Apparently, all I needed to do to kick my reading into overdrive again was to declare that I had let go of my expectations for myself.
That, and I started focusing on finding good audio and tumbled into a series I enjoyed mightely....
1. Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell - Um...I'm not sure why I hadn't already read this, and am rather embarrassed about that oversite. I finally did because it turned up on the itunes sale page, and I decided to snag it and give it a go. So. Much. Fun. And so much that was relatable for me. Now I need to reread Carry On.
2. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Sugestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (audio) - It's a brief book, but it's important. I'll be buying copies for my daughters. For all that I have made some very 'traditional' choices for myself, I'm a raging feminist at heart and I want my girls to have better.
3. The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison, Mikita Brottman (audio) - Very interesting. This is the author's memoir of her time running a book club in a men's prison, and I was captivated by both the books she taught and by the characters she met. It was fascinating, and humanizing.
4. Word By Word, Kory Stamper - I heard an interview with Stamper on NPR, and immediatly put the book on hold. Stamper is a lexicographer with Merriam-Webster, and this delightful book is both a memoir/slice of life and a book about words. Now I think I know what I want to be when I grow up....or when I snap and finally become a hermit.
5. Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire (novella) - This lovely little book is a Wayward Children book, following McGuire's brilliant Every Heart a Doorway. It tells the backstory of Jack and Jill, and it will utterly and completely break your heart. The Wayward Children books are very different than McGuire's other works, with beautiful language and a fairytale atmosphere that are a delight. These are the McGuire books that really get into your heart and soul.
6. Discount Armageddon, 7. Midnight Blue-Light Special, 8. Half-Off Ragnarok, 9. Pocket Apocalypse, 10. Chaos Choreography, Seanan McGuire - Having read the novella, I decided to finally try McGuire's InCryptid series. Truth be told, it was a huge shock switching from the Wayward Children novella (MCGuire's best writing is clearly in this series) to the InCryptid books, which are little more than popcorn fluff novels. (This series is nowhere near as good as the October Daye books either.) But, they were fun and unusual enough that I enjoyed them. Every once in a while I had to work to keep reading (slow getting started in a couple of the books), but for the most part they kept me turning the 'page.' I do enjoy that the series is about an entire family, as the change in characters between books kept it from becoming boring. I am dissapointed with how flat the characters are...but then in this type of book that's almost to be expected.
11. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami (audio) - My first Murakami novel, and I'm in love. It was lyrical with a slight tilt into the fantastic....and I enjoyed every minute. (Bonus, multiple readers who were all amazing.) I'm not at all sure I actually understood the whole thing. Curiously enough, that's fine with me.