Posted in Reviews

Jobe’s Mid-September Reads

Since I’ve been reading a lot of short books this month, I thought I’d check in twice for readers.

September 4

For “a classic with a twist” (my reading group updated “a classic romance”) I read The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman. It is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale with Snow White as its protagonist. It has absolutely stunning artwork and is a clever, super fast read. I definitely recommend this one.

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September 7

For my non-fiction book I read On Writing Well by William Zinsser. I’ve been reading this book in little bits every few days for months. It is a lot of good advice to take in and is good brain food. It is full of such, such good advice. What else can I say? If you’re interested in writing as craft this book is awesome.

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September 9

I choose a lot of books based on their covers, but most recently I grabbed one of the newest from Murakami Haruki, which turned out to be a picture book. The entire plot, if you can call it that, is very dreamlike. And I came away from this simpler work the same way I come away from his complex work — feeling like he’s a bit of a genius, and really, super weird. The Strange Library.

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September 10

For my SF book I chose Acorna the Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball. I’ve seen it in libraries and bookstores for nearly 20 yrs, and always been intrigued, but I didn’t expect it to actually have ships and space travel, which it did. I always guessed it was Fantasy that gets categorized as SF. So it was good and fun and fast and I’m considering reading the whole migley books in the series.

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September 11

For a book recommended by a friend I read the graphic novel God Save the Queen, written by Mike Carey, art by John Bolton. It’s about the war between evil queen Mab and good queen Titania and a human girl who gets caught in the middle. The art style is great and the story is interesting, too.

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September 12

For my mystery book I read the eleventh Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. I couldn’t remember which one I’d left off on, so I ended up rereading one from years ago, but it had been long enough that I didn’t remember what would happen. I remember now why I stopped reading at this point — book 10 had felt so momentous, so game-changing, that book 11 felt like a let-down, back to the same old thing as if nothing had gone horribly awry in the previous book. I got that feeling at some points with the Harry Potter series too. In any case I’m ready now, and there are 2 left in the series I know I haven’t read yet. So those go on the list w the rest of the Acorna series.

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Currently Reading:

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Next Up?

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Posted in Reviews

Jobe’s June, July, & August Summer Reads

Howdy y’all, I’ve pasted dated posts below from my private readers group, but I did some updates & revising, too. Basically this is what I’ve been up to, in addition to what you may have read over on my personal blog jjobe.svbtle.com.

August 31
For “a book more than 100 years old,” I read the Book of Job, authorized KJV with an introduction by Charles Frazier. I figured it was high time I read it, since it’s my name and all. It was a whole lot of “you did the thing” “I did not do the thing.” Then God shows up in the end and is all like “I’m moar awesum than you.” So, yeah. Also there is a mention of unicorns, and I’m wondering if it means rhinoceros?
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Aug 25
Inspired by my dive into Chicken, I raced through Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. It was phenomenal and I definitely recommend it. It’s essentially about the life-long love story between a bald girl and a math nerd boy. It explores the concept of being an outsider and exposes us all as strange. I picked this book up at the dollar store — not Dollar General but the actual Everything’s a Dollar — because the cover drew me in. It was marked for clearance, on sale for fifty cents. It is worth much, much more. While I chose it for its cover, I do that with a lot of books, and it tickled me once I realized it qualified as a “one-word title.”
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Aug 21
I just finished Chicken, by Chase Night. It fits a lot of categories, including YA, set in Arkansas, LGBTQ. It is fucking kickass. I’ll be placing it in the “published this year” slot. It is so, so good. If you do one good deed as a member of your literary community this year, it should be to buy this book.

Aug 21 (Amazon Review)
This book is so well wrought it’s difficult to know where to begin in praising it. The story is modern, with a myriad of current references from Tumblr to Rihanna, from the Lion King to the Titanic. The characters are real and their struggles are real. The LGBTQ subject matter is timely. And anyone who has lived in religious small town Arkansas or any small town in The South may easily relate. Yet with all the familiarity this book defies stereotypes and rises above. Night’s crisp language surprises and entertains, sparking the imagination and keeping the reader turning page after page. Here there is hope and humor in the face of damnation. You will fall in love with this story, these characters, and this new up-and-coming author.
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July 28
Just finished Unseen Academicals on AudioBook by Terry Pratchett. Vacation driving. Will look up categories soonish…”A book with magic.”
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July 27
Listened to Going Postal on AudioBook by Terry Pratchett, and it was delightful all the way through. Vacation driving. Don’t remember my categories til I get back from vacation… “A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet.”
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July 11
Finally finished Twelve-Fingered Boy by John Hornor Jacobs. Category “book I’m scared of.” It is horror genre but YA, so I wasn’t sure how it would play out. It’s dark / gritty supernatural. I carried it around for so long just not reading it. Lame of me, I know. It’s actually really good, despite the word “titty-baby” on the first page that put me off initially. Lovable characters fighting a hard fight.
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July 7
I don’t know why I find myself incapable of reading John Hornor Jacobs’ “The Twelve-Fingered Boy” but for some reason it is taking me an INORDINATE amount of time. Meanwhile, I read Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson in one night — several hours, really. It’s an illustrated travelogue by an artist / author and his roaming of Europe and Morocco. I’ll throw this in the “book set in another country” as soon as I check my list at work tomorrow… Night y’all.
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June 24
I fell off the reading wagon for a while. I’m not certain why, but there was a lot going on that required my cleaning up skill set more immediately. Basically we got a friend moved out of one place and moved into our place, and we’ve been working on the group dynamics. For the first time in two weeks or more I actually sat down and read yesterday. It felt so foreign, and yet I couldn’t understand why I stopped. Well. I should finish this book today or tomorrow. Post to follow.
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June 6
Finally finished Mother Box by Sarah Blackman. I picked her book up because of a short story of hers in another text that I enjoyed immensely. It wasn’t particularly long but some of it was dense. It’s a book of short stories and one novella that all have elements of the unreal. I’m not sure of the word for this. Maybe it is magical realism, maybe it is something else. At first it was “at the bottom of the reading list” because I had to read school texts and I was saving it to savor it. Then once I started it, it seemed too weird, too strange, too bizarre, and it was slow going and I thought several times about giving up on it. But some of the stories I deeply enjoyed, and the novella really captured my imagination. So it is done, and now I know this author is a bit hit or miss for me. I may have liked the original story better because it was non-fic/memoir style instead of fiction.
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