in the reading room this past week…

Seasons of Reading’s Fright Fall Read-a-thon took place this past week. I completed the solo requirement of reading a spooky/mysterious/thriller sort of book. Beyond that, I’m not sure if my week should be considered a success or not. The amount of time I spent reading didn’t suck, it just didn’t involve as much “fun reading” as I had hoped it would. This also means I’m not as far along on Andi’s #15in31 (only 2 of 15 so far!) as I might like. No worries–so not stressing about it. So, what have I been reading this week?

*The one book I did finish was Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. The first of the Alex Cross books. And a book I’ve read before, oh at least 20 years ago. There was a time I thoroughly loved this series, but after the first ten or twelve I just grew bored and eventually quit reading them altogether. At our recent library sale, I picked up the first several in the series again, figuring they would be the perfect sort of reads for flare ups when my brain just refused to work. And it was the fact that I’m experiencing one of those times that led me to read this book now. If I’m being honest, I think that I sort of hoped that I wouldn’t like it this time around. Like I was hoping I’d “matured” or something. Ha! Yeah, I know how stupid that sounds. Whatever. Fact of the matter is that I did enjoy it, whether I wanted to or not. 😉  I didn’t remember a lot about the book, but the two things I did remember were pretty important. But even that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Anyway, as far as thriller-type books go, I still think the early Alex Cross books are great. Of course, I don’t read this type of book all that often anymore, so I can’t compare to what’s out there in the genre today. This counts as book 6 for RIP.

*In the “school reading” category, I conquered a few more chapters of our astronomy textbook. Reading this is work for me. Not in the sense that I hate it, but in the sense that it is a struggle. I have to read some sections three or four times. And even then, all I come away with are the basic concepts. I’ve sort of given up on the math involved. That’s okay, we’re doing an integrated sciences course of which astronomy is only a small part, and yet we’re reading nearly an entire college level astronomy textbook…so I’m going to be forgiving of us both if we don’t walk away remembering, or even understanding, every little detail.

*Also in the “school reading” category, I’ve read several chapters of Reigns of Terror by Patricia Marchak. In the intro, she suggested reading Part II before Part I. Part II contains chapters for each of the 20th genocides/politicides/crimes against humanity that she focuses on, explaining the historical context, what happened during the genocide, and the external influences at play; Part I is where she gives her arguments about the preconditions and similarities that are present among nations where these violent crimes against humanity occur. So I understand why she suggests reading Part II first, but I don’t understand why she didn’t just place it first in the book. I’m a few pages short of finishing Part II, and as such have not yet gotten to the meat of her arguments and can’t yet judge how I feel about the book as a whole As important as I think it is that we’re doing this course on genocide, crimes against humanity, and human rights, I have to admit it is mentally and emotionally overwhelming.

*Back on the “purely for pleasure” front, I started reading Umineko: When They Cry, Episode 3: Banquet of the Golden Witch, Volume 1 by Ryukishi07. Annie convinced me to read these so she had someone to talk to in person about them. 🙂  Annie actually hasn’t even read the mangas yet, but she’s read the visual novel a few times. Anyway, it’s a massive (page-wise) series. There are 8 episodes, each broken down into volumes for the manga. Episodes 1, 2, and 3 each consist of 2 volumes, though I believe the later Episodes will each have more volumes. And each volume thus far has clocked in at about 500-700 pages. It is such an intriguing ride! Influenced by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. But very much it’s own story. It is mind-twisting for sure. It plays with logic throughout. Being slightly more than halfway through the first volume of Episode 3, I can say unflinchingly that I have no frickin’ clue what is going on. 😛 But I am enjoying it immensely. The characters are flawed, but there is a depth to their individual stories that helps up understand where many of them are coming from. Battler Ushiromiya is our protagonist, and at this point I find him both likable and a twit simultaneously. He’s 18-years-old, a bit sexist, and obsessed with big breasts. However, I was talking with Annie the other day, and she assured me that he actually grows a lot throughout the series. For all it’s fun with logic and mystery-solving, it is a violent, gruesome series. Duh–we’re talking multiple murders here. But really, it goes far beyond the cozy sort of mystery that I would classify Christie’s stories as.

*And finally, I started a new audiobook. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I needed a new audiobook while I waited for Symbiont to become available, and this was the first one that popped up during my browsing that caught my eye. I had no clue what it was about, but have enjoyed Holly Black before (and really need to read Doll Bones !!!), so I figured “why not?” LOL–I said a few weeks ago how vampire books just weren’t my thing, and here we are with a third book in two months that have vampires! I’m guessing I’m about a third of the way through it, and am definitely enjoying it. I wouldn’t call it overwhelming love though. I have this feeling that I’m really just now getting to the meat of the story, and that I may just fall in love yet. Or it might totally fall apart on me. Eager to find out which, if either, will be the case.

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