March Bookish Events

I’m starting to think March is a book blogger’s January, filled with tbr to-do lists, read-alongs, and events. It’s like everyone decided that January wasn’t good enough so they’re cramming as many things into March as possible since February was so short. Yesterday, I looked around the blogisphere and found some really interesting events going on, so I thought I’ll share them with you all.

miller mThe lovely Care is hosting a read-along of Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles that’s going on right now.  This is a really great book to read so if it’s on your reading list, why not join in? I think the read-along is going on all month though Care’s final post will be up March 15th. The Twitter hashtag is #achillesong

Care also told the rest of us about the read-along that’sbyatt going to start of Possession by A.S. Byatt that’s being hosted by Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) and Lu (Regular Rumination). The official post is here. On March 11th there will be a check-in of chapters 1-6. I’ve always been intimidated by Possession for years but recently bought a copy so I’m in. The read-along Twitter’s hashtag: #readByatt

Heather and Andi, the lovely ladies behind Estella’s Society are hosting a bookish photo-a-day challenge. The challenge will be going on on Instagram though several bloggers, including myself, will be posting on our blogs and other platforms. Hashtag #estellagram

palmaLooking for a chunkster to pick up? Then you’re in luck. The Chunkster Challenge’s Chunky Book Club is hosting its first group read of the year with The Map of Time by Felix Palma. Discussions on the book will start on March 15th and continue through the rest of the month. Remember: you don’t have to be a challenge participant and you can read the chunkster in any format you want.


My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayer is a book that I’ve been reading nothing but positive things about so I was happy to see that it’s this month’s book pick for the Mocha Girls Read Book Club.

Is your TBR stack getting out of control? (Of course it is.) Kimba over at Caffeinated Book Reviewer is hosting a month-long TBR Read-a-thon. If reading strictly from your tbr pile for a whole month is too much, Kimba is also hosting a TBR Pile Read-a-thon from March 15th – 18th. #takecontrol

jones howlSince it’s March that means Kristen’s back with Diana Wynne Jones Month, a celebration of the late author and her influential work. There will be giveaways, guest posts, and read-alongs of Howl’s Moving Castle and A Tale of Time City.  I’m giving away a DWJ book this month so stay tuned. #dwjmarch

Last but not least, Rebecca (Lost in Books) is celebrating Women’s History Month with guest posts and book reviews.

Whew! That was a lot! Are you joining any read-alongs or bookish events this month?

My edition from Penguin Threads
My edition from Penguin Threads

Edit: I can’t believe I forgot about this read-along even though I signed up for it! Jill (FizzyThoughts) is hosting a read-along of Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women. #Marchon


Review and Giveaway: You are Not So Smart by David McRaney

You Are Not So Smart

David McRaney

302 pages

Publication Date: October 27, 2011

Publisher: Gotham Books

Source: Publisher

You are always explaining to yourself the motivations for your actions and the causes to the effects in your life, and you make them up without realizing it when you don’t know the answers. Over time, these explanations become your idea of who you are and your place in the world. They are your self. 

Have you ever thought if there’s an emergency, you’ll jump to action? Or maybe you think you procrastinate because you can’t manage your time as well as you would like? In You Are Not So Smart, author David McRaney sets out to prove you wrong and explain why people think the way they do. Using psychology studies, Rainey shows readers some important trends such as the Texas sharpshooter fallacy and why metacognition, thinking about thinking, can help us became more aware of the way we make decisions.

You Are Not So Smart is compiled of short chapters, that each focuses on a certain topic. McRaney writes in a way that makes everything easy to understand. I found much of it to be fascinating but also a little scary like the normalcy bias. It’s a phenomenon that’s normal but pretty obstructive during an emergency and people have literally seconds to act. When normalcy bias kicks in, an emergency becomes too overwhelming and a person fools themselves into thinking that everything is normal. But what ends up happening is that a person doesn’t ever react. In life-threatening situations, the effect can be fatal. Normalcy bias isn’t something that you can get rid of, because you use it in situations big and small, but it was pretty terrifying to think that in an emergency I might refuse to act when I most need to.

There are also a lot of humorous chapters including my favorite on the Dunning Kruger effect. Have you ever found yourself really good at something and decided maybe you should enter a contest? Maybe once you entered, you realized that you aren’t as good as you thought you were? That’s the Dunning-Kruger effect. It’s what makes reality talent shows so addicting to watch since so many people who don’t have talent, think they do and audition. You know what shows I’m talking about.

It wasn’t until reading this book that I learned that the author has a blog of the same name and some of these chapters were originally blog posts ala Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. So, I can’t tell you how much of the book’s material were originally blog posts but I read a post on McRaney’s blog that states many of the topics featured in the book are new.   I don’t think it really matters either way because You Are Not So Smart is a terrifying, funny, entertaining read that you’ll find hard to put down. My rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy to giveaway. Leave a comment below, letting me know to enter you in the contest. I’ll announce a winner this Monday. Good luck.

Sunday Salon: A Little Bit of This and That

 Even though I’m supposed to be participating in the 48-hour Book Challenge this week, I’m doing everything but read.  So I’m calling it quits. There’s always next year.

Instead of reading, I’m going to focus on the books I need to review and there’s something in it for you too! First, here’s the five books that I need to review:

  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
  • Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
  • Sugar in My Bowl by Erica Jong
  • Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner

Since I have such a huge backlog of ARCs that I need to read, I’m giving myself until Friday to review the five books mentione d. To add a little pressure to my task, I’m giving away the last four ARCs. They’re all in good condition though I’ve dog-eared Tolstoy.  I’m also giving away a limited edition poster of Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers along with my ARC of the book. All you have to do is leave me a comment, letting me know which package you prefer: the four ARCs or the The Sisters Brothers poster and ARC. I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday morning.

So what are you reading today?

Books giveaway


There are two great giveaways being hosted right now because of the Nerds Heart YA tournament that started last Monday. Kelly at YAnnabe is giving away four copies of the books she has to judge for the tournament, The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie and Leftovers by Laura Weiss. Not only is Kelly is giving away two copies of each book, she’s also giving away a copy of the ARC, Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers, another book that’s being judged in the tournament.


The second giveaway is being hosted by Jodie at Book Gazing. Jodie is giving away two copies each of the two books she has to judge, What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson and Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon. So two lucky winners will win a copy of each book. Jodie is also giving away a Powells gift card of $20.


What are you waiting for? Go enter!

The Written Word Book Giveaway

Stephanie at The Written Word is hosting a book giveaway. So, of course, I have to sign up. The book she’s giving away is The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I keep hearing great reviews about this book. It’s now on my TBR list. If you want to sign up for the giveaway, click on the link in this post. It’ll take you to her blog. Leave a comment by midnight Feb. 13th. the winner will be announced the next day.