Reading inbox-outbox: Week of 15 June

June hasn’t been an epically amazing month for books so far. I’m enjoying what I’m reading, but I haven’t been blown away by anything yet…

Inbox (books acquired)

  • I didn’t acquire *any* new books this week, but I did listen to the All the Books! podcast again this week and it resulted in me adding three more books to my wish list:
  • And (unrelated) I bought some new music (yes, some people still BUY music…)
    • I’ve been loving Chemical Brothers’ “Go” and Hot Chip’s “Huarache Lights” — they even have a very similar sound — I bought the MP3 singles so I can listen to them offline
    • And of course I had to have the new Of Monsters and Men album

Outbox (books finished)

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Kindle, library) — This book is crazy. I think I read the entire thing with my teeth clenched. There is so much tension and so much gossipy badness from so many of the characters. I kept shaking my head and thinking, is it really like this? It’s basically a family drama and a love story. But it takes place in a culture that was completely new to me. I appreciated the untranslated slang, but the footnotes explaining everything were a bit distracting. I mean, you mostly get the point in context, so you don’t really need an exact translation. (Side note: Maybe it was just annoying because of how footnotes work on the Kindle apps. On my Kindle Voyage they appear as a pop-up, which is great. But footnotes on the apps are touchy. They flip you around in the book and sometimes it’s hard to get back to where you were. I do wish the Kindle interface was uniform across all the devices / apps. They may all sync seamlessly, but I have to keep re-teaching myself how to navigate them every time I switch between my Voyage, my tablet, and my phone.)
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (paperback, re-read) — The work book club picked this to read in June. Since I read it back in high school, I decided it was time for a re-read. I remember this book being the high school assigned reading equivalent for me of what Catcher in the Rye is for other people (I never did like Holden Caulfield all that much). I remember freaking loving this book and immediately wanting to read everything else by Vonnegut. He became my favorite author for a while (at least until I read Dune at the end of college… ). He’s still in my top-five. Still, this re-read got off to a slow start, and I wasn’t really connecting with it as much as I did twenty(ish) years ago. But by the time I got to the middle, I was laughing out loud and wishing I had a highlighter. There are some really great lines, and insights into humanity, in this book. Bottom line? I still love it. It’s still one of my all-time favorite books.
  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival by Peter Stark (audiobook, library) — Man this guy is wordy and repetitive. I mean, just look at the title of this book, for example. I really loved the story, though. It was such an interesting time in American history. Yes, we were awful to those already living here. And to the environment (all those animals killed for basically fashion and profit!). But there is something about the story of explorers braving and surviving the wilderness — especially in my “adopted home” of the Pacific Northwest — that fascinates and inspires me. This worked really well on audiobook and kept us entertained through two long road trips (it’s a really long book). And the author’s note at the end offers some interesting context about why he wrote this book and how he got interested in this area.

Queue (what I’m reading next)

I’m starting to make my list of what I’m planning to read on vacation in July. I’m trying to decide between going exclusively with Kindle books (easier to pack and more options), or bringing along a few paperbacks from my TBR — ones that I might be able to “free” after reading (so at least I wouldn’t have to pack them home)… Decisions, decisions. But no stress because deciding what to read is really my favorite decision to make. 🙂

 

(Reminder: the format for my weekly inbox/outbox posts was adopted from Book Riot’s weekly column of the same name…)

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