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!

August TBR

Wow August already? My oldest starts second grade toward the end of the month. I’m not sure I’m ready to get back to the grind. Anyway, no theme this time, just titles that caught my interest for one reason or another. I’ve done a good job making some room on my shelves. Maybe September’s theme will be all ebooks so I can catch up there. Without further ado…

  • Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin by Marion Mead
  • Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
  • My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel
  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • Lexicon by Max Barry
  • The Bees by Laline Paull
  • Henna House by Nomi Eve
  • Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights by Salman Rushie
  • The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
  • My Real Children by Jo Walton
  • A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
  • Super Mutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Dickinson
  • The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
  • Paradise by Toni Morrison

I know, I know. There are a few titles that have carried over a few months (Lexion I’m looking at you). I’m going to double down on getting to them. I swear. There are a few on my Kindle/Kobo apps that I know I’ll be delving into as well. Jennifer Estep’s new Elemental Assassin, Spider’s Trap for instance. I’ve also started The Novice by Taran Matharu. I’m barely in the beginning of it, but so far I like where it’s headed.

What books are you hoping to get to this month?

TBR

Recently I read a piece on Book Riot with the author talking about their TBR (which stands for To Be Read) list as if it was this ironclad thing, a ‘commitment’ in their words. If that’s how you use your TBR, more power to you. This isn’t an argument with them, on what is better. I want to explore what TBR means to me. I’ve just never thought of them that way. I’ve always used my TBR as a list of books one day I’d like to get to. I cull it quarterly. Sometimes a book that caught my eye and I added it on impulse has lost its luster. I have no qualms about removing books that have been sitting on the list forever. I’m obviously not going to read them. I do like to keep it a bit organized, but I’m not at all married to the idea they have to be read in some kind of strict order.

I did go through a phase where I added ALL the entries from all the years from 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. WTF was I thinking? I can tell you actually. I was thinking that I was coming from this very limited range of books and I wanted to be cultured and educated. It took me a bit, but then I realized…I’m really not that cultured. I read a few books from the list that made me what to bash my head against the wall. I kept a few that I really do want to get to, but the rest were cut. I’m not going to force myself through this subjective list (which ends up being way more than 1001 if you start adding all the revisions) to read books that don’t interest me. I could be reading these other really great books. I already came to terms with the fact I’m not going to be able to read all the books. But I want to try. I want to read all the books that interest me. I can’t do that if I’m stuck reading books that other people think I should be reading. I would understand if I was in the same place I was three years ago, just reading urban fantasy and mystery novels, but I read pretty widely now. I am keeping books like Jane Austen on my shelves. I have two kids and they might want them one day. I tend to do my genre fiction on e format because those tastes are pretty much mine and tend to be a little more depending on my age and what’s going on.

I do make a monthly TBR as you probably aware of if you read the blog regularly. I take books of my TBR shelves (I have separate bookshelves for the unread books and the read books) that look the most interesting to me at this time. Sometimes I get to them, oftentimes they stay on the shelf for the next month or they get removed for awhile. This sounds crazy probably, but I found I get through books a lot quicker if I have a (somewhat loose) plan. The only hiccup tends to come in the form of my ebooks. I like both my print books and my ebooks, yet the physically of the print books tends to cause me more panic to read them. Because I can see them literally piling up where my e books are really just ones and zeros on this nifty electronic device. That’s a dilemma for another day though. It doesn’t stop me from picking random books from either medium though. I tend to have an ebook going on each of my apps, Kindle, Kobo, and Scribd as well as an audiobook on the Audible app.

But again, I never feel like my book choices aren’t spontaneous. I still randomly pick a book of any of my shelves. In fact I raved about a book I’d read so well to my friend that I just went and picked it up off my shelf for a reread (note: it’s The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey). TBRs do help me also with my diversity goals. I’ve already noticed if I get too spontaneous, due to the problems in publishing, I end up with a pretty narrow batch of authors (hello all straight white people). I do tend to lean more to women authors automatically so that part isn’t problem for me, but like I said, my book picks by other marginalized authors suffer.

How do you treat your TBR? Is it something you HAVE to stay committed to? Is it fluid? Is it just a list of books you’d someday like to read? A list of books to keep track of?

July TBR

I updated the TBR shelf a little early since the husband and I are leaving for San Francisco tomorrow for Pride weekend. I generally don’t take a lot of print books on vacation anymore, as it’s a lot easier to slip the iPad mini in my bag. We’re taking the train up so I do need something to read. I’ll have these lovelies waiting for me when I get back.

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You may notice some from last time that I didn’t quite get to.

  • The Grace Keepers by Kristy Logan
  • Henna House by Nomi Eve
  • The Scarlet Sisters by Myra MacPherson
  • The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
  • The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
  • The  Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
  • Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
  • Kindred by Octavia Bulter
  • Lexicon by Max Barry
  • The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
  • The Bees by Laline Paull
  • Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
  • Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novick
  • Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I also have a hell of an ebook TBR going so we shall see. I tend to have more front list on my e reader. Not counting my Scribd books which I use more whimsically, some of those are going to be:

  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
  • The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
  • The Novice by Taran Matharu
  • Tiny Pretty Things by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra
  • The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak

You can always check my Goodreads shelf on the sidebar to see what I’m reading currently.

 

Reading Snapshot

Every once in while I’ll share what I’ve got going on book-wise.

Right now I am reading

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  • Gulp by Mary Roach (print) : MICROHISTORY task
  • Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (print -I really wanted to read it = two print books) : SELF HELP task
  • Dragonfly Dance by Denise K. Lajimodiere (Oyster) : POETRY task
  • Marvel the Untold Story by Sean Howe (audiobook) : AUDIOBOOK task
  • Civil War (Marvel Unlimited) : because I broke down and bought a MU subscription during its last sale.

What are you reading?

 

*Update: corrected an author’s name.