Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bout of Books 23: August 20-26, 2018

It's time for Bout of Books again! Get all the details and sign up here.
Yay for a low-key readathon with a fantastic community of book lovers. Whether you read a lot or a little this week, be sure to stop by to say hello and connect with people who love books. I'll be ogling everyone's stacks and adding to my ever-growing TBR. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Day 1 Challenge: Describe yourself #insixwords

My TBR list will outlive me. #truestory

Day 1 Instagram Challenge: Currently reading

Books joined in progress: 1(Jane, Unlimited--264 p)
Book started: 2 (Romancing the Duke--384 p; Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake--50 p)
Books finished: 2
Pages read: 698

Creatively structured series of five interconnected novellas, each presenting the MC with a different choice and in a different genre. The more I think about it, the more brilliant it seems. Begs for a reread.

A destitute author's daughter inherits a castle from her godfather. Unfortunately, it's already inhabited by bats and a grumpy, blind duke who is unwilling to relinquish his ancestral home. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Day 2 Challenge: Book plot emoji
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

Day 2 Instagram Challenge: Covers featuring a favorite color

Books started: 2 (Amina's Voice--50 p; A Kind of Freedom--110 p)
Books finished: 1 (Nine rules--270 p)

Pages read: 430 

Sick of following society's rules, Lady Calpurnia makes a scandalous list of things she's always wanted to try and enlists the help of a notorious rake to help her check items off the list.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Day 3 Challenge: Literary Villain
An anti-hero you'll love to hate/hate to love = Victor Vale from Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Day 3 Instagram Challenge: Spine Poetry
My haiku inspired by the wildfires burning across the Pacific Northwest, and way to close to my house.

Fire, Burn, Ash--
Flame in the Mist

Books started: 1 (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet--120 p)
Books finished: 1 (A Kind of Freedom--120)

Pages read: 240

An African-American family saga spanning three generations that shows the lasting legacy of slavery and racial discrimination in America.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Day 4 Challenge: Book Trip
My travel wishlist includes a tour of bookstores around the world, followed by am extended stay in Paris.

Day 4 Instagram Challenge: 5 🌟 Reads
Just a few of the favorites currently living on my bookshelves.

Books started: 1 (A Tale for the Time Being--70 p)
Books finished: 1 (Hotel on the Corner--184 p)
Pages read: 254

A love story between a Chinese-American boy and a Japanese-American girl that jumps back and forth between 1942 and 1986.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Day 5 Challenge: Bookish Playlist
I don't listen to music as I read, but my favorite book-inspired songs are "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush and "The Battle of Evermore" by Led Zeppelin (featuring Sandy Denny).

Day 5 Instagram Challenge: Unfinished Book/Series
This is a so-far unfinished series, only because Libba Bray is still working on the final installment.

Books started: 1 (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake)
Books finished: 3 (A Tale for the Time Being--362 p; Lots of Candles--224; Amina's Voice--158)
Pages read: 744

Ruth, a blocked writer, finds a freezer bag filled with old letters on the beach and gradually gets drawn into Nao's story. I didn't love the touch of magical realism at first, but it all came together in the end, so I got on board.)

A memoir about turning 60, filled with wit and wisdom. I loved it!

Middle grade realistic fiction featuring Amina, a Pakistani-American girl navigating friendships, faith, and family as everything around her seems to be changing.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Day 6 Challenge: Discover Books
Looking at everyones book stacks reminded me that I want to read The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. And also to add Crazy Rich Asians to my library hold list. 

Day 6 Instagram Challenge: Books published in 2018
Except for Circe, these are books I have purchased, but not yet read. Circe is one of my favorite reads of the year, so far.

Books started: 3 (Hate to Want You--90 p; The Curated Closet; Dark Places--110)
Books finished: 1 (The Curated Closet--265)
Pages read: 465

Good advice for identifying your personal style and creating a wardrobe that reflects it. I liked the focus on wearing what makes you feel confident, rather than on following rules or trends.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Day 7 Challenge: Stretch Goal
I'm stretching to finish one more book today!

Day 7 Instagram Challenge: Series Love
One of the series I'm most excited to read. 

Books started: 0
Books finished: 1 (Hate to Want You--294; Dark Places--432)
Pages read: 726

Books joined in progress: 1
Books started: 10
Books finished: 11
Pages read: 3557

Thursday, July 19, 2018

#24in48 Readathon--July 2018

Another #24in48? My heart is all aflutter, even though my husband is going to do his best to lure me away from my TBR stack. I may not make it to 24 hours, but I'll be reading in every spare moment. For full details and the sign-up, click here.

I'll be updating this post during the readathon, as well as on Twitter under #24in48
Happy reading to all!

Saturday, July 21
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire 
Dietland by Sarai Walker
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dietland by Sarai Walker πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

Hour 6: Marvelous Opening Lines
"It was late in the spring when I noticed that a girl was following me, nearly the end of May, a month that means perhaps or might be." from Dietland by Sarai Walker

Hour 12: A Whole New World 
The first book I read that altered my worldview was The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I grew up obsessed with mythology, fairy tales, and the King Arthur legend. Reading a story I knew so well from the women's perspectives was an a-ha moment for me about the ways in which women are erased from public view. A more recent read that gave me similar feels is Circe by Madeline Miller. The Odyssey by Homer is another well-known narrative that benefits from giving a central female character the chance to tell her side of the story. 

Sunday, July 22
I'm getting behind on the challenges because all I want to do is read! My husband wants attention and we have wildfires burning all around us and I'm in a comfy chair with my books like:

The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Final Stats:

Total time: 27 hours, 31 minutes, 23 seconds
Books started: 6
Books finished: 4
Total pages read: 1,425

Can't wait to do this again in January!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

#SummerSoLit Book Bingo Reading Challenge

What better way to spend the summer than with the #SummerSoLit Book Bingo Reading Challenge? I hope you'll join me in getting out of your comfort zone and reading and supporting books by POC.
If you Twitter, post updates at #SummerSoLit to join in on the fun.
Challenge dates:
 Summer Solstice (June 22) - Fall Solstice (September 22)

1. "HEAT" in the title: Heat of the Night by Sylvia Day (For romance readers who like to skip to the good parts. Steamy paranormal romance.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
2. Graphic novel with a PoC in it:  Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie M. Liu (Gorgeously drawn fantasy-steampunk graphic novel with a creative and compelling plot and a badass MC with a secret.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
3. Last in a series: Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School #4) by Gail Carriger (Fun, action-packed conclusion to a steampunk/comedy of manners series.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
4. Takes place on an island: Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore (Kind of a genre-spanning, choose-your-own-adventure in which each choice the main character makes sets her on a path to face a truth about herself. The more I think about it, the more I like it.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
5. Collection of short stories by a PoC: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Genre-defying, feminist stories about women and their bodies. Think Margaret Atwood with way more queer sex.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

6. Read 11+ books this summer: LOL. Done by mid-June.
7. Non-fiction about a PoC: Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling by Rosie PΓ©rez (An inspiring memoir of surviving and thriving despite childhood trauma. Added all of her movies to my Netflix queue. You know, for when my eyes are tired from reading.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
8. Disabled male author
9. Fireworks on the cover: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen (A memoir about turning 60, full of wit and wisdom.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
10. Local author

11. Made into a movie
12. High school summer
13. FREE SPACE: In Other Words/In Altre Parole by Jhumpa Lahiri (Her memoir about her love affair with the Italian language and how it reveals her search for identity and belonging.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
14. LGBTQ main character: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (As soon as Nancy arrives at the Home for Wayward Children, she becomes the prime suspect in some creepy murders. All she wants is to find a door back to the land of the dead.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
15. Roadtrip: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Fast-paced fantasy-adventure about a quest to restore magic to a fictional African kingdom. Dynamic characters and fantastic world-building.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

16. One word title: Circe by Madeline Miller (Circe finally gets to tell her side of the story you may have heard if you read The Odyssey. Gorgeous writing and compelling characters. Plus, some subtle LGBTQ rep.) 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
17. Latina main character: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Xiomara is a teenager struggling to find her voice in a neighborhood where her curvy body brings unwanted attention and her super-religious mother will do anything to keep control of her daughter in this free-verse novel. I loved the way Spanish is seamlessly woven throughout.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
18. Camping: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (A humorous account of what happened when an inexperienced hiker took on the Appalachian Trail.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
19. 50 year old sci-fi 
20. "SUMMER" in the title

21. A Beach on the cover: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (The story of a family's life, told in two parts--before and after the death of Mrs. Ramsay. The visit to the lighthouse is a metaphor for all that is unfulfilled in her life.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
22. New York Times Bestseller: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae (An entertaining collection of essays that mostly skim the surface. I'm more of a fan of her work in television, where her voice absolutely sparkles.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
23. One word title: Dietland by Sarai Walker (A feminist manifesto that takes on diet and rape culture.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ 
24. Muslim female author: Amina's Voice by Hena Khan (Middle grade fiction featuring a Pakistani-American girl navigating friendships, faith, and family.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ
25. Historical fiction with Asian main character: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (First love between a Chinese-American boy and a Japanese-American girl that jumps back and forth between 1942 and 1986.) πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

High Summer Readathon--July 2018

Readathons are such fun. Even though I'm already doing several others right now, I'm jumping on the bandwagon for the High Summer Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. The best thing about this one is that I can read whatever strikes my fancy. YAY!

I'll keep this simple by noting titles as I start reading and add a star rating as I finish.

Week 1: July 1-7

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (119 p) ☆☆☆☆☆
Circe by Madeline Miller (400 P) ☆☆☆☆☆
Monstress, Volume 1 by Marjorie Lu (208 p) ☆☆☆☆
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (176 p) ☆☆☆☆
The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute (288 p) ☆☆
Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh (134 p) ☆☆☆☆

Week 1 Totals:
Books read: 6
Pages read: 1325

Week 2: July 8-14

Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child by Thich Nhat Hanh (184 p) ☆☆☆☆
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (496 p) ☆☆☆☆
Pleasures of the Night by Sylvia Day (256 p) ☆☆☆☆
Heat of the Night by Sylvia Day (304 p) ☆☆☆☆
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight (209 p) ☆☆☆☆

Week 2 Totals:
Books read: 5
Pages read: 1449 

Week 3: July 15-21

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams (288 p) ☆☆
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (248 p) ☆☆☆☆
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison (352 p) ☆☆
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (448 p) ☆☆☆☆
In Other Words/In Altre Parole by Jhumpa Lahiri (256 p) ☆☆☆☆
Down Among the Sticks and Bones (192 p) ☆☆☆☆
Dietland by Sarai Walker (320 p) ☆☆☆☆

Week 3 Totals:
Books read: 7
Pages read: 2104

Week 4: July 22-28

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (352 p) ☆☆☆☆
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (336 p) ☆☆☆☆
My American Duchess by Eloisa James (432 p) ☆☆
The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs (408 p)☆☆
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (818 p) ☆☆☆☆
The Exile by Diana Gabaldon (224 p) ☆☆
The Restless Dead by Deborah Noyes (Ed.) (253 p) ☆☆
Torch by Cheryl Strayed (336 p) ☆☆

Week 4 Totals:
Books read: 8
Pages read: 3,159 (Thanks to Dewey's Reverse Readathon!)

Week 5: July 29-31

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (240 p) ☆☆

Week 5 Totals:
Books read: 1
Pages read: 240

Books read: 27
Pages read: 8,277
Books by women: 22/27

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bout of Books 22: May 14-20

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week-long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 am Monday May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. --From the Bout of Books team

No TBR for me this time. Between a crazy work schedule and a horde of library holds coming in, I'll play it by ear this time around. My goal is to read for a minimum of one hour every day of the read-a-thon.

May 14
Currently reading:
Vicious by V.E. Schwab 182-368 ☆☆☆☆
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds 70-160
Ghost by Jason Reynolds 1-208 ☆☆☆☆
Patina by Jason Reynolds 1-240 ☆☆☆☆

Challenge: Introduce yourself #insixwords
It's not hoarding if it's books. 

May 15
Currently reading:
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds 160-270
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 1-80
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali 1-68

Challenge: Year of You - A book published the year you were born #yearofyou 
The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood: Though not my favorite book, she is one of my favorite authors.

May 16
Currently reading:
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds 270-416 ☆☆☆☆
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 80-320 ☆☆☆☆
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali 68-336 ☆☆☆
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy 1-15

Challenge: #showmeyourprecious

Choose a favorite book?!? Who has just one? I chose two books that influenced my life as a reader and changed the way I look at the world. The Hobbit introduced me to fantasy and showed me that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. The Mists of Avalon taught me to listen to alternate voices and perspectives.
May 17
currently reading:
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy 15-
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante 1-331 ☆☆☆

Challenge: #readalikes

If you enjoyed Adelina Amouteru in Marie Lu's Young Elites trilogy, try Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Victor Vale is an anti-hero you'll hate to love (or love to hate).


If you enjoy Margaret Atwood, try Carmen Maria Machado for more surreal stories in which women's bodies are battlegrounds.


May 18
currently reading:
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy 15-105
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante 1-255

Challenge: #spacescavengerhunt

Mercury - Favorite short story/novella
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
"The Husband Stitch" by Carmen Maria Machado
"The Resplendent Quetzal" by Margaret Atwood

Venus - Favorite book with a female protagonist
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The Wrath & the Dawn by RenΓ©e Ahdieh
¡Yo! by Julia Alvarez
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Earth - Favorite book about nature
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Mars - Favorite book with a red cover
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Holding Out by Anne O. Faulk
Push by Sapphire
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Jupiter - Favorite tome over 500 pages
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Les MisΓ©rables by Victor Hugo

Saturn - Favorite book with circle/ring on cover/in title
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

Uranus - Favorite book set in winter
The Shining by Stephen King
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Neptune - Favorite book set at sea, on a boat, or under water
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf

Pluto - Favorite book featuring a dog
Laika by Nick Abadzis
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Marley & Me by John Grogan
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Moon - Favorite book set anywhere other than Earth
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupΓ©ry

Sun - Favorite book set in summer
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Space - Favorite book set in space
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Cinder by Melissa Meyer

May 19
currently reading:
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy 105-200
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante 255-480 ☆☆☆
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater 1-320 ☆☆☆
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle 1-61

Challenge: Share your favorite Bout of Books Moment

My favorite moments are connecting with other people whose idea of fun is to read more and chat about books. 

May 20
currently reading:

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy 200-432 ☆☆☆☆☆
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle 61-272 ☆☆☆

Challenge: Stretch Goal
I purposefully set an easily achievable goal to read at least an hour every day. Thanks to audiobooks during my commute and chore time, I was able to read much more than the minimum I set myself. Plus, my husband watches a lot of baseball, so I read while his attention is there. My stretch for today is to finally finish Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy. I'm enjoying it, but I borrowed it through the Libby app and am reading it on my phone, which I don't love to do. 

I did finish Ramona Blue and I loved it so much that I'll have to buy a print copy for my library now. Ramona's confusion about her sexual identity was portrayed with sensitivity and authenticity. I can see this being a great pick for a teen who's not quite sure which label to pick.

Totals (Updated May 20):
Books started: 8
Books finished: 10
Pages read: 3,462

Going to read a bit more. Bye!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon, April 2018

I'm still reading, really. (Me around hour 17.)

Time for Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon! Sign up here to join the fun. Check here for the start time in your time zone. 

I'll be posting mostly on Twitter using #readathon, but will also post stats here (probably not every hour). 


A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Stink bugs are temporary. Love is forever.”
40 pages / 10 minutes

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Made me want to go outside and hug a tree.
288 pages / 3 hours, 37 minutes

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Being an angry feminist can be extremely tiring. I needed this gentle reminder that feminism isn't a radical idea.
96 pages / 1 hour, 1 minute

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐
Two teen boys who find out they will die in the following 24 hours meet through an app and spend their final hours falling in love and learning to be the kind of people they always wished to be.
384 pages / 4 hours, 28 minutes

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Powerful graphic memoir about recovering from eating disorders.
516 pages / 1 hour, 14 minutes

Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A collection of biographical essays about girls in developing nations who are fighting for education. Equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring.
208 pages / 1 hour, 42 minutes

Saving Red by Sonya Sones ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Molly, dealing with the trauma that destroyed her once-happy family, sets out to reunite a homeless girl with her family for Christmas.
448 pages / 2 hours, 14 minutes

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
Partially read: 105 pages / 1 hour, 20 minutes

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
Partially read: 127 pages / 3 hours, 48 minutes

Books Started: 9
Books Finished: 7
Pages Read: 2212
Time Read: 19 hours, 37 minutes 

Until we meet again!