March 6, 2012

Literally Literary: Current Reads

"Literally Literary" is a feature in which I write about books, reading and more books. My hope is the post title will provide a subtle hint that I am posting about BOOKS. For those of you where the topic of books results in narcoleptic fits thereby causing you to faceplant onto your keyboard, this will allow you to just click away from the horror that is the written word. Also, I simply adore the word "literally", it is literally my favorite adverb. Bonus points if pronounced with a Rob Lowe/Parks n' Recreation affectation.

Special Note: All posts contain non-affiliate links - I do not have an Amazonian Fancy Pants Affiliate Thingie.

Not-So-Special Note: My Reading Resolutions for 2012 can be found in this post.

I have already updated my Reading Resolutions for 2012 -- I decided upon Persepolis for my graphic novel selection and I added two bloggers who are releasing books - Kelle Hampton's Bloom and Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened (in general, I will continue to add blogger releases to the list simply because I want to support bloggers wherever I can).

In the meantime......

So, I did read Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis.  And..... I had mixed feelings on it.  In regard to the graphic novel aspect of it, I really enjoyed the style of the art and the font choices.  But, I think I have read way too many books set during the 70s and 80s in Iran.  In short, the story itself did not hold much suspense for me since so many of the experiences during that time period are similar to each other.  That said, I will still read the 2nd book because I always appreciate seeing what happens to survivors of the Iran revolution when they become adults.  Furthermore, those stories are always unique and rarely follow similar paths.  Also, I will definitely be recommending Persepolis to my own kids when they get a little older.  The story is not too graphic, but does an excellent job of portraying the oppression and horror that was Iran in the 70s and 80s.  I do want to read another graphic novel and Maus was another one highly recommended.  However, I have also read a ton about the Holocaust.  I would like my next graphic novel choice to be on a subject that I have no experience with (again, open for suggestions!)

I also recently read Jane Austen's Emma (Note: I have linked to the superbly formatted Kindle edition of Austen's complete works -- for a mere $1.99, what a bargain!)  I have read Pride and Prejudice over and over, and recently had begun Sense and Sensibility.  When my book club selected Emma, I was SO excited and promptly dropped Sense and Sensibility to read Emma instead.  Sheesh.  What a disappointment! It wasn't horrible, but Emma lacked the intrigue and beautiful writing that Pride and Prejudice has.  Furthermore, I watched the 1996 movie version of Emma and realize now what a shoddy job they did adapting that movie from the book.  Sad for me because I used to LOVE that movie.  Disappointment all around.

I'm currently reading Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I love how Cain dispels the common thinking that introverts are shy, retired sorts of hermits. In fact, when I tell folks that I am an introvert, I often get a "No, you're not!". Actually, I am an introvert, I am just not shy. I do like to be around people and can be pretty sociable. But I also need alone time because being around people exhausts me. One of the most stressful bits about being married with children is that I rarely get time to myself. When the kids are in school, my idea of a "good time" is coming home and sitting in the house ALONE.  Cain's Quiet also does a nice job of exploring our nation's history with the rise of placing a greater importance on the quality associated with extroverts.  And she examines why the these qualities are viewed as being advantageous to one's success.  Since I really struggled with my personality as a child, I am hoping that reading this book will help me find ways to help my own little introvert -- Anjali.  It kills me inside when I see her struggling with the same things that I did.

I also read Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women edited by Nura Maznavi.  Whoa.  I was pretty shocked by a lot of this, quite frankly.  My Muslim Community in Lawrence KS and here in Kansas City was SO conservative -  I see that now.  And their viewpoints greatly influenced me.  When I first began this book, I found myself reading with a very judgmental eye (as in "well, SHE certainly is not a good Muslim")  However, by the end of the book, I had a very different reaction and began to understand how a Muslim girl could still be a bit more liberal in her lifestyle while maintaining that she was a good Muslim.  After all the Christians have managed, why not the Muslims??  Yes....Definitely, this anthology had much to offer in the way of food for thought.  I finished it 2 weeks and am STILL thinking about it.  I am pestering Lucky Fatima to start a discussion and I cannot WAIT to see others' viewpoints on this!

Thanks to HBO, I became hooked on the the Song of Fire and Ice series.  While watching the 1st season of the Game of Thrones, I began reading Book 1 of the series.  Unfortunately, all of the suspense was lost while reading the book because I already knew what happened and reading Game of Thrones was some slow going.  However, I am reading Clash of Kings now and am finding the scenario to be very different.  I can hardly put this thing down because I want to know what happens next!  SO GOOD.

So.... that's what a small bit of what I have been reading.......


Moderndayhermit said...

I am also an outgoing introvert. I love going out and doing things, chatting it up with people and just being social in a general sense (I can be very shy at times) but I NEED my alone time. I become emotionally and mentally exhausted if I don't get time to recharge. Marwan and Alex are the complete opposite: complete extroverts.

I just started "A Game of Thrones" and I am HOOKED! I've read a lot of critical reviews of the series but I'm still finding it quite enjoyable. Perhaps because I am relatively new to this genre? I don't know and don't much care. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

I have "Love, InshAllah" and started to read it and have found it very interesting.

luckyfatima said...

I just finished Love, Inshallah. Yes, let's discuss!

stephanie said...

For a graphic novel, I recommend Blankets by Craig Thompson. It's actually the only graphic novel I've ever read and I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it (just because of the graphic novel format, not story related), but I really enjoyed it.