#BoutofBooks 13 Master Post and Goals

#BoutofBooks 13 Master Post and Goals

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I’m usually not someone who dislikes Mondays, but today is starting off a bit rough. Insomnia kicked in last night and I didn’t get much sleep. One of the best things about today is that it’s the first day of the Bout of Books read-a-thon, a week-long reading event where participants read as much or as little as they want.

I don’t often participate in this event, but I haven’t finished a book since Dewey’s Read-a-thon. It’s time for me to get my butt into gear and read instead of playing Candy Crush Saga.

I plan on picking my reading pile as I go, but three books that I definitely plan on getting to this week are:

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March Book Two by John Lewis and Nate Powell (Thanks for the reminder, Sarah!)
Rat Queens Vol. 2 by Kurtis I. Wiebe
No Matter the Wreckage: Poems by Sarah Kay (A leftover from Dewey’s read-a-thon)

My goal is to read for at least one hour every day and to stay offline when I can. We’ll see how it goes.

Are you participating in Bout of Books 13? Do you have any tips for a newbie like me?

Monday update

It’s only 6 p.m., but I’m going to write an update now because I’m exhausted!

Read: Rat Queens Vol. 2, “The Six Swans” and “The Almond Tree” by the Brothers Grimm.

Thoughts: The short stories were creepy and Rat Queens was pretty good.

Pages read: 143

Tuesday Update

Allergies have been kicking our asses over here, so the only reading I was able to get done was children’s books with my youngest, Avram. My poor baby boy. He’s absolutely miserable, but it seems like reading to him calms him somewhat. That and Benadryl. We read:

  • Blue on Blue by Dianne White
  • The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud
  • The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan
  • The Backwards Birthday Party by Tom Chapin
  • In Mary’s Garden by Tina Kugler

Blue on Blue and The Backwards Birthday Party were our favorites.

Next up: I’m not sure. We left the house briefly to go to the library and returned with a ton of books, including YA and anime for my daughter and graphic novels and picture books for the rest of us.

How are you guys doing? Read anything interesting?

Bout of Books 13

Bout of Books 13

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I did pretty well with Dewey’s Readathon and now I’ve decided to participate in Bout of Books, the week-long readathon. Hopefully, it’ll help me get through May’s tbr pile. Want to know more about the event?

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Are you going to sign up?

Looking forward to May

Looking forward to May

Usually, I’m the type of person who changes the calendar on days before the month ends, always eager for a new start. Nowadays, all the months look the same as I count down until my July due date. For May, I’m celebrating my mom’s birthday and the end of the homeschooling year. I’m also steadily trying to shrink my physical tbr (to be read) stack.

Surprisingly, I’ve read a ton of books last month. 21 books to be exact. My favorites were:

Lumberjanes Vols. 1-9 by Noelle Stevenson (comics)
A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson (nonfiction)
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex (middle grade)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why by Willow G. Wilson (comics)

Now that May’s here, I scoured my tbr shelves and found the following books to tackle:

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Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (for next week’s Socratic Salon discussion)
Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson (fiction)
The Best American Essays 2011 by Edwidge Danticat (I started this collection years ago and never finished it.)
When The Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka (fiction)
The Voice of the River by Melanie Rae Thon (fiction)
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu (fiction)
Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn’t Work) by Michael Goodwin (graphic nonfiction)
Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (nonfiction)
The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission by Jim Bell (nonfiction)
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (fiction)

Some of these reads are pretty heavy, but I’m hoping that I can get through them all by the end of the month. I’m already in the middle of Economix and Citizen and both are really good reads with post-its sticking out.

What are you looking forward to reading in May? Do you make a monthly tbr list?

Rah Rah #Readathon

Rah Rah #Readathon

dewey1-1024x1024It’s here! Dewey’s Annual 24 Hour Readathon!

If you don’t know, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon* has been going on for eight years now. A dear friend, Dewey, was the original host of the event before passing away. She was a sweet, generous, thoughtful, caring friend and blogger. There are so many people, (including myself,) that write about books because of her. There are authors (Neil Gaiman) and genres (fantasy/science fiction/graphic novels) that would probably still be at the bottom of my tbr list if it weren’t for Dewey.

While it’s not the same without Dewey here, (and it will never be,) I am so glad that Heather  and Andi  take on the gigantic task TWICE a year of hosting this event. You guys, along with your co-hosts, rock!

*For some people, this event means reading as much as they can for 24 hours straight. For others like myself, it means carving out 24 hours to enjoy doing something I love and engaging with fellow bookworms. How you choose to do the event is up to you, just remember to enjoy yourself and make new friends.

Here’s my game plan for the big day:

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Poetry
Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson
No Matter The Wreckage: Poems by Sarah Kay
Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger

Graphic Novels
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
The Wicked + the Divine Vol.1 (re-read)
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson (re-read)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson
Plus a crapload of books on Scribd

Middle Grade
The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. I’m listening to this on audio and reading it in print.

 

Opening Meme
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? All of them!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? This might sound crazy, but I’m looking forward to eating a Sloppy Joe.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’ve been blogging for eight years now, since the first read-a-thon. I’m currently seven months pregnant with my fourth child, a little girl. We’re homeschoolers which means I’m surrounded by projects, cookbooks, and tons of paperwork!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I’ll actually participate. I have no idea what happened during the last ‘thon, but I barely read or cheerlead. Today, I’m doing both.
Happy reading!

1st Update

It’s the 4th hour of the readathon. So far:

  • I’ve finished one book, Ms. Marvel Vol. 2. I’m going to push this on my daughter. It’s so good.
  • I’ve had a small breakfast of sausages and eggs with coffee.
  • I’ve left comments on 23 blogs and several pictures on Instagram. I’ve also cheered a little on Twitter.

Next up: I have no idea. I do know that I owe my youngest a round of Uno and he wants me to build something with him using Legos. We’ll see what happens.

Hour 9 Update

Here’s what I’m currently reading on Scribd:

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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 edited by Mary Roach. I heard this was a fantastic collection of essays.

Currently eating: a firecracker popsicle. It’s probably better than putting my face in a plate of fudge brownies. Nom nom.

 

Hour 17 Update

I’m still reading! Can you believe it?! I got off of social media and started reading several hours ago. I just finished The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, my third book. I really enjoyed it. Next up? I have no idea. We’ll see.

How are you guys doing?

End of Event Meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? None. I just took everything in stride.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Graphic novels like Lumberjanes and The Wicked + The Divine are always great picks.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Not at all! I had a blast.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything. I have no complaints.
5. How many books did you read? I actually finished three books: The Wicked + The Divine (a re-read), The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex, and Ms. Marvel Vol. 2. I started The Best American Science and Nature Writing edited by Mary Roach.
6. What were the names of the books you read? See above.
7. Which book did you enjoy most? I enjoyed them all.
8. Which did you enjoy least? The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple. I started reading it and decided to DNF it. I wasn’t in the mood for it.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t an official cheerleader, but I cheered about thirty blogs on and left comments on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t have any advice. Just have fun. Surprisingly, cheerleading can become pretty addictive.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I’ve been participating in Dewey’s Readathon since the beginning, so I’m not going anywhere. As usual, I’ll probably be a reader and cheerleader once again.

Sunday Salon: Happy Easter!

Sunday Salon: Happy Easter!

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Time: // 9:00 a.m.

The scene: // It’s a cold Easter morning as I sit at my desk, regretting the fact that I didn’t start cooking Easter dinner yesterday. I’m a big believer in cooking the day before, so I can just eat on a holiday. Now I have hours to go before the ham and everything else is done, which means I have to buy takeout.

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Reading: // After talking to Memory, Chris, and Sarah, I finally started a free trial with the reading app, Scribd. The app has a crapload of comics that my library doesn’t have and I didn’t necessarily want to pay for since I’ve never read them. Since the start of my trial a few days ago, I have been reading up a storm! I read the first seven issues of The Lumberjanes series and Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh, a graphic novel. The app doesn’t feature the newest books, but I can use it to hit my reading goal of reading more diversely, trying out new comic series, and reading older books from my tbr list/pile. If you want to get a free two-month trial from Scribd, here’s the link: https://www.scribd.com/g/7271v

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Celebrating: // The fact that it’s Spring Break. For the next seven days I can do pretty much what I want to do, which means I am reading from the stack of books above and taking the kids to various places like the beach and local museums. I’m also going to relax and enjoy the start of my third trimester.

Now I’m off to: // relax and do some reading.

What are you up to today?

It’s spring. What I’m looking forward to reading. . .

It’s spring. What I’m looking forward to reading. . .

I’m a winter person, but for some reason I am happy that spring is here. The new season is bringing a sense of renewal and the belief that better things are on the horizon. At least, it certainly feels that way.
Earlier this week, so many of my favorite bloggers posted a list of their spring TBR and it reminded me to make my own. Since spring ends in late June, I have plenty of time (fingers crossed) to read my list.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

18964642The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen. You guys, my girls are driving me nuts right now! I don’t know what’s going on. My sisters are 15 and my daughter is 13 and this sounds like a book that I need to read soon.

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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I can’t help but read this book every spring.

22522686Fables vol. 21: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham

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The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

18693655A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley. I’m already reading this one.

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The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Winner of this year’s Newbery Medal.

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Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister. Someone blogged about this book lately and I had to put it on hold.

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Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. A middle school graphic novel about roller derby?! Hell yes.

20613619Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry. This book has been on my tbr list for months, but is also out of print. Luckily, the book’s publisher, Drawn & Quarterly, says Syllabus will be back in stores at the end of the month.

 

So that’s my list. What are you reading this spring?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

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Time: // 8:54 a.m.

The scene: // Cuddling with my family on the couch while watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. The older kids are in the kitchen washing dishes and making pancakes. Love.

This week: // has gone by in a flash! When I look back on it, the kids and I got a lot accomplished school-wise, but that’s about it. I guess I should be grateful for that.

Currently reading: // not much. My reading has drastically slowed down, but it’s my fault. I found myself doing things like being on Facebook and Instagram instead of reading. I plan on changing that this week and focusing on things I love and make me grow.

I started reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art: Break through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles for Joy’s New Year’s Resolutions Read-along. The author talks about feeling resistance whenever you have something positive you need to do but will take time. I’m feeling that when it comes to de-cluttering, reading, and even taking walks. I’m going to continue reading to see what the author suggests when it comes to pushing through resistance. If you want to join the read-along, there’s still time. The War of Art is a short book.

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On my nightstand: // Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer. The graphic novel has been on many “best of 2014” lists last year. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin. Beyond Magenta tells the lives of transgendered teens in their own words. My daughter and Elisabeth read it and loved it, so it’s my turn to read it. Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn is a middle grade book I read in middle school and fell in love with. As an adult, I searched for an original copy of it and was lucky enough to find one. It’s the story of two girls, Daphne and Jessica, who have to come together for a school project. While Jessica’s life is pretty average, Daphne’s is anything but and she hides a serious secret. Readers who enjoyed Cynthia Voight’s The Tillerman Cycle will appreciate Daphne’s Book.

Promoting: // My Chunkster Challenge giveaway for Children of the Stone by Sandy Tolan. The giveaway is only open to Chunkster participants.

Now I’m off to: // eat pancakes then play Uno with the kids.

What are you up to today?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Time: // 8:08 a.m.

The scene: // It’s MLK Day, so the kids and I have the day off. That means I get to clean up the house, correct school work, celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday, and maybe buy some baby clothes for a little girl.

Even though it doesn’t feel like it, I’ve been on a reading roll lately thanks to my oldest. She started reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, which I’m now reading with her. I just started a few days ago and I’m now on the last book in the series.

Last week I read:

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit
Days of Blood & Sunlight by Laini Taylor
Sketch!: The Non-Artist’s Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life by France Belleville-Van Stone
Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo

This week I’m reading:

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Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Art is Fundamental: Teaching the Elements and Principles of Art in Elementary School by Eileen Prince
Minnie & Moo: Hooves of Fire by Denys Cazet (read-along with my youngest, If you have kids in the lower elementary grades, Minnie and Moo is a hilarious series to check out.)
Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon (continuing)
Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too by Mona Brookes (Belle told me about this book last week and I had to grab a copy. I’ve always been interested in learning to draw and Belle swears it’ll teach me.)

What are you reading this week?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey.

It’s a new year and I am determined to read more! Well every year I’m determined to read more, but this year is different. 2015 started off with me reading children’s books, but after reading Ms. Marvel last night, I feel energized.

This week I’m hoping to read:

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (YA). My daughter read this book a few weeks ago and cried her butt off. She’s been waiting for me to read it ever since.

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp (YA). I’m on the fence with this one. We’ll see if I end up reading it.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon. I bought this book two years ago and never finished reading it! It’s over 700 pages, so I don’t plan on finishing this week but I will get it done.

Children’s books

I’m determined to read more often to the kids. I don’t know what happened, but the kids and I don’t read together as often anymore. I’m hoping to change that with a few picture and chapter books.

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  • Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen
  • Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo
  • Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
  • And Two Boys Booed by Judith Viorst

What are you reading this week?

Sunday Salon: Have I Got a Book for you! #diversiverse

Sunday Salon: Have I Got a Book for you! #diversiverse

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Happy Sunday! Instead of telling you what I’m up to, I decided to do something different. A Diverse Universe event is coming up and I thought I’ll write a list post for anyone who’s thinking about joining the event and don’t know what to read.

Bloggers like Aarti and Nymeth have eloquently written about why more people should read diversely. I’m not going to do it. I’ve realized that exploring works of art based on an author’s race means being open to something different. And either you are open to that or you’re not. Readers love the adventures that books can take them on, like new worlds light-years away or a dystopian version of the world they live in. Looking at race can be a different and harder thing to do. But it doesn’t have to be.

It’s an ongoing process, one that means making a decision book by book. It doesn’t mean suddenly changing the way you read overall. I, myself, have been guilty of not reading many books by people of color over the years. Or, I’ll read them but don’t review them. This year has been fantastic with books by people of color dominating my reviews, but I still have work to do.

Some critics have stated that by purposely choosing to read a book written by a person of color, you’re excluding whites. Well, that’s true. When you’re in the mood to read science fiction or fantasy that means excluding all writers who don’t write in that genre. Race isn’t any different. Nor is it any different when choosing to read books that won certain awards or set in different countries or translated from other languages. I hope everyone who reads this post makes a decision to pick up a book by a person of color. Like I stated earlier, that choice is up to you.

The books on my list were all published this year. I decided to give newly released books more bookish love than those that were published in previous years. By buying, borrowing, or reviewing new releases shows the gatekeepers that books by people of color are desired by readers.

Note: Most of the links to the titles below will take you to Goodreads. Several will take you to my reviews or the reviews of other bloggers.

Looking for a short read?

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I don’t read short stories often enough though I love them. The great thing about them is that you can often find amazing ones online via Tor and other online publications.

Novels

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Diverse Collage 5

Nonfiction

Diverse Collage 6

 

Have you read any of these books? What newly released books would you recommend?

Review: The Day I Became an Autodidact

Review: The Day I Became an Autodidact

698417The Day I Became an Autodidact: And the Advice, Adventures, and Acrimonies that Befell me Thereafter

Kendall Hailey

288 pages

Published in January 1989 by Delta

Source: Public library

A few days ago, I started reading The Day I Became an Autodidact by Kendall Hailey. Hailey, the daughter of a playwright and novelist, decided to graduate from high school a year early at the age of 16. Her turning point came when days after tenth grade ended, her school sent out a mandatory summer reading list. I don’t blame her. After being told what to read, what to write about, and what classes to take, the last thing anyone wants to do is slave away during the summer. I remember not wanting to do that during the school year.

So Hailey calls it quits with school and decides to become an autodidact, learning everything she needs to know through books. She reads Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, Vile Bodies and Great Expectations. She takes trips with her family, reads, and takes more trips.

It’s great and all but I soon found myself wanting more. Part of the problem has to do with the fact that Hailey doesn’t do anything but read. Coming from a well-to-do family, the author doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to but it doesn’t make for a good story. I DNFed the book after reading sixty pages, so I can’t tell you if she ever does anything out of her comfort zone. Within the pages I read, she doesn’t volunteer, search for others like herself, or anything. What’s the point of educating yourself if you’re going to stay in a bubble? Granted, the memoir was written in the late 1980s and Google wasn’t a click away.

Maybe the problem is that I’m not the right target for this book. I mean, I love reading. If I could, I would read all day long, except I can’t. That’s why read-a-thon days and various breaks are like Christmas to me. Even while writing this post, I had to stop and play Legos with one kid and make a snack for another one.

It doesn’t matter.

Hailey’s thoughts are insightful at times and I found a few paragraphs that I want to photocopy. That wasn’t enough for me to want to finish this book. My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars. It’s okay.

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

 

Time: // 8:08 a.m.

The scene: // sitting at my desk, waiting for the donuts to finish rising. I have about 45 minutes left before I can start frying them. Most of the kids are asleep and I’m enjoying the silence.

Listening to: // Melody Gardot’s album, My One and Only Thrill. It’s jazz and her voice is so beautiful. Take a listen:

This week: // Bout of Books was a fail. Well, not really. I did manage to finish and review, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. I’ve started reading Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok. I’m really enjoying it and will try to finish it today.

Grateful for: // the fact that I start work tomorrow. It’s a warehouse job through a temp agency but it’s a start. I was looking for a job that I can work late afternoons or nights so I can still homeschool during the day and be around the kids. I’m glad I found one with compatible hours.

Appreciating: // my extended family. My cousin recently passed and Friday was his funeral. There was so many people there and we laughed and cried over my cousin’s antics. He was one of the most giving and friendly people you could ever meet. Going to his funeral was sad but it didn’t end that way. I was so happy to see my family and will keep in touch.

Writing down: // my summer bucket list. I saw a post on How Sweet It Is and within minutes came up with a ton of things for me and the kids to do this summer, which includes making watermelon gazpacho. Have you ever made a summer bucket list?

Now I’m off to: // fry some donuts.

What are you doing today?

Bout of Books 10 and Update Post

Bout of Books 10 and Update Post

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Bout of Books have officially started. I’m typing this on Sunday night since Mondays are always busy with meetings, homeschooling, and errands. Don’t worry, I’m taking my reads to the beach with me Monday afternoon since summer has pretty much hit Southern California. (I’m not bragging. I actually wish it was winter here.)

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I’m starting the read-a-thon off with two books that aren’t on my original list: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton and For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu. I also plan on using this post to update my progress as I go.

Enjoy your Monday!

What are you looking forward to reading/doing this week?

Monday’s Update

Monday was fantastic! I started and finished The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. It was filled with beautiful writing and though I didn’t really get attached to any of the characters, it was still a nice book to read.

  • Books finished: 1
  • Pages read: 320

Now I just need to figure out what to read today (Tuesday). Any suggestions?

Tuesday’s Update

Tuesday was a total reading disaster. I couldn’t figure out what to read so I didn’t do any reading. Plus, this heat was so bad that all I wanted to do was sleep yesterday. Ugh.  Today (Wednesday) it’s suppose to be 98 degrees. I can’t hibernate since I have a ton of things to do. Today’s book will either be There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff (a reread) or The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld.

Day 3 Mini-Challenge

Today’s mini-challenge is from My Overstuffed Books. B.o.B. participates are to pair a book with something.

My pairing is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton and probably French bread.  In the book, the main character’s grandmother owns the bakery in their small town and believes bread helps to heal almost anything. I love that idea.

 

 

Bout of Books 10

Bout of Books 10

After reading Candiss’s goals for Bout of Books, I decided to join the event. Bout of Books has been going strong for a few years but this will be my first time joining.

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 The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 My goals for Bout of Books are:

  • To read for at least two hours a day. I need to get back into the habit of sitting down to just read again. I already finished my homework for the next two weeks, so I can find some time to read.

  • To review 90% of the books I read during the event.
  • To read at least four books.

 I have a ton of books that I would like to finish in the next few months, so my pile comes from that stack. My pile of possibilities:

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The Namesake by Jhumpi Lahiri.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Ariana Huffington

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip by Kevin Brockmeier

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

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I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin

Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok

The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Are you participating for the event? If so, what’s on your reading?

Books read in April

Books read in April

April has come and gone. Thank God. It was just a stressful month. My neck is still sprained and I’m starting to understand – really understand that I’m getting older and it’s time for me to start taking better care of this body.

Now on to books.

I read an amazing 20 books last month. The books were in a variety of genres and for the most part, it was a good reading.

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  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (reread)
  • Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham
  • Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

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  • Duffy and the Devil by Harve Zemach
  • Brimsby’s Hats by Andrew Prahin
  • Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman
  • Here I Am by Patti Kim

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  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers by Michael Brian Bendis
  • An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
  • Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  • Delancey : A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg

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  • Dog Loves Counting by Louise Yates
  • Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
  • Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock
  • The  Fantastic Art of Jacek Yerka

I decided to include the children’s books for those of you who read and enjoy the genre.

An Untamed State was the best book I read last month with the third volume of Saga a close second.

How was your reading in April?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

As I type this, it’s Saturday night, hours before the readathon’s 5 am start date in Southern California. I’m not getting up that early to start reading but I still wanted to make sure my post was up.

The start of the readathon is always exciting. The house is quiet at 5 am and the only sounds to be heard are the ones coming from the coffee pot. I always tell my family that the readathon is my Christmas; it’s the day that I get to sit back, ignore most of the errands and chores that need to be done, and do something I really enjoy: reading.

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My reading stack includes:

Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman

Midwinter Blood – Marcus Sedgwick

Running Like a Girl – Alexandra Heninsley

Noggin – Corey Haley

A Snicker of Magic – Natalie Lloyd

When the Emperor was Divine – Julie Otsuka

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Ella Enchanted – Gail Levine

Today I Am a Boy – Kim Fu

Cress – Marissa Meyer (already started)

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons – Sam Kean (already started)

Usually, I have graphic novels, children’s books, and a bit of poetry in my stack but I was unable to get to the library in time. What I have should keep me busy as the books are in a variety of genres from fantasy to dystopian, nonfiction to young adult.

Readathoning along with me is my twelve year-old daughter, Piper. Her stack includes a ton of manga and hopefully Cress for school. The boys may join but I’m not holding my breath.

What books are in your stack?

First Update

I’m up! I’m up! It’s hour one of the readathon and I finally woke up. Piper, on the other hand, has been up for hours reading. Now she’s asleep. Hee hee! I should take a picture of her with her beauty mask on, but I want to live.

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1. We’re reading from Southern California.

2. I love my stack of books so I’m excited about everything I end up reading. I think Piper feels the same way.

3.  The snack I’m looking forward to reading is actually a meal. I’m making red beans and rice for dinner early this morning.  I can’t wait.

4. Telling you something about myself is always hard. I never know what to say. I’m a mother of three lovely kids, my favorite thing to do besides reading is to ride my men’s beach cruiser named Dorothy. She’s red. ;-) Piper is a 12 year-old girl who loves anime, baking, and riding on her roller skates. Her dream is to go to school in Paris to become a pastry chef.

 5.  I  participated in the last readathon. I know to just have fun and keep the pressure low.

Hour 8 Update

Since my last update, I have:

  • read more pages in Cress
  • started making dinner (red beans and rice)
  • took a break to do some cheerleading

Piper has finally woken up and she’s eating lunch.

Oliver (my 10 year-old) has joined the readathon and is currently reading a Lego comic.

Food consumed: Special K, coffee, and some water.

Back to reading.

Sunday Salon on a Monday

Sunday Salon on a Monday

Time: // 7:12 pm

The scene: // Sitting in my living room, typing this. Spring break for my sisters and I have started. I still have homeschooling but since spraining my neck (didn’t know that was possible) earlier last week, I’m going to be lying down a lot.

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Just finished reading: // An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. Shannon and I were discussing it a little via Goodreads. I recommend it to Aarti, Ana, Jill, and Jenny.

Now I’m continuing: // a few books I started earlier last week like A Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean (nonfiction) and Cress by Marissa Meyer. I like I’m going to DNF Delancey by Molly Wizenberg for now. It’s an okay book but I’m not pulled in to the writing.

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Next up: // Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Someone (who?) reviewed this book a few months ago and I had to pick it up.

Promoting: // Though I haven’t been blogging a lot lately, I’m still reading everyone’s posts. On the Read-a-thon blog, Andi wrote why Dewey’s read-a-thon is a lot like a choose your own adventure book.

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride was recently nominated for a few awards. Heather at Between the Covers recently wrote a review about the book as hard to read but still impressive.

Now I’m off to: // start my day.

What have you been up? What are you reading?

When My Eyes are Bigger Than My Stomach

When My Eyes are Bigger Than My Stomach

Do you:

  • Ever have moments when you walk into the library and you want everything you see?*
  • Pick up book after book, taking them home though you know it might be awhile before you’re able to get to read them?
  • Look at those books longingly as they linger unread on your shelves?
  • Guiltily return your stack of books to the library unread and sometimes even late?

*Of course, this situation also applies to bookstores.

If you answered yes to two or more questions, then you have a case of your eyes being bigger than your reading stomach.

I have a case of this right now. There are so many books currently being published that sound amazing. I’ve been checking out stacks of books from the library, though the only way I will get to them is if I took a few weeks off from everything to just read.

For me, one of the side effects from this bookish condition is guilt. My bookshelves are stuffed with unread books and instead of trying to read what I own, I’m constantly picking up books that blogging friends have raved about. I often find new-to-me authors that way but my shelves are collecting dust.

While I think there’s no cure for having such a huge reading appetite, I’ll probably cut back on what I check out from the library for now. It would be nice to read some of the books I’ve own for a year or so.

What do you do when your reading eyes are bigger than your stomach? Do you just go with it or try to cut back on what you check out from the library or accept from publishers?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

Time: // 8:28 am

The scene: // at my kitchen table, nursing a cold cup of coffee. After going to a late showing of Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night, I’ve had very little sleep.

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For two weeks: // I was unable to finish a book. I would start a book, only to put it down after a few pages. Life has been chaotic and hard lately. There are so many changes coming and I’m trying to brace myself. Yesterday, I needed something fairytale like and found it with Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, a modern-day retelling of the Snow Queen fairy tale. It was just what I needed. I finished the book in one day. Review coming soon (hopefully).

For homeschooling, I’m reading Love that Dog by Sharon Creech with my youngest. I’m also diving into A Wrinkle in Time with my middle son.

Celebrating: //my blogiversary! I’ve been blogging for seven years now. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. I may celebrate with a giveaway in a week or so.

Wishing: // I could stop time. I have so much to do today including homework, washing clothes, and a million other things. I need my weekend to be a little bit longer.

Promoting: // Jill’s (Rhapsody in Books) review of Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. Jill heard about Annihilation via Facebook, one of the few online places that I don’t see many book recommendations. What about you, do you get book recommendations on Facebook?

Now I’m off to: // start on my to-do list.

What are you up to this Sunday?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

Time: // 8:08 am

The scene: // sitting in my living room, relaxing. It has been a long morning as I’ve been up since 4 am. I went for a sunrise stroll on the beach, ate breakfast at a local diner, and now I’m ready to go back to bed!

Currently reading: // Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What it Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham. I started this book last month but finally found the time to read it earlier this week. I’m only a few chapters in but this book is stuffed with information.

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I needed some fiction to read, so I started reading Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile.

Completing: // the last day of Bloggiesta. I’m more than halfway through with my to-do list. Now I just need to brainstorm some ideas for future posts.

Celebrating: // the fact that the Excel portion of my computer class is over with! Now my class will try to conquer Microsoft Access.

Thinking about: // two posts with similar ideas. Yesterday Shannon (River City Reading) shared what she read in March and how she hasn’t read any books that blows her “out of the water”. Andi (Estella’s Revenge) write a similar post this morning.

I had to check my own Goodreads account and see how many 5-star books I’ve read for this year. The number: 3. That’s not surprising. I’ve read some pretty good reads but not many amazing ones. Hmmm.

Sleep: // is calling my name so I’m off.

What was the last 5-star book that you’ve read?

Once Upon a Time VIII

Once Upon a Time VIII

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To be honest with you, this reading “challenge” is one of the reasons why I continue to blog. I’ve been blogging for seven years and I’ve joined this event almost every year. If I remember correctly, it was Dewey who got me to join (she also got me to read Neil Gaiman and graphic novels too). Reading events and challenges like Once Upon a Time, Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.), and Dewey’s Readathon always leave me feeling excited and breathless at their arrival.

Anyways. Here’s the details:

  • Once Upon a Time is an annual reading challenge hosted by Carl (Stainless Steel Droppings).
  • Readers can read from any of the four categories: Folklore, Fantasy, Fairy Tale, and Mythology.
  • It runs from March 21st – June 21st.
  • Participants pick how they want to participate from watching movies to reading short stories.
  • The only rule: have fun.

Since I can’t join a reading event of any kind without going overboard, I think I’ll join a quest or two.

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Rule: Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the four categories. It can be a combination or one book from each category. Readers decide.
My pile of books:

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  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
  • The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Levine
  • Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
  • Half World by Hiromi Goto

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A reading event that includes watching movies or TV shows?! Hell yes! I do need some suggestions though.

So that’s what I’m going to read. What are you reading for Once Upon a Time VIII? You are going to join, right?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

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Time: // 6:52 a.m. Sunday

The scene: // sitting at my desk in the living room. The coffee pot is perking and the kids are asleep!! Yes! Spring break started for the kids yesterday and I’m have a four-day weekend filled with Excel sheets to create, a midterm to do, and books to read and review.

Eating and drinking: // coffee! We’re having waffles for breakfast.

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Currently reading: // The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith and Mr. Loverman by Bernandine Evaristo. I’m hoping to finish both within the next day or so.

Up next: // All the Bird, Singing by Evie Wyld and a host of children’s books

Blogging about: // a poem by e.e. cummings and a foodie memoir

Promoting: // as usual, bloggers all over the blogisphere are adding books to my tbr list

 Melissa’s (Feminist Texican) review of Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

Jenny’s (Jenny’s Books/Reading the End) review of Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory

Aarti’s (Booklust) review of Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

The quotes that Lu (Reading Rumination) shared with readers make me want to read While Beauty Slept soon.

Last but not least, Laurie’s (Bay State Reader’s Advisory) thoughts on The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman had me rushing to my library’s website to put the book on hold.

Thankful for: // this nice spring weather we’re having. I’m a winter person but I can’t help but enjoy all the sunshine.

Now I’m off to: // get started on those Excel sheets.

How are you spending your day?

 

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

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Time: // 8: 00 a.m. Damn Daylight Savings time. I’m exhausted. At least I have some coffee.

The scene: // Sitting in my living room, most of the kids are asleep. The sun is shining and there are some awesome clouds in the sky.

Listening to: // “Out of My League” by Fitz and the Tantrums. Thanks to Bryan for the suggestion. Thanks to everyone for their music suggestions last week.

Listing: // my Memoir March list of books. I finally figured out what I’m going to read this month.

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  • Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend by Bill Russell – audio
  • Around the House and In the Garden by Dominique Browning
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
  • Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
  • Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding by Lynn Darling
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman – (Maybe I’ll finally get to this one)
  • Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge
  • The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and The Quest to Cure Tuberculosis by Thomas Goetz
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (recommended by Olduvai)
  • The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok
  • L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi

I tried to pick some diverse reads, ranging from format (Woman Rebel and Maus are graphic novels) to experience.  I’m currently reading L.A. Son, a foodie memoir, and Out of the Woods. I’m really enjoying both of them.

Blogging about: // everything! I had one of those rare urges to write my ass off this week. I wrote graphic novels reviews, a review of The Perfect Score by Debbie Steir, and a wrap-up of my February reading.

Promoting: // Andi’s Book Nook guest post over on Relentless Reader. Since rearranging my apartment, I no longer have a book nook but it’s nice to look at everyone else’s.

Also promoting: // When the Universe Ain’t Talking by QuinnCreative. I’ve been in a rut for a while now and this post came at a perfect time.  It’s about when you have to wait for an answer from the Universe and you just.can’t.wait.

You should also read: // Buried in Print’s Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi.

Now I’m off to: // relax a bit before I spend the day doing homework.

What are you up to today? Any suggestions on how to get out of a rut?

February Wrap-Up and Memoir March

February Wrap-Up and Memoir March

It’s ridiculous how fast this year is going by. I did read somewhere if there’s nothing new and different going on in your life, it seems like time is passing by fast. Do you guys think that’s true? Looking at my life, I’m not really doing anything different – yet. It’s just the usual with school for me and homeschooling for the kiddos. I need to change that.

In February I read a total of 16 books, a combination of children’s books, graphic novels, and exactly one book of fiction. Highlights include:

  • The Wizard by Jack Prelutsky (Thanks, Andi, for the recommendation.)
  • Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
  • Malcolm Little by Ilyash Shabazz
  • Light in the Darkness by Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • Off to the Market by Elizabeth Dale
  • Mousterpiece by Jane Breskin Zalben
  • The Tree Lady by Joseph H. Hopkins
  • Aphrodite by George O’Connor

Favorite children’s book: Malcolm Little by Ilyash Shabazz. The book is about Malcolm X’s childhood. It was a sweet read though a bit sad. I expect it to win some awards next year.

Favorite adult read: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. You can read my thoughts here.

Overall, February was a pretty good month with a lot of interesting reads especially with all the nonfiction picture books.

Looking forward

One of my goals for this year is to tackle my tbr mountain but I’ve been ignoring it. It’s so hard to read from your own stac k when there are so many shiny new library books to read.

Chris and Debi have decided that their reading theme for March will be Memoirs and I think joining in will be a good way to help me get some of my own books
read.  I haven’t made a list just yet but give me time.

What are your plans for March?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salonTime: // 8:02 p.m. Saturday night

The scene: // hanging out in my living room with the heater on and some pretty tulips on my table

4959061Currently Reading: // so many books right now. I think I’ll spend the next week trying to get through most of them. I set aside The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean and An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield to pick up Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham. Willingham is a psychologist who writes about how our minds work and how our theories about thinking can help or hinder kids in school. It’s really interesting.  I’m also rereading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan with one of my sons. Bryan read the series a few weeks ago and it made me want to read the first book again.

Setting aside last Sunday to dive into graphic novels felt great. I may have to do that every Sunday in February. Last Sunday I read Jane, the Fox, and Me by Franny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault along with A Matter of Life by Jeffrey Brown, and Aphrodite by George O’Connor.

Blogging about: // nothing. I haven’t had the time to write a post. Maybe I’ll review the books I mentioned above.

Promoting: // a few fantastic posts I read this week. M over at Buried in Print wrote about kidlit especially the books she read as a child and current children’s books.

Jenny (Reading the End) wrote another Stuff to Worry About Post about the plague that’s currently affecting starfish. It’s fascinating and pretty sad.

Bryan (Still Unfinished) wrote about his progress on his 2014 goals. It made me remember that not only have I lost my list of resolutions, I don’t remember what they are! At least I remember my word for this year: Leap.

As much as I like bookish posts, I love posts about happiness and gratitude even more. Iliana (Bookgirl) recently wrote about the things that make her happy. It doesn’t take much to make most people happy.

Last but not least is the latest issue of Bloggers Recommend which you can find here. The issue is the best looking one to date. It includes author interviews, excerpts of upcoming releases, and of course book blurbs.

Now I’m off to: // do homeworking, lesson planning, and of course make some waffles.

What are you up to today?

Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salonTime: // 7:29 am

The scene: // At my desk with my first cup of coffee, while listening to Gregory Porter’s album,  Be Good.

What’s going on:// I’m anticipating the chaos of this week. Today, I have to submit the kids’ grades to their charter school. When I decide to homeschool my kids (ages 8, 10, and 12), I didn’t think of grades (and still don’t really). Instead, I try to help the kids master the subjects they’re taking without the pressure of getting top grades. I need to finish up since today’s the deadline.

In case you missed my last post, February is Graphic Novels Month. There’s so many people participating and everyone’s welcome. I already finished my first comic: Aphrodite by George O’Connor. I hope I get through my stack this month, but there’s always March. The twitter hashtag is #comicsfebruary.

Between homeschooling and reading graphic novels, I have school myself. The first day of the spring semester starts tomorrow. Luckily one of my class websites opened up yesterday, so I’ve gotten a head start on this week’s homework and studying.

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Today’s plans: // include missing the Super Bowl to do some studying and reading for pleasure. Lu and I decided to have a mini comics readathon today. My stack includes A Matter of Time by Jeffrey Brown and Jane, the Fox, and Me by Franny Britt.

I’m not just reading comics this month so Sam Kean’s The Disappearing Spoon is in today’s stack. Its subtitle: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements tells it all. A plus for this book is that it’s so readable. I wasn’t sure if a book about chemistry would be.

Now I’m off to: // make waffles, sausages, and eggs for breakfast. What are you up to today?

Graphic Novels Month

Graphic Novels Month

I’ve spent most of January waiting for February and now it’s here! Graphic Novels Month! It’s the brainchild of Debi and Chris. Last February, the two decided to just read graphic novels and it was a hit. They’re bringing it back again this month and I’m so excited to join them along with a few other readers.

Picture 793Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Explorer: The Lost Islands by Kazu Kibuishi

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

Castle Waiting 2 by Linda Medley

Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel

A Matter of Life by Jeffrey Brown

Aphrodite: Goddess of Love (The Olympians series) by George O’Connor

Jane, the fox & me by Franny Britt

Letting It Go by Miriam Katin

What it is by Lynda Barry

Picture This by Lynda Barry

That’s a pretty small stack compared to other participants (ha!), but it’s going to keep me busy. The only new-to-me authors in the stack are Franny Britt and Jeffrey Brown while Castle Waiting and What it is are both re-reads. I’m so excited. My first read will be Aphrodite by George O’Connor.

Are you joining Graphic Novels Month?

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 9.0 New Update

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 9.0 New Update

bout of booksIt’s here! The ninth Bout of Books read-a-thon! This will be my first time joining the event and I’m pretty excited. Here’s some info about the event:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

We’re almost a week into 2014 and I haven’t finished a book yet. This needs to change. Bout of Books would be the perfect way to help me jumpstart my reading.

My goals:

  • to finish the four books I’m currently reading.
  • to read every day. I need to get back into the habit of daily reading.

My Books:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I’m about halfway through.

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson (non-fiction)

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

You would think I would have finished one of these books by now. Instead, I’ve been doing things like watching Fringe and X-Files season six on Netflix and playing Just Dance 2014. Have some priorities, Vasilly. I would have taken a picture of my books but it’s 5:30 in the morning and no coffee in sight just yet. The pictures will come later, I promise.

Are you joining the Bout of Books event?

Tuesday morning update

hadfieldGuys, I’m starting to think I’m hopeless. I started another book instead of finishing one that I’ve already started reading. Actually, I started two books yesterday: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield and The Perfect Score Project by Debbie Stier. Both are pretty good so far. But today, I’m going to buckle down and read The Golden Day, one of the books on my stack. I have a few things to do outside the home today so I’m bringing it with me. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

Saturday morning update

You guys! I finished a book! Finally! Trying to do Bout-of-Books the same week that school has started back, hasn’t been a great idea but I’m making progress. I finished The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarksy. It was a quiet but good read. It’s been labeled as YA but it’s really an adult book. I’m write more about it next week. Now I’m on to continuing another book I’ve started: To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam. After multiple renewals, it’s due back at the library Tuesday.

If you’re doing Bout of Books, how’s your progress going?

My first read of 2014

My first read of 2014

first book of the year eventSheila over at A Book Journey asked readers which book will be their first read of the year. Read below to find out what I chose as my first read of 2014.

It’s almost a superstition to believe that the first book of the year can make or break your reading for the year. Almost. Last year, the first book I read was a children’s book. So were the next three or four books. The start of 2013 was a hectic time and I didn’t have the energy or interest to find anything long and/or engaging.

It’s a new year and things are pretty settled for now. So what should I pick? Do I chose something that’s been sitting on my shelves for ages? Maybe I should go with a library book? After a week or two of indecision, I picked up Ursula Dubosarsky’s slim book, The Golden Day, and read the first page,

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The year began with the hanging of one man and ended with the drowning of another. But every year people die and their ghosts roam in the public gardens, hiding behind the gray, dark statues like wild cats, their tiny footprints and secret breathing muffled by the sound of falling water in the fountains and the quiet ponds.

The Golden Day is about a classroom of girls who go on a field trip with their teacher but return without her. The teacher never returns and the girls are left wondering what happened. I’m in the middle of several books but I can’t wait to start reading this.

What is your first read of 2014 going to be?

Favorite books of 2013

Favorite books of 2013

It’s that time where I get to share with everyone my favorite books of the year! So looking back at all the books I’ve read for 2013, it was a “meh” sort of year. There were some good books, some great ones, and a lot of “meh” reads, which is why overall my year wasn’t that great. As I write this (Sunday morning), I’ve read 249 books in all. By the time January hits, I’ll probably add two more books to that number.

Before I get to my favorite books of the year, here’s a few things about the list that surprised me.

1. Most of the books that made the list were published in 2013. That’s never happened before.

2. None of the books that made the list were books I owned. This is one more reason why I’m tackling my tbr mountain in 2014.

3. The oldest book on my list is Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. It was originally published in 1973.

4. The newest book on my list is The Visionist by Rachel Urquhart. It’s publication date is January 14, 2014. I found it such a good read that I had to add it to my list of favorites.

5. Every book that made my list is a book that I’m willing to buy. Pure and simple. If I’m not willing to buy it, I won’t give it five stars or add it to my list.

So enough of that, here’s my favorite books of 2013:

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bestof2013hbestof2013i.jpgThe last book is Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson.

Have you read any of these books? Which books made your “favorites” list of 2013?