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.

October Wrap Up

Here we are, two days before Halloween and a little over a week until Book Riot Live in New York City. Hope October has been treating you well. Since the last post, I’ve been around here somewhere. I went to a book event with my friend where we saw YA author Sabaa Tahir interview fellow YA/Adult author Patrick Ness for his latest book. I’ll be honest, I went for Sabaa. I’ve heard of Patrick, but haven’t had a chance to read any of his works. However, I adored Sabaa’s An Ember in the Ashes. One of the many great fantasy novels I’ve read this year. Hell, one of the best novels I’ve read this year period. We had a great time.

I was able to head to our local library’s Fall Book Sale this past weekend. Since I didn’t make it until the end of the event, the pickings were slim, but I did find a few treasures. I hope the library was able to make a good amount of money for their services.

Really lately I’ve just been gearing up for Book Riot Live. I’ve started a stack of books I am going to take to get signed. I’ve made my schedule on the website the BR peeps sent us, including the Margaret Atwood signing. I did get a nice surprise when I went to Twitter to fret that my social anxiety was going to get the best of me and I’d chicken out and not introduce myself to anyone. Then this happened.

I’ve also been catching up on most of the speaker’s bibliography. I have one more to go, Safekeeping by Jessamyn Hope and maybe another Margaret Atwood. This week has been all about Ms. Beverly Jenkins. I’ve fallen in love with her books. They have a lot of Black history that we were never taught in school, as well as a huge amount of heart. I’m finishing up her Blessings series and it’s been a joy.

Halloween is this Saturday and I just figured out that my costume is literary based. Duh. I’m going as a kind of steampunk looking Lady Mad Hatter. The costume says “sexy,” but really, don’t they all, yet I don’t think it really is all that sexy. Don’t even get me started. I will be sure to post a picture on my Instagram (@karenafagan if you don’t already follow me and you should because lots of bookish fun happens there). We’re not doing anything too exciting beyond taking the kids to Trick or Treat and then snuggling down with some non scary Halloween movies because we are all cowards and have no plans on sleeping with the lights on. This is pretty much our family.

So next time we talk it will be November and I will give you all the dish about Book Riot Live. I’ll probably be tweeting and posting pics so keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram accounts!

What are your Halloween plans? If you’re going to BR Live, hit me up! I want to meet peeps and talk books!

Book Riot Quarterly Box!!!

On a day where my ass is getting kicked from a sinus infection, it was perfect timing to get my Book Riot Quarterly Box. The note says : “We’ve chosen a chilling theme to go with the oh-so-chilly weather. Hunker down, huddle up, and wrap your mind around some matters of life and death and the in-between.” I am now gleeful for the cold weather the rest of the country is getting so I can get an awesome package since it’s been downright balmy here.

IMG_0152Half-Resurrection Blues – Daniel José Older with a custom bookmark drawn by Older: I have this one  on digital, but now I have a copy to take to Book Riot Live to get signed.








#booksandbooze flask from Liquid Courage – Something else I’m taking to BR Live! Ha! But seriously the husband and I have been talking about getting a couple of these…now he needs to get his own.




IMG_0154Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – I’m probably not in the right mindset to be reading this since my sinus infection is making me wish for death, but I’ll be diving into it later I’m sure.














IMG_0155A notebook with a library card cover – I dig this so hard. It comes from no surprise to me that it’s from Out of Print. They’re the only ones who rock harder than Book Riot in the book world. I love me a good notebook.




Are you doing the Quarterly Box from Book Riot? Did you get one of the lamps or the lottery items? Spill it!


Task #4 Indie Press: Pissing in a River

I really don’t want to do a full on review of each book I finish for Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge, but I do want to share some thoughts.

I just finished my first book for the challenge Pissing in a River by Lorrie Sprecher in the Indie Press category. It also could have easily been in the category for book about or by a member of the LGBTQ+ community, but I have some others for that one whereas this is my only indie book on hand. I’m trying to get some of the books I have here to fit the bill first before buying or borrowing others.

Pissing in a River was pretty great. I don’t listen to punk music, but even I recognized some of the bands that is mentioned. I loved the characters. They were flawed, gorgeously written women who cared for one another even while disagreeing. The relationships felt organic, both the romantic and platonic ones. I fell in love with the way Amanda tried to emulate the British slang.

I will gladly pick up Sprecher’s first book, Sister Safety Pin at some point and I’m interested to look at Feminist Press’s other titles.


Literary Loot: August 29, 2014

This is a good week for Literary Loot! I got my Quarterly Box from Book Riot! Apparently really fast from what Rebecca, the program organizer (or as I say Queen) tells me. So yay! I am already rocking the button. I think I’m going to have to hide it from my husband who is a huge Princess Bride fan.