Winter Break Reading!!

As a college student, reading for pleasure has fallen by the wayside with the stress of tests, homework and extracurriculars. Luckily for me, I have had time during this winter break to get back in the saddle and knock some books off of my TBR list. Because I am reading, and am planning to read, some pretty fantastic books, I figured I could show case my list and share it with the entire internet. For convenience sake I have bolded the books I have finished already.

NORTHANGER ABBEY – JANE AUSTEN-  I decided to kick off break with a classic. Jane Austen is a woman and writer that I admire and every once and awhile I like to read another one of her books just to keep her in mind. Northanger Abbey is a gothic parody (or said to be) about Catherine, a young lady who goes to visit friends in Bath and ends up having some excellent adventures and of course falls in love, but not without some misfortune.

CUCKOO’S CALLING – ROBERT GALBRAITH- Robert Galbraith is not who you think he is, unless you happen to think that he is J.K. Rowling in which case you are right and I shouldn’t even need to tell you why this was on my reading list. Cuckoo’s Calling is about a private detective (Cormoran Strike) and he accidental assistant (Robin). In this adventure, the duo is investigating a supermodel whose brother believes that her death was not the suicide it was classified as. Honestly this series has had me very focused for most of break, it’s a thriller I could not put down.

HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE – ANNE BEREST- You may recognize the name of this book from my summer reading list because I have been waiting just that long to get to it. This book was a nice little break from the high speed world of crime that Jo Rowling has gotten me so deep into. This is just a few style tips and life lesson after the influence of the French. If only I wasn’t so gosh darn bad at language classes maybe I’d be a more successful Parisian.

ASKING FOR IT – LOUISE O’NEILL- WOWIE this book was Intense. I was drawn in by the cover and the title (yes, I judge), but I stayed for the whole ride and boy was I glad I did. Asking For It follows Emma through some regular high school trials and through a party that changes her life and not for the better. The reason I liked this book was that it felt raw and real and honestly a little bit terrifying and you don’t always get that in YA Lit. Although the ending was a little ambiguous, I think this book is worth the read and I’m going to be looking out for more by Louise O’Neill in the future. TW RAPE

THE SILKWORM – ROBERT GALBRAITH- Well if I read the first one I have to read the next two, now I am invested. The Silkworm is again about Robin and Strike, but this time they are hired (well really they take this client for free) to find an author that stormed out on his family. One thing leads to another and Strike spends most of the novel trying to tie together the clues that the author left behind. I can’t say too much because no spoilies but I can tell you I went straight to the bookstore after I finished it to pick up the next one (Career of Evil) which I will be reading promptly.

THE NEW JIM CROW – MICHELLE ALEXANDER- I have never read anything by this author but I am really looking forward to this read. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness sheds a light on how the racism isn’t gone, it’s just been redesigned. Looking forward to the next four years, I think education on the social issues is more important than it has ever been.

HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE – JENNIFER NIVEN- As many of you know Jennifer Niven’s debut novel is one of my favorite books, All the Bright Places stole my heart. Because of All the Bright Places, Holding Up The Universe automatically made it’s way on my list. From what I understand two out of place teens are going to find themselves and each other and high school will probably suck less for both of them because of it. But Niven has taken high school scenarios to completely different levels before and I’m really counting on her to do it again.

THE STORYTELLER – JODI PICOULT – Lastly, (for this post, my TBR list is longer than my lifespan) I chose a Jodi Picoult because she is reliable and I can trust her to tell a great and emotional story. The Storyteller happens when a young woman befriends an old man and one day he asks her to kill him. Were the mistakes of his past worth ending his life as an old man? I don’t know yet but I am certainly going to find out!

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Summer Reading

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If you’re looking for a fun summer pastime you have come to the right place. Reading is something I will never get sick of, and like many other people out there, I have a summer reading list. Because June is over, meaning that summer is quite underway, I have already gotten through a couple of the books and I will hopefully get through the rest before I move into my new apartment in August.

The list is as follows:

  1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  2. The Knockoff
  3. How to be Parisian Wherever You Are
  4. Summer Days and Summer Nights
  5. The Unexpected Everything
  6. The Cuckoo’s Calling

I know, I know, this list doesn’t seem unattainable. It probably isn’t but I would like you to keep in mind some books are series (The Girl Who Played With Fire / The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), sometimes I add books as soon as I find out they exist (The Unexpected Everything ), and sometimes books I feel like I need to read to get better at something in life (The Photographer’s Eye / Unofficial Guide to GoPro).

 

I have made a bit of progress in my list so far. I’ve finished Stieg Larson’s first of the trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and I’m halfway through the second book. I actually tried to read this series once before in high school but couldn’t get into it. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This time around I finished the first book in two days. I get why they were so popular a few years ago, these books are intelligent and well written. I can’t read them fast enough. Larson is a genius.

Also in my done pile is Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza’s book, The Knockoff. There were a couple reasons I didn’t love this book. I think number one might just be that I read it in the wake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and may have been suffering a bit of a book hangover. The other reason I had kind of a qualm with this one was it seemed to demonize technology and make millennials out to be a little bit crazy. I might be biased though because of my millennial tendencies. Needless to say, this was no Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

I’m about half way through How to Be Parisian…, it kind of took a back seat once I started the Millennium Trilogy.

The other three books I picked based on past reading material. Summer Days and Summer Nights seemed like a great summer read, first of all. Secondly, I really loved the My True L0ve Gave to Me Christmas short stories put together by the same person, the lovely Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss. I chose The Unexpected Everything because Morgan Matson is the bomb.com. She has never once disappointed me, even when I doubted the future of YA literature. If you pick up Second Chance Summer, Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour, or Since You’ve Been Gone you will not be disappointed. I am very excited to read this one. My last pick is Cuckoo’s Calling simply because J.K. Rowling. I don’t feel as though I need to say more.

So, whether you are just trying to squeeze in some reading on break at work or looking for something to take with you while you sunbathe, I stand by my list.