Shelf Control #3

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of Shelf Control hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is The Loudness by Nick Courage.

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Goodreads Synpsis: 

Henry Long doesn’t have a heart. He doesn’t go to school. He doesn’t have a girlfriend. He doesn’t have a clue. Two of those things are about to change.

Since the Tragedies, Henry Long doesn’t have much: just an annoying low-watt buzz from his makeshift heart transplant, skinny arms, and a dusty library attic from which he charts the reconstruction of the Green Zone, the last habitable neighborhood of his ruined coastal city. While his parents work on making the Green Zone independent from a federal government that appears to have abandoned them, Henry’s feels similarly abandoned—that is, until he discovers a refugee artists’ colony called the Other Side. When the federales don’t take kindly to the Green Zone’s attempts at secession and kidnap Henry’s parents, Henry and his new renegade friends—including one very courageous girl with whom he’s shared one truly shocking kiss—are forced from the colorful streets and underground rock clubs of the Other Side to an overcrowded capital city on the verge of collapse.

As Henry uncovers more about the conflicting forces that run his world, he realizes that not everyone is who they seem to be—including himself. In The Loudness readers will be propelled into an electrifying world where superheroes emerge from the unlikeliest people.

How I Got It: 

My dear friend Katie again. I need to start reading these books she loans me instead of just having them look pretty on my shelf.

Why I Want To Read It:

I wasn’t super excited about reading this book, but the synopsis seems interesting enough. It’s a YA book and it’s not too big so I think it’d be a good in between read later this year.

When I Am Going To Read It:

I’m not really planning to read this anytime soon. (Sorry Katie!) Hopefully, I’ll get to it by the end of the year.

Until Next Time World…

Top 10 Books That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

I don’t know if I’m going to regularly do this, but I liked this week’s topic. I’ve read a lot of political science books that don’t get much traction on Goodreads. I’m going to use this time to highlight some of those books and some other underrated fiction.

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This is a memoir about a person who was addicted to prescription pain killers. I really enjoy books about recovered (recovering) addicts. This one was a little better than others. I gave it 4 stars.

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I’ve referenced this book on my blog before, and it’s fantastic. It’s a in depth look about hunger in the US. It gives you a lot of food for thought. 4 stars!

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This is a book I read either in grad school or undergrad. I took a couple of National Security courses (my specialization), and it was pretty great. Richard Betts makes what could be a boring topic engaging. If you’re interested in the CIA, FBI, and the overall American intelligence system – this book is for you! 4 stars.

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I cannot believe that Heather McElhatton’s books don’t have more views on Goodreads. She’s such a good writer for those of us who enjoy chick-lit. This book, in particular, is absolutely hilarious.  5 stars!

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I really liked this book. It’s sort of like an adult version of a Dead Poet’s Society. A bunch of people trying to answer the questions of life. This book is definitely character driven, which is great. Walter Mosley has a lot of books, and I think this is one of his best. 4 stars.

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This book probably only has under 2000 ratings because it’s new. But you should definitely go out and read this book. It’s an #ownvoices book written by a trans woman about a trans girl who moves to live with her father in the South. It’s a contemporary romance, and is very cute! 4 stars!

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This book is so good! This was on the short list for the Manbooker International Prize for 2016, and I am so happy that I read it. It’s a wonderful fictional telling of the The Great Leap forward and life in a re-education camp. If you don’t know what The Great Leap forward is, try to pick up this book. 4.5 stars.

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Good Kings, Bad Kings is a good book shedding some light on both individuals with physical disabilities and the state care system. It’s written by a woman who crated plays focusing on physical disabilities, and she uses a wheelchair herself. This book is set in Chicago and is written in a variety of dialects that are true to inhabitants of Chicago and the surrounding areas. If you’re looking to read some books that have a variety of characters, I’d suggest this book. It’s a 5 star read.

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This is another Man Booker International Prize 2016 find. It’s originally written in French, and it follows the path of a heart transplant. You get to see into the lives of the person who is going to donate the heart, their family, the doctors and nurses involved, and the recipient of the heart. It’s an interesting look at how the transplant process effects so many. I thought it was a superb concept. 4 stars!

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I actually don’t understand how more people haven’t read this book. It follows a male narrator, Benjamin, who’s parents drop him off at an in-patient “boarding school” for trouble teens. These “troubles” range from depression to anxiety to a variety of personality disorders. The hospital is very focused on punishment and Benjamin has to figure out how to navigate his years at the school.

I love recommendations! I hope that you’ll check out a couple of this books. Happy Tuesday!

Until Next Time World…

July TBR

July! It’s my last official month before students start to come back to campus and my life gets hectic again. I’m hoping to be able to spend some quality time reading and writing blog posts and overall having some fun. I’ll be going to my first bloggers conference this upcoming weekend, and I’m really excited. If you’re going to Blogbound in NYC this upcoming weekend, let me know and maybe we can meet up! Anyway, I have another ambitious month planned for July, so let’s see if I can stay on track with my reading goals.

This are the books I want to finish reading in the month of July.

So clearly with this list, someone is going to need to keep me away from the library. I clearly can’t follow a list when I keep adding random other interesting books. I also want to get some sort of re-read in for this month, but I’m not sure if that can happen. Wish me luck readers!

 

Until Next Time World…

Mid-Year Book Tag

Time for another book tag! The original tag is called “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag,” but I’m not a fan of the word freak out. And frantically, I’ve been doing pretty fantastic with my reading this year. I saw this tag on Writing Follies, so shout out to them.

 

Best book you’ve read so far this year.

This is a pretty difficult decision. The best book that I’ve read this year has probably been Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This book was just really meaningful to me for a lot of different reasons, many of which I’ve talked about on this blog. A close second would be The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, because it was absolutely fantastic.

Best sequel you’ve read so far this year.

I wasn’t a huge fan of A Darker Shade of Magic, but I really liked A Gathering of Shadows. Both of these books are written by V.E. Schwab and are the first two installments of a trilogy. I originally thought this was a YA collection, but I think it might fall under adult fantasy. Either way, I think it’s worth picking up.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

I haven’t gotten around to reading Shade Me by Jennifer Brown, even though I pre-ordered it in January. I definitely need to finish this book before the end of the year, because the protagonist in the novel has synesthesia. I find that fascinating and want to see how Brown approaches it.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year. 

I’m really excited for The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon to come out later this year. I really liked Everything, Everything by her and was so bummed that I couldn’t attend BEA to pick up an ARC like so many others. It’s okay though, because it comes out soon enough!

Biggest book disappointment. 

This is 100% an unpopular opinion, and I’m going to write about this and others soon enough but Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz was by far my biggest book disappointment of the year. I bought this book simply based on the hype surrounding it, particularly its beautiful writing. In general, this year I’ve only tried to purchase books that I’ve read before so I know I want them on my shelf. But everyone loves this book, so I thought it’d be fine. I was wrong. I just didn’t get it. The writing was sort of mediocre at best. The characters weren’t as complex as I thought they’d be and the exploration of Mexican-American heritage was questionable. I could go on and on. I was bummed I didn’t like it. However, queer literature ESPECIALLY with people of color as main characters is so important. So I will always keep and recommend this book to read for that alone.

Biggest book surprise (good surprises).

I love good surprises, and books that are pretty unexpectedly good. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee was that for me. I’ve blogged about it before, and the book sort of blew me away. I wasn’t the biggest fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, probably because it was required reading so many consecutive times in middle and high school, but I will forever recommend Go Set A Watchman. It’s a book about ideology and generational gaps that we all need to read.

Favorite new author. 

Jeff Zenter is bae. If only I didn’t need to look up how to spell his last name all the time. Seriously thought – check out The Serpent King!

Newest Fictional Crush.

Throwback to the first book I read this year, but Ezra from First & Then by Emma Mills has been my favorite male crush. He seemed like a very mature and motivated 17 year old. Although if I read less YA I could probably find someone more suitable.

Newest Favorite Character.

Miles from Made You Up by Francesca Zappia was such a well developed character. I definitely wanted him to be my friend. I also just can’t get over how well written and developed that book was. I know you’re not supposed to judge based on age, but HELLO what was I doing in high school? Surely not creating ingenious stories.

Book that made you cry.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I feel that’s all the explanation anyone needs. If you need more, just know it’s written by a doctor who was diagnosed with terminal cancer a year before he finished his like 12 year residency. Then he literally died.

Book that made you happy. 

I have to go back to my girl Sophie Kinsella and her latest book Finding Audrey. Even though this book had a more serious undertone than many of her other books, she still packed it full of fun and humor. It definitely takes a certain skill to write such funny scenarios and characters. And she is so good at it!

Favorite book to film adaptable you saw this year.

I actually don’t know that I’ve really watched any movies that were books. I watched some of those comic book movies? I’ve READ books that have been turned into movies…this is a book blog not a movie blog, leave me alone.

Favorite review you’ve written this year.

My favorite review would be a toss up between my blog on diversity of gender based on The Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin. Or one that I recently wrote about the importance of living a little life. Check them out if you haven’t. Or if you think one I wrote was better, let me know!

Most beautiful book you’ve purchased this year.

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I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson was the most beautiful books that I’ve bought this year. Even though I read it last year, from the library!, I had to purchase it becasue it’s just such a fantastic book. I can’t believe I haven’t read her other book yet.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

This is a loaded question. I need to read at least 25-30 books on my physical to-read shelf. It’s gotten out of hand at this point. Plus I should probably give my friends back their loaned books. But I reallllllly need to finish A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I’ve been “reading” it for months. Which is stupid, because it’s literally a great book. I’m also trying to read a biography on Hillary Clinton before the election, because…I live in the US.

Until Next Time World…

 

Marriage and weddings and etc

I’m writing to you from a hotel room in Cincinatti.** I’m here for the weekend to celebrate the marriage of one of my best friends. Feeling in the festive spirit, I decided to listen to Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld on my 12 hour drive. For those of you who don’t know, Eligible is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic – Pride and Prejudice. Much to my surprise (possibly because I didn’t look at the description) the setting is in Cincinatti. And my friend’s wedding was at the Hyde Park Country Club, where the modern day Bennetts kept their club membership! If that isn’t a way to immerse yourself in a story, then I don’t know what else is.

Moving on, Eligible was a pretty entertaining read overall. Pride and Prejudice is such a classic story, that it was fun to see how Sittenfeld interwove modern day situations and methods of finding love. There’s not too much I can say about the story, other than it gives a slight head nod toward gender diversity, as it features a trans*man. I thought that was a pretty neat addition, especially when working with characters who have already been so developed.

Since I was there to attend a wedding, I couldn’t help but reflect on the relationships the sisters developed with their various suitors throughout the book. There were traditional relationships. Some participated in infidelity. There were examples of women taking control of their romantic destinies. There were also examples of people rejecting the need for heteronormative standards. As an adult, I’m impressed with how controversial some of these things were back in the 17th century. Literature has always been a way that individuals have tried to move forward social norms in society. I think it can be really easy to forget that, especially when we don’t diversify our reading.

I was also impressed how Sittenfeld updated some of these “controversies” to match hot topics in modern day society. In addition to some gender diversity, there is some very light mentions of race and privilege. If there was a criticism to the book, I think that the author could have done a better job at expanding on some of the biases held by various characters in the book. A lot of the time these things seemed to be mentioned for shock value rather than an actual exploration of the topic.

At the end of the day, I recommend this book to any who like Pride and Prejudice.  It was a pretty fun and fast read.

Until Next Time World…

**I wrote the majority of this post in Cincinnati, but failed to edit it until much later.**

June Wrap Up 

June certainly flew by, faster than I expected anyway. I had a pretty ambitious TBR this month, and while I didn’t do terribly, I also got sidetracked by shiny books a lot. This basically means that I read a lot of books, but not all the books I said I was going to read. I also read a lot of comics/graphic novels this month. Don’t tell me I never try anything new!

Books…

  1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  2. Ladivine by Marie NDiaye
  3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  4. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
  5. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
  6. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  7. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
  8. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  9. Illumine by Amie Kaufman
  10. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  11. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  12. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  13. The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
  14. The Royal We by Heather Cocks

I’m still reading A Little Life…but can you even call it reading when you’ve barely read a page all month? Also, since moving I realize how ridiculous my TBR shelf has become. In July I’m going to try to focus on getting down some of those books…so I can at least get more?

Comics…

  1. Lumberjanes, vol. 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
  2. Dreamless by Bobby Crosby
  3. Giant Days, vol. 1 by John Allison
  4. Giant Days, vol. 2 by John Allison
  5. Lumberjanes, vol. 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
  6. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  7. Y: The Last Man, vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan
  8. Ms. Marvel, vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
  9. Ms. Marvel, vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

Since I’m apparently reading comics now, the red is just going to be the 5 things I enjoyed most this month.

Until Next Time World…