What I’ve Been Reading Lately, again

Hello everyone!

A lot has happened since my last post, and while I don’t want to be that person and give excuses for my terrible lack of attention to this blog, I can explain a little!

For one, the Columbia Publishing Course has ended. 😦 I will never forget all the memories I made, everything I learned, and all lovely people I met and so quickly befriended as a part of this course. It was simultaneously the fastest and slowest six weeks of my life – leaving me feeling like I just arrived in this city and how can it all by over already while at the same time like this is the way my life has always been. The last few days were bittersweet, because some of my international friends and two of the best roommates a girl could have have left the good ol’ US of A to either go back to their home countries for a little while or give the publishing industry across the pond a shot. Fortunately, a ton of people from the course are staying in the city, and I’m even lucky enough to be living temporarily with two of them now, with a fourth joining us in our apartment search. I can’t wait to be real roommates with these women as we navigate NYC and the publishing world together.

Speaking of the publishing world, the second major explanation for my lack of posting is….(drumroll)…I got a job! I have no idea if I’m legally even allowed to mention where I work or what I do on this public forum (probably not – conflict of interest with talking about other publishers’  books and all that) so I’m not going to, but I just finished my first week and I love it there already. I had a (very) brief weekend at home before I packed up to return to NYC, and am already grateful for the combination of the excitement in the variety of my day-to-day work and the routine it nevertheless is helping me establish as I acclimate to a new city so far from home.

On to what I’ve been reading, the real reason (if any), that you’re probably here! As always, cover images are from Goodreads!

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Remnants: Season of Wonder by Lisa Tawn Bergen – I mentioned this one in my last post as being in-progress, and I’ve since finished it. While it wandered a little and lost me periodically, I still thought it was a pretty interesting Christian take on the dystopian genre. It can get a little heavy-handed at times, but nothing bothersome, and I’m definitely considering downloading the next one in the series when it’s released.

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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – One of my roommates at the course was reading this one and lent it to me, and I’m so glad she did. It took me a little while to get interested in the story, but the ending was so inexplicably uplifting to my soul that it was worth the initial effort.

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Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen – I picked this one up at the Strand essentially on the recommendations of numerous book bloggers. The cover isn’t really to my taste and it took some time to get used to the vernacular language Gaughen writes in, but ultimately, this book sucked me in and I can’t wait to pick up the next one. There’s just something so romantic about the idea of Robin Hood to me, and I love the idea that his Maid Marian is actually a badass.

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Heist Society by Ally Carter – Another Ally Carter series that I totally, unabashedly love in spite of its cheesy, teenybopper cover art. This is just the first in the series, but just like with the Gallagher girls, Carter has found a topic and a cast of characters that I love to live vicariously through.

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The Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt – This book was a $2 Strand find, and was a bit of a departure from what I’ve been reading lately, but still lovely and more than worth what I paid for it. It reminded me how nice it is to step away from your genre and main character comfort zone. Side note, I clearly bought it for the cover art alone, and I don’t regret it. Worth a read.

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The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp – I bought this one half-price at the Strand, which explains why I went against my usual rule of no movie tie-in cover art. It had been on my list, and as much as I hoped it would have ended differently (because it broke my heart!) a decent-sized part of me appreciated Tharp’s realistic portrayal in the story, sans nicely tied loose ends and perfectly happy endings. I’ve heard that the movie slightly changes this ending and makes it more hopeful (a la Dear John), and my inexplicable crush on Miles Teller hasn’t abated yet, so maybe I’ll watch it some weekend soon and see how I feel about a different ending. Still worth the read, though, half price or not.

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Euphoria by Lily King – This was a book I received free as a result of the course. The author’s publisher, Morgan Entrekin, was one of our speakers and brought a few books with him when he came to visit, which he left behind for students that might be interested in them. A few weeks later, we received word that he felt bad (unnecessarily so) that in his first visit he hadn’t brought books for each of us, and he had graciously sent over a number of copies of four titles for us to choose from. A sucker for cover art but also interested in the back cover summary, I picked this one. I finally got to reading it on the plane on the way back home, and was so interested by the characters. The three leads are all anthropologists studying tribes in New Guinea in the 30s (based loosely off of Margaret Mead’s life and studies), but I was just as fascinated by the interactions between the three characters as I was by their work in the fictional tribe.

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson – When I was in middle and early high school (and actually the target age for Anderson’s books) I read and loved a book of hers called Peaches. I admit I can’t remember exactly the events of that book, but I do remember how deftly Anderson had crafted that story of young female friendship and first love, and in this Peter Pan retelling (re-envisioning?), Anderson hasn’t lost her touch. I just finished this one less than an hour ago and my heart is breaking, and probably will continue to do so for at least the rest of the weekend, if not longer.

I think that’s everything! I’m still embarrassingly behind in my GoT Book 2 progress, and have maybe read like 50 pages or so since my last post. I promise I will finish it eventually.

Side note – I’m thinking that, at least for the time being, I like this round-up format better than what I’ve been doing for my reviews in the past. It’s nicer to not have to think so much about my review as I’m reading and just enjoy the book. This way, I can do that, but still give a little snippet about my thoughts and a recommendation.

That’s all for now!

-Strawberry

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