Category: random crap

Random update

So, once again I have neglected this blog a bit. I haven’t stopped reading or writing or even writing about what I’m reading, I’m just doing it on tumblr a lot more lately.

And speaking of that… I have completely separated this blog from that one, for various reasons, and won’t keep them linked anymore. I’ve been writing stuff that’s more personal, and I just don’t want people who know me in real life to have easy access to that. And interaction with others is just a lot easier on other platforms (besides WordPress).

I might return to writing more on here in the future, but for now, it will definitely be less.

Bookish updates

So… I haven’t written in a while. In the last month or two I’ve had some ideas about posts – quite a few ideas, really, and they are stacking up. I think I’ll get working on those now, since I am in a good rhythm at my new job, and have a ton of book-related things I want to write about.

But first, a quick update:

Last week I reached my Goodreads goal of reading 125 books this year. My goal was a bit weird because I kept changing it based on how much I was reading. It went 75-100-125-150-125. I finally settled back on 125 because I spent September (and part of this month) rereading books, which didn’t count towards my total. Ok, TBH I was rereading the Throne of Glass series because Empire of Storms kicked my ass and I felt like everything had finally come together and that series has given me something to fangirl over like I haven’t since I used to rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and had the soundtrack for the musical episode on repeat. I’m a grown-ass woman, but I’m also like “where is all the Rowaelin fanfic?!”

I really think that Goodreads needs to change that so rereads count, because I would actually be at 130 right now, but that’s fine. I’ve read more this year than I ever have, so I’m not going to begrudge those missing 5 rereads. It’s still entirely possible for me to get to 150 for the year, but I’m not pressuring myself.

I have cried more because of a book in the last couple of months than I have in a long time (hello, Crooked KingdomJust MercyWhen Breath Becomes Air, A Court of Mist and Fury, and Empire of Storms, I’m looking at you. Oh, and The Assassin’s Blade). Especially thanks to Crooked Kingdom. I couldn’t stop crying for an hour after I finished that book, and when I tried to tell my partner about it, I just got worse.

This has basically been me lately, after reading almost anything:

crying gif.gif

Even Sweetbitter, which I read last weekend, nearly did this to me. Tess is such a fuck-up, but I understood her on a weird level that I wish I didn’t.

This next week has several exciting bookish things – first, this weekend my department and several breweries in town are hosting a book festival, which means books + beer, which is basically my weekends in a nutshell, anyway. The town has just decided to make it official, apparently, that the cool thing to do, which my partner and I have been doing for about a year, is to take a pile of books to a brewery and read and drink all weekend.

This weekend is also Dewey’s 24 hour readathon, which I am planning on participating in again. Last time I read 17 or 18 hours, but this time I am going to push myself a bit more. I’ll post updates on Litsy (booksinotherwords) and Instagram, mostly.It might be hard with the book festival going on the same weekend (and some personal family things), but I’m going to do my best.  Especially considering…

…in the next week there are two more bookish events, including an author signing (Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Jessica Cluess, and Kiersten White) and the winner of the Man Booker Prize being announced. Combined, I’d really like to read 6 books in order to prepare for both of those things. In the next 7 days. So… we’ll see how that goes. I know I am capable of doing that, it’s just that things come up, shit happens, etc.

24-in-48-fall

I would really like to read these in the next couple of weeks, if not in the next week. Right now my feelings about the Man Booker are The Sellout = yay, you deserve it, Eileen = ok, won’t be mad if it wins, and Hot Milk = will be annoyed if it wins. The three books on the bottom of the image are the other three that are shortlisted, so I have no feelings yet except for the cover of Do Not Say We Have Nothing is gorgeous. It’s even better in person.

Look for more posts in the future… I hope. As I mentioned, I’ve had ideas brewing, I just need to take the time to work them out.

Happy reading!

What’s a book budget?

I went to Seattle recently with my husband’s family and I set myself a budget for buying books. I went over by double, because that’s what happens on vacation: I act like rules no longer apply and like the money I spend on vacation isn’t actually real money. I went to a few used bookstores in Pike Place Market, and then took a bus up to Elliot Bay Book Company, which was glorious! I have a good local bookstore where I live but it’s nothing like that. The nearest is Tattered Cover, which is fabulous and well-known in its own right, but even still I think I prefer Elliot Bay. Anyway, then I came home I bought some more books, and I swear that soon I will start using the library more and stop spending money on books. I even downloaded Overdrive and Hoopla and started putting some books on hold. Cross your fingers.

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Will I make it out of grad school alive?

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while; I’ve just had some thoughts that I want to get down somewhere. It’s very personal as in, this is my experience and yours may be very different, but I just wanted to blog a bit about grad school, its effect on me, and some decisions I have made lately.

This is my final semester of graduate school, as I am finishing my thesis and will defend in the next couple of months. I am in a program right now that gives 2 MA degrees in three years, so when I’m done I’ll have two BAs, two MAs, and a whole lot of student loan debt! Yay! I’m excited to join the ranks of over-qualified and under-employed workers.

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Reading plans for 2016

First off I want to say that I have just under two weeks now until the spring semester begins and I am having the hardest time getting motivated to work on my thesis. All I can do right now is write the lit review and the methodology, which I basically already did when I wrote the proposal. I can’t collect any data until the semester begins, and no data collection = no data analysis = no writing those sections whatsoever. So that means two things: A) I probably won’t graduate until the summer, but that’s fine, and B) I just don’t wanna do the things right now. Sure, my lit review needs work and I need to change the methodology from “here is what I propose doing” to “here is what I am doing”, but I have all next week to do that! Right?

On to the bookish things… partly as a way to procrastinate, I have been thinking a lot lately about my reading, how it can be better, how I can spend less, how I can get to books I really want to read, things like that. I’ve also been thinking about ways that I can write more without taking too much time, so there might be some small changes here, but hopefully they will make it so that I can post more often about more books. Over the summer I read about 40 books and wrote about nearly all of them. Then from September through December I read 22 books and only wrote about 4 or 5 of them.

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What I read in 2015

This past year has been quite a change of pace for me, reading-wise. I’ve always enjoyed reading; trips to the library are one of my fondest memories of the period before my parents’ divorce, before we moved half way across the country and blah, blah, blah. Long story short this caused a lot of changes, but reading remained central to my life.

I’ve written about this before, but in my teens I decided at some point that I would read only classics or books that were award/best of the year-worthy. While this sounds great and like I would be a very well-read person, after 14-ish years of sticking to those principles I became very tired of restricting myself to certain sections of the bookstore, and reading nothing but what amounted to literary fiction for more than half my life.

This past year I started branching out in what I would read, meaning I read books that were published this year (which I hardly ever did before), I read fantasy, I read YA, and I even read a graphic novel or two. I discovered that  I actually enjoy fantasy and graphic novels, though I am very torn on the whole YA thing, both in its quality (very hit-or-miss) and in its designation. I mean, what is it, even, why do some things get called YA (Uprooted) and others don’t (All the Light We Cannot See) even though they both have teenaged main characters? However, I don’t think that any other genre is any more or less hit-or-miss when it comes to quality, so perhaps my inner book snob is just making excuses for why I wouldn’t make a blanket statement of approval for the genre.

While I’ve been branching out in what I read I am still retaining a sense that my time is limited, that I should stick to the style of books that I have always loved. In fact, I recently found myself thinking that I should re-read The House of Mirth because I feel that I need to remind myself of what I love, of what incredibly beautiful writing looks like. I’ve never thought this before, but I feel like it will reset my reading, set me back at zero in a way. A palate cleanser.

Has anyone else felt that way?

It’s not that Edith Wharton is objective or neutral or anything like that, but in returning to one of my top five favorite books of all time, I will be reminding myself of who I am as a reader and perhaps stop myself from wandering down some path of “oh shiny book!” and wasting my time with books that I never would have even considered reading 5 years ago.

Clearly I am on break from school now because this sort of thing should not take that much thought.

I have read a total of 68 books this year (at the time of this writing – I’d love to make it a round number but I only have a couple of days left in the year). My goal was 50, which was raised a few times from something like 30. Evidently, my habits changed and I surprised myself this year. I don’t see my momentum slowing down any time soon so I think I am going to set my goal pretty high for 2016, participate in Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge, and probably have to buy more bookshelves.

I’ll be making some posts about 2016 reading plans soon, but in the meantime I was curious – has anyone else suddenly found their reading habits and tastes have changed after feeling like they were established?

Reading update… barely

So I realized that the beginning of the month came and went and I didn’t take stock of what I had read in September and what I plan to read in October. This is partly because my recent top ten fall TBR does that job just fine, and partly because I think I read two books this month. I think. It’s really quite sad.

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