Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

July 2020 Wrap-Up

reading~

How many of my planned books did I read:
I think I planned ten, but that was late in the month so it was really like I had already started reading and/or finished a few, and then I added a few more to those. And then proceeded to read completely different things. xD I ended up reading twelve books.

the plan

the result

I got an ARC that I have been absolutely thrilled to get a chance to read: To Sleep In A Sea of Stars. It’s a dense one by Christopher Paolini, so totally in keeping with his usual. It comes out in September, and I’m fangirling pretty hard about it right now. πŸ₯° I legitimately did a happy squealing dance when I opened the package and my boyfriend watched me hop around the kitchen like a madwoman with no judgment in his eyes. That’s love. πŸ˜‰

My informational-audibook-while-gaming strategy continued nicely, and I got through Invisible Women by Caroline Perez Criado. This was an enlightening and enraging and tiring and baffling book, yet again. I’m doing a lot of those lately. I realized an issue with audiobooks of nonfiction though: it’s harder to take notes like I usually would with highlights and bookmarks when it’s a spoken version. There was so much data and facts and research that I wish I could have bookmarked some of the more outrageous realities. But one that stuck with me is that the leading killer of women worldwide is oven pollution. Just having shitty ovens that give off crappy fumes. That and the fact that crash test dummies don’t ever account for women. Not even as passengers, where women are most likely to be (a separate issue). Jeez, I’m falling into this trap of ranting about it – I’ll just have to a full post. πŸ˜„

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In Progress with ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE

Progress: page 221/325 (68%)

Finally started this one that’s been hanging around for a while.

Why did I start reading it?

I’ve had this for a while now, and it’s been out for even longer. Long enough for the hype to die down so I don’t hear about it so much anymore. Which means I can finally read it. 😁 I started reading it because I had nothing I particularly wanted to read and this looked nice on my shelf for a sunny day. I actually started it once a while ago but the first incident with the Hollywood waxing made me too sad and I had to stop at the time.

Where have I gone?

(UK English) Words I’ve Learned:

Lemon-colored explosively fizzy boiled sweets – apparently called sherbet lemons?

Lines that linger

The streets were all named after poets – Wordsworth Lane, Shelly Close, Keats Rise – no doubt chosen by the building company’s Marketing Department. They were all poets that the kind of person who’d aspire to such a home would recognize, poets who wrote about urns and flowers and wandering clouds. Based on past experience, I’d be more likely to end up living in Dante Lane or Poe crescent.

“I marveled at the generosity of those humans who performed intimate services for others.”

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Top 5 Books with Crow in the Title (some are definitely not a surprise πŸ˜‚)

Alright y’all, is it just me or has “crow” become an abruptly hot word for YA fantasy novels? It’s gotten to the point where I kind of grimace and roll my eyes when I see one. It must be an author’s dream knowing that just putting the word “crow” in their book title is currently guaranteed to get a good chunk of views from the crowd. And paired with a dramatic cover? OH YEAH. Marketing made easy!

This review by Angelica @ The Book Cover Girls for The Merciful Crow is actually one that really drove the fad home for me. She says it perfectly in the opening lines of her review:

And, oh, this other review she posted soon after for The Storm Crow:

I rest my case. Crows, man. People are really into the dark, witchy, crow aesthetic right now. This feels like a replay of when The Girl on the Train was published and then there were a million titles like “The Girl [something something].” Not sure why The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn’t strike that apparent gold though…?

So some of the top 5 books Goodreads lists when you search “crow” are definitely not surprising, because they have been shouted about by many readers in book communities, bookstagram, blogs, and anywhere else. But with such a newly saturated market, which Crow titles manage to come out at the top of the pack??

PS – all book covers link to the Goodreads page for the book πŸ™‚

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Top 5 genre tags for this title:
fantasy, young adult, favorites, magic, adventure

QUICK! SOMEONE ELSE TAG IT YOUNG ADULT!!!

2 Sentence Summary:
Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destructionβ€”if they don’t kill each other first.

Have I heard of / read this before?
Oh yes, I’ve heard of this. I feel like I’ve been bashed over the head with this book! It’s EVERYWHERE! I’m thoroughly unsurprised that it’s the top result for crow because I feel like this might be the book that launched crow into a bookish success word. The fact that “Favorites” is a super popular tag for this says enough, I think. xD PS – technically, the sequel to this book was also the #3 spot but I’m skipping books in the same series.

Do I like the cover?
Eh, it’s aight. I feel like the more I look at it the more clever I think it is. I appreciate the design for design, but visually I’m not completely enthralled.

Will I read it?
Believe it or not, this is one of a few books that’s on my attempted shelf. Once again, I gave into the hype on a book and gave it a shot… and was very much not into it. It sounds so perfect for me on paper! Quirky crew! Heist! Magic! But something about it just didn’t catch me. And, yeah, I’ll be honest: the amount people talk about it still turns me off. Sorryyyy Leigh!

Yes, I’m aware this is practically blasphemy for many people. πŸ˜‚ Talk to me! Comment on what made you love this book. I’m willing to give it another shot if I have a good reason to!

Continue reading “Top 5 Books with Crow in the Title (some are definitely not a surprise πŸ˜‚)”
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

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!

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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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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

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.

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Posted in A Picture's Worth

A Picture’s Worth: dark fantasy & light reality

Words have always carried more weight with me than images – give me a book over its movie any day – but I do love to see the beautiful images other people create when they’re in love with a book. That’s not my strength, but I can certainly appreciate it in others! So here’s a few of my faves based on what I’ve been reading recently.


The Obsidian Tower

I was absolutely delighted when I was offered a copy of The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso after posting about how excited I was for its release. I’ve dived right in and am loving the rich world of magic so far! It’s a new release, but I’m excited to see some wonderful bookstagram posts for it already. ^.^

Such a dramatic and striking cover on this one! The details of it are impressive, and the flurry of items in this one complements it so well.

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

May 2020 Wrap-Up

Well. I thought March was a time of many changes, but I think May 2020 is right up there with it! Here’s a quick recap of my May in reading, life, and blogging.

But actually… goodbye, May! I’ll miss your sun and flowers

reading~

3/5 went to plan

How many of my planned books did I read:
Maybe half of them? Look, I’m a newbie at trying to plan my reading, so I’m going to consider this a win. πŸ™‚

I think I broke my record…again… for most books read in a month. I’m at 16 now (prev. was 15) although this month included a lot more graphic novels and comics, so volume-wise it’s probably not my max. But for stories completed, here’s our winner! ^.^

This is an important month because I had the privilege to read possibly the most important book I’ll read for a very long time. It was an advanced copy that I was somewhat desperate to have and so grateful I was granted, because I knew it would be important. I couldn’t wait to read it, and now that I have, I can’t wait to have it come out and be in the world. Expect to hear a lot about this book, The Cat I Never Named by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess, when I have adequately sorted my thoughts and emotions about this book to write about it.

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

I finally found a way to enjoy audiobooks!

I have struggled for so long to listen to audiobooks. At this point, I have finished only a handful. It’s due to what I imagine is a common problem for people: I’m not sure what to do while I listen to a book.

The attempts

If I listen before going to bed, I fall asleep and lose my place in the morning when it’s hours ahead. If I listen while cooking, I inevitably get distracted and mess up amounts for the recipe. If I listen while exercising (on a jog, for example) my headphones constantly fall out, or I eventually can’t hear it over my own wheezing breaths.

I really struggle to find ways to make it work, but I so want to! There are some that are truly incredible. Stefan Rutnicki is a godsend for narration, and he has made Orson Scott Card novels that I love even better, which seems like it should be impossible. There’s a copy of Lord of the Rings that someone recorded just for fun, and it’s amazing. It has a musical soundtrack, different character voices, and sound effects. It’s so immersive that it was a rare one where I didn’t lose focus!

The solution

I play online role playing games. It’s my other main hobby after reading. Sometimes in those games, I fly around gathering resources (farming) to use for crafting or to sell for gold. It’s a pretty easy, mindless thing to do.

This weekend, I made the revealing combination of farming while listening to an audiobook of The Joy Luck Club and wouldn’t you know IT WAS AMAZING. The narrator did a great job, and the book itself is fantastic, so those played into the success of this strategy. But I took two kind of mindless things and combined them to make a wonderful wholly entertaining item. I get to read and hear a story while also relaxing and farming gold. There is no downside to this, and I’m elated that I can finally enjoy audiobooks consistently!

Plus it makes me feel so productive. I’m not just gaming, I’m reading. I’m not just reading, I’m making gold.