Bout of Books 22 Is Here!!

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All right, y’all – it’s about that time again! Bout of Books 22 is almost here, and I’m about to be getting my read on. Hard. Core.

For those who don’t know what Bout of Books is all about… let’s take a look below:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I would adore it if all of you little darlings would join me – c’mon, you know you want to!! Get yourself on over to the Bout of Books blog and sign your sweet little selves up! It’ll be the most fun, but with books! Which makes it even better, of course.

Hope to see you there, friends. Happy Reading to you all!!

Have you participated in a readathon before? If not, would you ever consider doing so?

Bookish Roundup — April, 2018

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Happy May Day, y’all! Another year is nearly half way over, can you believe it? The time has flown by, especially since I tend to measure it by how many books I’ve read! April happened to fly by particularly quickly, not the least because I participated in (count ‘em) two readathons. I had so much fun participating in the 25 in 5 Readathon at the beginning of April, and particularly the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon at the end of the month. For the Dewey’s Readathon, I once again holed up in my BFF’s amazing guest suite, where I was waited on hand and foot while I read my little heart out. I am so lucky to have this friend and her family in my life, and I never let myself forget it. Thank you again, Carrie!!

Now, because of the readathons I was able to read a total of 19 books in April – woo-hoo!! I’m back in the game again, y’all – that pesky reading slump is old news as far as I’m concerned. I was able to read five books during the 25 in 5 Readathon, and during the Dewey’s Readathon I was able to read four. The remaining ten books were spread out through the rest of the month.

Books I Read in April:

I went heavy on the YA again in April, but I just couldn’t help myself – there were too many great titles that I just could not pass up! Of particular note in the YA category, I would mention The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. Both were particularly well-written, powerful reads. Stray City was an excellent novel as well, but of particular note I would like to mention Alice by Christina Henry and its sequel, Red Queen. A dark, twisted retelling of The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, these books simply blew me away.

May is upon us, y’all, and it’s starting to finally warm up (and green up) out there. I’m getting to spend more and more time reading out on my front porch, enjoying both my books and the sunshine. Coming up in May is the week-long Bout of Books Readathon, which I will be participating in. You can also look forward to a mid-year check-in of my 2018 Bookish Resolutions: How am I doing? Am I meeting my goals? Failing horribly? Stick around and you will find out soon enough… Happy Reading to you all!!

Did you read any YA in April? What was your fave book of the month?

Bookish Roundup–March, 2018

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Spring is finally here, y’all! I’m so excited, and I’m excited as well to share with you the twelve books I read in March. Twelve, you say? Admittedly, that’s quite a few less than my usual monthly count. Unfortunately, if you factor in some illness, raging insomnia, and drama then my productivity drops dramatically. Actually, insomnia generally works to my advantage with reading, but not this time. But it’s April now, and I’m back in bed and back on my reading game, y’all!! I may have read far fewer books than usual, but what I lacked in quantity I more than made up for with quality.

Books I Read In March:

I was so happy to return to a childhood favorite by rereading A Wrinkle In Time – I loved it so as a child but after thirty-five years couldn’t remember a lot about it. Refreshing my memory was truly a delightful experience. The book that surprised me the most in March was The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, by turning out to be a very dark and twisted tale that was quite unlike what I’d expected. Everless by Sara Holland was also a great read. I look forward to the sequels of both of these books. After the let down of Clare Mackintosh’s sophomore novel, I See You, I was so pleased with the brilliant twists and turns of her newest novel, Let Me Lie. For my March nonfiction selection, I read The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson – I’m in the process of (slowly) decluttering my home and this served as even more encouragement to do so.

That said, I honestly would recommend all of the books I read last month; you really couldn’t go wrong with any one you might pick. I’m hoping I’ll have just as much good luck with April’s reads. I’m also hopeful that I’ll be able to increase my reading productivity as well. While twelve books is an amazing amount for some people, it’s a somewhat dismal amount for myself. Alas, it remains to be seen whether this is going to be my new normal, or if I shall return to my former glory…

It snowed here in Nebraska on April Fool’s Day . Good one, right? One thing is for sure – I’m so happy to be welcoming the sunshine-y weather that is slowly but surely showing up now that Spring is here, and to be spending more time reading in my favorite spot on my front porch. If only you could join me for a spell! Wherever you are, however, Happy Reading to you!!

Where is your fave reading spot in the spring?

Bookish Roundup — February, 2018

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While the month of love has passed, my love for reading has not. With the end of February, the time to share its month’s reads has come. Y’all, my reading list was all over the place this month. We’re talking the good, the bad, and the ugly. But even the ugly garnered a four-starred review, so I’m not complaining. This month held a healthy mix of both adult and YA fiction. Unfortunately, I did not keep up with my goal to read a minimum of one non-fiction book per month. I suppose this means I will have to redeem myself by reading at least two non-fiction works during another month this year. Ugh. Yay!! All right, y’all, without further ado…

Books I Read In February:

Y’all, I read some amazing fiction in February – and some that was not-so-amazing. But let’s talk about the positives, shall we? Amber Smith’s The Last to Let Go was just as powerful as her previous novel, The Way I Used to Be – she is definitely an author to keep on your radar. Dime, by E.R. Frank, was brutal (major trigger warnings, btw) but necessary and even though it was hard to read, I’m glad I did. Teen human trafficking is real, and this novel brought that to life in a big way. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera was both tenderly sorrowful and full of humor at the same time, and How to Stop Time by Matt Haig was just plain amazing – Haig is definitely someone whose previous work I’m looking up. Many of the other novels I read were darn stinkin’ good as well, but the above mentioned were my faves of the month.

March is almost here, and the weather is starting to heat up just a bit. Temps today here in Nebraska reached the 60’s and I rejoiced as I relaxed on my front porch with my current read. Does it matter that it’s supposed to snow tomorrow? No. No, it does not – because I got in a beautiful day of warmth and sunshine, and I’ll take what I can get after months of clouds and cold. I hope wherever you are, the sun is shining down on you as well. Happy Reading, y’all!!

What was your fave book of february?

Bookish Roundup — January, 2018

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Oh. Em. Gee. January was a gangbusters month in reading for me, y’all, and I am here to tell you all about it! Not only did I manage to read 23 books last month, but I found soooo many amazing reads that I couldn’t believe my luck…

Books I read in January:

As I mentioned above, so many of the books I read in January were just spectacular. I also happened to read a LOT of YA titles – 17 of the 23 books I read were of the YA variety, in fact. Whew! And to think that this time last year, I wouldn’t touch the stuff! How times change…

Some of my fave titles from January included The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. A special shout-out goes to Girls Like Us by Gail Giles. While it was a short read (221 pages), Girls Like Us was so sweet and real and heartbreakingly beautiful. I read it in one evening and did not want it to end. It’s definitely a must read for everyone.

Based on my raging reading success in January, I am super excited to get started on my February reading list. I already have several titles waiting for me on my Kindle Paperwhite (both owned and borrowed), as well as those sent to me from NetGalley and those I’ve checked out from my local library. Don’t know if I can beat the record I set last month of reading 23 books since we only have a 28-day month, but I’m sure going to give it everything I’ve got. Happy Reading in February, y’all!!

What was your fave read of January?

My 2018 Bookish Resolutions

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A new year has come and with it the chance for a fresh start. At the beginning of a new year, many people set goals to lose weight or to exercise more. Here at Pathologically Literate, my resolutions tend to take more of a bookish bent. Indeed, a new year calls for new reading goals (and new books!). In 2018, I’m challenging myself to read bigger and better – and hope to take you along for the ride! Here are five of my Bookish Resolutions for 2018 that I hope will lead me to new books, characters, and authors to adore.

1. Read a minimum of 200 books in 2018

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In 2017, I surpassed my goal of reading 175 books by instead reading a whopping 229 books. Thus, in 2018 my goal for the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge is to read a minimum of 200 books. Homeschooling high school has proven to be soul-sucking time-consuming but as always, reading was my salvation in 2017, and I’m hoping it will continue to be so in 2018.

2. Continue to read *more* more diverse books

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I’ve made it a goal of mine since the beginning of 2015 to read more books written by or about people of all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t necessarily translate into good results without mindful action. In 2016, I read 37 books that were written by or about people of diverse experiences. One of my resolutions in 2017 was to be more intentional about the books I chose in order to increase this number. I’m happy to say that in 2017 I read 118 books that were written by or about people of diverse experiences, almost triple that of the year before. While this is encouraging, I still feel it is not enough. Thus, it is still a goal for me to be more intentional about the books I choose this year in order to read more diversely.

3. Read more non-fiction

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I read nine works of non-fiction in 2017. NINE, y’all. Most of which were cookbooks or dog training manuals. I feel this is unacceptable, as I think it is my responsibility to contribute to self-improvement and self-awareness by reading more about the world around me. Now, obviously, Fiction is my jam. I do admittedly shy away from Non-Fiction, however, I have a plan of action. I’m going to start small, and hope that things grow from there. To begin with I intend to read a minimum of one Non-Fiction book per month in 2018. Not only that, but the book must be something of substance – cookbooks do not count toward this goal. I’m hoping to start off in January with Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

4. Read more books from my tbr list

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Now, I know I’m not the only one with an out-of-control To-Be-Read list. However, my current TBR count on Goodreads is a whopping 596 books – and that’s just my official TBR list!! I know that it would be an absolutely impossible goal to not add more books to the list in 2018. Instead, my goal is to whittle down my existing list as much as possible by reading the books that are already on it. You see, I tend to have an “Ooooh, shiny!!” approach to books, where the books I check out from the library or purchase from the store are completely different than those on my TBR. I did whittle the list down a slight bit in 2017, however, I plan to do so even more in 2018. The last book added to my TBR in 2017 was The Place Between Breaths by An Na. Let this be the bookmark that lets us know where books began to be added vs. read in 2018. We’ll check back next year to compare…

5. Continue to develop my presence on Pathologically Literate

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In 2017 I made it a goal to pay more attention to the Pathologically Literate blog. I had gone from posting daily when I first created the blog a few years ago to posting only a few times a year. Last year I wound up posting a monthly roundup of my reading as well as a few other posts here and there. While this wasn’t exactly the presence I’d hoped to foster, it was more time than I had spent the previous year, so we’ll call that a win. In 2018, I would like to increase my presence on this blog even more. I hope to continue with my monthly bookish roundups, share other bookish fun, as well as write about our adventures in homeschooling and life in general in the Pathologically Literate household. Hold on to your hats, y’all – I’m breathing some fresh air into this little ol’ blog!

It is my hope that 2018 will be a year of change – for the better – for our country and for us as individuals. I hope that for myself it is going to be a year of good reads, good writing, and good times. I sincerely hope you are here with me for the journey. Happy Reading in the New Year, y’all!!

What are your bookish goals for 2018?

Bookish Roundup – December, 2017

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I’m so excited to share with you the final Bookish Roundup of 2017!! December started out amazingly well as I raced through the books, but towards the end of the month, things began to slow considerably for me. That said, I still managed to pack a total of 16 books under my belt (bringing my total books read in 2017 up to 229!). I read in my comfort zone, out of my comfort zone, and around my comfort zone – I read all kinds of books in December, and I enjoyed almost all of them immensely.

Books I Read in December:

I was quite pleased to finally pick up the Night trilogy by Elie Wiesel, something that, I’m ashamed to say, had been on my TBR for over twenty years. Hauntingly, boldly, and bluntly, Wiesel tore my heart to shreds. I worked quite a bit of YA into the mix, and even got some YA Fantasy on that list for good measure. All of those were great reads that I definitely recommend. I had a lot of heavy reading in December, so it was nice to be able to work in a little Jenny Colgan, my go-to, feel-good cozy romance diva extraordinaire. If I had to choose a top three out of all 16 books I read, I would have to go with Starfish by Akemi Dawn Brown, Devils Within by S.F. Henson, and Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill. All three are YA novels; all three are spectacular.

I’m super excited to get started on my reading list for the new year, and to see what new books come into my life as well. I just know 2018 is going to be a year of good times and even better reads. I wish the best to all of you and hope you have Happy Reading in the new year!

What was the last book you read in 2017?

End-Of-Year Roundup: Best Books of 2017

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2017 is coming to a close, and that means I now get to share with you my favorite books of the year. I read sooooo many good ones this year, y’all (229 books in total, as a matter of fact!) and it was torture trying to narrow things down to a list of just ten books. You almost had a list of my Top 35 Books of the Year… That just didn’t have a nice ring to it, however, so I worked my tail off and came up with my top ten favorites (plus just a few more, because that’s how I roll).

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My Top Ten Books of 2017:

      1. Born a Crime:  Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
      2. This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
      3. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
      4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
      5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
      6. Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
      7. The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick
      8. The Seven Rules of Elvira Carr by Frances Maynard
      9. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
      10. The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

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As always, click each title to be taken to a summary of the book. Now, you may have noticed something about this list that is a little unusual compared to past lists… Yes, you are correct: three of the titles are YA books! 2017 was the year of the YA novel for Pathologically Literate!! I’m not sure of the exact stats (those are yet to come in my PIE CHART post in January) but let’s just say I read… a crap-ton of YA novels this year. I know, I know – Hell did not freeze over, like I claimed so many times that it would before I would become a YA fan. What can I say, y’all? There is some quality stuff out there and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

While I was choosing which arm to cut off narrowing down my selections, I just had to tack on some honorable mentions, as I could not keep my list down to a mere ten books. This, too, was a tough job as I wanted to choose so many of the wonderful books I read this year. Please don’t forget to check out my “2017” Shelf on Goodreads for a look at everything I read this year. While you’re there, be sure to add me as your newest Goodreads friend!!

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Honorable Mentions:

Oh, yes, y’all – another anomaly on the Honorable Mentions list, isn’t there? I’ve also mentioned in the past that Harry Potter was not something that called to me, and it wasn’t – until now. Indeed, 2017 was also the year of Harry Potter – in which I tentatively picked up the first book in the series, liked it, then wound up absolutely devouring the rest of the series in little over a week. This sparked a flurry of excitement within my online book club, and I had much fun discussing the various books in the series with my friends there as I read them.

2017 was a year of good times and good reads, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come in the next year. Bring it on, 2018!!

Did you have any favorite books of 2017? Share in the comments!

Bookish Roundup — November, 2017

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Whew! November was a crazy busy month here in the Pathologically Literate household, y’all, and am I glad it is over. C’mon, December – hit me with your best shot!! Despite the craziness of November, I was able to read a total of eighteen books and participate in a five-day Thanksgiving Readathon. Thus, I’m not complaining too much.

Here’s a list of everything I read in November:

So… November, 2017 was the unofficial Month of Cheesy Romance Novels. I loved getting to know the Winston Brothers, and started on a Sarah MacLean series as well. In fact, there were several great reads this month, however, my favorite novel by far was The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg. Berg has been one of my favorite authors for about twenty years now, but her last few books have really been hit or miss for me. Folks, with The Story of Arthur Truluv, that old Berg magic is back!! Arthur stole my heart about two minutes in and, nearly a month later, has yet to give it back.

Now that December is here, I have twelve more books to read to reach my unofficial goal of reading 225 books in 2017. Piece of cake, y’all!! In fact, barring natural disasters, I believe I shall surpass that goal. Yay, me!! Keep your eyes peeled in January for an update on my Bookish Resolutions for 2017. Until then, friends – Happy Reading!!

What did you read in November?

Thanksgiving Readathon 2017

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It’s finally Thanksgiving week, y’all, and time for a break from everyday life! Homeschool is on hold until next week. The Boy has plenty of activities to keep himself busy with. Poppy is in charge of Thanksgiving dinner this year (hallelujah!!). All I need to do now is sit back… and read, of course! What better way to do that than to participate in the first ever official Thanksgiving Readathon, right?

The Thanksgiving Readathon, hosted by the blogs Novels and Nonfiction and Death by Tsundoku, will run from Wednesday, November 22 through Sunday, November 26, 2017.  It’s a very informal and laid-back style of Readathon, in that your goal is simply to read as many books as you can over those four days. No rules or regulations, no competition, no pressure. My kind of thing, for sure. For more information about how you can participate, read this post.

I don’t know exactly what I’ll be reading during these four days, however I do have four books I would definitely like to get into:

I have several other books on my Kindle Paperwhite as well as a stack from the library that are waiting patiently for me, so things are not limited to just the four mentioned above by any means. I cannot wait to get started and down to business.

The main concern I’ve heard from friends is, “Isn’t this going to interfere with your Thanksgiving plans?” To which I respond, “What plans?!” Not really, y’all. But Thanksgiving, for my small family, has been very laid-back for the last few years. It’s just Poppy, The Boy, and myself eating a happy meal on the special day. There’s no big to-do or traditional gathering, etc. I definitely prefer it to Thanksgivings past, where we did have to go through the motions of a big holiday feast. This is so much more relaxing, and meaningful, in a way.

The best part of our small, laid-back holiday is, of course, that I have mucho time for reading!! I’m so excited to get started on the Thanksgiving Readathon, so I’m going to go do just that. I hope you decide to join me and have a blast yourselves! Either way, y’all… Happy Reading!!

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your home? What are some of your traditions? If you’re participating in this year’s readathon, share your TBR below!!