Friday, September 15, 2017

Clear A Shelf - October 2017

This is the third time I’m doing a month – long challenge to focus on books that I already own.

Here’s the wrap up post from last time, which shows my meager success and includes how the others did, as well. 

I have decided to do it all again for October!

This time I am determined to not check out any additional books from the library through this month in order to be in a good place for the challenge.

I have changed no rules. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bout of Books 20: Recap Post

This, as expertly indicated in the title of the post, is my recap post for Bout of Books 20!! 

And here's the link to the master post with running updates if you are so inclined. [And Here]

I read some thing every single day, which I think is part of the goal of the Bout. I did a couple of chats and cheered on my fellow bouters on twitter! I'm definitely looking forward to the next one and hope that it doesn't take me a year to get back to the fun!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bout of Books 20: Challenge - Synopsis Rewrite

Interesting challenge, technically for yesterday but I forgot to check: Rewrite a book synapses from a different characters POV #synopsisrewritebob20

I’ll do The Girls, which I just finished.
The book is originally told from the point of view of Evie, a girl from a dairy town in California whose grandmother was a semi-famous actress. Her life is mostly boring and she’s ready to shake things up. When she falls in love with a young woman, Suzanne, who is already in the upper echelon of a "cult," Evie is sucked into a whole different life. She's not used to attention or having her own needs met in any thoughtful way. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bout of Books 20: Master Post

It’s been over a year since I’ve done a Bout, which definitely seems too long. I haven't done any in 2017, yet! WTAF!? I’m planning to invade all the twitter chats, stalk the hashtag, and root for my twitter peeps anyway, so I might as well sign up. Here it is, then. The sign up post! This is the master post that I will update, theoretically on a daily basis. 
I have a number (about 9) books checked out from the library that I want to get done with. I don't think I'll get through all nine but my plan is to focus on those first. Of course, I might change my mind completed tomorrow. I'm whimsical like that.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Card Catalog: The Book AND The Experience

The Book
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by the Library of Congress –

This book takes you through the history and evolution of the card catalog. Apparently, people were attempting to catalog their books using cuneiform! And one early iteration used playing cards because of their uniform size and shape. This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine who is a librarian. She was super excited about it. I can’t say that I was quite as excited but it was really interesting. There are tons of pictures of early catalog cards and original books covers for classic books. I'm using this book for my non-fiction book about technology for the Read Harder challenge

The Experience
I recently purchased an old catalog cabinet from a lady on Craiglist. My kickass daughter helped me get it into the house. Praise the universe for whoever decided to put it on wheels, otherwise it would be an outdoor card catalog. I am in the process of refreshing the stain and glossing the drawers. I shoulda just left it as it was because it has 69 drawers! (three were broken, thank god)

The book definitely inspired me to keep working on my cabinet for a while longer when I was running out of steam. I’m looking forward to figuring out what the hell I’m going to do with it. So is hubbo.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mini-Reviews: We Are Okay and You're Welcome, Universe

Here’s a wee post on a couple of cute little slice- of- life books I’ve read recently. They both feature diverse protagonists that aren’t trying to be diverse. They are just being teens/ young adults and trying to live their lives.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Series Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Ok, yall know that there is no way that I’m going to remember which events happened in which one of these books so proceed with caution knowing that it’s possible I will spoil something. However! I am going to try to talk broadly and briefly about the series as a whole.
The Daughter of Smoke and Bones series is a completed trilogy by Laini Taylor. I think that the author has a well- deserved reputation for her vivid writing and world building. She takes the time to paint a picture in your mind without being

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July Recap, Part 2: Shows

It might seem a little early for a July wrap up post, it’s only the 26th. But I figured I would write it while the mood was upon me. And I’m going to split it up a little between books I’ve read (posted yesterday) and shows I’ve seen. So this is part 2 – Shows!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July Recap, Part 1: Books

It might seem a little early for a July wrap up post, it’s only the 26th. But I figured I would write it while the mood was upon me. And I’m going to split it up a little between books I’ve read and shows I’ve seen. So this is part 1 – Books! (The other one will be about theatre. duh) 

So, let me tell you about what I've been reading.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Three on a Theme: Books I Recently Cried Over

Alright! Three books for when you feel the need to wipe tears off your face. I would say that these books, like all books, probably hit people in very different ways depending on their own lives. For each, I had overwhelming needs to stop reading and text my children.

I've also noticed that for myself, an adult who often reads YA, I tend to notice the adults (and their behavior) in a story much more so that I actively attended to as a younger reader. And I really think about how important it is to have good adult representation in books.

Speaking of, they each get a wee #WNDB sticker from me!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Best MG/YA of 2017 So Far! (Top Ten Tuesday)

It’s about that time for a mid-year check in! Of course, its almost the end of June and it’s unbelievable how fast the year has gone already. But doesn’t everyone say that? Isn’t it really funny how we are always just so shocked at how time passes…

But I digress.

So, this post is going to be about the best books I’ve read so far in 2017. By coincidence, that’s the topic for Top Ten Tuesday so I’ll see if I can get to ten of them and that will be two proverbial dead birds!

I was going to do a combined Adult/YA list, but I had 10 YA favorites. I’ll do a short list of adult fiction/ nonfiction for tomorrow. (update: I didn't do an adult post.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What I've Been Reading (Outbox June 21)

I’ve only done one blog post this month. I basically suck. I would say that there’s been more time to write than usual I just haven’t had really anything to blog about. Is this that rut thing that people keep talking about?

I signed up for a Blog Hop challenge with Herding Cats and failed miserably! I didn’t make it all the way through the participants twice, which was the goal. Boooooo to me!

These are the books I’ve managed to get under my belt since the last outbox post. It was a Mixed Feelings post about If I Was Your Girl. I enjoyed all of these for very different reasons and none of them gave me to Big Feels. But this wouldn't be the first evidence that I'm a robot. 
I'll be honest. I wasn't really been blown away by any of them, but I think that is partly because of The Slump. I think my brain is turning to jelly due to Disney Emoji Blitz! It's taken over all the room that Candy Crush had in my brain. I also just discovered Angry Birds Blast. So. I'm utterly screwed. 

These are the books I am kinda mostly reading. Both After the Woods and The Amateurs are left overs from Teen Book Fest and I'm not sure I really want to read them. Both are "someone is dead or missing and we have to figure stuff out" books. Actually, Frog Music is, too! URGH! This list might be changing immediately. 
Frog Music has been on my TBR for a while. I wish that I hadn't read that it was loosely based on a true story. I swear, there are no other words that can kill a book (or movie) buzz for me faster than "Based on a True Story." Maybe I just don't like my fact and fiction to be so obviously mixey. Maybe, I'm a weirdo. Whatever.

Related Links:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mixed Feelings: When the author has a "past"

So I had a bit of a crisis of character while reading If I Was Your Girl. While looking for confirmation that this was an #ownvoices book (it is), I ran across a couple of news articles about the author. According to the articles,  (prior to transition I think) was accused of assaulting and abusing her wife at the time and there was a restraining order.

Now, here’s the thing.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Recap, in Pictures!

Jeez. When was the last time I did a wrap up post? Perhaps this is a whole new leaf I’m turning over! Just kidding.

I don’t really want to do a whole recap post… so here’s a barrage of pictures!! I might come back and break this up into smaller bite- size pieces… but probably not.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mini-Reviews: Behind Closed Doors and The Girl on the Train (Book Club Picks)

Already The Girl on the Train and Behind Closed Doors are mingling in my mind and they are not even that similar. It would be hard for me to really talk about them without giving away the stories as they are both psych-thrillers and I have a big-ass mouth with loose boundaries.

I’ll just say that they are probably both good for Book Club options because there are characters with questionable behaviors which always spark those "Bad things for the right reasons and good things for the wrong reasons" discussions. It always ends with everyone feeling a little superior. Neither are good options if one of your book club goals is to read about a non- white person. Or to like men. Either way, add wine.

Friday, May 12, 2017

RocTBF Mini-Reviews: Fat Angie and Melt

Two more books read for #MissionRocTBF! I already know I'm not gonna hit my goal AGAIN this year but I'm just gonna keep on keeping on.

Books in this post:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Broadway to Books - Kinky Boots

SO glad to be finally doing this post. It was super hard! But I really wanted to do one of these posts for ... ::drum roll::

Kinky Boots is an excellent musical about a man who is about to lose his father’s shoe factory and is looking for a new "niche market." He befriends a drag queen who tells him that it’s hard for the ladies at the club to find good shoes that can support their unique needs. Connection and hijinks, including having to deal with some of the more small minded of the factory workers. Cindy Lauper wrote the music and there are two VERY strong, touching songs (like Hold Me in Your Heart) that I listen to ::SING LOUDLY TO:: on repeat. Then there are a bunch of regularly strong songs, including some shake your booty songs like Sex is in the Heel.

There’s only one song I skip on the soundtrack. That’s high praise, y'all! The musical is fun and upbeat, though there are sad parts, and ends on a high note.

Now, none of these books are obvious choices. Obvious choices would be books about drag queens, right? Honestly, I haven't read a lot of books about drag queens, per se. Let’s skip the obvious and look for themes of family and self- acceptance, shall we? We shall:

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mini-Reviews Everything Leads to You and The Outsiders

Quick little post to tell you about a couple of awesome YA books that I’ve read recently.

One was for TBF 2017
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour:
This book is about a senior in high school who has been working on the movie sets as part of her summer internship. She and her best friend discover a letter written by a famous dead movie star and start following clues from it to figure out the mystery of his life. I might be making it sound lame, but this book was well- written, charming, and emotionally satisfying. I’m excited to hear Ms. LaCour talk about the book a the book festival in a few days. The author that I will be working with that day is presenting with Ms. LaCour so I will be all up in her kool-aid all day! 

One was a Classic I thought I had Read
The Outsiders by H.E. Hinton: This book turned 50 years old this year and was originally written when Hinton was only 16 years old. It’s a coming of age tale (whatever the fuck that is) about a 14 year old boy who lives on the rough side of town, dodges fists, and almost drowns. And then, bad stuff happens. I knew it was coming and I almost decided not to finish the book to avoid it, but no. I hung in there. There are many great quotes about life and the interesting ways in which the social classes are different, but so-much-the same. Stay gold, y'all. This might be a challenged book, which makes it count for Read Harder.

Challenge Links:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I discovered Neal Shusterman because of TBF, I think. Or maybe I discovered him right before a TBF several years ago. Either way, I definitely met him at a TBF and he is one of my author boyfriends. He doesn’t know that, so mums the word. Anyway, Mr. Shusterman wrote one of my favorite series (Unwind) and one of my favorite YA stand-alones (Bruiser). His previous book Challenger Deep was a good book but not my favorite so I was hesitant to jump into Scythe for fear that this would be author-hero-letdown. BUT NO! It’s definitely got the deep-if-you-think-about-it political commentary that I loved from Unwind along with his usual swept away in the story OH MY GOD WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT piece. Mr. Shusterman doesn’t shy away from the feels and I’m glad I forged ahead.

Oh, maybe I should actually mention something about the book. Duh.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review: The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

I got this book from a YA box subscription that I didn't really want. So, maybe I'm salty about that. But I don't think so. I might also be done with over-done tropes. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's just jump in:

The Goodreads bit:
"For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father's shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X." ...[Go to Goodreads page]

My Two Cents:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written a review. It was almost two months ago! I’m not sure that I know how to write one… bear with me.

The Goodreads Mumbo Jumbo:

"Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner..." [go to Goodreads]

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dewey's April 2017 - Sign Up Post

Okey Dokey,
I signed up for Deweys Readathon for this Satruday. I have lots of other things scheduled but I’ll shove some books in- between. I'm thinking I might get about 12-14 hours in. I've got two shows that I am in on Saturday and one show that I am doing the merchandise table for. It's 42nd Street, so I actually want to watch it. There goes 3.5 hours down the non- reading drain right there! On Sunday I have book club and then the final public for for Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. So, I can't really be up for the whole 24 hours.

Audiobooks are a busy-readathon-day must, y’all! I'll have one running through all commutes and set up, etc.

Readthon TBR:
This is a loosely goosely list because I might ditch this plan and read a bunch of other stuff. But, I hope to read at least four books so my list includes a couple of with are nibbles of novels, as Becky calls them [link].
  • Radio Silence by Alyssa Coles: for Read Harder
  • Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris: For book club
  • The House of Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros: It’s been on my TBR for a while and I own it.
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (audiobook)
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk (audiobook)

Currently Reading:
Before Saturday I plan to finish my two currently in progress books.  If all things go well, I will end April right at my goal of having read 10 books per month. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

RocTBF2017: Books I Already Read

This will be my third year trying to read one book from each RocTBF author. I’m just dropping this little post as a shout out to the authors that I have already read who will be participating this year. I have discovered some awesome books. In fact, the reason I keep failing my own challenge is because I get caught up reading multiple books by the same author, rather than moving on down the list.

Previously Read
Any Strong Feelings?

"Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, book 1)""The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, book 2)" 
I talked about Book 1 for days.

"Fall From Grace" and "You".

Both books were awesome.

I think I don’t like this time period?

 "The Blood Between Us ""Cemetery Boys""Eighth Grade Bites” Books 1 – 5, I think
This is an author I go back and forth about.

"Undertow: Undertow Series (Book 1)"
"The Fairy-Tale Detectives: The Sisters Grimm”
Love both series so far.

 "Burned", Smoke
I was surprised at how much I loved Burned.

"Reality Boy""Ask the Passengers"
"Dust of 100 Dogs".
"I Crawl Through It"
Ask the Passengers was a must read. I Crawl Through it was SUPER confusing.

"Every Day" 
This is a wonderful book, but I’m scared to read the second one.

“A Court of Thorns and Roses”

"Dorothy Must Die” Trilogy
One of my favorite retellings.

"Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe" 
I didn’t love it as much as the internet told me I would. But I did like it a lot.

"Stuck in Neutral"
I was so pissed off about the ending!

Related Posts:  My Other Current Book Challenge

Friday, April 21, 2017

RocTBF2017 - Running Post

It’s an absolute travesty that I have yet to post about the 2017 Rochester Teen Book Festival. What is my life, yall?

RocTBF is an annual event focused on… yes… young adult literature. It’s grown into a massive event with over 2000 teens and 300 volunteers. This will be my fifth year volunteering I think.

So, for the last couple of years, I’ve tasked myself with having read at least one book by each author who will be there by the day of the festival. This can include books that I previously read. Ya know, the beauty of giving yourself a challenge is that you can basically change the rules when you realize that you were over- ambitious!

I’ve never actually met the goal completely,  though 2015 was NOT MY FAULT!!
So, this year, there are 28 (AAAHH) authors scheduled to attend. For the last couple of years, at least one or 2 authors have to cancel at that the last minute but you can’t predict who it’ll be! So... here's the running list/ progress (updated 5/13):

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What I've Been Reading (Outbox 4/03)

I started this post thinking that I was going to do a full March wrap-up post. But then I remembered that I did a random outbox post a couple of weeks ago. So, I guess this is just another one of those for the last part of March. Basically, my previous plan for what I usually post has gone to shit (and when was the last time I did one of my feature posts!?), but you'll have to just bear with me, folks. 

Once again, we've got a bit of book highlights and a bit of lamenting/ rejoicing about a show I'm in.