What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.
I’m now convinced that the year sped up in the summer. Didn’t summer just start and already we’re in August reeling toward its end. All my plans for summer, which boils down to lots of time spent outside reading, has yet to come to fruition. July was mainly spent developing professionally and doing a bit of travel for work, which was fun until I realized I was close to Disney World but couldn’t visit. I’ve always wanted to go there. It was an even busier month than June and it went by in the blink of an eye. Hopefully, August will be a little slower.
Weirdly, I got a lot of reading done in July despite being busy (the traveling helped); but I didn’t blog as much because there was no time to write posts. Even now I find it hard to find time to write stuff, so I have to create my posts whenever the time presents itself and schedule them to publish. That scheduling tool is so helpful! I also fell behind on visiting blogs but hopefully that will be rectified in August. August will be all about reading.
Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, which is her memoir about living with mental illness and other conditions. It was a great read that was both insightful and humorous. Lawson had me laughing out loud many times and wondering if some things mentioned are true just because of how odd I think they are. (I’m sure it’s all true.)
Then I was in the mood for vampire-laden historical fiction, so I read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith, which is basically a biography of President Lincoln except, in addition to leading the country, he also fights vampires. The novel explores what led Lincoln down this path. I enjoyed the movie and the book was great too. Grahame-Smith did a great job of mixing fact with fiction and almost convinced me it’s all true.
I then read an ARC of The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol, a middle-grade fantasy novel about a young witch who failed her witch’s assessment and must redo her time as an apprentice in a remote town. It was a delightful read that made me nostalgic for fantasy novels I read as I kid but forgot the titles of. The Apprentice Witch is a debut novel, so I’ll be on the lookout for more from this author.
Normal by Warren Ellis is the complete opposite from the previous book. It’s a techno-thriller novel set in present day at a mental institution called Normal Head, in Oregon, where scientists and social scientists who study the future are sent when their jobs cause them to become depressed. This is one of the most interesting books I’ve read this year and is very thought-provoking.
I moved on to Sick, a psychological thriller novella by Christa Wojciechowski about a woman caring for her sick husband. It’s unsettling and I like how it builds to the end. I didn’t expect what was revealed and what happened after.
I finally completed Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders series, which ends with Ship of Destiny. I buddy-read it with Emily at Embuhlee liest. OMG! This book. It’s the best in this series. SO much stuff happens and for a while there I was worried because how the hell would Hobb wrap it all up? But the ending was great and gosh, I can’t wait to start the next series, the Tawney Man Trilogy, because Amber’s identity wasn’t exactly revealed in this book and I believe my suspicions about her is correct.
Craving some Harry Potter, I read the three Pottermore Presents e-books, starting with Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, which I started with because I’m so curious about Hogwarts. I like the information I received, but it felt like such a teaser. It made me crave more.
Next I read Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, which was more articles rather than stories. They were good reads, though, and I appreciated learning about the Ministers of Magic and about Peeves, of course. It would be cool to have more stories about Peeves. He’s one of my favorite characters.
I ended July with Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, which I appreciated a little more than the others because we learn about Prof. McGonagall, who’s simply awesome. Also, in reading these three e-books, I learned how Rowling came up with names for the characters, which made me love the books even more because of the amount of thought she placed in the details and the characters’ backstories.
Other things consumed in July:
Essay: Author N.K. Jemisin and ‘The Idea’ Problem (goodreads.com)
“The measure of an artist lies in the ability to encapsulate these ideas and give them form in a way that others can share.”
A History of the Robins and Their Importance to Batman (thecomicvault.wordpress.com)
“There is no Batman without Robin. All of Bruce’s children balance him out and make him human.”
38 Years on Books: The Essential Michiko Kakutani Reader (nytimes.com)
Two New Harry Potter Books Set to Arrive This October (nerdist.com)
Yen Press to Launch JY, a Kids’ Graphic Novel Imprint in Fall 2017 (publishersweekly.com)
Other awesome ‘ish
Science Fiction & Fantasy Week on Goodreads (goodreads.com)
Geeks Guide Show
GGG#256: Taboo TV Series Review (geeksguideshow.com)
If you’re a fan of Taboo, and you’ve watched all of season 1, you’ll enjoy this discussion.
GGG#237: People of Color in Fantasy & Horror (geeksguideshow.com)
I forgot to mention these new Book Riot podcasts last month, but they’re really good so check ’em out:
— a podcast series that recommends/discusses mystery and thriller novels
— a podcast series that recommends/discusses science-fiction and fantasy novels
Sword & Laser
S&L Podcast – #299 – NK Jemisin Says FanFic Makes Good Practice (swordandlaser.com)
Shows I’m hooked on
Umm… nothing. I spent all of July reading and traveling and looking at things. Didn’t get to watch anything at all. But I saw this trailer and it looks awesome and I wonder if it will be a real movie. Someone tell me please!!