Rapid-fire book reviews (aka January's book gluttony)

Remember that time I got all preachy on how I loved to read slow? Well, I have a confession to make. The universe (err...my brother and his girlfriend) conspired against me (um...got me a really nice BN gift card for Christmas) and somehow (well...I never said I couldn't read fast) I read six (and a half) books in January. Considering I read roughly twelve books last year, gluttonous is the only way to describe my January reading habits.

Do not fool yourself into thinking that I am backing away from my premise that the nature of slowly devouring a book can be sublime. I still plan to embrace this and, in fact, have already slowed my pace for February. Still, a combination of Homeland (season 1), Zero Dark Thirty, and this article by Michael Bourne (appearing on The Millions) had me wondering if I was missing something by not giving myself over to the other side (you know who you are, you goal-setting Goodreaderites). Curious as to how these three things could lead me to decide to pick up my reading pace for 2013? To truly get it, you'd have to be comfortable crawling around inside my head. Let's just say that I'm jealous of an intelligence officer's ability to devour thousands of documents and pieces of information, find connections that aren't readily apparent, and come up with brilliant deductions.

So, I decided to see what I can cram in this year while also trying not to impede my attempts to create more than I consume.

What did I read last month?

Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: Why? Because I love this series.

In this long-awaited (well...long for a fan) follow up to Cold Vengeance, we finally learn what happened to Helen, Special Agent Pendergast's lost love, and her backstory. This one gets dark pretty quick, and for about half the book, I found myself wondering if we'd finally see the end of Pendergast and the series.

Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth: Why? Because Scarlet and Reishia raved about them.

I've been a fan of the dystopian, post-apocalyptic since way back in the day (yeah, I said it), so it's no surprise I enjoyed this peek into a future world where class systems have been shaken up and redefined by virtues/character traits. Things, of course, begin to fall apart as the ugly side of human nature emerges and begins to reveal cracks in the facade. There's also a love story, but would you expect any less from a young adult thriller? By the way, I totally refused to read the last chapter of Insurgent for about a week because I knew I'd be left hanging until the third book comes out.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson: Why? Because I read her rooster post once, saw Ashley mention the book was funny, and Ravena told me it was on sale for $1.99.

Other than the post I mentioned above, I've never really read the Bloggess (am I supposed to capitalize 'the'?). It wasn't that I was avoiding her. It's more that she never really made it on my radar screen. Had I been a regular reader, I might have realized long ago that she grew up in a tiny place in West Texas just outside of where I grew up and attended the same college I did. It should be no surprise that I found myself snorting with laughter while reading this and wanting to copy passages to email my mom. While we definitely had different experiences growing up, there was still plenty in this book to identify with. Read this if you like shooting snot out of your nose from laughing so hard.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Why? Because of this review and the BN overview.

I feel like this is a book aimed at book lovers and technophiles alike. Bookstores filled with volume after volume of arcane titles that threaten to collapse in on you, lovable, yet eccentric characters, and some Google bait. It's a fun read.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: Why? Because Scarlet named it as her favorite book of 2012.

This book was pretty damn magical and perhaps my favorite of my January reads. I approached this book with a bit of skepticism because, to be honest, I was expecting the now common slate of vampires, wolves, etc. It was so refreshing to be proven wrong and read something that focuses on a family of seers. I'm also a sucker for mystical places created in Virginia and created folklore around real historical figures. I'm seriously downplaying the premise of this book; however, this is supposed to be a rapid-fire review. Also, I've got something special I want to do for this particular title.

I also started Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz last month, if you're wondering where my 1/2 book came from. I'm still pouring through that one but hope to finish soon!

By the way, did you hear that DC was voted most literate city for the third year in a row?