January 2016 Reading

In an effort to post more regularly, I’m going to attempt monthly recaps of my reading and writing progress.

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CHICKEN WITH PLUMS by Marjane Satrapi

In January, I focused heavily on my own writing projects, but I still wanted to read without the distraction of getting sucked into longer novels. I deliberately looked for shorter works, and finished reading 5 books.

TAMED and SATED by Rebekah Weatherspoon

I read FIT, the first in the Fit Trilogy, last year at the recommendation of a good friend. I had asked for cute contemporary romance novellas. It was a fun, cute story with interesting characters and a sexy romance. After reading FIT, I immediately purchased the next two in the series, TAMED and SATED. My Kindle told me each would take about an hour to read, which was perfect.

This series features sex-positive women, and men who are into the kink scene. In their daily lives, they hold interesting jobs (such as reality cooking show producer) and have fun hobbies (like cosplay). SATED in particular did a nice job of showing two people who hit it off early, but then ran into lifestyle conflicts. The theme of open communication was nicely woven in. I know I said I was especially looking for shorter stories, but I felt like there was enough plot to stretch these out a bit more. I would have liked to have seen more showing than telling, but I still greatly enjoyed the novellas.

 

THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean is one of the few authors whose books I pre-order. I want them to show up on my Kindle immediately. I love the way she writes and the stories she tells. Her characters stay with me long after the book has ended. This book, the first in a new series, starts with a splash (ha ha). It took me a little while to get into the beginning scene but once the road trip kicks off I couldn’t put the book down. Her books are always fun and this was a good first book for the year.

 

GALACTIC HOT DOGS by Max Brallier (Author) and Rachel Maguire (Illustrations)

I received a copy of this at Book Expo America last year. I read it with one of my students over many sittings. There are lots of illustrations, and the text is a mix of first-person narrative and word bubbles. I read the words, and he read the bubbles. It’s a fun book with lots of conflict, and funny words used in place of swear words (for example, “what the fuzz?”). It’s a high-energy space adventure, and the child I read it with enjoyed it very much.

 

CHICKEN WITH PLUMS by Marjane Satrapi

I picked up a copy of this short graphic novel at a book fair in Connecticut last fall. While looking for short things to read, I decided to give it a go. It’s a bit of an odd story, about a man who loses the instrument that makes him who he is. It’s a story of family, identity, and the effect of life on a creative person. I particularly enjoyed the way Satrapi differentiated flashbacks and current narrative flow by changing the background color in the panels. She has a style of drawing that portrays emotions well.

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