Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Two books I finished while putting off another book πŸ˜…

Hey y’all! I don’t know what’s going on, but I keep finishing books way faster than I expect to. I think it’s because I’m currently putting off getting back to a book I haven’t been very into, but am trying to finish anyway. It’s sort of like eating food that tastes terrible but is super healthy. I think this book has a message that is beneficial for me to hear about, but man I am just not entertained. And at the moment, that’s kind of what I need: just some lighthearted happy reading.

Which is probably why I just tore through 2 books in the past few days. I thought they would take much longer to wrap up! Probably because that book I’m procrastinating is skewing my expectations of myself. πŸ˜‚

One of the books I just wrapped up is Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras, one that’s been on my radar for a while. I finally got to it — and even better, I actually won a copy from Goodreads! Just happiness and smiles all around. It’s a fake-dating trope done so so well. With romance and eating disorders and tragic pasts that get in the way of a future, it absolutely sucked me in. If you need a beach read, this is the one!

The other is May Day by Josie Jaffrey, which I posted about the other day. It’s a book outside my usual genre, since this is a darker vampire detective plot. I’m so glad I took a chance on it though, because it was sexy and funny and captivating. Thank goodness Jaffrey has a whole other series already published in the universe, because I definitely need more!

How are y’all holding up with reading routines? Mine have certainly been thrown out of whack a bit, but they’re still my go-to escape whenever I can manage it. πŸ˜„

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In Progress with MAY DAY

May Day by Josie Jaffrey

Progress: page 243/312 (78%)

I’m flying through this book even though I only started it yesterday. I took a chance outside my usual, and I am being rewarded for it! Thank you Josie Jaffrey for the delight of May Day!

Why did I start reading it?

This book actually just published today! I received an ARC from the author, and although it’s not my typical genre, I was intrigued. And I am so glad I gave it a shot, because I’m loving it! It’s a sexy vampire detective on a murder mystery, and it is so much more than that little description makes it sound. 😍

Where have I gone?

(British English) Words I’ve Learned:

Lines that linger

I’d never have thought that laughing in bed was a good thing, but here she is in my arms, and I’m so happy that I can feel the joy bubbling up into my throat, so happy that the force of my kisses is shaped by my smile.

He’s rich and powerful, which is a bad place for any man to start, but he’s also arrogant and elitist, which makes him a particularly wanky breed of wanker.

He’s an imposing man, over six-feet tall with dark skin and darker eyes. We don’t ask about his past, but I’m pretty sure it’s dark too.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Celebrating freedom with banned books!

Thanks for the graphic, @Wilmlibrary!

Yesterday was July 4th in the US, the anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence. I thought I’d celebrate my freedom to read whatever the hell I want! And I also happened to mix up my post scheduling so this is going to be a day after instead of the day — but I can still read whatever I want! πŸ˜…

Courtesy of the American Library Association, here’s the top 100 books that were banned or challenged between 2000 and 2009. Those were my formative childhood years, but I think even though I’ve read a chunk of these books, I turned out okay. 🀣 Any books that are highlighted are ones that I have read! Check out the list below and see how many you’ve taken in!

My tally: 27.5/100
(See #88 for the half point!)

Biggest surprises:
#23 – The Giver (this one I really don’t understand)
#8 – His Dark Materials series (haven’t read this series, but wouldn’t expect it to be top 10 most inappropriate books….)
#91 – Julie of the Wolves (the blurb says it’s about a girl who lives with wolves. What’s the issue?? I’d guess it’s something with her eating meat or something similar.)

Really not surprised:
#18 – Go Ask Alice (written as a diary of a girl’s intense spiral into hard drug abuse and all that comes with it)
#78 – The Joy of Gay Sex (I mean frankly I would expect any book explicitly about sex to be on this list, though it IS noteworthy that The Joy of Sex is NOT in here.)


Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

June 2020 Wrap-Up

But actually… goodbye, June! You were an abrupt entrance to summer

reading~

How many of my planned books did I read:
If I planned eleven, I read six of those. BUT, I did also read a bunch of other books that I just decided to start. As usual. 🀣

The plan

The result

Last month I read a total of eleven books, which is a little under previous months but still way more than my old-usual amount. I attribute this to books that were denser in subject matter and/or longer books at 400+ pages.

I read some books around racial equality and white supremacy that showed me the many issues in the way the country is currently functioning. I am so glad that I did that, and I’ve been working to keep educating myself with further reading and actions I can take to specifically make change. I have a whole series of posts about White Fragility just going over what I learned — partly for my own sake, because there was a lot, and I wanted to help cement it into my brain and heart!

I’ve been working on a dense book recommended to me by a friend. Honestly if she hadn’t been so excited for me to read it, I definitely would have abandoned it by now. But I’m still slogging my way through it! It’ll spill over into July.

You might know that wildly popular A Court of Thorns and Roses series, by Sarah J Maas? Well, I finally read it. And as I had sort of expected… I wasn’t a fan. I know that’s blasphemy to some people, but the magic just wasn’t there for me!

Continue reading “June 2020 Wrap-Up”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Word origins: how “hype” first started

Pictured: a book with too much hype -_-

One of the main issues I have with newly published books is hype. When it feels like everyone is talking about a book, I end up sick of it before it’s even out. No matter how interested I might otherwise be, I usually end up staying away from it for a while.

So when did “hype” first start? And is it anything related to how we use it today, like when something is said by many people to be outrageously amazing and mind-blowing?

Origins of the word ‘hype’

When did it first get used?
1914

What does it mean?
As a verb: to swindle by overcharging or short-changing
As a noun (1): a no-good dirty swindler
As a noun (2): excessive or misleading publicity or advertising (this is the same for our current-day verb form like my example issue above!)

What did it come from?
This comes from the shady underworld — my favorite! They have words for everything there. It was used in reference to con men who would try to trick people by charging them too much or not giving them enough change in return after payment.

Hyper, as the con men were called (1914). This comes from the prefix hyper-, meaning “in excess”

To hype or hyping is what con men did.

In the sense that we have it today from the 2nd definition above, it’s related to the word hyperbole which is an extreme exaggeration of something. (“I just finished this book and I am literally dying right now.”) Book reviewers are notorious for this… we’re an emotional bunch. 🀣

also related: hype man/men, seen here in droves!

It’s not a new one, though!

This word also took some unexpected left turns of related meanings. Some startlingly delightful and some more dark.

  • 1700s: depressed, termed as “the hyps.” Somewhat annoyingly related to the idea that depression was a fake issue (hypchondria, 1816)
  • 1913: drug user slang for hypodermic needle used to inject drugs. Presumably related in that the result of injecting the drug makes you feel over the top and “hyped up”

and a little bonus:
Ballyhoo: meaning hype, originating from circus term for a sideshow used to draw people in to the main (paid) show (1908)

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Maas Whiplash: A Surprising, Yet Not, Disappointment

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas came out five years ago. I’ve only just read it. Why is that surprising? Well, I absolutely loved the whole Throne of Glass series, and trusted Maas as a fantastic fantasy writer for my tastes. In particular, I liked her for her envisioning of fae and other magical creatures.

And yet… when this book was published I just had this niggling feeling that it wouldn’t quite work for me. Around this time, I had also had this exchange with a friend:

Mackenzie: How did you like Snow Like Ashes? Did you finish it?
Me: It was okay. It was really unique though, the world was divided into regions that each had only one season, all the time! I’ve never read a story like that.
Mackenzie: *snorts* *pulls out her current book and opens to this map on the front page*

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In Progress with City of Saints and Thieves

Progress: page 245/401 (61%)

I got this book months ago in March and was so excited about it! I’ve finally got the chance to pick it up. I am currently reading City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C Anderson. Here’s how it’s going so far!

Why did I start reading it?

I’ve been trying to purchase a load of books from my favorite nonprofit bookshop in the past few months since they are trying to stay afloat during COVID shutdowns. I don’t typically purchase physical books because I don’t have a lot of space, but this is a worthy cause! I browsed what they had online and found this one, which sounded fantastic and I had never heard of it before.

Where have I gone?

(Swahili!) Words I’ve Learned:

kanga

Lines that linger

The air is whipping past me and the shadows and the sun ripple over my arms and legs as we rocket through the jacaranda trees that tunnel the road. Their flowers lie on the ground like purple snow.

I can tell he doesn’t see the amazing view of the city, or that I’m safe here. All he sees through his rich-boy eyes is a poor refugee girl living in a filthy half-finished building.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In Progress with The Japanese Lover

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

Progress: page 202/323 (61%)

Okay.. I realize that’s kind of a weird (and possibly misleading) title for this post. My lover is not Japanese, but I am currently reading The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende. Here’s how it’s going so far!

Why did I start reading it?

I’m so close to having completed the A-Z title challenge for 2020. I only need a few more letters, and one of them was J! This book was also one on my TBR that I’ve been wanting to include for a few months, plus one of my bingo prompts this month is a title that begins with J. The fates simply aligned!

Words I’ve Learned:

Lines that linger

In itself age doesn’t make anyone better or wiser, but only accentuates what they have always been.

There are a lot of good people, Irina, but they keep quiet about it. It’s the bad ones who make a lot of noise, and that’s why they get noticed.

Happiness is not exuberant or noise, like pleasure or joy; it’s silent, tranquil, and gentle; it’s a feeling of satisfaction inside that begins with self-love.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Happy 1 year blogging anniversary to me! πŸŽ‚

Alright y’all, I’ve got something to celebrate! A few things, actually, which is really nice these days.

I’ve been blogging here for over a year now. OVER A YEAR.

This might seem paltry to some people (like those who just celebrated their ninth year of blogging…) but for me this is huge. I had tried blogging before, and specifically about books, and I just did not keep up with it. I’m also terrible in general at doing things every day (which is why my success with my 365 photo project was also a big deal for me). So, yes, for me this is a big exciting deal!

I also have to laugh when I look back at last year when I started compared to now, a year later. Not only because the world looks very different, but because my blogging habits do too. Wildly so. Let’s share that laugh, shall we?


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June TBR – I’m trying to plan again!

You may or may not know that planning what I read is a brand new, and seemingly impossible, endeavor for me. I’m such a mood reader that I tend to pick things up based on whatever strikes my fancy. There’s not a plan.

Until now.

Last month was my first go at it, and I think it went okay? I read like half of what I planned to read. But also a lot of other things that I just decided to read. That’s basically the plan here, too, because I’ve already gone off plan and started a book that wasn’t on the Offical List of June Books. I need to work in a few blank spaces each month for “whim reads.” πŸ™‚


The June TBR Plan

This one’s in progress already, as an AUDIOBOOK! Look at me branching out!

Because I need a book that begins with J for my letter challenge, and also that happens to be on this month’s bingo challenge as well.

A bonus unplanned read, because it’s been on my list since before it came out. It’s also been mentioned lately in disccussions of social equality and #BLM; I am trying to educate myself and unlearn implicit biases and the like any way I can.

Continue reading “June TBR – I’m trying to plan again!”