Melissa Buys Books

27 Jul

There are few feelings in this world that are more wonderful than coming home with a stack of new books. The last few days I’ve done that twice and it is amazing. You have to understand, when someone asks me what my idea of a perfect date is, I say coffee and books at Barnes & Noble. Or a local bookstore if they’ve got their shit together and aren’t pretentious hipsters. Seriously, I like supporting local stores but there are just way too many times where I’ve walked in and asked about a YA book and gotten an eye-roll in response. Yes, I like young adult books. Yes, you are an asshole if you think less of me for this. So anyway, perfect date. Well actually my perfect date is tailgating before a college football game, the game, and then driving out into the countryside and falling asleep under the stars in the bed of a pickup truck. But if its not football season? Then the bookstore gets my vote.

If I have a free day, you’ll find me at the bookstore. I’ll gather a pile of books, some I know I want to read and some I’m curious about. I usually peruse a cookbook or two for new recipe ideas and I’m bound to grab at least a few magazines. There’s something immensely comforting about being surrounded by books. You can escape to entirely different worlds. It’s magical. Barnes & Noble is also one of my favorite place because they don’t just allow you to peruse a book before buying, they encourage it. I think that’s awesome. I’m all for grabbing a book off a shelf and taking it home and letting a story surprise you but sometimes I prefer to read a few chapters in the store to see if it really grabs me. And when I find one that is so good I can’t even bear to wait the time it would take to purchase it and drive home, B&N has comfy chairs beckoning.

Okay, this is starting to sound like a love letter to Barnes & Noble. Which I could write someday. It would be beautiful and include an ode to grasshopper mochas. But my point was that I bought a number of new books. So here is what I am reading over the next week or so. If it even takes me that long to get through them.

“Divergent” & “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth. I actually started reading Divergent last night. The plan was to read a couple chapters (5 at most and only if they were short) and then go to bed. I had to work this morning. The reality was that I devoured every bit of the book and stayed up until 4am to finish it. I have a sickness. No regrets though. This book is pretty much amazeballs to me. I can’t wait to start Insurgent and I’m dying to see how the entire trilogy pans out. I’m in the middle of a couple of dystopian* series and I’m curious to see if these authors learned from some of Suzanne Collins mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those rare people who actually loved Mockingjay (better than the first two) but I still see the issues. So far my favorite thing about Divergent is the fact that Tris is kind of selfish. Like she’s not, she’s still worthy of being a hero but at the same time, she doesn’t have the DC Comics hero complex where you have to save everyone. She looks out for her loved ones but everyone else can pretty much go fuck themselves. AND IT IS AWESOME. Do yourself a favor and run to the nearest bookstore to buy this series.

*BTW, please don’t be one of those people who rolls your eyes at current trends and is like “OMG, dystopian novels are so the new vampire novel. When are they going to be over?” Because the answer is they aren’t. Vampires, Dystopia, whatever, all these things are being written about constantly. Sometimes there are times when the popular culture is more aware of them but the cycle is continuous. So no, it is not going to be over. Listening to you be annoying is.

Falling for Hamlet. I was wary of picking this book up because the cover seemed a little silly. HOWEVER, I also find that I greatly enjoy retellings of Shakespeare’s plays. Which is kind of odd because I’m not a big fan of the Originals. Like I give mad props to the plays and obviously they’ve been insanely influential on pretty much all modern storytelling but the exact Shakespeare play is not my favorite. I have the same feeling for the Beatles. Mad respect and I will argue with anyone who tries to act like they weren’t one of the most influential bands of all time but I like covers of their songs ten times more than the originals. So this Falling for Hamlet was one I read through a few chapters to see if I liked it. I do. It’s not a read in one sitting kind of book but it is one I’m enjoying. It tells the story through Ophelia’s pov and so far she’s a lot cooler than she comes off in the original. I already thought she was cool in the original anyway. I’m just amazed she didn’t kill herself sooner the way Hamlet bitches about EVERY. LITTLE. THING.

Eve by Anna Carey. Haven’t even started it yet but it looked fun.

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson. It’s Maureen Johnson. I read everything she has ever and will ever write.

Saving Zoe & Faking 19 by Alyson Noel. This was a 2 books in one kind of deal and it looked interesting. We shall see.

I did also buy a reference book on vampires throughout history and mythology for like $2 off the clearance rack. Because duh.

Sold by Patricia McCormick. The only truly serious book I’ve bought in a while was recommended by 2 different sales associates.

“Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie”, “Notes from the Midnight Driver”, and “Zen and the Art of Faking It” by Jordan Sonnenblick. I picked up Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie completely by random. I saw the sonnen and thought Rebecca Sonnenshine (TVD writer) has a book out? (Not so rare. Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain have written YA books as has Liz Tigelaar). Then I saw it was someone else. I almost put it back but the “dangerous pie” part intrigued me so I started to read a couple pages to see if it interested me.

Something you should know is that I don’t really like books written from a male pov. I don’t know why, but a lot of authors write guys to be like girls. I know we’re trying to get into the character’s head and so they’ll talk more but it has to be realistic. This is. Those couple of pages became a couple chapters & before I knew it, I was sitting on a stool in the middle of the aisle, thoroughly engrossed in the book. I kid you not, I was so invested that I hadn’t even bothered to find a place to sit. But this book y’all…it is so good. It was real and honest and poignant and pretty much perfect. I’ll be writing a full review later but if I only recommend you read one book this year, that would be it. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. I bought that one two days ago so tonight I headed straight for the shelf to grab any other Sonnenblick books I could find.

So that’s my latest haul. What are you reading?

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Books & Writers


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