I was really busy this month. I was doing Camp NaNoWriMo (which I won!) and remodeling a bathroom and having car trouble and adjusting to a new work schedule. Reading ended up taking a back seat to real life. And this post is late cuz the fun don’t stop. Car is fixed, sleep schedule is still all fucked up, bathroom is in pieces, and manuscript needs editing. #adulting
WHAT I READ IN JULY:
Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 11 by Julietta Suzuki.
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. This is precisely the kind of non-fiction I love: scientific and hilarious. Not unlike You Are Not So Smart, by David McRaney, this book illustrates how our brains are both incredibly complicated and seemingly at cross-purposes with survival in the modern world.
How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad. I’m white. I laughed. I’m pretty certain people of color would laugh if they read this, too (though with a different flavor of “ugh, white people” than I felt, of course). Just the right amount of self-depreciation, harsh truths (phrased hilariously), anecdotes, and facts (and wildly erroneous, hyperbolic completely made-up facts).
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. As promised, this was a lovely little book. Sad at times, magic at times. A collection of semi-connected vignettes of a Latina girl growing up in Chicago, featuring her whole family and most everyone on the block.
Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 12 by Julietta Suzuki. Stop rolling your eyes. I love these books. You might, too. I do wish that whoever named the English translation had picked something closer to the actual meaning of the Japanese title, Kamisama Hajimemashita, which means “I became a god” or “A god began,” and has nothing to do with kissing (no matter how much the main character may want to snog her servant guy).
Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 13 by Julietta Suzuki. The cover art on these books, I will have you know, is totally out of touch with the plot inside the books. I find it very weird, as the covers are drawn by the same woman as the rest of the manga, but that’s just how the Japanese roll. The books contain little, if any, provocative fruit-feeding, floating through anti-gravity, wild fashion shoots, or group snuggles.
Empire Falls by Richard Russo. This was my second attempt at this book. At least one follower I know in real life is going to hate me for this review. Sorry, Phil. I love me some small town fiction, but I felt like I had a level of background information on every person in this town that would have given the Stasi a brain boner. Also, there’s a few interesting bits of information/plot in the first chapter or so, one more about 3/4 of the way through, and then several pretty compelling chapters at the end of the almost 500 pages, and the rest is all just people going about their day-to-day, thinking about how much they hate their day-to-day.
du balai! by Hans Wilhelm (in French). My language studies were one of the hard-hit areas of my to do list in July.
¡Ves al revés! by Jeanne Willis, Tony Ross, & Gabriel Martínez Jiménez (in Spanish). See above.