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.

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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?

January Recap

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I basically kicked January’s ass. I read 9 books and 34 comics. Whaaaat??? I know, crazy. My goal for the year is 60 books, so I mean… that’s a pretty big dent.

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Be Not Afraid by Alyssa Cole – I bought this at BRL and Alyssa Cole signed it for me! This was my first read of the year –  two black protagonists who are on opposing sides of the Revolutionary War fall in love. Some serious topics packed into this short little romance and it’s great.

All Our Wrong Todays

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai – This comes out tomorrow, and if you like interesting time travel mishaps this will be right up your alley.

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Battle Hill Bolero by Daniel Jose Older – Conclusion to the Bone Street Rumba series! Except I kind of refuse to acknowledge it’s the end because I don’t want to leave these characters.

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The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles – So this is a m/m romance, but reads more like a dark, gritty regency fantasy novel. And I’m pretty sure the author is a straight woman, so even though the story was good, the sexy bits felt a bit off. I re-read a couple paragraphs trying to figure out the sexual logistics of what she was describing. I’m not going to count this for “LBGTQ romance” for the Read Harder challenge, I’m going to find something #ownvoices instead.

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Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis – I’m not sure a collection of speeches and essays was the best intro to Davis. But basically we need to connect with movements on an international level, G4S is evil, and she’s very pro-Palestine (which I don’t know nearly enough about to have my own opinion on yet).

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Breasts by Florence Williams – This was both terrifying, funny, and informative. Definitely highly recommend, even if it now has me second-guessing myself every time I put lotion on or use scented body wash or basically do anything that could affect my ladies in the slightest.

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – One of those really hyped up books that sounded like basic chick lit and I let it sit on my Kindle for 2 years, but it turns out it was kind of worth the hype. I was surprised as how much I got into it.

Sweet to the Taste by Alyssa Cole – Listen, you basically need to read ALL the Alyssa Cole, okay? Especially if you find diversity sexy (and if you don’t I’m not sure you’re in the right place).

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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – CNA is a bombshell. This focuses on four people, all connected in some way, as they make their way through the Biafran War, AKA the Nigerian Civil War. I was totally sucked into the minutiae of their lives. This is definitely my second fave CNA novel (first being Americanah).

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 9

Female authors: 7 (78%)

Non-white authors: 5 (56%)

Format breakdown: 5 print, 4 e-book

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 34

Female authors/illustrators: 8

Non-white author/illustrators: 10

Format breakdown: 33 print, 1 digital

So yeah, off to a pretty strong start for 2017! I need to read more comics on Marvel Unlimited, I have it for a year and I’m totally not using it enough. I also need to write more actual reviews… I’ve been writing review blurbs on Litsy but that’s basically it. On the other hand, I wrote hardly any reviews and read a bunch of books… so maybe that’s where my time is better spent. We’ll see.

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays

Thanks to Dutton and Edelweiss for the e-galley! And of course, all views in this review are 100% my own.

“Lionel Goettreider read Cat’s Cradle and had a crucial realization, what he called the “Accident” – when you invent a new technology, you also invent the accident of that technology. When you invent the car, you also invent the car accident. When you invent the plane, you also invent the plane crash. When you invent nuclear fission, you also invent the nuclear meltdown.”

“But I have a theory too: The Accident doesn’t just apply to technology, it also applies to people. Every person you meet introduces the accident of that person to you. What can go right and what can go wrong. There is no intimacy without consequence.”

You know how we look at movies like Back to the Future and kind of laugh at how back in the day, everyone thought the future 2016 was going to be crazy futuristic? Hover cars and weird clothes and food in pill form and all that? Well, it really happened! And Tom knows it really happened because that’s the 2016 he grew up in. The Goettreider Engine in 1965 gave the world free, clean energy and propelled the globe into an era of amazing technology. But even in this ridiculously amazing techno-utopia Tom is having a rough time, and then he makes it worse when he has a time travel accident and changes history, landing himself stuck in the crappy version of 2016 that we’re all used to. All he wants is to set the timeline straight and get back to the existence he knows – but at the same time, there are some aspects of his life that are definitely better in our 2016. What’s a wayward time traveler to do?

I had a blast reading All Our Wrong Todays – I flew through it in about 2 days, and it’s definitely one of those books that I had to describe in detail to my husband because I needed someone to talk to about it. It’s super interesting to see Elan Mastai’s version of this ideal world where technology has basically freed us from our daily worries – food, health care, housing, and other necessities of life are now a fact of life, available for all. In this techno-utopia we’re free to focus on the work that we truly want to do – but that doesn’t necessarily erase all of the problems in life. I loved reading about this theory of time travel and how exactly it finally works. Tom is a great narrator – at times juvenile and frustrating, but also incredibly relatable, funny, and poignant. Even when he gets in his own way, I felt myself rooting for him.

One other note – I saw some reviews on Amazon that said something about the women in Tom’s life only being there to help him achieve his goals, and I have to disagree on that. While Tom does some typical crappy guy things, the women in the book DO matter, and I think it becomes more and more apparent as the book moves on just how much those women matter to Tom. So yeah, if you see those reviews… I think one in particular didn’t actually read much of the book, and maybe just try it and see for yourself.

This book comes out on February 7th – mark your calendars so you can get your hands on it right away.

Mini-reviews because I’m way behind

Y’all I’m behind and there’s no way I’m catching up, so let’s do some mini-reviews! These are all books I read in December, so I guess this would be my normal monthly review/recap post, except I’m not going to talk about stats since I already did my 2016 wrap-up. Anyhoo, I read a lot of good things at the end of the year! So if you’re somehow still holding on to bookstore gift cards that you got for Christmas, you might want to consider using them on some of these.

I’m Judging You: A Do Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi – This, like many recent books by funny ladies, is a worthwhile humorous read in which Luvvie talks about how her friend’s need to choose better boy toys but also how we need to be better people in general – less homophobic, less racist, etc. There were some pieces that absolutely cracked me up and I highlighted and read out loud to people, but one of the bits that sticks out in my mind the most is when she talks about the teachers and kids in her (mostly white) school basically refusing to learn how to say her name (Ifeoluwa), and how her last name gives people so much trouble they barely try, but yet we can all pronounce Schwarzenegger with no trouble. I didn’t read this on audio, but I heard it’s GREAT, so maybe you should do that.

The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla – This is a collection of essays by British immigrant and POC authors about their experiences. Since I live in the US, the conversations and news about race are usually centered on American experiences – and weirdly, trying to Google to find out the race issues that other countries are struggling through doesn’t turn up much useful information. I’m so glad I got to read this, which gave me insight into some of the prejudices and microaggressions that are ingrained in British culture. This isn’t available to purchase in the US, even on Amazon, but you can get your copy from The Book Depository easy peasy.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare – I haven’t loved a Regency historical romance this much in a long, long time. Charlotte is trying to avoid being thrown in front of eligible bachelors by her match-making mama, because she just wants to go on a traveling tour with her bestie. Piers is a marquess but also secretly a spy, who certainly has no interest in marriage unless it’s necessary to keep his cover from being blown. One night Charlotte and Piers are caught alone in a room together and mistakenly taken to be secret lovers. They’re engaged, unless Charlotte can prove who the real mystery lovers are. I giggled SO MUCH reading this, and actually really liked Charlotte and Piers – the character-building was fantastic and the romance was realistically built up. I can’t wait to read more Tessa Dare (if you’ve read more of her novels PLEASE give me recs on which ones to read next.)

How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad – I saw Negin speak at Book Riot Live and immediately went to buy her book. She is an Iranian-American-Muslim lady, and her book talks about her growing up and wanting to be involved in activism and advocacy, and how she does that by trying to make people laugh. She discusses being a “hyphenated” person in a white-dominated society, and her work to use comedy to combat the irrational fear that some Americans have of anyone who identifies or looks Muslim. I really want to watch her documentary The Muslims Are Coming! soon.

The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang – This totally deserves all the praise it’s been receiving. Chinese immigrant Charles Wang was a massively successful businessman who made his fortune in make-up- that is, before the recession of 2008 hit. Now the once-wealthy Wangs are broke and on a road trip across America, and it’s a bumpy, funny, heart-warming ride. The Wangs are flawed but quirky and I had a great time with them, and was sad when the book ended.

Ghost Girl in the Corner by Daniel Jose Older – This is just a short little novella, but if you enjoyed Shadowshaper then it’s a must-read (especially since it’s only 99 cents.) I’m not going to go into any details because it’s such a quick read, but figured I’m mention it here in case you like Daniel Jose Older’s other books but didn’t know about this.

Have you read any of these?

Sarah Sunday

Hey guys, guess what? I married the honeyman 1 year ago today! Time is going by way too fast. He’s at drill right now but I’m looking forward to hanging out with him later 🙂

Reading: I finished All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai this week and I’m actually going to try to write a review for it this week, since it was an e-galley and all. I’m about halfway through Hope in the Dark and not really loving it. I think maybe Rebecca Solnit is not for me. I’m also reading Battle Hill Bolero (woohoo, new Daniel Jose Older!).

Watching: Seriously I’m just re-watching stuff, but we should probably try to finish Blacklist season 3 and American Horror Story: Freak Show sometime soon. We’ve been watching them since like October.

Listening: Come Close by Common

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Eating: Ugh. Nothing but junk basically.

Exercising: Not at all this week, which SUCKS. But I know that it’s partly because my schedule this week was kind of all over the place, so moving on and getting back to my gym routine this week.

Thinking: Where we should go to dinner tonight, and hoping the honeyman gets home early enough that maybe we can squeeze in a movie or some Black Ops 3 too.

Citizen-ing: I didn’t make any calls this week, which also sucks. I suck on human-ing this week basically. I plan on calling this week about making sure PP is not de-funded, but sometimes things like that seem redundant since my reps are all Dems and are likely already going to try to do that anyways. I’ll find other things to point my focus on this week too.

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Anticipating: The break from holidays and stuff for a while so I can some financial stuff back under control. Helping that- I’m only letting myself buy 4 books a month this year. (No limit on comics, but I am going to try to cull my pull list a bit since I have Marvel Unlimited now and need to chill on throwing money at all those single issues.)

Alright, so I have a lot to do this week! Get back on schedule with my gym outings, call my reps, look at budgeting stuff, etc. Now I’m gonna go enjoy the rest of my weekend while there’s some left.

Sarah… Tuesday?

I feel like I haven’t done a proper Sarah Sunday post in a while since the holidays were busy, so I’m just gonna go ahead and pretend that today is actually Sunday instead of Tuesday.

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Reading: WELL, a couple things because it’s the #boutofbooks readathon this week so of course. I started Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit for the Social Justice Book Club, and I started reading the essays in The Feminist Utopia Project, which are FANTASTIC. And today Daniel Jose Older’s newest book comes out, Battle Hill Bolero, and I would be starting that tonight except the tracking on my Amazon package all of the sudden says ETA is tomorrow. And that’s what I get for being lazy and not wanting to go to the store. I may just go out and get it at B&N and return the Amazon copy, b/c what the fuck.

Watching: I’ve been rewatching a lot of stuff – Archer, Captain America: Civil War, Luke Cage, and Deadpool.

Listening: I’ve been playing all the tracks on my phone on random, so… a little bit of everything.

Eating: Some more salads because I need fresh food in my life after all that holiday food. Also, I’m not drinking coffee in 2017 and that already sucks.

 

Exercising: Adding this to my Sarah Sunday posts! Ummm I crushed it last week and worked out 4 times, but so far this week has been off. Didn’t go on Sunday because I woke up really late and had been drinking for NYE, of course. Didn’t go Monday because I was being lazy and didn’t go this morning because I had some extra stuff going on. Tomorrow morning for sure though! Because I like seeing it on my Fitbit updates at the very least.

Thinking: Nothing but wanting to go home and read my books.

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Citizen-ing: Another addition to my Sarah Sunday posts, I need a better name for it though. Anyways, so this morning I called my Representative in the House at her local and DC offices and encouraged her to vote against HR5 and the Goodlatte amendment. Her staffers couldn’t tell me how she was planning to vote, which is concerning since it was today and all, but they were very kind. I’m trying to make calling reps or taking other actions more of a habit, hence adding it to my weekly update posts.

Anticipating: Reading! I just want to dive face first into my pile of books, TBH. I have that new-year-excitement giving me a push.

Okay time to face the rest of the day. Oy.

#BOUTOFBOOKS 18 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.

I have today off (woohoo, thank you New Year’s Day!) and the honeyman will be kind of busy this week, so I expect a ton of reading time except for maybe on Sunday, because that’s our first wedding anniversary and I might want to spend time with my husband instead of reading. I mean, I guess. 😉

THE BOOKS

  • Turbulence by Samit Basu
  • Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit
  • All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
  • The Feminist Utopia Project by Alexandra Brodsky and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis
  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man – Volume 4 by Brian Michael Bendis and Sarah Pichelli
  • Fables – Volume 12 by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham

THE GOALS

  • Finish at least 3 books
  • Read at least 5 essays/chapters from The Feminist Utopia Project
  • 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: 70
Total number of books I’ve read: 0
Books I read from: Hope in the Dark, and The Feminist Utopia Project
#todayinsixwords: Pathetic since I didn’t have work

Okay so I ended up taking a nap, plus once the honeyman got home I wanted to hang out with him because he’s extra busy for the next few days so we re-watched Captain America: Civil War (Cap is so annoying) and yeah. The Twitter chat was a blast though!

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Monday

Tuesday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 132
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Books I read from: Hope in the Dark, The Feminist Utopia Project, and Spider-Man Volume 4
#todayinsixwords: Struggling with Hope in the Dark

 Didn’t get quite as much reading done as I wanted to, but it was an alright day I guess. I’m not loving Hope in the Dark as much as I was hoping (ha) to, and I think for Wednesday I’m gonna ignore that and sink into a novel instead.
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Tuesday

Wednesday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 142
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Books I read from: All Our Wrong Todays
#todayinsixwords: Got sucked into a good book.

 I started the e-galley for this book coming out in February and I’m really enjoying it so far! On the down side, I hardly got any sleep last night so I bet I’m not going to get much reading done today.
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Wednesday

Thursday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 242!
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books I read from: All Our Wrong Todays
#todayinsixwords: Tired but super successful reading time.

 So, I thought I wouldn’t be good for much reading on Thursday because I was exhausted. But when I got home I took a 2-hour nap, and then spent the rest of the night finishing All Our Wrong Todays! Awesome. So proud of myself.
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Thursday

Friday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 0
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books I read from: None 😦
#todayinsixwords: Way busier than I was expecting.

Friday was a really weird day (Taye Diggs started following me on Twitter, had to call the police at work because of a suspicious bag/package on our stoop), and work was so hectic that I didn’t even take a lunch. I thought I could squeeze a few pages in after work and before we went to our friends’ house for game night, but that didn’t happen either.

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Friday

Saturday
Number of pages I’ve read today:55
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books I read from: Battle Hill Bolero by Daniel Jose Older (wasn’t in my original stack because it just came out on Tuesday, but yay!)
#todayinsixwords: I am the most sleepiest ever.

 I took like three naps on Saturday, no clue why. Also I got the honeyman Playstation Plus for Christmas so we can play games online, and we finally sat down last night to play Black Ops 3.
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Saturday

Sunday
Number of pages I’ve read today: 93
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books I read from: Battle Hill Bolero
#todayinsixwords: Wedding anniversary, so I was busy.

The honeyman had drill earlier in the day which is when I read, but he got home early enough for us to go see Hidden Figures and then go out to dinner, and then we played more Black Ops 3 when we got home. So all around a pretty great 1 year wedding anniversary!

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Sunday

Alright, so let’s wrap it up!

  • 2 books finished
  • 734 pages read
  • 1 awesome Twitter chat (pretty sure I was napping during the one on Saturday)

Not too bad! I wish I had been able to get a third book finished, but instead I ended up in the middle of both Battle Hill Bolero and Hope in the Dark. Ah well, it was a fun time anyways.

Thanks as always to the our lovely Bout of Books hosts and for everyone who participates! I had fun with you guys this week!