Reading Diaries: Legends, Flirts, and Fire

What have you been reading? What did you start and then never finish? Reading for work? For pleasure?

Cover: In the Tall Grass, Steven King and Joe HillMegan:

I’m a big one for that–my patience is wearing thinner and thinner over the years, and I’m finding novellas and short stories a good fit for my surly-reader< nature. I recently read In The Tall Grass by Steven King and his son Joe Hill and I was on the edge of my seat. Guys, don’t go into the tall grass. But it was juuuust long enough. One day I’ll be able to sit still again long enough to read novels. One day. Other than that I’ve been busy with business books, everything from marketing, to research, to strategic planning.


Reading I Am Legend. It’s been sitting by my bed for a while and is part of my Spring Reading List plans to get through the big to-read pile. I’ve seen and enjoyed the Will Smith movie, though I know there are differences. However, I’ve heard that the book, that movie, and the other two movies based on the book all have merits and I’m looking forward to reviewing them all.

Cover: I Capture the CastleClaire:

Did I mention I read I Capture the Castle recently? I’m hopping mad that I didn’t listen to the people telling me to read it earlier. I’m a big idiot. It puts such perfect trust in its audience–as it’s a “teen girl coming of age” book, a lot of that audience is teen girls. And it’s got a strong thread about the protagonist trying to understand what’s so impressive about experimental literature. At the end she gets it! And she’s like “this is the most wonderful thing!” It’s like Scarlett Thomas for sheltered teens, and it’s gorgeous.


I recently tried to read an ARC of Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols and gave up at 100 pages. It was way too much telling/exposition and not enough showing. I’m being told who the characters are but not shown. It sucks because the main character is a promiscuous teen girl who seemed to own it and I wanted to see how that played out.

This seems to be a first of a series of books and the second one has a lead woman or colour featured on the cover. That’s neat.


I just started reading Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes and it has me completely sucked in. After only a few pages it gave me shivers when Detective Hodges realized that the killer may have been spying on him. But enough about Mr. Mercedes right now. I wrote that up for theJune Staff Picks and am doing a review of it next week. Outside of that, I’m also listening to Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude on audiobook. His books are always good but sometimes he puts an idea into words so well that it borders on poetry. Like with this line I’m going to paraphrase terribly instead of searching through the 15 CD’s to find the passage: “Sixth grade was The Hobbit to Seventh grade’s The Two Towers. It wasn’t for children, seventh grade.”

Cover: Biggest Flirts, Jennifer EcholsAngel:

I too gave up on Biggest Flirts. It just wasn’t captivating enough to get me to sit down and read. I’m currently reading The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan and am cautiously optimistic about liking it. On the manga/comic side, I’m starting Ouran High School Host Club Volume 3, and possibly also starting Dengeki Daisy after much wheedling from friends.


I’m still slogging through the Dangerous Women audiobook, but more on that another time.

I requested an ARC of Nihal of the Land of the Wind, but I just can’t. I didn’t even get a third of the way through before the predictable plot and concepts turned me off from what was shaping up to be some really cool characters. So sad. That being said, I would have loved it as a child, so maybe keep it in mind for a young devotee of fantasy.

I also finished Dungeon World, which is the next RPG I’m running. It doesn’t really count, being non-fiction, but it is one of the more entertaining game rulebooks I’ve read in a while They even have pop culture quotes in a running sidebar to illustrate certain points, and the authors make no bones about who they’re writing for, so the geek humor quotient is pretty high.

Cover: The Scar, China MievilleBrenda:

A few weeks ago, I had some vacation time and knocked Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, China Mieville’s The Scar, and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, off my “I should have already read this” list. Since then, I’ve slowed a bit. I started Wiley Cash’s This Dark Road to Mercy, since I really liked his debut novel A Land More Kind than Home, but I’m stumbling. Maybe this will give me the needed push to wrap it up this weekend. 

Laura H:

I’m just now starting David Allen’s Getting Things Done for work, but I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading in the last couple of weeks. Mostly I’ve been reading a lot of trade comics and catching up on webcomics during my pleasure reading time. 

Oh! But I did just read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, for a volunteer project. My mom, a retired public first and second grade teacher, put together a massive penpal operation with fourth and seventh grade students and adults in the area. We all read the same book, and discussed it with our penpal in the letters. It was pretty great!


I just finished Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas which left me with my jaw on the floor. There are some crazy twists in there! I definitely didn’t expect to love it so much. And I’m currently up to my eyeballs in Gay YA for my month long YA Pride feature on my personal blog. Some highlights have been Fan Art by Sarah Tregay, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith and Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin.

I’m also listening to the audiobook of State of Wonder by Ann Patchett which is interesting but I find the main character incredibly frustrating. It’s one of those times you just want to reach into the book and shake some sense into her.

Cover: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth WeinCatie:

My latest book was Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, and it was the perfect book to finish on D-Day’s 70th anniversary.  While the book doesn’t directly deal with the Normandy invasion or combat, reading about the human element of WWII definitely put the day in perspective.  Much of the book is set in Ravensbruck, a woman’s concentration camp, and the book does an excellent job of showing the horrors of the camp while still letting the prisoners be people instead of just anonymous victims.  It’s a companion piece to Wein’s previous book Code Name Verity and while I don’t think Rose Under Fire quite reaches the same amazing emotional devastation of that book, it’s still an amazing look at the suffering and resilience of women through the war.  

Megan Purdy

Megan Purdy

Publisher of all this. Megan was born in Toronto. She's still there. Philosopher, space vampire, heart of a killer.

One thought on “Reading Diaries: Legends, Flirts, and Fire

  1. I’m about midway through my summer-long reading project. Every six months or so, I pick a topic or use a certain non-fiction book as a ‘textbook’ to guide my fictional reading. This summer it’s Jeff Abernathy’s “To Hell and Back” about race and literature in American Southern fiction. So far I’ve read (or re-read) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “Go Down, Moses,” “A Voice at the Back Door,” and “Intruder in the Dust.” For fun I just finished listening to a YA book, “The Adventures of Maude March” which is the story of two teenaged sisters on the run in 1880’s wild West. Lee Adams, the narrator, is terrifc. I also listened to “Kill Fee,” the third in the Stevens/Windemere mystery series by Owen Laukkanen. I highly recommend it.

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