Week Between the Pages

This week has been pretty fucking good for books. I loved every single one (one exception but it is strongly in like).

Finished:

  • Come As You Are by Emily Nagasaki. I’m going to keep coming back to this one. I can feel it. It’s already made me realize things about myself that I had no idea about. I want to buy a stack of them and hand them out to both the women AND the men in my life.
  • Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. A great story. I might finally getting on the YA bandwagon if there are more books like this one. A girl friendship that doesn’t involve them tearing each other down and actually helping each other? Sold.
  • Hammer Head by Nina MacLaughlin. An interesting read about a woman who quits her job in books (I can haz?) to become a carpenter’s apprentice. I didn’t love it, but I applauded her bravery. It’s scary to quit something you’re good at to to something brand new.
  • How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz. This one was my favorite of the week. Possibly the month. All the books I read after this one have quite the challenge to overcome. It takes place, among other locations, in Santa Cruz which is my town. Lutz uses real streets and it was fun to go, yup I’ve been there. Another book about friendships between friends, this one is a lot more complicated than Under a Painted Sky’s as adult friendships inevitably become although it felt a lot more real than some of the other ones where it’s over some weird misunderstanding or jealousy. Did I mention I loved this book?
  • The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim. My knowledge of Korea is sorely lacking I realized as I read this one. I have been trying to get to this book for awhile now and I’m glad I finally did. It’s beautifully written and the main character’s struggle with her family’s traditionalism and religion and her own desire for education and progression is well developed.

Currently reading

  • The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. For some reason I was thinking this one was YA and I was resisting it because I wanted fantasy with some steam, not just some stolen kisses. I’m not far enough for the steam, but I read on Goodreads Tiffany Reisz was raving about the first book so I’m thinking if my personal kink hero loves it, it has to have something naughty in it. This is 3 books plus a novella so I might be in trenched in it for awhile.
  • Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James. I devoured her fairy tale series and wanted to try more. There is something about this one that keeps turning me off though. I’m going to try to read a bit more, but so far, it’s not hitting the right notes.

Books Acquired

  • The Marriage Game: a novel of Queen Elizabeth I by Alison Weir. I have been trying to keep my book acquisitions to a minimum right now, but I couldn’t resist a book about the Tudors. They’re a weakness. I don’t know why. There’s just something about this family that sparks my interest. Also it’s a library book so it makes it easier that it’s not here to stay.

What has your reading week been like?

First Break #readathon

After a few false starts and interruptions (fixing the PS4 for the kids), I made a great amount of progress in my first book. I have a habit of not reading a synopsis after I’ve bought or borrowed a book so imagine my delight when I found out that Pearl of China is about Pearl S. Buck as told by her fictional friend Willow. It’s also a struggle for me because whenever I read historical fiction, I want to jump on Wikipedia and read the facts about the historical figures portrayed. I don’t have that kind of time today.

I’m about halfway through the book which leads me to this question: during a readathon do you read a book all the way through or do you take breaks and swap around? As a natural poly reader I’m tempted to jump to a new book, but at the same time I kind of want to make sure I finish books so I don’t have a bunch added to my already massive currently reading pile (and by massive I mean four). I think I’m going to take a quick shower and decide when I come back.

What’s your vote?

Good morning #readathon

Getting a later start this morning than I usually planned, but my husband, not knowing about the readthon let me sleep in so here we are. Then I had to set up the PS4 for the kids so they could watch a movie. But now I’m here with my coffee (no, that’s not Baileys in there…okay yeah it totally is) and wearing my Book Riot shirt (and Avengers pj bottoms!) so let’s get started. My first book is Pearl of China by Anchee Min.

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See you on the flipside!

Potential Read-a-thon Books

I scoured my TBR shelves and decided I had a wealth of books to choose from so that being said tomorrow is going to be an all print books all the time day. You know I love my ebooks, but my print books are starting to pile up so it’s time to make some room.  


I definitely won’t get to all of these, but I like to have a bit to choose from. I decided to go with short story and essay collections, as well as some historical fiction which usually are quick reads for me as long as I don’t fall down the rabbit hole of looking up the real people on wiki as I read. I threw in a YA book and a few just shot books. More bang for my buck really. 

From bottom left

  • Inferno by Dan Brown 
  • The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny
  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (hidden under Moore)
  • Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore
  • Henna House by Nomi Eve
  • Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans 
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  • The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
  • The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
  • Pearl of China by Anchee Min
  • When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (hidden under Gaiman)
  • Honor by Elif Shafak
  • The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim

Any recommendations for books off the piles that should get higher priority? Any that you are also wanting to read? 

Mid Week Shuffle

I’m hoping to get some posts up soon, but we swapped internet providers kind of (we went from Comcast business to Xfinity) and we’re still working out the kinks. I just wanted to stop in and do a little book check in.
On Sunday my husband went in to start the outline of the sleeve tattoo he’s masterminding (it’s going to be intense) so for eight hours it was just me and the spawn. They were allowed a day of Wii-U and I settled down with a stack of books I’d been neglecting. I got so much finished! Some had been ones I’d been working on for awhile and some I managed to finish in one sitting.

  • Sex Criminals Vol 2. by Matt Fraction(print)- Another solid installment. I like saving SC as a trade. It’s definitely one of those binge comics for me. If I didn’t do the trade I totally see myself letting it stack up until I had the complete arc anyway.
  • Ms. Marvel Vol 2. by G. Willow Wilson (print) – MM is the same for me. I like having this chunk of storyline to read instead of just a sliver. Loved the Wolverine cameo.
  • The Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith (print) – I thought it was a mostly fun read. The friend zone section kind of made me sad, but all in all, I’m glad it wasn’t of another pick-up-artist nature.
  • In Real Life by Cory Doctorow (print) – I used to play World of Warcraft years ago and this one struck a cord with me. Go for the art and stay for the message.
  • Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera (print) – This was an impulse buy from my local when I saw it on their signed shelf. I was not disappointed.
  • Dark Debt by Chloe Neill (ebook) – This is the latest in Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series. I’m pretty sure the series is getting close to finishing up and I’m still hooked. I like a lot of snark with my violence so this was on the mark as usual.
  • War Dances by Sherman Alexie (print)- My first Alexie! I was enthralled which says a lot since I have a hard time with short stories. I need to pick up some of his other ones next.
  • Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit (Scribd) – Loved this collection of essays. Like Bad Feminist it struck a lot of cords with me.

That was just one day! In the last few days I also finished a few.

  • Empress by Shan Sa (Oyster) – I was almost 50% through before I remembered I’d read this before. I wasn’t sure because it’s similar to Empress Orchid by Anchee Min which I’ve also read. I finished it anyway because I couldn’t exactly remember how it ended. Well worth the reread.
  • The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman (ebook)- Amanda from Book Riot has been RAVING about this one. Still, silly me, I took her ravings with a grain of salt. Silly me. I kept getting mad when I had to put it down to help out the kiddos with something. It’s probably one of my favorites of the year so far. Go get it. Now!

What’s your reading been like so far this week?

 

 

Checking Out

Instead of lumping my library borrows with my bought gems, I decided to make a new column, Checking Out. This edition of Checking Out is one of an accidental nature. I had the second and third books of the Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch on hold. The third book had come in and the second was on its way. I went in to pick it up hoping that maybe the mail would come in while I was there. This didn’t happen. But the librarians are crafty and clever at our library and put the holds shelf pretty damn close to the New Books and Lucky Chance shelves. The Lucky Chance program is a way for people to get those high demand books without having to put a hold on it. There are no renewals on them and it’s pretty much first come first serve. I’ve gotten a few great books this way. And this visit was no different. 

 

  • The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch. The book I originally went in to pick up
  • The Red Lily Crown by Elizabeth Loupas
  • Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady by Sally O’Reilly
  • I Don’t know What You know Me From by Judy Greer. I actually took this one back the next day and bought the audio. I love listening celebrity bios read by the authors
  • The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

 

In case you were wondering, the second book did show up, about an hour after I got back home… 

Has this happened to you? Gone in for a specific book and walked out with more?

Review at a Glance: Lucky Us

I have had this one on my shelf for awhile so I’m really glad to be able to get to it. A story set in the World War II era, Iris and Eva are half-sisters who embark on a journey that doesn’t quite live up their dreams, but they make it work. It’s hard to write a synopsis without giving away spoilers so I’ll leave it at that. I loved the writing of this. By swapping between Eva’s narrative and letters written to her from the people around her, the story felt more evenly told since you  get more points of view. I have read other reviews of the ‘likeability’ of Iris and Eva. This tends mostly to come up when there are female protagonist and people act like the author wants you to always be friends or lovers with them. I never once worried if I liked the characters. I just kept wondering what shenanigans they would partake in(I do however, like a good shenanigan). So Bloom did her job for me. I was engaged. I wanted to see what would happen next. I was interested in these people’s relationships. How did they interact with one another? How did they resolve the decisions they made to themselves? Lucky Us isn’t a perfect book. I felt a little off with the pacing, but that could have been me. However, it’s very well written with lovely language and interesting characters.

 

*I received this ARC  from Library Thing as a part of their Early Reviewers program.