Thursday, November 17, 2011

September & October Reading List

For some reason I just haven't sat down long enough to write up my reading post for the last two months. I did complete two more of my reading goals. On Writing was my book on, you guessed it, writing! And Persepolis was my graphic novel for the year.

September brought with it a vacation and therefore some light-reading novels, because who wants heavy reading on vacation? :) And I read my last un-read Jasper Fforde book in September. So, now I'll just have to wait until he writes more. I wish I could spread a love of Fforde. Not many people seem to read his books. I am always taken with his wit and irony. He is just so funny! But, I'm certain he wouldn't be every one's cup of tea, so I'll just appreciate how much I can enjoy his books and the smile that the stories inevitably bring to my face.

October I felt like I was in a bit of a reading slump because I'd just read a fascinatingly unique book and everything else seemed to pale in comparison (review in just a moment). But, I did appreciate the humor and advice of Stephen King's On Writing. I imagine I'll pick that book up again someday.

So, what book put me into a bit of a reading slump? That would be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Initially my interest was piqued by the upcoming publication of this debut novel because Morgenstern was being compared to J.K. Rowling. I am an unabashed Harry Potter fan. I've read all the books twice and I've seen all the movies at least once (for the last 4 movies, I've made Jeremy go to the theater with me...he hasn't minded too much!). I miss the anticipation of opening a new Harry Potter book and experiencing the adventure for the first time (though I have to say that the series re-reads quite well). Somehow, my sweet husband, scored an Advanced Reader Copy of The Night Circus for me and away I went into another world, turning the pages, completely absorbed.

Was Morgenstern like Rowling? I don't know if I'd have made the connection if it wasn't made for me. Both authors do create magical worlds that exist within the non-magical world. And there are magicians and training of magicians (though nothing like Hogwarts; the training here is more akin to homeschooling). But, overall, the stories are very different. And Morgenstern's book is not a children's story, or a story that would ultimately appeal to children.

This book is very dreamlike to read. Morgenstern moves through time (spanning around 25 years), as well as location. And, at times this was a little confusing. But, her theme of a night circus and dreaming was certainly accentuated by this method.

After all that preliminary information, I'll give you just a little taste of the story, although I've found trying to summarize the book to be quite challenging; it almost defies explanation. Marco and Celia, though they don't know each other, are both groomed from a young age to become powerful magicians for the express purpose of participating in a game, a dual of sorts, at least that's what they understand. Their instructors give them tidbits along the way, these morsels of information start to form the puzzle of their existence. The night circus, that appears without warning and is only open at night, becomes the playing field for these talented, imaginative magicians as their lives unfold for others to experience.

That's all I will tell you. If you want to know more, you'll have to read it yourself.

When I turned the last page of this mysterious dreamlike book, I felt the urge to start back at the beginning.

(A brief suggestion, if you decide to read this, don't listen to it on audio. A co-worker did that and found the moving chronology confusing to follow. Also, I'm very aware that this book won't appeal to everyone, maybe even most people, I'm not sure. It was just such a memorable, interesting read, that I felt I must share.)

Okay, I'm done gabbing. Here are my completed reading lists.

Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
After the Party by Lisa Jewell
The Fourth Bear by Jaspter Fforde
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution by Trudy Scott
On Writing by Stephen King
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (for work)
The Throne of Fires by Rick Riordan (for work)
Misfortune by Wesley Stace
Start Something That Matters by Blake MyCoskie
Persepolis by Marjam Sartrapi (graphic novel)
Frugavore by Arbella Forge


jeremy said...

Glad you liked the Night Circus. As for graphic novels, I have a few recommendations for you. Batman Year One, Batman Returns, Batman The Killing Joke, Batman Arkham Asylum, Kingdom Come, and Marvels. And Jimmy Corrigan. It is really amazing...

liz nelson said...

night circus definitely sounds interesting. i'll have to keep an eye out for it at work. did you like persepolis? i really enjoyed that graphic novel.

Amanda said...

I haven't ventured beyond the Thursday Next series... but I may have to one of these days! I fully appreciate his writing style, though I must admit Kyle was a little lost when I attempted to share portions of the story. :)

stephanie said...

I didn't realize that you'd read Thursday Next! That makes me happy. :) I haven't really convinced Jeremy to read Fforde's books. I think you'd enjoy his other books if you liked Thursday Next.

stephanie said...

I did enjoy Persepolis; however, I do have to admit to just not being a fan of graphic novels. I get distracted between looking at the pictures or reading the words and then lose some of the continuity. That being said, I was rather amused by the Fuzz and Pluck graphic novels. If you haven't read any of those, you should check one out.

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