A Little Hiatus

Dear Followers –

Thank you for coming to my little corner of the internet. For the next month, I will probably be posting very infrequently due to an increased work schedule. Since I won’t stop reading, I’ll have to stop creating new content for a bit. If I have time I will try to auto release some reviews, tags, and general posts. However, I’ve gotten several new followers over the past few days and wanted to explain my absence. You all are lovely, and I have been trying to keep up with those blogs that I follow. It’s August – so my summer is officially over.

Wish Me Luck World…

Booktubeathon?!

If you’re reading this, I think you’re aware that you’re not watching a youtube video. However, starting tomorrow July 18th at 12:00AM the booktubeathon begins. This is a yearly challenge that was started by Ariel Bissett and has been running for the past couple of years. Please click here to find out more about the challenges and other things that will be happening over the course of the week. I don’t really make video content, but I like the idea of some reading challenges. Since this is probably the last week that is semi-slow for me, and my partner is out of town for work, I think I have some more time to devote to reading. There are seven reading challenges to be completed over the course of the week, and I’ve selected

1/ Read a book with yellow on the cover.

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Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson clearly has yellow on the middle line so it fits this first challenge. I’ve been hearing a lot about Morgan Matson, both good and bad, but I’ve yet to read anything written by her. I was at the bookstore this past week, and decided that I should give her a try. Hopefully, this should be a light summery read that shouldn’t take me too long.

2/ Read a book only after sunset.

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I started reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman last week. I’m not very far into it, but I have been reading this book mostly at night so I thought I’d continue that through the week. I loved Backman’s other book A Man Called Ove, but it’s taking me longer to get into this one. I’m hoping that if I can commit a couple of hours to it, it will start to pick up. It’s one of my shorter books for the week; so I’m hoping to finish this one by Tuesday.

3/ Read a book you discovered through booktube.

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The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre is a book that I discovered through Booktube. I’m not sure who I saw talking about this book, but it sounded so interesting. I tend to like thrillers, especially murder mysteries. I have a feeling that I should be able to get through this in a day or two.

4/ Read a book by one of your favourite authors.

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One of my all time favorite books, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, was written by Marisha Pessl. Even though she has only written two books, I have yet to read Night Film. I was supposed to read this for TomeTopple last month, but I ran out of time with moving and attending my friend’s wedding in Ohio. I’m hoping to read it this week! It’s a big one though at a little over 500 pages.

5/ Read a book that is older than you.

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Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain is sort of my freebie of the week. I already read this book, and it’s really short. It’s also definitely older than me. Hopefully I’ll be able to fly through this one.

6/ Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation.

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Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger has been on my shelf since December. I don’t think that I’ll be able to get through this book very fast, so if I don’t read a book this week, it’ll probably be this one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the movie either.

7/ Read seven books.

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Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroah just came off of hold at the library for me. I’ve heard good things about this graphic novel, and I thought this would be an easy addition to my TBR for the week.

 

I tried to be really true to by July TBR in order to accomplish this readathon. Hopefully I’ll get some good reading time in this week and weekend. I might vlog my time reading, but I might not. You’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control #2

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 Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

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Goodreads Synpsis: 

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.

 

How I Got It: 

I bought on a trip to Barnes and Noble to find books to give my RAs as an end of the year present. I LOVED Pessl’s first book, and I was very delayed on picking up this one.

Why I Want To Read It:

I loved the author’s first book. I had heard some good things about it earlier on and I like a good mystery. Some of the stuff I’ve been hearing now hasn’t been so great. I was supposed to pick it up for my reading challenge, but I didn’t have time to get around to it.

When I Am Going To Read It:

July! The month where I finally read more of my own books!

 

Until Next Time World…

On Buying Books

Since becoming more familiar with the online book community, I’ve known that I’ve wanted to write a post about the importance of libraries for communities. While doing some research, I came across this article that is focused on community-centered reasons libraries are important. This article was better researched and written than anything I would have produced, so I hope that you’ll take some time and read it. I wanted to focus this post on something more specific, the privilege behind buying books and receiving publisher arcs/copies of books.

I was browsing booktube and came across this video, which I originally thought was a spoof of booktuber book hauls. Well, I guess it is in a way, but the person who created the video is also a booktuber who posts book haul videos… I’m not sure if that makes it more or less funny? Something I’ve been noticing about the community is that it’s really young. The main responsibility of my job is to work with college students on expanding their perspectives and (hopefully) educating them to become more conscious global citizens. So when I look at these first year college students, high school students, and recent college grads posting videos about the importance of reading diversely and queer literature – my heart swells just a tiny bit. Someone is doing something right in these young adults’ lives.

However, I’ve also noticed something a bit problematic surrounding how we talk about our access to books. I own A LOT of books (or at least I think so). Having moved to 4 different states over the past several years, I’m acutely aware of how difficult it is to transport your library. When I first started watching these individuals on YouTube, it was clear that they had double the amount of books I currently owned, and I thought it was so awesome to see young people who were so read well. Seriously, what was I doing with my life?!? Then I realized that TBR didn’t just mean books you thought were cool and might pick up some day, but rather books you owned but hadn’t read yet.  I discovered this through the abundance of 0 TBR by *insert X year* challenges. I was shocked to see so many people who had upwards of a hundred books in their possession that they had yet to read. Right now, I have a lot of books that I recently received from my mother, which ups my total unread a lot (to 28).

So here’s the problem…

Not everyone can afford to buy books. This seems like a simple fact, but I don’t think it’s acknowledged enough. I often time video book hauls and other things ignore those individuals who don’t have access to pre-released materials (maybe because they’re not a reviewer, but also maybe because they don’t have access to the time and equipment needed to be a reviewer) and those who cannot afford to purchase 15-30 dollar books. Some reviewers talk about libraries, but they’re not mentioned nearly enough. The vast majority of the books that I read come from the library, and frankly always have come from the library. Libraries are such a great place for books, but also for the general education of the community. I hope that there can be a movement within our community to find different ways to support authorship, while also advancing the purpose of literature as an educational tool. As a person who possesses a lot of privilege, and who has the ability and access to publish reviews, I want to make sure that my content and posts are also helping advance this purpose.

#endrant

Until Next Time World…or until Obama takes me to a bookstore…

 

UPDATE: I found this YouTube video that offers a different perspective.

Sunday Funday***

It’s Sunday, which is usually the day I sit down to write my blog posts for the week. A lot of my friends and colleagues have been fascinated by the amount of books that I’m able to read in the course of any given month. I think my January was a little intense with 21 books, but I can average around 15 in a good month. I thought it’d be fun to share my reading strategy and see how others conquer those every growing TBR piles. I’m also going to leave some suggestions for how to read more if you’re not an avid reader…yet.

The Strategy

I read once that a good strategy for reading a lot of books in a month was to read books in parallel. When I was in college I would read one book to completion before moving on to the next one. So when books took to long to get through or lost my interest (I’m looking at you Wally Lamb books), I’d give up reading for an extended period of time. It seemed as though adding multiple books would help me through those periods. This blogger recommends reading books across genres to do this. Since I mainly focus on works of fiction, instead of varying my books across genre I’ve been varying my books across media. At any given time I’m listening to an audiobook, reading an e-book, and have a physical book handy. (Right now it’s The Audacity of Hope on audiobook, The Book Thief on e-book, and Passenger in physical copy.) I enjoy this approach, because it allows me to maximize my time reading. It also allows me to realize when I haven’t devoted enough time to reading my e-book or listening to an audiobook.

My second piece of advice regarding reading would be to look at reviews. We live in the age of smartphones and the internet. I’m on Goodreads more than any of my other social media sites. Due to this technology, I find myself reading books I’m more likely to enjoy and steering away from ones I’d probably dislike. When you’re interested and invested in a book you’re much more likely to finish it and enjoy the journey.

It’s that simple. I’m not a slow reader by any means, but I’m not a speed reader. If I’m motivated I can spend all night reading a book, but more often than not I try to go to bed by midnight. I work full-time, and although I devote a large amount of time to reading, I still hang out with my friends, go to the gym several time a week, and talk to/spend time with my partner. I do treat reading like a third job though. At minimum I need to get through 3 books a week to make my Goodreads goal. I understand when people say that they don’t want to be forced into a goal, but isn’t that the point of one? To make sure that we’re holding ourselves up to a set of standards. I welcome goals and challenges in my life, because I think they make me a better more focused person.

For those of you who are not yet avid readers (AKA the majority of my friends), my recommendation is to set a small goal. If that’s reading for 10 minutes or 1 chapter before bed, or in the morning with breakfast, then all the better. When you accomplish it then you’ll feel better for doing it. And when you have a busy morning or night and forget, it’s okay too because there’s always tomorrow.

Until Next Time World…

 

***My iMac bit the dust, so this blog was started on a Sunday, but finished on a Monday***