I had such goals, such aspirations in January 2022….and now I am just flying by the seat of my pants, putting the MOODY in mood reading. I will be honest and say I am broken mentally and emotionally over the US Supreme Court decisions, with Friday’s decision doing the most damage; but also, the continuous mass shootings and Jan 6th hearings aren’t brightening my day either. So, I am not really feeling celebrating anything and just waiting the two years when we can move from the Mid-West and back to California. Needless to say, the book buying ban is officially dead, like a woman’s body autonomy and the principle of separation between church and state.
In the meantime, I’ve got my bookish friends in COYER, and this is the sign up for the Summer Season which is my favorite. No restrictions, no rules! This will run from July – September, overlapping with Bout of Books Cycle 35 in August and the first half of Halloween Bingo.
I don’t have much in the way of goals for COYER Summer, other than maybe, perhaps progressing on some series or even finishing one (GASP! WHO AM I?). Considering that anything shiny at the library is catching my eye and coming home with me, I don’t want to make a specific TBR. I’m just going to put my face in books/e-Readers and just plow through as many books as possible. I am at 62% of my GR yearly goal so I am a bit ahead on at least one goal. Now I just need to devote the time to reading and possibly reviewing books.
Being a patron of two libraries (one on base, the other in town) is a blessing and a curse. I’m working on the last two books from last month’s library haul and here I am again with a whole new stack.
First up, I got #7 in the Wishcraft Mystery series in from ILL. I have just three books left, and I will have completed, from start to finish, one series this year. This is not how I wanted my series to read goal to progress, but some progress is better than nothing, I guess. Anyway, these books are fun, a bit emotional, and keep me turning pages. I eat them up like cupcakes.
One book club pick this month and its People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. I have not had any motivation before to read anything by Henry, but I am willing to give it a shot. I just don’t seem to like really hyped-up books. And since we are on the topic of hyped-up books, I put on hold Heartstopper Vol 1 and Volume 2 by Alice Oseman. So far, volume two came in from ILL but I am still on the waiting list for volume one – which means I am playing chicken with ILL to get the first two books in and read and back to the library before they are due. We are a cord cutting family and we don’t use any streaming services, so I hope I can get enough time to read all four (?) volumes done prior to the show going to DVD.
The rest are for my Summer of Science project and only one is on the list I posted at the end of May. *sigh* This happens when you are a mood reader and lots of shiny titles beckon you to borrow them – you tend to stray off course.
Finally, I have one other book on ILL; the problem is that my library ordered a copy and made an entry into the catalogue but haven’t actually got the book in yet. So, I am waiting on Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fiesler.
Re-cap of last week’s reading: I read the wlw romance Changing Leaves by Edie Bryant, How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones, Gone with the Witch (Wishcraft Mystery #6) by Heather Blake, and Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier by Emily Brady. The first two books will be applied to the COYER Diversity read-a-thon.
I started two books yesterday that I want to focus on finishing this weekend: Her Body, Our Laws: On the Front Lines of the Abortion War, from El Salvador to Oklahoma by Michelle Oberman and To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden. I made a list of the shortest books (under 200 pages) on my NOOK (99% are freebies) and I made a goal this summer to read one of these books every week and this Sunday Short book is Tongue Tied by Samie Sands.
This week I want to get to Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe by Keith O’Brien and A Death in Wichita: Abortion Doctor George Tiller and the New American Civil War by Stephen Singular. Both books are longer than my recent reads, so I am giving myself more time to read them. Also, both books can be used to fill prompts on my library’s Beanstack 2022 yearly reading challenge. Paradise Falls will fill the prompt of “book that takes place in the decade you were born” – 1970s in the USA was filled with environmental catastrophes and the birth of the EPA, because extremes are usual for life in the US. I will probably also count the book as part of my Summer of Science project. A Death in Wichita will fill the prompt of “book about/based on Kansas history”. How timely…
In a bid to catch up on my blogging, I’m doing both months in one post.
April was a busy month IRL but I did manage to read 8 books, three were book club picks. Nothing less than 3.5-4 stars; most surprising (in a good way!) was The Goodbye Witch – it was more emotional than the typical cozy mystery but what a story of grief and forgiveness.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
The Warrior’s Bride Prize by Jenni Fletcher
The Dating Dare (Sweet Mess #2) by Jayci Lee
The Good, the Bad, and the Witchy (Wishcraft Mystery #3) by Heather Blake
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits #1) by Olivia Waite
The Goodbye Witch (Wishcraft Mystery #4) by Heather Blake
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert
May is busier than April, yet I was able to read 13 books! This could be because May was also Bout of Books time, which helps a lot in me prioritizing reading over doom scrolling. I got back into reading off my NOOK, which is a yearly goal of mine. The news out of my country (USA) was horrendous and I self-soothe by reading lots about feminism. I also picked up two YA graphic novels because it has been a while since I read any graphic novels.
The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us vs. Them by Jason Stanley
Some Like It Witchy (Wishcraft Mystery #5) by Heather Blake
Hell’s Half-Acre: The Untold Story of the Benders, America’s First Serial Killer Family by Susan Jonusas
The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Osterberg
Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trap Feminist by Sesali Bowen
Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria
Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays) by Rebecca Solnit
Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption by Rafia Zakaria
Re-cap of the last two weeks: I finished two graphic novels, Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy and The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Osterberg. I finished Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trap Feminist by Sesali Bowen, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria, Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays) by Rebecca Solnit, Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption by Rafia Zakaria, and Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson. I DNF’d at 13% (50 pages) The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary.
This weekend is dance recital weekend, so in between getting my daughter’s hair and makeup done and costumes ready, I am going to try and get to Gone with the Witch (Wishcraft Mystery #6) by Heather Blake and How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones. How We Fight…will be my first book for the COYER Diversity read-a-thon.
This upcoming week I want to read To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden, Changing Leaves by Edie Bryant, Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier by Emily Brady, and start Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum.
My book club obligations are very small this month – I just have to read The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary. I have already read the book for COYER book club – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – in May for a different book club.
For Summer Reading Project: Summer of Science, I want to read four books. In print, I’m reading Love, Zac: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy by Reid Forgrave and Positive: One Doctor’s Personal Encounters with Death, Life, and the U.S. Healthcare System by Michael Saag, MD. On the Kindle, I’m reading Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. On my NOOK, I want to read Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson.
For Summer Reading Project: Summer of Love, I want to read five books. On my NOOK, I want to read A Little Light Mischief (The Turners #3.5) by Cat Sebastian and Mad for Love (Highland Brides #1) by Elizabeth Essex. In print, I want to read Lilian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath and To the Farthest Shore by Elizabeth Camden. On my Kindle, I want to read Never Cross a Highlander by Lisa Rayne.
I still have a bunch of library books to get through, but I also hope to read the following:
How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones (memoir)
Conventionally Yours (True Colors #1) by Annabeth Albert (contemporary m/m romance)
Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights by Eric Marcus (nonfiction)
Changing Leaves by Edie Bryant (contemporary f/f romance)
Love by the Letter (Unexpected Brides #0.5) by Melissa Jagears (historical m/f romance)
Get Lucky (Lucky in Love #1) by Lila Monroe (contemporary m/f romance)
Madness in Spring by Kate Noble (historical m/f romance)
I can’t believe we are nearing summertime already. I have two summer reading projects I want to spend my time on. Unlike last year, we are not going on any long vacations, mostly sticking to home and the pool. The kids and I will be participating in our local library’s summer reading program; the theme this year is Ocean of Possibilities.
Nonfiction: Summer of Science
I did a mini version of this project last year in a very mood-reading sort of way. This year I want to be more intentional and more varied in the subgenre of nonfiction science. I’m focusing more on the titles I own to bring down my TBR numbers. I picked 10 books, which is a doable 3-4 per month. If I finish/DNF before summer ends, I have extra titles that I can choose from.
365 Days by Ronald J. Glasser (Military Medicine)
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez (Research and Gender Studies)
Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson (Climate Change)
Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future by Rob Dunn (Industry/Farming)
Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island by Earl Swift (Climate Change/Social Issues)
The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin (Meteorology/History)
The Rise of Wolf 8: Witnessing the Triumph of Yellowstone’s Underdog by Rick McIntyre (Animal)
Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones (Drugs/Addiction)
Love, Zac: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy by Reid Forgrave (Concussions/Social Issues)
Positive: One Doctor’s Personal Encounters with Death, Life, and the US Healthcare System by Michael Saag, MD (Medicine/Public Policy)
Fiction: Summer of Love
This project came about because I am going to the reader-side of Romance GenreCon in Kansas City. This year’s focus is on historical romance and so far, 13 authors have been announced. I would like to have at least one book read from each of these authors prior to the convention’s weekend.
How to Love a Duke in 10 Days (Devil You Know #1)
To the Farthest Shore
One Dance with a Duke (Stud Club #1)
Mad for Love (Highland Brides #1)
Lilian and the Irresistible Duke
The Princess Stakes
Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (Lovers and Legends #8)
A Duke in Time (The Widow Rules #1)
His Secret Mistress (A Logical Man’s Guide to Dangerous Women #1)
Never Cross a Highlander
A Bittersweet Moment & The Bittersweet Bride (Advertisements in Love #0.5 and #1)
Before we start the book talk, I need to process my feelings because – I am now a parent of a middle schooler! My baby boy is 1) very much no longer a baby and 2) is celebrating his last day of 5th grade and elementary school. I’ve been a bit of an emotional mess the last few weeks. My daughter is celebrating her last day of 3rd grade and is looking forward to having the whole school to herself for the next two years LOL.
Re-cap from the last two weeks: I DNF’d The Gates of Europe by Serphii Plokhy- it was too much history for me to understand what is going on now in Ukraine. I decided to try the other group read for May, Red Famine by Anne Applebaum, which is coming to me via the library’s inter-library loan. I finished The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West, Hell’s Half-Acre by Susan Jonusas, Some Like It Witchy (Wishcraft Mystery #5) by Heather Blake, Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, and How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley.
This weekend, I want to finish Bad Fat Black Girl: Nots from a Trap Feminist by Sesali Bowen and Call Them By Their Names: American Crises (and Essays) by Rebecca Solnit. I also want to read two graphic novels: The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag and Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy.
This upcoming week I want to read Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin, Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption by Rafia Zakaria, Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria, and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. The topics are serious, but the book lengths are short, so I can knock these out before I hit my summer reading lists.
We are all familiar with Goodreads – the social media platform that is all about books. I have been a member for over a decade and have been using it consistently for about six years. For a long time, Goodreads was kind of the only space for all of us book nerds to go and discuss reading. (I know there were others, but no where near the scale of Goodreads.)
But at the end of 2020, I started hearing about an emerging challenger to Goodreads: The StoryGraph. Goodreads is definitely not without it’s problems, and I was constantly seeing people talk about things they didn’t like or were frustrated with, but because there wasn’t a lot of competition, I feel like Goodreads wasn’t too concerned about improving their site.
So, about a year ago, I signed up for The StoryGraph. There was a lot of hype surrounding it as a…
So…my week was a chaotic mess and therefore, no daily updates and just 1 IG photo. However, I participated in both Twitter chats and read over 1,000 pages, which means the week was focused on just reading when I had the time and mental ability to focus. So quick re-cap:
Monday: Finished The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West (80 pages); listened to Nice Racism by Robin DiAngelo for one hour and DNF’d it. Participated in Twitter chat and did an IG photo.
Tuesday: Started Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper (111 pages); continued How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley (36 pages).
Wednesday: Continued How Fascism Works (47 pages) and Eloquent Rage (55 pages).
Thursday: Finished Eloquent Rage (40 pages), finished How Fascism Works (53 pages); started Call Them By Their Names by Rebecca Solnit (41 pages) and Some Like It Witchy by Heather Blake (104 pages).
Friday: Continued with Some Like It Witchy (68 pages).
Saturday: finished Some Like It Witchy (130 pages); started Bad Fat Black Girl by Sesali Bowen (50 pages); continued with Hell’s Half-Acre by Susan Jonusas (56 pages).
Sunday: finished Hell’s Half-Acre by Susan Jonusas (142 pages).
17/21 Reading Sprints done
4 Nonfiction books finished; 1 fiction book finished
1,013/1,000 pages read
1/5 IG photo challenge posts done
2/2 Twitter chats done
Overall, not my best showing but I did manage to get my May reading mojo revved up. I will be participating in August.