summer reading

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?

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August Recap

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I read 4 books in August, same as July… So I’m glad that I managed at least that, even with moving and stuff. In all fairness one of them was a short play, but still. Oh, and 19 issues of comics.

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova – This YA novel just came out this week, but I read the e-galley. Honestly, it didn’t live up to my high hopes, but maybe the sequels will strengthen it a bit?

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling – I liked Scorpius, but otherwise this didn’t really feel like a HP story. I would’ve been okay without it.

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Signal Boost by Alyssa Cole (Off the Grid #2) – Second in the author’s post-apocalyptic romance series, this focuses on John falling for the man trying to steal from their vegetable garden. Looking forward to starting the third book!

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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Damn, I still haven’t gotten around to writing an actual review of this. Basically, I went and bought the hard copy before I even finished reading the e-galley. It’s fantastic. This is my third Whitehead novel and he rocks.

 

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 4

Female authors: 3 (75%)

Non-white authors: 3 (75%)

Format breakdown: 2 e-book, 2 print

STATS – COMICS

Issues read: 19

Female authors/illustrators: 7

Non-white author/illustrators: 4

Format breakdown: All print.

Some goals for September – read at least 5 books (almost done with my 2nd, so should be possible) and catch up on blogging things. Now that my book room is all set up at home, and I have a new laptop, this should be a breeze.

How was your August?

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

August Monthly TBR

Happy August! The last month of summer. How sad.

July was a great month (found a new apartment, celebrated 9 years with the honeyman, NYC trip, etc) but I didn’t really get much reading done. I read 4 books, 1 graphic novel, and 9 issues of comics.

I’m not expecting to get much reading done in August either, since I’ll be packing in a lot of my free time, but here’s what I’m going to try to fit in this month. It’s all e-books, since all of my print books will be in boxes soon.

 

  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova – This is a YA novel coming out soon about a teenage bruja (witch) who rejects her powers and in doing so accidentally vanishes her family. I’ve tried to start this a couple times lying in bed but I’ve been so worn out the Kindle just falls on my face. Next time I have a couple free hours, this is what I’ll be diving into.
  • Time Salvager by Wesley Chu – I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet, since I love Chu’s other series. I want to get this read because I think the sequel is coming out in a couple months.
  • A.D.H.D Nation by Alan Schwarz – Another review copy for an upcoming release, and this is about the over diagnosis and medication of children under the ADHD label.
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Comes out in mid-September and I CANNOT WAIT to sit and have a go with this.
  • Signal Boost by Alyssa Cole – This is the second in Cole’s post-apocalyptic romance series, and I’m looking forward to seeing these characters again and figuring out what caused the power to go out.
  • Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – I have this AND the second book on my Kindle, and it is so ridiculous that I haven’t read it yet. I know the third book comes out in October, so now’s the time, right? I don’t know why I keep hesitating, these books have been getting fantastic reviews.

The ONE print book I might get to this month is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, if I can get to it within the next week or so. Here’s hoping I can get some down time to sneak it in soonish.

What are you hoping to read this month? Any new releases you’re excited about?

~Sarah

July Monthly TBR

June was pretty successful! I didn’t get quite as much reading done as I thought I would with the honeyman being gone for two weeks for drill, but still. I flew through 57 comics and 8 books. YEAH!

July’s pile I’m keeping short – I want to read these and then whatever else I feel in the mood for.

  • imageSomething New by Lucy Knisley – It’s almost my 6-month anniversary of being married to the honeyman, so Lucy Knisley’s newest comic seems appropriate.
  • Voyager by Diana Gabaldon – Back to my Outlander series re-read! I have it on Audible too, so I bet I can get through it pretty darn quickly. Funko Jamie & Claire are pretty psyched about it too.
  • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock – I’m really looking forward to this memoir about growing up trans, and what that journey has been like.
  • Chew: Volume 11 by John Layman and Rob Guillory – Newest Chew volume!! This series is almost over and I am going to be SO SAD. But will probably re-read many times.
  • Daredevil Back in Black: Volume 1 by Charles Soule and Ron Garney – I really liked the first issue but missed the next couple, so I grabbed the first volume.

And I have some e-galleys waiting on my Kindle for books coming out in August, I’ll probably try to get to those too:

  • Not So Much Said the Cat by Michael Swanwick
  • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott

What are you excited to read in July?

~Sarah

My Summer TBR

There are quite a few books I’m hoping to get to this summer. I tried to aim for books that I thought I might especially enjoy reading outside, because I’m going to try to do that more this year.

 

  • The Fireman by Joe Hill – I’ve liked every Joe Hill novel I’ve read, so I’m really looking forward to this.
  • Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean – I saw this recently on a Book Riot article about fat girls in romance, which is super rare in historical romance so it’s already waiting for me on my Kindle.
  • Awakening by Rebel Miller – Sci-fi romance!
  • Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward – I’ve had this on my Kindle for a long time, and I’ve heard that it’s been optioned for a movie. It’d be nice to be ahead of the curve on that.
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari  – Blame Bill Gates, his whole list of summer reading recs sounds awesome and this is on there –
  • Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart – I feel like I’ve seen this book EVERYWHERE. It better be good damn it.
  • The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan – I think this is a novel about the lives of people who are affected when a small bomb goes off, “only” killing a few people. Very intrigued.
  • Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates – I’m surprised my library had this, honestly, and I’ve had it on my wishlist for AGES. If you don’t check out the #everydaysexism hashtag on Twitter, you really should.
  • An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie – Travel memoirs are a summer thing, right? Got this in the last Book Riot Quarterly box, so seems a good time to give it a whirl.
  • I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself by Jen Kirkman – I like Jen Kirkman. That is all.
  • The Hike by Drew Magary – I really liked the author’s last novel, The Postmortal, and I’ve been waiting a couple years for something new from him so I’m pretty psyched about this new release.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba – Been in my TBR pile for ages now, and it’s about wind-powered electricity, so I bet reading outside will do the trick.
  • COMICS – I want to take a big stack of comics like Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, and Birthright out to the park to read in the grass. And maybe Fables too.

 

What books are you excited to read this summer?

~Sarah

July Mini-Review Recap

July was a pretty great month! Honeyman is home, had our 8-year anniversary, got a little engaged, AND read a decent amount of books!

I finished 7 books, and I read 27 issues of comics.

Okay, so actually my comics reading slacked a LOT. I haven’t been reading them on Scribd as often and I’m super-behind in my paper ones. Got some catchin’ up to do in August. Anyways, let’s see what the books were like.

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The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson – I really liked this book, but I can’t describe it for anything. It’s set in a futuristic Brazil, and it’s kind of YA-ish, and just go read it before the summer is over, kay?

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Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – Man, Scribd is AWESOME. They have so many brand new audiobooks! I only had a minor curiosity in reading Modern Romance, but I couldn’t resist it. I mean, Aziz starts the audiobook making fun of the listener for being too lazy to read the actual book, and it only gets more amusing from there. And I learned that apparently the most popular time for sexting is Tuesday at 10 AM. Who knew?!

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Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer – I know this author has written a ton, but this is the first book of his I felt compelled to pick up and it is SO worth the read. It’s absolutely horrifying and will make you afraid to leave your house but also righteously furious on behalf of the women who have been so let down by our judicial process.

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Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older – Older is quickly becoming one of my auto-buy authors. Dude knows how to WRITE, even when his main character is a female teenager. His books are such a great blend of fantasy, noir, and humor. Pick up one of his books, you won’t regret it.

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Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet – My bad for not having a good picture of the cover… but this was a fun little book! A newlywed couple go to an island for their honeymoon, and on one of their excursions they discover mermaids. Real mermaids. And then someone in the discovering party is found dead, and things escalate from there. The main character, Deb, was cheeky and a little mean, so I TOTALLY got along with her. Perfect summer reading (and incidentally, perfect because I was reading this on the day Treland proposed, so the honeymoon theme was particularly timely).

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, said the shotgun to the head by Saul Williams – This is actually a re-read, that I just happened because I saw it sitting there on Scribd. It’s poetry, and it’s about a kiss. Saul Williams is fantastic.

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – Toni Morrison says this is required reading, and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s a long letter from Coates to his son about what it means to grow up black in America. It is, of course, heartbreaking and insightful and something absolutely everyone should be picking up right now. RIGHT. NOW.

Alright, so let’s check out those stats…

STATS – BOOKS

Books read: 7

Female authors: 2 (29%)

Non-white authors: 5 (71%)

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

STATS – COMICS (including writers and illustrators)

Issues read: 27

Female authors/illustrators: 6

Non-white authors/illustrators: 2

Format breakdown: 21 print, 6 e-book

Man, my comics reading suffered this month. I’m working on that. Also, I think I mentioned on Twitter a while ago that I made a new Google Docs spreadsheet for tracking my reading, and I LOVE it. I think I’ve been using it for about a month now, and it’s so awesome to be able to access it anywhere, even on my phone. I have separate tabs for Books, Comics, Book Purchases, etc. And I add a book to it as soon as I’m reading it, highlight it, and then just remove the highlight and fill in the date once I finish it. (Or, if I never finish it… then that’s noted too.) Anyways, it’s very exciting, maybe I’ll do a post on it later with pictures.

~Sarah

August Monthly TBR

July was actually a pretty good month for me – I ended up reading 7 books, and 27 issues of comics. I feel like maybe I’m forgetting some comics there, I thought it was a little higher.

 

I’m VERY hopeful for August, as you may be able to tell from the giant stack below. No major birthdays, events, or celebrations this month AND there’s a Bout of Books readathon, so I should be a reading monster.

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From top to bottom…

  • Subliminal: How You Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow – I’m weirdly excited about this book. It should be a fascinating read. Also, the cover lured me in because in almost unnoticeable type on the cover it says “Pssst… Hey There. Yes: You, Sexy. Buy This Book Now. You Know You Want It.” I’m such a sucker.
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid – This seems like a book I should have read by now, because I feel like I hear it mentioned a lot. I’ll probably save this for B.o.B. week, since it’s a shorty.
  • After the Dance by Edwidge Danticat – Danticat heads home to Haiti to better understand Carnival, which had always terrified her. Seems like this will be part travel, part history, part memoir and I’m thinking it’s going to be fantastic. And also that I should read it on a nice, hot day.
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez – I’ve heard this book mentioned a lot, and it was on the B&N “Buy 2 get the 3rd free” table, so I threw it in my pile. (Confession: I actually bought 4 books off that table. Oy.)
  • Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World by Rachel Swaby – Another book I’ve heard mention of, and it sounds AWESOME. The back blurb describes the obituary for Yvonne Brill – how she had a husband and kids and made a great beef stroganoff, and then eventually got around to mentioning that she invented the propulsion system that keeps satellites in orbit and won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Praising women for their contributions to science and the world? I am so here for that.
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – I’ve been wanting to read this for AGES and it’s in paperback now and it was on that B&N table so really it was meant to finally be.
  • Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski – I bought this last month but then I read Missoula and kind of didn’t feel like reading a book about sexuality and sexy times and whatnot. I think I’ve recovered enough now. Maybe.

On the Kindle/Scribd:

  • When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner – Another Freakonomics-like book, and the audiobook is on Scribd. It’s basically a collection of their best blog posts from their websites, but I’m really enjoying it.
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – This is about mass incarceration and the racism of the criminal justice system. I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time, and with current events being what they are… it seems fitting.
  • Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah – I read Beah’s memoir years ago, and this is a novel by him. It’s been collecting dust on my digital Kindle shelf for far too long.

Comics:

  • Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man Volume 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli – Miles Morales!! I haven’t read any Peter Parker comics, but I am sick to death of him because of the never-ending movies. This is the only version of Spider-Man I find remotely interesting right now.
  • Fables Volume 3 by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham – Continuing on with this series, which will probably take me years to complete but I do really like it. This volume is called “Storybook Love” so I think we all know it’s gonna be great.
  • More single issues and stuff, clearly.

Alright, so that’s my list! I think I’m going to go paint my toenails and start digging into The Book of Strange New Things. What’s on your radar this month?

~Sarah

Reviewlettes: The Summer Prince, Missoula, Shadowshaper

I don’t have the focus for full-fledged reviews right now. And you probably don’t want to read them! So let’s just do some reviewlettes – smaller than normal individual reviews, possibly with bullet points, but slightly longer than mini-reviews. And I’m not going to summarize plots here- you can get that on Amazon or Goodreads or something.

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The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson – I picked this up because it seemed summer-y (summer is literally in the title) and fun, and lots of people on the internets liked it. They were right.

LOVED

  • Women primarily in power
  • Sexuality, masturbation, and sexual activity treated in a matter-of-fact, not taboo way
  • Interesting thinky bits about technology and how far it can or should be integrated into our lives
  • Characters I got attached to

DIDN’T LOVE

  • Took me a while to build the world in my head. I needed more clear-cut information. Sometimes info dumps are a good thing.
  • Not 100% how the election system works. Seems like a king is voted for every five years. After the first year, the queen publicly kills him. The king has something to do with choosing the next queen.
  • If the kings aren’t supposed to have much power, why let them choose the next queen? Why not just not have kings at all?

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Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer – I had been wanting to read this basically since it came out, and it finally because available on Overdrive. I think I’ll probably buy a copy eventually… there was a lot of meat.

LIKED

  • Krakauer’s delicate handling of the rape victims and cases
  • Lots of facts that can easily be looked up, especially about acquaintance rape
  • Engrossing – in that horrible, terrifying way that makes you never want to leave the house
  • Should be a must-read for everyone, men and women alike

DIDN’T LIKE

  • Sometimes Krakauer was blatantly a little less-objective in how we wrote about the lawyers defending the accused men. I have HUGE problems with the legal system and the way that lawyers try to attack the character of victims, witnesses, etc. But you know… it’s their job, and the system allows them to behave like that. No reason to try to paint an evil picture – the justice system does that on it’s own.

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Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older – Have been looking forward to this for months! Well worth the wait. Making my sisters read it next.

LOVED

  • Fantastic characters
  • Really well-written teenage FEMALE main character (seriously, kudos dude)
  • Fun and interesting concept for magic based in spirituality/ghosts
  • Self-contained story that doesn’t need a sequel… though I wouldn’t be opposed to one…

DIDN’T LOVE

  • I wish there had been more shadowshaping – seeing art literally come to life is such a fun idea!

There we go, all caught up! Maybe it’s because I’m just getting back into the swing of things with blogging… but that was a lot more fun than sitting and writing three separate long reviews. So whatcha think, have you read any of these? Any of them on your radar?

~Sarah

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer TBR

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Yay! FINALLY, I’m doing a Top Ten Tuesday post. It’s been ages, but it feels good to be getting back into the swing of things. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely gals over at The Broke and The Bookish, and the topic this week is Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List. I’m practically bubbling in excitement, because I’ve been re-reading the Outlander series since March, and while I absolutely love it, I’m glad I’ll be done soon so I can get back to other reading. Let’s see what we got:

 

1. Last God Standing by Michael Boatman – I picked this up on a whim ages ago, browsing around Barnes and Noble. Apparently God decides to quit and come down to Earth, to see what all the fuss is about and to make it as a stand-up comedian. I feel like only good things can come from this.

2. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor – Another random buy from B&N. In post-apocalyptic Africa, a child is born out of a violent rape, and named Onyesonwu – “who fears death?” The girl grows to discover abilities… and stuff happens. I don’t know, because I haven’t read it yet. But this sounds really good, and really heartbreaking.

3. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – I know, a running book. It’s about a group of people who can run MILES, like so many MILES, without stopping, and it got really great reviews, and whatever. I like/miss running.

4. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King – I got this book in the BookRiot Quarterly box! I’m psyched to read it. I’ve heard good things, and it should be a quick YA read.

5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Man I’d love to learn how to pronounce this author’s name… anyways, I’ve been excited to read this for a while. It’s about race, and love, and I’m sure a bunch of other things. I have high hopes for this one.

6. Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler – The title of this one weirds me out, but I like Chelsea Handler and I felt like this pile needed some more comedy.

7. Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen – The new SAA! I like her books, they’re awesome magical realism.

8. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku – !!!! I’ve been ITCHING to read this for months. I bought it basically as soon as it came out, and I’ve just biding my time, waiting for work and everything to calm down so I can focus and enjoy it.

9. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – So, I’ve heard of this book on the BookRiot podcast. I was browsing around the library’s used bookstore the other day, and it was only $2, so I grabbed it. I posted a pic on Instagram of the library haul, and this book got the MOST comments, despite all the other awesome things in that pile. Clearly, this needs to be read sooner rather than later.

10. Written in My Heart’s Own Blood by Diana GabaldonOutlander #8! I HAVE BEEN WAITING YEARS. I just have to finish re-reading An Echo in the Bone, so I should be starting this beauty by the end of the week.

 

Oh, and in addition to all this, I plan on continuing on with the Manhattan Projects series and Y: The Last Man series – I’m addicted to graphic novels lately. Now, what are you planning to read this summer? Give me more ideas!

 

~Sarah