Bookish Roundup — June, 2017

June Roundup Collage

FIRST of all, folks, allow me to apologize for the weak graphic up above. Canva was being a b**** and I basically had to use my Commodore 64 to procure a picture for this post. If you don’t know what that is, well… that just means I’m a hell of a lot older than you are.

I  do have to say that I’m sorry to see June go by the wayside, y’all. It was a great month, full of mild, sunny weather and good reads aplenty. A month in which even I felt comfortable enough to test my boundaries a bit…

About four years ago, I began reading almost exclusively on my Kindle Paperwhite. My main source of reading material comes from the public library, and I had been having some major OCD-ish germ issues for a while by the point I received my Paperwhite as a gift. So, I gave print books up. Unfortunately, even with the awesome selection my two public libraries’ digital services offer, I was still missing out on quite a few titles that held my interest that are only available (via the library) in print. I’d been getting REALLY sick of it. Sooooo…. I checked several (print) books out from the library. I have to admit that it was touch and go at first; had I found a hair or a booger in one of the books, things would have all come tumbling down. But – no boogers!! None. Nada. Success!!!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure I’ll still be doing the bulk of my reading on my Paperwhite, because I do prefer it for a plethora of other reasons, but I am now indulging in one or two print books each week. I have only one problem… I need a book light! I was so used to the glow of my Paperwhite in the dark that I was lost when it came time to read in bed with my new print library books. Thus, I am currently researching book lights (because you know I can’t have just any old book light; it must be THE BEST book light). I will keep you updated, because I know y’all are waiting on bated breath to hear all about it…

Let’s take a look at the 18 books I read in June:

Yes, yes, yes. I did  continue on with my YA Fantasy binge in June. Toward the end of the month, however, I was able to break away and read into some other genres – finally! The book I want to talk about the most is Ginny Moon – oh my goodness, what a heartbreaker that one was! Ginny is a 14-year-old girl with autism. Despite being newly adopted by her Forever parents, Ginny is desperate to get back to her birth mother – for something she holds very, very dear has been left behind. Let me tell you guys – this one had ALL. THE. FEELS. Run, don’t walk, to your library to snatch that book up and get to reading, y’all! There will be a quiz… (okay, not really, but it sounded good, right?).

I have a few books in mind for my July line-up, but some of my reading will be in-the-moment choices. Gotta have that spontaneity in there sometimes, you know? Keeps you young, keeps you fresh (that’s what Grandma Choo-Choo always said, anyway). I hope you have some great reading ahead of you as well, y’all. Enjoy your Summer and… Happy Reading!!

What book(s) from your june reads would you recommend to others?

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Reflections on my 2016 Bookish Resolutions

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In early January of 2016, I did something I don’t usually do. I spoke up. I went out on a limb here and shared with you my Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that seeing those words in black and white would make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – as well as to put the fear of God into myself to meet said goals so I didn’t look like a loser in front of my millions of followers and fans.

Um. Yeah. So… that didn’t necessarily work out the way I had hoped. As you’ll clearly see below.

I originally set five main bookish goals for the year of 2016. I was ready. I was motivated. I was not going to fail. Hmmmm… Let’s take a look at how things ended up, shall we?

1.  Read a minimum of 150 books in 2016:

Now, this particular goal was a not a problem for me. In fact, I surpassed my original goal by a long shot. Instead of the proposed 150 books, I finished the year off by reading a whopping 192 books! Not quite as many books as I finished in 2013 and 2014, but I beat my numbers from 2015 by 21 books!

2.  Keep a private reading log (separate from Goodreads and Pinterest):

Nope. Nothing. Nada. Did not happen. Maybe next time, folks. This was a disappointment for me, as I had been hoping to be able to keep track of certain statistics regarding my reading habits via this visionary reading log I was going to keep in Microsoft Excel, allowing me to create an end-of-year post with one of my favorite things ever, pie charts. Well, so much for that one.

3.  Read the books I own:

I have amassed a huge collection of novels on my Kindle Paperwhite (my preferred reading medium), and some in print as well. In January of last year, I pledged to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks instead of completely ignoring them while continuing to purchase new ones and checking out new releases from my libraries. Well. First of all, while the acquisition of new books did not stop, it did at least slow down a bit – so I suppose there was a small amount of success there. As far as reading my own damn books, however… Out of the 192 books I read in 2016, only a measly 29 of them were books that I personally owned. An equal number of books (again, 29) were galleys/ARCs gifted to me from publishers for review. That means that the remaining 154 books were acquired from my beloved libraries – NOT quite what I’d originally had planned.

4.  Continue to read more diverse books:

I am a big-time supporter of We Need Diverse Books (a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature). Reading about and supporting its activities really shed a light on the lack of diversity in my own reading habits. Thus, I pledged to read a minimum of fifty diverse books in 2016 (although ideally I would have liked to have read even more than that) – that would mean, if I were to have reached my original goal of 150, that 1/3 of those books would be 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. As we know, I exceeded my goal of 150 books in total. But how did I do with my 50 books from diverse origins? Well. Out of a total of 192 books, only 37 of them fell under the definition of “diverse” that I mentioned above. That is so not OK with me. I expected better from myself. I was simply not nearly as mindful about it as I planned to be – as I needed to be – and I’m disappointed in myself. But we’ll address this more in my resolutions for 2017…

5.  Join a book club:

For years and years, I wanted to be a part of an honest-to-goodness, real-life book club. Well, in 2016 that wish finally came true! I joined the online MomAdvice Book Club, created by the fabulous Amy Allen Clark, in January of last year and it was so fulfilling and so, so much fun. I even hosted our October discussion about Lily and the Octopus by Stephen Rowley. Me! Can you imagine? I promise you that those who know me well, can NOT imagine. In addition to the awesomeness of the MomAdvice Book Club, I also joined an IRL book club here in good ol’ Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s The Best Ever Book Club! Seriously. That’s the name of the book club. Fun, right? So, I joined it – kind of. Theoretically, anyway. I belong to the Facebook page, at least, and am friends with one of the members. I truly do intend to attend a meeting… at some point. I won’t go into the myriad reasons why it’s difficult for me to go out in public with groups of people, whether it be for small gatherings or large events – it’s a long story and it would bore you beyond belief. However, up to this point I have been unable to actually attend a meeting. I have, however, read most of the assigned books – and that counts for something, right?

All right, y’all. That there was my year in books. While I did meet (and in one case surpass) some of my goals, and while I am pleased about that, I didn’t meet enough of them to my satisfaction. Will I do better in 2017? Time will only tell. Keep your eyes peeled for My Bookish Resolutions for 2017, coming up next week.

Did you have any bookish goals for 2016? How did that work out for you?

The To-Be-Read Tag

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Kelly at The Well-Read Redhead posted this fun little questionnaire the other day. Apparently bloggers are tagging other bloggers to answer the questions, but since no one has tagged poor, lonely moi, I’m just going to be a crazy SWF and answer them anyway…

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Your first mistake is assuming that there is just one TBR pile. I’ve got my official one on Goodreads, of course, but there’s also the one on my library’s website, the one on my library’s eBook website, and then there’s the one at The Free Library of Philadelphia’s eBook website, to which I hold a membership. It ‘s a sickness, really.

2. Is your TBR list mostly print or eBook?

I personally prefer reading on my Kindle Paperwhite and seek out eBooks as often as possible (haters don’t hate!). Almost all of the books I read are from either my online libraries or the local library, so I do read a few in print; just not many.

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR list to read next?

I really just play it by ear. It depends on what ARCs are due for review, or what’s available from the library, or what Kindle deals I might have come across on Amazon.

4. What book has been on your TBR the longest?

According to Goodreads, I added Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen on August 23, 2012. There are others I’ve wanted to read for longer, but I don’t have a record of them, so we’ll go with the official record.

5. A book you recently added to your TBR?

Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

I don’t have any currently on the TBR because of their cover; that’s not something that usually draws me to a novel. But the last time I read a book for its cover, it was Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano, and it happened to be just as amazing on the inside as well.

7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading.

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. I was supposed to review the ARC, but just couldn’t bring myself to read it. Not my sort of thing. Come to think of it, I should probably go remove it from my list…

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison. It’s gonna be a killer, I can feel it in my bones.

9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – no question. I think I’m the last person on earth who hasn’t read it.

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

Outlander would be the winner of this one, as well. As we bibliophiles well know, when we find a novel we love, we want the whole world to love it, too.

11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read.

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash. I adore him. So far he has not written a single word I have not worshipped.

12. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

A measly total of 416. I recently went through it and weeded out most of the books that I knew I would never read. But trust me – this is just the puny little tip of the iceberg; see question #1 for more details.

Well, folks, that about does it for this particular Reader. Feel free to complete and share this little questionnaire yourself, if you haven’t already.

What about your TBR pile? share in the comments below!

 

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Library Love: December 12, 2014

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Library Love is a recurring post in which I share my bounty from my public libraries.

 

 

Alas, I did not visit my local library this week, y’all – however, I’m never very far from my trusty laptop and thus my online libraries saw plenty of me this week. It’s not that I don’t like going to the actual library (besides the whole leaving my house and going out in public part), I do. But I truly do prefer reading on my Kindle Paperwhite. Sorry, y’all, but that’s the way it is. I never – in a million years – would have guessed I would have forged this alliance, but… it is done. A Kindlephile I am. Oooh, and have you seen the new Kindle Voyage? Oh, Sweet Baby Jaysus, y’all, I just swoon when I look at it on Amazon! Heaven, y’all, heaven. Enough about my Kindle obsession, though – let’s take a look at what I’ll be reading next week:

I’ve had my eye on Blue Asylum for a while, and now that I’m going through a bit of a historical fiction obsession, I went for it. The Miniaturist has been on hold for me forever, and it finally became available – finally. Betrayed is part of a series I’ve been reading for years and years, so I don’t know if I’m reading it out of duty or for pleasure – I’ll let you know which afterward. Night Film. Ahhh, Night Film, how many times have I checked you out and returned you unread? Will this finally be your chance? Let’s hope so. The Objects of Her Affection is actually a book I stumbled upon accidentally while looking for a similarly titled novel – it sounded a bit intriguing so I went for it; hopefully it will be a happy surprise. Wish me luck, y’all – and Happy Reading!

What was the last “happy surprise” novel you read?

 

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Amazon Brings Goodreads to First-Generation Kindle Paperwhite

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When Amazon released the 2nd-generation Kindle Paperwhite last Winter, one of the features I was most envious of was the direct link to Goodreads located on the main menu of the device. I have lamented the fact that my 1st-generation Paperwhite does not have this feature on a daily basis since then. If you are in the same boat as me, well then I have got some awesome, awesome news, my friends! Amazon has announced that it is bringing Goodreads to the 1st-generation Paperwhite! This free upgrade will be available via an automatic, wireless download or as a manual download via USB, and will include several other groovy enhancements including inline footnotes, the ability to skim pages and chapters without losing your place, improvements to bookmarks, highlights, and notes, as well as the option to coordinate stored content via Cloud Collections.

With Goodreads now on your Kindle Paperwhite, you will be able to:

  • Rate books
  • View your shelves (read, currently reading, & to-read)
  • View Goodreads friends’ activities
  • Share your favorite passages from within the book you’re currently reading
  • Add your Amazon book purchases to your Goodreads shelves

But wait, you say. How will we know when we finally have Goodreads? I’m so glad you asked! Take a gander at the photo below:

goodreads-on-paperwhite

You’ll know your 1st-generation Paperwhite has Goodreads when you see the Goodreads “g” on the top right-hand side of your navigation bar.

If you just cannot wait for the automatic update, here are directions for How to Get Goodreads on Your Kindle Paperwhite Right Now. Please keep in mind that the post I just referred you to will direct you to download Update 5.4.2 – that was the update for the 2nd-generation Paperwhite. You will want to download Update 5.4.4. It really is very self-explanatory if you read the post I indicated and then visit the 1st-Generation Paperwhite update page.

If you’ve decided to wait around for the automatic upgrade but want to learn more, Engadget has published a post in which the author goes Hands-on with Goodreads for Kindle Paperwhite.

What do you think about Goodreads on the Kindle?

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Are You a Kindlephile?

Kindlephile

I thought you might want to hear the latest development in my Kindle obsession…

Yesterday, while I was reading a library book (a real, honest-to-God book! Yes, apparently homeschooling research OCD trumps library book booger/food crumb/bed bug OCD!)… Anyway… Yesterday, while I was reading a book, I came upon an unfamiliar word. No biggie. Without a thought, without a second of hesitation, I lifted my hand, pointed my index finger, and pressed down on the page. How embarrassing! Thank God no one knew what I was doing! While it would be nice if all books had the dictionary feature that the Kindle does, I think I would get a lot of strange looks if asked to explain myself… I do believe this was my final induction into the Kindlephile Hall of Fame.

Book Binge – July, 2013

Oh, y’all, July was a banner month for book-buying! Thanks to Book Gorilla and all my free Amazon gift cards from SwagBucks, my total out of pocket cost was $4.73. It doesn’t get better than that, folks. Now all all I have to do is stop checking out so many library books so I can start reading the ones I actually own! Take a look at the awesome haul I pulled in:

Now, I have already read a couple of these books, but had previously checked them out from the library and really wanted my own copies. Some of the titles were ones I may not have normally purchased, but at such low prices, it was worth it. For example, The Hangman’s Daughter books were only $0.99 each – awesome price, right? Plus the fact that with my Amazon gift cards, they were free for me. So, totally worth it once I get around to reading them. Other books were ones that I’ve been wanting to read for a while now {some for quite a while!}. In addition to signing up for the free newsletter from Book Gorilla, you can also find good deals on Kindle books on the Amazon website itself. Look for the Kindle Daily Deals; they also offer Monthly Deals at $3.99 or less. There are a ton of other resources out there, too – all you have to do is look. Books, books, everywhere, people!

Do you have a Kindle? Where do you find deals on Kindle books?