October 2017 Reading Recap


January Recap | March Recap | April Recap | May Recap | June Recap | July Recap

2017 Goals

  • Total books read: 150
  • Pages: 60,000
  • 40 non-fiction
  • 10 classics
  • 10 translations
  • 22 books from my TBR list (my current list is at 52, and that’s a pretty limited list)
  • 50 book reviews

Totals through October

  • 163 books (17 in October)
  • 54714 pages + 55 hours of audiobook
  • 27 non-fiction
  • 37 book reviews

Discussion

August and September were reading slump months, which is probably obvious from the lack of recaps. I don’t stress about reading slumps–my reading moods ebb and flow, so I don’t try to force anything. While I wasn’t reading, I explored new parks, visited my family, rode out a hurricane, and got a new kitten.

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In October, reading returned. I *finally* got a local library card (it was more complicated than it should have been) and immediately piled up a stack of stuff I was excited to read. Highlights include:

  • A Shadow Bright and Burning 
  • Crooked Kingdom
  • The Upside of Unrequited
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
  • The Four Tendencies
  • Tell Me Three Things
  • Once and For All
  • Draw the Line

And…um, I haven’t reviewed any of them yet. So that’s next on the list: actually review some books.

What else? I saw some authors. In the last month I saw both Leigh Bardugo and John Green speak. Author events are stressful for me, but I’m glad I went to both. Leigh, while immensely popular, is new to me. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her talk about her work while I was just discovering SOC and CK.

I was a nerdy teenager in the years that John Green was becoming a force both in YouTube and YA literature, so it will come as no surprise that I am a fan. I’m a keen follower of the Green brothers’ digital media empire and I’m very excited to see John openly discuss his mental illness in Turtles All the Way Down. (I haven’t read it yet. It’s silly, but I think I’m waiting for the right time. It feels like…like I may need to treasure reading it for the first time. I distinctly remember feeling that after first reading TFIOS.)

I also started working part-time at a local used books store. I mostly do shelving and sorting, which is soothing in constantly surprising ways. It’s also growing my TBR in ridiculous ways. Most recently, I brought home Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater and Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott.

NaNoWriMo

Last year I made an unsuccessful attempt at NaNo that yielded a little over 10k of a book I don’t like much. This year, I’m not in a good mental place to write a book, so I’m not. I have an idea that’s brewing (has been for months, actually), so I may use the NaNo inspiration to do some outlining. Best of luck to all of you who are writing this month! I encourage you to be disciplined, but also be gentle with yourselves. Remember that first drafts are meant to be crappy, and any words are a triumph, even if they don’t add up to the number you want.

Published this month

I also joined ARCs Anonymous, a Goodreads group run by blogger friend Avalinah (I’m also a moderator, but she does all the work.) If you’re a book reviewer–especially one with unread ARCs–I encourage you to join us! November’s theme is your oldest ARC. We have competitions, support threads, and good fun!

You

How was your month? Have any book recs for me?

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Sunshine Blogger Tag


I’m no longer evacuated! We have power! Our house isn’t destroyed!

I am approximately 1 million books behind on reviews, so maybe I’ll get around to that when I’ve settled the rest of my life and have any brain space. But for now, a fun tag!

I saw this tag on Avalinah’s Books and she opened her questions to all her followers.

Fantasy or scifi? Why?

Fantasy, 100%. I like good scifi, but I read far more fantasy. I’m not sure why I like fantasy better, but I’ve always been drawn to the magical. Much more an LOTR girl than a Star Wars fan.

Do you always read alone, or sometimes with others?

Alone, I guess? How would you read with others? I mean, sometimes my husband sits on the couch and reads too, but it’s normally just me.

Hogwarts house!

Slytherin, with some strong Ravenclaw vibes. But definitely Slytherin.

Do you have any weird hobbies, aside from reading? (it’s not a weird hobby, okay.)

Depends on what counts as weird, I guess! I’m a runner. I blog, of course. I binge-watch TV shows. But I think those are pretty normal hobbies. I had more weird hobbies when I was younger.

Did you watch Sailormoon as a kid? (I know… totally random.)

Nope.

Do you schedule your posts in advance?

Very seldom. If I do, it’s normally not far in advance, just a few days.

Have you ever been on a blogging hiatus, and if so – why?

Not formally, but I’ve definitely disappeared for long stretches of time. Normally just because I needed to focus on school or other real life stuff.

Your favorite [mythological or not] character from a book?

Avalinah, I’m calling you out for committing the same sin as the “favorite book” question. I’ve read thousands of characters!! I can’t choose one favorite. But I tend to like sassy, driven girls or women. I’m a big fan of the way Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce write female characters, for example. (In TV, which is sort of cheating the tag, I’m obsessed with River Song.)

Your favorite friendship from a book?

Friendships don’t stand out to me much. I like the Gallagher Girls a lot though. Good group friend dynamics there, with girls who depend on each other for their very lives at times.

Was there ever a story that you feel you’ll never forget the experience of reading? Which one?

Lots, for sure! When I was young, A Little Princess. In Middle Grade, my first few Redwall books were transformative. Graceling was a gutpunch read. There are more, I’m sure, but those are the ones that first come to mind.

Do you like doing tags? 😀

Sometimes!

Your Turn!

Who I tag:

Chelsea @ Kuehler Bookstop
Helen @ Life of a Nerdish Mum
All of you!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. (look, assuming I know 11 book bloggers is ridiculous)
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

And my questions:

  1. What is your Myers-Briggs type?
  2. Which books got you hooked on the genres you read?
  3. Do you listen to music while reading? Words or no words?
  4. Favorite graphic novel or comic?
  5. What’s a favorite bookish memory?
  6. Do you read more male authors or female authors?
  7. Favorite tropes?
  8. Any recent revelations in your reading life?
  9. Favorite classics/classic authors? Why?
  10. Oxford (serial) comma or no?
  11. What do you wish book blogs had more of?

That was fun! Would you like to see more tags?

Lyse Links: icons, scams, and audiobooks


Okay, I’ll be honest, this is a mostly a books-related Lyse Links. But I think everyone will like it! And I needed an excuse to share this week’s grand caper. And hoo boy do I think you’ll like that one. It’s an intersection of my favorite things–Twitter, a great detective story, and the YA/book community. Continue reading

July 2017 Reading Recap


January Recap | March Recap | April Recap | May Recap | June Recap

2017 Goals

  • Total books read: 150
  • Pages: 60,000
  • 40 non-fiction
  • 10 classics
  • 10 translations
  • 22 books from my TBR list (my current list is at 52, and that’s a pretty limited list)
  • 50 book reviews

Totals through July

  • 134 books (24 in July)
  • 45018 pages (7607 in July)
  • 23 nonfiction
  • 36 book reviews

Discussion

My spectacular reading year continues! In July, I participated in 24in48, a challenge to read for 24 out of 48 hours. I expected that to be brutal and very boring about halfway through, but I enjoyed it more than anticipated! That much reading was great for my TBR, although I have yet to review any of those books. So I should do that.

I also participated in the Big Books tag, which I stole from Avalinah’s blog. Avalinah is a new favorite blogger and you should check her out!

I did post reviews this month, including:

I also posted a list of YA authors by Myers-Briggs. I’m obsessed with personality types, so that post was a lot of fun to research and write.

Conclusion

And that was my reading month! August is starting off as a slow reading month, but I’m hoping to get all the paperwork through for joining a new library this month, so hopefully it will pick up!

Also, I need to write reviews of all this stuff I read last month. Pester me about it!

8/30: The Actor and the Housewife


The Actor and the Housewife
Shannon Hale
Fiction

Summary via publisher

Becky is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets her dream actor Felix Callahan by chance. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later something has happened, though nothing has happened… it isn’t sexual. It isn’t even quite love. But soon Felix shows up in the Utah ‘burbs to visit and before they know what’s hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky’s husband is pretty cool about it. Her children roll their eyes. Her best (girl)friend can’t get her head around it. But Felix (think Colin Firth) and Becky have something special… something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it?

Where to start?

First, some background. I’ve been reading Shannon Hale since I was pretty young. Although I don’t have records of my reading that far back, my best guess is that I read my first Hale book when I was 14. I really love the Books of Bayern and I’m generally a fan of all her work. Since I’ve been on Twitter, following her campaigns for gender equality in reading, I’ve come to respect her even more. Continue reading

7/30 Book Review: Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign


[Welcome to day 7 of my 30/30 blog event. Catch up on the details.]

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign
Amie Parnes & Jonathan Allen
Non-fiction (contemporary politics)

Summary via publisher

It was never supposed to be this close. And of course she was supposed to win. How Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump is the tragic story of a sure thing gone off the rails. For every Comey revelation or hindsight acknowledgment about the electorate, no explanation of defeat can begin with anything other than the core problem of Hillary’s campaign–the candidate herself.

Through deep access to insiders from the top to the bottom of the campaign, political writers Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have reconstructed the key decisions and unseized opportunities, the well-intentioned misfires and the hidden thorns that turned a winnable contest into a devastating loss. Drawing on the authors’ deep knowledge of Hillary from their previous book, the acclaimed biography HRC, Shattered will offer an object lesson in how Hillary herself made victory an uphill battle, how her difficulty articulating a vision irreparably hobbled her impact with voters, and how the campaign failed to internalize the lessons of populist fury from the hard-fought primary against Bernie Sanders.

Moving blow-by-blow from the campaign’s difficult birth through the bewildering terror of election night, Shattered tells an unforgettable story with urgent lessons both political and personal, filled with revelations that will change the way readers understand just what happened to America on November 8, 2016.

Do I care about politics?

Not much. They’re contentious and I don’t like talking about them and I don’t usually like dwelling on them. So why would I read this book? Because I think Hillary Clinton is a fascinating person. Because I work in marketing and campaigning is just really extreme marketing. Because it sounded interesting.

I’ve shared articles before that analyze Clinton and how her personality hinders her in the political arena. As a woman whose personality isn’t especially helpful, I sympathize with that. Unfortunately, Shattered doesn’t explore that element of Hillary much as I would like.

What went wrong?

Continue reading