While on my quest to read novels strictly for funsies, I also have a list of books I need to read this semester for academic reasons. If I’m looking at gender in young adult literature, I’m always reading/hearing about certain novels. They come up again and again in conversation and journal articles. Most of them appeared in articles I read for one of my papers on gender identity in young adult literature in the fall semester. I figure that I’ll need to have them all in my mental arsenal of knowledge, so I’m starting now. I’ll call this list a sort of self-directed, not-for-credit independent study that I’m embarking on for the spring.
1. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan — Sort of a gay high school fantasty/utopia novel that challenges stereotypical masculinity.
2. I Am J by Cris Beam — The story of a female-to-male transgender teen coming of age and coming out.
3. Ash by Malinda Lo — Like a lesbian Cinderella story.
4. Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher — Logan discovers the secret of the girl he’s been dating: she’s male-to-female transgendered.
5. Luna by Julie Anne Peters — Regan watches her brother, Liam, transform to the beautiful Luna every night in their basement.
I’m sticking with five for the spring, which is about one book each month. I’m pretty sure that’s do-able. This is one of the reasons I love this blog: when I write my reviews, I’ll have a record of what I’ve read and my own summary of each. You never know when I’ll take those and put them in something publishable!
Can you recommend any interesting YA books about gender for my fall 2013 reads? The books I’ve chosen here look at transgender and non-traditional gender, but I’d also be interested in books that representing traditional gender in interesting ways!
Okay, kids. I’m back from my vacation and ready to get back to my blog. I read lots of books and enjoyed my time sans-internet by the lake, so I’ve got lots of reviews to write. For my June Required Reading, I already wrote my review for Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols, and my review for Envy is coming soon. There are SO MANY books in my TBR pile right now, but I thought I’d start with the book I’m picking as my required reading for July (normally I do this on the 1st of a month, but oh well!)
This month I’m only picking one book that I MUST read:
Y’all, I’m way behind in my classic challenge for this year. I challenged myself to read five, and so far I have read ZERO. I got this book a few months ago and it’s time to tackle some more Jane Austen. I’ve got an audio copy, too, so I think I’m going to read it by going back and forth between the two formats.
I also got Wuthering Heights and collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald stories, so I think I’m going to start making some progress on this classics business. I also plan to read something by Charles Dickens (Tale of Two Cities, maybe?).
Which classics do you recommend? What do you think of my choices?
Well, May was a tough blogging month for me. There wasn’t a lot of blogging, as I’ve been living my life outside of my blog. I’ve also been reading some big ole books, so I probably read more pages in May than usual…but finished fewer books overall.
I finished and reviewed the following books:
- Insurgent (Required Reading)
- Pandemonium (Required Reading)
- Explorer: The Mystery Boxes
- The Know-It All
- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
- Alice on the Outside
- The Selection
- Achingly Alice
Opinion Pieces for May:
Top Ten Tuesdays:
- Ten Ten Favorite Quotes from Books
- Top Ten Books I’d Like to See Made Into a Movie
- Top Ten Blogs/Websites I Visit That Aren’t About Books
- Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years
As always, my Top Ten Tuesday posts all had the most comments.
Coming In June:
Summertime is almost here! I’m done with work for good on June 13. I officially become a doctoral student on August 21, so I’ve got just over two months to read and blog my little heart out before the chaos begins. Summer will be a time of some fun reading. Here’s are the two books I’ve picked for June Required Reading:
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
I’ve never read a Jennifer Echols book, but I think I’m in for a great summer read! It’s a contemporary YA romance about a girl who flies planes for fun — which sounds terrifying to me, but it should be an adrenaline-filled story. (Thank you to Simon and Schuster for my review copy! To be published on July 10, 2012)
Envy by Gregg Olsen
Envy is a sort of mystery/paranormal novel with cyberbullying themes, written by the true-crime author Gregg Olsen. This one should be a nice shift from my normal fare, and I’m excited to try something a little dark. (Thank you to Sterling Publishing for my review copy!)
What were the best books you read in May? What are you planning to read in June?
I did pretty well with my April Required Reading, actually finishing both Bunheads and The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight (review will post in two weeks). I’m glad I did, too, because I needed some contemporary YA in my life However, it’s back to dystopia for the month of May! I thought I was going to have to bite the bullet and buy two more books that I’ve been waiting to read, but I think I’ve figured out ways to get both for free:
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
The sequel to Delirium. Since I got Delirium as an ebook from the public library, I’ve been waiting for this one to become available for free. No dice. All they had was the WMA audiobook, and I have a Mac. Thing wouldn’t even download to my computer. HOWEVER, Pandemonium just become available as an e-book on Overdrive! I’m #2 on the waitlist. Score! I want to know what happens Lena in The Wilds. From what I’ve gathered, this book takes the series in a direction that I’ll like and I hope I’ll like Lena more this time. We’ll see.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Dude, The Hunger Games is, like, SOOOOOO 2009. Everyone who’s anyone is reading this series now. Or something like that. Possibly a tiny bit overhyped, this is the sequel to my favorite book of 2011, Divergent. It came out on Tuesday. I’m going to be all trendy like the cool kids and read it ASAP. Dystopian war, romance, coming of age…I’m ready to see where it all goes. Luckily, I’ve got a friend who bought it and is willing to lend it to me. Again: SCORE!
What are you reading in May?
How I did in March…
Sooo, March was another disappointing month in Required Reading Land. I finished Plain Truth and loved it. However, Incarceron didn’t go so well. I gave it a good go, reading 100 pages before I gave up. I pushed that far because it was on the required list. I just didn’t quite get it and it really wasn’t my kind of book. So after not even starting Brave New World in February, I’m starting to feel like a failure.
What’s coming for April…
I am pledging to BUY and READ two new releases that I’ve been dying to buy and read for some time now. It’s time to bite the bullet and spend the $20 to get what I really want. Both of these appeared on my Spring TBR list AND my 2012 TBR list.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Two teens meet in an airport waiting area awaiting a flight to London, and the story chronicles how their lives intertwine over the next twenty-four hours. Apparently it’s like a super-cute, romantic comedy-esque love story…but with some substance. Lots of other book bloggers have loved and recommended it, so I’ve been waiting to hit the “buy” button and love it too!
Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Hannah is an nineteen-year-old ballet dancer living her dream with the Manhattan Ballet Company. But then she meets a musician who steals her heart and makes her consider giving up the structure and competition in the ballet world to live in the real world. I haven’t seen as much blogger buzz for this one, but the reviews I’ve read say it is gentle, quiet, and very good. Will gentle and quiet = boring? We’ll see.
Which books do you need to bite the bullet and buy? What’s holding you back?
Okay, I’ll start this post by hanging my head in shame. I did not finish my required reading for February. I did finish The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, and my review for that should post on Sunday. The book that brings me shame is Brave New World by Adolus Huxley. I want to read it — I promise I do! — but I’m just not in the mindset for real intense, literary, classic kind of stuff. I’m loving some adult non-fiction right now. I just finished Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica and started It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy by Laurie Notaro.Brave New World is going to have to go on the back burner for a bit.
I say I feel shame, but I promise it’s short-lived. Reading books is supposed to be fun. Even my “required” reading is supposed to be fun. So I’m going to let it go!
Here’s what I’m assigning myself for the month of March:
These are both clunkers compared to my reading last month, coming it at over 400 pages each. But I’m fairly certain that they will be quick reads once I get rolling.
1.) Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
I’ve had this one sitting on my desk, and I’m ready to take it home and devour it. From what I can gather, it is a story about a prison that is alive. The story is told in dual narrative between a boy living inside the prison and the warden’s daughter. Based on Emma’s review, I knew I had to read it (don’t worry, I only skimmed her spoilerific review).
2.) Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
I bought this one from the Border’s Buy 2, Get 1 Free table in the summer of 2009. It needs to get off my TBR shelf and into my brain. I know I’ll like it — I have terrible love for Jodi Picoult books — I just need to start it. The story is about an abandoned baby found in an Amish community, and the investigation that follows. This read will fit into my Legit Adult Fiction section of my 75 Book Challenge. WIN!
What are you reading in March? I know we all have TBR stacks the size of Russia, but what are your “must-reads”?
Even though I’m calling it Required Reading, I do want to make it clear that I give myself permission to give up on books that don’t suit my fancy (see my post on Reading Roadblocks for more on this).
However, I do like lighting the fire under my butt to finish books I own that have been sitting around the perpetual state of “unread.” Now that I’ve switched to Nook Books, it is my goal to read all of my physical books and switch for good. So this month, I’m excited to finally read these two books that are calling my name from my bookshelf:
by Carol Lynch Williams
Summary from Goodreads:
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.
I bought this one, in hardcover, from Amazon a year ago. At the time I was super excited about it, but I got distracted by other wonderful books and never picked it up. So many people have really enjoyed it, so it’s time to read it. At only 213 pages, it should be a quick read.
by Aldous Huxley
Summary from Amazon:
Aldous Huxley’s tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a “utopian” future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.
I have my mom’s old copy from the 70′s, and I’ve been meaning to read it for at least six years. Three years ago I started it, and liked it, but I walked away for some reason. It’s time to finish it! I love a good classic dystopia, and I will be counting this one as both an adult fiction novel and a classic in my 2012 reading challenges. I’m a little bit excited!
This is a short post, because it’s late, but let it be known that I did complete my January required reading. I trucked on through Oryx and Crake, because it’s an audiobook and I have to return it to the library. I can’t say all parts got 100% of my attention, but some parts were fascinating and I’m glad I finished it. Unwind was a STELLAR read, and I’m tickled that I loved it so much. I sat down to read a chunk of it this evening and tore through the whole thing.
Reviews for both are coming soon. February Required Reading will post tomorrow, and I have picked two short reads this go around. I still like the idea of clearing physical books from my TBR shelf, so I will continue to tackle two each month!
I read 50 books in 2010. I read 60 in 2011. I’m going to step it up another notch and read 75 in 2012.
I didn’t count graphic novels last year, but I will be counting them in 2012, so the GIANT number of 75 books isn’t as big a leap as it seems. I’m also making specific commitments to the sub-challenges of:
45 YA novels
20 audio books
10 adult non-fiction
10 adult fiction
Now that I’ve discovered the joy of NetGalley and the public library, I’m hoping to read lots of e-books without having to pay for them. I love my Nook and I want to read the crap out of it in 2012.
Required Reading for January
I like the idea of required reading because it forces me to read things and clear them off my shelf for good! I completed my required reading for December by reading The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. Thus another month goes by where you are not allow to tease or mock me. This month I’m going to clear two more novels from my TBR pile that have been sitting there for a long time:
That’s right, kids…it’s dystopia time! I’m going to read two dystopian novels that I’ve heard lots of good things about, but have never gotten around to actually reading.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
I bought this 16 months ago and I was so excited to read it, yet it’s been sitting on my shelf for the whole time. I loved The Handmaid’s Tale. I think what’s intimidated me about the book is the length and the density. So many YA novels are fluffy and quick to read, but this one is going to be a commitment. It will probably take me the whole thirty-one days to read.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
A much shorter novel than Oryx and Crake, so I’m hoping it will balance out my required reading. I’ve had it in my TBR pile since the fall of 2009, when I bought it from my very first book fair. Funny, many of my book fair books are the ones that go unread on my shelf. That’s why I quit buying personal books from the fair.
What are you planning to read in 2012? Any personal challenges/goals you plan to complete?
Happy December, everyone! I’ve got my Christmas decorations up and I’m ready for the chaos that the holiday season brings (not in my personal life, but at work…middle schoolers go nuts anytime the holidays or precipitation are involved).
November was a good month. I finished my required reading (this unfortunately means that you are not allowed to mock or tease me). I read six novels, three graphic novels, and six picture books. I also blogged every single day, which was my own secret challenge since I’m not disciplined enough for NaNoWriMo.
Somewhere in all the chaos I intend to do lots of reading. I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to set as my required reading. I’ve made a list of Newberry and Printz hopefuls that I want to work my way through. Luckily, the public library has many of these available as e-books and audio books. But I decided to go a different directions and clear two books out of my TBR pile that I’ve been dying to read:
Since I’m currently halfway through Anna and the French Kiss, which is about a girl attending boarding school in Paris, I thought I’d follow it up by reading The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Maureen Johnson’s novels are HILARIOUS and full of awesome (she’s John and Hank Green’s “Secret Sister”). This particular one is about a girl attending boarding school in London, and it’s a paranormal book — something a little different from Ms. Johnson. It’s required reading because it is a library book and I need to get it back on the shelf (sorry, kiddos…Miss Anderson is terrible!).
Again, you can all mock and tease me if I fail to finish the novels. Mark your calendars — if you haven’t seen a review by Jan 1, you can point and laugh all you want. Also, since it’s the end of the year I’ll be wrapping up my
52 60 Book Challenge with some lists, including my favorites reads of the year.