Monday, October 24, 2016

Reading Slumps, Part 2

via Pinterest

Or, will Alex ever stop whining about her first world problems?*

 I’ve decided that they’re two types of stories—the ones that show you how you want to write, and the ones that show you how you don’t want to write. Not that anything I’ve read in the past couple of months has been outright terrible. Everything has been good, decent, or okay. And that’s the problem. I’m ready for something like The Monstrumologist or The Reapers Are the Angels. Something that makes me want to cry because I didn’t come up with the idea first.

Through all the good-to-okay books I’ve read since fall semester started, one thing that most of them had in common has stuck with me. None of them are unexpected. It’s not so much a question of plot or character development but some weird, impossible to define ingredient—that bit of whatever-it-is that makes a story seem new and unfamiliar, even if the plot’s actually been done ten billion times before. I don’t expect each book I read to have that, but when it’s missing, I notice.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a bunch of short stories on Some of them are better than others, but they’re all just the right length for reading in between classes.

Image result for that game we played during the war

That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn
Modern day fantasy of two prisoners of war who meet to finish the game they started years before. I ended up loving the concept a lot more than the story itself (mostly because of the length—I’d love to see this as a book). Still well-written and emotional.

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The Night Cyclist by Stephen Graham Jones
This one didn’t scare me. At all. Bicyclist vampires are still a cool idea, though.

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Men Who Wish to Drown by Elizabeth Famma
 The best atmosphere out of these three, plus it’s about mermaids and whaling (two of my favorite things), so I can’t complain. The narrator’s voice is also wonderfully lemony:
 “As long as you have known me, I have been Grandfather Henry. But when I met my wife, Martha, I was still Resolved, a name that since our wedding day I have only signed to legal documents. No man was permitted to call me Resolved, because none could accuse me of any such virtue."                                                                                                                                A man after my own heart.
 What have you guys been reading lately?

*Not likely. 


  1. You're blog is a little happy place!

  2. I've been in a bit of a reading slump myself. The last book I finished was just okay, and the THREE before that were DNF's... At the moment I'm turning to an old favorite series (The Glamourist Histories by Kowal) but I too am on the look out for that new "wow" book.
    I was trying to think of something to suggest...
    "The Glass Sentence" by Grove is sweeping and unique and lush. (I've not read any more from the series- but now that I'm thinking on it, I just might.)
    Something else that's kind of "different" is "The Scorpio Races" by Stiefvater. I think you're already familiar with my love for anything by Kimberly Karalius. It's been several years since I've listed to the audio, but I still remember "The Night Circus" by Morgenstern being magical in every meaning of the word.

    1. Oh, gosh, thank you for all the recommendations! The Glass Sentence sounds especially cool. I've been wanting to read both The Glamourist Histories and Kim Karalius's books for AGES, but my library doesn't have either of them. I should be able to find The Night Circus and The Scorpio Races, though....Thanks again!!!

  3. I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN ABOUT BOOKS THAT YOU WANT TO WRITE LIKE AND BOOKS THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO WRITE LIKE. *nods violently* These short stories look interesting! And the cover art of That Game We Played During The War is soooo gorgeous. <33333


    1. Isn't it? I've read a couple of the author's short stories and one of her novels (After the Golden Age; it's about the superpowerless daughter of two world-famous superheroes) and they've all been pretty good. John Jude Palencar did the cover art for this story. He's a fantastic artist, and he's done a TON of book covers. Including the ones for the Eragon series, I think? He has a pretty distinctive style.

  4. I'm in such a slump- it's driving me nuts! I just want to read a good book!

    1. Ugh, reading slumps are so hard to get through. Sometimes going to the library and just picking out a bunch of random books--anything that looks interesting--helps. I hope you find a new favorite soon!

  5. I've felt the same way about books lately. I want to find ones I love instead of just ones to pass the time with. Maybe I should find more children's books because they seem to be the ones I love the most ;) As C.S. Lewis said,“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

    1. Children's books are some of my absolute favorites. I love Narnia, Harry Potter, anything by Jennifer L. Holm or Megan Whalen Turner. S.E. Hinton's books are more YA than children's, but they're wonderful too.