Friday, September 6, 2013

Summer Reading Wrap-Up

Yeah, so it's not summer anymore. In fact, the temperatures around my house dipped down into the 40's last night. Hubs had to grab a sweater before he left for work today. I can honestly say though that I didn't mind that because he looks adorable in sweaters and it was so soft and cuddly that I could barely stop hugging him to let him out the door. I totally love sweater weather. But this is not a post about sweaters or the impending (and awesome) early fall weather. It's about the last bit of summer reading that I wanted to update you all on, and how the "Summer of 100 Books" maybe wasn't so much.

Remember a few months ago when I told you what I was reading and what I had hoped to read? Well, done and done. So here's the scoop on those:
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman was really quite dark and depressing. I woke up before everyone else on vacation and wanted to get some reading in and forgot that I had only brought graphic novels with me. I finished like, 1 or 2 a day, and was left reading cereal boxes by the end of the trip. This was the last one I read and I gotta be honest? Not beach (or vacation) reading at all. I suppose I knew that beforehand, but not a good start for me as I've never read any Neil Gaiman before. Good storytelling, but I wasn't prepared to be that bummed out before breakfast. Can anyone recommend any other Neil Gaiman for me?
Before Watchmen Series. If you're a big fan of Watchmen, read these. The Moloch section gave me some context for the events that actually took place in the book, while most of the other ones just gave me background. I didn't particularly care for The Comedian, and The Crimson Corsair was just awful, and silly at that. Silk Spectre was about Laurie, the second Silk Spectre, and honestly I could've done without it. Nite Owl was actually about Rorschach, for the most part, and not the second Nite Owl. The one really stand-out piece was The Minutemen, about the first incarnation of the crimefighting group. I felt like that one could have been released on its own and it would have been a total success. I do plan to re-read Watchmen again this fall, just to try to connect some of the dots. In fact, I'm starting it this afternoon.
The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach. I really enjoyed this novel, but the ending wrapped up a little too cleanly and conveniently for my tastes. You kind of know what to expect from the last third of the book on to the end, and that's a little disappointing. What I can say though is that I enjoyed the story, and I wanted to finish this book whether I knew what was going to happen or not. This was perfect summer reading!
The Queen's Lover: A Novel by Francine Du Plessix Gray, a semi-historical novel about Marie Antoinette and her Swedish lover Axel von Fersen, was something I really thought I'd enjoy since I love historical fiction and more than that I do like a good story about Marie Antoinette. I also thought, hmm, there might be some naughty bits in there! I read the first hundred and fifty pages or so, and then returned it to the library. Why? Well, some of it is a dry history, the naughty bits aren't really naughty (or kind of tastelessly naughty without context). There is also the odd element of memoir by Fersen's sister Sophie. While it does well to capture most of Axel's story, even the bits about the American Revolution, I could not stay interested.  

And the "Summer of 100 Books"? That hit a snag about the time we left for our annual beach vacation in mid-August and Stenni didn't want anything to do with anything that wasn't beach- or boardwalk-related. We did slip in a few more fairy tales and I Spy-type books, but nothing to write home about. I'm just glad that we kept it going for as long as we did! But this was a definite mom-fail on my part for not planning a little better, and knowing that my kid's attention span just can't stay on one thing for too long. 

How did your summer reading go? Anything notable, couldn't-put-downable, or chuck-at-a-wallable? Tell me about it!

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