Book Chat

Reading Log: October 2015

Another month passed swiftly. I had a streak of great books all in a row and it made this month such a treat. Dipping back into YA with a splash more romance than I usually go for was a fun escape. Bring on the cozy reading weather!

Below is my Reading Log for October 2015, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!

October 2015

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SFF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft

Title Start Finish Grade/

Format

Genre
Invincible Louisa,
by Cornelia Meigs
8/4/15 Still Reading TBD
PB
CL
Ready Player One,
by Ernest Cline
9/1/15 10/4/15 A
LB
SFF
Three Wishes,
by Liane Moriarty
9/21/15 10/15/15 A+
AB
F
Lovable Livable Home: How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You,
by John and Sherry Petersik
9/29/15 10/14/15 A
HB
C
Drama,
by Raina Telgemeier
10/4/15 10/5/15 A
LB
YA
This One Summer,
by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
10/5/15 10/10/15 A
LB
YA
The Royal We,
by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
10/7/15 10/30/15 A
K
F
A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space,
by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman
10/10/15 10/10/15 C+
LB
C
Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love,
by Blair Stocker
10/11/15 10/13/15 B+
LB
C
Carry On,
by Rainbow Rowell
10/14/15 Still Reading TBD
HB
YA
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood,
by Marjane Satrapi
10/15/15 10/18/15 A
LB
YA
P.S. I Still Love You,
by Jenny Han
10/19/15 10/25/15 A+
LB
YA
The Husband’s Secret,
by Liane Moriarty
10/19/15 Still Reading TBD
AB
F
Ivy & Bean (Book 1),
by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall
10/22/15 10/22/15 A
K
CL
Kristy’s Great Idea: Full-Color Edition (The Baby-Sitter’s Club Graphix #1),
by Anne M. Martin and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
10/25/15 10/25/15 A
LB
YA

Thoughts:

Invincible Louisa, by Cornelia Meigs – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // August 2015 Reading Log

Still reading… or at least I intend to, but I haven’t actually picked it up this month.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline – A

The Amateur Librarian // September 2015 Reading Log

A fun ride! The future looks bleak as everyone around the globe is mesmerized by an immersive, interactive cyber world called Oasis so they can avoid reality, and our hero is no different. He’s obsessed with an elaborate virtual treasure hunt within Oasis, with the grand prize being immense wealth and control over the entire cyber world. The prose was pretty straightforward, and it took me a while to jump in but it was a fun adventure once it got going. Everything revolves around 80’s pop culture, so that was also fun (although I hear the author is being labeled a one-trick pony since his second book is also about 80’s pop culture) and I’ve also heard it called “nostalgia porn” which is probably not far off. Not too deep but very enjoyable – and I will definitely check out the movie, directed by Steven Spielberg (although rumor has it he will not mention his own work from the 80s, boo!). This book has plenty of buzz, obviously, and for the most part I think it’s well-deserved.

Three Wishes, by Liane Moriarty – A+

 The Amateur Librarian // September 2015 Reading Log

Liane Moriarty is the master of modern women’s fiction (aka chick lit) – I can’t help but jump on the bandwagon, I just love her characters so much! Whatever the setup, I get sucked into their worlds and can’t stop thinking about them… and I cried actual tears and laughed out loud way too much in the car while listening to this audiobook. Triplets Gemma, Cat, and Lyn are turning 34 but their lives are becoming increasingly complicated and entwined… but really, it doesn’t even matter what the details are, it was just fun to get to know all the characters and find out what happened next. As soon as I finished this one, I immediately put another audiobook on hold.. crossing my fingers the next narrator is also Australian because the accent made it even better.

Lovable Livable Home: How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You, by John and Sherry Petersik – A

 The Amateur Librarian // September 2015 Reading Log

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I miss YHL so much! I haven’t been able to find another home design blog to fill their friendly, bright, inspiring void at all. The second book was better than the first – still full of DIY projects, but more design theory and problem-solving rounded it out. It helped that they moved beyond their own family and into others’ homes to find creative solutions to common problems. And of course, it was as beautifully photographed and laid out as expected. The best part was meeting John and Sherry at the Southern Festival of Books – as Sherry says, you gotta do you, boo!

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier – A

The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log 

In this love letter to theatre, a middle schooler deals with friendships and feelings while participating backstage at a school play. I’m still on my graphic novel kick, and I loved the colorful characters and how the illustrations amplified the familiar pre-teen emotions. I never had much to do with theatre in school, but I imagine this is an accurate portrayal of the personalities and process of a production – and now I wish I been more involved (although the hazing of Thespian Society freshmen at my high school scared me away and probably still would today, honestly). It’s on the banned books list because a few characters are gay, but it’s treated in a matter-of-fact way that seems pretty realistic for today’s kids. I found Raina Telgemeier because she’s done graphic novelizations of the Babysitter’s Club novels so of course I had to check them out… and while I’m waiting for one to become available at the library, I grabbed this to tide me over. I’m officially a fan!

This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki – A

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

A snapshot of one summer in the lives of two girls – Rose is dealing with her parents’ fighting and trying to grow up too soon, and Windy is clinging to their childhood friendship. This is a young adult graphic novel and touches on some painfully poignant aspects of the transition from childhood to adolescence that are probably more uncomfortable for an adult than an actual young adult. The illustrations were gorgeous and evocative, and the dialogue was simple but effective. As I get older I’m sure I’m more nostalgic about my childhood than I was ten years ago when I was closer to those memories, and this story challenged those fond memories with a shot of reality. It’s difficult to witness two characters gradually lose their innocence as they grapple with adult problems they don’t understand, since we all know that adulthood creeps in whether you think you’re ready (Rose) or not (Windy).

The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan – A

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

An American student studying abroad falls in love with an English prince… and apart from a few details, their story follows the same broad strokes of Will and Kate’s romance. So much fun! It started slow for me, but everyone I know who has read this one raved about it, and about halfway through I was officially obsessed. The behind-the-scenes look at royalty and celebrity was a fun roller coaster, although it was also surprisingly sad. Even though it seems like you already know the ending, it was still a fun roller coaster and managed a satisfying ending. I was actually felt pretty bereft when it was all over, with quite a reading hangover for a couple days.

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space, by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman – C+

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

Beautiful but empty, unfortunately. The design advice is minimal and the projects are very cute but they lean toward the crafty (but not in a good way…) and it’s questionable how long they would actually last. The instructions were also very vague if you actually wanted to complete any of the projects. (Make a loom to weave your own placemats by nailing some nails into a wooden picture frame! How many nails? How far apart? What kind of yarn do you need?  How do you make designs? Who knows?!). The pictures were beautiful and young and fun, just like the Beautiful Mess blog, but I’m glad I checked this one out of the library.

Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love, by Blair Stocker – B+

The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

Another beautiful DIY book, this time focused on repurposing old items (thrift store finds, fabric scraps, and natural objects per the subtitle), but the projects were a bit hit-or-miss for me. Some crafts looked like something I would actually make (picnic blanket with a shower liner for water protection), while others just looked like a lot of unnecessary work (leather covered rocks), and others are so common on Pinterest that they didn’t feel unique ideas at all (bunting, dip-dyed dishes, etc.). I do love the author’s style and blog, so although I probably won’t be buying this one, I’m glad I checked it out of the library for a couple cozy afternoons flipping through it.

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

Still reading. Such a cozy read, like an old friend I never knew I had! Rainbow Rowell’s latest is super meta and hurts my head if I try to think too hard about it, but it’s awesome. Her previous book Fangirl featured a Harry Potter-esque series that the main character Cath wrote fan fiction about, and now Carry On is the 8th book in that fictional series, except it’s the fanfic version that Cath wrote pairing up the hero and villain. Confused yet? I try to forget the origin and just savor every bit.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi – A

The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

Spare but poignant and funny, a classic graphic novel about the history of the Iran-Iraq war through the eyes of a child. Much like other historical movements, for the ordinary citizens it was difficult to see the big picture of how the country was changing little by little until it becomes what it is today. It ends on such a tearjerker moment that I immediately put the sequel on my library hold list.

P.S. I Still Love You, by Jenny Han – A+

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

So good! This sequel picked up right after To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before left off, and it gave me all the feels. Lara Jean left one love triangle for another, but she’s such a likeable and realistic character that her story feels very real. Jenny Han is great at the little details – from sister relationships, social media perils, and high school shenanigans, down to outfits and baked goods (seriously, this book made me so hungry!). I don’t think there are plans for a third book, but I would read it in a heartbeat. I just love Lara Jean, her family, and her drama… the boys are nice too, but you never feel like that’s what it’s all about.

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

Still reading. I’m binge-listening to Liane Moriarty now, I can’t help it. The Australian narrator is PERFECT and I’m enjoying the characters just as much as all her others.

Ivy & Bean (#1), by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall – A

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

Sweet story about the budding friendship between two girls – the first in a long series perfect for young readers. A more modern version of the Frog and Toad books, perhaps. I’ve heard lots of great things about this series, so I snapped up the ebook when I saw a sale. Plus, I’m always interested to see how picture books are translated to ebook format.

 

Kristy’s Great Idea: Full-Color Edition (The Baby-Sitter’s Club Graphix #1), by Anne M. Martin and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier – A

The Amateur Librarian // October 2015 Reading Log

What a trip down memory lane! I can see how some people might lament graphic novelizations of beloved childhood books, but I’m a big fan. The story holds up pretty well (the only references that stood out were the mention of G.I. Joe and Rainbow Brite, and the complete lack of cell phones) and the characters still shine through.  So much fun.

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of October.  I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

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2 thoughts on “Reading Log: October 2015

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