what i read : june to september 2012

November 9, 2012

It hasn’t been the best of weeks around here, mainly because my beloved uncle is in the neuro ICU with a brain bleed caused by a fall and worsened by his underlying liver failure. We’d love your prayers. 

So today let’s talk about books, because books make me happy.


I read 21 books from June to September, which is about right as far as my pace goes, and half of those were audiobooks. Here, in a sentence or two, is what I thought of them. (I’m not going to summarize, but the links go to Goodreads.)

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: Short and touching, I appreciated it even more once I found out the main character is a Christ figure. (audiobook, 4 stars)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Funny, silly, and kind of hard to keep track of what’s going on. (audiobook, 4 stars)

Nicholas & Alexandra by Robert K. Massie: I superfan loved this history of the last Romanov family. (5 stars)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente: Read by the author, who sounded bored with her own book, and thus I was sort of bored. (audiobook, 3 stars)

Sabriel by Garth Nix: A seriously amazing and unique YA fantasy that was a little overly descriptive but still one of the best I’ve read. (audiobook, 4 stars)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Depressing without being depressing, sad but also hopeful. You gotta get used to the narrative style but I loved all the characters so much. (5 stars)

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan: A decent children’s fantasy, nothing too deep going on but fun. (audiobook, 3 stars)

William Shakespeare: The World As Stage by Bill Bryson: I read Bill Bryson for his personality and wit, which was completely absent from this straightforward biography. (audiobook, 2 stars)

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larsen: I learned a lot, but the focus was so narrow that it was overly detailed and dragged. (3 stars)

Lirael by Garth Nix: The sequel to Sabriel and perhaps even better. (audiobook, 4 stars)

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: A classic that was surprisingly witty. Engaging secondary characters, tons of symbolism. (4 stars)

The Burning Bridge (Ranger’s Apprentice #2) by John Flanagan: Started out slow, good toward the end. Not really feeling this series anymore though. (audiobook, 3 stars)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz: Surprised to learn after the fact that this won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The whole thing revolved around getting it on, was super coarse and sexual. I did like the sweeping epic family history aspect. (3 stars)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Really enjoyed this sweet, nostalgic, coming-of-age story, even though it dealt with about a million different heavy issues. (4 stars)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Not my normal fare, and the characters were terrible people, but it was a page turner for reals. (5 stars)

A World Without Heroes (Beyonders #1) by Brandon Mull: We’ve got a good old-fashioned quest going on here. (audiobook, 3 stars)

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach: I was extremely inspired by this memoir/cookbook/self-help book about sitting down to family dinner. (4 stars)

The Looking Glass Wars #1 by Frank Beddor: This was a random library pick that I was pleased with. A fun spin on the classic Alice In Wonderland story. (audiobook, 4 stars)

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie: My first Christie, and turns out they’re perfect to listen to. Kept me guessing till the end. I want more. (audiobook, 4 stars)

Posted in: books & reading, books & reading, what i read

Comments on what i read : june to september 2012

  1. 1

    From Karlene:

    Haha. I
    Read Gone Girl recently and agree. Crazy characters ( and too much cussing for me) but couldn’t put it down once I got into it. Lol

  2. 2

    From kapachino:

    Agreed, I prefer less bad language in a book but it was for book club and I got hooked!

  3. 3

    From Emily:

    I just got finished reading Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. I intend to read The Age of Innocence. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. The title interested me and then your review didn’t sound like it would be interesting at all! I guess you can’t judge a book by its title. ;)

  4. 4

    From kapachino:

    To be fair, a friend of mine read Girl Who Circumnavigated… and she loved it, and I trust her taste. I think I would have liked it much better if I had read it instead of listened to it.

  5. 5

    From Suburban Sweetheart:

    Good grief! Impressive. I have been AWFUL about reading lately. I did just buy a different book by the author of Gone Girl, though, & I’m looking forward to getting started on it.

  6. 6

    From kapachino:

    My husband read her other books and he said he actually liked them better! So they’re on my list now.

  7. 7

    From Becca:

    I want to read Dinner: A love story. Any additional thoughts on that one? Is it worth my very precious, almost non-existent free time? You know how I am about putting a meal on the table for my family. Maybe it would just be redundant. Or affirming? Thoughts?

  8. 8

    From kapachino:

    Becca, I think you would really like it. There is something for everyone in it and it’s really encouraging. Lots of recipes too. Because of that and all the photos it is actually a really quick read. I would suggest getting it from the library and you can thumb through it to see if it’s something you’re interested in. Also it’s easy to put down and pick back up again, so it would fit in with your life. :) I would actually like to own it because it’s so pretty and I think I’d refer back to it! Definitely check it out.

  9. 9

    From Nora:

    Way to go on the reading. That’s amazing. Gone Girl… oof. I liked it and also hated it at the same time. Such an odd book. Kind of not digging the fact that it’s going to be a movie. Is it possible to write a novel and not turn it into a movie?

    Anyway; you have a lot of books on here I’ve never even heard of so thanks for sharing :)

  10. 10

    From kapachino:

    You are so right about the books-to-movie thing! It’s kind of annoying. I guess it does make sense from the producers’ point of view since the books already have a ready-made fanbase though.

    I did read a lot this summer but I’ve slacked off a lot in the last couple months. These things ebb and flow!

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