Book Riot

July Recap

So, July was alright! I didn’t read a lot, but I probably should’ve seen that coming cause dude, I’m busy. I read 4 books, 1 graphic novel, and 8 issues of comics.

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Being Jazz: My Life as a Transgender Teen by Jazz Jennings – Funny and interesting and eye-opening, and I particularly recommend the audio version.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon – My ongoing Outlander series re-read is going swimmingly. And Voyager was perfect for the super hot weather we’re having, because high sea adventures and pirates.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson – Interesting and a little haunting. The main character really wears her grief.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – Such a pleasant surprise – it’s sci-fi and set in space and the crew members are a varied bunch of humans and aliens and it was just great. Listening to those Book Riot recommendation/new books podcasts really pays off.

Something New by Lucy Knisley – Her graphic memoirs are just the BEST. And having gotten married myself earlier this year, I was super into it.

 

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 4

Female authors: 4 (100%)

Non-white authors: 1 (25%)

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

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 8

Female authors/illustrators: 2

Non-white author/illustrators: 2

Format breakdown: All print.

 

So – not great, but not terrible… I’m glad I finally read a memoir by a transgender person and want to read more – can any one recommend other transgender authors? Non-fiction or fiction?

How was your July?

~Sarah

The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


I’m so happy I picked this up! I heard about it on one of the Book Riot podcasts, and grabbed the trade copy from The Strand when I was in NYC last weekend because ‘fun space opera” stuck in my head. And that’s exactly what it is! Rosemary is (kind of) the main character, and since she’s running from some family stuff she gets a job as a clerk on a ship whose main function is getting work making wormholes through space. I know! They punch through the sublayer of space to connect distant locations, so cool.

I say Rosemary’s “kind of” a main character because though the book definitely starts with a focus on her, it ends up being about ALL of the crew, and man what a varied crew they are. There’s Ashby, the black pacifist captain of the ship who may or may not be in a taboo romance with an alien woman who he hardly ever gets to see. There’s Kizzy and Jenks, the off-the-wall talented mechanics of the ship (Kizzy reminds me a lot of Gaige from Borderlands 2). There’s Corbin, the annoying, abrasive algae specialist whose function is to basically fuel the ship. Sissix is the reptile-ish alien who pilots the ship. Dr. Chef is an big alien with 6 limbs and several throats whose function is being the doctor and the chef (hoho, bet you didn’t see that coming!) Ohan is the furry alien infected with a virus that allows them to view space in ways that humans can’t, hence making them the navigator. And, last but not least, Lovey is the ship’s AI who oversees everything in and about the ship. The group lives mostly on the Wayfarer, and generally part they get along swimmingly (except Corbin, that ass) until Ashby takes a contract job that’s bigger than anything they’ve ever done, and puts them in direct contact with the most hostile group of aliens known.

I’ll give a fair bit of warning here – this book is not super action-packed. Don’t get me wrong, some stuff goes down on more than one occasion, but it’s very much focused on getting to know the characters and for me, that was fun enough in of itself. I love the diversity among the different species. Some are gender and sexuality -fluid, some are very devout, some just want to cuddle, some can’t stand to be touched – they’re all so different and yet for the most part, seem used to functioning in a universe with each other. Technology is (of course) a huge aspect of life both in space and planetside, and that’s always fun to see, to imagine what those kinds of advances in technology would look like in our lives.

This is a crazy and fun ride through space, and I can’t wait to see what else Becky Chambers does for this world (universe?) she’s created. It looks like there’s already a new book slated for March – not necessarily a sequel, but a follow-up to one of the characters so don’t go reading the description for the second book because it will definitely ruin a piece of the first book for you. Anyways, I’ll be getting my hands on the second book as soon as I can.

~Sarah

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn TBR

the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Ahh, what a nice and easy topic this week – Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR. This is kind of perfect, because I’ve been looking at the Read Harder Challenge and checking what I still need to cross off, so I have a good idea of what I want to seek out soon.

1 – Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – I heard about this on the Book Riot podcast, and I got the sample on my Kindle. It sounds super amazing – a Victorian kind of setting in an England in which the magic is disappearing, and the kind of “head” magician is a black man, and it’s his job to try to bring the magic back. And he apparently finds out that women’s magical abilities are being suppressed, which is nuts because they need all the magic they can get and women should be able to freely practice magic, and it just sounds feminist and fabulous. I ordered a paper copy from Amazon (because screw you publisher, I’m not paying fucking $12.99 for an e-book) and I’m about 80 pages in so far and it’s GREAT.

2 – The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma – I had this out from the library at one point but didn’t get around to reading it before it was due, and I’ve been regretting it. And now I’ve been hearing extra buzz because it’s shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. I really gotta get my hands on it again.

3 – On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss – This checks off the “indie press” category, and I’ve had the audiobook from Audible for a long while now but haven’t got around to it.

4 – Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – This book is BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW and guess who grabbed a copy at the library? That’s right. And it wasn’t even on the express shelf. Hell yeah. I actually have already kind of forgot what it’s about, but I remember hearing excitement about it and it’s on the NBA longlist, so it should be good, right?

5 – When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James – I tried reading an Eloisa James book before but got really annoyed with the main characters and DNF’ed. But, this one will count for the “fairy tale retelling” category and I’ve hardly read any romance this year, so why not. Better not ruin Beauty and the Beast for me though.

6 – Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found by Frances Larson – This sounds like it could a fun, disturbing, weird read and perfect for the “microhistory” category.

7 – Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah – I have had this on my Kindle for AGES. I’m going to focus on trying to read mostly digitally in October I think, so this will work for that and the “written by an author from Africa” category. I’ve read Beah’s memoir and that was really good. It’ll be interesting to see how his fiction is.

8 – The Dinner by Herman Koch – A book that got a lot of praise and that I have sitting on my shelf. It has an unreliable narrator… and that’s all I really remember from the description. It’ll cross off the “originally published in another language” category since it first came out in Dutch.

9 – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Alright, so one of the categories on the RH challenge is “book published before 1850”. I have never read Frankenstein, so I might FINALLY give that a go. I also kind of have Wuthering Heights in mind for this, but I don’t know if it counts since it would be a re-read. It’s been a couple years so I might re-read it anyways, I kind of miss it.

10 – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – This sounds like it might be a really fun read, and it’ll work for the “takes place in Asia” category. The dynamics between the old and young, and mainland Chinese and American-born Chinese, sound really interesting. I added it to my holds list on Overdrive.

Is there anything in particular you’re excited to read this fall? A new release, or something just perfect for the season?

~Sarah

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Got

the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Unfortunately, this will not include Go Set a Watchman because I haven’t run out to the store to buy it yet. I kinda sorta want to wait and see how people are feeling about it? Maybe? I don’t know. Anyways, this week’s topic is Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession.

1. Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet – I’m listing this first because I also happen to be reading it right now. I’m 60-ish pages in and it’s a HOOT. I heard it talked about on Book Riot and so when it was on sale at Barnes and Noble last week, I grabbed it.

2. Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older – This was my actual purpose in going to Barnes and Noble last week. I had to go to the one furthest away from me, but it was worth it. Plus we went to The Cheesecake Factory after book shopping, so it was all good. I actually finished this over the weekend already.

3. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma – Alright, it’s actually starting to be somewhat of a concern how often I act on Book Riot’s recommendations. I think I heard about this on the All The Books podcast, and my library had it, so…

4. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – I’ve been listening to this on Scribd, and I also got the paper copy out from the library because I wanted to be able to see the pictures and charts.

5. Last Night by James Salter – This is a collection of short stories by James Salter, who passed away recently. I’ve never read any of him before, but I picked this up at the library cause I figured it’d be good #24in48 readathon material. I’ve read a couple of the stories so far, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m not a huge short story fan.

6. All That Is by James Salter – Because this was right next to Last Night on the shelf, and I believe it’s his newest book. And YES, I admit it… I heard them talking about Salter on the Book Riot podcast. GEEZ.

7. Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski – I’ve heard the whole damn internet talking about this book and how awesome it is for focusing so hard on female sexuality. Not sure why I was surprised it was shelved in the “Love and Sex” section at Barnes and Noble.

8. The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson – I bought this on my Kindle because I’d been wanting to read it for ages and it seemed like a good summer read. And it was.

9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker – Also purchased on my Kindle because it was only $0.09 for some reason. NINE CENTS. I have a paper copy, but it seemed silly not to splurge 9 pennies on the e-book. (OMG I just looked and it’s still on sale go get it! NINE CENTS!)

10. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid – I have never read this! And I saw it while I was browsing around the library, so I grabbed it.

Sooo there we have it! I made it a point not to list anything from Scribd, since that seems like cheating. ALL the books are in my possession! *cue evil laugh*

Alright, so what are the books that recently made their way into your hands?

~Sarah

Book Riot’s Top 50 Books List

Hey ya’ll. So, we know that Where’d You Go, Bernadette? review wasn’t all that fascinating, PLUS it’s a Saturday and I’m at home, PLUS it’s my blog and I do what I want – so let’s do this!

Book Riot apparently had their readers vote and whatnot and came up with their own “Top 50 Books” list. And now they want to know how many you’ve read from said list! So count out how many you’ve read, and go here to enter your number.

And in the meantime, here’s what I’ve read from the list… I’ll bold them. And put a * next to ones that that I’ll explain at the bottom.

 

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  6. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien*
  7. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  12. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  13. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  14. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  15. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  16. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  17. The Stand by Stephen King
  18. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  19. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  20. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  21. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  22. The PIcture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  23. The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  24. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon**
  25. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  26. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  27. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  28. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  29. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  30. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  31. 1984 by George Orwell
  32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  33. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  34. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  35. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  36. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  37. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams***
  38. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  39. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  40. Ulysses by James Joyce
  41. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  42. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  43. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  44. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  45. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  46. Dune by Frank Herbert
  47. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  48. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  49. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  50. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

* I’m reading the first LOTR book right now! Hooray! But because I’m only about halfway through the first book, I didn’t count it.

** Can I tell you how excited I am that the Outlander series is so high up on the list? SO EXCITED.

*** I’ve actually only read the first book, but I’m counting it. And I do plan to read the rest eventually. But I think it should “count” if you’ve only read the first book in a series, because at least you tried it!

 

So yeah, 24 total for me. 25 once I finish LOTR. And of course lots more are ones that I’ll read eventually.

What’s your number?

 

~Sarah