One of my 2012 Goals is to read 30 books this year. So far, I'm at 13 of the 30, right where I need to be. It's been a while since I checked in on here about my readings, but that's just because I've been devouring books. Here's a list of my most recent reads:
Little Birds by Anais Nin
I love Anais Nin's erotica in this short collection of stories. There are some very sexy stories, but also some disconcerting ones. It's a beautiful examination of female sexuality at the time. Some of her wording is more explicit but more delicate than what I've read in modern erotica collections. A must-have for the bedside table.
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
This was a recommendation from Keith, a fantasy man himself. Crescent Moon follows three characters fighting evil in the Middle East. I absolutely loved the first half of this book, and couldn't put it down. Easy to read, suspenseful, exotic while grounded and exactly like a good adventure novel, and then, unfortunately, the plot just stops and you're left with a history class of the city they live in. It does pick back up, but the middle is rough to get to. That said, I will be picking up whatever the next thing is from Saladin Ahmed.
Wicked: Witch & Curse by Nancy holder and Debbie Vigue
Another Keith read, Nancy Holder was his advisor for a semester of le grad school. The first in the Wicked series, Witch & Curse follows a teenage girl through the harrowing death of her family, dark ancestral secrets, and a hunky love interest. It's thoroughly enjoyable as a summer read, and dark enough that the YA label shouldn't warn you off. I would caution that the audio book is read by a horribly bubble-gum voiced actor, which grated on my nerves. Pick up the book instead of the audio.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
I'm a Neil Gaiman fan, but had yet to pick up Good Omens because I'm not a Terry Pratchett fan. I enjoy some of his movie adaptations, but usually his modern references and jokes within a fantasy setting just pull me out of the story. Omens however, does not suffer from that, being in a mostly modern setting anyway, and one fully appropriate to the jokes and silliness that Pratchett fans love. Another fully recommended summer read.
Dinosaur Tales by Ray Bradbury
I picked up a beaten copy of this at our local indie bookstore because there were a few stories I hadn't read yet. Some of the tales are very much meant for children, but the artwork alone is worth having a copy in your library.
Finch by Jeff Vandermeer
Part of the "new weird" movement, Finch is a post-apoc, hard boiled crime novel. It is long though, so if you're looking for an easy read, this isn't it. Covering a society that wants to rebel and succumb at the same time, and a mystery with very weird consequences, it's also not the type of book where you know who-dunnit, or even what-dunnit. It is well written and weaves an intricate world that is gritty as hell for being so outlandish.
Asterios Polyp by David Mazzuchelli
I've been meaning to pick up this graphic novel for a long time, and am so glad I did. Following the story of a middle aged architect, the book is philosophical dessert. The drawings, fonts, and everything tactile match up with the dialogue in a brilliant display of just how much graphic novels can do combining images with the written word.
Fox Woman by Kij Johnson
I'm still finishing this beautiful piece of prose, but wow. The only book I can think to compare the idea of the isolation and purely female perspective would be Tender Morsels, which I read last year and is also brilliant and hear-breaking. The story of Fox Woman follows a fox who longs to be human, and a husband and wife, equally as alone together as apart. The book takes place in letters, diaries, and Japanese poems. Beautiful, delicate, harsh, and unflinching, Fox Woman is my favorite book of the year so far.
You can always check out my Goodreads to see what I'm devouring and let me know what you're reading and what to read next!