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?