#FridayReads: June 23

Hello friends!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a Friday Reads…it’s due to a combination of a reading slump and a crazy busy few weeks at work. HOWEVER, my monster fundraising event is over, I’m reading a book I’m enjoying, and I am ready for all the Friday reading!

73ef4de831439bf11642336a79b88364Last time I posted, I was reading Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. If you listen to our podcast, you heard me RAIL against this book. It was like “The Office” but more depressing and intense, and not as funny. It got good blurbs and reviews, but it totally missed the mark for me. It was written in the mid 2000s and focuses on a professional office, a time and experience I cannot relate to on pretty much any level except that I was alive in the mid 2000s, and I think that was a big part of the disconnect for me.

5191ee8mmll-_sy344_bo1204203200_Right now, I’m reading A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. This is my mom and I’s June Pulitzer pick, and I’m a little over half way through. The story follows a family living on, literally, a thousand acre farm in Iowa, and the book is narrated by the oldest daughter. I am really enjoying it so far, and it feels like a mix between the quiet daily life of Willa Cather and the family saga of Shirley Ann Grau. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend, and will have an update and brief review next week.

And that’s all I’ve got for this week! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: June 2

Welcome to June!! It’s Friday, and it’s June, and it’s basically summer, so things are good. I’m in Texas on this Friday visiting my family (and celebrating my brother’s graduation from high school), and I thought I’d write a Friday Reads/book haul combo post!

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_I finished Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl, and just wasn’t that impressed. The characters weren’t especially gripping and it felt like there were so many threads that I lost track of who went where. It was an interesting concept, and I loved the idea of a traveling freak show with weird supernatural leanings, but there was way too much going on for me to really enjoy the story.

73ef4de831439bf11642336a79b88364This week, I’m reading Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. It’s about a marketing/ad agency experiencing layoffs, and the quirky characters that work there (or used to work there). I’m about 100 pages in and it’s pretty strange so far, but I am intrigued.

Now, onto the book haul! We went to Recycled Reads, a used bookstore run by the Austin Public Library. It’s the best – all paperbacks are $1 and all hardbacks are $2. We really don’t need a ton of books (since our shelves are pretty full already) but I couldn’t resist.

recycledreads_logo_with_tagline_300dpiI picked up…

  • The Expats // Chris Pavone
  • Grotesque // Natsuo Kirino
  • The Panopticon // Jenni Fagan
  • A Thousand Acres // Jane Smiley
  • The Watcher // Charlotte Link

As always, I’m looking forward to ALL these books…along with the handful of books my mom is sending me back with and all the ones on our shelves at home. I’ll get to them all, eventually!

I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on any of the books I picked up, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

 

#FridayReads: May 26

It’s already quitting time, and I’m a little late to the Friday Reads party…but I’m here, it’s raining, it’s a holiday weekend, and I’m ready to read!

amelia-grayI finished Gutshot by Amelia Gray this week, and it was totally crazy banana pants. The stories were creepy and sort of terrifying but utterly intriguing, and there were many stories I read more than once as I tried to really understand Gray’s twisted mind. Gray constructs her stories in such a strange way – some feel like full short stories, others are snippets of something far darker, and still others feel like a macabre stream of consciousness or lucid dream. Gutshot was less of a short story collection and more of a peek into a world we can only hope is far, far from reality. I am really interested in reading Gray’s novels, and I think I’ll be putting at least one of her longer works on hold soon.

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_I continue to read Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl, and I am making it my Friday Reads again this week because I REALLY want to finish this one. I am a little lukewarm on this story thus far. I’m a little more than halfway through, and I have mixed feelings about Fischl’s writing. I am invested in the lives of Potter and Mercy, but I haven’t formed an attachment to Josiah McDaniel or Sol and Ag. I’m intrigued by Hedwith, but there hasn’t been quite enough for me to feel that I’m in his story. I am hoping that the book picks up in the second half, and I really do plan on finishing it this weekend (especially since Monday is a work holiday for me).

That’s what I’m reading! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: May 19

Happy Friday! The weather sucks here, which means its perfect reading weather, plus I only worked a half day, so I am building my nest of blankets and books this afternoon.

Last week, I was in the middle of two sort of lack-luster books: Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I finished both of the books, and wasn’t in love with either of them. I’ll refrain from too much talk about Reading Lolita, since Peter and I will be talking about it at length during this week’s podcast, but generally I thought it was an important book but not great writing. Winter Tide, on the other hand, was too all over the place for me. I didn’t connect with any characters and I felt perpetually behind, like I was always trying to catch up with the plot. I think there was a lot of really interesting pieces, but the writing style lost me a little. It’s also super rooted in Lovecraft and Cthulhu and while I find that stuff intriguing, I don’t completely understand that world, so I’m sure that added to my confusion. All in all, both of these books were just okay.

amelia-grayThis week, I am in the middle of two more books! First, I’m reading Gutshot by Amelia Gray. This is a collection of short stories, and I received this book in my last Quarterly box. Y’all, it is WEIRD. I’ve read two “chapters” or sections, and I still can’t quite put my finger on what ties the stories together in each section. I actually don’t know if there’s supposed to be a connection…but they’re grouped, so I assume there might be? Either way, the stories are gruesome and disturbing and really strange, and I’m getting more and more into it as I read. I’m not the biggest fan of short stories, mostly because many stories are so good that I want to read a full novel, but this is definitely a collection I can get into.

51cn1dnlzgl-_sx328_bo1204203200_The other book I’m reading this weekend is Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl. There are a ton of characters – accidental outlaw brothers, a drunk dentist looking for revenge, the creepiest of traveling circus shows, and some sort of supernatural situation. I’m about 100 pages in, and it’s packed with characters and information, so I’m still trying to get a hold on what exactly is happening, but I’m enjoying it so far. My goal is to finish it this weekend so I can report back.

That’s what I’m reading! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!
–Erin

#FridayReads: May 12

Happy Friday!

If you follow Game & Read, you may have noticed that there haven’t been any new Friday Reads videos recently. I have been crazy busy at work for the past two or three months, and I just haven’t made videos a priority. I hope to be a little more gung-ho about videos in the future, but for now I am going to share my Friday reads in written form. Enjoy!

29939089Since the Dewey’s 24 hour readathon back on April 29, I have been reading Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys. The premise of this book caught my eye – it’s a Cthulhu-tinged story set in the 1940s and following Aphra, who has been recruited by the FBI to help stop a Russian spy from stealing dangerous magic. I am getting close to the end…I’ve got about 75-100 pages left and it’s starting to pick up. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten lost in the story and it’s taking me multiple weeks to read when I was hoping to finish it in just a few days. While I like the character of Aphra, and I am a sucker for anything set in the halls of academia, the pacing of the story just doesn’t feel quite right. I’m hoping it ends really strong, but I’m a little skeptical it will fully redeem itself.

2886008I am also reading Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. This is one of the books for our May pairing, and I’m a little less than halfway through it. Nafisi shares her memories and stories of holding a covert Western literature group with female students in the mid-90s. I’m a bit conflicted about this so far – it is a really important story, and I enjoy Nafisi’s insights about Western literature in the context of 1990s Iran, but the tone feels a little off-kilter and I don’t love Nafisi’s writing style. We’re going to a book group tomorrow night, and this is one of the books we’re discussing, so I will definitely have it read by then and I’ll have some good thoughts to share next week.

That’s what I’m reading! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!
–Erin

#FridayReads: April 28, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR

This is one of the most exciting Friday Reads videos, because it’s Dewey’s 24 hour readathon tomorrow! Instead of my normal review, I’m sharing 3 of the books I picked up from the library and are hoping to read during the readathon.

That’s what I’m reading this week! Join us all over Twitter, Instagram, and here on the blog for updates. You can sign up for the readathon yourself over at 24hourreadathon.com. I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on Youtube, TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin

#FridayReads: April 14

Happy Friday! It’s a short and sweet Friday Reads video this week, but I have one really exciting book to talk about (and one sad, sad story).

That’s what I’m reading this week! I’d love to know what you’re reading, if you have thoughts on these books, or if you’ve got recommendations for what I should read next, so let me know in the comments or over on Twitter.

If you want more Game & Read, you can find us on Youtube, TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and keep up with all of our shenanigans by listening to the Game & Read podcast.

Until next time, happy reading!

–Erin