Upcoming February Books

Thanks to the #24in48 readathon last weekend I made a gap on my bookshelves. You know what that means, right? Time to fill that bad boy up. Looking ahead to February, let’s see what I have on my “looking-forward-to shelves.”

  • Grave Visions (Alex Craft #4) by Kalayna Price (Feb 2) – This one will be a digital buy so let’s keep looking.
  • The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee (Feb 2) – I can’t tell you how excited I am for this one. I was super jealous of everyone who got their hands on an ARC.
  • The Arrangement by Ashley Warlick (Feb 9) – This one seems like it’s going to be an interesting read.
  • In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri (Feb 9) – Lahiri’s first nonfiction book about her love of language. There is the possibility of beautiful prose here something not seen very often in nonfiction.
  • How to be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life by Ruth Goodman (Feb 15) – I need this in my life. Not that I’m going to go back in time to live like this because this was not a great time for being a lady (really there isn’t a great time for being a lady, is there?), but I adore the the Tudor stuff.
  • A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab  (Feb 23) YES YES YES. I will probably be settling down for a reread of #1 because this was a lot of fun.
  • Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14) by Jennifer Estep (Feb 23) Another digital buy since Urban Fantasy series can become…well prolific and take over all my bookshelves.

Are there any other books in February that I should be keeping my eye out for?

January #24in48 Wrap Up

Wow, what a wild ride. The first #24in48 of 2016 is over. I had a great time. I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted to due to the oldest spawn being sick, but I still met my goal and I had fun which is the most important thing. I got a good stack of books off my TBR shelves (which I’m sure will be filled rather quickly).

Here’s the wrap up.

I read nine books, but only finished seven. Those books are

Day 1

  • Silver by Rhiannon Held (finished)
  • The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie (finished)
  • Dryland by Sara Jaffe (finished)
  • Bright Lines by  Tanwi Nandini Islam

Day 2

  • Bright Lines (finished)
  • Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (finished)
  • American Housewife by Helen Ellis (finished
  • The Murstone Trilogy by Mal Peet (in progress)
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (in progress)

Total time read: 15.75 hours (Goal was 12)

Pages read: 1,751

I was surprised that 3 out of the 9 books had LGBT characters. I didn’t plan it that way, but being that I’m taking my recommendations from places like Book Riot, my selections are becoming more organically inclusive. The three books are Dryland, Bright Lines, and Santa Olivia. I’m tentatively saying three because I haven’t finished The Murdstone Trilogy or Passenger.

I only had one AoC, but that one is on me because I swapped to only my print stack instead of my digital stack where I had more AoC picked out.

I’m deciding right now if I’m going to go ahead and work through this stack I worked out (both digital and print) or start fresh. I think I got through the ones I was super excited to read, at least in print since I never touched the digital shelves.

If you participated how do your stats look? did you have fun? Would you change anything about your strategy for next time? By the way that’s going to be July 23-24 so start planning your book stack now.

#24in48 Readathon Book Stack Commitment

Another readathon you say? Yes, I did. I didn’t post about the #boutofbooks one because I started it while we were on our way back from vacation and then setting up for my youngest spawn’s birthday so shit got complicated. However, this weekend is different. This weekend I don’t have any plans except sit while my husband yells at the tv for football (I’m not gonna lie, I’ll yell a bit too since both our Packers and Panthers are in the playoffs) so I can participate in the #24in48 readathon.

Since I had all that pre mentioned craziness, my reading has been sporadic so I wanted to see where I was in my TBR before plotting my book stack for the readathon. I’ve already kind of talked about little things I do for readathons. No doorstoppers usually. Nothing too complicated.

What did I decide on? Here it is.

IMG_0761 2
I know! There’s glare. I’m horrible.

My digital shelf is

  • My Life on the Road – Gloria Steinham
  • Saint Mazie – Jami Attenberg
  • A Thousand Naked Strangers – Kevin Hazzard
  • The Dirt on the Ninth Grave – Darynda Jones
  • The Piano Teacher – Janet Y.K. Lee
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers
  • Midnight Taxi Tango – Daniel José Older
  • The Last Hellion – Joanna Shupe
  • White Trash Zombie Gone Wild – Diana Rowland

As usual, these are pretty much just guidelines. There’s no way I’m going to be able to read all of them, but this gives me something to work with, without being overwhelmed by my shelves of unread books (Did I mention I have TBR bookcases? Two of them. That’s not counting the digital shelves).

I don’t think I’ll be getting up ridiculously early though to start. I tend to take my time. I have two kids so sleep is valuable. But once I’m up I plan to hit those book stacks hardI have a casserole I made last night and there are catfish tacos tonight so I think dinner should be okay this weekend with leftovers. Other meals they can fend for themselves. I have a bunch of Diet Dr. Pepper in the fridge for daytime reading and a couple bottles of pinot noir for night time. I even have a warm blanket my mom got me for Christmas. Add in cashmere socks and fleece lined leggings and I’m in business. Anyone have a chaise lounge for me to borrow? No? I see how you are.

If you’re participating, I’ll be on Twitter for my updates I’m sure. Also make sure you’re following #24in48 and @24in48readathon. Tell Rachel (she’s running it) Hi and let her know if you’re enjoying yourself. She’s good people and spends a lot of time and energy putting this together for us.

Also, if you’re participating, what are you planning on reading? What’s your strategy?

2016 Read Harder Challenge: Let’s Do This

It comes to no one’s surprise that I’m attempting Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge again this year. I even have talked my bestie and my sister into it. Any takers?

A week in, I’m already four tasks in. So far I have the following categories.

  • Task 4: Read a book out loud to someone else: I read Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood to my youngest spawn.
  • Task 15: Read a historical fiction set before 1900: Goddess by Kelly Gardiner.
  • Task 17: Read a non superhero comic that’s debuted in the last three years: Monstress by Marjorie M. Lui.
  • Task 22: Read a food memoir: Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Good Books by Cara Nicoletti.

 

ReadHarderChallenge2016_checklist-1

Here’s what I tentatively have planned. As always this is not guaranteed. I have a habit of changing my mind or a book drops into my lap that fits a category that I didn’t expect. Any suggestions for the ones I have blank? The movie/book one I’m choosing with my friend so we can read and watch together so feel free to skip. The politics category I’d like to find one that is actually not about U.S. politics, but not sure what I’m looking for yet.

If you’re participating, do you have any books planned?

 

New Year, New Goals

I didn’t get to do my end of the year stats because the post I had all ready to go…I forgot to publish. I wrote it before the year was up so I didn’t have my actual totals. Then I went on vacation and read a bunch. So when I got home and realized I needed to publish said post…my stats would have to be recalculated because I gorged on a ton of historical romance. I read the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn which was 9 books (counting the one she wrote with second epilogues for each sibling). Let’s face it. I’m lazy. Especially coming back from vacation and already into the new year so I was trying to look forward instead of back. I debated posting what I had, but I didn’t want to misrepresent my numbers. Obviously my inclusive reading stat went down even if you only count the aforementioned series alone.

I can tell you I still need to do better on reading more inclusively. (*Side note: notice I’ve changed from saying diverse to inclusive. Courtney Milan was on Twitter recently making some amazeballs points.) I’m always going to be working on this. Publishing as we know doesn’t do a great enough job marketing these authors and I need to make sure I seek them out. I’m so angry at publishing because there are so many great books out there that include marginalized people (both characters and authors) of all walks of life, and they’re not getting the recognition they deserve. I definitely need to up my LGBTQIA+ numbers. So I’ll be scouring those lists this year.

I can tell you a stat that didn’t really change was how many lady authors I read. It was about 87% before I left and I’m assuming it rose a bit after all those historical romances. I can say I don’t really go out of my way on this one, it just tends to happen organically. I can’t explain why. It’s always been that way for me. I have lady author radar.

If I have time this year I’d like to try more poetry and short stories. They’ve always been a category that I’ve had a problem getting into and I know the right ones are there just waiting for me. I loved When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams last year and No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay, respectively.

I did read about 60-70% on ebook rather than print. I think it’s because I read primarily on my phone (even though my husband reminds me I have a perfectly good iPad mini) which is always at hand. I’m not concerned with changing that number too much. I share the philosophy of Douglas Adams who said “Lovers of print confuse the plate for the food.” I do have to make sure I’m reading almost as much as I’m bringing in and then culling what I’m not. We have a relatively small place and as much I wouldn’t mind being surrounded by books, my husband and kids disagree. Well, my oldest probably wouldn’t mind.

I noticed my preference has starting leaning towards front list rather than backlist. Again, rediscovering historical romance skewed it a bit because I’m playing catch up on authors I never got around to reading and those ladies are prolific. This is another stat I’m not looking to adjust one way or another except there is that part when I buy a book at full price in hardcover and then don’t get around to reading it until it comes out in the less expensive paperback. Maybe I’ll work on not buying unless I really really am interested…I know. I laughed too.

Which brings us to today. I decided I’m not setting a goal for how many books I want to read. I think these goals are great, especially when people have a hard time getting books finished because of, well life. But since I already make reading a huge priority (sorry kids, dinner is going to be late), that’s not a good reason for me. I also don’t like the feeling that I’m reading just to fill a number, like reading a bunch of novellas I’m barely interested in just to get to my goal instead of reading something bigger that I actually want to read.

I also want to work on not using Goodreads to track my stats. I was using it and then later filling in my own database which is actually a better database because it keeps tracks of the things I care about. It seems a little counterproductive. So I’m using Goodreads for keeping track of what I want to read, and my Filemaker for what I’ve read and my inventory.

How did your 2015 reading stats go? What are your goals for this year?