Posted in Chatty

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.

Posted in Reviews

Spotify Wrapped Challenge 2022

Hey y’all! I saw a super fun sounding tag on Dinipanda’s site recently and immediately was hyped to join in and give it a go. The goal is to take your most listened to songs from 2022 and put them on shuffle, then try to match the first five songs that are played to a book you read in 2022 that fits it somehow! Even if it’s not a perfect fit, it’s more about seeing what you think of for each one. 🙂

I tracked this back through several layers of tags and I think I’ve got the original post here from Lace and Dagger books, then to The Corner of Laura, then to Ace Reader, then to Dinipanda Reads, and now, here! 😀 What a journey it’s been.

I’m also taking this two steps more by also choosing a book from my list to be read that fits and adding it to my upcoming, and also by adding all the songs I’ve seen in other folks’ posts to my playlist below. 🙂 If you do this post as well, tag me in it so I can add your songs to the playlist!

Dancing King – Exo x Yu Jae Seok

2022: Review: Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram

This is a book about a boy in a boy band who’s maybe falling for a new guy while getting over his ex. There’s inherent dancing in a boy band, so of course I thought of this one!

2023: A Time to Dance by Padma Vankatraman

I think the title makes this one obvious. xD It’s also on my shelf, plus a friend recommended it, so I think it’s a safe bet!

Cookie Thumper! – Die Antwoord

2022: Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

I really struggled with this song because I don’t think I read anything badass enough to suit this song vibe. I’d need like, a heist book or something. This book is more about a maybe toxic love and grief and death, so not exactly right, but it still has a bit of that wild-love style to it that I get from this song.

2023: Hum if you Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais

This is a much more straightforward and obvious choice: this book is set in South Africa. Die Antwoord is from South Africa. Simple right? I’ve also wanted to read some books about Apartheid because I know woefully little about it and want to start filling that gap.

LUCIFER – SHINee

2022: Review: A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

This is literally a book about a relationship with the devil (Hades in this case rather than “Lucifer” but same idea). I can’t think of something more perfectly spot on. xD

2023: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

From the miscellaneous bits I’ve heard about this book, I think there’s some abuse / toxic relationship elements to it and that sort of aligns with the song’s lyrics about a love that’s cutting but alluring.

In The End – Linkin Park

2022: ARC Review: The End of Getting Lost by Robin Kirman

This book has a lot of confusion and pain and fear vibes, which I think are echoed in the song quite a lot. Plus of course it shares the word “end” but that’s a bit flimsy on it’s own.

2023: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

I’ve been saying I would read this book and finish this series for about five years now. IT IS TIME!! So this book for me is a very literal “in the end” by ending the series and ending this absurd ongoing wait!

Ice Cream Cake – Red Velvet

2022: ARC Review: Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee

One of the sweetest books I read this year! I loved this romance read and it’s a book about books. How could it miss? Plus it was surprisingly spicy and that perfectly suits this song with it’s slyly innocent sounding lyrics. 🥰

2023: How to Win a Breakup by Farah Heron

This is a super sweet YA romance with baking and nerdy gaming and a love of math. In all honesty, I started it this morning and I’m already over halfway through because it is just so good! This one has the literal food element to mirror the song, but it’s also really damn sweet!!

What have I learned? …I only listen to older songs. xD The newest song on this list is from 2016, and the oldest? 2000. I guess I find what I like and stick with it! 😂

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.

Posted in Chatty

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?”
Posted in Chatty

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
Posted in Chatty

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 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 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”
Posted in Chatty

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”
Posted in Chatty

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…”