February Wrap-Up

Didn’t read as much this month, and school got busy preventing me from blog updates, but another month and another try to post at least once a week! We’ll see haha.

feb8

Mini Reviews

  • Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman. This was fantastic. Yes, I’m utterly biased because Gaiman’s my favorite living author, I love myths (and Norse in particular), and I basically loved this book before I even read it. That said, I nm4still completely enjoyed it to the nth degree, and just had such a great time reading it. Full review here. 5/5 stars.
  • Harlequin Valentine, by Neil Gaiman. I’ve been collecting all of Gaiman’s books for a while (and reading them as I do), but his graphic novels I’ve fallen behind a bit on reading them. The reason is simply because I almost always love them, and they’re fairly short, so I like to save them for a time when I either don’t feel like reading or don’t have a lot of time to read, and want to finish something quickly. This one was
    enjoyable, but took a little while to get into, uncommon from most of Gaiman’s work. I also feel like the art didn’t fit, but once I got past those two hurdles I started really enjoying it, and I loved the ending. 4.5/5 stars.
  • The Last Temptation, by Neil Gaiman. This one I enjoyed much more upfront. I was instantly captured by the art and writing, and loved the unsettling quality both used to complement the story. I love Gaiman’s “weird” projects like this, and I’m interested to look into Cooper’s work. 4.5/5 stars.
  • Free Country: A Tale of the Children’s Crusade, by Neil Gaiman and Others. I’ll be honest, I actually didn’t like this. And it hurts, haha. I think my biggest problem is I’m not really familiar with any of the characters/connections. I love the idea behind it, and if I were a fan I think I’d love it, but it’s not super accessible for non-fans of the Vertigo works of the time. I did really enjoy the beginning, and then it just lost me after a while. I hope to eventually go back and read all of the related titles before re-reading this, and see how that goes. 3/5 stars.
  • All Our Wrong Todays, by Elan Mastai. Oh man, this book was a trip. Hard to discuss without spoiling anything, but I really liked the narrator (as a narrator, not a person). I’m not 100% sure how I feel about some parts like the ending and whatnot, but it was the equivalent of a really good popcorn movie. Just something to read and relax for a fun/good time. 4/5 stars.
  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, by Haruki Murakami. Listened to this on Audible (not pictured). As is often the case, some stories were better than others, but some were also amazing. Murakami continues to impress, and I can’t wait to read more of his work. There’s just such a fascinating Murakami-ness to all of his work that I’ve read so far, and it’s a great style. 4/5 stars.
  • My Antonia, by Willa Cather. The plot itself wasn’t super interesting to me, but I loved Cather’s writing style/diction. Every time she’d just describe something for a long paragraph was great. I’ve always wanted to read this book, because my brother had to read it for school and liked it, and it’s one of those classics I’ve just wanted to read, but I’m not sure I ever would have if not for the class I read it for. So I guess there’s one good thing that’ll come out of one of my least favorite classes. 4/5 stars.
  • Star Wars: Dark Disciple, by Christie Golden. As my first Star Wars read, this definitely wasn’t a disappointment. I loved the story, the characters were well-done, and overall I really felt like it definitely added to the SW universe, and wasn’t just a throwaway story that didn’t need to be written. This felt like a necessary addition, and that’s probably some of the highest praise I can give it, because I feel like that’s not easy (in fact, it’s one of the reasons I loved Rogue One so much, because just looking at it as the bare bones of the story it might not seem to be necessary, but was so well done it was. I only had some trouble getting into it because I’m used to SW as a visual medium, but overall I really enjoyed it. Hope to write a full review later. Around 4.5/5 stars.
    fwu2
  • Star Wars: Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston. This was amazing. Granted, I was a huge fan of Ahsoka from Clone Wars and later, and I’m not sure how well this would read for those who haven’t watched that, but as a fan it was amazing. Ahsoka’s such a great character, and she’s given fantastic characterization here. I loved every part of this, feb5and really need a sequel. Also hope to write a longer review of this. 5/5 stars.
  • Comics. I also finally caught up on a bunch of comics! Hadn’t read any in over a month, so plowed through them all recently. So great. ^^ Really enjoyed all of them,
    and absolutely loved Wonder Woman, Paper Girls, Detective Comics, A.D. After Death, and Black Widow. Might start doing mini-reviews for the comics I read, too…

 

 

 

Book Hauls

I had some great pickups this month, once again thanks to BookOutlet. ^^ I bought a couple random books from them that I’ve been meaning to get for a while, but mostly I bought books that were either related to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton or Star Wars.

feb3

I am so utterly obsessed with this musical. I made a pseudo-resolution this year (pseudo in that I didn’t think of it as a resolution, but just started doing it and then realized it was a good idea haha) to listen to audiobooks in the car rather than the radio, because my sister gave me access to her Audible account and she’s got a lot of great stuff there. But then I finished Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and started listening to Hamilton because I was still driving and didn’t want to try to decide which book to listen to while I was driving—plus I feb4hadn’t listened to Hamilton in about a month. But then I never actually decided on the next book, and just kept listening to Hamilton on repeat. Whoops. I’m really not sure I mind though, because it’s just so fantastic, and because I’m never 100% focused on it I pick up on something new each time which is so great.

Anyway, with that I really want to read more both about Hamilton and the others involved but also just more of history in general. I’m legitimately now interested in history, biographies, etc.—something I’ve always thought I’d be interested in, but never had a teacher/class that has made it interesting enough for me to care, or never a book I’ve had enough motivation to read or whathaveyou. I’ve never had a good history teacher, and so I’ve never cared enough to go out of my way to read works about history, even though, like I said, I’ve thought I’d enjoy history and I’ve always wanted to. So I’m really excited to start with Hamilton-related sfeb1tuff and then move on to more.

I bought Hamilton: The Revolution from Barnes & Noble
because it was 40% off, I had an extra 20% off coupon, and I got 10% more for my Membership. I’d been meaning to get this book since Christmas but couldn’t quite justify the price yet—this seemed like the best
deal I’ll get.

The rest I all got from BookOutlet. I’m most excited to read Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton just because that’s specifically what the musical was based on, but I’m also super excited to read The Marquis, because Lafayette is my favorite part of the play after Hamilton himself (followed closely by Eliza who’s utterly amazing and there needs to be more on her).

feb9(Thrawn trilogy and Scoundrels were bought a while back)

I’ll probably make a separate post on this, because I have just been too obsessed not to, but to touch on it briefly:

For a while now I’ve been wanting to get back into Star Wars. The fwu1original trilogy was a huge part of my childhood, but I hadn’t watched the films in a long time and so wasn’t even all that excited for Force Awakens. But a lot of people I know who were huge fans of
the original trilogy loved Force Awakens so I kinda wondered what I was missing. Eventually I realized it was just that I had fallen out of love with SW as a whole, which happens with me for things I don’t watch in a while.

So I decided to have a marathon, initially just of all of the visual media (the two trilogies, FA, Rebels/Clone Wars, and finally seeing Rogue One when it came up in my chronological viewing, since I hadn’t seen it yet). And it was so, so amazing. I even enjoyed the Prequels a lot more than I thought I would, because I loved the ideas/world, even if the movies themselves were pretty bad (I actually made fun of them a lot on my Instagram stories, but I did enjoy watching them overall). And, with my third viewing of Force Awakens (which I rewatched a fourth time just a couple days later), I absolutely loved it.

But then I really needed more, so I decided to maybe try the new canon books, since there are only a few. Long story short, I got obsessed with those as well, and now I’m collecting all of them, and reading them in (mostly) chronological order as well. Dark Disciple and Ahsoka were amazing, as I mentioned, and I can’t wait to read the rest.

feb7(my Star Wars novel collection)

I’m so glad that BookOutlet had all of these (except Dark Disciple/Ahsoka, which I still got for pretty cheap), and now there’s only a few left I need.

 

Looking Ahead

I kept my TBR this month fairly limited compared to usual. I like making grand plans but I always end up failing, haha. So I decided to only have 5 novels (with plans for a few graphic novels), two of which I’m not expecting to finish or fully finish.

feb6

  • The Rook. My friend kept recommending this to me and I honestly couldn’t wait to read it (even before she recommended it, because I’ve heard great things), though other books kept getting in the way (such as Star Wars). But since I finally got it from BookOutlet a while back, I decided to finally start it (on the 28th), and it’s great so far.
  • A Wild Sheep Chase. Reading this for a buddy read on Instagram and I can’t wait! I’ve really enjoyed everything by Murakami so far, and this book in particular I’ve been meaning to read for a while.
  • The Rise of the Empire. This actually represents Lords of the Sith because I don’t have it yet (and that’s the next for me chronologically), but basically I definitely plan to continue my SW marathon—just taking a short break for Rook/Sheep. Can’t wait!
  • Alexander Hamilton. This is the one I doubt I’ll finish, or even possibly start. As I said I’m obsessed with the musical so I can’t wait to read it, but I might have to wait until I graduate in June so I can fully dive in.
  • The View from the Cheap Seats. This one also doesn’t completely count, as I started it in February and I’m happy with just reading an essay here and there. It’d be nice if I finish it this month, though.
  • Neil Gaiman Graphic Novels (represented by DC Universe by Neil Gaiman). I am so, so close to reading everything of his that I can get my hands on. As I’ve said above, basically all that’s left are a few graphic novels I’ve been saving for when I don’t feel like reading or want something short, but now I just kind of want to read all of them.
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