Hello, I have been inexcusably busy for an inexcusably long amount of time. I am sorry, but now that I’m finally reading consistently again, I thought I would make a list of all the books I’ve read so far this year. Here’s what I’ve been reading:
Habibi by Craig Thompson
“The Sufi saint Rabi’a Al-Adawiyya was seen carrying a firebrand and a jug of water–the firebrand to burn Paradise, the jug of water to drown out Hell…so that both veils disappear, and God’s followers worship, not out of hope for reward, nor fear of punishment, but out of love.”
Oh my word, this book broke my heart. I found it in my local Barnes and Noble for a whopping forty dollars, and told myself I couldn’t get it, but then found that the graphic novel would not detach from my hand. I fell in love with Habibi before I even opened it up to read it, so I shelled out the forty bucks and was dragged on an adventure through cities and deserts and harems. A graphic novel about two escaped slave children surviving on their own in the desert, Habibi weaves an unconventional and disturbing love story on the backdrop of a quickly changing world.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
“One cannot be brave who has no fear.”
I am absolute trash for Marissa Meyer’s first series, the Lunar Chronicles, so though I was not a big fan of her most recent stand-alone, Heartless, I was excited to pick up Renegades. The book in its entirety is over five-hundred and fifty pages long, and yet it was such a fast-paced read, that I found myself unable to put it down and finished it within a matter of days. Set in a futuristic city where superheroes called “Renegades” keep evil at bay, two teenagers with extraordinary abilities may just fall in love. The only problem is, one of them is the Renegades’ golden boy, and the other will do anything to see the Renegades destroyed.
On Trails: an Exploration by Robert Moor
“In walking, we acquire more of less.”
This book was gifted to me for Christmas by my best friend, an avid hiker. You don’t have to be hiker to enjoy this book, but if you are a hiker, you will absolutely love this book. It took me months to finish it because I just enjoyed milking every last ounce of wisdom out of Robert Moor’s musings. After backpacking the Appalachian trail, Moor found that he had certain questions about the trails he was walking. What are trails? How are they created? Why do we follow them? In On Trails, he takes us on a journey with him in an attempt to answer these questions.
It Devours by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
“Step 1: Separate your lips. Step 2: Use facial muscles to pull back corners of mouth. Step 3: widen your eyes. This is how to be happy.”
If you haven’t heard of Welcome to Night vale, you need to drop whatever you’re doing, open Spotify and go listen to Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s wacky podcast about a desert town named Night vale, where every conspiracy theory is true. It Devours, the second novel by this dynamic duo, takes place in Night vale where odd things are happening out in the desert, and buildings in town are being swallowed whole from the bottom. Sent to investigate, straight-forward scientist, Nilanjana, finds herself consumed in a cult-like church that worships a mysterious, Smiling God.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”
I heard a lot of good things about this book before I picked it up. It was the most fast-paced novel I had read in a long while, so I found it unsuitable to read before bed, as it would stress me out not knowing what was going to happen next. The Cruel Prince tells the story of Jude, a mortal human who was kidnapped at age four along with her two sisters, by her mother’s ex-husband…who just so happens to be a vengeful, murderous faerie lord. This lord raises Jude and her siblings, as if they were his own, in the land of Fae where mortals are subject to prejudice and danger at every turn. When Jude grows tired of her fate being chosen for her by others, she decides to take her life–and all of Faerie–into her own hands, with drastic consequences.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
“I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes.”
I was all at once absolutely blown away and enamored with Jeanette Walls’ memoir. Detailing her nomadic childhood under the reins of her free-spirited, artist mother and her boisterous, loving, alcoholic father, Walls’ quietly observes her life without judging it, allowing you to decide on your own how to feel. It is this gentle non-judgement that makes the Glass Castle so heartbreaking and impossibly beautiful. A must, must read for anyone and everyone.