Monday, April 20, 2009

Currently Reading

Before I start writing about my most recent reading I should announce my newest efforts at I've been on hiatus for several weeks now, but my return installment of The Finicky Reader, which will run for the next two weeks, is titled "Reading Advocacy."

I'm finally on to a bit of pleasure reading! Between hanging out with the family, grading scarily huge stacks of essays, and playing with Miss Daisy (some things never change), I'm finally reading for fun again! Yippee!

I read Claudia Gray's teen vampire novel, Evernight, a while back after receiving it in a Halloween package. I have to admit that my expectations were low given the overwhelming popularity of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. I love Twilight, mind you, and I was sincerely afraid that everything released so soon afterward might be a knockoff. I was thrilled with Evernight (click on the title on my sidebar to see the review) and found it original, fresh, and Gray's writing is quite a bit better than Meyer's in some regards.

Stargazer, the second novel in the Evernight series, so far, is not as great as the first one. That's not to say that I'm uninterested or turned off--it's pretty fun--but it hasn't grabbed me as thoroughly as the first book. Main character, Bianca, is a student at the boarding school for vampires (Evernight Academy), and she's weathering the torrid teen emotions associated with her loyalty to vampire hunter boyfriend, Lucas. The two are separated in this book, and it's kind of a bummer. I really enjoyed his character in the previous novel, and only having short snippets of him takes its toll on the story thus far. Given, I'm only about 100 pages in, so there's plenty to go, and I'm looking forward to whatever else Bianca might get into. I'll report back on this one later.

While Stargazer is my bedtime and early morning book, my between-times book (when I'm fully awake) is Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild. I'm sure everyone on the planet has heard of it by now given the film release and the true story having gotten a lot of press, but here's the super-short blurb: Child of well-to-do family, Chris McCandless, gives away all his possessions and heads off into the wilds of Alaska. He's later found dead. This is the story of his journey.

So far I'm really pleased with Krakauer's research efforts, and his storytelling is superb. I'm especially fond of the quotes that begin each chapter--snippets of books and bits of writing found in McCandless's journal, etc. It's hard to imagine what the guy could've been thinking, and I haven't yet decided if he's a visionary or extremely selfish for heading off into the wilderness with hardly a word to anyone. I wasn't sure how Krakauer would stitch such a vague story together, but so far he gets two thumbs up.

What are you reading, bloggy friends? I still haven't managed to carve out the time for all the blog hopping I used to do, but that's high on my list of stuff to get back to in the near future!

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