Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Goals 2015 Part II

Where the hell is 2015 running off to!? I took on a couple of extra things at work which I think is totally damaging my JOY DE VEE.

I've been thinking about my reading goals for the rest of the year. I completed my Goodreads challenge goal of 1 book per week. I haven't changed the initial number like I did last year. Honestly, I think that sometimes I focus too much on the number. So I've decided there are a couple of non-book-number specific goals. For example:

I'm still working on the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge. I've basically just been hoping that the books I read will magically fit into the categories. It's worked for 16 categories so far. Of course, this is also that strategy that has lead me to be 2 books short for each of the last 14 books in 4 months challenges that I've done. But I'm nothing if not a person who likes to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over and over... 

I also want to:

  1. Re-read the Harry Potter series
  2. Read at least the first Outlander book
  3. Read all the books from the Book Riot YA Quarterly Boxes that I get (I've read 0 of 5, so far.)
  4. Considering a "read the whole shelf challenge" with a bedside bookshelf of mine

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mediocrity on Fleek (14n4 Spring 2015 Book Challenge Recap)

My 14 books in 4 months book challenge is coming to a close. I didn't hit the goal this time, either! Apparently, 12 is my sweet spot. I read well over the 14 books but I have a hard time focusing on the categories until the last month. Plus, the first month of the challenge overlapped with my TBF2015 Challenge, which I also ended one book short. Maybe "almost made it" is going to be my thing.

The important thing is that Nicole cowers in the face of my superiorness in regards to reading challenges. As expected.

Highlights from the challenge (that I haven't already mentioned in other posts, which are linked):

Throne of Glass was a surprise hit, because I wasn't expecting it to be that great. Partially this is because of the amount of hype it gets, but I guess sometimes the masses know what they're talking about. I guess.

Jurassic Park was SOO GOOD. And I love the movie... Apparently, the appropriate formula is Movie Then Book; Book Then Movie makes me slightly stabby.

How to Build a Girl is a great audio book. I laughed like an idiot on some parts.

I'm not counting Story of a Happy Marriage. I haven't finish it either way, but it's also not quite self help. It's a collection of essays that Ann Patchett wrote about becoming a writer. It's good. I'll definitely get back to it.

Read a book from one of the US banned book lists.

The basis for a movie that you have already seen.
Jurassic Park -
Michael Creighton
A graphic novel (or trade paperback).
That you already own but have never read.
Throne of Glass -
Sarah J. Maas
That was recently selected by a local library for book discussion.
With a character that has your first name.
Delicious Foods -
James Hannaham
Set in the decade you were born.
Rachel Joyce
In one calendar day. (Must be at least 150 pages long)
Crash Into You -
Katie McGarry
Set in a place you’ve never been but want to visit.
How to Build a Girl - Caitlin Moran
Written by an author of a different racial, religious or ethnic background that you are.
The Living -
Matt de la Pena
A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
Written by someone when they were under the age of 25
White Teeth -
 Zadie Smith
A retelling of a classic story (e.g., fairy tale, Shakespeare, classic novel, etc)
Scarlett -
AC Gaughen
A self- improvement book
**Story of a Happy Marriage (in progress)-
Ann Patchett

Monday, July 20, 2015

So Many Books, So Much Paperwork (Outbox July 20, 2015)

I must be really busy at work, because I've read a lot lately. I tend to use reading as a way to not do work things... or maybe as a distraction... whatever. On the other hand, many of these really do deserve their own, better review (maybe, I'll do that... unlikely) rather than my usual summary outpost list. So, maybe I was also able to read a lot because I was reading a lot of good stuff. That makes them just fly by!
Books, flying by... (from:

I continue to LOVE LOVE LOVE The Ascendance Trilogy novels by Jennifer Nielson. I think I expressed my disagreement that these are "middle grade" books when I posted about the first one. Again, I have no idea how these things are decided. This one had less torture, so maybe it's for elementary kids!! Adventure, fun, and oh so many feels. Also, it makes me realize that as much as the romance, kissy kissy stuff annoys me in books, I totally miss it when it's missing... of course, I think the kids in this book are 14... so, there really is no rush to the sucking face scene, I guess. 

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty was a book pick for Book Club. I liked it more than I thought I would. It's about a lady who gets a bump on her head and totally forgets the last ten years of her life, which happens to include the birth of her children, her impending divorce, and what a total bitch she has become.

Dime! OMG. Heartbreaking. I wish it was farther from real life. 

Here's the review I posted on Goodreads for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: " Walk, walk walk; think, think, think. Reflect, regret, recycle." It wasn't bad. The stars means that I like it. meh. This was another book club pick. I think it will lend itself well to discussion... so, if that's what you're going for...  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Requested Recommendations: Laura (Page Turners)

This is a list of recommendations for someone who asked me to recommend a couple of books for them. She likes happy endings, though occasional tears are ok. Realistic fiction or nonfiction. She reads about one book a year and wants something "good" and "meaningful." No pressure, right?

The Rosie Project: This one has gotten a lot of press as a good book club pick. It's the story of a scientist who is developing a questionnaire to find his perfect match while simultaneously trying to help a new friend find her father. The main character reminds almost everyone of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. Apparently, it is or is soon going to be a movie.

They Cage the Animals at Night: This book is a tear- jerker. A young boy in the foster system is the main character of this survival memoir. There are many moments of hope. Apparently, they make middle school children read this in some schools. Why, though? I feel like kids would totally miss the good parts. The writing isn't perfect but it really works. It was great.

The First Phone Call from Heaven: What happens to a small town that starts recieving phone calls from heaven? And are the calls even real? bum bum buummmm.

Going through my recent books has really shown me how few "happy" books I read. Maybe that's why I'm so sour!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Books in Progress: Zombies and Douches

Stop me if you've heard this one: I always have two books going. Usually, it's a "regular" book and an audiobook that I listen to in the car rather than morning radio. Does anyone else think that morning radio is from the devil? No? Just me, then? Ok.

I rarely use my Kindle. I really just prefer an actual book. But also, the page split is weird and makes it seem like the books are so much longer. For example, one of the books I'm reading now is 302 pages in real life but 4695 pages as an ebook. It know it's all just psychological and they each have the same number of words, but it's different!! Ok!?

Anyways, here's what's in progress right now:

Everything I Know about Zombies I Learned in Kindergarten by Kevin Wayne Williams. This is the apocalypse story from the voice of a 9-year-old girl Leticia. This books is the #BlerdBookClub book for June. Discussion is on Sunday, and my library system doesn't have it, so I didn't have time to order the paperback in time. I've just started it and it's pretty intense, so far. It just immediately into the action of dead people and body parts.

I am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum. This is my audiobook. I basically love every audiobook with a foreign accent so it's right up my shallow- ass alley in that regard. This is a story of Richard, a dude who's in love with his mistress who dumps him just as his wife finds out about the affair. The whole thing is really Rich trying to "fall back into love" with a wife who is brilliant, funny, hot, French, successful, and a wonderfully attentive wife and mother. In most parts of the book, Richard comes off as a dick. (heheh, see what I did there?) But really, he's a human trying to figure out himself and how to be less of a douche. I can't wait to get to the end to see what happens with his wife. Because, puh-lease, Richie. You DONE!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I think I used to be a cool kid... (Outbox July 3, 2015)

I was at home for the evening when I realized there were still two hours left for the library to be open. You would have thought I was a kid going to the damn fair the way I jumped up and hot tailed it up here. I really am a nerd. Sometimes I surprise even me.

June is over and done with. Does anyone else feel like the months are just flying by!? Maybe it's just me...

Check out this righteous new t-shirt I got for the 4th. I nerd hard, y'all.

I've read 9 books since my last #outbox post.

The surprise hit of June, well, one of them, was The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson. It's always easier to be pleasantly surprised. Maybe my expectations were just low. This book was "recommended" to me by the Overdrive app. I Loved. It. It's about a young orphan who is forced into a sinister political plot. The title sort of gives the plot away. However, the story is interesting enough that all the expected happenings are compelling and interesting. This really is some YA at it's best, though I think it's actually meant to be middle grade... even with the torture, and stuff? I don't know who comes up with these classifications. Anyway, though. Unfortunately, the second installment (yep, trilogy) isn't available through Overdrive. I had to request it through the library the old fashioned way. Which I did. Immediately.

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld made my Must Reads list. Apparently a recent theme for me has been prison-life as I recently read The Walls Around Us (EXCELLENT) and am currently reading Orange is the New Black. Delicious Foods (REALLY GOOD) might also count within the theme. Anyway, The Enchanted is told primarily from the point of view of a death row investigator and an inmate. It was beautiful and haunting and depressing and wonderful.

You by Charles Benoit would have gotten a bump up in stars if the ending wasn't one of these "but then what!?" sort of things. It's not as bad as Living in Neutral by Terry Trueman which almost sent me over the edge... but, let me not digress. And RAGE AROUND THIS LIBRARY.