#BOUTOFBOOKS 20 Master Post

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It’s Bout of Books time! Bout of Books is a week-long, no-pressure readathon internet party and you can still sign up here. This is going to be a sticky post where I update everyday, plus I’ll be all over Twitter, Instagram, Litsy, and Snapchat – SarahSaysRead is my user name on everything. If you have questions about Bout of Books, please feel free to ask me – since I’ve done it a ton of times I’ve been dubbed an Expert, so I’m here to help you out and cheer you along!

 

I’m doing something a little different this time, in that I’m “reading for charity”. I’m going to donate 5 cents for every page I read, and 50 cents for every comic I read. The money is going to be split because I couldn’t decide, so 50% will go to a local classroom and 50% will go to We Need Diverse Books. This is not a BoB requirement by any means, I just thought it’d be cool to do on my own. If I had planned it better I would’ve had people “sponsor” my reading for donations but I literally decided to do this like 3 days ago, so.

Now to the super fun part!

THE BOOKS

  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (Kindle)
  • Let Us Dream by Alyssa Cole (Kindle)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • The Entropy of Bones by Ayize Jama-Everett
  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  • America #3-5
  • Ms. Marvel #20-21
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #18-21
  • Bitch Planet Triple Feature #1-2
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #22-23

THE GOALS

  • Finish at least 2 books
  • Read at least 700 pages
  • Read at least 10 comics
  • Join in on at least 1 Twitter chat
  • Socialize on social media a bunch
  • Do at least one mini-challenge
  • Have fun!

THE UPDATES – (I’m using a slightly modified version of the Bout of Books template)

Monday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 75
Total number of books I’ve read: 0
Books I read from: Their Eyes Were Watching God & The Entropy of Bones
#todayinsixwords: Distracted but not a bad start!

I read before work, read on my lunch at work, and then got home and it all went downhill from there. My mom stopped by, then the husband got home from the gym, then we had to eat dinner… I read for a bit before the Twitter chat at least. (And the chat was a blast, as usual!)

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Monday

Tuesday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 84
Total number of books I’ve read: 0
Books I read from: Their Eyes Were Watching God & The Entropy of Bones
#todayinsixwords: Reading before work is going well.

For BoB, I’ve been waking up like 15 minutes earlier, showering, and then sitting in my bathrobe with some coffee and reading for 25-30 minutes before I get dressed and go on with my day. I might try to keep this up even after BoB, because it’s a nice, quiet way to start my morning. On a separate note, I have family in town (kind of a surprise) so it through me off yesterday evening.

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Tuesday

Wednesday
Number of pages I’ve read today:
Total number of books I’ve read:
Books I read from:
#todayinsixwords:

Thursday
Number of pages I’ve read today:
Total number of books I’ve read:
Books I read from:
#todayinsixwords:

Friday
Number of pages I’ve read today:
Total number of books I’ve read:
Books I read from:
#todayinsixwords:

Saturday
Number of pages I’ve read today:
Total number of books I’ve read:
Books I read from:
#todayinsixwords:

Sunday
Number of pages I’ve read today:
Total number of books I’ve read:
Books I read from:
#todayinsixwords:

 

Let’s do this!

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Checking in because it’s apparently been a while

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Oh man you guys, how is it possible that I haven’t done a single thing on here in over two months?!

Since I don’t want my blog space to die completely, and I plan on posting #boutofbooks updates here in a couple weeks, I figured I’d pop in and let you know I’m still alive – just mostly interneting via social media these days rather than here. For funsies, I’ll do a “Sarah Sundays” thing.

Reading: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. I was lucky enough to get approved on NetGalley and I’ve finally started it. I’m about 40% in and it’s been a little slow moving but I feel like it’s picking up now. I’m almost done with I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart which I’ve been listening to on Audible and it’s been fantastic. And I just started volume 21 of Fables – the second to last trade of the series. And then maybe I’ll check out some of the one offs that tie into it.

Watching: We’re re-watching Parks and Rec, because why not. I did watch Big Little Lies, which isn’t as good as the book but I may watch the second season – unless HBO goes forward with this Confederate bullshit, in which case maybe I’ll just stop watching any HBO shows for a while.

Listening: Well, to the Kevin Hart audiobook mostly, and then I need to catch up on Book Riot podcasts because I’m way behind. I’ve also been downloading a lot of old songs that were big back when I was in middle school.

Eating: Coffee. (I forgot to buy anything breakfast related when I grocery shopped this week.) Also my mom’s clams linguine.

Thinking: Wooooo, lots:

About being glad that Google fired that sexist idiot but disturbed there are so many people supporting him.

About how much I want to buy Lords of Waterdeep with the Skullport expansion when I get paid this week.

About how all I want to do after work is play Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel with the honeyman but also reading time would be nice too.

About this new app I installed to help me save – it’s connected to my account and every time I use my debit card, it rounds up the change and moves it to savings. And I have to set to move $2 to savings every time I buy Starbucks, and $2 every time I buy something at Barnes and Noble, and it’s just really neat so far. Anyone using anything similar? I researched it a lot and seems legit and highly recommended. So far I have $7 saved towards a new car and $4 saved towards my next tattoo.

About cleaning this weekend because we’re putting a futon in my book room (thanks Mom!)

Citizening: I’ve been more sporadic which sucks, but I did contact both my senators and my House rep recently about AG Sessions announcement that he plans to try to go after the press in an attempt to investigate leaks.

Anticipating: Bout of Books! Guess I’ll make this my sign-up post.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Let me know if you have questions – I’ve been dubbed a Bout of Books Expert 😉  And you should totally go sign up because it’s gonna be awesome.

Exercising: Well besides some walks here and there, not so much. And I really really need to. I took a walk a few weeks ago and did that thing there you like half-job across the street to get out of the way of a car that’s coming and that did NOT feel pleasant on my knee. I want to go to the gym sometime this week and try the elliptical or something. Since stairs don’t feel great I’m not sure how that’ll go, but I really want to do SOMETHING.

Anyways, I feel bad about not being around the blogosphere much anymore. Honestly my time is just more limited than it was years ago. Hopefully I’ll start coming around more often at least with TBR posts and stuff soon. How have you guys been?!

June Monthly TBR

May was super sucky because of this DAMN SPRAINED KNEE (it’s been 4.5 weeks but who’s counting) but I did manage to read 8 books and 17 comics, so at least there’s that. It feels weird because I definitely went through like 2 slumps, but then I guess I’d just sit and read a bunch of books in a row so it kind of made up for it, I don’t know.

My TBR for June isn’t too ambitious, and part of me even hopes that I fail hard at it because that would mean my knee would be back to normal and I can do normal shit again like laundry (can’t carry it down the stairs, too unsteady), going for walks, and even maybe even running someday ever.

Le sigh.

On the Kindle:

  • Wallbanger by Alice Clayton – So Alice Clayton somehow came on my radar because she has a new romance novel out called Buns and that just cracks me up. However, neither of my libraries have that available yet so instead I’m trying this one out. I actually checked out the sample first and it seems humorous and fluffy with some sexy times thrown in.
  • Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen (e-galley) – Comes out June 20th, and I’ve already started it! Good job, me. This is about the women in the public eye that the public loves to hate on (Kim Kardashian, for example) and the sexism that goes into some of these ridiculous critiques. The first chapter is on Serena Williams, and it’s really interesting so far.
  • The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente (e-galley) – This is a collection of stories about the women in comics who were kidnapped, tortured, murdered, and otherwise given the “women in refrigerators” treatment in the name of advancing the male superhero’s storyline. Comes out June 6th!

In the stack:

  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – I ALSO have this on audio and Neil himself is the one reading, so I’m psyched about that. (I tried another one of his books on audio and I just couldn’t do it because it wasn’t his voice!) This will be my next audiobook but I like having a hard copy to make notes in too.
  • Borne by Jeff VanderMeer – I only ever read the first book in that other trilogy this author has out, but this sounds really weird and interesting. Liberty described it on All the Books and got me interested.
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – I’ve been looking forward to this for AGES and a big Amazon splurge I went ahead and pre-ordered it. It sounds like a YA rom-com between two Indian-American teens who’s parents are in cahoots to get them together.
  • Touch by Courtney Maum – Also part of my Amazon splurge (it was a costly splurge, you guys), I threw this in. The cover was pretty and it’s something about how a woman who has made a job out of catching trends as they’re about to happen realizes that people are going to start turning away from technology and embracing “in real life” experiences again.
  • Fables: Volume 20 but also if I can manage it, 21 and 22 and then I’ll be done with the whole series!
  • First Crush by Yinka Rose Reed-Nolan – This hasn’t actually arrived yet, but it’s from Hyacinth Girl Press and I’m going to read it for the Book Riot Read Harder challenge, for the micropress category.

What are you looking forward to this month?

April Recap

Why yes, we are basically three weeks into May and I’m just now recapping April. April ended with me spraining my stupid knee and having to sit around doing nothing, which you would think would make for a ton of internet time but you would be incorrect. I just didn’t feel like doing anything but all of the things I couldn’t do, of course, like taking a walk or going up the stairs like a normal person instead of a toddler.

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But actually as far as reading goes April was pretty swell so let me tell you about that. I read 5 books, and 49 comics. I definitely utilized the 24-hour readathon to plow through a whole stack of comics that I had built up and it was awesome.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid – Nadia and Saeed fall in love as their country falls into war and chaos. This was so beautifully written and I’m so glad I bought it.

Gumption by Nick Offerman – Thanks to becoming recently obsessed with Parks and Rec, I knew that spending my commute listening to Offerman’s voice would be an A+ choice and it was. He talks about people he thinks are great. It’s more interesting in the beginning when he’s talking about historical figures. Near the end he talks about famous people or people who made movies and it’s not quite as exciting, but still good.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan – This comes out on May 23rd and it’s the third in Kwan’s series about mega rich Asian families. If you haven’t read these books you should check them out, they’re funny and perfect summer reading.

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy  – This is what the Social Justice Book Club read in April and it was a fantastic pick. Equal parts horrifying and motivating, even though I didn’t see eye-to-eye with the author on quite everything.

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones (Book 3) by Derek Landy – I have the rest of the series on my shelf and I think I’ll pick up the fourth one soon. These books are fun because Skulduggery and his young teen sidekick Valkyrie are snarky, and this one ended with kind of a bang.

As far as all of those comics I read – some highlights were Saga Volume 6, Lady Killer issues 3 and 4, Black Panther and The Crew issue 1 (which, annoyingly Marvel has already cancelled because they’re assholes), and Fables Volume 19.

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 5

Female authors: 1 (20%)

Non-white authors: 3 (60%)

Format breakdown: 2 print, 2 e-book, 1 audiobook

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 49

Female authors/illustrators: 27

Non-white author/illustrators: 18

Format breakdown: 19 print, 3 digital

I never got around to posting my May TBR on the blog either, but it’s on Instagram and pretty short and I’m making progress on it but somehow there’s only like a week and a half left in the month. How did that happen already?? Last week was Bout of Books and I stayed on the couch all weekend, and ended up reading 3 whole books so that was awesome.

Have you read anything interesting lately?

March Recap

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So, as I was going through my spreadsheet and uploading photos for this post, I realized I forgot to add a book to my sheet and I actually read 9 books this month instead of 8! Woohoo! And also 22 comics. Way to go, March.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami – Murakami has been running daily for about the last 23 years – at time that he wrote this, which was 10 years ago. He talks about why he runs, and recounts a few interesting stories like the time he ran SIXTY TWO MILES IN ONE DAY. I might have to get my own copy of this some day.

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Short but so worth it, especially if you’re a person worried about how to raise a feminist daughter.

Skulduggery Pleasant (Books 1and 2) by Derek Landy – This middle grade series about a skeleton detective and his preteen sidekick named Valkyrie is so fun that I went and ordered all 9 books off Amazon. I’m reading the third one now.

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Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison – Not my favorite Morrison, but one that gives plenty of food for thought. This was the first book by her that I’d ever heard of and that was like 12 years ago, so I feel like I finally accomplished something by FINALLY reading it.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers – This is the follow up to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and it was so delightful. There’s so much goodness about what it means to be a person and how people that are different can be accepting all against a sci-fi setting and I just really need Becky Chambers to write more things please.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Such a great, heartbreaking book and much needed right now. Starr sees her friend die and her story deals with what it means to be that witness, how to reconcile the person you knew with facts about their life, the emotions of leading almost two separate lives based on race and class… it’s just fantastic. I’m sure it will be on a lot of school reading lists, and I’m sure it will get challenged constantly.

Binti and Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor Binti: Home came out in March, so I re-read Binti first to refresh my mind. It seems like there will be another one, hopefully soon? These novellas are perfect little gems of sci-fi/fantasy.

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 9

Female authors: 6 (67%)

Non-white authors: 6 (67%)

Format breakdown: 4 print, 5 e-book

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 22

Female authors/illustrators: 6

Non-white author/illustrators: 2

Format breakdown: 19 print, 3 digital

So not too bad of a month! Maybe one of these days I’ll actually write some complete reviews. Also, I’m now at 24 books so far for the year so if I can keep up this pace, I actually have a shot at reading 100 books this year. Not that numbers matter to anyone but me, but I haven’t read 100 books in a year since 2013. I’ve been hovering around 60-70 for the last several years, and it’d feel so nice to get into at least the 80’s in 2017.

Have you read any of these? Let me know your thoughts.

February Recap

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Late, as per usual.

Okay, I read 6 books in February, and 20 comics, but I was in a slump. I almost kind of still feel in a slump. Most of the books I read felt like they took FOR-EV-ER to get through. Oy. Anyways, here’s what I read.

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith – This is Smith’s recounting of how he grew up to be the black man that he is – the culture he immersed himself in, how he was raised, and how he became more and more aware of socioeconomic and discriminatory issues. I loved that he talks about his realization that most of the media he was consuming were by and about men, and that he needed to seek out the female perspective. And he’s about my age, so I got almost all his pop culture references and reminisced along with him when it came to big musical artists (Outkast!) and Kanye telling us on TV that the president didn’t care about black people.

Bad Idea by Damon Suede – I read this for the Read Harder challenge – an LGBT romance, and I made sure it was by a gay author as well. Romance blooms between a comic artist who lacks confidence and a FX make-up guy who has swagger to spare but really has that charming good-mannered Southern boy thing going on. I loved Trip and Silas – their relationship evolved in an entirely realistic way without some of the ridiculous shenangians that romance novels tend to get bogged down in.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – Oh em gee you guys, you need to get this audiobook. Trevor talks about growing up in South Africa before and after apartheid – he’s insightful and serious, but also hilarious. The accents he does for the little boy version of himself and his mother are just awesome. I don’t re-listen to audiobooks often, but this is definitely going to be one I come back to.

A Movie in My Pillow / Una pelicula en mi almohada by Jorge Argueta – This is a kid’s book of poetry in English and Spanish, about the author’s experience coming to America from El Salvador and remembering things about his home country. Probably a great book for kids. I read this for the Read Harder challenge (read a book of poetry in translation about a theme other than love) and I totally admit I went the kids book route because I dread poetry a bit.

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn – This was my re-read for the Read Harder challenge because it is DELIGHTFUL, re-reads are great when you’re in a reading slump, and the sequel comes out this summer. I can’t wait! If you like bad-ass women who fight demons and books that focus on lady friendships, this is the book for you.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp – I’m so easily sucked in by cool covers. This is a relatively new book, and I grabbed it on sale for the Kindle a while back, and finally read it. It’s about a douchey, druggie famous guy who is out to write a book about how the paranormal doesn’t exist. It’s weird and mysterious and then gets extra creepy halfway in, and now I’m a little paranoid about going in my basement. So it was entertaining, but I’m kind of mad I read it now because I’m ridiculous. (This is why I don’t watch horror movies.)

Alrighty, so lets see how February added up.

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 6

Female authors: 1 (17%) what how did that happen??

Non-white authors: 4 (67%)

Format breakdown: 2 print, 3 e-book, 1 audiobook

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 20

Female authors/illustrators: 3

Non-white author/illustrators: 3

Format breakdown: All print.

So yeah. Um clearly I need to read more ladies in March, and I need to take better advantage of having Marvel Unlimited, dammit. When I do this next month I better have more digital comics in my numbers (and more ladies and POC too). I know part of the problem is I’m reading a TON of Fables right now. I’m on Volume 16 right now – I’ve been flying through them and I’m determined to finish the whole series this year. OH and also it’d be great if I wrote some damn reviews or something. I’ve been seriously slacking on that.

Anyhoo – how was your reading last month?

 

 

Sarah Sunday

This was a weirdly busy week, capped off my a surprise visit from my mom and nephew! Which is great, of course, except yeah my reading is really suffering this month.

Reading: I still feel like I’m in a slump, but I finally settled on re-reading Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn so that at least I’m working on a Read Harder challenge. Plus it’s a super fun book and the sequel comes out this summer so I’ll be all refreshed for it!

Watching: American Horror Story (ugh, season 5) still, but also some of The Office. On Valentine’s Day night we made a pizza together and then watched Valentine’s Day episodes of The Office, which was pretty great.

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Listening: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah still. If I try really hard, I’ll be able to finish it this month – I have about 4 hours to go. I only have 3 hours of commuting left of the month (my drive is only a measly 20 minutes, barely), and that’s my main listening time. Maybe if family isn’t around I can take walks after work, because the weather this week is supposed to be in the high 40’s (so warm!)

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Eating: Gummy bears! Also I drank basically nothing but coffee and wine this weekend, so I really need to hydrate on Monday.

Thinking: Things. I really can’t go into more detail than that.

Citizening: I called my reps twice this week. I also bought Celeste (who runs http://itstimetofight.weebly.com) a coffee because really, the work she’s putting into the site is so valuable.

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Anticipating: Iron Fist coming out on Netflix on March 17? I guess? Actually I have very mixed feelings. I’m looking forward to it because Netflix / Marvel has been doing an awesome job with these shows. I’m NOT looking forward to it because I feel like this is going to be the weakest of the bunch. I’m disappointed that they didn’t pick an Asian actor to play Danny Rand. They had a chance to do something really great there, especially after the white-washing bullshit in Doctor Strange and the racist bullshit in Daredevil season 2, but they didn’t. “White dude becomes the best at Asian martial arts” is a tired old storyline that I have no interest in. BUT – I want to watch The Defenders, which is going to include Iron Fist, so I’m going to watch it.

Exercising: As per usual, I went twice during the week and not at all over the weekend. I mean if I can at least maintain that, I can try to build on it, right?

Hope your weekend was delightful.

Sarah Sunday

I can’t handle how quick this weekend flew by. Oy. And work has been busy again, so yeah time is just flying right now. We’re basically halfway through the month already!

Reading: I finished Bad Idea by Damon Suede, a M/M romance novel. Other than that though, BASICALLY NOTHING. I lost my mojo. I keep picking up a book, reading 15-20 pages, and putting it down and then picking up another book. There’s at least 10 books on my coffee table right now and I just can’t seem to fall into any of them. UGHGHGHGH.

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Watching: Well, we finally finished American Horror Story: Freak Show and now we’ve started Hotel. So far, not loving Hotel… kind of like Coven, I feel like it’s just a lot of shock factor with (so far) really weak character and storyline development, but whatever. I don’t know why we’re bothering, nothing will be as good as the first season.

Also, last weekend I watched the entirety of Santa Clarita Diet in one day. It’s funny, in case you’re wondering. I’m gonna re-watch at some point.

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Listening: Okay, I did start listening to Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and that’s fantastic, so I guess I’m reading that right now. But I don’t have a paper copy to follow along when I’m not driving and honestly I wouldn’t want to miss his narration, so.

Eating: Coffee!!! It’s all that matters. Also we’re going to make pizza for Valentine’s Day this week and I’m pretty psyched about that.

Thinking: About how I can’t wait to dye my hair. I’m going to go for a silvery-grey-blonde color sometime in the next few weeks. I’m sick of growing out my hair and that color is just getting me. Google “silver blonde hair” or “grey blonde hair” and you’ll see kind of what I’m meaning. And I told my little brother about how I’m gonna turn thirty and look all saucy with my cool new hair and apparently saucy is now some sort of weird new slang that means something different than how I meant it?

Citizening: So, since I skipped updating last week – I made calls the week before, but this last week I didn’t make any. I just kind of felt burnt out. But I did donate to She Should Run when I got paid, and I’m going to pick up the phone again this week to talk about upcoming confirmation votes and the refugee/immigrant ban.

Anticipating: My birthday at the end of the month because I’m going to give myself a 4-day weekend and ENJOY that shit. And also my family might come into town the week after that for my Mom’s birthday! Yay!

Exercising: I went twice during the week but weekends continue to elude me. Keeping that confidence up though!

 

 

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Alright, I gotta go dive into some comics. Comics will save me from this slump, right?