bookish stats

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?

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

June Recap

Go June, you rock! I read 8 books and 52 issues of comics. Woot! So I have some bite-sized blurbs about what I read:

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The Fireman by Joe Hill – Probably my least favorite Joe Hill so far. It had some good elements but I was glad to finish it.

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn – SO fun and feisty and superhero-y and I’m already looking forward to a re-read. (Released today!)

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Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean – Fun and fluffy romance, likable main character, but I will forever remember this as the “he ate her face” book.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – This was actually a quite fantastic read about growing old, quality of life, and dying. I didn’t review because it hit a little close to home on some stuff and I couldn’t separate that when I tried writing about it.

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In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero – Awesome on audio, memoir about how when she was 14 this actress’s parents were deported and how that shook up her life.

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – SO SO GREAT. Sad and infuriating and hopeful and will probably end up on my top ten of the year list.

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy – A little juvenile, which makes sense it’s a YA title. If you like the manic pixie dream girl thing, this is for you. (Also out today!)

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward – A wonderful collection of essays about race in America by a wide range of authors including Daniel Jose Older, Claudia Rankine, Kiese Laymon, Garnette Cadogan, and many more.

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 8

#Readmyowndamnbooks: 1 (13%)

Female authors: 6 (75%)

Non-white authors: 5 (63%)

Format breakdown: 1 audiobook, 5 e-book, 2 print.

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 57

Female authors/illustrators: 5

Non-white author/illustrators: 3

Format breakdown: All print.

So June was a pretty great month! I need to catch up on some review-writing – apparently my ability to stay on top of reviews gets a little worse the more books I read in a month? I’ll try to get better at that, but I’m a busy lady.

How was your June?

~Sarah

May Mini-Review Recap

May was a pretty great month, for a lot of reasons. But also, I read 7 books and 15 issues of comics, so. And I even managed to review most of the books! Getting back in my groove this year and it’s awesome.

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Maestra by L.S. Hinton – Tries to be mystery and erotica, but was a fail for me due to the constant art and designer clothes blather.

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My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix – New book similar to Horrorstor, fun for the graduation time of year or for Halloween.

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The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu – I love the Tao series! This novella focuses on Cameron Tan, really enjoyed it. Totally want more.

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern –  I finally got around to reading this super popular book and yeah it was pretty damn good. I hope they make a movie out of it, because I want to go there.

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Grunt by Mary Roach – Mary Roach tackles military life in her new book out this month, and it’s super interesting. Hearing loss and penis transplants and stinky smells, oh my.

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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger – My favorite of the month. It was fun, fast-paced, and original. Plus it comes with drink recipes! I’m really looking forward to reading more by this author.

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The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips – I remember this being kind of buzzy a while back, so I grabbed it when I saw it at the library. Read it in one sitting and it was interesting… but probably not something I’d recommend. Not my kind of weird.

And now to the juicy stuff – stats.

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 7

#Readmyowndamnbooks: 1 (14%)

Female authors: 4 (57 %)

Non-white authors: 2 (29%)

Format breakdown: 2 e-book, 5 print.

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 15

Female authors/illustrators: 5

Non-white author/illustrators: 3

Format breakdown: All print.

I think this is the lowest percentage for POC authors I’ve had in a while, but still not too bad. It’ll be back up a bit in June. And a relatively new thing this month is that 3 of the 7 books were ARCs or review copies. Getting back into the NetGalley thing, so.

There will probably be a higher number of digital comics in June too – I’m in the 30-day trial for Comixology Unlimited so I’m going to try a few series I’ve been eyeing. Reading this month should be verrrrry interesting.

~Sarah

April Mini-Review Recap

Hey, April! Surprisingly, you were the best month so far this year! Strictly in a reading sense, of course. I managed to readbooks this month, and 36 issues of comics! Woot! So let’s see what we got.

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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – The first #SJBC pick! And it was fantastic – a heartbreaking and rage-inducing look at the death penalty and criminal justice system.

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Dietland by Sarai Walker – I had some quibbles, but overall I really loved this novel that takes on fat-shaming, beauty culture, and feminism. The anger and furor depicted by the women in Dietland is so relatable.

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The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes – Shonda deserves all the praise in the world, but this wasn’t my cup of tea. I was kind of bored.

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Radio Silence (Off the Grid #1) by Alyssa Cole – A really great post-apocalyptic romance novel featuring diverse cast of characters and some nice sexy times. I’m excited to read the others in the series.

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The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales – Lady assassins and mechanical arms and mysterious organizations, oh my. Fast and fun.

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Relativity by Antonia Hayes – A young boy has a particular knack for physics, and it ties into the family drama that tore his family apart. I loved the science aspect of it, but the family stuff got a little too cheesy for me.

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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli – This tiny 80-paged book is gorgeously packaged, but overall not great. It boiled down some basic pillars of physics into tiny chapters, and the author got quite poetic, but meh.

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Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter – #HAMILTOME! It’s fabulous for your eyes AND your ears.

Alrighty, now let’s get to them stats.

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 8

#Readmyowndamnbooks: 2 (25% ouch)

Female authors: 4 (50 %)

Non-white authors: 5 (63%)

Format breakdown: 3 audiobook, 4 e-book, 1 print. I actually had other print books started but I ended up DNF-ing.

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 36

Female authors/illustrators: 12

Non-white author/illustrators: 9

Format breakdown: All print. I cancelled my Scribd membership, so this will probably be the norm for a while.

 

Not too shabby, April! I need to read more books that I already own, but what else is new. Have you read any of these?

~Sarah

 

It’s almost April and I’ve practically read nothing this year

Alright, that’s not true. I’ve read 7 books, 8 if I finish The Lowland tonight (which I totally plan to). But damn, that’s not many for being three months into the year. I miss the good old days of having the free time to read 10+ books a month.

I’ve been a terrible blogger this year. (Clearly, since I haven’t posted since March 1st.) With the exception of the #HamAlong posts (which were the BEST), I’ve pretty much been absent from my blog. That’s sad, because I love my blog. It’s my space, and it’s pretty, and I enjoy it. Maybe I need a better laptop at home to get excited about posting again?

Anyways, in an attempt to kind of catch myself up, here’s a quarterly wrap-up of sorts. Let’s start with the books I’ve read:

  • Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon – Yup, re-reading the series again. I finished Outlander within a week (on my honeymoon, actually) but for some reason I slogged through DiA.
  • Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel Jose Older – This is the second book in the Bone Street Rumba series, which is a hella fun series. Older is now one of my auto-buy authors.
  • The Fishermen by Chigozi Obioma – After hearing lots of positive, glowing things about this on Book Riot – I was kind of disappointed. I remember liking the writing, and it was an okay book, but probably one I could have walked away from at some point and wouldn’t have cared to pick up again.
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow – My favorite read of the year so far. No, seriously. And not just because of the readalong, though that was a blast. I think Chernow, being the Hamilton fanboy that he is, wrote a really compelling and interesting biography and that Hamilton was way more crazy and intriguing than you would think possible.
  • Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi – I was liking this book, until the end. This is my second Oyeyemi and I liked it a hell of a lot more than Mr. Fox. I’m looking forward to picking up What is Not Yours Is Not Yours, her new short story collection.
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – SO glad I finally read this! It was sad and hopeful and wonderful. My oldest nephew is 10, and I’m very excited that this should show up on some reading lists for him within the next few years. And if it doesn’t, I’ll be putting it in his hands anyways.

Alright, and then the books I’ve started but haven’t finished…

  • Headstrong by Rachel Swaby – 52 awesome women in science. The format of that is pretty cut and dry, which might be why I’ve only read the first few so far. I had a goal of trying to read one in the mornings at work before I start my day, which is why it’s sitting next to my printer at work, but that hasn’t panned out like I thought.
  • The Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon – I started listening to this on Scribd, which was probably a mistake. I need a nice hard copy for myself, because I feel like I’m missing something on audio. Also, my car’s exhaust was broken until just last weekend so it was REALLY loud and not conducive to audiobook listening on my commute.
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – I heard some pretty great things about this on the interwebs, so I bought it with one of my birthday gift cards. I got about 40 % into it and realized I still didn’t really care about what was happening. I flipped to the end, read pretty much how things turn out, and decided I didn’t need to read the middle of the book to get there. This will probably go in the donation pile at home.
  • Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell – I haven’t given up on this one. I started reading it in early March, but set it down for something else and just haven’t come back to it yet. But my love for Lafayette in the Hamilton musical still has me motivated to finish it, at some point.

Don’t even get me started on my comics reading. I’m SO BEHIND. I probably need to cull my pull list a little bit. I am really enjoying SO many of the current Marvel comics, so it’ll be hard to do. I love the All-New All-Different Avengers (except for that wordy title), The Ultimates is a blast, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is ridiculously cute.

I’m working my way through the Fables series, and I still really like it. I’m on volume 10 now, so almost halfway. Some of the plots I’m not a huge fan of because they happened a bit too quickly, but I still always look forward to the next volume.

I tried out the first volume of a manga called Magical Girl Apocalypse. Treland read the first half or so in the bookstore once and said it was about this girl who walks around looking like a Gothic doll, who explodes people’s heads and says “Magical” and it sounded kind of mysterious and fun and weird. I talked him into buying the first three volumes since he was interested in it and he NEVER buys comics or books, and I decided to try it out too. Ummmm yeah. So there was barely a plot in that first book, it was a vaguely zombie-like situation. But I really, really didn’t appreciate the random boob and panty shots of the female characters. Apparently this is called “fan service”, and it’s basically just thrown in there to appeal to horny teenage boys. Not a fan of this, especially when the female characters are HS students and I’m just not a fan of such blatant things put there to appeal to the male gaze. So, won’t be continuing on with that one.

And because this is basically a recap post anyways, here are my stats for the first quarter of 2016:

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 8 (really, I’m almost done with The Lowland so it’ll count for March)

#Readmyowndamnbooks: 6 (75%) RIGHT ON TRACK!

Female authors: 4 (50 %)

Non-white authors: 5 (63%)

Format breakdown: 8, although some of these I did read both print and Kindle versions, thanks to Overdrive. Reading in bed is really important to me!

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 33

Female authors/illustrators: 8

Non-white author/illustrators: 8

Format breakdown: All print. I’ve really slowed done on my Scribd reading for comics.

I’m really going to try to get back into a groove here, hopefully by posting a review of The Lowland soon. It’s like I don’t even know how to review books anymore, it’s pathetic. But here’s to trying, right?

~Sarah