Monday, March 24, 2014

January - February - and Some March Reading List Roundup

Eating alone, classical music on iPod, book. I have taken introversion (or basic pretentiousness) to new heights.

After I have disclosed my embarrassing 2013 Book List, not only have I come to peace that I am not missing the zeitgeist of my generation if I don't read 50 Shades of Grey, I have also reprimanded myself to know better. You see, I will never prove BBC wrong, that I am thrice as well read as they expected, if I don't start reading the classics. Classics, that I enjoy. I also don't want to miss out on inside jokes and references anymore. So with that, I am proud to say that for the first quarter of 2014, I have:

  • Not done any re-reads
  • Read four could-be-considered classics
  • Only listened to two audiobooks
  • Expanded my reading list to comic books and graphic novels

and in effect stayed true to my reading goals.

Of course, there's no use reading books if you don't talk about or eloquently discuss it. But through my Road to Self Discovery, I have found out that over analyzing a book so I can write about it is one of my greatest deterrents from actually just writing about it. It must be the Yoga, but this year, I say "Fuck it. I just want to read books and tell you how I feel about it." #GoodToBeBad

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

How do I write about The Great Gatsby without sounding pretentious?

For one, I am not going to talk about how it represents the waste of the Roaring Twenties or the misinterpreted American Dream. Instead, let me admit that part of my motivation to read this book is when I saw Tom Hiddleston play F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris.

Let me confess that I am a sucker for unrequited love and "boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" types of stories. A believer of the One True Love concept, too. So even if I already know how Gatsby and Daisy's story will go down, I couldn't help but feel a prick in my heart to read that Book!Daisy is more indifferent than Carey Mulligan!Daisy.

Allow me to say that although the movie did not ruin the novel for me, watching the movie before reading the book gave me that sinking feeling in my pith that shit's about to go down. With that, Kids, let it be a lesson to all to not watch the movie version of books before reading the actual book if you can avoid it.

A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"No shame in reading pop genres like say, chick lit; reading extensively in a genre enables you to sift through the dross. But if you want to expand your reading list, what you can do is think about your comfort reads (or even favorite movies or shows) and determine why you like them. Is there a milieu, voice, archetype or trope that appeals to you? Then browse through appropriate bookshelves."

Wise words from one of my (I'd like to believe we are) friends, Ate Trish, who's been my constant source of anything Tom Hiddleston and anything geeky in between.

So I took her advice and recognized that I love a good mystery, that I value great story telling, that if it's Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock that will encourage me to read the actual novels then so be it.

Given that the first two books are dated, and that people on Goodreads should just stop nagging about the racism (everyone's a little bit lacist), suffice to say, both books kept me at the edge of my seat. It is also interesting to read about the roots of my current favorite show and how fresh Mark Gatiss and friends have actually rebooted the franchise while still staying true to the literary characters.

P.S. I love you, RDJ, but Cumberbatch is canon.

Loki Agent of Asgard #1

"Tom is our core."
- Me talking about how I pick up Loki-related hobbies because of Tom. And, ya know, because only losers quote themselves.

Truth: I've always wanted to start a comic book hobby, but where does one begin? Lyra, my fairy godfriend of all things Loki, helped me out and made it possible for me to have my gateway drug to comic books. I was stressing out whether I should read Young Avengers, "OMG, do I have to read all the way back?", but Lyra told me to read Loki #1 first and see if I like it.

And like it, I did! The puns, the banter, the recurring One Direction reference, Hawkeye surprisingly having more personality than his Marvel Cinematic Universe counterpart (sorry, Jeremy Renner!). Couldn't really comment much about the art without sounding like a poser, but storyline is interesting enough for me to reserve the first six issues.

Also in picture: The Return of Sherlock Holmes which I am currently reading.

Not discussed but audiobooked: The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner, read by Tom Hiddleston, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling.

So there ya go. My first quarter-ish Book List that doesn't involve any chic lit (hurrah! OK, maybe there's one that I didn't disclose) and one that I can truly be proud of.

How about you? Read anything interesting lately?

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