Tag Archives: Currently Reading

Bout of Books TBR!

Grab button for Bout of BooksThe Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

I’m reading slumping again, so you know what that means–it’s time for a readathon!

There’s been a lot going on in my non-bookish life, and sometimes stress will very much start to negatively impact my reading life. Conversely, I know that reading is one of the things that helps decrease my stress levels, so sometimes when I’m stressed the best thing to do is actually to just double down and force myself to read more than I normally would. (This happens with writing, too. More on that later.)

I even set a TBR for May hoping that this would help me focus, but it’s not, partially because two of the three books on that TBR I’m kinda hating and considering DNF-ing. So I think that for now I really need to switch gears for a bit and use Bout of Books, a readathon I’m a huge fan of and have participated in many times in the past, as a way to motivate me to actually make some good things happen reading-wise. I’ll be putting the books I’m not liking on hold and instead picking up some highly anticipated 2019 releases, ARCs, and short stories. Let’s do this!

So, here’s what I’m going to focus on reading for Bout of Books:

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)Mouthful of BirdsKingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer, #1)

Ebooks: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (which I’m currently reading and really loving, since it’s a little Six of Crows-in-space-esque), Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Maritneau (eARC, thank you so much to Avon Books Casa, which comes out in June).

Physical books: Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin (short story collection by an author whose previous book I loved, also a 2019 new release), and possibly either a physical ARC (The Fall by Tracy Townsend or The Binding by Bridget Collins) or The Pisces by Melissa Broder.

Audiobooks: TBD, since I can’t seem to focus on audiobooks lately, but I’m going to ask for some recs in an instagram story.

 

Are any of you participating in Bout of Books? What are your thoughts on getting through a reading slump? Let me know!

WWW Wednesday!

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer the 3 W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

What did you recently finish reading?

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I recently finished two short, dark, and October-y books: The Vegetarian by Han Kang and The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson. Both were very good, and somewhat disturbing; they left me wanting to look for something a little happier to read next. I’m so glad to have finally read The Vegetarian after hearing all of the hype; I thought the writing was excellent and I loved how it was told in shifting perspectives.

I also recently finished an October-y audiobook, Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book–the premise sounded interesting (people starting killing themselves mysteriously, and we discover it’s linked to something they see that their brains are unable to handle; the world descends into a post-apocalyptic scenario with people essentially trapped inside their houses and leaving only when blindfolded) but the writing wasn’t great, and the characters were very flat. It definitely scared me, though, which was what I wanted out of a horror audiobook.

What are you currently reading?

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I recently started Helen Phillips’s The Beautiful Bureaucrat to continue the streak of weird, short books in October. This book focuses on a young woman who gets a desk job where all she does is input numbers attached to names into a database, having no idea what the purpose is. Supposedly things start to get super strange from there, although I haven’t gotten that far yet. I do really like the writing. I’m also almost done with my current audiobook, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, which I’m liking and finding very easy to listen to. It’s a memoir/collection of essays about her life and struggles with mental illness.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not sure! I’m getting super excited for Dewey’s Readathon on Oct 22, and have already started to put together my TBR stack for that, which I’ll talk about in an upcoming post. For audio, I’m really hoping to start Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist Revolution soon, but I’m waiting it to come in from the library. As far as physical books go, I’d like to read at least one more before Dewey’s starts, but I’m not sure what to go with.

 

What is everyone reading right now? Feel free to link me to your WWW Wednesday posts!

WWW Wednesday: The Obelisk Gate is amazing so far

img_2112WWW Wednesday is a weekly book feature hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

Since last week, I managed to finish 3 of the 6 books I was in the middle of (yay!), started another book to bring the currently reading total back up to 4 (oops), and am getting way too excited to start Halloween-ish reading in October.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)Luckiest Girl AliveThe Circle

After what feels like forever, I finally finished Elena Ferrante’s quartet of Neapolitan novels! I meant to finish the entire series this summer but fell just short of my goal. Overall, I really loved this series–Ferrante’s descriptions are so evocative and the story completely sucks you in. However, the first book (My Brilliant Friend) remains my favorite, and after the entire long journey with Lena and Lila, the ending of The Story of the Lost Child felt anticlimactic.

I also finished 2 audiobooks, both of which I also own physical copies of. Does anyone else do this–listen to the audiobook when you own the actual book as well? I usually start listening to the audio thinking I’ll end up switching back and forth between audio and text, but I never end up doing that and listen to the entire thing on audio. It’s becoming a weird habit. Anyways, I found both Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and The Circle by Dave Eggers to be really easy to listen to, breaking my streak of nonfiction-only audiobooks. Between the two, I preferred the near-future The Circle–the audiobook narrator was amazing (Dion Graham, whose work I want to look out for in the future). The author, Dave Eggers, is coming to speak in my city next year, and I’d like to pick up at least one other of his books before that. Probably A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which has been on my TBR for eternity.

What are you currently reading?

FurthermoreThe Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)

Over the weekend, I started Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore, which is a middle-grade fantasy.  I read the first fifty pages or so then decided to pause; I love Tahereh Mafi’s writing, and I think the worldbuilding is really creative and interesting, but I can’t help wishing that it was YA! (And that Warner was in it. If you’ve read the Shatter Me series, tell me you don’t agree.) I’ll definitely finish it, but I don’t think I’m in the right mood at the moment.

Right now all I can think about is N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate. I technically started this book last weekend, but only got to the second chapter before I realized I desperately needed to re-read parts of The Fifth Season to refresh my memory on what was going down in the world of the Stillness. I sort of skimmed back over the majority of the first book and then restarted The Obelisk Gate, which is GREAT. The worldbuilding in these books is so intricate and layered; every chapter we learn more and more about living in a world predicated on preparing for and surviving every type of cataclysmic event. Things keep getting more and more complex, which I love, and reading this book makes me genuinely wonder why more books can’t be as good as this one. I feel like I might be hit by a serious book hangover when I finish.

What are you planning to read next?

The Vegetarian

I’m not sure exactly what’s up next for me, since I’m trying to be more chill about my TBR and go with my mood, but Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is definitely coming up soon. I need to finish a few more currently reading titles, and then it’s dark fantasy/horror all the way for Halloween-type reading this October.

 

What is everyone reading right now? Feel free to link me to your WWW Wednesday post!

All photos are mine. All images are linked to the book’s Goodreads page.

WWW Wednesday & September TBR

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book feature hosted by Taking on a World of Words

What did you recently finish reading?

It’s been awhile since I’ve finished a book. My reading in August was pretty mediocre, unfortunately, but I’m really hoping that will change this month.

What are you currently reading?

The answer is everything, basically. See picture below.

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The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante – I feel like I’ve been reading this book for years, but it’s only been 2 months or so. Since this is the last book of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, I expected to be blown away and for this to be a solid 5-star read; the fact that it hasn’t seemed that way is what’s causing me to read so slowly and start other books in the meantime.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – I’ve been listening to this audiobook for awhile and liking it, but this weekend I went on a road trip for a friend’s bachelorette weekend and listened to this on the way down. Without giving away any spoilers, I reached a point in the book where this big twist comes out and I got completely hooked on the story; I’m still reeling whenever I think of certain scenes. The only problem was that I got to my destination about 3/4 done with the book, and my library checkout expired before my return trip home! I was super disappointed because all of the copies were checked out and I had to put another hold on it.

The Circle by Dave Eggers – faced with the prospect of a 5-hour drive back home after my weekend away and no audiobook, I sort of randomly decided to give The Circle a try. I wanted something really absorbing and I definitely got that, and then some. I really, really like this book; it’s sort of very near-future scifi, focusing on a twentysomething who starts work at the world’s most famous tech company and gets sucked into company life, which seems like it aims to absorb you fully through social media. A big part of why I like this book so much is due to the narrator, Dion Graham, who is absolutely fantastic. He has a great voice and does a wonderful job with each new character, and his enthusiasm keeps you listening. He’s the first audiobook narrator that I looked up thinking that I’d listen to other books just because of his narration; I found out that he also narrates (among others) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (one of Dave Eggers’s other books) as well as Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed (and he’s won several awards for his narration).

Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey – I haven’t picked this book up in awhile, but I think it’s really well-written and I just need to jump back on board. It’s about a woman who runs away from her life in the U.S. and hitchhikes across New Zealand, all in sort of this dreamlike haze of narration.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link – I’ve read a few of the short stories in this collection, and I may end up putting the rest on pause until October–not because it’s not great, but because Kelly Link’s mix of fantasy/scifi/horror would work well for that month. I do like to do some Halloween-themed reading in October, and my plate for September is pretty darn full right now.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin – I couldn’t resist the temptation to start this book even though I have so many others going! I’ve been waiting for this book for a year now, and after reading the first few chapters I realized that I really need to go back and re-read some of The Fifth Season (the first book in this series) so that I’m not forgetting any of the events that the characters are referring to. It’s been a full year since I’ve read it, so some refreshing is definitely necessary.

 

What are you planning to read next?

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As I mentioned before, my main goal in September is to finish the plethora of books I’m currently reading. Once that happens (or once I finish a few of them, at least) I’m planning on starting Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi. I love Tahereh Mafi; her Shatter Me series got me through the intense stress of studying for/taking/recovering from my grad school exams, and I’m really interested in this book despite the fact that it’s middle grade, which I never read.

 

What are you guys reading right now? Feel free to link me to your WWW Wednesday!

Bout of Books Days 3&4 Updates

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And Bout of Books continues! I’m a little late posting this update, but here’s how days 3 and 4 went for me:

Wednesday was my day off from work, so I was able to sleep in and read in bed that morning. Morning reading is such a luxury and is getting to be rare for me, so it felt really nice to just be able to delay responsibilities for a bit and focus on my book. After running some errands (and hitting a library used book sale) I read on the roof for awhile in the sunshine, another thing I haven’t done in awhile but that I absolutely love. I was able to finish both my audiobook, The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg, and Everneath by Brodi Ashton; I ended up liking Everneath so much that I stopped by the library and got both sequels (Everbound and Evertrue). I’m heavily on Team Cole, although I have a bad feeling about how it will all go down in the end. Has anyone else read these books??? I would love to chat about it in the comments 🙂

Anyways, on Thursday I wasn’t in an audiobook mood; I downloaded the Suicide Squad soundtrack and was listening to that during my commute instead. I did start Everbound, the second book in the Everneath trilogy, and am really enjoying it so far, although the beginning was frustrating as I really wanted the action to get going.

So, I always do this thing where I tell myself I’m going to #readmyowndamnbooks during readathons, and then I end up getting hooked on a new series and reading a bunch of library books instead. I tend to get quicker reads (especially YA) from the library rather than buying them because it’s hard to justify spending money if I’m going to read something so quickly and am not planning on re-reading it. I’m trying not to feel guilty about abandoning my goal; I’ll have plenty of time to #readmyowndamnbooks after I finish this trilogy 😉

Here are my stats:

Day 3

  • Audiobook time: 73 minutes
  • Pages read: 314
  • Books started: Luckiest Girl Alive
  • Books finished: The Underground Girls of Kabul, Everneath

Day 4

  • Audiobook time: none
  • Pages read: 109
  • Books started: Everbound
  • Books finished: none

 

I hope everyone’s Bout of Books is going well! I’m hoping to get a bunch of reading done this weekend and finish strong.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMG_2096It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly bookish feature hosted by The Book Date (http://bookdate.blogspot.com/).

August feels like it’s off to a slow bookish start; I was in a wedding this past weekend, so that’s where a lot of my time has been going, but I’ve also been reading more slowly than I typically do and it feels sort of strange. Let’s figure out why!

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I decided to kick off August with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; I bought it on July 31st (I’m not a midnight-release-er) and, although my expectations weren’t sky-high, was intending on binge-reading it that day so that I could experience it before being accidentally spoiled somehow. This…didn’t happen. Instead, I read about 30 pages of the play and it started to make me really sad because I just wasn’t liking it/connecting to it. It took me several days to work up the desire to pick it back up, at which point I sort of forced myself to accept it for what it was and was able to enjoy some aspects of it. I’m not going to do a whole review here (I might do one later, though…) but I think that a lot more thought and detail should have gone into any sequel to the Harry Potter series.

The second thing that’s been slowing my reading down is that I’ve (finally) discovered Booktube! (I know.) (Yes, it really did take me this long.) For some reason I hadn’t thought I’d enjoy watching YouTube videos by fellow bookish people; I thought it wouldn’t hold my attention as much as reading bookish blogs. Turns out, I was very wrong, and BookTube is awesome, and I’ve already added a ton of books to my TBR based on recommendations that I’ve gotten on there. So far, these three are my favorite Booktubers that I’ve found:

Erika’s Epilogues https://www.youtube.com/user/erikaraeable

Under the Radar Books https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu1Yn5B7KGk3OWT1fcQko_Q

Thoughts on Tomes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpnjp7mgeQGdtesz5v6xY_A

If anyone could recommend me more Booktubers to follow, or if you have a channel, please let me know! As I said, I’m a newbie, and I’d love to find more awesome bookish people to get recommendations from.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

I was also having some audiobook issues this week (shocking, I know). The audiobook I intended on listening to this month, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, was…not great. The writing was pretty good, but I only listened to about half an hour of it before realizing that I really did not like it. I went on Goodreads to check out reviews and see if I should push myself to keep reading, and I actually saw in a bunch of reviews that Burroughs had been sued for misrepresenting the family he talks about in his books, and that large parts of the “memoir” had been fabricated. I did not know this when I picked up the book; if I’d wanted to read fiction, I would have! So I went ahead and DNF’d.

That actually worked out well, since my library had The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg available. I started it today and it’s fascinating; it focuses on the lives of women in Afghanistan and particularly the custom of disguising and raising some young girls as boys.

I’m also in the middle of Vicious by V.E. Schwab as my main physical book–actually, it’s the only physical book I’m reading right now, which is super weird! I’m typically such a multi-book reader. Anyways, I’m a little more than halfway through, and I sort of thought I’d have finished it already, but like I said, August has been a slow month so far. I really like the characters and how the book jumps back and forth in time to tell the story; however, I’m not absolutely blown away by this book. It’s good, but not amazing. So far.

 

What are you guys reading? Let me know!

 

WWW Wednesday: July 13th

IMG_1970Random stack of some of my favorite books.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Taking On a World of Words (https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/). You answer the 3 W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Things have been crazy and I was out of town for a bit, so I haven’t been posting much lately, but I’m back! I’ve been really enjoying reading outside with the gorgeous summer weather, and I’m definitely looking forward to the #24in48 readathon, which starts in a little over 2 weeks. Is anyone else participating?

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What are you currently reading?

Men We ReapedThe QuickBlue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

My current audiobook is still Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward; I actually own this audiobook (I almost never buy audiobooks) so I had it on pause for a bit while I finished some library checkouts. It’s devastating and powerful, and so beautifully written. I’ve also had Blue Lily, Lily Blue on pause; I just really haven’t been in a Raven Cycle kind of mood lately. I really do want to finish the series, but I need a break from it right now. And I just started The Quick by Lauren Owen; all I really know about it is that the premise involves vampires in Victorian London, which is right up my alley. I’ve heard really mixed things about this book, and it has a low rating on Goodreads, but I really like the writing style and atmosphere so far. One of my absolute favorite books (The Magicians by Lev Grossman) has equally bad reviews and a low Goodreads rating, so I try not to put too much stock in that.

What did you recently finish reading?

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksGods Behaving BadlyShrill: Notes from a Loud Woman

So many things!!! So I finally finished Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third book of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels; the quality of the writing remains fantastic and I am so anxious to see where Lila’s and Lenu’s stories go next. I finished 2 (!) audiobooks recently, which is a LOT for me (I’ve posted before about my audiobook struggles) and I really enjoyed both of them. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was really informative, and I feel like it’s important for everyone to know Henrietta’s story; I do agree with other reviews I’ve seen that I could have done with less of the author inserting herself into the story. I thought that Shrill by Lindy West was funny but extremely raw and true; I knew nothing about this audiobook and picked it up solely due to bookstagrammers’/book bloggers’ recommendations, so thanks, guys! I also finished Gods Behaving Badly a few days ago; it wasn’t amazing but was a fun and funny satire of Greek mythology.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The ArgonautsThe Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)Lagoon

I’ve been hearing amazing things about The Argonauts on book blogs and Bookstagram, so I went ahead and bought the audiobook to listen to next. I definitely will be picking up the final Ferrante book, The Story of the Lost Child, soon, but first I need to prepare myself for the emotional onslaught I know it will be. The amazing-sounding Lagoon is absolutely coming up next when I finish one of the physical books I’m currently reading. I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I’ll read for the 24 in 48 Readathon (July 23-24!) but that’s still 2 weeks away so I don’t want to post my readathon TBR picks yet.

 

What has everybody been reading lately???