It’s Monday, July 13th. What Are You Reading?


Well, I definitely didn’t reach the 24 hour mark of #24in48, but I did get a ton of reading done since we last caught up. After finishing up what I started last week, I had the sudden urge to re-read When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams, which was just as brilliant the second time around. This is definitely the most re-reading I’ve done in recent years. Then I picked up Ernest Cline’s Armada…and set it down after about 90 pages. It was so bad, I just couldn’t bring myself to finish (and I loved Ready Player One). After that misstep, though, the reading was pretty great.

In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Beneath the Bonfire by Nickolas Butler

Dryland by Sara Jaffe

I also started Ghettoside by Jill Leovy, which I’ve been wanting to read since it was published earlier this year and just decided to jump in with a few other bloggers. I have a few great library books checked out, but I think I’ll be saving them for a little trip to the Eastern Shore next week (yes, like The Shore!)…I’m already plotting that reading strategy.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

  • Lindsay @ The Book Baby

    I just finished Ready Player One and liked it, but for some reason I had zero desire to read Armada. Guess I’m not missing anything!

    • I could be wrong, but something tells me that Armada is really only going to be a hit for a very small subsection of readers, so I don’t think you’re missing much.

  • Kay

    I just want to say what an eclectic group of covers above. So, did you place them to complement each other? Because they do. LOL

    Sorry to hear about your experience with Armada. I know that so many are looking forward to it. I keep meaning to listen to Ready Player One, which I have on audio.

  • Glad you got some great reading in this weekend! I requested Dryland after seeing your tweets about it…90’s nostalgia and swimming?! That’s calling my name. Also – I just got an email from my husband’s cousin who lives on the shore…and she just finished reading The Shore. She had some really interesting thoughts/perspective that I’m hoping she’ll let me share in a blog post.

    • Dryland was such a great, really unique little coming of age story – I loved it.

      And I’d love to hear her thoughts on The Shore!

  • I’m so torn about Armada; I haven’t read RPO, but my husband did and was very middle-of-the-road about it (we don’t have the same taste in books, though, so that alone isn’t enough to convince me not to read it). But pop culture references and video game references tend to go over my head, so I’m worried I won’t take as much out of it as others did. Now I’m hearing such mixed things about Armada that I don’t know about that one either, though I was just sent the audio for review consideration. I’ll be keeping an eye out for your reasons for not loving it.

    Also, Ghettoside! This is on my list. Waiting for my library hold to come in on it…

    • I could deal with the pop culture references in RPO (even when I didn’t know what they were) because they were part of the plot/the puzzle of the game…but in Armada they are EVERYWHERE and so many of them serve no purpose. It drove me insane.

  • Jancee Wright

    So sorry about Armada. I really, really liked it. Not as much as RPO – it didn’t tickle the same fancy. But it was rife with allusions and helped me create a must-see list of classic sci-fi movies and shows.

    • Yeah, I was really frustrated by it. I found those allusions to be really hard to ignore, since so many of them had no purpose – it just felt like an attempt to pack as many pop culture references into the book as possible.

      • Jancee Wright

        I think the allusions were my favorite part. My friends and I really live that life of video games, board games, movies…so we make a lot of references. We try to one up each other. I think it becomes natural to do when you’re immersed in it so fully, so as someone who is, I was able to appreciate it.

  • I don’t know why in the world I haven’t read Ghettoside yet. Maybe I’ll get my hands on a copy when Nonfiction November rolls around? Good for you for setting aside something that wasn’t working. That is a sign of a mature reader, in my lofty opinion anyway. ;) I’m wild about the cover for Dryland, love it!

  • Sorry about Armada. On the bright side, at least it was “not good enough” to put down. Sometimes you hang on the precipice and end up finishing something that’s not worth it. So, goodonya. WWWBirds has long been on my list, need to get to that. Glad you’re starting Ghettoside. It’s one of those bearing witness books. Very well done, I thought.

    I finished Beautiful Bureaucrat. Stuck in the middle on that one. Audio is The New Jim Crow, which is so fantastic/horrible. Mosquitoland happened to be available at the library, so that’s my ebook. I figured it would be a quick read and thought I’d see what the fuss was about. Tree book is Sophie Hannah’s Woman with a Secret.

    • I’ve been wanting to read The New Jim Crow for a long time, too…just kind of waiting for the right time because I know it will be a gutwrencher. Seems like you have more than usual going right now!

      • Please do so we can talk about it. There is no good time, it’s…I don’t even know the word. It’s the one recent race/culture book that has made me feel the worst. How’s that for making you want to read it?

  • Amanda

    Good for you for putting down Armada if you weren’t feeling it. I don’t know why these ones just don’t appeal to me. I am glad you’re reading Ghettoside – so much to talk about and think about in that one. I’m giving Swamplandia a do-over this week, hoping I like it more at a second go!

    • Ohhh, Swamplandia is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time, too!

      • Amanda

        Its very strange I have to say. I really don’t know what I think.

  • Lindsey Stefan

    I’ve been wanting to read When Women Were Birds for forever and it’s sitting on my shelf. I just know I get really emotional when it comes to anything about being a mom or having a mom, so I need to have tissues ready and some emotional fortitude at hand!

    It sounds like 24in48 was great for your reading this week. Hooray!

  • Ciska van der Lans

    Sad to hear you did not enjoy Armada. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy as I loved Ready Player One.
    Enjoy your book planning for the trip

  • Sarah Says Read

    Awww man, but I’m so excited about Armada!

    I started Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet (heard Rebecca at Book Riot mention it a bunch and it was on sale at B&N) and I’m only about 20 pages in so far but I think I love it. The narrator is GREAT. I wanna be her friend.

    • I’d definitely still give Armada a go, I just found parts of it too frustrating to get past.

      And I’ve heard great things about Mermaids in Paradise – glad to hear it’s holding up!

  • I loved how unique the presentation was in The Strange Library. I felt as if Murakami was writing about a nightmare he had during his previous sleep. I’m looking forward to your review on Ghettoside….it seems like it’s a powerful read.

  • So I’m a little over 200 pages into Armada, and some of the earlier annoyingness has somewhat gone away. Certainly NO WHERE even close to Ready Player One, but I’m going to finish it off.

  • Ack! So sad about Armada… I was looking forward to it.

  • You have been a reading robot this week. I’m sorry Armada didn’t work for you; it’s not one that I would normally look at, but I’ve really been curious about Ghettoside and Beneath the Bonfire. Have fun at the shore!

  • I’m scared to ask how you liked The Strange Library… it’s so different than Colorless Tsukuru. ;)

  • Words for Worms

    Noooooooooooooo my heart is breaking with your first impression of Armada! I haven’t tried it yet but perhaps I should temper my expectations!