Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What I'm Reading Now: August Edition

July was a crazy month for me and now here we are at the end of August already! I can hardly believe how quickly the summer went by. And I've read some amazing books during it. Here's what I'm in the middle of right now:

On my Nook: Asylum by Madeleine Roux - I've been wanting to read this ever since I saw the cover, and I'm enjoying it so far. I've chuckled regularly, but the overall feeling is utterly creepy and I'm not quite sure how Roux pulls that off. Really looking forward to seeing where the story goes.

On my phone: A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan - I just started this, but I'm interested in the main character's gift with numbers. I find the narration style of that character just a little off-putting (at times it feels like Monaghan is trying just a little too hard), but I'm also trying to see if that's part of the character or if it's a problem. For now I'm intrigued enough to keep reading. I also like the way the chapter headings are bumper stickers.

In Print - Fiction: Only a Promise by Mary Balogh - I read virtually no romance, but I really enjoy Balogh's style and the focus on character development. I'm particularly enjoying the Survivor's Club series, of which this book is a part. The series follows the lives of seven people who survived the Napoleonic wars and who banded together as they healed from their wounds - most of which weren't physical. I like that it keeps kind of a standard "romance novel" format and lightness while still dealing with the repercussions of war.

In Print - Non-Fiction: The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar - I'm reading this for research for a paper I'm writing, and it's utterly fascinating. Their exploration of the ways nineteenth century female authors struggled and both were restrained by and pushed against the patriarchal literary system is just really interesting.

On audio in my car: I've been listening to the radio program Jungle Jam and Friends. We used to listen to it all the time and I bought some so I could relisten to them and I'm finding them just as hilarious and enjoyable. There are two segments to each show. One usually follows the Jungle friends (Millard the Monkey, Nozzles the Elephant, Sully the Aardvark, Gruffy the Bear, etc.) as they get into some sort of crazy trouble and help each other out and the other story is about Marvy Snuffleson who gets regularly swept out to sea to RazzleFlabben Island in order to learn important lessons about whatever he's dealing with in real life. All of them are very entertaining and, though focused on kids, have lots of sly puns and jokes that adults will love. If you want to check them out, you can go to the Fancy Monkey Studios website.

On TV: I'm still working my way through X-Files, but I'm on Season 7 already, so I may actually finish before the new series starts.

Are you reading or watching anything good? I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

10 Things I Loved About The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Finley has known for a while that she's different. She's stronger than she should be and sometimes she can sense something dark and almost sinister taking over when she feels threatened. When she's attacked by her new employer's ne'er do well son and almost kills him, she knows she has no choice but to run. Griffin King has a lot of things on his mind so he almost doesn't see Finley when she runs out into the street in front of him. He feels responsible, but his friends fear that Finley's not what she appears to be. As Finley gets sucked into a world of power and intrigue she finds herself trying to master the darkness growing inside her.

Here's 10 things I loved about The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross:

  1. Steampunk: I think this is my first real foray into steampunk and I absolutely loved it. I loved the way these pieces were all woven together.
  2. Finley: She's not proper, but she's not a total rebel either. She's strong physically, but in other ways as well. And she's not afraid to admit to her weaknesses either. She knows when to rely on other people and when she needs to handle things herself. And she's snarky as all get out, which I loved.
  3. Finley's parents: I really really really liked that Finley had a good relationship with her mother and step-father. They weren't clueless or stupid or cruel or indifferent. They care about Finley, but don't smother her. And she knows she can turn to them, though she cares about them and doesn't want to be a burden on their limited resources.
  4. The genre blending: I know that this goes along with the steampunk, but in addition to the mix of history and science fiction, there are also elements of fantasy and mystery. And it's all mashed together into one interesting tale.
  5. Emily: Mega brains - like brilliant - but also feminine and friendly. I loved her character.
  6. Evil robots: I can't say more without spoiling, but EVIL ROBOTS.
  7. Jack Dandy: You really shouldn't like him, but you just can't help it.
  8. The clothes: Oh, the clothes. I loved the descriptions of the clothes (including the titular steel corset), yet it wasn't overwhelming or onerous. Just enough to make it interesting and really ground you in the world.
  9. Sam: I found his character to be so interestingly conflicted. I really liked his character arc.
  10. There's more! This is the first in a series and I already own the second one, so I don't have to wait to find out what happens next :D
Happy Reading!