Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Reader's Nook: Summer Reads pt. 1

*imagine me wearing a sweater vest and a tie with my hair very slicked down*

Thank you for joining us this week on WFMT's The Reader's Nook. This week we'll be talking about a collection of short stories that prove to be an anecdote for the soul and a post/pre-apocalyptic novel about a girl named Prenna. This week's special guest is book editor and connoisseur, Abby Mallett. Let's get started.

*classical music plays*

I'm not sure if you guys know this but it is my goal to be best friends with the dude that does all the super fast monotone intros to the classical music and features on WFMT. And then also get to do an intro to This American Life on WBEZ. If I had a podcast that would be my intro every week and somehow find a way to get Reggie Watts to be a guest star every week... all while coercing him to love me. THESE ARE THINGS I THINK ABOUT.

Let's get into it!

I've been on such a good book streak lately! For me book reading comes in waves, I'll read like 7 at a time and then read NOTHING for a month, which makes me so sad. During that time I'm browsing websites and looking to see if my favorite authors have published anything lately. So I kind of have a lull coming up since 2 of the books I requested to read... have not yet been published. Yeah. I am that lady. Tis fantastic. These two books below are perfect for light summer reading. One is short and just the right amount of intense and the other you'll be laughing so hard people WILL stare at you. Perfect for a day at the park or the beach (to which I never go) or anywhere that involves a cold drink.

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares - This would be the Ann Brashares who wrote the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. We're gonna pause here for a second so I can say unabashedly that the Sisterhood series is among my favorite books in the world. I know. I KNOW what I just did to myself but I just loved that they were best friends, more like sisters! My siblings are so far apart in age and I have never had a best friend (do you know how many posts I've started lamenting over that very fact? a LOT. The answer is a LOT) and I just... love the series. I digress. The Here and Now is about Prenna who lives in the year 2096 and the world is falling apart because mosquitoes carry deadly disease through the transmission of blood. They find a way back to 2014 to change the course of history but they can't get close to anyone. It's a short read but a really good one. Another one read in just a day.

One More Thing by B.J. Novak - EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK. This was one of those books I browsed and found at the library and I'm so glad I skipped the Goldfinch* and picked this one up. I loved B.J. Novak on The Office and also love that he's best friends with MY best friend Mindy Kaling. Obviously, it's a collection of short stories, but they're so, so hilarious. Like crying silently, shoulders shaking in a Starbucks hilarious. Stories like the tortoise and the hare rematch, after the hare has gone to therapy and taken up yoga and really found himself, or the guy who invented the calendar, originally with 40 days and 25 months, but couldn't make it through the rest of the months after December. I'm not even finished with the book yet and I know I will buy it to sit alongside Tina Fey's and Mindy Kaling's book, so they can talk and stuff. You know.

*WHO does The Goldfinch think it is?! It's 1295 pages long! And people are reading it because EVERYONE ELSE IS. Even I know that I'm gonna get super effin bored reading 1295 pages of WHATEVER. If I end up devoting my life to reading this book and my entire life isn't drastically transformed at the end I'm gonna call up SOME authority.

By the way I will be recapping my birthday WEEK next week. Every day this week, including my birthday yesterday, has been (and will be) super interesting. It'll be a party! With words.

The Reader's Nook is a place I've carved out just for readers and to talk about my favorite books every week. If you have any suggestions on books to read or would like to submit a review email me at thebirdsfly{at}me{dot}com. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Reader's Nook

The world's most beautiful scarf and a copy of Alice in Wonderland from Anthro
I have always been a reader, I honestly think it's genetic. My mom forced me into early reading by reading me lots and lots of books, and skipping ahead to figure out what was happening leaving poor me to wait until she read it to me. I was into chapter books by 5. Books are a way of escaping for me. I can immediately be transported into a world of magic and love and travel without having to leave my living room. Books also can't talk back to you, or interrupt you and ask, "What are you reading?!" (That is the absolute WORST thing to ask an avid reader - would you stop and ask a football player exactly what he's doing in the middle of a play? Exactly.)

At work I'm always finding a corner of somewhere to sit and read while on break. It's a real feat since I work with 110 people always in my face, so you'll find me in hallways and stairwells reading silently. Most people really don't get it - I get so many questions like, "Have you always liked to read?" and, "How many books do you read in a month?" or, "I should really start reading more..." I think the long short of it is I've made a discipline of reading just like avid runners make a discipline of running. I can't brush my teeth after every meal all the time but somehow I find time to read 5 to 7 books a month. If I could fashion some sort of headgear/page-turner I would probably take up running. Audiobooks are a little bit of an oxymoron to me and don't get me started with electronic books. What's the point of reading if you can't hold the weight of a book in your hand or hear the pages turn?! Ugh. I'm a book snob.

I figure I read SO MUCH and I truly do enjoy it that I would unveil a new section here on this small space I call home: welcome to The Reader's Nook.

Every week or so I'll update on what I've been reading, what I think you should read RIGHT NOW, and my all time favorite book I basically read every year. Plus a list of classics to have in your arsenal. I really could talk about books all day. Why don't I work in a library again? Oh right, more school. *hangs head*

Today I'll just start with the two books I just finished reading. Both YA fiction. Because my name is Abby and that's my M.O.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - I just finished reading this today and it was one of the most melancholy books I've read in a while. It's a well written, emotional journey of a girl named Laurel who just lost her sister. The story is told through a series of letters to her favorite people, now deceased. People like Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Amelia Earhart and Judy Garland. It progresses through stages of grief paired with the awkwardness of growing up and going to high school for the first time. In the end she finds pieces of herself that never left and learns to live her own life. I had to watch cartoons afterwards to feel better.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - I will probably buy this book sometime soon. I read it in a record ONE DAY, which only my mother does usually, but I couldn't put it down. It's the right combination of love, magic, strangeness and triumph. It explores every aspect of love and loss - also the main character, Ava, has wings. Literal wings. If you like getting lost in the magic of a book this is a good one.

OKAY LONGEST POST EVER. Gosh. I'll try to keep these up and I'm pretty sure I will never run out of things to talk about. I'm kind of excited to share stuff I love with you guys.


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