T5W: Books I need to read, dammit

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Top 5 Wednesday (T5W) is a Goodreads group hosted by ThoughtsonTomes that curates weekly Wednesday top 5 lists. This week the topic is “Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year” and of course I cheated. I have been reading a hell of a lot more lately than I have for the first four months of 2018 and I have many plans for myself.

  1. Wild Beauty by Anne-Marie McLemore | I think my goal for 2018 is to bring up Anne-Marie McLemore in every single blog post. But also, like, why is it taking me so long to just read this damn book?
  2. The Callahan Chronicles by Spider Robinson | I just picked this up from our library book sale and I NEED to read it. I don’t know that much about it besides bar in space, but that’s all I needed.
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir | Everyone else in the entire world has already read this book, so this one probably isn’t too exciting for anyone else besides me, but my husband and I saw the movie in theaters and it was good. This is only relevant because my husband hates going to the movies and he was the one who wanted to see this one.
  4. The Weird Fiction Review #8 | I just bought this and posted about it, but if I don’t set a goal for myself I feel like I won’t pick it up ever. This is internet evidence that I will read this collection before the end of the year.
  5. All lastly, all these are books that I started in 2017 and put down for no reason other than “book slump”:
    1. The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
    2. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
    3. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

The end! What should I read next? Was your answer The Weird Fiction Review? Because that’s what I chose immediately after taking this picture.

Monthly Recommendations: Audiobooks

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Audiobooks are tricky for me. I know there are some people that listen to multiple audiobooks a month at double speed, but I am way too picky for that. If I’m listening to an audiobook, it’s mostly for the experience so I need it to be engaging and interesting enough for me to continue listening on my own time. I am lucky to have a very short commute to work every day, so most of my audiobook and podcast listening occurs when I’m at home doing chores (and I’m a bit lazy). At the moment I’m obsessed with The Adventure Zone podcast, a D&D playthrough, so I am not currently listening to an audiobook.

Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created by Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters, and obviously this month’s topic is audiobooks. The following are the audiobooks I have listened to and adored, as well as a couple I plan to listen to in the future.

 

C U R R E N T   F A V E S

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (BBC Radio 4) | I absolutely love both of these authors and was obsessed with this book in high school. I listened to the BBC Radio show to see if it held up, and it didn’t matter anymore because the cast is fantastic. It’s been a minute since I’ve listened to this one, but the fact that it includes a cast of characters, sound effects, and music was fantastic.

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris | This is a recommendation for anything by David Sedaris, really. He has a dry voice which works perfectly with his dry, humorous essays. Here’s an example of a story about his French class attempting to explain Easter to a Moroccan student in their limited French. My words can’t do him justice, so just listen to that clip to get the full effect. His narration brings his stories to life and I can’t read his physical books anymore without hearing his voice.

The Diviners by Libba Bray | Oooh this audiobook, man. It’s narrated by January LaVoy who gives every single character their own unique voice in a way that sometimes I would forget it was all the same narrator. The story takes place in 1920’s New York City with a diverse cast of characters, and I found myself using 20’s slang and accents while I was listening to this one

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | I’m not gonna lie, I picked this one up solely because I heard it was narrated by Christian Coulson, who I found out was the kid who played Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets. Such a cutie. And his voice worked perfectly for Monty.

 

P R E D I C T E D   L O V E S

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman | I tried listening to one of Neil Gaiman’s short story collections and got too busy to finish it. While I’ll probably go back to it eventually, I’ve been interested in mythology and Neil Gaimain also narrates this book. His book is so gravelly and nice and I love it.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher | I started this one last year and got too busy again, but here is another audiobook narrated by Carrie Fisher. The hour I listened to was extremely interesting, but pretty sad every time you remember it’s the last book she wrote before she and her mother died. I’m saving this one for a memoir day.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein (BBC Radio Drama) | Who would’ve thunk, it’s another BBC Radio Dramatization! I just love the in depth productions, particularly for these epic fantasy stories. I’ve been in a Lord of the Rings kick lately, and would love to re-read The Hobbit in a new way because I’ve been wanting to actually finish the trilogy. As a kid I read to about halfway through the Return of the King.

 

So there you have it! I hope you’ve discovered some audiobooks that piqued your interest and if you see any of your favorites please let me know! As always, any recommendations you may have are gladly accepted.

 

Book Blog Newbie Tag

I’m back! It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything. Oops! June is the busiest month and probably not the best time for a new blog. I have two weddings, my mom’s 50th birthday party, and a major cabin trip with friends. I literally have no weekends free until July. Is this what adulthood feels like? At any rate, I found this tag on hatterell’s blog. And on to the questions!

Why did you start this blog?

I would like to join the book community! I was in a major years-long reading slump and just last year discovered this amazing community. I’m falling back in love with reading and I’m trying to push myself into talking about it. Not very many of my irl friends read the same books I do, so here I am.

What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

My adorable cats! …I’m only partially joking. I hope to bring a fresh perspective on some amazing books, or at least to spread the love of reading and share my favorite books to my fellow bookworms

What are you most excited about for this new blog?

I am excited to build my corner of the internet. I have eventual personal plans (mostly dreams at this point) that I would like to work out on this blog. I’m also pumped to share my bookish art projects eventually!

Why do you love reading?

Why don’t I love reading? I love escaping and learning about people through reading.

What challenges about starting a book blog do you think will be the hardest to overcome?

Ugh, staying on schedule is definitely it. I’m trying to post at least once a week for now, but eventually I would like to set up a regular schedule and post on consistent days each week.

When did you start reading?

When I left the womb. My mother was always a huge reader and my father was the best storyteller. My dad had all the best voices and the best jokes. Most of the time he was too tired from his jobs to give us the full effect, but dad story night was the best night and that definitely shaped my love of reading.

Where do you read?

I don’t have a specific reading spot, but my favorite is to read in new places. I love to travel in the summer and I always have a book with me. Be prepared for some book/lake shots on Twitter! (I’m trying to do this whole social media thing)

What kind of books do you like to read?

Since I’ve been getting back into reading, this has changed quite a bit. My favorite genre will always be fantasy, it’s the closest to my heart. I’ve been trying to read more sci fi and I always end up reading raunchy romance instead. I also have the occcasional horror or thriller burst and do read the rare contemporary here and there. I have a soft spot for flowery language and genre-bending. If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know!

That’s it for the tag, but thank you for reading! I’m always welcome to any feedback or constructive criticism. Have a great day!

Book Lover’s Tag

I’m not sure where this tag came from, but I found it on this deserted blog. Let’s see how it goes.

Do you have a specific place for reading?

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Sort of! I created a cozy little reading nook near my bookshelves, but if I’m home I’m usually just reading in bed. My cats are super needy and this chair isn’t big enough for all of us.

Bookmarks or a random piece of paper?

A little bit of both. Sometimes I’ll use ticket stubs or flyers and keep them shoved in the book when I’m done. I have a mini collection of my mother’s old mass market paperbacks and there’s almost always a discarded piece of her history in each one.

Can you just stop anywhere or do you need to finish a chapter?

Anywhere. Doesn’t bother me where I stop and pick up.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

I’ll drink tea or water, but I’m not really a read and snack kinda girl. I’m usually too engrossed and forget I have a snack if I try. Also unless I’m using my eReader, I’m not coordinated enough to eat and prop open my book at the same time.

Music or TV while reading?

Do people watch TV while they read? I would get far too distracted. Music, yes. In fact, I like to create themed playlists based on the book I’m reading and whatever time period or mood it evokes.

One book at a time or several?

This also depends on my mood, though usually I have a novel, an eBook, and a graphic novel at the ready, depending on my mood/convenience factors. However, lately I’ve had a problem where I pick up and put down books far too easily, so I’ve been trying to crank through them instead. Pffft. Reading slumps.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I do my most sustained bouts of reading while traveling. I love to travel, but I’m a homebody, so books help me deal with the stress associated with travel. I like to read in different places so I can associate that book with those places.

Read out loud or silently?

Silently, though some poetry I do read out loud because it’s more helpful.

Do you read ahead or skip the pages?

I try not to unless I’m hating a book and want to check if it’s worth it to continue. Usually it’s not.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

How do people read without breaking the spine? I can’t get comfortable if my book isn’t flopped open in front of me. Anyway, I’m not too worried about keeping my books in absolutely pristine condition. I like them to have some love lines.

Do you write in your books?

Yes! I love personalized books. I want to get a traveling book going with my friends, but who knows if that will work out. I just love the idea of putting down your ideas and thoughts as you’re reading, which will then make your next reading experience different. And, as I’ve already established with the bookmarks, books are time capsules for me. They’re memories that you can share.

 

Yay! You made it to the end! Let me know what your answers are and whether you do this tag! Also if you know who originally created this tag, let me know. I could not for the life of me figure it out with my Google powers.

BookTube Made Me Read

Let’s kick this off with a Goodreads prompt! Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group that posts different topics to recommend books. This month, as per the title, concerns books that you picked up because of BookTube. I became a bit obsessed with BookTube once I found out it existed last year, so I devoured many books I recognized and could get my hands on. Here are a few of the books that I read and loved:

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T H E   R E G U L A R   N O V E L S

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore | This book was my first introduction to magical realism, which I decided I loved; or at least I decided I loved McLemore’s interpretation of it. I need more magical realism recommendations myself. This book lead me to devour her other book, The Weight of Feathers, and currently I have her newest, Wild Beauty, in my Book Outlet cart. That reminds me, I have some books to buy…

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcook| This book caused me to realize I love stories that tie a diverse cast of characters together. I love jumping between different character’s heads to understand what each one is experiencing.

T H E   G R A P H I C   N O V E L S

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson | BookTube made me fall back in love with graphic novels. This one, in particular, was the first one I picked up. It’s cute, funny, and perfect.

Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples | This series is a crowd favorite on BookTube and it makes sense. I’ve only read the first two volumes, but they’re addicting. The only thing preventing me from continuing is my need to have all the rest of the volumes available through my library so I can just binge the rest of the series.

Rat Queens by … | Now this one I’m not sure I recommend… even though it’s on a recommendations list. I love the first three volumes, but there’s a whole thing with the former artist who’s a douche-canoe and then they shadily fired his replacement… The fourth volume is lacking, to say the least. Maybe read this if you can get it from your library, and only the first three volumes.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris | Emil Ferris is a fucking queen. This graphic novel is a gorgeous story surrounding a kid in the 60s who is obsessed with pulp horror and goes on an adventure to solve a mystery; this is a very dumbed down summary. The art is beautiful and is made to look like the kid’s journal. 5/5 stars, totally recommend. This is the only book I actually remember the BookTuber who recommended it, so here’s Possibly Literate’s review that is probably more convincing than mine. Now go read it.

T H E   B O O K T U B E R S

Here are just a few BookTubers I consistently follow that may or may not have influenced this list. I will probably create a list in the future of all my favorite internet book people, so stay tuned.