Why not start the new year with a book post?
Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to the first post of 2018. In 2017, I aimed to read 50 books. I actually read 26,091 pages which is 75 books. In 2018, I aim to read 100 books. Since my last general wrap-up, I’ve read 17 books. 7 of those are from the Holiday Adventure-a-thon. If you want to see what I read in 2017, here. Now, to the wrap-up today.
Starting with Los Angeles: A Guide to Recent Architecture. I read the other one, San Francisco: A Guide to Recent Architecture, recently, so I’m doing them together, because they’re the same idea. They’re kind of a basic guide to architecture in those cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I think it’s good if you want to have a basic, simple reference where some buildings, that are important to know about, are. Another thing I’m disappointed about is that it’s all black-and-white pictures. I think it would have been much better if it was in color, but… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Each picture has a description of what the building is, who designed it, what it’s for, etc. It’s okay. This is good for people who are really into architecture, but not for general enjoyment.
Next! Queer in America. This book is as old as I am, it was published in 1993. I thought it was really interesting, and probably a lot of it still applies today. The full title is Queer in America: Sex, the Media, and the Closets of Power. It talks about the “centers of power” in DC, New York City, and Hollywood (Los Angeles) and how those influence the public perception on…everything, really. And how, at the time it was written, there were still a lot of problems with a lot of queer people being closeted in those three. DC with politics, New York City with media, and Hollywood. They have a lot of queer people, but it’s kept quiet because it’s not something you tell people, and if you tell, you’ll lose your position, or you’ll lose your career, or whatever. Now, that’s probably a little different, but is it really that different? I doubt it. I read this a while ago, so I’m not sure how to adequately describe it, but I thought it was a really good book while I was reading it, so…
Next: The Happiness Advantage. The sub-title says pretty much everything what the book’s about. The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work. I enjoyed this, it’s more of a “self-help” book. Well, not really, but that’s what it kind of reads like. So if you enjoy reading self-help books, this is a good one. But I think some of the things in it were interesting, and good ideas to apply in everyday life for pretty much everyone. It talks about how positive psychology really affects how we perform in work, in our home lives, in social settings, everything. How that’s really important for us to be aware of how we present ourselves to others. Yeah, it’s something I probably will read again, so take what you will from that.
Next: The Woman in Cabin 10. It’s basically a murder/mystery/intrigue. I enjoyed it. Inside the cover, the synopsis/blurb says that this is similar to an Agatha Christie book. I have to agree, it’s actually very similar to that style of writing. So if you enjoy that kind of thing, read it. And that was the last book I read before reading the seven books I read for the Holiday Adventure-a-thon. The wrap-up blog post is here.
Moving onto Mudbound. I decided to renew it and take it with me to Alaska and read it there, or on the flight. Well, I finished most of it on the flight there. I have to say, I was surprised. I actually really enjoyed reading this–okay. Enjoyed, I don’t know if that’s the right word. Um. Okay, I was interested while reading this. This is about two families. One white, one black. They live in a Southern town, I don’t remember exactly where, but Louisiana? Mississippi? A small, small Southern town. This is while racism was still going strong, slavery was very recent. This happens in the World War II era. It talks about the white family moving in and taking over as the new owners of a farm. The black family are the sharecroppers that have lived on the farm for a while. It talks about how they have a strange connection between them, how they navigate their new lives. The book touches on racism, sexism, and all of that. I really enjoyed(?) reading this book. It has some very heartbreaking parts, but it’s really good. Warning, this book does have violence in it. Be aware of that.
Next book: Scarlet. This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles. The first book is Cinder. I brought this with me to Alaska, and read it in one day. I wish I had brought Cress (the third book in the series) with me, but I did not (damn it). Scarlet is a continuation of Cinder, obviously. This introduces Little Red Riding Hood as a fairytale re-telling. I mean, look at the cover! I really enjoyed seeing how the author figured out how to fit in another fairytale. I wasn’t expecting that. I obviously knew she would continue the Cinderella storyline. Obviously. But I wasn’t expecting her to add another fairytale storyline in this series. So that was cool. If you have no idea what Cinder is, it’s basically a Cinderella re-telling. But set in the future of Earth, and there’s a race living on the moon, and Cinderella is a cyborg, and… A lot of fun stuff happens. Read it. I don’t want to tell you too much because you need to read it. Scarlet is more of the same goodness. There are a couple flaws, but overall, it’s good. Since I didn’t bring Cress with me to Alaska to read after finishing Scarlet, I ended up having to read other books. (The horror!) My grandpa has tons at his house. (Whew!)
The next book I read was The Eye of Heaven. I finished it while I was there, so I left it. It’s by Clive Cussler, you can’t go wrong with his books. Though this book is a Fargo Adventures. Well. I enjoy reading them, I enjoy any of Clive Cussler’s books, but the Fargo Adventures are a little different than most of his other books. I don’t enjoy them AS much as I enjoy the others. But… Clive Cussler. The Eye of Heaven talks about a discovery that there was a connection between Central American ancient civilizations and Vikings, where it was previously thought to be nonexistent. If you like Clive Cussler, and if you like the Fargo Adventures, you will like this one.
Next book: Foreign Agent. I started reading this while I was in Alaska, and finished it on the plane home. It’s really good. It’s about terrorism in Europe and the US. It was decided that they need to respond to the chaos with ISIS. CIA sent a special operative to Europe to help figure out how to stop ISIS. Also, Russia has their special agent that’s trying to cause war with the US and ISIS. That is the basics of this book, I’m not going to tell you any more, because if I do, I will ruin it.
Moving on! Cress is next. I finished this yesterday, and I think this is probably my favorite out of all of them (so far). If you look at the cover, you can figure out which fairy tale it is, Rapunzel. I really like how the author modified the Rapunzel story to fit in the future, and still follow the basic Rapunzel story. Yeah, it’s my favorite book so far. I need to get the last few books, to finish the whole thing. But that will be in the next wrap-up. I think. We’ll see.
That’s the wrap-up of 17 books. Actually 10 books, but whatever. Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments below. That’s it for my first video of 2018. Looking forward to a good year!
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