The Rachel Coincidence

So I’ve just realized, on the last day of my trip, that all three books that I brought have a protagonist named Rachel. I definitely did not plan that, but I’m absurly delighted by this coincidence! The genres are all quite different too, with religious/humorous nonfiction, contemporary thriller, and historical fiction. This has become the Rachel vacation!

The smallest reason to abandon a book

Awwwww, man. Isn’t it just the worst when you had such high expectations for a book, you finally get a copy, you crack that sucker open, and are immediately…. tepid? It’s not something that happens often for me (luckily) but this latest is a disappointment. 😦

It’s an issue I’m having with How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. From the start, I was not that interested in the MC, Tiger. She starts the story by saying she screams as loud as she possibly can to wake her mother up. WTF? Clearly they have a difficult life and there are some love/hate aspects to this relationship, but that felt like an unnecessary escalation. It didn’t really get better for me after that, and I feel like the sympathy I should feel for Tiger is sorely missing. At best, it’s in a detached way.

Bad habits

But, if I’m honest, there is exactly one reason that this will probably end up on my “attempted” shelf shortly.

I cannot stand the constant references to things she learned in books.

Tiger has this habit of not using a word naturally, but of pointing out that she learned it from a book. Or she will describe something and then add in “as my book from Lit class would say…” and add a fairly standard description. Reading this, I’ve realized how extraordinarily annoying and obnoxious this would be in a real person. If you know the word, just use it. You don’t have to preface it by saying “I learned this from a book!” and especially not every time.

So far I’m on page 93, and there have been at least 5 moments like this. The first two were awkward, the third is where I started to feel wary, the fourth was annoying, and the fifth made me actually groan and put the book down.

The smallest biggest issues

Honestly I’m not sure why this one small thing feels so intolerable to me, but alas, it has pretty much ruined any desire I had to read this book. And since I just bought a whole bunch of books this weekend, I’m certainly not going to waste my time forcing myself to!

Is it just me, or do you think this character habit would annoy you, too? What’s the smallest reason you’ve abandoned a book before?

Sons of Fire Update

Pretty dope cover, though

Currently reading Sons of Fire by Tracy Auerbach (thanks Netgalley) and it’s both what I expected and not at the same time. I think I was imagining something a little more grandiose, with larger stakes for the world. I mean, you’ve got two Princes of Fire running loose on Earth, and that seems like a significant issue when their primary energy force is human souls.

It’s smaller scale than that, but it does have the fun “learning-to-be-human” aspect of it. I’m grateful that’s present, as it’s always entertaining. I just want there to be more to it, more depth to hold my interest.

These are demons; I don’t want this to end up feeling like a typical high school crush novel. That said… this quote made me absolutely crack up. 😂

I would set all the world’s lands ablaze or boil the seas if you asked me to. I have the power, you know. I’m a Prince. A Fire prince.

Sons of Fire by Tracy Auerbach; Aidan, attempting pick-up lines while smashed

PS – this is releasing tomorrow, for anyone interested in a copy!

Cue panic!!!

I’ve just realized it’s not just the last book of the YEAR, it’s the last book of the decade. A decade in which I’ve:

  • graduated high school
  • graduated college
  • taught full time
  • lived in Korea
  • discovered K Pop
  • moved to Boston
  • got my first professional job & several promotions
  • started an independent life
  • conned people into giving me free ARCs developed into a professional reader

And now I have to choose a book to wrap that all up. Let’s see….

The Pressure is On

For once, I’m not talking about the pressure to accomplish my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Typically December is a month of frantic investigation into short stories, shorter novels, poetry, and graphic novels; you know, things I can read quickly to scrape by with meeting my goal of 52 books.

This time, the pressure is to choose which book will be the last book I read in 2019. Not only does this require careful planning to ensure I finish it in 2019 but not so early that I finish another book after that in 2019, BUT it also has to be a book that I’m not too excited about – because I don’t want to wait a few weeks to read it!

Options:

  1. Read most of a book but leave like ten pages from the end. Read the last ten pages on New Years Eve.
    Reality: This would drive me CRAZY to wait to finish the book. Also feels far too fake.

  2. Choose a shorter book or graphic novel to have as my last book, and start it a day or two before the new year so there’s definitely time to finish it.
    Reality: More plausible, though still the issue of any other books I’m in the middle of. Curse my habit of reading multiple books at once!!

  3. Don’t make plans on New Years Eve, and spend the last 6 hours of the year reading a single book of my choosing.
    Reality: I definitely won’t be able to get away with no NYE plans with my S.O. and I don’t really want to put those off! Though this would be a nice way to end the year…

  4. Convince my friends to have a book party on NYE where we alternate reading aloud a chapter from a short book until we finish it.
    Reality: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. Don’t care about what book is the last book of the year
    Reality: 👿 DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!

Any suggestions for what should be my last book of the year? Am I the only one thinking about this, or do y’all have this issue too?

How do you TBR

At the start of each month, I see so many people posting their list of what they’ll read in that month. And I honestly have no idea how people do that. I typically have no plan for what I’ll be reading unless I know I have reviews to submit. Am I the only one who reads whatever my mood happens to be at the moment? xD

I also usually have several books I’m reading concurrently, so I’ll go to whichever suits my mood at that moment of the day. Right now, when my North Korean one starts weighing on me, I’ll switch over to Manga Macbeth (probably the only time Macbeth will be the more lighthearted read than something!).

For y’all who have things super planned out like this, how often do you deviate from your list? Also, why do you make the list of what you’ll read ahead of time? Would love to get people’s reasoning for these!

~JFJ

-500 to the Future 2020

The farthest back and farthest forward publish dates of books I’v read. Quite a range there! One from a time we now measure in negative numbers, to a year that hasn’t happened yet. Booksirens has some cool analysis of Goodreads data.

That -500 one in Chinese is Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War. I read it during a rough period at work, seeking inspiration. I didn’t get much inspiration, but it was entertaining! I tried to figure out why it’s still touted as a great business book…and failed.

The one in 2020, Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin, is absolutely STUNNING, and I highly recommend you get a copy as soon as you can! Pre-order!

Just Published: Mythos by Stephen Fry!

Reminder that the illustrated edition of Mythos by Stephen Fry released today! Check out the review here & check it out on Amazon if you’re interested!

Summary
This book is a challenge to define by genre. What do I call it? Fiction? Non-fiction? Religion? History?? Regardless, you’re led through the creation of everything straight up to actual recorded history, where myth blends with fact, by our lovely guide Stephen Fry. His humor and passion for the topic work perfectly together to make these legends feel so relatable and engaging, while also teaching a hell of a lot. The Titans who are the basis of life, the New Gods led by rebellious and lecherous Zeus, and the endless demi-god offspring they produce all get their own stories here. This new edition features photographs and images from sculptures, paintings, and other art based around the stories told within. It’s a lovely touch to see such lavish recreations from the time these stories are based on.

Further love for Felicia Day

Reading her autobiography right now, and my god I love it. Which was expected, but still… it’s even better than I anticipated! She has some bits about when she fell into WoW when it was new, and since Classic is being re-released this month, it’s just getting me more excited! I also want to re-watch The Guild for the millionth time, now… Loving it so far! Also, girl was in college at 15?! Combined with Bruce Lee being a Cha-cha instructor, and my week is filled with interesting facts about cool people!!