bout of books sign-up post!!!

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It’s! That! Time! Again!!

Friends, lovers, enemies, etc…it’s time again for another Bout of Books! Bout of Books is a week-long readathon that runs at various times during the year. Bout of Books 22 is going to be held from May 14-20. Personally, I always use BoB to get ahead on my reading and to encourage myself to read more than usual, and I hope I’ll knock a few books off my TBR list with this round as well. Generally, I try to stick with some shorter books so I can read more, and I usually pick a specific number of books as a goal, but I think “read as much as possible” is a good goal for this round since I’m still adjusting to New Life Things.

Here are some of the books I am contemplating reading for Bout of Books:

*just noticed that the majority of these books have the bisexual colors (blue, pink, and purple) on them. I must be feeling extra bisexual currently or something.

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April in Review // a few disasters and bad mental health

Ugh, April has been…the worst month so far since I moved probably. It’s the most depressed I’ve been, the most disasters happened, and overall just not good. I managed to get into two car disasters (the car is fine and I am fine and actually my wallet is pretty fine, but emotionally, I AM NOT FINE) in one day, one of which was my tire blowing out on the highway, and the other I got into an accident pulling out of the auto center after getting said tire replaced. It took a huge toll on me emotionally and I’ve just been beating up the crap out of myself for it. I also got in trouble at work because I’ve been sick a lot because I’ve had problems with nausea for about a year, and the only answer my old doctor at home gave me was that it’s because I’m fat and stressed (but mostly because I’m fat).

I guess a couple good things happened. I saw friends a few times. I’ve especially been reconnecting with someone I was really close to my freshman year of college, which has been lovely because I really missed being friends with him. He was nice then, but has just become such a wonderful, caring, sweet person to be around and it’s good to have him in my corner again. I also went to a work social event for new staff, which was awkward at first but was eventually fun. It was nice to know that people at other library branches in the system have the same problems and more problems that we do at my branch, and it was good to meet other people and not feel so isolated.

Seeing friends helped with the depression piece a little bit, but overall I’m still really feeling down. I think I need to do more fun things in general, like going out things, even though I’m definitely a homebody, but also picking up hobbies and activities I enjoy doing again and maybe even trying something new. I’ve tried starting a bookstagram but am having a hard time finding inspiration and with keeping up with it.

I just really need to do creative things. I love singing in the car and around the house, and wish I had the means to record my own stuff, but that costs money and requires technological skills I probably don’t have. I might look at some recording stuff for fun and for the future though. I wish I had the inspiration to take up songwriting again like I did in high school for a while, and I also want to get back into novel writing because Queer Bookish Novel needs to happen. Hopefully I’ll be more motivated in May. We’ll see I guess.

What I Read

I barely read this month and I’m really embarrassed about it. I only read two books, Love and Other Carnivorous Plants and ACOMAF reread. Carnivorous Plants didn’t quite live up to my super high, most-anticipated-book expectations, but it was still really good and super queer, and gave me a lot to think about. ACOMAF was super enjoyable to reread because RHYSAND. omg. I just…Rhysand…

 

 

 

Blogging Things

Even though it’s only my second month back into blogging and I’m still low on stats, I’m feeling a lot better about it than I thought I would or than I used to when I blogged before. I’m interacting with the community a lot more this time around, and it’s fun to get likes and comments and follows from people you talk to and admire. It’s definitely more fulfilling for me to feel like I’m part of the book community this time around, since I felt that was missing when I used to blog. I think that’s also because I’m focusing on finding new bloggers, and people who are blogging now seem a lot nicer and friendlier in general.

 

Favorites

  1. OMG Hayley Kiyoko’s album. I vaguely knew about Lesbian Jesus because I’d heard the song Girls Like Girls before, but Expectations was so killer and so gay and amazing and I’m just in love and this album will for sure be the soundtrack when I write Queer Bookish Novel. God, I just love it so much. It’s so fun and gay and pop-y and different than what I usually listen to.
  2. Pink hair. My hair has been pink since late January-early February, but it just makes me so happy. I feel like my hair is the one thing I see when I look in the mirror that I actually like and that makes me feel confidence and joy. I also get lots of compliments on it, which doesn’t hurt. I’m thinking I’m going to go purple in the summer, then maybe blue and mermaid-y in the fall. I love having colorful hair! It just fits my personality so well and it’s really fun.
  3. Indian food. I got way too much Indian food this month after the car incidents, but it did help a lot. There’s this place that delivers near me and their chicken tikka masala is so perfect and their garlic naan is just top notch.
  4. Project Runway All-Stars. Usually I have a love-hate relationship with this version of PR because I never agree with the judges and think their taste is old-fashioned, but this season, the person who I wanted to win actually won!! The challenges were also super fun, there was a good amount of drama, and the people on it actually deserved to be there and weren’t only there for drama value for the most part, which is a MAJOR improvement from last season.

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read-a-thon mini-challenge: vague recollections

This mini-challenge is hosted by Scintillating Reads and can be found here. The idea behind this challenge is to describe a book as vaguely as possible and have people try to guess what it is. The person hosting this challenge, like me, is a librarian, so we get questions like this all the time with people not knowing a title or author but describing certain plot elements or the cover. I want to try describing a couple popular books and seeing if I can describe it vaguely enough that it’s hard to guess!

 

book 1: It’s got a blue cover, I think, with something about a cauldron and seasons.

book 2: it has a drink on a cover. In a plastic cup, maybe?

book 3: there’s a road trip and they’re trying to find something…or maybe someone?

 

Can you guess what any of these books are?

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readathon mini-challenge: Anthology of Interest

This mini-challenge for Dewey’s 24-hour Read-A-Thon is hosted by Purple Owl Reviews and can be found here. The challenge is to write about topics you’d like to see an anthology written about.

I’ve never read an anthology, but there have been a lot of anthologies to come out over the past year or so from various YA authors that do look interesting even though short stories aren’t really my thing. For this post, I’ll first write about anthologies I’d like to see, then talk about some anthologies that are already out or are soon to be published that I’m interested in checking out.

Anthologies I’d Like to See

  • Nonbinary and trans stories. One of the anthologies I want to talk about is LGBT, but I’d REALLY like to see an anthology of stories just about gender identity specifically featuring characters who are trans, nonbinary, fluid, etc.
  • College-aged YA. I want to see more of this in general, so of course it’s going on the list. There is a debate as to what type of college-aged stories count as YA vs. NA, but I think college stories should still count as YA, personally, since college students still deal with a lot of the same emotions high school students do, but in a different setting and context.

 

Anthologies I’d Like to Read

  • All Out | Saundra Mitchell – A collection of stories about queer teens throughout history.
  • It’s a Whole Spiel | Katherine Locke – These stories are all about Jewish teens from Jewish writers! I feel like I’ve seen so few Jewish characters represented in YA, so this is one I’d like to read.
  • Toil and Trouble | Tess Sharpe – This anthology features stories about women and witchcraft!! Witch YA is the best, so hopefully these stories will all be good!
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Dewey’s read-a-thon: Opening Meme

Today’s the day! It’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-A-Thon, in which readers from all over the world start reading in 15 minutes (probably less once I finish this post) and read from 8am today to 8am tomorrow (or whatever their scheduled time is!!) I’ll be posting throughout the day about the read-a-thon, and here are the questions for the opening meme! Happy reading 😀

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Baltimore, Maryland, USA!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

My stack is really short because I’m probably not going to get much reading done since I’ll be at work most of the day and I have to finish ACOMAF, but definitely continuing my ACOMAF reread.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Tea when I get home. I also have some Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked in my fridge. I didn’t actually stock up on snacks too much so I might do that when I get home from work/dinner with friends.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

This blog is only about a month old, but I’ve actually been blogging for 6ish years! I’m also a YA librarian in a big urban library. It’s my first full-time library job!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Sadly, the thing I’ll be doing most differently is trying to fit in reading while at work. Fortunately, since I have everything at work done, I’m actually allowed to read on desk. I might also try to stay up all night since I’ve never done that before! I’ve never made it through the whole 24 hours. Doing so will probably require more snacks though.

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if we were having coffee

If We Were Having Coffee is a personal blog post feature that I discovered via one of my favorite book blogs back when it was a book blog *throws a leaf’s worth of shade* It’s an opportunity to both share things about yourself with your readers and check in and reflect. Since I don’t drink coffee though, all my points are going to be “if we were having tea” because tea is better and more tasty and…just better.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I’m rereading ACOMAF in preparation to finally read ACOWAR in preparation for ACOFAS and that I’m enjoying it. I don’t remember everything from ACOTAR so it gets a little confusing so far, but I’m absorbing much more from the book this time around so hopefully I won’t feel so lost in ACOWAR when I go for it again.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I’m really sad that I’m working tomorrow because I REALLY want to do Dewey’s Read-A-Thon, which I do almost every time. I’m going to try to do some reading at work since I’m allowed to and read most of the night, but I’m worried I’ll be too tired the next day and then tired for work on Monday.

if we were having teaI’d admit I’m having trouble with work-life balance. Working as a teen librarian is my first full-time job and it’s very hard to adjust to after part-time work and continuing to be a student. I feel like all I do is work, eat dinner, and go to sleep, with very little time for fun things, and I worry that fun things even like doing a 24 hour read a thon will tire me out too much, even though I know I’ll catch up on the sleep eventually and it won’t be the end of the world to be tired.

if we were having tea…I’d probably cry a little and say that my newish (as of February) apartment still doesn’t really feel like home. I feel like everything is always a mess because I’m messy but then I look at the mess no matter how small and feel so anxious and overwhelmed by it that I avoid it and it creates more mess and it’s just an endless vicious cycle. I’d also say the kittens stressing me out is contributing to it because I want to just love them and shower them with affection but they’re so rambunctious and naughty because they are babies and all I feel toward them right now is stress, so it’s good that my boy is there often to not yell at them and shower them with only love. I’m worried they don’t like me because I tell them not to do things and kick them off the counter.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I started reading From Twinkle, With Love and thus far am…disappointed. Twinkle’s voice reads REALLY juvenile and she’s just very annoying. I like the format, but I am having trouble getting into it because I’m not a Twinkle fan even though her name is the best.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I’m really happy that I’ve been interacting more with the new blogging community. I used to be really scared to comment on other people’s blogs, but I feel like I have to do that to get noticed and also to feel fulfilled in my blogging life, because I used to feel so isolated and not part of the bookish community. Now, even though my newest blog is small in terms of followers and views, I feel like I’m more connected because I get and give comments more often, even from bloggers I really like. I feel like the new bloggers are much more open and friendly than the people I used to idolize and look up to, and I feel they are much more my peers than I people I used to be into.

if we were having tea…I’d say I’ve been a little depressed because of the lack of doing fun things and not doing other things I enjoy, like playing music or writing. I want to do these things but can’t seem to find the motivation, especially writing, even though I think doing it would really help me because I always feel more positive and happy when I’m working on a new writing project. I think it’s partially fear of failure, but also I just can’t find the motivation to just sit down and actually write even though I really want to. Not doing anything creative (other than blogging I guess) is really taking a toll on me and I need to do something about it, I just don’t know how.

What would you tell me if we sat down and had a tea party (cucumber sandwiches included)?

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the reading habits tag

I was tagged (yay, first time doing a tag where someone actually tagged me!!) to do the Reading Habits Tag by Sophie of Sophie’s Corner! This tag was crated by Jasmine @ Jasmine’s Reading Blog.

1) Bookmarks or random piece of paper?

Honestly, I dog-ear pages a lot. I know that’s a cardinal bookish sin, but it’s useful if I don’t have a book mark on me. I typically do use a bookmark though, since I have so many great ones! I also like it when I get a blogger’s business card because business cards are the perfect size for bookmarks!

2) Stop reading randomly or after a chapter/certain amount of pages?

I have to stop somewhere concrete, either at a page break or the end of a chapter. I prefer to read until the end of a chapter, but I will stop at a page break too if need be. If I stop randomly I forget what happened before I stopped reading.

3) Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

This question makes me sad because I don’t feel totally at home or comfortable in my new apartment yet. I don’t actually read a ton at home, maybe partially because of that. I guess my new couch is a good reading place because it’s a sectional. We’ll see if my answer changes as I feel more at home.

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4) Do you eat or drink while reading?

I love drinking tea while reading. The perfect tea and book pairing always makes me happy. I like the idea of book snacks but in reality I always stop reading or eat the snack first in order to avoid getting things on the pages.

5) Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I can do both. I really like putting on a mindless show or a movie I’ve seen a million times while reading so I watch while I take a reading break. I can put music on sometimes, mostly because I completely tune it out to the point where I don’t even hear it anymore as I’m reading.

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6) One book at a time or several?

I try to read more than one sometimes but always end up reading them one at a time. I like to focus on one thing when I read and become completely immersed in one story.

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7) Reading at home or everywhere?

Literally everywhere. In college I even read while waiting in the stir-fry line.

8) Reading out loud or silently?

Definitely silently.

9) Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I might skim if a book gets too info-dumpy or if there’s a graphic scene that makes me uncomfortable but in general no.

10) Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

People…break….the precious spine…I guess that answers the question.

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11) Do you write in your books?

NO. I hated having to annotate books in high school, even when I didn’t like them. It was horrible.

 

I don’t usually tag people because I am shy online but I tag…

Marta @ The Cursed Books

Caro @ The Bookcheshire Cat

Aurora Libralis

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Dewey’s 24hr Read-A-Thon: readathon tips!!

So this Saturday, April 28, is Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon. I love read-a-thons and try to participate as much as possible. Unfortunately, this year I am scheduled to work on Dewey day, but I am still going to do my best to participate, because I am allowed to read on desk if my work is done and darn it, IT WILL BE DONE!! I also have the entire night to participate if I want to, so maybe I’ll try it at night as well. In preparation for the event, both for myself and for you, I have compiled a list of read-a-thon tips to help you get through the 24 hours (even though I have never managed to do so myself).

  • Caffeine. This is obviously a big one. If there were ever a time for energy drinks, it’s when you’re going to be reading for 24 hours. So stock up on that caffeinated tea, or coffee, or soda, or Red Bull or Monster or whatever floats your boat.
  • Read short books. I always try to go for reading short to medium-short books for read-a-thons. I guess this doesn’t have to be true, but I personally like to read as many books as possible during a reading event. Ergo, I look up which books on my TBR list are the shortest, and try to stick with those for the most part.
  • Snacks. Snacks aren’t just fun and tasty, they’re good for keeping up energy. I’d recommend eating little bits of snacks throughout the event and not big snacks to avoid going into a food coma.
  • Nap if you need to. Personally, I cannot nap during these events because I will for sure go to sleep for the rest of the night. But if you’re the type of person who falls asleep quickly and can nap in 20 minutes or an hour, definitely do it!
  • Take breaks. It can be fun to read for long stretches of time, but also brain-melt-y. To avoid burnout, I recommend getting up and taking a break. Go for a walk, or listen to music, or watch a short episode of a TV show if you’re not the kind of person who watches and reads.
  • Put on some mindless TV or music in the background. I am someone who can read and have TV or music on, and sometimes this helps me avoid reading burnout as well as focus more because I’m trying to push out the sound. It’s also a good way to take breaks, since if you already have something on the TV, you can just pause reading and watch for a few minutes before resuming your book.
  • Get moving! Before I moved when I was living at home after college, I was really invested in getting 10,000 steps a day with my FitBit. I would often get my steps by walking around the house reading, which seems and probably looks silly, but kept me motivated to get those steps in and made my brain pick up a bit while reading.

Since I’ve never made it through a 24 hour read-a-thon (I never even pulled an all-nighter in college), maybe these tips will be useless, but I hope someone finds something helpful in them and makes their read-a-thon goal!

 

Are you participating in Dewey’s Read-a-Thon? What books are you reading? Have you ever made it the whole 24 hours?

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top ten tuesday // words used in fantasy titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t do it a lot, but when I saw this week’s topic, commonly used words in [x genre], I knew I wanted to do it so I could talk about FANTASY titles!

  1. Bone

 

2. Fire

 

3. Court

 

4. Queen

 

5. Blood

 

6. Thorns

 

7. Ink

 

8. Glass

 

9. Daughter

 

10. Ash

 

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recent acquisitions // *cue excitement*

I’ve had another influx of bookish acquisitions from publishers, NetGalley, and Edelweiss, and I want to share the books I’m most excited about reading today on the blog.

e-ARCs

 

  • A Blade So Black | L. L. McKinney // This is apparently an Alice in Wonderland retelling, and have I ever mentioned how much I LOVEADOREWILLDIEFOR Alice retellings??? This one sounds extra dark and twisted, plus it’s diverse, plus that cover is badass, and how can this book go wrong? I seriously cannot wait to dive into this one!!!
  • Rule | Ellen Goodlett // I hadn’t heard of this one before it popped up on Edelweiss the other day, but now that I have, it is at the top of my TBR list. The comp titles are PLL and Three Dark Crowns, which I haven’t read, but I love anything comped to PLL and it’s PLL but fantasy?! Best combo?? I think yes. Honestly, I didn’t absorb basically anything else in the synopsis on Edelweiss after I saw the comp titles but boy oh boy I am excited for this one!!
  • Sadie | Courtney Summers // I didn’t love All the Rage as much as I thought I would, but I am willing to give Courtney Summers another chance. This book is about a girl whose sister is murdered, and a radio personality who starts a podcast to document Sadie’s journey to find her sister’s killer after a failed police investigation. I can always go for a murder mystery, and this one strikes me as unique, so I’m definitely adding it to the TBR list.

 

ARCs

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  • Jack of Hearts (and other parts) | L. C. Rosen // I actually accidentally ended up with two copies of this ARC because I traded for it before my request to LBYR went through…oops. I am so ridiculously excited for this one because it’s about a gay kid who has lots of sex and starts an advice column, then gets blackmailed, and he and his friends have to figure out who the stalker is before it gets *dangerous.* So it has a couple similar plot points to Love, Simon with the blackmailing but DARK and SEX.

 

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  • Darius the Great is Not Okay | Adib Khorram // I’ve been excited about this one since the deal was announced. Do I remember the actual plot? Erm…no, but I do remember it’s about an Iranian American boy and my boyfriend is Persian so I’m very interested in reading it after I let him borrow it. Also apparently it got like a seven figure deal so I want to see what all the fuss is about.

 

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  • Girls of Paper and Fire | Natasha Ngan //  This one has a plot that kind of reminds me of The Belles for some reason. I didn’t really hear about this one until it was announced as a BEA buzz book, but now I have been swept up by the pretty cover and the hype.

 

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  • Seafire | Natalie C. Parker // So I just noticed this fantasy is marked as LGBT on Goodreads and that makes me want to read it even more?!?!? I wasn’t excited about this book at first but then it was comped as a feminist Mad Max, plus I’ve been really into sea fantasies this year (hi Sea Witch and To Kill a Kingdom!). That tagline is also dope and makes me really excited for this book. I also really liked Parker’s debut, Beware the Wild, so I hope this book lives up to and exceeds that one!!
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