Bookish Roundup — May, 2018

May 2018 Roundup

Y’all, May is over and I for one am a happy little camper about that. What can I say? May was an odd month for me in terms of reading. Things moved very slooooowly, and then they sped up toward the end of the month as I busted out of my late Spring slump like a crazy woman!

Indeed, by mid-May I had read a mere five books. Five. So, so sad, don’t you think? For me, anyway. Then I rejoiced as I joined the Bout of Books 22 Readathon – surely I would redeem myself by reading all kinds of books during that week-long period, right? Wrong. I managed only one and a half. NOT EVEN TWO FULL BOOKS, y’all. Granted, all kinds of emergency dental and medical appointments kept creeping out of the woodwork during that time, but still – I was so disappointed in myself.

Thankfully, I redeemed myself over the final ten days of May by reading seven books within that time period. I repeat: the bulk of May’s reading occurred during the last ten days of the month! I don’t know what was going on with me, but at least I upped the count of books read to a total of thirteen with that little spurt at the end. Let’s take a look at what I did manage to get under my belt last month…

Books I Read In May:

I was so excited that FOUR books I’d been anxiously awaiting were released in May. I was thrilled with two of them and happy with the other two, so it was win-win for me. A fun read in particular was Puddin’ by Julie Murphy, as I read it along with three of my book club buddies which made it not only a blast, but much more thought-provoking and meaningful. I even managed to sneak in my non-fiction read for the month by reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris right before the end of May! Not a bad read, but I’m much more looking forward to its sequel, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.

I have high hopes for my reading goals in June; at the very least I would like to read more than FIVE books by the middle of the month. Do you think I can do it? I sincerely hope so. I guess we will find out with June’s Bookish Roundup, y’all. Until then, Happy Reading!!

what did you read in may, friends?

Bookish Roundup — April, 2018

April-2018-Roundup

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 — January, 2018

Jan-2018-Roundup

 

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?

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?

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?

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Bookish Roundup – September, 2017

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It’s Fall, y’all!! My favorite season is finally here, and I’m so excited! While I haven’t exactly seen my favorite things about Fall yet (apart from the Pumpkin Caramelicious at Scooter’s Coffeehouse!!), the air is fraught with anticipation and it won’t be long before temperatures drop and that crisp, cool air blows through my hair as I read on my porch on a sunny Fall afternoon… I can feel it now. Oh, yes – Fall is here, y’all!!

Unfortunately, my pre-Fall reading habits have taken quite the hit this year. I was moving along at quite a pace the last few months, hitting between at least 15 to 20 books per month. And then… The Boy bought a new puppy with his earnings from his summer job. Was this Pathologically Literate Momma happy about that? Well, it is what it is, and there ain’t no turning back now. One thing is for sure, a brand new 6-week-old puppy in the house is almost like having a new baby in the house at times – especially when it comes to trying to get things done. Granted, she is now 11 weeks old and we’ve adjusted a little bit, but she’s still taking up a looooot of time and even though The Boy is pulling his weight, a lot of that time seems to be my own which has made reading a lot harder than it used to be. Where it used to take me 1 1/2 to 2 days to read a book, it’s been taking me more like 3 or 4. Yikes! But how can you be mad at this cute little face…?

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Meet Tootsie, y’all!! Tootsie is a Min-Pin (Miniature Pinscher) and would not have been my own first choice in a dog. We already have an eight-year-old Sheltie (Ruby) and my hope had been to get another Sheltie puppy at some point. Well, that’s all gone up in smoke now! Not that I’m bitter or anything, right? Seriously, though, even though a Min-Pin was not my first choice in a dog, she’s a pretty darn cute – if energetic – puppy. She’s definitely taking some getting used to – and will for a while – but I have faith that she will eventually grow on me. Please, God, let her grow on me…

And now, without further ado, let us take a look at my September Reading List:

Ten of the fourteen books I read in September were YA titles. Both of the Meg Medina titles were amazeballs. The Sea of Tranquility was as wonderful as everyone had promised it would be, as was The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy. Words in Deep Blue was a testament to book lovers everywhere, and I adored it. All four of the adult fiction titles I read in September were winners, too. Celeste Ng’s sophomore novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was on point and even better than her first. I really lucked out last month – I may have read less, but at least they were worth my limited time!

October is already shaping up to be a better month, methinks. I believe I’m beginning to get back into my reading groove (please, God!). I recently checked out some awesome titles for my Kindle and from the local library, and have some exciting ARCs to read as well. All that reading time I’m planning for my front porch this Fall is going to be put to goooood use, my friends. Can’t wait! Hope you have a Happy Fall full of Happy Reading, y’all!!

Where is your fave place to read in the Fall?

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Bookish Roundup — July, 2017

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Summer reading has been heating up around here, y’all. I am blasting through the books like no other and it’s no wonder – the temps around here were so hot in July that there wasn’t much else to do beside hide indoors with the nice and frosty A/C. Not that I was complaining, as you’ll see when you peruse my list for the month. I read a total of 22 books last month. Of course, this is partially thanks to the 24 in 48 Readathon I participated in on July 22nd & 23rd. Now, nearly 1400 people participated in this popular readathon (of which the point is to read a total of 24 hours out of a 48-hour period), but this happy little reader did it in style…

As a single homeschool Mom, I very rarely have a break from my son (we are talking 24/7 here, folks), and I was concerned about the viability of my plan to participate in this readathon. I don’t exactly get a lot of alone time in which to complete long, extended periods of reading without interruption. My beloved BFF came to my rescue in a BIG way. She and her husband recently built an AH-MA-ZING home on the edge of town, and I was offered the opportunity to stay in their guest suite for the weekend of the readathon, turning it into a mini-getaway for myself. Well. She didn’t need to ask me twice!! Here’s a pic of the gorgeous suite in which I lounged for the two days and three nights of my semi-staycation:

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But let’s not forget the best part (besides the books) – the mini-bar!!

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Y’all, I was in. Heaven. On. Earth. I holed up in there and read my little heart away. In the meantime, the most fabulous BFF in the world (mine) stood at the ready, prepared to serve my every need if only I should make it known. I was so overwhelmed by her generosity and hospitality, as well as that of her family’s. Nothing could have made that weekend more perfect. It’s only too bad I don’t have a picture for you of the amazing “Reading Porch” that was attached to the suite. Aaaaahhhhh. I will carry this with me for a long time, y’all. It had been too long since I had done something just for me, and this was the perfect thing to choose. Fingers crossed that I get to do it again for the next 24 in 48 Readathon in January, 2018…

Why don’t we take a look at everything I read in July:

I truly enjoyed nearly all of the books I read last month. My two favorite would include The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick and The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson (both Quick and Jackson are two of my fave writers in general). Out of all 22 books I read, only one of them was a thumbs-down. Unfortunately, An Extraordinary Union was so not my cup of tea. Alas, you live and learn. I’m soooo excited about the books I’m going to be reading in August – not the least of which because I joined a new library, opening up my Kindle e-book borrowing options even more! But we’ll talk about that next month. Try to stay cool out there, folks. Happy Reading!!

What books did you read while beating the heat in July?

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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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Bookish Roundup, April 2017

April_Roundup

Oh. My. God. Y’all. Can you believe it is already May?? This year is zipping by so quickly and I don’t even know where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing while it has!! Oh, wait – reading. I’ve been reading. Maybe that’s why it’s all such a blur…

Well, one thing is for sure – I hopped on that YA literature train last month, and I haven’t really disembarked since then. Of the nineteen books I read in April, twelve of them were YA titles! Now, how’s that for a turnaround? The best thing about them was that I enjoyed every single one. Whoa. What? Did hell just freeze over? No, no, it’s okay, folks – I can admit when I’m wrong. And I was wrong. I’m saying it again for the second month in a row. But don’t expect to hear it again for a while, now!!

Let’s take a look at the fine, fine literature that captured my soul in April:

 

I love, love, loved both of the titles I read by Mindy McGinnis – they were each very different from the other, but each very good. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – well, what can I say? They were the best!! That was an enjoyable week of reading, fo sho. B.A. Paris’s newest thriller, The Breakdown (due out on June 20, 2017) was amazing! She has definitely established herself as a clever and talented weaver of the twisted psychological tale. The Divergent Trilogy proved to be a great read as well. “Wha-What?,” you ask. That’s a DYSTOPIAN YA series!! Yep. I caved. And I liked it. So there. And since I was breaking boundaries left and right, I dove right into the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness as well and – while the books drag on a teensy bit – it’s fairly entertaining, too!!

In review, April was a great month of bookish delights and discoveries. I broadened my horizons a bit – and liked it a lot! I’m so excited for May and all of the books I have already waiting, just for me… Before you get too engrossed in your own books, be sure to stop by and say hi at the Pathologically Literate Facebook Page (and maybe even at Goodreads, too)! Happy Reading, y’all!!

What bookish delights did you find this April?

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Shelter by Jung Yun

shelter“Why should a man care for his parents when they failed to take care of him as a child?

One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of the Year (Selected by Edan Lepucki)

Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. For years, he and his wife, Gillian, have lived beyond their means. Now their debts and bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future.

A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantage—private tutors, expensive hobbies—but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he’s compelled to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves living under the same roof. Tensions quickly mount as Kyung’s proximity to his parents forces old feelings of guilt and anger to the surface, along with a terrible and persistent question: how can he ever be a good husband, father, and son when he never knew affection as a child?

As Shelter veers swiftly toward its startling conclusion, Jung Yun leads us through dark and violent territory, where, unexpectedly, the Chos discover hope. Shelter is a masterfully crafted debut novel that asks what it means to provide for one’s family and, in answer, delivers a story as riveting as it is profound.” – Goodreads

On the surface, Shelter by Jung Yun appears to be a tale about a modern family in the midst of a financial crisis, brought on by living above their means. Add to that some parent/child family dynamic issues between Kyung Cho and his wealthy Korean-immigrant parents and there is a sense of palpable tension to the novel right from the start. Yet this is nothing compared to what is about to come – nothing compared to a tale so captivating, so devastating, that you won’t be able to put this book down until you’ve read every last page.

As the Chos are showing their un-fixed fixer-upper in once of the area’s nicer neighborhoods to a realtor, the three look out the back window to see a naked woman running about in the field behind the home. As Kyung looks more closely, he realizes that the woman is his own mother, with whom he has minimal contact in his daily life. And thus begins the emotionally frenzied pace of a novel I least expected.

Kyung’s parents, Jin and Mae Cho, have been the victims of a brutal home invasion in their ritzy neighborhood just blocks away from Kyung’s own home. Kyung is forced to bring them into his own home to care for them. This brings into play a plethora of issues, not the least of which includes the long-hidden abusive relationships within Kyung’s family: his father’s abuse of his mother, his mother’s abuse of Kyung, and even Kyung’s own emotional self-abuse that permeates this story. Kyung seems to be constantly filled with a sense of rage and ineptitude, trying his hardest to instill a sense of normalcy within his family yet furious when he senses anyone else – his wife, his parents, their church members – trying to do the same.

There is some strong writing and certainly a few harrowing (read: graphic) scenes in Shelter, that may cause some discomfort, however, I feel that they fit concisely within the context of the story. Ultimately, this affecting story has an universal appeal. Kyung, his struggle to hold on to his wife and child, his resistance to forgiving his parents, and his inevitable fall from grace – along with the devastating effects of the home invasion upon Jin and Mae – will keep you hooked from beginning to end as you race through the pages of this gripping and satisfying literary thriller.

Shelter by Jung Yun – On sale March 1st!

4 stars

Source: Macmillan-Picador {via NetGalley}