists (no plot) that are invaluable to those who are studying/interested in Japanese culture. That would not include me. It is also interesting to note that this book is 1/3 footnotes and definitions and there is an additional hardcover book to explain what everything means. I did not read the additional book, but I did read most of the footnotes because I actually found this book incredibly interesting. It shocks me to write that! Overall, The Pillow Book brought home to me how women born long ago are just the same as women born now. I know that sounds a bit ridiculous but I know I can think very abstractly about those who lived so far in the past. Yet, we are the same! Some of the things she was irritated by, I thought, “Yes! Me, too!” The descriptions were lovely and poetic (naturally, since she was a poetess). I was a bit surprised to read about how free they were with taking lovers. There are many mentions of when men are supposed to leave in the morning, and how they are supposed to treat a woman after. Another one of my bubbles burst. I did force myself to read at times because this isn’t a book with a plot; it’s not even a diary because it has no dates and events are mixed around as she felt like writing them. Overall, I really enjoyed this and am glad to have expanded my horizons in a way I never expected. As for recommending this book, I’m sure anyone with a love of Japan has either already read it or has it on their TBR. If it sounds interesting, give it a go.

I read this for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2016 for the category of a book by a non-white author.

September Reading Wrap Up

I rediscovered NetGalley this month and requested and got approval for a lot more books than I thought I would considering my newbie status. This can be a good thing, but in my case, it led to some reading stress.

Library Books

  • Past Perfect by Leila Sales 3/5
  • Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins 3/5
  • Rock Hard by Nalini Singh 2/5
  • Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts On the Go… by Diana Rogers 3/5

Review Books

  • Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager 5/5
  • Don’t Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager 4/5
  • The Scam by Janet Evanovich 4/5
  • Deal Breakers by Laura Lee 2/5
  • Things I’ve Said to My Children by Nathan Ripperger 3/5
  • Nick and Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder 4/5 *Written review of first three books coming this month
  • Coco and The Little Black Dress by Annemarie van Haeringen 3/5
  • The Girl’s Guide to Getting Hitched by Sophie Hart 4/5
  • Time’s Divide by Rysa Walker 5/5
  • Tea Culture: History, Traditions, Celebrations, Recipes & More by Beverly Dubrin 4/5

Audiobooks

  • Flush by Carl Hiaason 4/5
  • Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do by Tom Vanderbilt 4/5
  • How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell 3/5

Off My Shelves

  • My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten 3/5
  • Air Plants by Zenaida Sengo 4/5

Currently, I have about 6 books started and I’m not interested in any of them. I’m in a very funky mood, so we’ll see what happens in October. Happy reading!