2016 Reading Recap & 2017 Goals


Here’s the final update on my 2016 reading goals! Then I set 2017 goals.

2016 Reading Goals

  • 150 books total.
  • 50,000 pages.
  • 40 non-fiction.
  • 10 classics.
  • 10 books translated into English (excluding those on my “classics” list).
  • 15 books outside my comfort zone.
  • 22 books off my TBR list.

Results

Continue reading

Book Review: Take the Key and Lock Her Up


511-hbczuwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Title: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

Series: Embassy Row #3

Author: Ally Carter

See my reviews of Book 1 & Book 2

I’ve long been an Ally Carter fan, but I struggled more with this trilogy than any of her other books. As I documented in my previous reviews, I think that had a lot to do with growing out of her target age range.

Thankfully, Take the Key and Lock Her Up was a really good conclusion to the trilogy.

NOTE: Spoilers for the first two books will start immediately. Read at your own risk. Please keep the comments a safe section. I’m available via Twitter or email for spoilery discussions.

Plot Summary

Grace Blakely just discovered that she is the descendant of a long-lost princess. Now she, her brother, a hot Russian, and the Scarred Man are on the run. People are trying to kill her and she doesn’t know who to trust. Also, she might be crazy. Continue reading

Lyse Links: The Bonus Awesome Edition


If you’re looking for a great read on any topic, I’ve got it for you. I’ve read some excellent articles this last month and I can’t wait to hear what you all think about them. I’m posting more than my usual number and sorting them by topic to help you find your interests more easily. Regardless of topic, these are all great stories.

Sports

As you may know, if you follow this blog, I’m not really a sports person. But I love the stories that come from sports. I’ve been on a bit of a basketball kick recently (to be fair, basketball seems to be undergoing a massive transformation), so you’ll see a lot here about the Golden State Warriors.

Politics

I don’t want to say much about politics, so I’m bringing you only 2 post-election articles, which I recommend for everyone, regardless of party.  Continue reading

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions: A Guide for People Who Hate Resolutions


8tjbrqgkfyu-david-marcuI have, for the first time ever, kept the New Year’s resolution I made. You can too.

If you’re one of those mythical unicorns who makes resolutions every year and keeps them, just stop reading. This isn’t for you. [But email me, ok? Because I’ve never met anyone like you.]

But if you’re like pre-2016 me and make resolutions you never keep or quit making them altogether because you know you won’t keep them, then I’m talking to you.

The Problem with Most Resolutions

Most resolutions fall into one of two categories.

  1. The Habit.
  2. The Virtue.

And resolutions in these two categories do not work for me and probably not for you, if you’re still reading. So let’s break down why. Continue reading

October Reading Recap


Whew. I haven’t written a recap since May! I was pretty busy this summer and slacked on tracking my reading. But I recently updated my list, so here’s an overview!

First, my goals for the year:

  • 150 books total.
  • 50,000 pages.
  • 40 non-fiction.
  • 10 classics.
  • 10 books translated into English (excluding those on my “classics” list).
  • 15 books outside my comfort zone.
  • 22 books off my TBR list.

If you look back to May, I read 30 books that month. I haven’t come anywhere close to the number again, but I’ve made good progress.  Continue reading

Oh, Greta! The Library’s Real Role on Campus


Greta’s tweet triggered instant anger & humorless laughing for me, so I’m glad someone took the time to explain why she’s wrong. I’ve been in several university libraries & none of them are vanity projects in any way.

Mr. Library Dude

This morning, media personality Greta Van Susteren tweeted out:

A vanity project? Hah! No library I’ve ever worked in could be called a “vanity project.”

The tweet was in response to a Yahoo Finance article: College is Still Getting More Expensive: What Can Stop It?

No real surprises here: College is too expensive and yes, debt is a concern for most students and families–something that most of us agree with.

The comment about smartphones? A flippant remark that reveals a real lack of understanding about academic research and how information is accessible to students.

But a vanity project? A 2012 article on InsideHigherEd.com reported that library budgets as a percentage of the total university budget had fallen from a high of 3.83% in 1974…

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Book Review: Everything, Everything


cover of book everything, everythingWhat I Knew Going In

Nothing, nothing. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon has been pretty hyped. It was promoted a lot & loads of bookish people were talking about it & it was a very popular debut novel. I somehow managed to tune out most of the hype and literally only knew the title and author’s name. It was an e-book deal for $1.99, so I grabbed it, knowing that a better deal would never come along.

What It’s About

Madeline Whittier (Maddy) has SCID, a genetic disorder that means she basically has no immune system. Because of that, she lives in a completely sterile environment with just her mother and nurse. She reads a lot, plays silly games with her mom, and studies online. It’s a pretty happy life until a family with a teenage son moves in next door.

What I Thought

I was hooked really early in this book. Because I didn’t know anything about the plot, I had a lot of fun learning about Maddy’s disease and life. From a purely intellectual standpoint, I found the premise fascinating. I don’t see many YA books about something like SCID. And Maddy is a reader! The book is full of literary references, funny charts and drawings, and philosophical musings.

I think that Everything, Everything aspires to be the next TFIOS. It’s a beautifully tragic love story about a really sick girl, full of metaphor and smart conversations and really hard stuff.

But this book is not TFIOS. Continue reading