#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!

Fiction

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.

 

Nonfiction

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?

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?

#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?