Ok, so it's been like two weeks so I have a lot. Bear with me...

Completed
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken: Alexandra Bracken's first book did the extremely, extremely rare feat of getting rated 5 out of 5 stars on the first read. Typically, a book has to withstand a second reading with the same euphoric reaction to rise from a 4 ("I Loved It") to a 5 ("One of my favorite books"). Brightly Woven bowled me over so much, I couldn't picture the book being any more perfect so I just gave it a 5 right off the bat. The mumblings I'd been hearing about this her second book were slightly less positive, so I started it with some trepidation. Ms. Bracken ventures away from fantasy into the dystopian sci fi YA that is so popular at the moment. I was like, oh no, she's copy catting! But, you know, by the time I finished this book, I loved it. She is still the best writer of YA romantic relationships I've ever come across and I could read her books ad nauseam, which I think means she needs to become a much, much quicker writer. Like practically light speed.

Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate, #4) by Gail Carriger: Oh MY! This was back to the glory of the first book. I liked the intervening books, but thought they were weaker than the first. This was not. The romance between the husband and wife was once again engaging and the story was equally engaging. Love. 

Mind Games (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #1) by Carolyn Crane: This book conflicts me. It's got a unique, engaging hook. But Carolyn Crane doesn't commit!! It should have been either a serious take on the Superhero Genre, say an X-Men approach or it could have been a more light-hearted sendup, but instead it waffles in the middle, mostly serious with a few really incongruous details that pull you out of the story. Seriously, the secondary love interest WEARS A BERET AND A CAPE. You're supposed to be thinking this whole time how sexy this guy is and I spent all my time trying to visualize a sexy beret. We know it wasn't worn like a Green Beret on the side of his head (which I could have justified as sexy enough) as his stated reason to wear the beret was to "protect" the back of his head, so now I'm stuck pictured a back positioned beret and all I can think of is a mime or a 20th century French poet in black skinny jeans and OH MY GOD I CAN'T PAY ATTENTION TO ANYTHING ELSE. That said. I'll try the second book, maybe the guy will lose the beret or, more than likely, the girl will just lose the guy. He is only the secondary love interest after all...

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh: Just to get this clear: the cover makes me want to run screaming into the hills, so I'm glad I read this on my Kindle. I loved the first Nalini Singh book I read. This one I liked. Solidly liked. Not head over heels but I'm still a Nalini Singh fan. (FYI, Big Kid Book)

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2) by Sarah MacLean: I enjoyed my way through this book. Good characterization. Solid like. (Big Kid Book)

Fire and Ice (Buchanan, #7) by Julie Garwood: It was pleasant... The last several books in this series have been just that. Pleasant. Not gripping like the early books in the series but pleasant reads.Somehow, even though this book was a full 400 pages, it still felt like a short story in the area of the romance development. You've got to have enough romantic development to plausibly justify why they are getting engaged by the end. Eh well. (And another Big Kid Book).

Enslave Me Sweetly (Alien Huntress, #2) by Gena Showalter: I'm not a huge Gena Showalter fan. The first book in this series I liked well enough, but this one I couldn't get into. I have a high tolerance for schlock and improbability, but maybe I'm getting old. People getting blown practically to bits and then getting out of bed after 12 hours and a full month less than the doctor ordered and just "pushing through it" make me want to scream THAT JUST MAKES A CONCUSSION WORSE, IDIOT! Which just ruins the romance because I'm imaging their potential future children being left orphans in about 20 years or so when both parents succumb to brain disease. Told you I'm getting old...

Currently Reading
The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society by Frans de Waal (20% Done): I bought this book for myself at Christmas and I finally found time to start it! I LOVE FRANS DE WAAL. That is all. 

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (20% Done): I'm not the target audience for this series, but I still kinda like it. Not sure I'll read another after this, we'll have to see how I feel when's it's all done...

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (45% Done): Rather proud of myself on how well I'm getting through this one. A lot of it is very sad : /

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen (55% Done): Ok, I'm finally back up and trucking on this one. Ok, so 3% isn't a huge gain but, hey, forward movement is half the battle!
 
 
Books aren't the only things you can read of course! (Say it ain't so! ;) As we are all reeling from the shock of losing Google Reader, I'm starting a new regular post where I'll recommend nonbook reading selections.

Spoiled Rotten by Elizabeth Kolbert (The New Yorker, July 2 2012): This might be cheating as it's an article in the book section of the New Yorker :) Elizabeth Kolbert explores the spoiled state of American Children.
"With the exception of the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty and the dauphins of pre-Revolutionary France, contemporary American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world"
The Power of Negative Thinking by Christian Jarrett (99U): Christian Jarrett questions the power of positive thinking in favor of a more balanced strategy called "mental contrasting."
Gabriele Oettingen’s psychology lab at New York University has shown that visualizing our aims as already achieved can backfire. The positive imagery can be inspiring at first but it also tricks the mind into relaxing, as if the hard work is done. This means the more compelling the mental scene of success, the more likely it is that your energy will seep away.
Little. Yellow. Dangerous by Tom Vanderbilt: Tom Vanderbilt explores why "Children at Play" signs actually imperil our kids.
People clamoring for “Children at Play” signs are often living on residential streets that are inordinately wide, lacking any kind of calming obstacles (from trees to “bulb-outs”), perhaps having unnecessary center-line markings—three factors that will boost vehicle speed more than any sign will lower them.
 
 
This is the stack of books (either physical or virtual) I have ready to be read over the next week!

From the Library (Paper)
Shadow of the Night by Deborah Harkness <---- Sequel to A Discovery of Witches. 'Nuff said!
Heartless by Gail Carriger <--- I need a little Alexia Tarabotti in my life right now!
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken <--- Fingers crossed it's half as good as the first one.
Enlsave Me Sweetly by Gena Showalter
Jude's Law by Lori Foster <--- Hold over. Still haven't gotten to it.

From the Library (eBooks)
Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
Every Night I'm Yours by Christie Kelley

ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies)
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz <--- Capitalizing on the success of A Discovery of Witches I'm sure

Purchased eBooks
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines <---- eh, only 99c. What the heck!
 
 
Finished
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: Words fail me. This book lived up to ALL the hype. I don't even LIKE sports and it didn't bother me one iota that is was almost another character in this book. And I can't even really describe WHY I LOVE this book. Matthew Quick is just a writer who writes so crisply and wonderfully that you float away on the music of it all. 

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare: I really liked this book. But that's not horribly surprising - Cassandra Clare is an incredible writer and also a very consistent writer. This isn't one of my favorites of hers, but again that's because the bar that she has set with some of her other books is so dang high. If you like YA fiction, start at her first book and when you finally work your way to this one, I think you'll enjoy it :)

 
 
This will be a short one as I didn't do the week before til last Tuesday... so...

Currently Reading
The Silver Linings Playbook , by Matthew Quick (55% Complete): This is my book club book this month. Not sure I would have picked it up on my own, but am so glad I'm being forced to! So far, I love it. It's one of those books, you can't for the life of you describe why you like it, the writing just flows over you like prose. It's also not a slog of a read - in two lunch breaks, I'm already over halfway through.

 
 
Ok, I'm running a little on this one. I blame it on February - my least favorite month. Thank heavens it's also the shortest!

Currently Reading
The Pillars of the World by Anne Bishop (80% Complete): Ok this one got really good all of a sudden and I've plowed through a lot during my lunch breaks. I'll be done with it by the end of this week, so stay tuned!

The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (26% Complete): The Pillars of the World kinda distracted me and my Joseph Campbell book got neglected. Must make time...

 
 
This week was kind to me on the Level 3 front, I zipped through many, many of those. My Level 2s aren't doing too bad either, but my level 1 and my Nonfiction are languishing.  Need to get a move on next week For a refresher on the codese I'm spouting above go here.

Books I Finished
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews: The Los Angeles Library System is vast and, for the most part, I can find most any book I want. Those it doesn't have, I typically find out, after hunting them down and reading them, aren't there for a good reason: they're bad. There's always the rare exception though. This series is one of them. I loved the first one, I love this second one. Get the move on LAPL, get these books!!

 
 
#10
“Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

#9
“It is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even to killing.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

#8
“When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

 
 
I know it's a little late for a 2012 Review Post as it's almost February, but, bear with me, still getting my bearings with this whole blog thing. :)

According to Goodreads, I read 163 books in 2012 for a total of 58,230 pages. My goal was 100 books.

I rated two of those books 5 out of 5 stars (means they're now some of my favorite books).


 
 
Here at TGRM, I am an equal opportunity reader. This is a blog about reading, not just books, so let's discuss a limitless reading problem I haven't figured out. Online reading. I categorize online reading into two sections: one off articles and recurring feeds (namely blogs).

1. One Offs
I've tried just using a bookmarking service which marks things as unread, but I never go back. Never.

2. Recurring
So then I've tried Google Reader but invariably I fill it up with hundreds of blogs, get overwhelmed and quit using it. The sciency stuff behind it probably goes something like this: the pleasure center of my brain gets a little rush every time I "discover" and add a new blog. So, like a totally nerdy drug, it lures me to pursue the next high until I utterly destroy my online reading life!

 

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    Some Favorites

    Second Sight
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    1984
    Schlock Mercenary: Under New Management


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