the sunday post // 9-15-19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news about the past week, reading recaps, hauls, and more.

 

weekly happenings

  • I had my first children’s department meeting. Every month in my library system, the children’s, YA, and adult departments each have their own meetings for all the librarians in the system for professional development. For this meeting, we talked about the summer reading challenge, marketing, and programming. I learned a lot about programming stats and ways to market my programs, so that was helpful, and I got to see one of the children’s librarians from my old branch, which was nice because I always liked her (she’s the one who hung out with me at Book Expo! Woohoo!)
  • I saw friends! Last night, I went out for burgers with my two best work friends, including the YA librarian I used to work with. It was really nice to see her and catch up on all our lives.
  • I contemplated taking a blogging hiatus some more. Honestly, I just haven’t been feeling that inspired to blog lately and find myself wanting to focus on other things for a while. Namely, I want to try bringing writing back into my life. I’ve been feeling inspired to try poetry again lately, and would also like to outline and research a few WIP ideas that have been brewing in my head for months. Also, I want to read for fun more.

 

last week on the blog

 

next week on the blog

  • possibly a hiatus announcement
  • because i have no ideas
  • and want a break

 

books read

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I went back and forth about whether I should continue this one because the beginning was kind of dull, but it’s getting better and also a tarot reading told me that I would like it if I stuck with it. The story was spoopy, which I liked, but the writing was just so dull and slow and Annaleigh was such a boring character that it ended up falling flat. I also thought the twist ending wasn’t as big of a twist as I thought it would be. This book was very slow and even the spoopiness couldn’t save it for me.

 

currently reading

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I’m going outside of my comfort zone again and trying another adult book! NORMAL PEOPLE is by the author of a book that my boyfriend is teaching in his class on millenial literature this year. I’m not very far into it yet but I think I might end up liking it even though literary fiction isn’t really my jam.

 

weekly haul

  • We Used to Be Friends – Amy Spalding
  • Of Curses and Kisses – Sandhya Menon
  • The Stars We Steal – Alexa Donne
  • Ink In the Blood – Kim Smejkal
  • Every Reason We Shouldn’t – Sara Fujimura
  • Anna K – Jenny Lee
  • Be Not Far From Me – Mindy McGinnis
  • Yes No Maybe So – Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
  • It Sounded Better In My Head – Nina Kenwood

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things i could do instead of reading

Okay, I know this is a BOOK BLOG and therefore I should be talking about BOOKS ALL THE TIME and READING FOREVER but…lately, I’ve just wanted a BREAK. I don’t know if I’m in a slump or still book hungover from DAISY JONES and THE RAVEN BOYS even though it’s been a while, but for whatever reason, reading has just been feeling like a chore and I think I need a bit of a break.

I’ve never gone more than a day or so without reading, so while contemplating taking a longer break, I’ve also had to think about what I could actually DO instead of reading, which is my main hobby. Okay, it’s really my only hobby. But there have to be other things I can do to fill my time the way reading usually does, right? RIGHT. For instance, I could…

 

  • Write. I read a book of poetry this weekend by the Instagrammer Atticus, which was not very good but I also really enjoyed and felt inspired to write by? I’ve debated sharing poetry on Instagram before but never gotten far with it because I don’t have any visual artistic skills, but have yet to do it because I only write poetry sporadically (usually when I actually get around to reading more poetry again). But taking reading off my schedule would definitely give me the time I never have to write.
  • Research WIP ideas. Can I call them WIPs if I’m not actually writing the story yet? I have three ideas currently that I’d like to explore further, but need to do a lot of research first for all of them about various things, including real person fanfic and Persian cooking. I keep meaning to do research for all these ideas and have been doing about an hour of research here and there, but haven’t found the time to commit to seriously getting started with my ideas.
  • Listen to podcasts. I have about a million podcasts on my new phone that I keep meaning to listen to but never do because I never make the time. There’s one I especially like that analyzes pop songs called Switched on Pop that I’ve listened to a few times on long trips, and there are a ton of episodes from that that I’d like to try. I also want to try Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, since she wrote THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, which I enjoyed when I tried to read it earlier in the year.
  • Catch up on shows. I’ve been watching Daredevil for the past couple of weeks and am in love with it. I also started Veronica Mars a while ago but didn’t keep up with it. I am also dying to watch the new Dark Crystal show on Netflix because that was one of my favorite books/movies as a kid.
  • Try more video games. I only have 5 games on my Nintendo Switch so far, and only 3 of those that I really play. I have been wanting to find some other games to try since I have the gaming system that would be distracting and relieving after a day of work.

 

I guess it might seem silly to some that I had to make a list of things I could do besides read, but when reading is your entire life it’s so hard to think of things?? Honestly, this break is probably going to last for all of a day or so because I seriously can’t get by without reading. Still, it was helpful to make this list and see what other things I could fill my time with.

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books i’ve read this year outside my comfort zone

Reflecting on what I’ve read this year, I’ve realized that I’ve accomplished something that I usually do not in 2019: I’ve read quite a few books outside of my comfort zone. Usually (read: always) my reading timeline page is solely YA fiction books, mostly contemporary with a few fantasy mixed in. This year, I think I’ve really branched out and read more genres and age groups than I normally do, including poetry, some graphic novels, middle grade, and adult books.

So, for today’s post, I’ll be sharing some of the books I’ve read that were outside of my comfort zone and why they were outside of my comfort zone as well as what I liked about them and what urged me to pick them up in the first place. Onward!

 

  • The Tea Dragon Society | Katie O’Neill – I picked this one up because I decided I wanted to be a children’s librarian and needed to read more books for kids. I don’t normally gravitate toward graphic novels, especially ones like this that don’t have a lot of text, but I found myself swept up in the beautiful art depicting the story of two girls and adorable creatures with queer themes and friendship themes. I ended up reading another graphic novel by this author called AQUICORN COVE, which I liked even more.
  • The Bullet Journal Method | Ryder Carroll – I was unsure about picking this one up because it’s nonfiction, and I don’t read nonfiction pretty much at all unless it’s self-help-y. But, since I am an avid bullet journaler, I gave it a shot, and got a lot of ideas for my bullet journal and my personal life.
  • The Kiss Quotient | Helen Hoang – I honestly don’t know what compelled me to try an adult romance. I had read some adult romance before, but it was all unpublished because it was for a publishing internship, and didn’t have a good experience with the genre that way. I went into this one knowing little about it except some bloggers I follow enjoyed it, and I think that was better because if I’d known it was about an escort, I probably wouldn’t have tried it. I ended up loving the writing and totally falling for Stella and Michael’s romance and not being at all uncomfortable with the sex stuff like I had been with romance novels in the past.

 

  • Check, Please! | Ngozi Ukazu – Since this book was a graphic novel about sports I was hesitant to pick it up, but a YA librarian at my library system recommended it at a meeting and said it was also gay and about pie, so I decided to give it a go, and OMG I NEED THE NEXT ONE!! This is slow burn central, which is probably hard to do in a graphic novel, and the MC is so adorable, and I love all the members of his hockey team, and just <3 <3 <3
  • Wild Embers | Nikita Gill – Poetry isn’t completely outside my comfort zone because I have read a couple authors in the past who I liked, but they were more of the Instagram poetry style of super short poems and also the tagline style poems. Nikita Gill is maybe more on the literary side of poetry while still appealing to pop culture, in my opinion. I liked some of the poems more than others, but ultimately found most of her poetry pretty similar throughout and I liked her prose better.
  • The Right Swipe | Alisha Rai – After loving THE KISS QUOTIENT so much, I felt inspired to try some other adult romance, and gave THE RIGHT SWIPE a try. This book spoke to me so much in ways I wasn’t expecting at all, and that made it a five-star read for me.

 

  • Selected Unpublished Blog Posts of a Mexican Panda Express Employee | Megan Boyle – I read this on a total whim because my boyfriend had her book LIVEBLOG on our shelf at home. Apparently, Megan Boyle decided to live blog her entire life at one point as a self improvement project, got too obsessed with it, and had a very public breakdown eventually. The book was supposedly marketed as poetry, which I can understand because there is an oddly poetic and lyrical tone to her blog posts. I really liked this collection and would be interested to read LIVEBLOG, but it’s very long and could probably get a little boring and tedious at times.
  • Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! | Mariko Tamaki – I haven’t read a children’s novel in a while so this one was interesting for me. I definitely didn’t like it personally as much as I do YA, but that’s because I’m not the target audience! I can definitely see myself recommending it to adventurous girls who come into the library at work though, which was the point of me reading it in the first place.
  • Daisy Jones & the Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid – This was the first (or one of the first) actual adult books that I read that wasn’t a romance, but after seeing it was in a cool format and was about music, I knew I had to buy it when I saw it at the bookstore. I’m so glad I did, because it’s now one of my all-time favorite books. Also, I relate to Billy Dunne too much and that is probably an issue.

 

So far, 21 out of 41 books that I’ve read this year have been not YA, aka outside of my comfort zone. That’s basically half of the books I’ve read, which is way more than I ever have before! I’m happy that I’ve been making an effort to expand my reading tastes because I’ve managed to find a couple of new favorites in the process. Based on my success with this so far, I’ll definitely continue reading outside of YA books and pushing myself to be adventurous with my reading!

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the sunday post // 9-8-19

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news about the past week, reading recaps, hauls, and more.

 

weekly happenings

  • School started. The children started school this week in the city where I work so there have been more kids in the library than usual. Actually, it’s mostly more teens who have been coming in but it’s been pretty quiet on the little child front. On the one hand it’s nice to have quiet mornings at work but on the other, we have programs so I definitely want kids to be there.
  • I started looking into freelancing side hustles. Obviously I have a job already, but honestly, I’m constantly stressed about my bank account because I don’t make all that much, especially compared to other library jobs even in the same state. I do have editing and proofreading experience, so I think I’d be good at that, and I’d like to look into content writing gigs as well since blogging definitely counts as content creation experience. Unfortunately I can’t commit to a lot of hours, but something that’s 10 or fewer hours a week that I could do on my own time or on my days off would be ideal.

 

last week on the blog

 

next week on the blog

  • books i’ve read outside my comfort zone this year

 

books read

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I already mentioned in my WWW Wednesday post that I tried reading this again for some reason. I pretty much enjoyed the first 60% of it even though it’s definitely trash but ended up skimming the last 30% or so because I just couldn’t deal with the bad writing anymore. I also just can’t support a YA author who doesn’t respect teens and bashes reviewers, so maybe I went into the second reading a little biased.

 

currently reading

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book haul

  • The Midnight Lie | Marie Rutkoski
  • THE FREAKING NIGHT COUNTRY BY MELISSA ALBERT OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (can you tell I’m excited about this book?!?!?!)
  • Permanent Record | Mary H. K. Choi
  • Love Her Wild | Atticus
  • Great Goddesses | Nikita Gill
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www wednesday // 9-4-19

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

 

just finished

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I know: you’re as shocked as I am that I decided to give this book another try. I posted a really ranting review of a it a while ago and still stand by most of the stuff I said and think it is an utterly trash YA book, but also I also kind of enjoyed it? I’m still giving it two stars though because I skimmed the end because I wanted the garbage to stop and it just got too predictable. It is definitely still a bad Grisha trilogy knock off and I probably won’t be reading book 2 because the characters are all dry as toast and super contrived and cliche, but I will be scouring the internet to see if my predicted ship sails.

 

currently reading

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I decided to read an August release I missed, HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS. This book sounds very Ocean Gothic, which should definitely be a genre, and is also a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I’ve read a couple retellings of in the past. I haven’t seen any reviews of it yet but I still have hopes that it will be good!

 

reading next

A quick breakdown of why I’m debating between these books:

  • A Dress for the Wicked – Project Runway comp
  • Kingdom of Souls – witch doctors and selling your soul for magic
  • Serpent & Dove – witches & a holy war
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books i want to read but don’t want to READ tag

I was tagged by Caro for this tag, which was created by Jami. This tag is dedicated to all the books you want to or feel like you should read, but when it comes to actually reading them, you just can’t seem to make yourself do it. #bookwormproblems amiright? Yes, I am right.

Onward to the tag:

 

A book that you feel you need to read because everyone talks about it

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THE FOXHOLE COURT–THE FOXHOLE COURT definitely fits the bill for this one for me for this one. I see EVERYONE talking up this book and Neil Josten (sp??) but it’s definitely not something I’d pick up on my own. I haven’t had very good luck with indie-pub’ed books so I tend to avoid them as a rule, which I guess could be considered snobby, but it’s just my experience. Plus, I generally don’t do sports books, or books about the mob, so I just keep putting this one off even though it’s on my Kindle (which is good, because then I don’t have to look at that horrible cover). Even though it’s gay, I’m just not super interested in this series but everyone talks about it so I feel like I should at least try it.

 

A book thats really long

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ILLUMINAE–Um…ILLUMINAE, anyone? I have actually tried to read this book twice, but both times I got stuck at about 100 pages. Partially it’s because I can’t understand the story because space books aren’t my thing, but also, IT’S HUGE!! It intimidates me so much.

 

A book you’ve owned/had on your TBR for too long

 

WHAT TO SAY NEXT–Literally so many. It’s embarrassing. But I guess I’ll go with Julie Buxbaum’s second book, WHAT TO SAY NEXT. I ADORED her first book, TELL ME THREE THINGS, and was utterly psyched to get her next book as an ARC, but I never read it for some reason?? But I still think I would enjoy it because I really like her writing and her romances.

 

A book that is ‘required’ reading (eg, school text, really popular classic – something you feel obligated to read!)

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THE GREAT GATSBY–I know, it’s shameful that I haven’t read this book. I’m completely embarrassed that I never read this. But I was never assigned it and I just don’t pick up classics on my own??

 

A book that intimidates you

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HOUSE OF LEAVES–I’ve had this on my shelves for an embarrassingly long time. I’ve tried to read it, but it was just so long and the format was super bizarre. It’s about a house that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside and is supposed to be mega creepy. I heard about it because I liked Mark Z. Danielewski’s sister Poe’s music.

 

A book you think might be slow

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AUTOBOYOGRAPHY–This one might be a shocker to some people and I am totally here for the bi writer energy of this book, but contemporaries that are over 400 pages like this book tend to have pacing problems, i. e., are super slow. I still really want to read this one and have had it on my TBR for a long time because of the aforementioned bi writer energy, but I keep putting it off for some reason.

 

A book you need to be in the right mood for

 

REALLY ANY POETRY BOOK. The poetry mood does strike me sometimes, but if I try to read poetry when I’m not in the mood it’s usually because I’m just trying to bust through it so I can add another book to my Goodreads challenge and get ahead, not because I want to actually read it. So I have to be mindful of that.

 

A book you’re unsure if you will like

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HEARTLESS–I bought two editions of this book because I loved the cover so much and also the OwlCrate white edition was just irresistible, but I keep putting it off. Part of the reason is because I’m worried it won’t live up to my expectations. But also I’m worried I won’t like it because I had part of it spoiled for me while looking up quotes for a display at work, so I’m worried that will kill the whole book for me.

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september releases i want to read

We all know I always fail epically at sticking to TBRs I make for myself, so this month, I’m just going to highlight some exciting September releases that I have eARCs or ARCs of that I am dying to read. Will I actually read them in time? Who knows! (i. e. probably not) but I can hope and dream, can’t I? Plus, I just HAVE to gush about all of these amazing upcoming books.

 

september 3

Okay, before I get to the screaming about these two, can we just talk about how gorgeous and epic the covers look together? They’re both amazing covers on their own, but they look like they belong together. Okay, done gushing about the covers.

serpent and dove | shelby mahurin

Why did I not read the ARC of this that I got at BEA? Who knows. But I am still so psyched to read this book!! It’s WITCHY and about witches and a holy war between witches and the church. I’m expecting uber darkness and eeriness from this book and hope it delivers!!

kingdom of souls | rena barron

I have been excited for this book since the deal was announced and it had a different title and no cover. It’s about a girl who sells her soul to get magic because she’s part of a long line of witch doctors but has no magic of her own. Can I get a HELL YEAH??

 

september 10

 

the ten thousand doors of january | alix e. harrow

So…embarrassing confession: I stood in line for this at BEA because I thought it was YA and…it’s not?? But it still sounds really good and I have been wanting to give some adult fantasy a try. When I found out that this book has a) a mysterious mansion and b) an equally mysterious and potentially magical book, I knew I had to try this one.

a match made in mehendi | nandini bajpai

This book sounds SO FREAKING CUTE!!! Simi accidentally sets up her cousin with someone her family really likes, so they assume she has their long passed down gift of matchmaking, which she doesn’t want because she’s an artist. But, to boost her and her best friend’s social status, she decides to create a matchmaking app that ends up putting her high school’s social hierarchy upside down.

a treason of thorns | laura e. weymouth

Honestly I don’t understand what this book is actually about but the cover is gorgeous and it gives me dark vibes so obviously it’s a Mel book and I NEEDS IT.

frankly in love | david yoon

There are two main things that made me want to read this book: 1) David Yoon is the husband of Nicola Yoon, who wrote EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, and 2) THE FAKE DATING TROPE!!!! Seriously, as long as a book has this trope it is guaranteed that I will read it.

 

september 17 & 24

the bone houses | emily lloyd-jones

It’s about bones and graveyards and gravedigging families and dead bodies rising from the dead…what more could you want?

no judgements | meg cabot

I’m pretty sure when I received my eARC of this I literally squeed aloud. Meg Cabot was one of my favorite authors growing up and I’ve read SO MANY of her books. I haven’t given any of her adult books a try though, so I’m hoping this one lives up to my extremely high expectations.

the tenth girl | sara faring

This book seems to be getting a decent amount of hype, especially considering it’s horror YA, which is never hyped, and that gives me hope for the next generation. It is a psychological thriller set at a strange finishing school in Buenos Aires, and I am so here for it.

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september goals

Why do I still do goals posts when I never manage to accomplish all my goals? It is truly the mystery of our time. BUT here we are again, new month, new me, new goals. This month I’m going to try to keep things more reasonable and not make a million goals that I know I’ll never accomplish, so we’ll see how that goes. But first, let’s recap my August goals:

 

august goals

  • Read 5 novels.     XX       Did not do this; only read 3
  • Read SPIN THE DAWN, WILDER GIRLS, and WICKED FOX.     !!       I am counting this one as done because I did try to read all of them, I just wasn’t in the mood or DNFed them.
  • Finish THE RAVEN BOYS and DAISY JONES AND THE SIX.          !!         I DID THIS and they were AMAZING!!!!
  • Reduce my diet coke intake.            !!           I am now Diet Coke free!!
  • Try one new recipe per week.           XX      Oh lol, I forgot I made this ridiculous goal. It is ridiculous because I started getting major cooking anxiety/stress in August and ended up going out for almost every dinner.
  • Start research/outlining/planning of my WIP ideas.            !!           I am going to count this as done because I did research a little for my Harriet the Spy fanfiction retelling idea, even though it was only a little bit. But small steps are better than zero steps.
  • Start working towards my daily step goal again.        X!      SPEAKING OF STEPS there is this goal. That I sort of did but only at the very end of August when I went home. Other than that I was pretty sedentary most of the month, unfortunately.

 

September Goals

  • Read for fun without pressure. This feels like a weirdly difficult goal because I always put pressure on myself to read a ton of books a month like I used to be able to, and I never just read what I want without worry. So we’ll so how this turns out.
  • No Diet Coke. Continue doing this.
  • Get more steps. Ideally I’d like to get 150 active minutes per week because that is the recommended amount of light to mild activity for heart health/general health, and as I mentioned last month when I made this goal, it does make me feel better.
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