Reading inbox-outbox: Week of 25 May

Here’s what’s been going on in my book-life this week…

Inbox (books acquired)

  • The Swimmer by Joakim Zander (Kindle) — I mentioned in last week’s post that I saw this book from Nancy Pearl’s summer reading recommendations and thought it looked interesting. When I added it to my wish list, I realized it was only $1.99. So I grabbed it and added it to my vacation reading TBR. It’s being blurbed as a thriller / mystery / spy novel along the lines of John Le Carré. Plus, there’s the title…

Outbox (books finished)

  • Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (special edition hardcover, signed) — This was the featured book in my most recent Powell’s Indiespensible subscription box. It’s a thriller, sort-of, about a girl whose survivalist father takes her into the woods and convinces her that the rest of humanity is gone and they are the only two left. But, of course, that’s not the truth. None of the characters are particularly “likeable,” and in that way, I imagine it’s probably very similar to Gone Girl (which I haven’t read).
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Kindle) —  Oh, man. This book. I really loved this book. Everyone says it’s “post-apocalyptic,” but the story seems to equally straddle the “before” and “after” of the world-changing event. It’s not told in a linear fashion, and it’s not a really “plot-driven” book. It reads more like literary fiction. The world-building and characters are fantastic. This imagined future feels very realistic, but also hopeful in a way unlike most other books in this genre. I have so many favorite bits in this book. For example, the very first line: “The king stood in a pool of blue light, unmoored.” But I won’t share all my favorite parts because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it. I’ll only say that, besides the first line, the part of the story referred to in the title may be my favorite thing.
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (paperback) — I just finished this story this morning. I love the art and the humor. The main characters are so well done. I especially love Nimona. I love that the author made her complicated and imperfect and more of an anti-hero than the traditional fantasy heroine. She seeks out the “bad guy” and convinces him to allow her to become his sidekick. I love how she calls him “boss” even though she is pretty much the one coming up with the plans. And I love the complicated relationship between the “bad guy” knight and the “good guy” knight, and how there are “rules” and an institution that governs how they “fight.” Lumberjanes (by the same author) is good, but this is better.

Queue (what I’m reading next)

  • I put together a reading list for June… I may not stick to it, but here’s the current plan:
  • Of those, the very next thing I’ll be reading is probably The Innocents Abroad, because the work book club discussion is on Friday. I probably won’t be able to go, but I’d like to read it anyway because it’s Mark Twain and he’s one of my favorites.

And that’s it for my birthday month. That went by fast! According to my stats, it turned out to be a pretty good month for reading…

May reading stats

  • Total books finished: 9 (5 novels and 4 comic trades)
  • Favorite book read: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Favorite comic read: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  • Book(s) read by diverse authors (per my 2015 reading project): Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Somehow I’ve read almost as many books so far this year as I read in all of last year. My goal was to average a book a week this year, but I’m well ahead of that, even if you don’t count the comics trades I’ve been reading. Maybe it’s just my commute, or maybe I’m just in story-absorption mode right now. I’m writing as well, not as fast as I’d like, but I’m making progress. Still, I don’t think that if I slowed down my reading pace it would make more time for writing. I think my creative brain is just hungry right now. So, I guess I’ll just keep feeding it.


(Reminder: the format for my weekly inbox/outbox posts was adopted from Book Riot’s weekly column of the same name…)