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Upcoming & Recent holds I’m excited about!

Hey y’all! Just sharing some excitement and good luck I’ve had with getting in holds for newer books lately at my library. Have you heard of any of these?

From Borrower to wizard, Tom Felton’s adolescence was anything but ordinary. His early rise to fame saw him catapulted into the limelight aged just twelve when he landed the iconic role of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.

Speaking with candour and his own trademark humour, Tom shares his experience of growing up on screen and as part of the wizarding world for the very first time. He tells all about his big break, what filming was really like and the lasting friendships he made during ten years as part of the franchise, as well as the highs and lows of fame and the reality of navigating adult life after filming finished.

Prepare to meet a real-life wizard.

Good people can be bad at relationships.

One night during his divorce, after one too many vodkas and a call with a phone-in-therapist who told him to “journal his feelings,” Matthew Fray started a blog. He needed to figure out how his ex-wife went from the eighteen-year-old college freshman who adored him to the angry woman who thought he was an asshole and left him. As he pieced together the story of his marriage and its end, Matthew began to realize a hard truth: even though he was a decent guy, he was a bad husband.

As he shared raw, uncomfortable, and darkly humorous first-person stories about the lessons he’d learned from his failed marriage, a peculiar thing happened. Matthew started to gain a following. In January 2016 a post he wrote–“She Divorced Me Because I left the Dishes by the Sink”–went viral and was read over four million times.

Filtered through the lens of his own surprising, life-changing experience and his years counseling couples, This Is How Your Marriage Ends exposes the root problem of so many relationships that go wrong. We simply haven’t been taught any of the necessary skills, Matthew explains. In fact, it is sometimes the assumption that we are acting on good intentions that causes us to alienate our partners and foment mistrust.

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.

In progress with Age of Vice

This book has taken me all over the place, from a very slow start to an insistent pull to each character. I wanted to take my time reading it and it’s a good thing I had planned for that, because it’s definitely necessary for me. My library loan runs out two days so I am determined to finish it before then. And considering how easy it is to fall into it right now, I don’t think there will be any worry about not meeting that goal.

I don’t know that I had expectations for this book other than that I would probably enjoy it, so I think it’s going well by those standards. Allowed to sink into the story in the bones of the characters, I’ve been tracking through this one consistently for about a week. The whole thing is a bit like that song about a horrible crash where you just can’t look away.

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What kinds of things push you to read outside your comfort zone?

Hey y’all! I just started a book for my book club this month and it was making me think about reasons that I’ll read a book I might not usually try. In this case, it’s a book that I had my eye on when it originally came out, but I was on the fence with.

On the one hand, Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi intrigued me with its basic premise of a time-traveling cafe with very precise rules. On the other hand, I’ve read other literary works by Japanese authors that weren’t really my favorite (looking at you, 1Q84!) and worry this might end up in the same vein (though I don’t want that to come across as generalizing all Japanese authors of course — it just seemed like this might have the same kind of vibe).

But here I am reading it, because my book club chose it for a pick! I actually voted for it as well, because I wanted to have a reason to give it a chance. When we were debating if we should do just book one, or the first two since they’re fairly short, I was super blunt and said I’d just read the first and if I liked it would try the second, but no guarantee. Everyone laughed and agreed and we settled on reading the first for sure and maybe the second.

So here I’m thinking about other reasons that I might try a book outside my usual and wanted to see if y’all had anything that’s pushed you as well (and if it was worth it or not!!).

Book club(s)

Of course! The in person one that started all of this is an example of course, but I also have Aardvark Book Club as a subscription that has had me try some I would not otherwise have tried or maybe even heard about. Most recently, I finished How to Turn Into a Bird by María José Ferrada and while my first impression upon finishing was just ?????? I did enjoy it and am glad I read it. And there’s some interesting discussion about it in the Aardvark app! Anyway, that’s just an example.

Continue reading “What kinds of things push you to read outside your comfort zone?”
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Library Love Challenge 2023!

Hey y’all! A couple years ago, I learned of a challenge that was able to wholeheartedly embrace. My impulsiveness will actually help me with this one, since it’s the 2023 Library Love challenge! Hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures & Books of My Heart, the goal is simple: read books from the library!

Who doesn’t love the library? When I move to a new place, I always go to the library to check it out and get a card within a day or two of moving in. Usually before I’m even fully unpacked. Priorities, right? 👌🏼

So this year I’m joining the 2023 Library Love challenge and going to shoot for at least 24 books. In 2022 I went absolutely library mad (apparently) and read SEVENTY-TWO books from the library. But in 2023, I have some challenges for myself centered on reading books from my shelves to help determine what I want to keep, so I actually want to aim lower for library reads this year since I own a lot already. I’m sure it will end up being a lot of library reads anyway, though. xD

past years…


Progress!

If you’re interested as well, go see the full post and sign up link from the hosts! The levels for the challenge are:

  • Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books
  • Thrifty Reader: Read 24 books (my goal)
  • Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books
  • Library Addict: Read 48 books
  • Library Card on Fire: Read 60+ books
  1. All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien
  2. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
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This is unfortunate

Y’all, have you ever started a book you were interested in and then been immediately underwhelmed right from the start?

Or worse, have you ever started a book and disliked the main character?

Or worse, have you ever disliked a character so much you didn’t want to keep reading it?

Or worse, all that happened and it was an advanced copy that you had more or less promised to give a review for but you don’t even want to finish it?

shit.

Posted in Chatty

December 2022 Wrap Up: all the reviewsss

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

I planned roughly 7, mostly to get my nonfiction goal for the year wrapped up. I read all of them, and finished 13 in total (including a buzzer beater entirely on Dec 31st!).

The Plan:

The Result:

I wanted to finish a lot of the things I had started this year and not completed (in particular, Will by Will Smith had been on my “in progress” list for like a year and a half). Then there were several nonfiction titles that were meant to fill my 25 nonfiction books in the year goal (success!). Other than that, it was mostly random things I decided to read, like The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman when I decided I wanted a cold, arctic fantasy. Or when I saw a review (driving me nuts that I can’t remember from who!) for When The Tiger Came Down The Mountain by Nghi Vo and decided that it was finally time to read that book I’ve been looking forward to for a while.

Continue reading “December 2022 Wrap Up: all the reviewsss”
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January 2023 TBR: not as much from my shelf as I had planned

Hey y’all! It’s the first TBR of 2023, and I’m coming in hot by having set a plan in December for how I wanted to start the new year and then immediately doing something different! Here’s to living wildly in 2023! 😅

My original intention was to read a lot of the books that are in my physical library, because I own a lot of books and it’s actually kind of annoying me. I want to read more of them so I can decide if I like them enough to keep them, or if they should be donated, sold on PangoBooks (currently 44 books listed!!), or otherwise swapped out of my collection.

Of course, then I had a few books gifted to me that I wanted to read. And I also had a few library holds come in that have had super long waits, so I don’t want to miss my chance. And then I have an ARC or two to finish in January. So that plan to read only from my shelves is out the window for the month! But that’s okay. I’ll use those as my filler books when I’m in between titles or mood-reader swerving into something different.

So with all of that in mind, here’s my first TBR for the year and what I’m hoping to read in January.

If you insist…

Each of these books has something that is kind of making me have to read it this month. None of that is bad, but it does force them onto my list!

Before The Coffee Gets Cold is the choice for my book club in January. I’m a little on the fence about that because it’s a book that I’ve looked at many times and ended up deciding that it would probably be too intellectual for what I really want. However, now that it’s a book club pick, I guess I’m giving it a shot! I really hope that my impression previously was wrong, and I end up falling in love with it.

Continue reading “January 2023 TBR: not as much from my shelf as I had planned”
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I posted a book review every day in December. Here’s how it went…

Hey y’all! If anyone’s been paying attention to this blog in the last month, you likely will have noticed that you’ve been pretty much bashed over the head with book reviews. I moved away from my usual more varied book related content and posted only book reviews in December 2022. There was an actual reason for this! In late November, I went a little crazy and felt very motivated for some reason and decided that I would finish the year strong by reviewing a bunch of books that I had not yet done for the year. So many in fact, that I would post a review every day in order to catch up!

Well, in a manner that is both shocking and not I did actually end up posting a review every day in December. Also shocking yet not, is the fact that I did not prepare most of them ahead of time (despite my intentions) and was usually writing a review each day to post that same day. And yes, there were at least two or three days where it got to be about 11:00 PM and I was exhausted and then realized I still had to post a review. But hey, I got them done!

I will now celebrate this in the best way I know how: with data and insight!

Below is a brief summary of some of the things I learned through posting a book review every day in December and how I’ve changed since the start of it. That feels kind of ridiculously grandiose to write that it’s changed me, but there were actually some pretty noticeable differences after doing it.

🎙 I narrate my reviews now

I finished an audio book in early December, and I liked it so much that I decided to write the review for it by using voice to text dictation software. And then I was surprised by how much I liked doing that voice to text review! And now I’m almost always voice to text writing my reviews and posts. It feels like I’m talking to a friend about it. If you happen to have noticed that the reviews have gotten a little bit wordier and longer, that would be why! It’s a lot harder to track how long the text is getting when I’m speaking since it just feels natural. And yes, if you were wondering, I am currently voice narrating this as well. 😊

🎭 I am a mood reviewer

Continue reading “I posted a book review every day in December. Here’s how it went…”
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Adding one last challenge to the year…

Hey y’all!

As it’s almost December, I’ve been taking stock of where I’m at with my various reading challenges, and the news since I checked in around halfway through the year is that they are basically all done! This is great since I don’t feel pressure to cram things in December to try to hit my arbitrary goals, but also… now I can set more goals… 😁

So the short status is that I need to read my X book for the alphabet challenge, which I’ve started and don’t think will take long. I also have 5 more books to go on my newer nonfiction goal of reading 25 books this year. I have several ready for hold and/or on my bookshelves ready to go, as well as a few in progress, so I think I’ll be good on this one, too!

the new goal…

So with no real reading pressure coming to me in December, I’ve decided, apparently, to give myself a different goal for the writing/blogging side of things. In November, I posted barely at all compared to my usual, and it was mostly just laziness I guess. I even had some reviews written that I just needed to format and post, as well as quotes ready to go, but nope! Just didn’t bother. That makes me sad.

To change that and finish the year strong and proud of myself, my new goal for December is quite a stretch, honestly:

post a book review every single day oh my god.

But look! I have a plan…

Continue reading “Adding one last challenge to the year…”
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October 2022 Wrap Up: hello goodbye!

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

I planned 6 and of those, I read 4. In total, I read 16 books. So…. clearly I went off track a bit. xD

The Plan:

The Result:

LOOK AT THAT, A BINGO! Meaning, I used one of each of my categories and symbols: still to be read, in progress, abandoned, and completed! Let’s dig in…

So of course, since I’ve already put together my November TBR with several of these titles on it, I had some hold overs. Primarily Morning Sun in Wuhan (which is now reviewed and published!), and The Night Ship which I’m still working through (slowly…).

For books I finished, I went on two different binges: graphic novels, and nonfiction (and in at least one case, a combination of the two with Commute!). I have so much nonfiction in my TBR that sounds so fascinating and interesting, and I just made it a priority in October and I’m so glad I did because they were great!! I also have made it a habit to browse the “New Nonfiction” shelves at the library and that has yielded some great finds. In fact, Strange Planet, Commute, and The Office BFFs all came from there!

My topics were similarly split. Some were kind of dark or grim: Commute dealt with societal harassment and one woman’s taint from men and abuse early in her life; Jokes To Offend Men also touched on inequality and the daily sufferings of women; Something Happened To Ali Greenleaf is a story about a girl who was raped and the girl who knew about it; Sign Here was a bit silly at times, but overall told a pretty painful story no matter the ending.

Maybe it’s no surprise then that the other side of my reading was jokes by Jerry Seinfeld (Is This Anything?) and self-discovery in new places (Pride, Prejudice, and Turkish Delight) and teen romance with the boy she always knew who also happens to now be a mega k pop star (Seoulmates).

Anyway, a lot of these were great and it was a surprisingly excellent reading month. Especially considering the “Life” portion of this post.

Reviews posted in October

Continue reading “October 2022 Wrap Up: hello goodbye!”