An Exciting Announcement

Did you ever stumble upon one of my rambling reviews of a book that came out 10 years ago and think, “Man, I wish she did this with movies, too!”

WELL GOOD NEWS, FRIENDS.

You’re looking at the new Managing Editor of the soon-to-launch film site, The Cinessential!

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A passion project between a few like-minded movie nerds, we’ll be dissecting one of the world’s great films each week. You’ll get a series of essays exploring each flick-of-the-week’s themes, histories, and impact on pop culture. Oh, and I’m really excited about it.

Don’t worry, though—I don’t plan to stop posting here!

Book reviews should still be appearing more or less monthly, but I might start directing you to the new site from time to time as well.

As soon as the site’s live, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’ll still be here reading and writing for you and no one at all.

-S

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2015: Year in Review

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My last post detailed the success of my project, but I wanted to give an overview of the works themselves. It’s hard to admit that I once again failed in my attempt to post reviews of everything. I know I was wavering in my commitment to this blog sometimes. It was never that I wanted to abandon it, but more that I had a difficult time getting myself to sit down and write.

But I was always happy to be reading.

Here’s the full breakdown (comics included) of everything I read in 2015:

  1. The Terror by Dan Simmons
  2. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  3. Ultimates 2: Volume 2 Grand Theft America by Mark Millar
  4. Sula by Toni Morrison
  5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness by Alfredo Corchado
  7. Secret Avengers Volume 1: Let’s Have a Problem by Ales Kot
  8. Secret Avengers Volume 2: The Labyrinth by Ales Kot
  9. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  10. The Wicked + the Divine Volume 1: Faust Act by Kieron Gillan
  11. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
  12. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  13. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  14. Secret Avengers Volume 3: God Level by Ales Kot
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  16. The Round House by Louise Erdich
  17. The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
  18. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  19. The First Bad Man by Miranda July
  20. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  21. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  22. Native Son by Richard Wright
  23. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  24. Sexcastle by Kyle Starks
  25. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (spillover into 2016)

Most thought-provoking: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Most disappointing: The Intuitionist
Funniest: The First Bad Man
Most surprising favorite: Native Son
Least favorite: The Wandering Falcon
Most over hyped: Station Eleven

All-Time #1 Favorite: Everything I Never Told You

Overall, it was a very good year for me. Though there were a handful of titles I didn’t especially enjoy and only one that I actively disliked, there weren’t any that I found truly, objectively awful—a marked improvement considering I had to contend with both The Good Girl and Hell House last year.

As for next year? I plan to continue making a serious effort to read more POC, though with less stringent rules. (No more hardcore tracking of percentages!)IMG_4111 (2)

The book I’m looking forward to the most is certainly Mark Danielewski’s 
The Familiar
. It’s currently sitting next to me at the moment, just waiting begging me to finish The Sympathizer or cast it aside and start reading it immediately.

There are a handful of book clubs I have my eye on (including a tiny one of my own), a host of new titles that I missed in 2015, and—thanks to Christmas—some fantastic comics with my name on them.

I’m feeling reinvigorated. I feel more ready to tackle this blog with the dedication it deserves, and I’m looking forward to it all.

I hope you’ll stick with me.

Happy reading!

-S

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Hi Readers!

I’ve been less active the last couple of weeks than I meant to be, but I promise that it was for a good reason and that it definitely doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. After six weeks of weddings, I was rewarded with my long-awaited two-week trip to Iceland where I ended up getting engaged myself!

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Okay, Iceland is even MORE beautiful than everyone says…

Now that the excitement is settling down and I’m finding my writing routine again, I thought I’d check in to let you know I’m still here, I’m still reading, and I’m still looking to share all of it with you. Here are the upcoming reviews you have to look forward to:

  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
  • The Round House by Louise Erdich
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The First Bad Man by Miranda July
  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Clearly, I’m going to have to step on it if I want to ensure everything I’ve read has been reviewed by the end of the year!

Wish me luck and I’ll see you here with a fresh review soon.

-S

Happy Birthday, Reviews for No One!

Almost a full week late, but I still wanted to take a minute to celebrate this blog’s first birthday.

I can’t believe I’ve kept this thing going for a whole year already. I even kept to my schedule (not that it was ever a rigorous one, but still). I feel like I read more than ever and that reading came back into being part of who I am in a way it hadn’t been for a long time.

I was a born book lover. Some of my earliest memories? I remember being annoyed with other kids by age 6 for not reading well enough. And hiding encyclopedias under my pillow because I thought I’d get smarter that way. And the day I was taken aside by the librarian and shown where the chapter books were ahead of everyone else in my class.

But I lost some of that on the way through school. By college, I stopped reading for fun almost completely. It wasn’t until I was commuting to work by train that I fell back into a rhythm, and it wasn’t until this blog that I felt like my books were part of me again.

Reviews for No One is a real achievement for me.

It’s the first time I ever tried to take my blogging even a little bit seriously. I’m still finding my voice, and I’m still working on making enough time to write and revise, but I’m really proud of what I’ve done here so far. Even if all I’ve done is find part of me.

As always, I’ll keep reading and I’ll keep trying to make things interesting for you. And hopefully I’ll keep getting better at both.

Happy reading!

-S

Housekeeping Updates

Hey, all.

I just thought I’d post a brief update since some of my writing is taking a little longer than expected.

I have a couple posts in the works as well as a new piece for Booklicious coming down the pipeline that will be less of a review and more of an update on some interesting changes in the publishing industry. My most recent review is of a book coming out this July, The Good Girl by Mark Kubica, but I might wait to publish that closer to the book’s release date. It’s currently both my longest and most political review, so it might need some more… tweaking. I’m also experimenting with some new formatting for reviews after I plowed through four trade paperbacks in a row and felt that comics deserved a slightly different style than my regular reviews.

In the meantime, I’m still figuring out this whole “blogging with a purpose regularly” thing and will be making changes to the site accordingly!

Happy reading

-S