Saturday, November 19, 2016

My 8 Favorite Books of the past 18 months

Since I last wrote a blog post, I:

1) Finished my first year of teaching

This is my favorite video to show first year teachers. It is SO FUNNY when you've hit a level of tired and stress that has you rethinking all of your life choices. 

2) Got married

Because it's important to maintain your dedication to stress during those summer months.

3) Bought a house

Print on Etsy
The start to a new school year is an exciting, challenging time for everyone. I chose to do it on hard mode and close on a home and move because who would want to ACTUALLY feel less stressed during the start of their second year teaching? Clearly not me, that's who.

4) Performed in 3 plays

 Gretchen in Boeing Boeing got me through the beginning of school.

 Josie in Proposals helped me survive winter.

And Dodie in Wild Mushrooms helped me feel really, really smart in April.

5) And of course, read 74 books

From Thrive Magazine

But I'm not going to tell you about all 78 because that would be ridiculous. I'm just going to pick my 8 favorites and tell you the tiniest of bits about them. 

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
science fiction

Reading this book is like playing a video game, but with more jokes. It reads a bit like a Joss Whedon movie/TV show. I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Wil Wheaton, who incidentally has been elected President of the USA in the book. Delightful, best selling, award-winning science fiction. I can't believe it took me this long to read it.

Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
dystopian science fiction

Everyone says this book is basically a cross between The Hunger Games and Ender's Game, and that's really what you need to know. I thought the first quarter was the most boring and depressing thing I had ever read, but eventually I pushed through it and got to the arena and then I stopped talking to the world until I finished the book. Dystopian science fiction

A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas
fantasy, romance

This is the second book but is so much better than the first book I wish I could tell you to just skip the first book but you need the context. So I guess we start with A Court of Thorns and Roses, which is basically a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but with faeries. Then A Court of Mist and Fury takes all of that world building, shakes it up, dives deeper, and gives you way more interesting characters and plot. I gobbled this book up and cannot wait for the third book. 

How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran
nonfiction - feminism

I like to think of this book as a how-to guide to be a good person in the modern world. How to love yourself and all the women around you, and how to discuss what feminism is. It's both hilarious and poignant, and gives a rallying cry to the modern woman about why feminism is still important. 

I stumbled onto this book through Emma Watson's Feminist Book Club - Our Shared Shelf. And while I have fallen off the wagon pretty hard with keeping up on these books, every single one has been excellent. The group seems to now do one book every two months, which gives me a prayer of actually finishing them in time. 

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

First, Rainbow Rowell wrote Fangirl. In Fangirl, the main character was writing her final fan fiction of the Simon Snow series. She also starts her first year of college and falls in love and whatever, but readers loved the Simon Snow chapters so much that Rainbow Rowell decided to write that book as well. Simon Snow is basically Harry Potter, and the fanfiction created a world in which the Harry Potter character fell in love with his arch nemesis, the Draco Malfoy character. I am not selling this book well, because I thought the premise was likely going to be stupid. I love Harry Potter. Carry On felt like reading a brand new Harry Potter book, but also totally different. I....I....I..... love it more than Cursed Child, which didn't even make it on this list because I can't decide how I feel about it.

I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
Young Adult fiction

I read that this book was for fans of Rainbow Rowell, and as I have read all of her books, I was forced to pick this up instead. If you like Rainbow Rowell and/or John Green, you will love it. If you do not, then you will not. 

Ms. Marvel: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson (author), Adrian Alphona (artist)
Graphic Novel/Comic

I would need to be a lot more awake to really talk about why this comic is so great. 

Heartless, by Marissa Meyer
Fantasy, fairy tale retelling

Heartless is the origin story for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I am completely obsessed with Marissa Meyer. I've talked about CinderCress, & Fairest on here. And while I loved Cinder and the rest of The Lunar Chronicles, Fairest is definitely the book that convinced me that Marissa Meyer is an amazing author. Heartless manages to combine all that I loved in all of her previous books, but went above and beyond to smash my heart into a million pieces. 

Writing about books...

is exhausting. Sitting and reading and escaping is so much easier. I do hope I managed to persuade you that one of these is something worth reading. I would work harder on making this a more publishable piece of writing, but I have a movie to see. 

Have you read any of these books? Leave a comment telling me what YOU liked about it! And don't forget to tell me about what book you're currently loving. 

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