August Rewind

This is a look back at the books I read in August, with a quick look at why I liked them, or why I didn’t like them. I read a lot of different books this month, and here we go.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss is evil. I would like to have that said before I start. He is an evil, evil man, because the third book has no publishing date and I hate him. Here’s the thing, the copy I have is over 1300 pages, but I still want more now that I’m done. Yeah. This is the second book about Kvothe. He continues his search to find out what happened to his parents, to find the Amyr and the Chandrian. He gets into trouble at school so he goes away so that things can calm down a little. He travels to the other side of the continent, he helps a guy marry an annoying bitch (sorry, but she is), helps him get not poisoned. He then goes out in the world to fight bandits, he meets one of the Fae, he goes to be with the Adem to learn their ways. It’s over 1300 pages, a lot happens. I think I liked it even more than the first one! It’s not that the first one is bad, or worse, the Wise Man’s Fear is just so GOOD! Yeah. I love Patrick Rothfuss a little, with his awesome books and his glorious beard. Seriously, Google him. I want the last one now, sir. Please?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
BAH! I don’t have any of the words. Alright, I’ll try to explain what I liked and why I loved it. Eleanor & Park is about a girl named Eleanor and a boy named Park (duh) and it’s a love story set in 1986. I don’t read a lot of contemporary, or romance, but I loved this. I think Rainbow Rowell is magic. Park is half Korean, he’s short and skinny and he likes comic books and awesome music. He feels sort of displaced in his own family, but he is accepted in his school because his family has lived in Omaha since there was nothing else there. He’s from a regular middle class family. Eleanor is new in Omaha, she’s big, poor and has recently moved back in with her mother and her abusive stepdad and her four siblings. She comes on the school bus one morning and sits with Park and their relationship develops from there. And it is just so beautiful and honest, and it’s so full of teenage angst, and teenage love, and family relationships and it’s just beautiful. And it’s so wonderful. It’s told from both of their perspectives, so you get to see both his and her anxiety, and insecurities. The thing is Rainbow Rowell can make me both cry and laugh, so I love her. It was AMAZING! And I’m done.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
It’s just really good. This is the second book in the first Mistborn trilogy. I’ll try not to spoil the first book, but there might be some, but I won’t say too much about the story, suffice it to say that after what happened in the first book Elend and Kelsier’s old crew have taken control of the city of Luthadel. Their position is precarious though, they have an Assmebly being all grumbly, and two armies with kings who think they can run the city more smoothly than Elend. It’s great. It is very interesting to see how Vin and Elend grow and evolve together. It’s very interesting to see how they manage without Kelsier. It’s very interesting to see how they try to develop government. There was one thing I did think was a bit… bad? I’m not sure what word I’m looking for, unfortunate is probably a good word. So Elend has created this Assembly, consisting of him and 23 other dudes, 8 noble men, 8 merchants, 8 skaa, to run the city. And when I say dudes, I mean dudes. There are no women on the Assembly. Actually there aren’t a lot of women in the book at all. Vin is obviously the main character, and she’s strong and badass. Tindwyl does advise the king, and she’s awesome, and there is Allriane, who is in the book for 400 odd pages, but she comes across as annoying and silly. And those three are it. The other women don’t really have names, they’re whores, or slaves, or servants. It’s really weird. I realize that this is a new government, and all, but they don’t even make reference to it. It upsets me a little. It’s still good. It’s so good, but it bugs me. Still, I love it, and I’m really looking forward to The Hero of Ages, because we’re left with a huge question at the end.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
I quite liked part of this book. If you take legends, fairy tales and mythology and smush them together I’m pretty much sold. This book is about Sophie and Josh, twins who are in San Francisco for the summer. Josh works at a bookshop, for a guy named Nick Flemming, and his wife Perry. One day a guy named John Dee attacks, and it turns out the Flemmings are Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel, and they’re both about 700 years old. Dee steals the Codex, an ancient book with the instructions for making a philosopher’s stone, thus giving yourself eternal life, and lots of other awesome stuff. Dee doesn’t get the two last pages though, the pages that would help him restore the Elders (old gods, like Hekate, Bast, those charmers) and essentially bring about the end of the world. Josh and Sophie save Nick, while Dee takes Perenelle. Nick realizes the twins have dormant magical powers and he takes them, and the last two pages of the book, to keep them safe, so Dee can’t get a hold of them. It’s fun, there’s magic, legends, craziness. There was stuff that really bothered me though. Mr. Scott didn’t really have any clear perspective. Which means that when they switched perspective the characters did not have distinctive voices and I got really confused. And it pissed me off, because it’s annoying, and it’s sloppy. Other than that I’m curious to see what happens next, so I might keep reading. I might borrow the books from my sister though, rather than buying them.

Saga, volume #2 and #3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I’m not sure what to say about these, but I love them. The art is fantastic. The story is interesting. I love Gwendolyn, she’s amazing. I really like Alana, and Marko, they’re great. And I read them on my iPad, which was pretty cool. They were really crisp and good. And I really like that I can read graphic novels on my iPad. I’m gushing about apple, this isn’t where I meant to go. Yeah, they’re real good, I wants more.

We by Yevgeney Zamyatin
It’s weird. Weird is the word, is the word. We is set in the 26th century, in a sort of dystopian Russia. People don’t have names anymore, they have numbers, and the main character is D-503, who is a mathematician and he is working on the Integral, a spaceship they’re sending out to bring happiness to the rest of space. Everything in this society is ordered and decided for the people by the government. They’re cut off from nature by a Green Wall, everything is too a schedule, sleeping, waking up, working, sex, everything. They have abolished freedom for happiness, and true happiness can only come from order and focus. Our main character is originally paired up with a woman, O-90, but then he meets another woman I-330, who makes him question, and everything sort of changes. It is the book Orwell used as inspiration for 1984, and I definitely saw that when I read it, although 1984 is a bit gloomier I think, it’s darker, and more police state-y. I really liked it. Also, he wrote it in 1920, and it seems surprisingly modern. I was impressed.

Jellicoe Road by Malina Marchetta
I put this on my TBR because of Misty the BookRat. And I read it this month because she did a cootie catcher book thing, and I got Jellicoe Road, and she got so excited, and I got excited. It’s about a girl named Taylor Markham who lives at the Jellicoe school by the Jellicoe Road. She was left there by her junkie mother when she was 11 and she was sort of looked after by a woman named Hannah, who lived by the school. Hannah has been Taylor’s touch stone the last six years, and now she’s disappeared. I’m not entirely sure why I loved it so much. It’s really… odd. Ostensibly it’s about this girl Taylor being made the leader of the House heads at the Jellicoe school. Her duties involves her keeping up the school’s boundaries against the townies and Cadets, who have a six week camp out near the school. The factions have been doing this for going on 20 years. When Hannah disappears she only has a manuscript Hannah has been writing. It’s just really beautiful. Taylor is so angry, and so flawed, and she has trust issues, and anxiety, and she’s so weird. And I love her. I loved her backstory with Griggs, the leader of the Cadets. It’s a bit weird in the beginning, and it was a little slow, but suddenly I loved it, and all the feels. I found Raffela and Chaz’s relationship really interesting. As was the relationship between Taylor and Griggs, I love that they have backstories and histories, and it’s gorgeous. And I loved it.

The Company by K.J. Parker
I feel like it was a bit meh. It was okay. It’s about a group of soldiers who have come back from the war and are now moving to an island to become farmers. And we get to hear their story of the planning, and the buying stuff they might need. We also get to hear how they marry random chicks in their village. And we also get to hear their backstory from when they were in the army. It was fine. I didn’t really care. I feel like it wasn’t moving towards anything interesting, and pretty much all of the like main characters were awful people. Teuche Kunessin, who had the idea, and was their leader, spent his army days shamelessly stealing from his both dead and live comrades. One of them, Muri, is pretty much the kindest, most hardworking person in the book and everyone is a complete arsehole to him. No one listens to him, his wife is awful, it’s just. It was fine. I’m a bit annoyed, but now I never have to read this book again.

My resolutions

As far as 70-book challenge is concerned I am absolutely fine. The fact that I’ve started reading more graphic novels is obviously helping. As far as the Mount TBR I’m not doing great. I should be on 24, but there it is, I’m at 20. I’ve read another classic, which obviously helps. As far as authors of color I am failing miserably. I’ll have to move it on to next year. I’m a dumbo. Maybe if I get money or amazon gift cards for Christmas I will buy only works by people of color. There’s a resolution, far into the future, easy for me to cop out of. Yeah, that’s how I roll.