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So I've decided to start a quarterly "newsletter" of sorts, recommending books that I've read over the season. I want to do this mostly for two reasons: one, I want to share the books that have really touched me with the dA community at large, and also because I believe that the best writers are voracious readers and always should be looking for good book recommendations. So without further ado, here are eight short & sweet book reviews of especially moving books I've read these past few months.

:bulletgreen: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey - Goodreads link here: www.goodreads.com/book/show/83…
        I read this book in an afternoon, as it's not even 200 pages.  This small tome focuses mainly on two things: the author and her personal journey of watching a snail while suffering an illness, and the science of snails themselves, which I found quite fascinating. Some people may know already about some snail species' interesting mating habits, but there are also other cool facts. My sister was mind-boggled when I told her that yes, snails do sleep just like everybody else. The author is a talented writer, and is very personable in the way she writes. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a beautiful little book about nature and demands a more intense personal look at nature, especially snails.

:bulletgreen: Boxers and Saints by Gene Luan Yang - Goodreads link here: www.goodreads.com/book/show/17…
        One of my favorite books ever is Yang's American Born Chinese, so when I saw this book at the library, I knew I had to read it. I stayed up until almost 1 am reading this duology. I went to sleep that night and woke up still feeling as if someone had knocked me up the head with a frying pan. Boxers and Saints tells the story of the Chinese Boxer Rebellion (almost an obscure event in history nowadays) through two young protagonists. Their struggles, fears, hesitations, and passions all come out in the face of opposition and invasion. Yang's superb story-telling combines with his amazing drawing skills to tell a story which almost brought me to tears at the ending. Pick this up if you want an intense, powerful graphic novel that will linger in your mind. 

:bulletgreen: Ballistics by Billy Collins - Goodreads link here: 
www.goodreads.com/book/show/31…
        To put it simply, Billy Collins is an amazing contemporary author. To elaborate a bit, this book addresses a variety of topics while always maintaining his core voice - and finds a comfortable medium between being too vague and surface-y and over complicated. The poems in this books are deep enough to linger in your mind for days or weeks yet are easily readable. Even if you don't usually read poetry, you should give this one a try. Good poetry is always perfect for those slips of time - a fifteen-minute work break, waiting in line at the grocery store or the DMV or the bus. If you can't find this book, google the poems "Bathtub Families," "Hippos on Holiday," and "Baby Listening;" you won't be disappointed.

:bulletgreen: I'm Proud of You by Tim Madigan - Goodreads link here: www.goodreads.com/book/show/20…
        I listened to this book on CD over a week-long period. The title and synopsis of this book is rather misleading - this memoir is not so much about Fred Rogers himself as the author's friendship with him, and the author's burdens, which are made slightly lighter by that beautiful friendship. But I still think it's worth a read. Madigan speaks about many tough issues (death of loved ones is a major theme), but offers hope within these struggles and within the pain. It is a little religious, but the tone is not out to convert you to Christianity - it regards spirituality in the most journalistic way possible without corrupting the text. This book made me consider all those who had ever been proud of me or encouraged me and perhaps it spurs this in most of its readers. I'm Proud of You is a well-rounded little memoir that I found to be particularly moving and inspiring. 

:bulletgreen: Edible by Daniella Martin - Goodreads link here: www.goodreads.com/book/show/17…
        To come right out and say it - this book is about bugs. Specifically, eating them; making waxworm tacos, cricket leather, and other tasty, bug-filled delights. If the mere thought of eating insects makes you sick, don't read this book. But, if you're mildly curious about something like this, I highly recommend this book. For most of the chapters, the author manages to be both persuasive and compelling about this topic, mixing scientific fact with personal anecdote. The thing I appreciated the most about this book was the author's obvious passion about eating and cooking insects. No, I'm not going to go out and make a mealworm taco anytime soon, but, I learned a lot from this book and it made me think - which is what any good non-fiction book should do.

:bulletgreen: Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury - Goodreads link here: www.goodreads.com/book/show/10…
        Almost anyone who has read any science fiction has heard of Ray Bradbury - and with good reason, with dozens of stories behind his belt as well as the ever-famous Fahrenheit 451. This book is a collection of essays by Ray Bradbury about writing - about his writing and writing journey, writing habits that have worked for him, and the meaning of writing. His tone is always encouraging, not egotistical. Some of it does overlap a bit, but I highly recommend this book for its insight into the mind of a great writer as well as a reminder why writing is so important.

:bulletgreen: Zot! The Complete Black and White Collection by Scott McCloud - Goodreads link: www.goodreads.com/book/show/22…
        Anyone who has written comics or knows some comics theory is probably familiar with the name Scott McCloud. However, this is his collection of superhero comics written years before he published his books on comics theory and creation. The series of Zot! follows a super-hero named Zot from an idealistic alternate world and his relationship with a girl named Jenny, but it is a bit more complex than that. It really does try to tackle some tough issues through its pages - and McCloud tends to do so in a way that is meaningful in every issue. I also appreciated the commentary from McCloud interspersed through the comics; it helped me see what he was actually trying to do with the series at the time he wrote it. A breath-taking, whirlwind of a comic ride.

:bulletgreen: The Bluebird Effect by Julie Zickefoose - Goodreads link:  www.goodreads.com/book/show/12…
        Julie Zickefoose has been a songbird rehabilitator, amateur ornithologist, and bird painter for decades and a lover of birds her entire life. This is her book of essays about her life raising broken birds, observing them, and defending them. I cannot say enough good things about this book. If you even have a slight interest in birds, this book is a must-read. The pages are laid with Zickefoose's talented, detailed drawings and watercolors of almost every northeastern bird imaginable, accompanying her beautiful, personable prose. This book reignited the passion I once had for birds and renewed a sense of awe about the resilience and beauty of wildlife in general.


So there you have it - these are my book reviews from the summer of 2014. Comments, discussions, suggestions, and questions are most certainly encouraged! :eager: 

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doodlerTM
T. M.
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
Well, I'm a young adult who likes to draw, doodle (obviously) and write in her spare time. I also like to float around devart occasionally and look at all of the amazing stuff people submit to the site. Please take a look at my gallery and feel free to add suggestions or comments.

-I'm an admin for the wonderful lit group TheWritersMeow and a moderator for one of the galleries there! :meow:

-I'm also a prose admin for Daily-Lit-Deviations! Please feel free to note me prose suggestions for DLDs! If you don't know what a DLD is or want to know how to suggest them, please take a look at this page! ---> dailylitdeviations.deviantart.… In a note for prose suggestion to me, please include in the subject line "DLD Prose Suggestion (date)." In the body, include the thumbnail of the deviation along with title and author and what you liked about the piece/why you think it deserves a DLD. Thanks so much! :la:
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:iconbloodymess-vaot:
BloodyMess-VaoT Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:iconthxfavplz:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014   Writer
missing you!  hope all is well in the world :hug: :heart:
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doodlerTM Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Student Writer
ugh, I miss you too! :heart: how you been?? I'll be poking my nose about deviantart a bit more often now that we finally got internet at our apartment :dummy:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014   Writer
here and there, finally got a new job that's kicking my ass... i was worried there for a minute.
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:icondoodlertm:
doodlerTM Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Student Writer
I wouldn't go away forever. :P
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