January 28, 2012

Reading Nooks and Book Reviews

I'm curled up in bed on this lazy Saturday afternoon, reading and revising and staring off into space. As much as I love my bed (any bed, really!) and my warm comforter, I'd love to carve out a little reading nook to call my own. Like these!


Or this lovely outside nook:


Maybe one day I'll win the lottery and move into a seaside cottage with lots of land with old fruit trees (and a mini horse! and a koala!) and I'll make myself a cool reading nook.

'Cause that can totally happen. 

On a book-related note, I thought I'd give a quick rundown of what I've been reading the past month. Between long plane rides and rainy Seattle afternoons, I've been able to consume quite a few novels and science-y books. A few them include: 

CINDER by Marissa Meyer
While Justin and I were in Washington state, I was lucky enough to attend Marissa Meyer's book launch in Tacoma. (Justin was very kind to tag along. And he waited in the 90-minute line with me! A true husband.) Marissa is simply lovely and I proceeded to gobble her debut novel the next day, in about five hours.

My favorite part? The world-building. I have never encountered a setting like this before, a futuristic Beijing populated with robots and palaces, with cybernetic girls and imperial princes.  I simply loved getting lost in Cinder's world. 



The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukheejee
Sometimes I get in a mood where I only want to read science books. Which is a litte perplexing since I despised my chemistry and physics classes in high school. (I don't care about velocity! Or the structure of atoms!) The weird ironies of life, huh? 

The Emperor of All Maladies caught my eye because it received all sorts of praise from book reviewers. It also won the Pulitzer. In essence, it is a "biography" of cancer: how mankind has dealt with this awful disease, how we've defined it, and how we've battled to cure it. Admittedly, the book got pretty darn technical in some chapters but I just skipped those parts because this book really is good

It amazed me  to learn how cancer has been treated in the past. Gruesome, really. In the 1800s, doctors used to "cure" breast cancer by chopping off a woman's breast along with the muscles that extended to the collarbone, effectively causing the woman to droop over for the rest of her life. But, despite the gruesome details, this book truly honors the hundreds of doctors who devoted their lives to curing cancer and the thousands of patients who volunteered for these radical---and sometimes deadly---new treatments. A must-read. (But, yeah, skip those dry chapters.)


Starters by Lissa Price
I was lucky enough to snag an e-galley of this much-buzzed novel, which debuts in March 2012. (Thanks, NetGalley!) The premise itself is ready for a big Hollywood movie: 

In a world ravaged by war and genocide, becoming someone else is now possible. Sixteen-year-old Callie discovers the Body Bank where teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again.

In a single word, this book is fast-paced. Holy mother! I couldn't stop flipping the pages on this one. The plot had me guessing at every chapter. The good guys? Not always so good. The bad guys? Not necessarily all bad. And there were some really fantastic twists at the end of the book, one of which made me go Whoa, I never saw that coming. 

Okay then, back to work! I need to finish my latest revision on my YA alternate history so I can send it to another round of beta readers. Then, onto Agent Jim! But what have you been reading lately? Any good recommendations? 

20 comments:

  1. Oh, I adore writing nooks! They're so dreamy; my future house will definitely have one. *is determined* I really love that first one!

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    1. That's my favorite one too! If I get the chance to build my own house, I'd totally add in a private reading nook. I might spent every hour there!

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  2. If you're going to have a koala you'll need some eucalyptus trees too! So get on that :-P

    I should post about what I've read this month, there were some good ones! Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Blood Red Road. Next up is The Scorpio Races!

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    1. Ohhh, I LOVE Daughter of Smoke and Bone so very much! And I may have to steal The Scorpio Races from you. I've heard so many great things!

      And, yes, must plant some eucalyptus for my pet koala. That's the only thing they eat, right?

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  3. Oh, I want a reading book! I love nooks. *sighs*

    I'm so jealous that you got to read STARTERS! I just requested it (and a bunch of other titles from NetGalley, in the hopes that I can read lots on my Nook while I'm tour). Lissa is the nicest.

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    1. Let me know what you think of Starters! NetGalley approved my request pretty quickly so I imagine you'll get the green light from them soon.

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  4. Love the nooks! Especially the light. *sigh*

    I adore science books, too! I will have to check out the Mukheejee book. I recently read THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS and if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It reads like a novel.

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    1. Ohhh, I just read HENRIETTA LACKS too! We're totally reading twinners. :) I really enjoyed it as well! I devoured it on a long plane ride--simply couldn't take my eyes off of it.

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  5. I'll have to mention this "science book" to my husband since that will be his field. And I didn't realize Cinders took place in a futuristic Hong Kong. Hong Kong seems like a popular setting lately!

    Hope you are doing well. And I choose that first nook. Maybe I'll win the lottery, too.

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    1. Hey Janet! Man, we still need to get lunch! I can't believe that four months have passed since I finally met you at the SCBWI conference. And haha, once we win the lottery, we could go someplace swanky in the city, like CityZen or Minibar or one of those uber expensive places!

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  6. I also would like a reading nook of my own.

    And yes, CINDER was absolutely fantastic, wasn't it? I also adore Marissa.

    P.S. let's do something soon please kthnx.

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    1. *Hugs your face* I MISS YOUUUUUUU!

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  7. OMG, the nooks! When I buy/build my dream house, it is going to have several reading nooks, filled with pillows and bookshelves. I will be in heaven!

    Reading recommendations... I recently read A MONSTER CALLS and that book is GOLD. And John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was amazing as well. (And I'm reading CINDER now. yay!)

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    1. Oh, I want to come to your reading-nook house! Just thinking about that makes me smile. A nook for everyone in the family!

      Thanks for the recs! I read A MONSTER CALLS and I totally bawled at the end. So moving and SUCH a wonderful story. And I can't wait to dig into TFIOS! I hear it's amazing!

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  8. CINDER sounds fantastic! I've just taken over Geoff's old Kindle and would love to add a few good books. The Hunger Games are also on my short list, just need to find the time.

    We have a few good reading spots (couches) in our house... Hope you can come and take advantage of them!

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    1. Definitely, definitely, definitely let me know what you think of The Hunger Games! It is one of the best books in the YA genre, and one of my favorite books overall. I finally convinced Justin to read it and he really enjoyed it as well!

      Victory!

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  9. Oh goodness, Cinder is sitting on my kindle right now and I am now definitely going to read STarters when it comes out! I'm reading the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and LOVING IT.

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    1. I read Mara Dyer a few months ago and I really loved the mystery in it! Also, the British-accented love interest wasn't too shabby. :) I can't wait to hear what you think of Cinder and Starters!

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  10. I read Cinder too and really enjoyed it! My husband is really into non-fiction and he's listening to the audio book of Emperor of Maladies right now when he commutes to work. He also said it's really fascinating so maybe I'll check it out sometime.

    Those reading nooks are amazing! :)

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    1. Yay for another Cinder fan! I really can't wait to read the next installment. And definitely let me know what you think if you end up reading Emperor! I've been wanting to discuss it with someone. :)

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