Books

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R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI

Hey yo, look whose blogging!

Carl’s darkly delightful R.I.P. Challenge started on September 1st and runs through Halloween and I’m joining in! Carl describes RIP as:

“…a quest to bring a community of readers together to enjoy the literature most associated with the darkening days and cooling temperatures of Autumn:

Mystery
Suspense
Thriller
Gothic
Horror
Dark Fantasy”

I’m all about some autumn reading. I’ll be participating in several of the “perils.”

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This peril is to read four books in the above genres (genre is loosely applied here). I present my RIPXI List:

  • Eyes on the Island by Frank Reddy
  • Suspension of Mercy by Patricia Highsmith
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

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I’ll be dipping into The Virago Book of Ghost Stories and The Thing on the Doorstep by H.P. Lovecraft to get my short story fix.

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I haven’t watched a blasted movie or TV show in ages. Let’s see here, I’ll try to watch at least three creepy things. I need to determine what I want to watch. There will certainly be some vintage horror in there.

Let me know if you’re joining in the spooky fun and what you have on your RIP list! 

 

 

 

readerlyramblescanva

Readerly Rambles: 25 July 2016

There’s still a week left of July, but I already feel the need to look at my July reading and start making a pile for August.

#24in48I had plans to participate in the 24in48 readathon and I guess you could say I did participate. I got about four hours of reading done, which was enough to get me into a book and bust my reading slump. I’m declaring that a success!

What I read: Considering I had major life disruptions July was a fairly good reading month. This month I read:

  1. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 
  2. Blind Huber: Poems by Nick Flynn
  3. The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath
  4. The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, A Wedding in St. Roch, The Big Box Store, The Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All by C.D. Wright
  5. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

What’s in Progress: I’m wrapping up July with a graphic novel, Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer, and a classic, The Wind in the Willows. Seven books total for July. Not too shabby.

What’s Up Next: Ye Olde TBR for August

I’m only putting four books on my list because A Clash of Kings is huge and August is an odd back-to-school flurry of activity. In addition I plan on reading one to three poetry collections (depending on how things go) and I like to play fast and loose when picking poetry books.

Let me know what you enjoyed reading in July and if there is anything I should add to my radar for August (or later). 

Happy Reading!

 

Loving

What I’m Loving: 18 July 2016

Now it’s time to focus on some things I’m loving in life. I’ve pulled some my favorites from the past few weeks.

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Friendship: This is my sister-from-another-mister, Shannon. A few weeks ago we had an introvert day (together). We enjoyed great conversation, delicious food, book shopping, and – of course – coffee.

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Books: I haven’t read a book in about a week, but this is the delicious stack I picked up when I was out with Shannon.

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Editor Cat: I’ve enjoyed sneaking in some time to write (maybe one day I’ll actually be in print) and I couldn’t do it with out my intrepid editor cat, Beau.

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Introverting: I didn’t get much time to myself last week  and I’ve decided that this week will be my week to cherish every single minute of solitude I can scrounge up. Obviously my favorite way to introvert is with book, cat, and coffee.

Dresses: I need to remember that I feel better when I dress up. You cannot see my wicked boots in the second picture, but click here for a glimpse.

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Sam: He holds down the fort when I grieve, he let’s me sleep in after a bad night, he brews me coffee, and he gives the best damn bear hugs.

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Athens, Georgia: Because that place is filled with nerds of the best sort.

Let me know what you’re loving this week! 

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#BBAW: Day 1, Introductions

I’m so excited about Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I’ve met some of my dearest, sweetest friends through blogging.

Today’s topic is to introduce myself by telling you about five books that represent me as a person or my interests/lifestyle.

Let’s get started!

no matter what

This has to be one of my favorite children’s books. No Matter What is about a parent’s ability to love their child endlessly… no matter what. I have three kids; Hope will be 16 this Friday, Atticus is five, and Persephone (Persy Jane) is three. I believe that children should be treated with respect and be allowed to express their emotions. You can never spoil a child by loving them, listening to them, and letting their creativity and imagination grow.

belljar

I’ve read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath at least a dozen times (probably more). I’ve adored Plath since age 12, but my thoughts and opinions on this book, her poetry, and her life have matured as I’ve grown. As a burgeoning feminist in my teens this book opened my eyes to sexism and patriarchal oppression, in my twenties I had my first major depressive episode and the descriptions of the protagonist’s symptoms mirrored my own and I felt not quite so alone, and now in my thirties I respect The Bell Jar as a darkly humorous novel by a brilliant author. The Bell Jar represents me as a feminist, a mental illness sufferer, and a snark-loving bookish gal.

quiet

Now for a non-fiction title! I’ve always been an introvert, but I can be gregarious on social media, in writing, and with small groups of friends. If I truly believe in a cause you’ll also have a problem getting me to shut up! I appreciate solitude and quiet moments and I am a better human when I can have time to recharge. Susan Cain’s advocacy for introversion is remarkable and this book is illuminating for introverts and extroverts.

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I devoured Among Others last autumn. The protagonist in the novel, Morwenna, adores science fiction novels. I, actually, have not read much science fiction. I picked this book because it is chock full of magical realism, book adoration, and library love. I’ve worked in a small academic library for almost a dozen years and for most of my time here I’ve managed interlibrary loan services. Interlibrary loan plays a large role in Among Others and my favorite quotation from this book is, “Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilization.”

jane

Picking the last book for this list has been extremely difficult. I ADORE Victorian literature and I had a difficult time picking one title. I decided to pick Jane Eyre because it was the first Victorian novel I read that sent me on a mission to devour all the 600+ page Victorian sagas with ferocity. Other Victorian books I love include Bleak House by Charles Dickens, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, Middlemarch by George Eliot, and many more titles. If you’re having a read-along, want a reading buddy, or simply want to talk Victorian tomes, then I’m your lady.

I cannot wait to meet more book bloggers this week. Let me know in the comments if any of these books “represent” you. Pour yourself some coffee or tea and let’s chat!

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2015 Reads, Bout of Books, and 2016 Reading Challenges

I have gobs of bookish activity to catch up on; let’s get right to it!

2015 Reads:

I read 47 books in 2015 and fell just 10% of my goal of 52 books. I was a little bit bummed, but then I checked my stats and this is the most I’ve read since 2010. In other words, I had Atticus in late October and my reading promptly took a dip in numbers. In 2011 I read 43 books, in 2012 I read 42 books, in 2013 I read 29 books, and in 2014 I read 38 books. Yay! I’ve set the goal to read 52 books this year. I was going to pick a smaller number, but I’ve decided against graduate school (that’s a topic for another post) and I should have time for reading this year.

My top seven books of the year (not including re-reads) are:

  1. Among Others by Jo Walton
  2. The Quick by Lauren Owen
  3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  4. The Children’s Book by A S Byatt
  5. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

A few other stats with some interecting numbers:

  • I read 15 classics (published prior to 1960)
  • I read 11 rereads
  • I read 11 graphic novels
  • I read 7 Viragos
  • I read 4 non-fiction titles
  • I read 8 young adult books

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Bout of Books

 

Bout of Books
I decided to start 2016 out with a bang and readathon with the Bout of Book folks. My goal is to read 700 pages. I’m on vacation this week, so as long as no small children get ill (cross your fingers) I should be able to accomplish this. The page number goal will give me a chance to dip into big classic novels and read graphic novels, smaller books, and YA. Keepin it fresh, yo.
I’ll be posting my Bout of Books updates on Twitter and Instagram, but will be sure to do a big wrap-up next week.
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2016 Reading Challenges:
I always swear I won’t do these, but I’m a glutton for punishment.
First up is Andi’s #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks Challenge
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My goal is to read 24 books from my stacks (i.e. already owned) and then read others from the library. I’m going on a book buying ban until my birthday at the end of April. I’m determining how much I can buy on my birthday by what I read. $2 for every book from my stacks read and $1 for each library book. Yes, I’ll still be buying books. I just need to get rid of the willy nilly book buying and stick to a budget.
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I’ll be shooting for completing 12 graphic novels or comics this year.
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My goal is to complete 9 of the 12 categories. Of course one classics challenge wasn’t enough for me. I also signed up for Becky’s Victorian Bingo Challenge. For Becky’s challenge I need to read five books from five different categories.
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I don’t really have set lists for either classics challenge. I already know I will be pulling from my stacks for most of the books. A couple books I am especially eyeing include Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley, Wilkie Collins No Name, Trollope, Dickens, and some Virago titles.
Not really a challenge, but a side read is O’s readalong of The Pickwick Papers.
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I’ve tried my damnedest to read this novel in the past and it just falls short for me. I’m hoping reading it by the publication schedule will help.
Speaking of O’s challenges, since I already love Brit Lit so much I decided (just now as a matter of fact) to participate in her Reading England Challenge.
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My goal is to read at least 3 different counties. I decided to participate because I realize I tend to not pay attention to where books are set in England. I tend to smoosh all of it together. This will at least allow me to read with more awareness and less generalizing of British places.
One last challenge! Ali is hosting a #WoolfAlong this year.
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My goal is to read some of Woolf’s shorter fiction and a non-fiction book about her.
That does it for challenges next year. I may throw some more readalongs and readathons in the mix!
Happy 2016 reading, y’all!

Snapshot Saturday (On a Sunday)

snapshotsaturdaysnapshot_monstersThis weekend was rad. Giant book sale, but showed great restraint and only bought $7 worth of books. Out with my good friend Catherine for thrifting, Ikea dinner, Of Monsters and Men, and coffee. Atticus played Readathon this weekend. He piled his books in the tent and then handed them to me with a cup of coffee.

On to a new week!