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  • Book Binges!

    These days, I'm almost always reading two books. (Sometimes more, oops.) One is a good old paperback, or the occasional hardcover. But the other will be on my Nook tablet. Typically, I save the Nook reading for night, or on the go. I read -way- more as a result! Not having to fight with book lights or worry about keeping Matt awake at night makes things so much easier. (As does the ability to pick up the next book in a series without limiting myself to store hours - nice perk!)

    As of today, I've read at least 38 books this year, which isn't bad! (There's at least one book that goodreads isn't bringing up that I know I added and read) I'm reading pretty consistently, and trying out series I never would have touched if I had to commit the shelf space (or pick up at full price - I've tried a number of books thanks to $1.99 and $2.99 Nook sales.)

    So I thought I'd share a few of the highlights and duds that I've read this year. Maybe you'll find something worth reading, too.

    Divergent/Insurgent: This dystopian YA series is being made into movies, the first of which comes out in March. The final book in the series comes out sometime this fall, so I can only speak for the first two books. They're fun, and addictive. The romance between the two main characters is a little eye-rolling and cheezy, but the setting is interesting, and they're pretty quick to read. The books take place in a futuristic Chicago, in which society now divides people into factions based on traits and beliefs. Super interesting concept, and the second book throws a big curve ball. I'm looking forward to finishing the series. I feel like it's a bit cheezier than Hunger Games, but I've enjoyed it about as much.

    Eon: This YA novel will probably finish in my top ten of the year. Eon is a crippled young lady who is forced to pose as a boy and train to be a dragon apprentice. The setting is rich, the characters are compelling and complex, and the story gets progressively more nerve-wracking. I've got the second book (it's only two books total) on my shelf, and I really need to get around to it. Eon is completely worth reading.

    The Ashford Affair: This is Lauren Willig's first stand-alone novel, weaving between events in 1999 and the early 1900's. It's a beautiful story about love, family, broken trust, uncovered secrets, and what and who are important. I totally cried at various points in this book. Again - completely worth reading.

    The Selection/Elite: This series is Cinderella meets The Bachelor, and I can't really recommend the series. They are, without a doubt, a 'guilty pleasure' along the lines of Taylor Swift. The characters don't act in a logical manner, many characters are flat, and while the series is trying to ramp up the dystopian YA factor, I'm not sure anyone really cares about this conflict. We just want the Prince and our Cinderella character to end up together already, sheesh. It's totally a soap opera YA series. Again ... I can't recommend it. (But I am totally going to have to pick up the third one next year, because when you've invested two sleepless nights into these books, you have to see it through) Read these only if your cheez and syrup levels are SUPER low and you also want to feel the need to sit down your main character for a lecture every 40-50 pages.

    Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are: I like a good psychology book now and then. It doesn't make for great blog fodder, but if you do too, check it out. Spoiler alert: Friends are really good for us mentally, not just in childhood, but throughout our lives.

    The Other Tudors: Henry VIII's Mistresses and Bastards: Because I needed to read another book on the Tudors like I need another hole in my head. This book proposes that Henry actually had a lot more mistresses and illegitimate children than history records, based on evidence such as log books, family records, etc. I don't know whether it's likely, but it makes for a pretty interesting read. If you find this one in the bargain section (as I did) and it sounds interesting to you, give it a try.

    Right now? I'm making my way through the Fever series by Karen Moning - Paranormal isn't usually on my plate, and this series is full of mystery and has really got my attention. I'm also reading Stiff, a book on the science of cadavers, but that one is a bit slow going, because while interesting, I can't say that I'm always in the mood to read about cadavers before bed.