Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni (1/31/23)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is
Expected Release:

Why wait on this one?

  • I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with Armenian main characters so I’m always a fan on learning about cultures I’m not familiar with. Considering Nar’s mom is forcing her into some cultural events in the city, I think I can have my chance to learn vicariously!
  • Surprise love! I’m all in for it! Although I think there will be some really painful aspects for Nar navigating her decision to come out to her family (or not), I’m already rooting for her.
  • This book seems like it’ll be a sweet mixture of touching and heartfelt moments combined with self-aware humor and lighthearted joking. I mean, come on, did you read the title? I cackle inwardly every time I read it. If that’s what I can expect from the rest of it, then it’ll be perfect. ^.^

Summary

When Nar’s non-Armenian boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of a room full of drunk San Francisco tech boys, she realizes it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.

Enter her mother: armed with plenty of mom-guilt and a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked Armenian men, she convinces Nar to attend Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city. But it’s not the mom-approved playboy doctor or wealthy engineer who catches her eye—it’s Erebuni, a woman as equally immersed in the witchy arts as she is in preserving Armenian identity. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her wingwoman, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure. Who knew cooking up kuftes together could be so . . . sexy?

Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual. The clock is ticking on Nar’s double life, though—the closing event banquet is coming up, and her entire extended family will be there, along with Erebuni. Her worlds will inevitably collide, but Nar is determined to be brave, determined to claim her happiness: proudly Armenian, proudly bisexual, and proudly herself for the first time in her life.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey (1/17/23)

Hey y’all! IT HAS BEEN A WHILE. I fell off doing Fast Forward Friday titles last summer-ish when there was a span of time where there genuinely weren’t many new releases I was looking forward to. Those that I was looking forward to were usually ones I had already received ARCs of and didn’t think it made sense to put it as a FFF feature. Anyway, I’ve got lots of books I’m excited for once again so I wanted to start this series back up1 😊

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey!
Expected Release: January 17, 2023

Why wait on this one?

  • The title and cover made me think this would be a bit of a funny read, and the blurb only backed that up. Situational humor of “a surprisingly young divorcee” will provide plenty of fodder for laughs, I’m sure! Even if they are a bit of the pained or awkward variety. I think this book will have a character who doesn’t take herself too seriously.

  • Oh come on, I’m a fan of basically any book with a plot that is essentially a woman redefining or reclaiming her life in a way that suits her goals and happiness. So for Maggie to be plowing on through it all to get things done? I can’t wait to cheer her on!

  • And of course, I do think this will have a lot of emotional and tender moments besides the humor. Because those life-redefining journeys aren’t usually easy, and require some (tough) introspection. As Maggie considers what she wants and needs, I’ll reflect as well!

Summary

Maggie is fine. She’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s broke, her graduate thesis on something obscure is going nowhere, and her marriage only lasted 608 days, but at the ripe old age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new life as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.

Now she has time to take up nine hobbies, eat hamburgers at 4 am, and “get back out there” sex-wise. With the support of her tough-loving academic advisor, Merris; her newly divorced friend, Amy; and her group chat (naturally), Maggie barrels through her first year of single life, intermittently dating, occasionally waking up on the floor and asking herself tough questions along the way.

Posted in Book Talk

2022 Library Love Challenge is Complete!! (And BOY is it COMPLETE)

Hey y’all! In a few years ago, I stumbled upon my favorite reading challenge ever, the Library Love reading challenge! Hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures & Books of My Heart, the goal is simple: read books from the library! And boy, do I ever do that!

2022 was a surprise to me in how much I read from the library, considering I don’t often walk to one anymore. Technically it’s within walking distance at about a half hour, but the walk is on some busy streets for about half of that so I don’t love doing it. I did take advantage of any time I was out near the library for another reason to stop by and browse, though. 🙂 And of course, I read so many books digitally from the library!

Here are the tiers that were established from the hosts for level of reading:

  • Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books
  • Thrifty Reader: Read 24 books
  • Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books (my goal)
  • Library Addict: Read 48 books
  • Library Card on Fire: Read 60+ books

I actually ended up surpassing the final tier of 60+ books with a total of 72 which is WILDLY UNEXPECTED but okay! So yes, I hit my goal. xD I love this challenge because it’s fun to see how much I really am getting from the library. There are so many books I first learned about by just wandering around their displays! (a few examples in the full list below are #3, #19, #57, #61… honestly a lot of my nonfiction reads come from discoveries at the library!)

Now this year I have something extra included in this post. Below is the usual list of all the reviews with links to each, but ALSO I have a lot of custom statistics courtesy of The Storygraph for all the books I tagged with the library reads 2022 challenge! I’m really excited to dig into those. 🙂

~ the stats!

I love Storygraph stats and this was a fun one to see what they can do with their custom tag stats (a really lovely Plus plan extra!)

Continue reading “2022 Library Love Challenge is Complete!! (And BOY is it COMPLETE)”
Posted in Book Talk

Kindle 2023 New Year Reading Challenge Guide! (8 unlocked update)

Hey y’all! With the end of 2022 comes the end of the Year-End Kindle Challenge! You can see all the achievements and badges for that here, and start preparing to move on to the new challenge: the New Year challenge! This new challenge runs from January 1, 2023 to March 31, 2023 with 15 possible achievements.

Below is a guide to the Kindle New Year Challenge for 2023. It’s following the same format as the previous challenges (you can see an FAQ here including links to past and current challenges). Prior to the reveal of the criteria for each mystery badge, the hint will be shown below. As the mystery achievements are revealed, I’ll update this page to show the criteria for each, and then the badge itself once the challenge is completed!

Kindle New Year Reading Challenge Achievements

This one runs from January 1 to March 31, 2023. There are 15 possible achievements.

Days Read

  • Bronze Reader: read on any 15 days during the challenge
  • Silver Reader: read on any 40 days during the challenge
  • Gold Reader: read on any 75 days during the challenge

Books Completed

  • Bookish: read one book
  • Bookworm: read two books
  • Bibliophile: read three books

Streaks

  • Head Start: read one day
  • Perfect Week: read 7 days in a row (Sunday through Saturday)
  • Perfect Month: read every day for a calendar month (ex. every day in February)

Mystery:

  • Best of 2022: read a book from the Amazon Best 100 Kindle Books of 2022 list (here and also linked in the app on the badge)
  • Quitter’s Day: read any three days between Jan 16 – Jan 21 (the week most people stop resolutions)
  • Black History Month: read an Editor’s Pick book by a Black Author (list here! and also linked in the app on the badge)
  • 2/12 Hint: A day of love
  • 3/3 Hint: Celebrate Women’s History Month
  • 3/20 Hint: Say hello to spring
Continue reading “Kindle 2023 New Year Reading Challenge Guide! (8 unlocked update)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Have I Told You This Already? by Lauren Graham (11/15/22)

WELL IT’S BEEN A MINUTE SINCE I HAD A BOOK I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO…

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Have I Told You This Already? by Lauren Graham!
Expected Release: November 15, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • Oddly, no, I have never seen Gilmore Girls and have no idea who Lauren Graham is. That’s not a pull for me here. Although I am curious to see if, after reading this, I’ll end up wanting to watch the Gilmore Girls for the first time, which could be fun if there are some stories of insight on the show in this collection.
  • A big part of my interest here is in my recently found love of essay collections. While saying that makes me feel super boring, it really comes down to the fact that I just love hearing people’s stories, and the collections tend to allow a person’s voice to really shine through in different ways.
  • I also recently finished The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey and that certainly did spike me off on another watch through of The Office. Women in entertainment seems to be my theme in reading right now, and judging by how popular the tv series was (is?) and some of the examples in the blurb, I think this will be fun and heartfelt and lovely.

Summary

Candid, insightful, and wildly entertaining essays about life, love, and lessons learned as an actress in Hollywood, from the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and New York Times bestselling author of Talking as Fast as I Can.

With her signature sense of humor and down-to-earth storytelling, Lauren Graham opens up about her years working in the entertainment business—from the sublime to the ridiculous—and shares personal stories about everything from family and friendship to the challenges of aging gracefully in Hollywood. In “RIP Barneys New York,” she writes about an early job as a salesperson at the legendary department store — and the time she inadvertently shoplifted; in “Ne Oublie” she warns us about the perils of coming from an extremely forgetful family; and in “Actor-y Factory” she recounts what a day in the life of an actor looks like (unless you’re Brad Pitt).

Filled with surprising anecdotes, sage advice, and laugh-out-loud observations, Graham’s latest collection of all-new, original essays showcases the winning charm and wit that she’s known for.

Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read In Other Countries

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt is books read on vacation, and over the years I’ve made travel and “vacation” a priority in my life as much as I could. Below is a list of what I’ve been reading on the trains and planes and parks in between exploring. Plus one bonus from my home country, as opposed to one of those I’ve only visited (or briefly lived in).

The Books

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read In Other Countries”
Posted in Book Talk

October 2022 TBR: not spooky themed!

Hey y’all! I’ve got my TBR rip raring and ready to go for October, and it actually has no planned spookiness or anything “Halloween” themed. I guess there might be some that could fit it, but that wasn’t the intention, you know? Anyway. Here’s my non-spooky TBR with my attempts at making them spooky-fied. xD

Book club choices

Oh, you know, actually… okay, maybe there’s some spookishery going on here. But I swear, it was unplanned spookishery! *ahem* moving on…

Sign Here I grabbed from Book of the Month because, despite how leery I was of all the hype I’d seen around it, it does actually sound like a book I’d like. It’s about a demon trying to get a whole family to trade their souls to him, so uh… I guess demons and Hell are pretty Halloweeny.

The Night Ship came from Aardvark Book Club, which just launched! This one is a dual-timeline story about two kids who end up on an island off Western Australia and they’re looking at old shipwrecks and monsters and maybe ghosts which actually kind of sounds like it fits October reading too.

Continue reading “October 2022 TBR: not spooky themed!”
Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Lovely Wordy Covers 😍

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt is typographic covers. Covers where words are the winner, and that’s all there needs to be. Covers where the title is the focus, and maybe it’s done creatively or just smashed in huge letters so you can’t miss it. I ADORE this topic because I think making an attractive, interesting cover without any usual visuals is an impressive skill, and can be done so well. I found a bunch below!! 😀

The books

The covers are more giant than usual this week since the focus is entirely on the cover!

That’s it for this week! Have you read any of the above books? Link to your posts this week in the comments as well 🙂

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Where We End & Begin

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo!
Expected Release: September 27, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE! The stories of people reconnecting after years apart and finding that their love still holds true just makes me swoon and cry happy tears every time. I want Dunni and Obinna to fall in love all over again… while I watch. 😅
  • I also love stories of women making hard decisions to go after what they truly want in life. Dunni certainly seems to be doing that, abandoning the fiance approved by her parents in hopes of a chance to see where things go with Obinna. 🥰
  • I’ve read and/or added several other books by Jane Igharo to my list, and I generally really enjoy them. Part of it is learning about Nigerian culture through the characters, but I also find that her approaches to love stories don’t shy away from painful truths, giving her love stories some realistic pain with the love.

Summary

Dunni hasn’t seen her high school boyfriend, Obinna, since she left Nigeria to attend college in America. Before their devastating separation, they vowed to find their way back to each other one day.

Twelve years later, and their vow is a thing of the past. Dunni works as a geneticist in Seattle and is engaged to a man she doesn’t love but one her parents approve of. Her future is laid out for her, and everything is going according to plan until she returns to Nigeria for a friend’s wedding and runs into Obinna. The shy, awkward boy she loved as a teenager is now a sophisticated, confident man. Things have changed, but there’s still an undeniable connection between them.

As they rediscover each other, their days filled with desire and passion, Dunni is reminded of the beautiful future she once planned with Obinna. But when devastating secrets are revealed and the reckless actions of their past bring new challenges, she’s left questioning everything, including if the love that consumed her as a teenager is still worth holding on to.

Posted in Book Talk

Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign

Ugh.

If you use Goodreads and haven’t seen it yet, the book page on their website has been redesigned! Personally I’m not a fan overall, but I tried really hard to think of some positives about it too. 😂 Below are my lists and overall thoughts. Vote below on if you like it or not and drop a comment about why!

Love!

  • The fact that they redesigned it means they’re giving Goodreads more attention than it’s gotten in like a decade. Maybe that will bring some good changes soon!
  • The spot that shows how many people have the book marked as “currently reading” is really cool! It feels more like a community thing with that.
  • It remembers your settings for whether the book page should show the edition&book details or have it collapses by default.
  • The reviews show a breakdown of people you’re friends with or following and how each of them rated the book.
  • The book cover, status, and rating in the left sidebar stays with the main page as you scroll through sections.

Haaaate.

  • The reading status / tags button. I hate that it’s popped into the middle of the screen now — why make me go somewhere else from where I just clicked? I also hate having to select reading status, THEN tags on a new screen. Again, more clicking. Ugh.
  • Everything is HUGE! Why is it all so giant!
  • I can’t get to my individual review page from my review on the books page — only through the “My Books” listing. EDIT: Misty noted that you can see the review page by clicking the date on the review. Added a photo below! Thanks Misty!
  • If you’re looking for other books in the series, you have to scroll WAYYY to the bottom of the page in order to find them. WHY.
  • The book details button to collapse it when it’s open is not intuitive to find as it’s buried under a bunch of stuff instead of remaining at the top as a coherent “open/close” toggle.
  • There’s just SO MUCH on the page and I have to scroll so far to get to any of it. God forbid I’m at the bottom and want to return to the top. A floating Table of Contents with links to each section or TOC embedded in a sidebar would help navigate the page a ton. Even a standard “Back to the top!” floating button! SOMETHING!
  • Randomly get an error saying it cannot load reviews under the Friends and Following section, and retry doesn’t work. Kind of also a pro though, because now I have less scrolling to do!
Continue reading “Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign”