I know this feels like a cop-out post, but I feel like I need to prove to you all that I have been reading, even if it isn't the fun YA stuff. So, here we go:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Yeah, I jumped on that bandwagon. I couldn't help it. I actually read it over Christmas break (um...yeah...five months ago) and it took me only a few days. I had avoided reading any information or criticism on it since I planned on reading it since it became popular, so I have to admit I was a little surprised at how violent it could be at times. But, I really, really enjoyed the characterization of Mikael and Lisabeth--definitely my favorite part. Also, do all Swedish people really drink that much coffee, or did Larsson not know what to do with his characters in the downtime?
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Disclaimer: This book was read for my nonfiction class! I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise because I can't say as I've been interested in True Crime (though that has changed after reading this book). But oh my word, Truman Capote can write. The way he could put a sentence together is absolutely amazing. I liked this one so well I wrote my midterm paper on it, and then my final paper as well.
Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson
This was another book read for class, and yet again one that I probably wouldn't have picked up unless I had been forced to. All in all, it was a pretty good first experience with Thompson's writing, and I especially liked it because it helped me understand a slice of American culture I hadn't been exposed to. While I don't think Thompson has the same literary flare that Capote does, I really liked how he brings up a lot of interesting ideas about society and the media.
The Cater Street Hangman and Callander Square by Anne Perry
I picked up the first two books in the Thomas Pitt series out of curiosity because Anne Perry is popular with customers at the bookstore and I enjoyed Victoria Thompson's Gaslight mysteries. If it's period mysteries about (sometimes brutal) crimes you're looking for, these are great. However, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of page time the main characters get in these novels and their abrupt endings--the book concludes a mere two or three pages after the perpetrator is quickly revealed. I think I'll stick with Thompson.
This French novel is about a young woman, Natalie, who finds herself a widow after seven near perfect years with her husband. She's beautiful and smart, but she's never moved past her husband's death...until she suddenly finds herself attracted to Markus, her awkward co-worker. I loved Foenkinos' style, his way with words, and the quirky plot. Delicacy is a real quick read, and I'm eager for a chance to see the (French) movie starring Audrey Tatou!
Timeless by Gail Carriger
I've been eagerly awaiting the final book in the Parasol Protectorate series and dreading it at the same time. I just love the characters so much, it's hard to let go. But this one definitely doesn't disappoint--there's so much packed into it, it'll be impossible to put it down. I loved the way Carriger concluded the series, and I'm so eager for her next two series!
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
I am going to confess right now that Sophie Kinsella books are a guilty pleasure of mine. I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and I picked this one up and it made me feel a lot lighter and happier. I liked the relationship drama and the dynamics between the lead characters in this one a lot--it's a very fun and fluffy read!
The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
I read this for a class, and it was very enlightening. It's about the founding of Facebook (the book that the movie "The Social Network" is based off it). I don't think you can take every word Mezrich writes as the truth, but the dynamics are interesting. This book actually turned me off of Facebook (though I'm still using it, which is why Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire) due to the motivations of its founders--basically, they did it to impress girls and get laid. So. Annoying. But, I'm glad I read it so I'm at least a little bit familiar with the background of the one site I'm on probably more than my own. Also, I NOW UNDERSTAND THAT PISTACHIO COMMERCIAL. This one.
The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
Yet another one for class, and I am so, so glad it was assigned. Sarah Vowell, besides being the voice of Violet in the movie "The Incredibles" (I had to throw that in there, sorry), is a very funny and incisive writer. In this book she explores the idea of patriotism through many essays on history, politics (they are way more interesting that you'd expect, this coming from the girl who follows political news with a sense of bewilderment and naivete), and pop culture. It's funny, it's super smart, and it's such a fast read. I went out and bought two of her other books immediately. Also, look for YouTube clips of her on The Tonight Show. Hilarious.
Okay, I think that's it for my super-sized, end of the semester list. What have you been reading and enjoying lately?