Monday, December 01, 2014

Books Read: November 2014

The positive to take away from this is that I was able to get the post up on the first day of the month.  The negative is that I don't have any reviews to link up. I had anticipated only finishing nine or ten books, but I had a couple days at the very end where I powered through several.  I do count books that, for whatever reason, I was unable to finish.  I want to be able to record those as well. 

1. The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford, by Jean Stafford (unfinished)
2. The Way West, by A. B. Guthrie
3. As You Wish, by Cary Elwes
4. The Complete Peanuts: 1991-1992, by Charles M. Schulz
5. Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
6. Golden Fool, by Robin Hobb
7. Shouldn't You Be in School?, by Lemony Snicket
8. The Sapphire Rose, by David Eddings
9. Shattered Pillars, by Elizabeth Bear
10. Unlocked, by John Scalzi
11. Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham (unfinished)
12. Some Luck, by Jane Smiley
13. The Outskirter's Secret, by Rosemary Kirstein
14. Facing the Music, by Jennifer Knapp

Best Book of the Month: I am simply enamored with Rosemary Kirstein's Steerswoman books and I really want to see how she continues to develop this world - how the "magic" continues to be revealed as science.  I reviewed the first book, The Steerswoman, back in April.  The Outskirter's Secret is a worthy follow up. 

Disappointment of the Month: I've been chipping away at Lemony Snicket's prequel series to A Series of Unfortunate Events, but this latest entry was fairly dull and tedious.  Alternately, my tolerance for his particular style of writing was much lower than usual and I'm sure my child will love this book if he discovers it in five to ten years.  Or something. 

Discovery of the Month: No discoveries for November.

Unfinished of the Month:  There is nothing particularly wrong with Jean Stafford's Pulitzer Prize winning collection, but there was also nothing that made me want to read another story.  I read the first several, and then skipped ahead a few times.  Disinterest. 

Worth Noting: Fans of Jennifer Knapp's music or those who followed the Christian music scene in the late 90's and early 2000's may wish to check out her memoir, Facing the Music - which talks about her journey in and out (and in again) of the music industry, her faith, and her relationship with a woman (which is only notable because of how the Christian music industry and many churches treat homosexuality and as such, it becomes a significant part of her story).  I have been a big fan of Knapp's, once frequented the Alabaster Arts message boards, and I am more than thrilled to see her recording new music.  That her earlier "Christian" music spoke about her own doubts and struggles is what resonated with me and the continuing journey of her music speaks to me, still.  Plus, it's just damn good music.  Facing the Music is worth checking out.

Gender Breakdown: Of the fourteen books I read last month, eight were written by women, which may  mark the first month since I've been keeping track of this sort of thing that I have read more female authored books in a given month than those written by men.  This brings my total to 55/123 for the year (44.71%).  Looking at what I currently have out from the library, I expect December to be similar to November with a solid chance of a second month reading more books written by women.

Previous Months


Carl V. Anderson said...

I'm loving the Complete Peanuts series. I would like to work in some time over the holiday vacation to revisit some of the older volumes.

Joe said...

I was surprised by how much I liked those earliest volumes, and by how much the art and the style changed over the years, even though it mostly feels the same.