Dewey!!!

It’s that time again, friends! The Spring 24 Hour Dewey Readathon. Saturday, April 23rd is your day to make a book pile, pour some Bailey’s into your coffee or hot chocolate, and huddle down into your blanket fort for as long as you can. I say that because you know I can’t do the full 24. Kids and all make sleep a necessity. They know when you’re weak from lack of it and that’s how you find yourself tied to a chair while they run around making war cries, covered in chocolate, while drawing on your furniture. I digress. I plan to do as much as possible. Also Bout of Books is also coming up on the second week of May so make sure you block out that week!

I just made my preliminary print TBR and have dabbled with one on my Kindle app. This feels like it’s going to be pretty fantasy heavy.

image

As usual, I’m not going to get to all of these, but I like having some to choose from. A few picks I think will definitely make the cut:

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye. I have heard nothing but rave reviews from my best book recommenders. I have never read Jane Eyre (stop, you don’t have to yell at me. I’ll get there eventually. Maybe. When people stop putting out new books.), but I’m told I don’t need to for the story to make sense. Which is a relief.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. Magic and the apocalypse? Let’s do this. Also Anders is a Bay Area author and I like to support our local talent.

The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales. This one rings so many of my bells. Lady assassins? Sold.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. I’m usually not into lit fic during a readathon, but I’m making an exception here because I tore through Mambo in Chinatown like a demon.

Winterwood by Jacey Bedford. I’ve actually already started this one and the fact the main character is a cross dressing lady magician pirate is basically my wheelhouse.

Not shown

Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. I’m actually a bit ashamed I haven’t gotten to it yet. I got lost in historical romance, that’s all I have to say for myself. Also the sequel The Rose and the Dagger is out on April 26th, so I need to get cooking here.

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep. This series is usually a quick read, mostly because I skip a bit because she does a lot of repetition on who the characters all are which is frustrating when it’s the fourteenth book in the series. However, I’ve come this far, I want to see the thing through.

Borderline by Mishell Baker. Another that I’ve been meaning to read for about a month now. I just got another goose from a friend of mine who just finished it and needs to express her feels.

Lady Bridget’s Diary by Maya Rodale. I’ve been in historical romance heaven lately so there is a slight possibility this one will be read before Saturday. I’ve really liked Rodale’s books in the past. I hope this one will be no different.

 

If you’re participating, what books are you reading for the readathon? If you’re not, what books are you thinking of reading for funsies?

 

 

TBR Shelf February: Shorts Stories and Essays

As you know, I’m really fond of theme reading. It clears my bookshelves and helps me get some genres read that I’ve been meaning to try. This month I thought I’d jump on my short story and essay collections. I have been accumulating them apparently. I’m going to try for the ones I own and if I get through those I’ll reach out to what I have on Scribd and get some recommendations from you guys (throw them in the comments, I’ll try to get to them). I read 34 books in January and I don’t think I have that many essay/short story collections on my shelf so it’s possible. I’m not only reading these, since The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee is coming out tomorrow! (Side note: This took all my willpower not to capitalize all of that and add all the exclamation points.)

Here’s my physical shelf.

  • Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaimain
  • Nocturne by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  • Naked by David Sedaris
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
  • How to be a Heroine: Or What I’ve Learned by Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
  • Ghost Summer by TananariveDue (also my horror pick for my Read Harder Challenge)

On my digital shelf

  • Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions edited by Cami Ostman (my religion pick for #readharder)
  • Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
  • Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine edited by Lisa Jervis (possibly my #readharder feminist pick)
  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  • Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale

Do you have any recommendations for me? Read any of these? Any I should read sooner than the others? Talk to me, people!

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?

 

Challenge Completed

I did it! With a few weeks to spare, I finished the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. Remember back in January I started with Pissing in a River from the Indie Press Category? Well, I ended today with MacBeth for the Books Published Before 1850. I double checked with the Goodreads group to make sure plays were acceptable then ran over to download MacBeth from Audible. I choose the Los Angeles Theatre Works full cast performance version starring James Marsters since who can turn down listening to Spike from Buffy talk. I was a bit disappointed that he was in fact not using any accent, but he still put on a magnificent performance. I also read along in pieces because I have the complete plays in one ginormous volume so it needed to be used.

I slacked a bit on updating as I completed each task this year. I hope to do better. I may not give a whole review, but at least mark it when I finish. Here’s the completed list.

Done son
Done son

A few of my favorite reads from the list:

  • Almost Famous Women
  • Sunstone
  • An Ember in the Ashes 
  • Self-Inflicted Wounds
  • The Parable of the Sower
  • Half-Resurrection Blues

I’m seriously looking forward to next year. I am pretty pleased with the diversity in my choices. 15 out of 24 were women. 14 were by AoC. I only have 2 LGBTQ (correct me if I missed someone), although Sunstone is about a lesbian couple so I think half points should be awarded there. Next year I definitely want to increase this number as well as my number of non US/UK authors.

Did you participate in the challenge? If so what were your favorite books? Did any surprise you, good or bad? Do you have goals for next year? If you didn’t participate, that’s okay too. The next post will be my yearly wrap up and we can chat then about what awesome books we read this year.

Bout of Books time!

I have done some reading lately, but not nearly as much as usual thanks to our re-entry into the World of Warcraft. A great way to fix that? A readathon! So it’s Bout of Books time.

Here’s the description of Bout of Books for those not in the know.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd 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 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I just found out it about it starting yesterday so give me a bit and I’ll make a quick reading pile and post it on Instagram. Right now, I’m reading The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George on my Kindle app and Get in Trouble by Kelly Link.

Are you interested in participating? Sign up quick and let me know!

#24in48 Wrap Up

I did not do as much reading as I had planned. I’m so bummed. Started late due to going to a long yoga class with a friend. Then hubby required my attention for a movie. We compromised by letting me read when we went to lunch, but there was the whole run time of the movie that was wasted. Then that night we had already had tickets to see a burlesque show so of course we had to go to dinner. Unfortunately bringing a book was out of the question that time. Sunday I got a late start, then had to go in for my tattoo appointment. I did read during that so yay! The rest of Sunday was me doing the readathon with a friend of mine. Which was fun! I highly suggest it. Plus I got to watch her read Bitch Planet for the first time and that, my friends, is fucking magical.

So what did I get done? I finished two books, The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet by Vandana Singh and Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. I also finished Archie #1 which was adorable. I also have Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce to finish and I also started Daughters of the Samurai by Janice P. Nimura. All in all, I read 426 pages, not counting the Archie comic. I’ve done better. However, I had fun. It was my last weekend before my kids came home from their grandparents’ so I really was okay spending it doing things that I usually can’t when they’re here. There is always the next one! If you know of any other readathons coming up, let me know! I only know of this one and Dewey.

What books did you get finished? Did you make your goals?

#24in48 Summer Edition Prep

I love a good excuse to read. The #24in48 readathon is something I look forward to. It’s a way to get a stack of books off my shelves. The question is do I go for prints, ebooks, or a mix of both? Back list, front list…I bet you know the third option. As much as I love my ebooks it’s not as satisfying making a book list since there’s no stack to look at. I haven’t even checked those books yet.  Some of the print titles I’m pondering are:

  • The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet by Vandessa Singh. For my book club so what a great time to knock it out.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Who doesn’t love a good fantasy book?
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I feel it’s time for me to get a handle on it so I can really get in on some of the discussions.
  • The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin. I just finished The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus and really enjoyed it so I obviously want to inhale all of her works.
  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. I’ve heard good things about this one.

This is the first draft so to speak. I like to add and subtract during the week depending on 1) what I read before the readathon actually starts and 2) how I feel when we actually start. As you know I’m a poly reader so I can’t have too many of the same genre going on so just reading strictly fantasy is not going to cut it. I’ve said before what I like to read for readathons. Namely YA, romance, short stories. There aren’t any deep books here. Right now I’m eyeing which will stay. Obviously I’m not going to get through this ginormous stack. Will I make it a theme? A friend of mine is planning 24 comics in 48 hours. I think the best part of this readathon in particular is this: there are not any ironclad rules. I like to look at readathons as just setting aside a dedicated time to read. No one is going to yell at you and say you didn’t do a full 24 or tell you it didn’t count because you picked romance novels over Bring Up the Bodies. Every readathon I’ve participated in was full of warm, awesome people who just wanted to cheer each other on and geek out about the titles they’re reading.

The plan for me is to do as much as I can for Saturday, working around a morning yoga class with a friend and an evening burlesque show with my husband. Then Sunday will be binging while having a couple friends over to read with. There will possibly be wine involved and sushi. Who knows? But what it will be, is fun. And that my friends, is all that matters.

If you’re participating, what are your go-to genres or categories? Do you have your book stack ready? Have you thought of having a readathon party?

#Readathon Wrap Up

Hey all! We survived the #readathon. I had a lot of fun, but totally had to pull the plug around midnight. My two boys would rule the house if I went without too much sleep. No one would be happy. I feel like I got a lot done though and it was a lot of fun.

The wrap up:

  • Books read/finished
    • Pearl of China by Anchee Min (finished)
    • Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
    • When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams (finished)
    • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (finished)
    • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (finished
  • Pages Read -1098 pages
  • Hours Read- 14 hours
  • My favorite book of the night was When Women Were Birds. I’m probably going to have to buy this one.
  • The most surprising book was Please Ignore Vera Dietz. When people talk about YA this is the kind of book I want to come to  their mind instead of Twilight. This was real and visceral for me. It felt like something teenage me would have clung to.

Can’t wait to do this again in October! Now I’m going to go binge on some Scandal  and rest my eyes bit from all those words. (Who am I kidding? You know I’m going to read a bit too.)