Monthly Archives: July 2016

My Next Next Hold List

My South Carolina workcation is finally winding down – I should be driving home as this posts. And even though I still have 9 books left of the 27 I brought with me, I have already placed hold requests at my library for 20 additional books from my “Next Next Hold” list.

My main list, “Emma”, had over 300 books on it, so I added “Hold Nonfiction” and “Hold Next” to make things more manageable. Even after creating the two splinter lists, I still have over 200 books on “Emma”, so manageable is relative. “Hold Next” initially intended to do just what it says…until I realized I had too many books on it as well.  Thus, my “Next Next Hold” list was created. I will only put 10 books on that list (there are currently 20), and once those have all been requested, I will shuffle books from the other three lists onto it in a most likely unsuccessful attempt to get all lists under control.

Eclectic is again the name of the game for book selection. Some of the books are part of ongoing series (One Piece and Tokyo Ghoul on the manga side; The Rose and the Dagger on the YA novel side). Some books are ones my sister has told me I need to read (A Wild Swan: And Other Tales, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, and The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg). In the case of Dead Wake, not only my sister has admonished my lack of reading it, but three of my coworkers have as well.

tenth grave wild swan rose dagger night circus notorious RBG homecoming hot pterodactyl boyfriend infectious madness ink and bone ivory and bone
rook one piece omni 11 one piece omni 12 tokyo ghoul 6 tokyo ghoul 7
hex hall dead wake and i darken act of god across the universe

The Curse of the Tenth Grave – Charlie Davidson, her shenanigans, and attempts to save the world from Satan and various pan-dimensional gods
A Wild Swan – Psychological fairy tale retellings
The Rose and the Dagger – “Rescued” by her husband’s enemies: her family. Now what?
The Night Circus – Ill-fated, dueling magical lovers
Notorious RBG – Because my sister told me to read this book RIGHT NOW!
Homecoming – Multi-generational tale of two half-sisters
Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend – Need I say more?
Infectious Madness – Mental illness is caused by bacteria/viruses instead of genetics
Ink and Bone – The Library is the totalitarian gatekeeper of knowledge
Ivory and Bone – Prehistoric Pride & Prejudice
The Rook – Amnesiac secret agent dealing with supernatural threats
One Piece – The continued adventures of Monkey D. Luffy’s scrappy pirate crew
Tokyo Ghoul – Ghouls or humans: who are the monsters?
Hex Hall – Reform school for witches who mess up prom night spells
Dead Wake – The story of the Lusitania
And I Darken – If Vlad the Impaler was actually a 16 year old girl
Act of God – A heat wave, biblical rains, and a rampant mushroom infestation
Across the Universe – Dystopian mystery on a colonizing spaceship

 

June Reads

Being in South Carolina has had an impact on my reading. Twenty books in June as opposed to the 30+ of previous months. It’s still relative given the fact that most people (probably) don’t read even 20 books in a given month. Just think what my reading totals would be if I didn’t work…

Audiobooks (5)

off to be wizard witch's handbook Woodard_5.indd trigger warning scary mommy

Off to Be the Wizard was entertaining, especially if you game or play(ed) D&D. I liked it better than Master of Formalities, but not enough to read the rest of the Magic 2.0 series. The Republic of Pirates was also interesting, but not what I was expecting. It focused mostly on the lives of several men and their impact on Caribbean piracy, and not on Caribbean piracy as a whole. Though it could be argued that by focusing on these men, the whole was being examined. Neil Gaiman is as always awesome. Trigger Warning was beautiful, odd, and somewhat haunting. Multiple times I had to pause my phone in order to digest the story as it unfolded or finished. If All the Single Ladies and Spinster should be on all women’s TBR lists, Confessions of a Scary Mommy needs to be right there with them. Women face pressure to get married and have children. And once those children have arrived, to be a perfect, self-sacrificing mother. Motherhood is full of barf and judgement, and while we love our children, it is very hard to reconcile society’s expectations that we completely subsume our needs to those of our family’s. Scary Mommy shows the warts, embraces the warts, and tells you that it is normal to be an imperfect mother.

Novels (12)

rebel sands red queen star touched queen 1000 days dark alpha claim regional office court thorns court mist fury eligible idol weight of feathers beautiful bureaucrat

For most of the twelve books I read, I have only lingering impressions. I enjoyed both Rebel of the Sands and The Star-Touched Queen, and will read their sequels. The Star-Touched Queen had a darker feel to it, in that the love interest was not perfect and happy (think Cruel Beauty or A Court of Thorns and Roses). The Regional Office is Under Attack! was odd. I liked the premise of an elite assassin business being attacked by other elite assassins, but it took me until 2/3rds of the way through for the writing style to gel. A Court of Thorns and Roses is still a favorite, and given that it was my third time reading it, I noticed clues of foreshadowing that I hadn’t noticed before. A Court of Mist and Fury was amazing. Even better than ACOTAR, if that’s possible. Feyre started to come into her own, was encouraged to embrace herself and not allow herself to be shut into a preconceived box.  Sarah J. Maas has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite books, and Eligible did not disappoint. Both the plot and characters were cleverly transported to modern times, scathing wit intact. It is not as subtle as P&P, but then Austen’s wit has been watered down because we do not have the social understanding to catch all the snarkiness she puts forth.

Graphic (2)

something new rat queens 3

I’ve enjoyed Lucy Knisley’s other books, and her chronicle of her path to the altar in Something New was no less entertaining. I like that she shows both the ups and downs that surround weddings. Rat Queens, Vol 3: Demons was disappointing. The plot felt flimsy and incohesive. Nothing really happened; nothing really advanced. The Queens didn’t act like themselves. The illustration style also felt weird. Their features and body shapes were different enough to be somewhat jarring.

Children Read Alouds (1)

school for good evil

I ended up liking The School for Good and Evil more than I thought I would. I had issues with Sophie as a character until I realized what exactly was going on – good isn’t always good, evil isn’t always evil, and what looks like it should be one can end up being the other. I have no interest in reading the rest of the trilogy, so my daughter decided to listen to the rest of the books on audiobook.

 

Read Harder – June Progress

We switched things up in June – I read nothing, but my husband and sister managed to knock out some Read Harder books. We’re half way through the year with mixed progress. I have one book left (currently reading it – Orlando by Virginia Woolf). Sophia is about three quarters of the way through, and she’s on track to complete the challenge. Last year, she ended up being one book/task shy. My husband managed twelve books last year, and I don’t expect him to complete the challenge this year either. I do hope he reads more than last year’s twelve. Time and other distractions will tell.

On a positive note, we now have across the board completion of another task: #7 – Dystopian / post-apocalyptic. This puts us at five total completions. We had nine total last year. Again, time will tell if we can top that this year.

With out further ado:

Me 22/24
My Husband 8/24
Sophia 17/24

#7 – Dystopian / post-apocalyptic

passage

The Passage by Justin Cronin
(I managed to get two sentences out of him!)
I liked it. It was well-written and was a vivid world.

#10 – Book more than 500 pages long

court mist fury

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I ADORED this book.  I had to force myself to slow down so I could really savor the story, and it’s got me almost as emotionally wrecked as Harry Potter (early member of MuggleNet right here).  The first book (A Court of Thorns and Roses) was fantastic, but this one far surpasses it.  It’s beautifully written, the characters have fleshed out and grown, and the twists – so many twists and none of them pointless.  I try to limit the number of books I buy because money and tiny apartment, but this book earned the series a spot on my bookshelf.

#12 – Transgender author/MC

all the birds

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
This book was a fun read.  The wry humor made me smile, and I appreciated the blend of genres.  It takes place in our world and time (ish) with magic and science coexisting as a matter of fact, though not necessarily as general knowledge.  It was a quick, pleasantly weird read.

Husband’s Books: 2016 2nd Quarter

My husband’s second quarter reads are here! It is down a bit, but that’s because once the weather warmed up, he spent more time outside in the garden/hop yard. He also had a relatively short-lived addiction to playing Roller Coaster Tycoon on the iPad. His reading choices all managed to reflect his trifecta of science nonfiction, Native American history, and (translated) science fiction. As is normal, getting anything out of him regarding his thoughts are near impossible. I know he loved Sapiens because he made me watch the corresponding TED Talk video and then told me to read the book. He intends to finish The Passage trilogy, so I take that as a vote of confidence for the series (and the books fit multiple Read Harder categories, so added bonus!). He also likes Yoss’ books. Where I’m a sucker for a good romance novel, he’s a sucker for translated science fiction.

sapiens animal wise dataclysm little bighorn
passage super extra grande superfreakonomics

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotion of our Fellow Creatures by Virginia Morrell
Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder
The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History by Joseph M. Marshall III
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Super Extra Grande by Yoss
Superfreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner