4. Read twenty-five novels/poetry collections/non-fiction-non-architecture books [7/25]

First, I’ve decided to revise this goal to include non-fiction books that are not architecture or school related because I’ve got some awesome looking non-fiction on my to-read list and I don’t want to limit myself to books that are entirely devoid of anything educational.  As long as I’m not reading about gothic cathedrals/modernism in California/urban planning, it’ll count.

1.  A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin

The first half of this book was painfully slow, which is probably why it took me over a month to read it.  Eventually it did live up to its name, with character deaths galore (both happy and sad) and all the usual, confusing drama that comes with such a large and confusing cast.

2.  A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin

I pushed through to the next GOT book, but this one was even more bizarre and less enjoyable than the second one.  A Feast for Crows is still sitting on my bookshelf but I’m unsure if I’ll read it.

3. The Kitchen God’s Wife, Amy Tan

I first read this book in high school for an independent reading project and remembered liking it so much that I brought it with me to the west coast.  It was a fast read, but not nearly as enchanting as the first time around.  Amy Tan does do an amazing job of describing the Chinese immigrant community in San Francisco and the complexities of mother/daughter relationships.

4. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

When my friend Annie came to visit, she brought this book with her and finished it while she was here.  She generously left it for me and it sat on my bookshelf for months before I decided to pick it up.  Heartwrenchingly sad yet simultaneously uplifting, Ayaan’s story of female genital mutilation, family strife, war, refugee camps, atheism and her eventual rise into Dutch politics left me feeling inspired by her desire to change her circumstances.

5. Drown, Junot Diaz

I adore Junot Diaz’s writing style.  The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and This is how you lose her are two of my favorite books, but I’d never picked up his first book (a collection of short stories) until now.  To be perfectly honest, it didn’t live up to my expectations.  Some of the stories were honest, funny and able to strike a beautiful emotional chord, but others fell a little flat with me.

6. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett

Oh, I expected so much more from this duo.  To put it frankly, this book sucked and I can’t wait to toss it into the returns bin at the library.

7. Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman

Ever since finishing devouring the netflix series in a week, I wanted to read the book that the series was based on.  Coincidentally, my roommate Amanda bought a copy and offered it to me when she was finished.  I’m excited that the series was only loosely based on the author’s experiences in a women’s prison in Connecticut since some of those events seemed crazy even for prison (but probably just the right about of crazy for television).  It’s an easy read and although Kerman’s self reflections occasionally cross the line into pretentiousness, she’s wholly aware of the role that prison played for her personally and how it effects the lives of other women who find themselves locked up.

Next up:  Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield, The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel, The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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