Tag Archives: books

It’s Been A While Since I’ve Talked About Books

As the title suggests, it’s been a while since I’ve talked about books on this blog. It probably doesn’t help I’m blogging pretty inconsistently these days, but the point is, when I do blog I focus more on TV/movies. I’ve been reading plenty, but this has pretty much been the okayest year of reading for me so far since I got serious about my reading. Almost everything has been getting 4 stars, which I might have inadvertently been turning the new 3 star into. Technically 3 stars should be average but still enjoyable, right? I think several of the books I’ve read have genuinely rose above that into 4 star territory, but some were probably more like 3’s or 3.5’s, but I always try to focus more on my positive feelings for books than my negative ones. Besides, I read books I hope to like and intend to like. If I’m not feeling a book I DNF it, which thankfully doesn’t happen very often.

But it’s been entirely too long since I’ve read a book that I felt really got into my soul the way I want my 5 star reads to do. When I find that book, believe me, I will discuss it here. The closest I’ve gotten is Better Off Friends, which is the only book I’ve read this year I’m calling a true 5 star, but even it is a little bit of a low-end 5 star, if that makes any sense. (Please tell me I’m not the only one with such complexities and nuances within simple numeral ratings.) I thought A Wrinkle in Time might be for that book for me this year, but then I felt the ending lacked a little something to really take it all the way there for me. And then on top of all that, I just didn’t love Dunkirk (the movie) the way I really wanted to. So dang it, what’s wrong with me?

I’ve been rereading Harry Potter this year though, and reread two other books as well, and those have all still been great. My soul can still be reached, the dementors haven’t quite gotten me yet. 😉 But it can be hard to find those elusive unicorn stories that really check off all the boxes, especially since I’m reading “only” 45ish books a year (a lot compared to many people, but very few in the online bookish community). I have been trying to switch up genres a good bit, so I don’t think I’m too burnt out on anything in particular.

I’m not in a reading slump, not really, but I’m really itching to find that next great story to read. And meanwhile, writing has been hard. How much do I change my WIP of years? Do I keep editing that and try to query it again, or focus exclusively on something newer? Of course, it doesn’t help I’ve been avoiding writing a lot lately too. So I’ll just keep reading and try to keep writing too, and hope that one day something magical sticks.

How’s your reading year sizing up? Do you have any book recs for me that might help make my reading year feel a little better than OK? 

Monthly Recap: July

Books I Read

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (reread)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick (finished July 1)

So I read A Wrinkle In Time for the first time. And I can see why it’s so beloved and classic. However, some of it was too on-the-nose for me and some of it was a hair too out-there. It’s like when I watched Interstellar for the first time, and I was pretty sure where it was going and I watched as this movie teeter-tottered on the fine line between interesting sci-fi and going off the deep end. I wanted to feel just a little more invested in the characters and could have done with less unnecessary riddles. I also watched the trailer of the new movie coming out the same day I finished and felt a little disappointed. I guess I wanted the movie to feel more classic, but to me it already screams: THIS WAS MADE IN 2017, so I don’t see it enduring as a movie. But that’s based off a two-minute trailer, so what do I know? Maybe it will be amazing.

A New Favorite…

Baking mix! Though don’t let the fact that it comes in a box fool you, this is almost as involved as made-from-scratch, but just as delicious and so worth it!

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

For some reason, it feels really momentous to have finished Deep Space Nine again. Probably because I love the show so much and the end is just so satisfying for me. As is reflected by my top episode of the season, the Nog arc really did it for me. But of course there are also the great arcs we see for Kira, Bashir, Damar, Sisko… It could be talked about forever, which is why there are podcasts dedicated to such. (If you’re a fan of DS9, be sure to give The Orb podcast a listen.)

#bookstagram Images of the Month

I think that both Caraval and Wall-E have made it onto my #bookstagram images of the month before, but they’re just so photogenic!

Movies I Watched

My husband and I saw Spider-man: Homecoming and Dunkirk. I reviewed Spider-man here, and I’m still sorting out my feelings for Dunkirk. It’s incredibly raw and intense, but without much of a narrative it was hard for me to appreciate it as a story. It’s a beautiful film, that’s for sure, but I would have loved to have gotten to know the characters onscreen better. I mean, in a way we know them because we see them when they’re afraid, but… I just wish I could adequately describe how I respect what Nolan was doing but just don’t really love it but I desperately want to. I actually want to try to see it again, preferably in film, now that I better understand what happened, thanks to the movie’s Wikipedia page that spelled it out.

In Case You Missed It…

I was featured on Andi’s ABCs talking about what decision I wish technology would make for me!

Plans for August

Switchfoot concert! I’m so excited. I lost count on how many times I’ve seen them long ago. It’s got to be around the dozen mark at this point. It’s also my husband’s birthday month! Which means CAKE! Oh, and celebrating my wonderful husband. 🙂 It also means my birthday is around the corner SOS I don’t want to get older.

Potential July TBR

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (already started)

These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker

Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

(yes I know those last two were on last month’s list… shhh…)

How was your July? What are you looking forward to in August?

Monthly Recap: June

Books I Read

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (reread)

By Your Side by Kasie West

(Finished on July 1) Duels and Deceptions by Cindy Anstey

So Better Off Friends… Why did no one tell me this book was a ME book? OK, I guess no one else could know that. It wasn’t quite as amazing as The Start of Me and You (AKA the most ME young adult contemporary I have ever read), but still pretty great.

Also, I ran out of time on my To Kill A Mockingbird audiobook from the library I was listening to, so I haven’t finished it yet, but I plan to physically read the rest once my hold from the library comes from (or until I find the physical copy in our house that I am pretty sure we own… whichever comes first). I was having a hard time with the narrator’s portrayal of Scout anyway. She made her sound like a very irritating girl with a very annoying Southern accent, instead of the more precocious girl with a not-annoying Southern accent that I imagine in my mind.

Stanley Cup Finals

I was pretty unhappy with how the Finals played out in games 5 & 6 (do not even get me started on the refs) but I am still proud of the Preds for getting so far when none of the experts expected it and enjoyed the ride! I also now have two Preds t-shirts and look forward to rooting for them in the future!

#bookstagram Images of the MonthPotential July TBR

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker

Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Movies I Plan to See in July…

Spider-man: Homecoming and Dunkirk! My husband and I haven’t made it out for Wonder Woman so I think we’re waiting for it on Redbox at this point, but Spider-man and Dunkirk are two movies we are going to make a point to go see. If you don’t know anything about Dunkirk, all you need to know is that Christopher Nolan made it. SOLD.

I did a thing…

I ordered from Book Outlet for the first time and got seven books for $37… Which I think is a pretty good deal but it’s still not a very me thing to do. I slept on it before I made the purchase though and as long as I enjoy my books I see no reason to regret it… other than the fact that I already need less stuff in my house rather than more… but books are different, right?!Totes.

How was your June? Any big plans for July?

 

The Top 10 Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start or Continue But Haven’t

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t. Starting a series can definitely be a struggle, but sometimes it’s continuing the series that is the problem! So I created a list of series that I need to start or finish.

Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start

The Lord of the Rings 

YES, I KNOW.

Insignia

I bought the ebook of this a good while ago and really need to read it.

Percy Jackson

YES, I KNOW. And I’ve had this ebook for a while as well.

Space Trilogy

I want to read all of C.S. Lewis’s works, though admittedly I have not made a great effort towards this. I hardly ever see this trilogy anywhere, but I definitely want to read it.

These Vicious Masks

I’m sensing a pattern with these ebook acquisitions…

Series I’ve Been Meaning to Continue

For this, I made the criteria be that the next book in the series that I haven’t read yet needs to have been our for more than a year.

Jackaby

I enjoyed the first book, even though I wasn’t expecting the paranormal aspect, and really have wanted to read on.

Gallagher Girls

I’ve read the first two Gallagher Girls books but haven’t made it to #3 yet.

The Selection

I am less and less certain if I really want to continue & finish this series, but part of me kind of does.

Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

When I read the first book, I thought it would feel like a standalone, but it does leave off in a sort of strange spot, clearly setting up for the second book. Since I think of the movie version more though, I haven’t been real motivated to pick up The Restaurant at the End of the Universe though I want to.

The Young Elites

I enjoyed the first book a lot, and then I pretty promptly moved on with my life. So will I read on? We’ll see.

Bonus: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

I read the first book of this series, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, in college, and didn’t realize it was the beginning of a series. But then my then-boyfriend now husband continued to collect and read the books, and I have yet to continue despite enjoying the first book and knowing how he’s enjoyed the others.

Which series have you been meaning to start or finish?

Monthly Recap: May

Books I Read

Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

I also listened to two non-fiction books on audio in May. I decided to try adding audiobooks in with my podcast routine to switch things up. I don’t like audiobooks quite as much as podcasts because it’s not conversational, but it’s still working out pretty well for me. It’s a good way to absorb information while doing something else. Right now I’m “re-reading” To Kill A Mockingbird on audio, though I’ve thought about abandoning the audiobook to finish reading it for myself since the narrator’s attempt at a Southern accent has grated on me a little. We’ll see.

 

Netflix

As you may have seen on my post about Anne with an E, I got a Netflix free trial after never having it before, and watched that entire series. Since then, I’ve watched a little of Girl Meets World (thanks to Annie) and my husband and I have started Sherlock. We’re planning to keep the service through the summer, until our shows come back on TV. If you have any other recs, send them my way!

#Bookstagram Image of the Month

Life Things

A few days before our anniversary, my husband and I made a somewhat last-minute decision to take a quick, one night trip to a nearby city, Chattanooga, a few days after our anniversary. It was a really great little trip! I have a future post planned where I will share a little more about it.

We also ordered our first set of living room furniture! For our first 8 years of marriage we have been using hand-me-down furniture, which has been great and we have been thankful for, but since we’ve gotten into our new house last year we have been ready to sort of really make it our own. It will be several weeks before we get the new furniture, but when we do we’ll move the old couch upstairs to our bonus room and probably get rid of our old chairs. It’s kind of crazy to think about as it’s just another thing that feels so “adult”!

Looking Forward to in June

I don’t really have big plans, which is nice. Just some family stuff, and hopefully just enjoy the beginning of summer. I’m also rooting for the Preds for the Stanley Cup; GO PREDS! I’ve been to one Preds game before (a couple of years ago) and I honestly didn’t love it (getting shut-out probably didn’t help…), but watching them advance through each round of the playoffs has been so exciting! They’re down in the series right now, but it’s been a year of comebacks so I haven’t lost faith yet!

Potential June TBR 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Duels and Deceptions by Cindy Anstey

I’m still undecided on what else I want to read, but I’ll figure it out. 🙂 I also finished Better Off Friends already and really enjoyed it.

What are you looking forward to this month?