#24in48 Recommendations

Originally, I was going to do a post about what I’m reading for #24in48 which is happening this weekend (click the link for the deets), however, it turns out…the spawn are finally joining us in Pittsburgh that weekend so we will be running around showing them their new city. So I thought maybe I would help with some recommendations. I’m a bookseller on hiatus, it’s the least I can do. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t generally do a lot of my heavy reading for readathons, otherwise it’ll feel like I’m not making any progress so I’ll be keeping it nice and light (in page length anyway). I’m also going to keep it to more recent books since I haven’t really talked about anything newish in the last two years on here. And away we go!


The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits, #1)The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Wait

F/F Regency romance is sparse on the ground when it comes to the Big 5 publishers so when I heard about this story about an astronomer who falls for an explorer’s widow? I was basically the human realization of that Fry gif. This hit all the spots. Fiber art! Science! Sexy times! All the exclamation points.





Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer, #1)Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

While we are on the topic of romance, let’s talk about this romance/fantasy. To be honest, I still can’t figure out if it’s Romance with a fantasy theme or Fantasy with a romance subplot. That’s not a knock. I really liked that way Martineau blended it. As a bookseller, I just didn’t know where to shelve it. Ha! Anyway, it is a fun start to a series that I’m seriously interested in seeing where it goes.




An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1)An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass

Also the first in a new series, I had a good time with this fantasy novel about a royal courtesan who is exiled when her brother steals from the wrong person and now has to keep an eye on him. It’s not flashy magic, and there’s a found family aspect which I am a huge fan of.





MiddlegameMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire

What, you haven’t heard me screaming about this book already? I’ve been reading Seanan McGuire forever and she STILL BLOWS ME AWAY with this standalone about two people, Roger and Dodger who are unexplainably linked. The technical writing alone is fantabulous. Also do yourself a favor and listen to it on audio because Amber Benson narrates and she is amazeballs. It is on the longer side that I generally don’t recommend, but  the plot’s roller coaster will keep you going.


The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill SistersThe Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal

If you loved Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, you need Jaswal’s recent gift to the literary world (and if you haven’t read it, go do that one too). Three sisters are sent on a pilgrimage to India after their mother’s death. The catch? They don’t really see eye to eye. Themes of immigration, sisterhood, familial obligation, and culture are weaved together so beautifully here. It was one of the first books I read in 2019 and I’m still thinking about it.



Southern Lady CodeSouthern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

Ellis’s short story collection American Housewife is my favorite recommendation for people who don’t like short stories. It’s amazing. And everything I love about it, Ellis puts in this essay collection (also great rec for people who don’t like essays. See what I did there?). This is the book to read for quick bites of wit and charm in equal measures.



Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays)Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit

Another great essay collection, but this time, less funny. Solnit is spot on with most of her observations and with the state of our nation at the moment (let’s be real, forever) this hits in the spot that tells you this is all fucked up and these are the reasons why that maybe you couldn’t name.




We're Going to Need More WineWe Are Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

I’m just going to say what I put down for IndieNext. Writing this off as another celebrity memoir is the worst mistake you can make in your reading life. Union has put together a collection of essays covering topics of race, feminism, beauty standards, and fame that truly touch the soul. I would recommend for fans of Roxane Gay and Phoebe Robinson, for her blunt truthfulness and heart. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every essay and would read anything she writes in the future. (TW: rape)


Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz ChickensBelieve Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard

I am a huge fan of Eddie Izzard’s and have been since high school when I discovered Dress to Kill. I highly recommend the audio of this because of course I do. It’s Eddie. He talks about coming to terms with being transgender, a word he never applied to himself, his comedy career, his family, and everything in between. Then go watch all of his standup…after the readathon, of course.



Priestdaddy: A Memoir

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Ending it with one more audiobook recommendation because Lockwood herself reads it and while a lot of authors can’t pull it off, Lockwood nails it. She does fantastic impressions of her family which is worth the price of the audiobook. She recounts the years where after her husband has some health problems they move in with her conservative parents. And oh boy, it’s a doozy. You need to read it to believe this kind of wild. You’ll laugh out loud on your commute and scare the crap out of that baby sleeping in their stroller. I’m sorry. But not really.


So that’s it, I mean, it’s not really it because if you know me, I have more recommendations where that came from, but these are a good start. If you want more, you know where to find me.

What are some books you are recommending for people’s #24in48 needs?

#24in48 2016 Summer Edition

Usually when I’m participating in a readathon, I do a few posts on prepping and talk about my proposed TBR. I’ve decided for tomorrow’s #24in48, I’m just going to play it by ear. I made a tentative collection on my Kindle app of books I’ve been meaning to get to, but my print pile is going to just be me working on the Great Read my Hardbacks before they Go to Paperback Challenge. I have a lot of great books published this year I want to get to. I probably will skip nonfiction this weekend, the only exception is Grunt by Mary Roach because she’s Mary Roach and I don’t need any reasons.

I also probably won’t even hit the full 24 hours. I know on Saturday I plan on going  with friends to see our local Shakespeare company Santa Cruz Shakespeare perform A Midsummer  Night’s Dream which is my favorite of the Bard’s plays. So I know there will be a few hours lost there. Maybe if I bring my copy of it and read along it will count?

So that being said, even not hitting all 24 hours, I plan to do as much as I can. 24 in 48 is one of my favorite readathons and I love checking in on Twitter and Instagram to see how everyone is doing, what they are reading, and give snack advice (always something you only need one hand to eat!).

I am not going to be posting updates here, so if you’re not already, find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy as @KarenaFagan.

If you’re participating, please add your social media contacts so we can geek out together. Anyone want to share their book stack?

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 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?

#24in48 Wrap up

Here we are on Monday on the other side of the readathon and we survived.


I knew from the beginning I wouldn’t do all 24 hours. We had kid stuff we had to do and healthy marriage stuff we wanted to do, so those took precedence. Rachel was wanting some feedback so I figured I’d do this and do the whole two birds, one stone thing.

  1. How many hours did you read for? (No judgement!)  I don’t know exactly how many hours I read, but I’d assume it was closer to 12 than 24. Next time I’m going to have to do a better job of keeping track of that.
  2. How many books did you read? I read 9 books, but finished 4 of them. 
  3. Did you participate in any of the challenges? Why or why not? I did when I could catch them.
  4. Do you like the challenges in general? Yes
  5. Do you have any suggestions for how to make the readathon better next time? Nope.

Yesterday’s tally wasn’t nearly as impressive as Saturday’s. Here’s the rundown.

  1. Read and finished Love Me Back which was 224 pages.
  2. Read 55 pages of Save the Date.

It was pretty pitiful. However, I had a lot of fun reading this weekend so that’s what matters. I have to say the best of the books I read was Station Eleven. I’m not quite as big of a fan as the Book Riot people, but I did enjoy it especially since it’s kind of out of my usual reading comfort zone. The worst is the one I haven’t quite finished but I’m not sure I’m the core demographic. Save the Date so far is boring me pretty fast. I’m not much for going to weddings so that might be it, but the writing is kind of lackluster. We’ll see if it ends up on the DNF pile. I really hope to do this again. I had a lot of fun. Now to finish up all these books I started.

Getting it done

If you participated which day did you do better? Did you do all 24 hours?  What was your favorite book you read? The worst?


#24in48 Day 2 Round up

This morning I’m up and ready to go, even though it’s a late start. What can I say, I rarely get lazy Sundays and this was no exception. Had to do a spot of housekeeping, but now all is right in the world.

Brunch, book and peppermint mocha
Brunch, book, and peppermint mocha

I didn’t track my time yesterday because I was all over the place, however I did track my pages. I had three books completed, and a few I made dents in. I also listened to an audiobook for about twenty minutes, but really have no way to track it page wise. Here’s the rundown.

  • I finished Station Eleven which was 110 pages.
  • Finished The Wishing Spell at 467 pages.
  • Finished Persepolis 2 at 187 pages
  • Read 56 pages of The Forty Rules of Love
  • Read 51 pages of Alias Hook
  • Read 50 pages of His Dark Materials Omnibus
  • Read 20 pages of The Hundred Secret Senses

I read a total of 941 pages which is pretty awesome. I don’t think I’ll hit as high as numbers today as I got a bit of a date planned with my honey later. There is wine involved so anything is possible.

How did you do yesterday? How well do you think you’ll do tonight?

Here We Go!

Good Morning! #24in48 has officially began so before I start my first book I thought I’d give you the final book stack.

Final(ish) Book Stack
Final(ish) Book Stack
  • A Short History of Women
  • Artemis Fowl *addition
  • Save the Date
  • Love Me Back
  • His Dark Materials trilogy  *addition
  • The Hundred Secret Senses
  • The Mistress of Spices
  • Persepolis 2
  • China Dolls
  • The Forty Rules of Love

I decided to pull B-Dizzle and The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray for now. They may go back in. Who knows. This was just to keep the stack manageable. I also put in some YA/middle grade with Eoin Colfer and Phillip Pullman. Mostly because my oldest son is soon going to be reading them and I wanted to be able to talk to him about them. I’m also thinking of adding the first book in the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer for the same reason.

I’m going to be finishing up Station Eleven first before moving onto the stack. Not sure which will be my first choice. Any suggestions?

What did your final book stack look like if you’re participating?

And We’re Off….#24in48

So #24in48 has officially started. I’m not officially on the clock yet, but there is a questionnaire up for us and here we go.

  1. What part of the world are you reading from this weekend? Santa Cruz, California
  2. What book are you most looking forward to reading? Finishing Station Eleven due to all the Rioter raves. Also Love Me Back
  3. Are you planning on reading from someplace besides your house or apartment this weekend? I’m getting a pedicure so perfect reading time. 
  4. Tell us something about yourself! I am a fan of Eddie Izzard and books with snarky characters. 
  5. If you’ve done this readathon before, do you have any tips for other readers? If you haven’t, is there anything you’re nervous about? I haven’t done this particular readathon before, but I’m a bit nervous about getting all 24 hours in as I have two kids and their activities. However, I figure I’ll do the best I can.

I’m watching Arrow tonight, but tomorrow I’ll be ready to go!

#24in48 Book Stack 2nd Draft

The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived. I had some books come in from the library, but I still have the book sale tonight so this is only round two, not the finished stack.

2nd Draft picks
2nd Draft picks

From the top:

  • Save the Date by Jen Doll
  • The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray by Mitzy Szereto
  • A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert
  • The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
  • The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni *addition
  • Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi *addition
  • Inferno by Dan Brown
  • The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
  • China Dolls by Lisa See

I cut On Beauty, not because I don’t want to read it, but as I guessed, it’s pretty heavy for a readathon for me. Also Under the Tuscan Sun and Rules of Civility didn’t make the second round. I have no real reasons except I wanted to keep the stack at around 10 and I wanted to read Persepolis 2 and The Mistress of Spices more. What really impresses me about this stack is that it’s full of diverse authors. All but dear old Dan, I have a mix of women and AOC. This makes me happy. I really didn’t do it on purpose, which makes me happy that it turned out that way. These books organically fell into my lap, where before I had to search them out or make an effort.

My digital book stack really hasn’t changed. I am reading Station Eleven right now and I doubt I’ll finish tonight so I am almost positive it will be my first book of the readathon.

How is your book stack looking if you’re participating? Anything I should keep my eye out for at the library book sale?