New Books for the Week of August 15, 2016

Tomorrow is new book day!  Here’s a head’s up on a great book that will be on shelves tomorrow.

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore.  It’s New York City in 1888.  Paul Cravath, a lawyer fresh out of Colombia Law School, takes on client George Westinghouse.  The case?  Westinghouse is being sued by Thomas Edison over who invented the light bulb.  This book is a thrilling legal novel, based on true events.  And bonus!  It’s soon to be a major motion picture starring Eddie Redmayne.

Weekly Wrap Up

It’s the end of another week, and I’m pretty satisfied with my reading life right now.  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Books Finished:

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart.  Finally.  It’s a really, really great book.  Funny, thrilling, and it’s going to be a series.  I finished this buddy read just in time for the sequel.

Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North.  So funny!  I loved this so much, and spent so much time backtracking to try different paths.

Books Acquired:

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante.  I haven’t gotten into the Neopolitan series yet, but I thought maybe taking on one of her shorter works would help get me into it.  I’ve heard great things about this one, so fingers crossed!

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.  Her first adult novel in twenty years?  I’m in!

Siracusa by Delia Ephron.  My pick for my Book of the Month Club Selection.

What’s Next:

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  I’m going to take this book really slowly, because I want to savor it!

That’s it for me!  How did everyone else do this week?

 

Tournament of Books

We are almost done with the Tournament of Books!  I have loved reading the judges’ opinions and the following commentaries for every round.  I’ve added books to my TBR after reading about them during the tournament.  I actually went out and bought Bats of the Republic this weekend, it sounded so good.  And it looks like it’s going to be a really cool read!

Zombie Rounds are up tomorrow and Wednesday, and the winner of the whole shebang will be announced on Thursday. The Zombie Rounds are really great, they give me hope when my favorites are knocked out early.  Before the Tournament starts, there was a poll up asking readers for their picks.  At this point in the Tournament, the top two books that have already been knocked out of the Tournament are placed back into the brackets. Here’s what’s up for the Zombie Rounds:

A Little Life vs. The Turner House.  Predicted Winner: I don’t know!  I’d love for Turner House to win, but A Little Life has some serious backing behind it.  And it isn’t unusual for the Zombie pick to move on to the finals.  I have a feeling it’s a definite possibility here.

Fates and Furies vs. The Sellout.  Predicted Winner:  Again, I don’t know!  I loved Fates and Furies, and before this Tournament started I was pretty convinced it would take it all.  Then it was knocked out in the very first round, which really shook everything up for me.  Then, there’s The Sellout.  I hadn’t heard anything about this book before it was shortlisted, but the way everyone talks about it, it’s definitely a classic-in-waiting.  And it sounds like something I would absolutely adore, so I definitely need to get on reading it.  But the outpouring of adoration towards this book during the Tournament has me thinking it is going to win.

It’s always a bit sad for me when the Tournament ends.  I am usually all ready for next year’s!  Does anyone have any book prizes that they love this much?  I’m going to need to follow another prize/award to keep myself distracted until next year!

 

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

I picked up the Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald because I heard it sponsored on a Book Riot podcast a while back.  I always look up books that sound interesting when they are discussed on Book Riot podcasts.  If you haven’t, you should check them out!

Continue reading “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend”

Reading Slumps

It appears as if I am going through a pretty bad reading slump.  Unfortunately, with this reading slump has come an intense desire to pick out new books to buy. There’s just so many books out there that I want!

This is an interesting slump I’m in.  I want to buy so many books, and I really want to read and have the desire to read, I just can’t actually concentrate on the actual act of reading.  So now I am faced with a frustrating dilemma: how do I get out of this reading slump?  Keep buying books until one catches my attention?  Give in to the slump and stop trying to read, which has been making me anxious since I actually do want to read?  Try some books I’ve bought again?  Reread old favorites?

I think I have found something that may have helped me continue to read while I feel like I can’t concentrate on actually reading.  Comics.  I can get through a comic book quickly, feel accomplished for reading something, and it’s short enough that I can concentrate for just enough time to get through an issue.  I have not moved onto graphic novels; I think they might be a bit too long to keep my concentration.  It seems like comics in trade might be too long to keep my concentration.

While I’m getting a lot of reading done by reading comics, I’m starting to run out of reading material that I can get through.  There are only so many comics that I know about and have been reading.  Lumberjanes, Fables, Ms. Marvel.  I’ve read all of Lumberjanes and The Wicked and The Divine.  I’m not sure what else I should read!  If anyone has any good comic suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

In the meantime, I’m going to try reading books again.  I keep making lists of books I want to buy right away and pulling books off my shelves that I am excited about reading, but nothing seems to work.  Anyone have a solution?  I think I’m looking for books that are short and quick, things that I will keep my attention, even for a short period of time, and can feel accomplished for having read it.

What do you do when you’re in a reading slump?  Any tips?

The Ultimate Book Tag

Another weekend, another tag!  I found this one over at Therese Talks Books a while ago and saved it for now.

 

  1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Never.  When I was younger I would sit in the back during road trips and could read the entire time. Never had a problem.

  1. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

This might not be unique to everyone else, but I’d have to say Meg Cabot.  When I first read the Princess Diaries books, I had never encountered a diary style narration or all the emails, text messages, and IM’ing like I had in these books.  And all her books were like that!

  1. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer

Harry Potter, of course!  My three points: Complexity (the characters and the storyline

  1. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books…)?

I carry a purse and inside I always carry my Nook or Kindle, a notebook (or two), pens, headphones, my phone, wallet, and chapstick.

  1. Do you smell your books?

I used to, but I don’t anymore.  I think because I’ve gone digital.

  1. Books with or without little illustrations?

I like comics, but in regular books, I don’t really care about illustrations.

  1. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

I think a lot of books I read when I was a kid that I still love (like Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys) doesn’t have the best quality writing.  They are still absolutely lovely to read.

  1. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Not really.

  1. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

  1. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Probably Les Miserables

  1. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I would love to be an author, and I have a degree in Creative Writing, but I’m really self-conscious about my writing and don’t think it’s all that great.

  1. When did you get into reading?

Ever since I could remember I’ve loved to read.

  1. What is your favorite classic book?

To Kill a Mockingbird.

  1. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

That and Math.

  1. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

I’d say thank you and put it on my bookshelf.  It’s still nice that they thought enough to try to get my a book as a gift.

  1. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I don’t read series usually, so I don’t know.

  1. Doesn’t apply to me (I’m not a YouTuber).
  2. What is your favorite word?

Novel

  1. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Total nerd!

  1. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

Neither.  I’m more into realistic fiction.

  1. Shape-shifters or Angels? Why?

Again, neither.

  1. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

I’ll say Werewolves because Lupin is one of my favorite characters.

  1. Zombies or Vampires?

Neither.

  1. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

I don’t really like either.  Both are overplayed and predictable.  And it always seems that with love triangles, the couple I favor never is the one that end up together.

  1. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Action with a few love scenes mixed in.  I’m not too big on love stories.

Tournament of Books Update

The first round of the Tournament of Books is over, and the only major upset (in my opinion) is the elimination of Fates and Furies so early in the game.  So, let’s review the week and make some predictions for next week.

The first round brought about many correct predictions for me, which I have to admit I’m pretty proud of.  I recommend everyone check out the commentary for each round.  It’s entertaining and I’ve added a couple of books to my To Buy list because of the way they were described.

 

Next Round predictions

Bats of the Republic v. The Sympathizer.  Predicted Winner:  Bats of the Republic.  Any book with the ability to knock out Fates and Furies has got to be a good book capable of winning.

The Turner House v. Our Souls at Night. Predicted Winner:  The Turner House.  This book has gotten a lot of press so that’s got to mean something, right?

A Little Life v. The Tsar of Love and Techno.  Predicted Winner: A Little Life.  I would much rather The Tsar of Love and Techno win, but I think I’m fighting a losing battle here.

A Spool of Blue Thread v. The Sellout.  Predicted Winner: The Sellout.  This was the hardest prediction out of this whole round.  A Spool of Blue Thread has gotten a lot of solid press, but The Sellout sounds amazing.  It could go either way.

 

Anyone have any predictions for the next round?  Or what books will make it through in the Zombie Round?

This or That Book Tag

I felt like doing another tag this morning, so here we go!  I found this one over at My Tiny Obsessions.  It originated at Tea and Paperbacks.

 

The Questions:

Reading on the couch or in bed?

Bed.  I usually read right when I get up in the morning or before I go to sleep, so the bed is the most logical place.  I keep plenty of books on my nightstand for easy selection.

Male main character or female main character?

I typically don’t care which, but I do tend to read more books with male main characters.

Sweet snacks or salty snacks when reading?

I don’t eat while reading.  What if I got something on my books?!?

Trilogies or quartets?

Trilogies.  I usually read standalones or super long series (like Nancy Drew and other mysteries that have 20 books to them), so I don’t read many trilogy or quartet sets.  Trilogies seem like a nice balance, and quartets seem too long, though.

First person point of view or third person point of view?

It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it’s done well.  Most of my books are third person, though that is completely unintentional.

Reading at night or in the morning?

Both, but I get more reading done at night.

Libraries or bookstores?

Bookstores.  The library in my town sucks, and I prefer to own my books, anyway.  I don’t like only getting two weeks to read a book.

Books that make you laugh or make you cry?

Laugh.  I prefer to be happy!

Black book covers or white book covers?

White.  It’s nice and clean looking.

Character driven or plot driven stories?

Either as long as it’s done well.

 

So that’s another book tag!  I’m sure some more will come next weekend….I’m really loving them right now!

 

Inside and Out Book Tag

I found this tag over at Lunaris Blogs, and I loved it, so I thought I’d get to it!

Inside flap / Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough (Discuss)

I usually think they are pretty good, not too little, not too much.  What gets me more is when they are misleading.  I don’t like expecting one thing and getting another.

New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: audio book, e-book, paperback, or hardcover?

I love to buy pretty hardbacks, prefer to read paperbacks over hardbacks, but I think I’m totally an e-book girl now.  So many books to choose from, easier to read in bed, and no need to carry around multiple books just in case I finish the one I’m reading or just feel like starting a new book.  There are so many options right there!

Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean? (Tell us why)

I like my books in pristine condition.  Writing in books is close to a sin to me.  Unless I got the book secondhand.  It’s already used an worn so I don’t mind it as much.  I just don’t want to be the one to mess it up!

In your best voice, read for us your favourite first sentence from a book.

Whenever I read the first line of The Great Gatsby, I just get the coziest feeling.  To me The Great Gatsby is associated with hot hot summer days and reading outside and everything wonderful with the season.

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.  “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.”

Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

Nope.  I don’t pay much attention to the gender of the author.  Half the time I couldn’t even tell you the gender after reading a book (unless the author is super famous or a favorite of mine).  I’m more aware of the gender now that I’m trying to keep a log of my reading, but that’s just because I write the author’s name down on the list, so I actually have to look it up.  When I pick a book on my shelves to read, I look at the description of the book first.  When I’m wondering around a bookstore, I see titles and covers that stand out, then I look at the description and decide whether to buy it from there.  Turns out my male to female ratio is pretty even, so I’m good with that.

Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

I do sometimes.  In romance novels I tend to look toward the end to find out who ends up with whom (I don’t like getting attached to a couple and then they don’t end up together).  Other than that, it’s a bad sign when I read ahead.  It means that I’m bored with the book and want to get on with it.

Organized bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?

Organized.  I need my books in alphabetical order by author, and then by publication date when I have multiple by the same author.  I separate my nonfiction from my fiction, try to categorize them when I have a bunch of one kind (reference, writing, and biographies/memoirs), and then they have to be alphabetized, too.  It’s driving me crazy right now, actually, because I’ve run out of space on my shelves and have books piled everywhere, and things are out of ordered, and it’s a mess!  I want to fix it so badly, but I don’t have the room to do it!

Under oath: have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

No.  I pick up books based on the cover, but I don’t blindly buy based off it.

Take it outside to read, or stay in?

Both.  I tend to read inside, but when the weather is just right, I absolutely love reading outside.  In the spring I love to read outside when it is just starting to get warm again, and I’m just so happy that the snow is behind us.  In the summer, I like reading outside at high noon, with the sun beating down and I can get a nice tan (or a sun burn when I’m really engrossed in a book).  And in the fall reading outside is the best when it starts to get cool and it’s time to wear long sleeves and listen to the wind rustle the leaves on the ground.