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!!

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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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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Kindle Unlimited: Boss or Bust?

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Is Amazon showing some love for their Kindle readers, or what? The online retailers announced a new program today for Kindle users: Kindle Unlimited. Members of Kindle Unlimited will have access to over 600,000 titles, thousands of which come with free Audible audiobooks that can be listened to via Kindle tablets or the free Kindle reading app. Additionally, Kindle Unlimited members will receive a free three-month Audible membership, providing them with access to over 150,000 titles. How much will this cost you? Simply $9.99 per month. What a deal! Or is it?

Dealio-schmealio, is what I say. $9.99 per month adds up to $119.88 per year. To me, personally, the titles available via Kindle Unlimited are not worth $120.00 each year. Don’t get me wrong – there are some good ones available; just not as many as I would prefer. I am sure that there are many of you out there who will jump at this deal and it will do wonders for your reading life. More power to you! However, many of the titles that were of interest to me are either already in my personal library, or are available via my online public libraries. The rest, well, I’m willing to hoof it to the local library and read them in print – for free.

Take a look at the Kindle Unlimited trailer:

 

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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:

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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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101 Reasons I Love My Kindle Paperwhite

paperwhite.jpgI’ve mentioned previously how crucial my Amazon Kindle Paperwhite has become to my reading life. I use this thing for hours, most days. I use it every day, though, no matter what. There are so many things I love about my Kindle, and while I probably could live up to the title of this post and tell you 101 reasons, I’m going to let you off the hook by only giving you ten…

1.  It is clean.

I’ve shared my issues with the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of library books and my OCD tendencies. My Kindle has solved these issues for the time being. It is clean. It has only been used by me. If it does become soiled, I can clean it myself and restore it to it’s original, pristine condition.

2.  It Glows. Like Magic.

While the Kindle Paperwhite does have an e-Ink display, it is also lit from within, allowing me to read wherever I am. Outside at high noon with the brightly shining sun? No problem. In bed, with the lights out? Smooth sailing. The display is always clear, crisp and easy as pie to read. Perfect for these aging eyes.

3.  It is compact/portable.

If you are a Reader, you most likely bring a book with you everywhere you go. If you are an OCD Reader, you make sure to bring an Emergency Book as well. This makes for a very heavy purse! My Kindle Paperwhite stands at roughly 7 x 5 inches, is .36 inches thick, and weighs less than eight ounces. This is a HUGE difference in the room it takes up when I’m on the go, not to mention the weight it (doesn’t) put on my shoulder when I’m carrying it in my purse. And since you can load multiple books on your Kindle, I have multiple Emergency Books with me at all times!

4.  It is easy to hold.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting old, or what’s going on, but when I’m holding a heavy book in certain positions for too long a period of time, my hands start cramping up pretty badly. My Kindle is so light that this is not a problem. It’s also so much less bulky that it’s easier to hold in certain positions, such as when I’m laying in bed.

5.  It tracks my reading pace and place.

My Kindle saves my page every time – it never loses it. And we’re not talking short-term, here, either, people. I borrowed a Kindle book from the library, returned it without finishing it, checked it out again two months later, and when I opened the book it opened to the exact page I had left off at. I like. The best part, though, is the way it tracks my reading pace. The Kindle Paperwhite will measure how long it takes you to finish each page and calculate how long it will take you to finish each chapter individually as well as the book as a whole. This was a trigger for my OCD at first; I was in a constant race with the Kindle’s timer – I had to beat the predicted time and woe be to the person who interrupted me and caused me to turn the page even one second too late… I’ve settled down quite a bit now and remember to freak out about the time race only occasionally.

6.  It has a Magical case.

I love my Kindle case! It is a black Poetic slim case; I bought it on Amazon for $8.75 and despite the low price it is super-sturdy. Here is the Magic part: when I open and close it, my Kindle turns on and off on it’s own. I know! Magic! Actually, I’m told it’s magnets. But I prefer to call it Magic.

7.  It has a long battery life.

The Kindle Paperwhite is advertised as having a battery life as long as 30 days. Now, this is if you only read 30 minutes per day. I read for hours a day, so I have to charge mine more often that that. Still, I can get away with charging it only every five to seven days. For as much as I use it, that’s fairly impressive.

8.  It syncs with the Kindle App on other devices.

I’ve loaded the Kindle App onto my iPhone and to The Boy’s iPad. That way, if I (gasp!) forget my Kindle at home, or if it’s charging, I can still read. Also, I can get books for The Boy to read on his iPad. The great thing about this is that no matter what device I’m using, my place in the book I’m reading will have been saved just as if I were on my Kindle.

9.  It has a built in Dictionary.

I love the built-in dictionary on my Kindle. When I come across a word I’m unfamiliar with, all I have to do is tap on it and the definition will pop up! Very handy.

10.  It has sentimental value.

My Kindle Paperwhite was given to me by someone very close to me, who loves me enough to celebrate my love for reading in such a thoughtful way. Every time I pick it up to use it, I think of her and of how lucky I am to have had her – and her family – in my life over the last seventeen years.

Do you use an e-Reader? Are you thinking about using one? What are your pros and cons about it?