August To-Read List!

I don’t usually do to-read lists because I’m kind of a mood reader and tend to throw these lists out the window, BUT I have a few distinct piles of books that I need to read and I want to make sure I touch upon all of them. I have LOTS to read, and I think that listing out what I’m hoping to read this month will help!

Pile 1: #SummerOfPLL reads

The first half of #SummerOfPLL is over, and I’ve surprised myself by staying on course with this for an entire month without reading anything early or late. At all. Which is very Not Me. So, despite that the second half of this series so far is DEFINITELY going downhill when the first half wasn’t anything particularly special to begin with, I’m determined to keep on track through August, too! Here’s my PLL reading list for August:

  • Stunning
  • Burned
  • Crushed
  • Deadly
  • Toxic
  • Vicious
  • Alison’s Pretty Little Diary
  • Pretty Little Secrets
  • Ali’s Pretty Little Lies

Pile 2: Library Books

So, while volunteering at the library I spent about 6 hours over the last couple weeks shelving nonfiction books… And I KIND OF usually find a lot of stuff I want to read while I’m shelving things… So… I KIND OF checked out a giant pile of library books at once… Good job, me! Here’s my library book pile:

  • The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
  • Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
  • The Librarian’s Book of Quotes complied by Tatyana Eckstrand
  • This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
  • How To Be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use by Randy J. Paterson, PhD
  • Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • Wicca’s Charm: Understanding the Spiritual Hunger Behind the Rise of Modern Witchcraft and Pagan Spirituality by Catherine Edwards Sanders
  • Archie: Volume One by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish

Pile 3: ARC August!

Since it’s August and I have A VERY LARGE NUMBER OF UNREAD ARCS, I’m going to make a concentrated effort to catch up on as many of them as possible this month! Here’s all of the unread ARCs I have that have a release date in September or earlier (not all of my ARCs, though… Good luck, me):

  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Wilson
  • Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
  • Dream Country by Shannon Gibney
  • Disbanded Kingdom by Polis Loizou
  • How To Speak Cat by National Geographic Kids
  • Like Never And Always by Ann Aguirre
  • Scream Site by Justina Ireland
  • Rules of the Ruff by Heidi Lang
  • Love Letters to Jane’s World by Paige Braddock
  • The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale by Maria Ritter
  • The Lost Art of Reading by David L. Ulin
  • The Splintered Light by Ginger Johnson
  • Big Words Small Stories: The Missing Donut by Judith Henderson
  • The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter
  • Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground by T.R. Simon
  • Unbroken Anthology
  • Black Diamond Fall by Joseph Olshan
  • Trans Teen Survival Guide by Owl Fisher and Fox Fisher

Considering that my total August TBR is now at 35 books, I have NO illusions about actually finishing all of these things this month. Ideally, though, I would at least like to get through a large chunk of them (and I know that some will take me longer to review than they will to read, as a few of my ARCs are picture books). I feel that this list at least puts me in a good starting place for getting many of the books I actually NEED to read… well, read!

What’s on YOUR reading list for August? Let me know in the comments!

 

June Wrap-up!

I wrote actual blog posts this month! And quite a few of them! Yay! Finishing up school definitely increased the amount of time I have to read and blog, and I’m happy that I’m able to do more here now because I love posting reviews and things and I missed doing this as much as I’d like.

Reads for June

Here’s all I read in June:

American Panda by Gloria Chao — 5 of 5 stars — review forthcoming!

White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig — 3 of 5 stars — review here!

Running With Lions by Julian Winters — 5 of 5 stars — review forthcoming!

Final Draft by Riley Redgate (ARC) — 4 of 5 stars — review here!

A Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson (ARC) — 5 of 5 stars — review here!

Clowders by Vanessa Morgan (ARC) — 2.5 of 5 stars — review here!

When the Beat Drops by Anna Hecker (ARC) — 5 of 5 stars — review here!

Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, et. al  (ARC) — 4 of 5 stars — review here!

Probable Claws (Mrs. Murphy #27) by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (ARC) — 3 of 5 stars — review here!

The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) are Creating a Gender Revolution by Ann Travers (ARC) — 4.5 of 5 stars — review here!

Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster (ARC) — 4 of 5 stars — review forthcoming!

 

 

Reading stats:

  • Number of books read: 11
  • Number of nonfiction books: 2
  • Number of ARCs: 8
  • Number of books by marginalized authors: ~6
  • Number of library books: 0

Look at all of those links to reviews that I actually wrote this month instead of just slapping a “forthcoming” label on! And guess what? One of those three other “forthcoming” reviews is ALREADY WRITTEN! I’m getting so good at this! (Even though I still have a HELL of a backlog of reviews I still need to write sitting in my post drafts…)

I spent most of my reading time this month concentrating on my ARCs from NetGalley — I’d gotten quite a few of them that I hadn’t been able to give my full attention to because of school and they’d been published before I had a chance to read and review them, so I made an effort to read them and review them and get back to where the ARCs I have are for forthcoming releases rather than books that have already been published. I got to a good place, got my ratio back above 80% and only two books that have been published already sitting in my queue… And then I went on a requesting spree and got approved for 11 more books because I don’t ever learn and still underestimate how many publishers are willing to approve me to read their books. So I’ve got plenty of stuff to read now! It’s a good thing I have more time to read and stuff now, as I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do a better job of keeping up with reviewing ARCs before they release now.

On The Personal Side…

The biggest news of June — I have a Master of Library and Information Science degree now! What’s kind of funny is that the date my MLIS was awarded, according to my transcript, is six years to the day from the date I graduated from high school. It feels weird being done in more ways than one — it’s weird saying I have a master’s degree, sure, but it’s also weird that this break from school isn’t a short one and I DON’T have to just start classes again in a few weeks. I have been in some sort of school continuously for 20 academic years and I’m used to having to go back to class after a certain amount of break, but I’m no longer enrolled anywhere and don’t have to do that now… I don’t really understand this concept of NOT having to spend my non-work hours doing school-related things. I have free time, and I don’t comprehend it.

The second biggest news of June — I’m getting a car next week! I’m getting a really good deal from a family friend on a 2015 Hyundai Elantra that I just love, and I’m really excited about it even though I still don’t have my license. I may still be a gay who can’t drive, but at least now I’m a gay who can’t drive BUT WITH A CAR.

In terms of July projects, Camp NaNoWriMo is going to be here in 45 minutes for me and I’m really excited because that “free time” stuff means I can actually write this month! I can’t wait. I’ll be running sprints for a few shifts a week from the @NaNoWordSprints Twitter account along with some of my fellow MLs, so come write with us! Additionally, one of my fellow MLs, BookTuber Silly Little Ravenclaw, and I are doing a Pretty Little Liars readalong (#SummerOfPLL) and you should join us! My blog post about the readalong has some fancy calendars that I put together while using Canva for the first time, and it’ll be lots of fun!

What are you looking forward to in July?

Orange sky with shadowy trees and a full moon with the text "#SummerOfPLL: A Pretty Little Liars Readalong: July 2nd - August 31st"

#SummerOfPLL — A Readalong!

Orange sky with shadowy trees and a full moon with the text "#SummerOfPLL: A Pretty Little Liars Readalong: July 2nd - August 31st"

It’s summer, and that means there’s lots of time for reading! My friend and booktuber Wulfie, aka Silly Little Ravenclaw, and I are doing a full readalong of all of the Pretty Little Liars books by Sara Shepard in July and August! If you’ve been wanting to read this series but haven’t gotten around to doing it yet, you should join us and discuss it with us using the hashtag #SummerOfPLL on Twitter!

Our schedule (created by Wulfie!) is as follows:

1.) Pretty Little Liars — July 2-4
2.) Flawless — July 5-7
3.) Perfect — July 8-10
4.) Unbelievable — July 11-13
5.) Wicked — July 14-16
6.) Killer — July 17-19
7.) Heartless — July 20-22
8.) Wanted — July 23-25
9.) Twisted — July 26-28
10.) Ruthless — July 29-31
*Break/Catch-up/Read-Ahead/Whatever-You-Want Time!* — August 1-4
11.) Stunning — August 5-7
12.) Burned — August 8-10
13.) Crushed — August 11-13
14.) Deadly — August 14-16
15.) Toxic — August 17-19
16.) Vicious — August 20-22
17.) Alison’s Pretty Little Diary — August 23-25
18.) Pretty Little Secrets — August 26-28
19.) Ali’s Pretty Little Lies — August 29-31

Halfway through the readalong we’ll have a four-day break which can be used to catch up if you’re behind, read ahead if you want, or take a break from these books completely if you’re getting burned out! The three companion books to the series (listed as 17-19 in the list above) will be read after the full series — Wulfie considered putting them chronologically in the schedule where they should be but didn’t feel like figuring that out, so this method seemed easier. 🙂

Would you prefer a calendar to a list of dates? I’ve created a calendar for each month with our reading dates written out!

A July calendar with the #SummerOfPLL reading dates listed earlier in this blog post.

 

An August calendar with the #SummerOfPLL reading dates listed earlier in this blog post.

If this pace doesn’t work for you or if you don’t want to read ALL of them in two months, that’s totally okay! You are definitely still welcome to join in the discussion with us. This is a MOUNTAIN of books and a huge undertaking, but it should be a lot of fun as well!

Are you planning to join us? Awesome! Let us know on Twitter using #SummerOfPLL or talk with us in the comments of this blog post and Wulfie’s YouTube video. We hope you’ll join us, and happy reading!

-B

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR For A While That I Feel Guilty About Not Reading

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read! As many of you know, this is something that I’m particularly guilty of because I own a LOT of books and I haven’t come close to reading all of them. Since I don’t have an “official” TBR, I’m going to modify this to be the top ten books I have possession of that I haven’t read yet and that I should feel most guilty about. (These may show up in a TBR Thursday post later!)

10.) The Gunslinger by Stephen King

I literally pulled this book off of my shelf back in July to buddy read with my partner. He read it. I got distracted and then didn’t start the series because I went to Europe. And I LEFT THE BOOK ON THE FLOOR IN THE SPOT I INTENDED TO PICK IT UP FROM. Good job, Benni.

9.) The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Bought this book at Shakespeare and Company in 2015. Haven’t gotten to it. Feel guilty.

8.) Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden

It was risky to bring queer lit into my parents’ house. I sneaked this book by them. And then I didn’t read it. And then I had to sneak it back out again when I moved!

7.) All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I was supposed to read one for my honor society’s book club… Like three years ago…

6.) A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

I was told to read this one in preparation for my trip to Oxford. I’ve traveled to Europe and back TWICE since I bought this book.

5.) How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

…I still have two more days until TBR Thursday so I still have time leave me alone…

4.) A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin

I MAY have borrowed this book from the volunteer library I used to work at that has no automated checkout system, and I neither read it nor brought it back because I was confident no one would notice…

3.) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

I borrowed this series from my brother several years back. Guess who hasn’t read them yet! They take up space. I need to read them and return them.

2.) Literally all the books I have ARCs of that I haven’t read yet

Ahem.

1.) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Hear me out on this one: I borrowed this book from my high school history teacher back in 2013. I started it. I’ve been reading it a little at a time by picking it up every couple of years or so. And I still haven’t finished it. The guilt isn’t from the book itself — it’s from not actually bringing the book back in half a decade! I need to finish this one this year.

Which of these books do you think I should prioritize? What books are you guilty of not reading? Let me know in the comments!

Reading For Fun While Being A Student?

I  have been a student for quite some time; counting from my first year of preschool (I had two years because my parents kept me in that class a second year because I was really short and they had hoped I’d “grow into” my class. I’m 4 feet 8 inches tall now. We can see how well THAT strategy worked out…), I am currently in my 20th consecutive year of school. I can’t even remember a time when I haven’t been a student. Being a student is a standard part of my life; everything else gets worked around that.

This includes reading. I LOVE reading, but it more often than not takes a backseat to my student life because it’s not something that (usually) has deadlines and requirements that I need to take care of in a time-sensitive manner. Reading is something that is just there when I want it, and while that’s a great thing, there is still the issue of making time for it.

How does one make time to read while being a student? I honestly have no idea.

I am one who doesn’t do well with routines; I get off-track very easily, and when I get off-track one time the entire routine shuts down almost entirely and I have to start over from scratch. If I read an hour every day for four weeks straight and then miss the next day accidentally, I am FAR more likely to miss the next several days as well than to get back on track and read for an hour during those days. I’m also someone who has trouble sitting and reading for short periods of time because my attention really needs to be focused on what I’m doing, so reading for a few minutes here and there on my commute or while I’m waiting for something doesn’t really work for me.

What usually ends up happening for me is I’ll find a longer block of time where I’m available to sit and read at LEAST one section of a book. If a book is divided into sections (like sections made up of chapters), I can put a book down at the end of a section most of the time. I can usually work with breaking a book into two or four pieces (not literally) and putting the book down at the end of each of those pieces. I also tend to read a lot of books straight through in one sitting. My best reading sessions allow me to make large strides through a book; I feel much better reading this way.

This strategy can be something of a problem, though, when being a student severely reduces the amount of time you have available to block off for reading.

This is where I turn to you: if you’re a student (or have been one in the past), how do you find the time to read? What are your reading habits like as a student? Do you have any tips for increasing the amount of time you spend reading as a student? Let me know in the comments!

Currently Reading Book Tag!

Hiya! I’m stealing this book tag from The Cursed Books! Questions are related to my reading routine, which is fairly predictable to some degree. Let’s get started!

1. HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU USUALLY READ AT ONCE?

I usually stick to one at a time unless:

  • The book is EXTREMELY LONG and something shorter takes priority.
  • I’m mid-book and I realize that I have a library book due within a day or two and I have to read that before finishing the one I’d already started.
  • I need to read something for school.

I don’t typically like reading multiple books at once because once I put one down for something else it can be really tough for me to pick it back up.

2. IF YOU’RE READING MORE THAN ONE BOOK AT A TIME, HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHEN TO SWITCH BOOKS?

Since I don’t like to read more than one book at a time, book-switching for me tends to only happen by necessity. Library book due? Time to read that one. Discussion on a book due the next day for class? Time for that one. Otherwise, I tend to just stick with what I was already reading!

3. DO YOU EVER SWITCH BOOKMARKS WHILE YOU’RE PARTWAY THROUGH A BOOK?

Nope! I don’t even switch bookmarks between books… My partner made me a pretty beaded bookmark for Christmas several years back and it’s my favorite thing ever, so despite the fact that I own over a hundred bookmarks, I only really use this one.

4. WHERE DO YOU KEEP THE BOOK(S) YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

It depends on where I’m reading! Usually I keep the book I’m reading on the couch, on the coffee table, or on the night stand next to my bed.

5. WHAT TIME OF DAY DO YOU SPEND THE MOST TIME READING?

Definitely the evening! I can’t focus enough in the morning to concentrate on a book, so most of my reading time happens after I’ve finished most everything else I need to do during the day.

6. HOW LONG DO YOU TYPICALLY READ IN ONE SETTING?

At least an hour or two. I don’t like to read in bits and pieces, so most of the time I’ll read a book straight through if it’s short enough. Otherwise, I’ll break it into a few longer reading sessions. I get really absorbed when I’m reading and don’t like taking breaks very much.

7. DO YOU READ HARDBACKS WITH THE DUST JACKET ON OR OFF?

Most of the time I leave it on unless I’m concerned about ripping it or it doesn’t want to stay on the book! I generally don’t mind reading with the dust jacket on, and I feel weird leaving it lying about unattended, so I just leave it on. It feels easier.

8. WHAT POSITION DO YOU MAINLY USE TO READ?

Generally I’ll be curled up on the couch, but I’m the type of person that flips into different positions every few minutes trying to get comfortable. I am very bad at being comfortable.

9. DO YOU TAKE THE BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING WITH YOU EVERYWHERE?

Nope! Unless I’m leaving the house for at least one night or for a very long day trip in which I anticipate doing nothing but sitting around, I tend to just leave my books at home. My iPad travels with me everywhere, though, so I always have my ebooks with me if I need them.

10. HOW OFTEN DO YOU UPDATE YOUR GOODREADS PROGRESS ON THE BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

I almost never update Goodreads while I’m reading! I use Bookout to track my reading while I’m doing it because I like the statistics and habit-tracking, and using multiple systems for the same purpose gets to be too much for me. I’ll update once in a while if I REALLY need to share a thought while I’m reading, but that’s about it. Otherwise, I just update when I finish reading a book, adding my star rating and my start and end dates.

That’s it for me! I’m not going to tag anyone because I’m way too shy for tagging, but feel free to steal if you want to do this, too! (I love tags and definitely like being tagged, but I often feel too intimidated to tag others.)

What reading position do you find most comfortable? Let’s discuss in the comments!