Thanksgiving Readathon 2017

thanksgiving-readathon-3

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!!

Bookish Roundup–October, 2017

October-Roundup

I love Fall, y’all!! I adore that crisp, cool air and spend copious amounts of time reading on my front porch with a blanket and coffee (or hot cocoa!) each day. Fall has been good to me this year, too, in that I had an awesome reading month in October! I read a total of nineteen books, raising my total number of books read for the year to 195. Woo-hoo!!

Now, let me be clear about something. I would have read even more books in October if it weren’t for this little devil:

tootsie

We spent a lot of time training and caring for little Miss Tootsie all month, toting her to and from Puppy Kindergarten classes and working on the skills we learned there here at home each day. She is growing a little each day, and although she’s still a tiny little stinker, Tootsie is light years away from where she was when she came to us. I know that your real questions is, is she growing on me yet? Yes, and no. She has definitely become somewhat easier to handle over the last month or so, but the peace I knew before she came into the household is still gone. The perfect equilibrium that my sweet Sheltie, Ruby, and I had enjoyed has been shattered and we’re still trying to figure out how to fit Tootsie into our lives. One thing is for sure, however; The Boy is one happy camper. He absolutely adores Tootsie and works tirelessly to care for her and to make things easier for me when it comes to her care. He’s a keeper, that’s for sure.

Back to the books, y’all! Let’s take a look at what I read in October:

Wow. Where do I even begin? So many of the books I read last month were amazing. Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing was both brilliant and powerful. Becky Albertalli is a new favorite YA author; I hear that she is collaborating on a new novel with YA author Adam Silvera – can’t wait to check that one out! Castle of Water, recommended by a book club friend, was everything it was promised to be – many tears were shed with this one, y’all, so be prepared. Jessica Cluess’s Kingdom on Fire Series is excellent. Speaking of puppies (as I was a moment ago) The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete was a good read as well, and helpful to The Boy and I on many points.

As I said, October was a fantastic month for reading and I’m hoping that November will be the same (or better!). Temperatures are still in the 50’s and even 60’s on some days here in Nebraska, so there is still plenty of porch time ahead for me. I have some great books waiting for me on my November TBR, and I can’t wait to get started. Happy Reading to you all!!

Where is your favorite place to read in the Fall?

Save

Reflections on my 2016 Bookish Resolutions

Resolutions-e-cards

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?

End-of-Year Roundup: Best Books of 2016

f238991255b43a4d5215b6457881f730

Well. Thank goodness THAT is over, amiright? It’s good to be in 2017 and starting off fresh, is it not, friends? I love the New Year. I love so many things about it: the feeling of renewal, of fresh starts, of second chances, of redetermination, of hope. This year is gonna be my year, y’all, I can feel it – and I just know it’s going to be your year, too!

I originally was not going to write a “best books” post for 2016 because of the fantastic amount of excellent fiction (and wee bit of non-fiction) I read last year, but several people requested that I did write one, so… here we are! In no particular order, I will proceed to share with you my Top 11 Fave Books of 2016. Why eleven, you ask? Because I can, that’s why.

Y’all, these books were so amazing. Please do not ask me for a top one, two, or three. I honestly could not break it down for you. Each one has its own unique personality and charm, and you must read each of them! I will say that A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold is such an important book to read, especially if you are a parent or someone else who works closely with children. It truly changed the way I think about and interact with my son on a daily basis. Also, major trigger warnings if you are going to read Difficult Women by Roxane Gay – while this is a truly compelling collection of short stories, she does write about sexual violence toward women on multiple occasions.

Oh my gosh, you guys – I am so excited for the books to come in 2017! I’ve already started my year off on a great note – more to come on that later – and plan to keep it going strong. Woo-hoo!! Happy Reading in 2017, y’all!!

What were your fave books of 2016?

Save

Save

Save

Save

November, 2016 Reading Roundup

jan-14-64

I hope everyone had a pleasant Fall holiday in November; we certainly did here at the Pathologically Literate Household! We do things small over here, so it was just Poppie, The Boy, and myself with a ham and some yummy side dishes… nice, peaceful, and more importantly, zero family drama – LOL!!

Reading slowed down a bit this month (compared to October, anyway) mostly because I’m sleeping again at night (thank you, sweet baby jaysus!). I still made it through seventeen good ones, however. Let’s take a look:

    • The Girl Before by J.P Delaney  {4 stars}
    • Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall  {4 stars}
    • Good as Gone by Amy Gentry  {3 stars}
    • The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Harry Bosch, #21) by Michael Connelly  {4 stars}
    • Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan  {3 stars}
    • The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan  {3 stars}
    • Night School (Jack Reacher, #21) by Lee Child  {3 stars}
    • Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight  {2 stars}
    • Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes {4 stars}
    • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon {4 stars}
    • Bloodroot by Amy Greene {4 stars}
    • The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan {4 stars}
    • The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner {3 stars}
    • The 4th Man (Quincy & Rainie, #6.5) by Lisa Gardner  {3 stars}
    • The Whistler by John Grisham {2 stars}
    • The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1) by Megan Shepherd (3.5 stars)
    • The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes  (4 stars)

I have to say that The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon was a standout read, as was Bloodroot by Amy Greene and Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall. If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for loved ones, these three are good places to start.

Can you believe it’s December already, y’all? I just put my Holiday wreath up and we’re picking up a tree later this weekend. Time went crazy fast in 2016! I think I’m going to slow things down for myself a little bit this morning by making a delicious pot of coffee and curling up with a cup and my current read… Ahhhh, I feel cozier already!! Stay warm, everyone and I’ll catch you on the flip side!

What are you reading to keep yourself warm this month?

Save

My Bookish Resolutions for 2016

2014129-11594625-1242-books

At the end/beginning of each year, I sit and think on any goals or ambitions I might have for my reading in the coming new year. I generally keep these filed away in a random part of my mind, thinking about them only rarely, when it is convenient for me or when I am reminded of them. Thus, it is often that I do not reach said goals or lofty ambitions that I set for myself – surprise, surprise. I’m going out on a limb here and sharing with you my Bookish Resolutions for 2016 in the hope that seeing these words in black and white will make them more real to me, and thus more attainable – and also, because a little accountability and fear of public failure/humiliation is always good for motivation from time to time…

1. read a minimum of 150 books in 2016.

image

As part of the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, I have pledged to read 150 books by December 31, 2016. In past years I have read: 171 in 2015, 225 in 2014, and 213 in 2013. We had a few bumps in the road in 2015 that ate into my reading time, bringing my total down quite a bit from past years. As certain issues are yet to be resolved, I’m going to play it safe and keep my challenge goal down to a manageable number since I  just don’t seem to be able to keep up with my former pace as of late.

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

pie-chart

Two words, y’all: PIE CHARTS. I’m so jealous of the book bloggers that keep such meticulous records that they are able to produce pie charts outlining their reading habits at the end of each year, and have been telling myself for ages that I am going to do the same: This. Is. The. Year! Amanda Nelson at Book Riot tracks her reading via The Ultimate Reading Spreadsheet in Google Docs. She shares the template for her spreadsheet here. I have downloaded it to Excel and, after making various personalizations, will be recording the hell out of my reading in 2016 so I can get my pie chart groove on next January…

3. read the books I own.

readmyowndamnbooksbutton

I continue to amass a collection of novels (mainly on my Kindle) that then remain unread as I continue to aggressively read library checkouts and NetGalley selections. While my situation is not as dire as my friend Cathy’s over at 746 Books, if I don’t take action now it could certainly grow to such an outlandish situation. How am I going to achieve this? I’m not yet sure. So many new releases are tempting me, as well as all of those goodies on my TBR list – I must be strong, y’all. I’m thinking… Maybe one book I own for every one or two library/NetGalley books, perhaps? I’ll have to fine-tune my process over the next month or two and will return here for an update. Andi over at Estella’s Revenge has started up a “read whatcha got” reading effort for 2016 called #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. As she says, it’s totally a choose-your-own-adventure, no rules type of thang – if you’re interested and would like to join in, you can link up here.

4. Continue to read more diverse books.

WNDB_Button

I thought I was making a conscious effort to do this in 2015, but apparently not, for I failed miserably. Out of 171 books, only 28 of them could truly be classified as diverse literature. However, it is a new year and time for a fresh start! I’ve read nine books so far in 2016, and three of them can be classified as diverse literature. Over at the website for We Need Diverse Books, I have pledged to read a minimum of fifty diverse books this year – that would mean, if I were to reach my 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. This is equal to about four to five “diverse” books each month. Personally, I think it should be more than that and plan to be a bit more intentional about the books I read in order to try to increase that amount, but I will ultimately be satisfied if I reach my original goal of fifty, because I can always improve upon that in 2017!

5. Join a book club.

mom-advice-book-club-pic

I’ve always wanted to be in a book club. Always. Alas, no one I know (IRL) likes to read the way I do or would ever consider forming a book club with me. Boo-hoo. Rushing in to save the day, however, is Amy Allen Clark over at MomAdvice.com! Amy recently created the MomAdvice Hangout (join us!) over on Facebook, a group of which I am a part, and which I adore! We chat about all kinds of things, of course, but an oft-discussed topic is books, books, and more books. The best part is that Amy has created the MomAdvice Book Club, which began in January, 2016. Our first book, chosen by Amy herself, is The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende – it was a great read, and I can’t wait for the discussion to start!

These are my top five resolutions for 2016 – as they relate to reading, that is. It’s going to be a great year full of great reads, I can just sense it (my TBR list is telling me so, as well)!

Have you made any bookish resolutions for 2016? Please share in the comments below!

Library Love: April 27, 2015

library-love-soft-light

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

 

 

 

I just realized it’s been over a month since I’ve given y’all some Library Love, so here you go!

l-love-4-27-15

I just finished Michael Robotham’s newest novel, Life or Death, last week and it was so good! I’m hoping that his novel, The Suspect, will be, too. I’ve already finished Bret Lott’s The Hunt Club, and it was an OK read; Dead Low Tide is its sequel and I’m hoping it will be a little bit better. Cold Sassy Tree has been on my TBR list for a very long time, and I’m looking forward to getting into it. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake… what can I say, y’all? I’ve checked old Samuel out from the library multiple times and never finished the book before it was time to return it. This will be the fourth and final time I do so – it will be read, so help me God! I kept the check-outs to a minimum this week because I have quite a few ARC’s to get through for April and May; can’t wait until they’re taken care of, because I have my beloved, ever-growing TBR list to get back to work on! Until next time, y’all, Happy Reading!

Is there a book that you’ve been struggling to finish, too? Share in the comments!

What I’ve Been Reading: Mini-Reviews

openbooks

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that with as many books as I read, I don’t take the time to review every. single. one. I have read some pretty great ones (and a not-so-great one or two) recently that I wanted to mention, however, so I thought I’d share them here (in what may or may not become a recurring post):

pluto

1. Pluto by R.J. Palacio – 4 stars

The Boy and I both loved R.J. Palacio’s hit novel, Wonder (2012), and were thrilled when we learned she had written a follow-up novella, The Julian Chapter. Pluto is yet another Wonder Story, told exclusively from the perspective of Christopher, Auggie’s best and oldest friend.

god-dont-like-ugly

2. God Don’t LIke Ugly by Mary Monroe – 5 stars

In God Don’t Like Ugly, Mary Monroe “brings to life the bond between two girls from opposite sides of the tracks–and the shattering event that changes their world forever–in this coming-of-age tale about a sexually abused young black woman and the beautiful and diabolical best friend who comes to her rescue.” Make no mistake: this is a very heavy and at times depressing novel, albeit a very good one. There are six novels in this series, of which I’ve read three. God Still Don’t Like Ugly (#2) is definitely worth reading, God Don’t Play (#3) is something you’ll want to read only if you can’t find anything else. I tried reading  God Ain’t Blind (#4), but put it down almost immediately – definitely not worth your time.

speak

3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – 5 stars

In this YA novel, we follow Melinda as she moves through her first year of high school. She has been shunned due to the fact that she called the police to break up a late summer party; we’re not told at first why she did this, although the reason soon becomes clear. Speak is very powerful, very heartbreaking, and I highly recommend it.

mobile-library

4. Mobile Library by David Whitehouse – 3 stars

Twelve-year-old Bobby Nusku befriends thirteen-year-old Rosa and her single mother, Val. Val is employed as the cleaning lady for the local Mobile Library, which is about to be closed down due to lack of funding. When Bobby is beaten badly by his abusive father, Val packs up Rosa, their dog and Bobby, and they hijack the Mobile Library for an across-the-country  escape. I had such high hopes for this novel, but it just didn’t do it for me the way I thought it would. Mobile Library is still, however, a good read and you should check it out if you have the time.

the-orphans-of-race-point

5. The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis – 3 stars

The Orphans of Race Point is another novel I had high hopes for, that just didn’t give me the toe-tingling excitement I’d hoped for. Hallie and Gus were high-school sweethearts until an act of violence tore them apart. Gus then entered the seminary and served as a priest until he was falsely accused of murder and sent to prison. It’s up to Hallie to try to prove his innocence, but she doesn’t do such a hot job with that. Basically, the writing is all very long and drawn-out and full of unnecessary detail until about halfway through, when things start to get a bit more exciting. Don’t just take my word for it, though, because a whole lot of people reeeeally loved this book – so go and get you some, y’all.

A few more worth mentioning…

PicMonkey Collage

So that’s what I’m up to, y’all, when I’m not homeschooling, homemaking, spending time with The Boy, or reviewing the other books I’ve read. It’s a small life, but it’s my life, and I love it. Happy Reading, y’all!

What have you been reading?

Library Love, Junior Edition: March 6, 2015

library-love-crayon

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

 

 

 

The Boy received a plethora of books as Christmas gifts in December. How many of those would you say that he’s read by now? I’ll tell you: Zero. Zip. Nada. Can you believe this? I listened to his protests of love for nonfiction and made most of the selections nonfiction books – oh, he showed so much excitement at the time, but not one bit of interest now. What’s up with that? Thus, he has been reading strictly fiction so far this year. Hmph. Go figure. Not that I’m complaining, per se, because as long as he’s reading, I’m happy. What made me even happier this week is that he specifically requested that I select some books for him – normally he moans and groans when I do this (although he always winds up happy in the end). I had a lot of fun choosing his reading for the next couple of weeks; I had just as much fun choosing my own!

The Boy’s Haul

librarylovejredition

Pathologically Literate’s Haul

librarylove-3-6-15

What are you reading this week? Share in the comments!

Library Love: January 9, 2015

library-love-soft-light

 

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

 

 

Happy New Year, y’all! Yes, yes, I realize I’m a little late to the game with that, but at least I’m here, right? I’ve got some great books lined up for this week. Without meaning to, I’ve created a theme: Books that have been on my TBR list fo-eva! Let’s take a look:

As I mentioned, all five of these novels have been on my TBR shelf, either at the library or on Goodreads for a good year or more. I’ve already begun reading The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and I’m loving it! I honestly hadn’t expected to like it this much; it’s a very pleasant surprise. Next on the list will be Three Souls – I’m really looking forward to that one, too. And with that, y’all, I’m off to get my read on. Happy reading to you all!

What book has been on your TBR list the longest? Share in the comments!

 

__________________________________________

Enjoy this post?

Visit the upper right sidebar to sign on for FREE updates!