I am a fan of Fangirl, no doubt. Rainbow Rowell’s novel is fun and frothy, then smacks you upside the head with emotions. Here are my top three reasons for loving the novel, with quotes to back it up.
1. The dialogue is the smart, snappy stuff of dreams.
2. The humor is the cover-your-mouth-to-hide-your-smirk kind.
3. Cath is a freakin’ endearing romantic.
Bonus: Have you seen the book trailer?
I’m glad I gave into the hype and read the adorable Fangirl. I went on to read Eleanor & Park, Rowell’s previous YA novel with a main character and setting less relatable than Cath and college, but even more distinct. I’m not entirely certain which I like better, and that’s a wonderful dilemma to have.
2016 looks like it’s shaping up to be a fantastic/frightening/growing year. I can’t forecast or completely control everything, but I do have 100% say over what, how, and where I read. Here’s what I want to do:
1. Doodle in a book. Remember how I’ve fallen in love with poetry? Most collections feature one poem per page, leaving eons of blank emptiness. It is tempting, and I will fully indulge.
2. Read a graphic novel. I’ve had many friends suggest V for Vendetta, but I’m thinking some familiarity might do me good for my first foray. Pride and Prejudice, anyone?
3. Finish all the series. Maria V. Snyder. JRR Tolkien. Megan Shepherd. Great authors with books I adore. Why did I pause smack dab in the middle? It’s madness!
4. Bake all the food. I mean, this is just a general life goal, but I’m particularly interested in baking book-related goods. The Scorpio Race‘s November Cakes is first up.
5. Read at a monument. One of my favorite things about living in the DC area (did I tell you I’ve moved?) is that people watching opportunities abound. When the weather warms up, I’ll be trekking down to a monument, reading, people watching, and eating a packed lunch. Pretty much all of my favorite things at once.
6. Listen to an audiobook while knitting. I’ve got this neverending baby blanket, and the end is finally in sight. I’m hoping to take advantage of that free trial Audible is always raging on about and finish it off.
Bonus: Be intentional about what I read online. I’ve been noticing that 5 minutes after logging on to social media, I’m knee deep into 5 different Buzzfeed articles or something about a scientific “discovery” I had never heard of before clickbait. While it’s fun for a few minutes, it leaves less time for me to read up on what I’m specifically interested in, like books and travel. Back to the basics.
How will you be bookadventuring in 2016?
Every year I take on a set of book challenges, ones that I’ve learned to view in a less restricted manner (You must read all the books), but rather as guiding lights for reading. 2015 saw me participating in Savvy Verse and Wit‘s poetry challenge.
At the beginning and still today, I understand little of the art and science behind poetry. Three minutes into a conversation on iambic pentameter and I am fascinated, but my eyes are glazed over. Throughout the year, I just dove in to see what I could see.
In a somewhat narcissistic sense I suppose, poetry teaches and reminds me a lot about my life. Here are a selection of favorites:
Elizabeth Barret Browning exposes the need to be accepted in Sonnet XXXII. Her work reminds me that I am more of a romantic schmuck than I would ever admit.
Poe’s The Raven brings back delightful memories of dramatic readings done by my father with the rapt audience of a ten-year-old.
Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman sends me into a tailspin regarding the meaning of womanhood, a question that’s been plaguing me lately. Seriously, what does it even mean to be a woman??
And Mary Oliver calls me back to the preciousness of life in The Summer Day.
Reading poetry has brought a fresh air of discovery into my reading life, and I’m excited to further explore in 2016 and beyond.
To end, here’s a favorite from Ethan Coen, entitled Sorry, Pal.
Let you out so you can barf?
Sorry pal, no getting out.
The car is life.
Your barf rides with you.
Brash but true.