Wrenegade

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future - A.S. King

Meh. Excellent premise, not great execution. Fabulously written as always, because A.S. King. 

Germania

Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History - Simon Winder

There's history here, if you can squint through the haze of British distaste for the German language, food (really? You're going to judge?), and culture. 

 

I do recommend it for the subject matter alone, but wish it had a different author.

Y: The Last Man V. 2: Cycles

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr.

I'M SORRY. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. 

 

I'd already ordered the second and third before I read the first one. And now, I will repent.

Y: The Last Man

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned - Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr., Brian K. Vaughan

Sigh.

 

We started off with Girlfriend cavorting around the Australian Outback in a bikini top and daisy dukes (skin cancer, anyone?), and the book goes downhill from there.

 

This seems to have been written not to address any sort of gender issues or stereotypes (which the premise is totally set up to succeed at, but instead fails miserably), but to reassure men that without them the world would lack electricity, planes, a stable government, and common sense.

Pride of Baghdad

Pride of Baghdad - Brian K. Vaughan, Niko Henrichon

Five stars for the gorgeous artwork. No stars for the forgettable writing and weird rape subplot.

Crow Planet

Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness - Lyanda Lynn Haupt

You would think, based on the title, cover, and back cover description, that this would be about crows.

 

You would be wrong. 

 

Instead, it's a 236 page pat on her own back by the author for being oh so much more observant of nature than everyone else. She calls herself a "radical birdwatcher" and makes unsubstantiated claims about nature and then says there is no evidence for those claims, but she's making them anyway, so. 

 

There are a few anecdotes that are vaguely about crows, but there's no particular common thread or point to any of them besides bringing it all back to the author. 

 

 

 

 

Tam Lin

Tam Lin - Pamela Dean, Terri Windling

Just couldn't get into this one. Maybe it wasn't the right timing...I'll try it again later in the year.

The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora  - Scott Lynch

It's hard to rate this book. It was really, really good...the world building is amazing, the writing is to die for, the characters are intriguing...but it didn't really feel like it had any soul. All the technical pieces were there, but it was lacking the emotional oomph that would have really tied it together and made it an AMAZING book. 

 

Also, the gratuitous descriptions of gross things really got to me about 2/3 of the the way through the book. It's like GRRM but worse. The details served a purpose often, but sometimes it was just too much. I think he lost me when the whole thing with Nazca went down...too much ew. 

 

So while I regret that I will never meet Sabetha, I won't be continuing with this series. 

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, and Get More Mileage Out of Life - Chris Balish

While this didn't provide a whole lot of new information, it snapped several things into focus...how much I spend on gas...how much I hate driving...how much I enjoy it when I go long periods without driving...and how unnecessary a car really is to my life. Combined with the fact that I'm already looking at where to move to be closer to work, I think I can transition out of my car lifestyle and into a car free one in the next few weeks.

Reading progress update: I've read 45 out of 164 pages.

Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat - Melissa Joulwan, David Humphreys, Kathleen Shannon

This book is changing my life and I'm not even halfway through. Bonus points for describing a chicken dish as "sexy".

Creative, Inc.

Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business - Meg Mateo Ilasco, Joy Deangdeelert Cho

This was a little hit and miss for me. The resources at the back are very helpful. Nothing was mind-blowingly new information. Some sections were awesome with good information in a clean, detailed format...and others went by so fast that I got whiplash. I think there was one short paragraph about copyright and rights? Kind of an important subject for a freelancer.

 

The other thing that bothered me was that the freelancer profiles were almost all for people who a) do work for huge, international companies, and b) got lucky and got big jobs as soon as they thought of becoming freelancers/graduated. While it was fun to read about, personally I'm not looking to get anywhere near that scale and it would have been nice to hear about all kinds of success, not just the kind whose story is, "...and then gosh, I just had to move to New York and get an agent because Nike wants to give me big wads of cash." It's awesome that that's their success story, but there are other kinds of success stories. 

 

All in all a worthwhile read if you're wanting to start freelancing, but you can obtain much of the same information in more detail on the internet. There are some wonderful self promotion videos with members of Periscope Studio that have practical information about pricing and how each of them got started. Also, Austin Kleon's books and website are a wealth of just-get-out-there-and-do-it freelancer knowledge and motivation.

 

Saga V. 1

Saga, Volume 1 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan

*screams*

 

If you are not reading this, you need to. Now. Or yesterday.

I Promise Not to Suffer

I Promise Not To Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail - Gail D. Storey

Far and away the best of the thru hiking memoirs I've been reading recently (and only one of two that I actually finished). Storey manages to capture the hardship and beauty of the trail and weave it in with her marriage in a way that is realistic and lovely. The ending is surprising, but very satisfying. 

 

And I'm quitting while I'm ahead and won't be reading any more hiking memoirs. 

Reading progress update: I've read 118 out of 210 pages.

I Promise Not To Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail - Gail D. Storey

The best hiking memoir so far...but I'm starting to wonder why I'm almost done with the book and they've only gone 400ish miles.

Trail Tested

Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Guide to Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking - Justin Lichter

This is an excellent book, no matter what level of backpacking you're at. I know I'll come back to re-read the sections on backpacking with your dog and hiking internationally at the very least. Trauma knows his stuff and packs a lot of information into each section. If you hike, you need to read this.

Fair Game

Fair Game  - Patricia Briggs

This one was the weakest of the trilogy for me. It just felt all over the place, with a lot of thing not explained fully and then dismissed with some magic. I had to reread a couple sections to figure out what exactly happened because it wasn't particularly clear.

 

Also, Charles was annoyingly patriarchal in this one. There's this one part where he rescues Anna while she's dealing with the situation, and then afterwards she says, "You know you didn't have to rescue me, I was handling it." and he thinks to himself that it's so cute that she was so confident but she couldn't have rescued herself and he's not going to tell her this. Um what? 

 

I love love loved the end. The fae. Daaaaaayum. I seriously got chills. All the stuff about fear and justice...UNF. Loved it.

Currently reading

River Marked
Patricia Briggs
Under the Glacier
Magnus Magnusson, Halldór Laxness
Cascade Summer: My Adventure on Oregon's Pacific Crest Trail
Bob Welch