YApril Wrap-Up

So I did it, I managed to mostly read six YA novels in the month of April. It’s not a personal best, and I didn’t hit all the books I set out to read but, even though I hit a bad slump in those last two weeks, and fell into an MCU hole over the last weekend. I did, however, managed to make it all the way through.

I will say, this was one of the least enjoyable YAprils I have ever participated in. There is a reason that I didn’t read these books, regardless of how hyped they were. This experiment just proved to me that I know what I like and what I don’t like and that I REALLY shouldn’t attempt to force myself to like a book, just because everyone else does. Side lesson, some books are underhyped for a reason and should stay that way.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on the books I read. I’ve separated them into books I set out to read, and books I added when I realized that this theme was going to kill me.

The Original TBR

A Court of Thorns and Roses

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I hated it. Every awful, stupid, aggressively cliched second of it…but I finished it. This book felt like Katniss & the Beast in fairyland with sexy times. Also, the mask thing was so dumb that I can’t even wrap my mind around it, I laughed out loud.

I think I know what Maas was going for… I understand that her thing is bad ass lady characters, and violence, and those damn fae (I hate Fae and I will get into that on another post) and sex/eroticism. I have heard this many times from our Teen librarian, who goes back and forth over whether to move all of Maas’ work over one row to the Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy section. I can see why her stuff appeals to people… but it doesn’t appeal to me, not one bit.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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I DNFed it. It was boring and confusing. The photos weren’t used to do anything the interesting. Had Riggs stuck to his original idea it might have been more enjoyable.

This is another book where I clearly understand why people like it. It’s got a mysterious vibe, the images are aesthetically spooky and pleasing in an eerie way. I totally get that. But I just couldn’t get into this story. It took too long to get anywhere interesting and when it did get there… it was a case of too little too late for me. Also, I didn’t feel the character dynamics… but that could be because I checked out super early in this book.

We Were Liars

This book was my surprise of the year. I actually really enjoyed reading it up until the Image result for we were liarsend. It is well written, not as bad as I assumed it would be based on its dumb marketing campaign. But then ending is dumb, and I saw it coming from a  mile away. I like the use of fairy tales and Shakespeare and other literary themes. I’m also a sucker for rich New Englanders…

Late in the Game Additions

Autoboyography

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I enjoyed it, and it was a FAST read. I’d recommend it to people who loved Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda. At first, I was psyched for positive, explicit bisexual rep, but ultimately it fell into a weird thing… there is a twist that doesn’t make much emotional or narrative sense. It skates dangerously close to the treacherous bisexual stereotype. The ending was sweet but felt slightly unearned. I want queer stories with happy endings that make sense. Also not for nothing, why are so many of these queer male stories being written by women? It feels weird.

People Like Us

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This was a bad book that wanted very much to be Pretty Little Liars. It had the bones of the kinds of books I like, boarding school, rich kids, queer characters, mean girl drama, class conflict… but it was just so incredibly boring. And a book that features blackmail and murder shouldn’t be this boring, it just shouldn’t. Also, the protagonist, whose name I don’t remember and shall henceforth refer to as Beige, was unbearable. She had zero defining traits beyond liking to run and being bisexual. Now those are fine traits to have… brilliant traits,  but that’s all Beige was… oh and I think she’s poor, compared to her classmates. So, yeah, I get why this one wasn’t hyped… it deserves to die its quiet death in relative obscurity.

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 No Normal

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I have had this on my reading list for a long time… seeing as Kamala Khan took up the mantle of Ms. Marvel in 2014. This book was hyped but I missed it because comics aren’t my go-to reading material, and I added it at the end of April because I’m currently on a ridiculous Marvel high. No Normal is made up of Issues 1-6 of Kamala’s first outing as Ms. Marvel. And guys, this comic is so much! I am extremely excited to read more of her books.

Books I Meant to Read But Totally Didn’t

Six of Crows

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You beat me again Bardugo… I may never read your million page novel, about what? Bad people doing a heist? I really have no clue, I bought this book on blind faith in the YA Hype-Machine…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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I will probably read this book at some point this year, but I didn’t–couldn’t get into it this month. I just lost all the steam I had going. Life is too short for ugly YA covers…

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BREAKING NEWS!!!!

MY COPY OF LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT WAS WAITING FOR ME WHEN I GOT HOME FROM WORK!!!

4 Quick Things:

1. Yay! More from the Simonverse!

2. Yay! Bisexual representation!

3. YAY! Fat girl representation ON. THE. COVER.

4. Yay! That awful Love, Simon sticker comes off!

Basically this means all other reading is on hold.

#YA Week 3 Check-In

So here we are, 3 weeks down, 1 week to go…

I’m going to be honest, I’m a little burnt out on YA. It always hits me at some point during the month, but my selections this year aren’t doing me any favors.

So, since I last checked in I’ve “finished” 4 books:

  • Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • People Like Us by Dana Mele
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I’m suuuuuuuuuuper tired.

I have two books to go from my original list, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Six of Crows. And let’s be real, Six of Crows is a solid million pages long, it’s probably going to get pushed back on the shelf.

I have started DOSAB… but I’m not loving it.

We’ll see how it goes.

A Brief #YApril Update

Why did I do this to myself?

There is clearly a reason I have not read these books.

I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses last week and started Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children yesterday… and I am actively looking for excuses to not read.

It’s so disheartening. I mean it’s not that I think that these books are necessarily poorly written, it’s just that they are so not my taste.

So I am changing my #YApril reading theme. For every mega hyped book that I missed, I’m going to read an under-hyped book that I was really excited about but haven’t gotten around to yet.

Hopefully this will keep me from losing my mind.

#YApril 2018 TBR

For the last four years I have dedicated the month of April to exclusively reading Young Adult literature. I usually choose a theme,( past themes have included: YA Feminism, YA lgbtq+, YA Horror… and I can’t remember the first year) and them read books that fit the theme and blog about them and YA in general for the entire month of April.

This year is no different… except for the theme. It’s a little looser, and DEFINITELY more challenging.

#YApril 2018’s Theme: Mega Hyped YA Novels That Somehow Passed Me By

That’s right, this April I will be reading YA novels that EVERYONE seems to love yet somehow ended up not sparking my interest at all. Now, this could be because these books are in a genre I don’t tend to read (ugh fantasy… faerie books…), books that seemed TOO hyped for me to take interest in them, or books I just never got around to reading when people were talking about how AH-MAH-ZING they were.

Here is my highly ambitious #YApril TBR

A Court of Thorns & Roses

Why I Haven’t Read It Yet: To be honest, faerie/fae do not interest me in the slightest. ALSO I’ve heard that this book is mega problematic and a ‘Beauty & the Beast’ type story, again things that I have zero interest in. On top of having no interest in it, I also hate the cover… it’s a big ol’ yuck for me.

Why I am Reading It Now: Because these damn books have such a huge following and I feel left out. I feel like every other Owlcrate bow has something from this series (or Six of Crows which I am also reading this month). Also, I work in a library and should at least have a general sense of what this mega popular series is about.

Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children

Why I Haven’t Read it Yet: Probably because this book gives me an overwhelming case of the “meh”s… I look at it and I’m like, “oh cool spooky, old timey photos, cool idea for a writing prompt, Ransom” and then I start wondering is the photos are real or staged for the book, and then I go all Wikipedia rabbit hole girl and then by the time I come up for air, I don’t have any interest in the book anymore. It just doesn’t thrill me.

Why I am Reading it Now: Because, well, I do have–or have had genuine interest in this book before. I bought this book when it came out in paperback. I have also heard people who I respect and trust say that it is their favorite book. So I’m giving it a go.

Six of Crows

Why I Haven’t Read it Yet: I actually have started reading this one and lost momentum because it wasn’t my cup of tea at the time. I thought I would like it because again, people fucking LOVE this duology… I have yet to figure out why though. I don’t like the setting or the characters or the world building. But there HAS to be something special in this book that I am missing because everyone seems to love it.

Why I am Reading it Now: Because I will not be defeated by this damn book. I will read it. I will finish it and I WILL figure out why people like it. I may not agree, but I will understand.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Why I Haven’t Read it Yet: Two reasons: 1. Fae folk stories don’t interest me that much. 2. The hideous cover. There are very few YA books that have tremendously bad covers (YA cover art is usually super on point) but this one has the most horrible cover. That mask? That high contrast? That weird splash of red on the spine? Those ridiculous fonts? That high-gloss finish? It’s like it was designed in a lab to be the ugliest book cover ever and succeeded with flying colors. I have judged this book by its terrible cover for YEARS…but seriously they doubled down on the mask, it’s on the spine too!

Why I am Reading it Now: I recently read Strange the Dreamer (which also has a hideous cover… what did Lani Taylor do to deserve this?) and loved it. I thought it was so cool and dreamy. So I figured, I will swallow my bile and give this one a shot. It also helps that my coworker said that it is actually better that Strange the Dreamer so… yeah.

We Were Liars

Why I Haven’t Read it Yet: Because I hated the marketing campaign and I though I have been able to avoid spoilers, I’m 80% sure I know what the “shocking” twist ending is.

Why I am Reading it Now: For work. I’m launching a YA for Adults Book Club at the library I work at, and this is our inaugural book. So, yeah I have to read this one regardless of my disdain for its existence. But who knows, maybe I will love it… maybe.

So there you have it, my highly ambitious, mega hyped TBR. Which ones have you read? Which ones will I DNF? What are some mega hyped books that have somehow passed you by?

Revisiting My Teenage Bookshelf: An Ongoing Project.

A friend recently suggested I revisit my teenage self’s bookshelf . After doing so I was struck with an idea, what if I revisit a BUNCH of old favorites and see how I react to them now compared to how I reacted back when I first read them? So a project was born. Over the course of the next year, I’m going to occasionally revisit my teenage bookshelf and write a little about it… enjoy!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

When I was 13…

…I was not cool. I was shy, and awkward, and spent a lot of my time hiding. Yes, I was 13 and literally spent a lot of time in weird places so that no one could find me. I was also lonely, but at the time that was probably a side effect of the hiding. When I couldn’t actually hide, I attempted invisibility via burying my nose in a book. 13 was also the year I was bumped into honors English classes, and I found a place where I didn’t feel the need to hide so much.

Mrs. A* recognized my ravenous love of literature early and encouraged it throughout the year. On top of the two assigned novels we were asked to read that year (A Day No Pigs Would Die and The Giver), she would challenge me with weekly book recommendations, and once a week she would sign me out of lunch to talk about them. It made me feel special and helped me overcome some of my issues with shyness. She was a driving force in my desire to become a teacher myself.

At our last meeting she had a small rectangular package wrapped in blue paper.

She gave me A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

I DEVOURED the coming of age story of Francie Nolan and her family. I read it, and as soon as I finished it I read it again. I wanted to be Francie. She was a lot like me; she was around my age, the daughter of first generation Americans, a reader and writer, and lonely. Francie was lonely like me and I felt like we bonded.

When I was 13 the story was all about Francie; she was the only thing I cared about when reading it—obviously… she was my friend—whenever the story focused on her parents or aunts, I just didn’t have the same feeling. I cared about what happened to the girls who was like me, like it was some sort of guide to being happier (the fact that the Nolans didn’t have a great life never really affected the way I read the story back then). I fell in love with the romance of the past; turn of the century Brooklyn was like a fairytale kingdom to me, and I (naively) just wanted to fall into that world. But mostly, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn became my friend when I didn’t have any, and it always reminds me of a time when someone saw me when I wanted to be invisible.

Today…

…I finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the first time in many years, and I am so happy that I did. It gave me all the same feelings—I enjoyed visiting my old friend—with the benefit of being much older and world weary. But, ya know what? I missed a lot of things when I was younger.

I completely missed the dirty side of the coin.

When I was young I saw things the way Francie does—like a dream. The book was a quaint look into a faraway time and place about good people working hard and eventually triumphing. But there is a completely different side to the story, a dark side. The Nolans’ lives are hard. They try their very best, but throughout the novel they are starving, mistreated, and wracked by the anxiety of trying to build their lives on shifting sands. Reading this book in my 20s, a graduate of college, a teacher, someone with a mountain of debt, and obviously a woman with my childhood firmly behind me, I was less compelled by Francie’s journey and more interested in the novel’s adults.

This time through I fell in love with the Rommely women. I mean, I’ve always admired Katie’s strength, Sissy’s fire and passion for life and Mary’s wisdom (Evy just kind of seems to be there… beyond her tribulations with her husband and the time a horse fell in love her, she wasn’t that interesting.), but this time I saw them in more dimensions.

I had never realized how intensely human Katie Nolan (nèe Rommely) is. She has always been an example of strength and sacrifice, bravely working herself to the bone to keep her family from falling into irrevocable poverty, but now I find myself drawn to her very human anxieties. The passages featuring her internal debates color her in a way that elevates her beyond the “long suffering mother” trope that show up in many coming of age stories (I’m lookin’ at you Marmee March). Katie wants her children to be educated and to become great things but also wants to keep them safe and fed, and sometimes these desires come into conflict. She is a woman who knowingly made one flawed choice—mortgaging her future for the temporary happiness of a handsome face—and spent much of her life paying for it. I never appreciated the richness her “failings” gave her character. I feed for her; I want her to have a happy ending more than anyone else.

She used to be an obstacle to get around so that I could learn more about Francie… I even actively disliked her because I thought she didn’t really love Francie at all, but now I love her. I love her because she is so flawed, fights against her flaws, and when she can’t, she bears up under them. She accepts the consequences of her flawed choices… even if they make her miserable. She’s one of the most human characters I’ve ever come across on paper… and I missed all that before.

Another character I blew past was Mary Rommely (Katie, Evy, and Sissy’s mother and Francie’s grandmother). She was even less interesting to me, because she was even older than Francie’s parents AND she wasn’t in the story that much so I didn’t care about her—I was pretty short sighted when I was 13. But this time (and if I’m honest a few times before this one) she, and her wise words really jumped off the page at me.

She is an uneducated immigrant who didn’t know enough to send her oldest child to school at all. Yet she still values education and sees it as the only way out of lives of poverty and drudgery (as a teacher I happen to believe there is a lot of truth in that idea however naïve it is). Not just education though, when Francie is born she counsels Katie to teach her to believe in things; in addition to reading her the Bible and Shakespeare, she must tell her fairy tales, myths, and ghost stories. And she must believe in Santa Claus until she is at least six years old, because “the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. I, myself, even in this day and at my age, have great need of recalling the miraculous lives of the Saints and the great miracles that have come to pass on earth. Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for” (Smith 84). Knowledge is one thing to Mary, something that helps you exist as a free person in the world, but imagination is the thing that makes it so you can survive in a world where the truth basically spares no chance to grind us into the ground. The realm of fantasy and imagination are the best balm against the pains of reality. It can’t stop the world from hurting you, but it can soothe the wounds it inflicts, and having the ability to retreat into it occasionally is a useful ability. It’s a great lesson to take away from a simple—deceptively simple—story.

Was it Worth a Re-Read?

Yes. A thousand times, yes. I mean it’s not my favorite book—not by a longshot, that honor goes to Moby-Dick—but it’s definitely a book that helped shape me into the reader and person I am today. It reminded me of a teacher who made me want to teach, and I got to discover some new and really beautiful things about it. And that only made me love it more.

If You Like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Try:

Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska (1925): It’s a similar story, young woman grows up in poverty in turn of the century New York. Bread Givers is, however, darker than ATGB; there is a more real and pressing sense of poverty, and oppression… it’s more real and definitely lacks the dream-like quality Smith conjures up. But it’s a great book. I read this in my junior year of college.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctrow (1975): But if you like turn of the century settings with probing and revealing looks at history and Americana, Ragtime is the book for you. I read this when I was 18.

Who Run the World? Five Reasons Why You Should Make a Feminist Reading List

Hey! It’s Women’s History Month Y’all!

And last week was International Women’s Day… I celebrated by opening the first play written by a woman AND directed by a woman for my local community college.

While I’ve considered myself a feminist for many years now, I am far from being a truly good one. But as Roxanne Gay puts it in her book ‘Bad Feminist’, “I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.” That said I’m trying to be better, particularly better educated on the major and not so major issues that still plague us. So I attacked my lack of knowledge in the only way I know how, I hit the internet and asked the brilliant folks in my social media circle to help me compile a Feminist Reading List to fill in some of the gaps. Books as always provide access to worlds and ideas that sometimes feel beyond my reach… that and they allows me the privilege to be taught by minds far better and brighter than my own.

Finding new books and creating my list has not only been a fun project, but it’s also been really enlightening and I highly recommend giving it a shot. And here are some reasons why you should make your own Feminist Reading List

  • Mainstream History is Male Dominated

Chances are, unless you went to the world’s most amazing schools your history classes have been filled to brimming with the achievements of great men and how they shaped the world. But aside from some well-worn names and maybe a unit on suffrage the women who helped shape the world were likely thin on ground. And unless high school curriculums have changed drastically since the early 2000s, you have to do some extra legwork if you want to find out how women have contributed to the narrative of history*. Adding books like ‘The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold History of the Women Who Helped Win World War II’ by Denise Kiernan, ‘Hidden Figures: the American Dream and the Untold Stories of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the SPace Race’ BY Marogt Lee Shetterly and many more can add dimension to our understanding of history and reinforce the notion that men and women can contribute equally and cooperatively in major moments. Reading about how women have helped shape the past and present can aid us in our fight to help shape the future.

  • Women Writers Still Need Support and Validation

Believe it or not, there are still critics and writers out there who dismiss novels written by or about women as somehow lesser works than those by and about men. Look no further than Jonathan Franzen’s beef with Jennifer Weiner or the backlash against novels like ‘The Goldfinch’, ‘Gone Girl’, ‘The Lovely Bones’, ‘Room’ and ‘A Little Life’ for being what some important critics have essentially labeled sentimental trash. But it’s not just major titles that get run through with stinging gender coded critiques, whole swaths of women centered stories get heaped onto the pile of easily dismissible “chick lit”. While it’s true that a handful of women authors can be found prominently  in THE CANON (Austen, Bronte x3, Alcott, Wharton, Plath, Morrison, Angelou etc.) they are outnumbered. And while women are the primary consumers of fiction there is a certain critical stigma that women writers can’t seem to shake. So how do we combat this? We read the amazing if sometimes undervalued books by and about women. We revel in their diversity and unique experiences and learn from them… just like any other book. We support, engage with and validate women writers and the stories that they tell, and in so doing we get to help shape that ever evolving beast THE CANON and infuse it with more diverse voices.

  • Intersectionality is Important

This is where I, and many other feminists, fail and must do better. Mainstream feminism (aka white feminism) often focuses primarily on the issues that affect women in general like reproductive health, the wage gap, media representation etc. but largely ignores that sexism affects different groups of women in different ways. Women of Color, Queer Women, Disabled Women, Fat Women, Neurodivergent Women, Poor Women, etc. all face different challenges that intersect with mainstream sexism. Understanding these challenges, recognizing whatever privileges we may have, making spaces for all experiences, and learning when it’s appropriate to throw in our two cents and when it’s not are all crucial elements of working toward being a better feminist… and well a better person. Reading widely from a diverse group of authors with differing perspectives can help build a foundation of understanding—especially if you don’t encounter diversity in your daily life.

  • We Aren’t There Yet…

Ladies have come an awful long way… but guess what! We still have a long way to go. We still live in a culture that is plagued by sexist ideology that is damaging to women and the ways we engage with society. The best way to combat this issue it so do the homework. Read the books that explain what rape culture is, how the beauty myth affects women of all ages and backgrounds, how the bodies of all women have become political battlegrounds. Both women and men need learn about what’s out there so that we can work to build a better future for the kids coming up behind us. It’s kind of like that whole “know your enemy” adage, only our enemy isn’t an invading army, it’s that sneaky little fella, ingrained cultural misogyny.

  • There are Some Seriously BadAss Ladies Out There

Seriously… go to the library or to Goodreads or the bookstore. Read about amazing women who paved the way for future generations, women who shattered glass ceilings, women who fought to give us the rights we take for granted. There are so many amazing women out there to inspire women and men alike. Get out there, get inspired and you know… smash the patriarchy!

*My experience with history is obviously largely predicated on the fact that I attended public school in the United States.

When I Was YA: The Jessica Darling Series

Once upon a time, in the early 2000s, the YA genre was pretty limited. We had decades old Judy Blume books (which I am not knocking FYI), the saccharinely tragic love stories of Lurlene McDaniel (I never got to read them because they were always checked out) a few soapy series that put Gossip Girl to shame, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, (which wasn’t even shelved as YA at the time) and the magically pretentious works of Francesca Lia Block.

I read them all—except of McDaniel—with abandon, but I never saw myself on those pages. All of the teens were too worldly, too pretty, too troubled, too tragic etc. I never saw honestly rendered awkwardness, or anxiety, or anyone who ever seemed even a little bit real in those YA novels. That is, until I met the awesome Jessica Darling.

I recently started rereading these books and while, if I stumbled across them today there is a distinct chance that I wouldn’t like them (they’re kind of problematic…or like really problematic), I read them first at a time when I deeply connected with Jessica Darling. I mean I too had a best friend move away in high school, leaving me to form superficial connections with far inferior “social survival friends”. I also had a Marcus Flutie type dude who top up too much of my brain. But mostly I felt a kinship with Jess because like her, I overthink everything. In short the premise of the books was relatable AF.

The Jessica Darling series written by Megan McCafferty, (who’s also written the pretty interesting dystopian YA series Bumped/Thumped) introduces the world to Jessica Darling a clever, funny, moody, and definitely not always nice sixteen year old dealing with the devastation of her best friend moving away right in the middle of high school, the ups and downs of her feelings for her complicated first love, and her endlessly frustrating family.

I loved (and still love) Jessica because she’s real to me. She’s not “troubled”, but she is deeply flawed and tartly funny. Her problems are the same ones that many teens/young adults go through. It’s her approach to the world that makes her special rather than her circumstances. Her “adventures” are commonplace and everyday. Her friends and family are exaggerated in such an honest adolescent way which makes them hilarious and charming to the reader.

Very little in this series rings false which is why it’s such a powerful time machine for me. As a relic of the early 2000s it lacks the ubiquity of cellphones (Hope and Jessica email each other quite a lot, but very little if any cellphone action) we see today, that and references to Y2K really remind me of my teen years. But ultimately it’s the honesty and humor of the writing brings me back to when I was that age and that time in my life.

McCafferty treated her devoted readers to five installments that took Jessica from a teen in high school to a young adult dealing with her first job out of college. All the while she struggles with her family, friends, relationships and life in general in a way that while familiar is fun and engaging.

Today young adults and teens have a wide variety of unique characters and interesting impactful stories to choose from, but take it from one of your elders (me… I’m an old): READ THIS SERIES.

Seriously, go read… You, Yes You.

IIIIIII’m BaaaAAAaaack!

Hey Readers! I’m back in the Garret!

So toward the end of September, I hinted at the fact that I was feeling more depressed than usual. I thought I was on an upswing toward the end of October and I really thought I’d be back to reading and posting and being a generally active–if extremely minor–member of the online book community… Well you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men and women suffering from depression…

Things went awry.

Things got worse at the end of October. I was very blue and life didn’t wait for me to catch up, work got crazy, family got crazy, money stuff got crazy and I was left without a single spoon at the end of most days. I laid in the dark a lot, I “watched” the entire four seasons of Younger about six times on Hulu before switching over to my old depression standby New Girl reruns on Netflix. I didn’t read much, I certainly didn’t write much… I made an ill-fated attempt at NaNoWriMo that only left me feeling shittier about myself.Basically, I ended up overwhelmed to the point where even thinking about this blog and my other nonessential life stuff made me breakdown in a panic or a fit of sobs.

So I took a break.

I gave myself permission to press pause on the unnecessary stresses in my life, and pick them back up when I was feeling up to it. And guess what? I’m now feeling “up to it”. Work has calmed down for the moment–though I did just take on a temporary part-time gig directing a play–and I’m feeling a bit more, up and at’em than I have been in a long while.  

I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeves to keep me from hitting slumps too hard,namely the Bookriot Read Harder Challenge and my new ‘Read the Books I Already Own’ philosophy. I just have to keep at the whole updating this blog thing…but I also have to give myself permission to hit pause occasionally.

So, thank you to those of you who have stuck with me. I’m hoping to bring you some actual decent bookish content soon!

Sbooktober Sbooktacular Reading Adventure TBR


Well, I’m back at it with another October Readathon. This week I have considerably more time to dedicate to it, so I think the results will be better.

Readathon: Sbooktacular Reading Adventure 

When: 10/25-10/31

Who: Novel Thoughts

Challenges:


Route:

Team: SbookyVampire

My TBR

Trick-Or-Treat: Book of My Choosing:

Book Set in the Past/ Book With Magic:


Book With Orange on the Cover:


Read After the Sunsets/Dark in the Title 


Gothic:



It’s overly ambitious, but next month is NaNoWriMo so I probably won’t be reading as much (you know until I realize that there is no way I’m making it to 50,000 words and give up) and need to take advantage of this week.

What are you reading for Halloween?