Category Archives: Currently Reading

It’s Monday and I’m Literally Reading All the Things

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly feature hosted by The Book Date.

I’m not going to lie, my reading this Monday is looking pretty darn awesome. As is my Monday in general, because even though it is Monday, I have a shorter week at work since I’m taking some time off to road trip to a friend’s wedding this weekend.

So, what am I even reading?

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyA Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the CrematoryHerland

This week, I’m reading two of the books I was most excited for in 2017: Hunger by Roxane Gay, which is already amazing and devastating and incisive, like everything Roxane Gay writes, and A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, which is the last book in my current favorite guilty pleasure series. I’m also listening to Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty on audiobook; I prefer nonfiction on audio, and I’ve been really interested to check out this memoir from a young mortician. So far it’s keeping my interest, but the real test is whether it’ll work during my 7-8 hour drive this weekend. And then today I just started a new classic on my Serial Reader app, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; I’d previously started A Room With a View by E.M. Forster, but then I realized that I’d meant to only read books by women writers this month, so I switched.

I recently finished reading:

This weekend, I finished The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember, which was one of the books that I got at BookCon. I picked this up at the booth for Interlude Press, which publishes LGBTQIA+-focused books, and everyone I spoke to at this booth was so wonderful and friendly. I was sold on picking up this book when one of the Interlude authors told me that it features Slytherin-esque characters.  It’s a really lovely Norse mythology-inspired YA fairytale retelling of The Little Mermaid with a love story between a rebellious mermaid and a tough Viking Girl. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys mermaids and fairy tale retellings.

I’m planning on reading next:

The Hate U GiveThe Girls

I needed to line up some attention-holding audiobooks for this weekend, as I’ll be driving for about 15-16 hours total, so I currently have library holds on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Girls by Emma Cline. I’ve heard good things about both of these but haven’t actually heard anything about the audio versions, so fingers crossed. I also have some bookish podcasts saved up to listen to if I need a break from audiobooking!

WWW Wednesday: The Obelisk Gate is amazing so far

img_2112WWW Wednesday is a weekly book feature hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

Since last week, I managed to finish 3 of the 6 books I was in the middle of (yay!), started another book to bring the currently reading total back up to 4 (oops), and am getting way too excited to start Halloween-ish reading in October.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)Luckiest Girl AliveThe Circle

After what feels like forever, I finally finished Elena Ferrante’s quartet of Neapolitan novels! I meant to finish the entire series this summer but fell just short of my goal. Overall, I really loved this series–Ferrante’s descriptions are so evocative and the story completely sucks you in. However, the first book (My Brilliant Friend) remains my favorite, and after the entire long journey with Lena and Lila, the ending of The Story of the Lost Child felt anticlimactic.

I also finished 2 audiobooks, both of which I also own physical copies of. Does anyone else do this–listen to the audiobook when you own the actual book as well? I usually start listening to the audio thinking I’ll end up switching back and forth between audio and text, but I never end up doing that and listen to the entire thing on audio. It’s becoming a weird habit. Anyways, I found both Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and The Circle by Dave Eggers to be really easy to listen to, breaking my streak of nonfiction-only audiobooks. Between the two, I preferred the near-future The Circle–the audiobook narrator was amazing (Dion Graham, whose work I want to look out for in the future). The author, Dave Eggers, is coming to speak in my city next year, and I’d like to pick up at least one other of his books before that. Probably A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which has been on my TBR for eternity.

What are you currently reading?

FurthermoreThe Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)

Over the weekend, I started Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore, which is a middle-grade fantasy.  I read the first fifty pages or so then decided to pause; I love Tahereh Mafi’s writing, and I think the worldbuilding is really creative and interesting, but I can’t help wishing that it was YA! (And that Warner was in it. If you’ve read the Shatter Me series, tell me you don’t agree.) I’ll definitely finish it, but I don’t think I’m in the right mood at the moment.

Right now all I can think about is N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate. I technically started this book last weekend, but only got to the second chapter before I realized I desperately needed to re-read parts of The Fifth Season to refresh my memory on what was going down in the world of the Stillness. I sort of skimmed back over the majority of the first book and then restarted The Obelisk Gate, which is GREAT. The worldbuilding in these books is so intricate and layered; every chapter we learn more and more about living in a world predicated on preparing for and surviving every type of cataclysmic event. Things keep getting more and more complex, which I love, and reading this book makes me genuinely wonder why more books can’t be as good as this one. I feel like I might be hit by a serious book hangover when I finish.

What are you planning to read next?

The Vegetarian

I’m not sure exactly what’s up next for me, since I’m trying to be more chill about my TBR and go with my mood, but Han Kang’s The Vegetarian is definitely coming up soon. I need to finish a few more currently reading titles, and then it’s dark fantasy/horror all the way for Halloween-type reading this October.

 

What is everyone reading right now? Feel free to link me to your WWW Wednesday post!

All photos are mine. All images are linked to the book’s Goodreads page.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMG_2096It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly bookish feature hosted by The Book Date (http://bookdate.blogspot.com/).

August feels like it’s off to a slow bookish start; I was in a wedding this past weekend, so that’s where a lot of my time has been going, but I’ve also been reading more slowly than I typically do and it feels sort of strange. Let’s figure out why!

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I decided to kick off August with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; I bought it on July 31st (I’m not a midnight-release-er) and, although my expectations weren’t sky-high, was intending on binge-reading it that day so that I could experience it before being accidentally spoiled somehow. This…didn’t happen. Instead, I read about 30 pages of the play and it started to make me really sad because I just wasn’t liking it/connecting to it. It took me several days to work up the desire to pick it back up, at which point I sort of forced myself to accept it for what it was and was able to enjoy some aspects of it. I’m not going to do a whole review here (I might do one later, though…) but I think that a lot more thought and detail should have gone into any sequel to the Harry Potter series.

The second thing that’s been slowing my reading down is that I’ve (finally) discovered Booktube! (I know.) (Yes, it really did take me this long.) For some reason I hadn’t thought I’d enjoy watching YouTube videos by fellow bookish people; I thought it wouldn’t hold my attention as much as reading bookish blogs. Turns out, I was very wrong, and BookTube is awesome, and I’ve already added a ton of books to my TBR based on recommendations that I’ve gotten on there. So far, these three are my favorite Booktubers that I’ve found:

Erika’s Epilogues https://www.youtube.com/user/erikaraeable

Under the Radar Books https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu1Yn5B7KGk3OWT1fcQko_Q

Thoughts on Tomes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpnjp7mgeQGdtesz5v6xY_A

If anyone could recommend me more Booktubers to follow, or if you have a channel, please let me know! As I said, I’m a newbie, and I’d love to find more awesome bookish people to get recommendations from.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

I was also having some audiobook issues this week (shocking, I know). The audiobook I intended on listening to this month, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, was…not great. The writing was pretty good, but I only listened to about half an hour of it before realizing that I really did not like it. I went on Goodreads to check out reviews and see if I should push myself to keep reading, and I actually saw in a bunch of reviews that Burroughs had been sued for misrepresenting the family he talks about in his books, and that large parts of the “memoir” had been fabricated. I did not know this when I picked up the book; if I’d wanted to read fiction, I would have! So I went ahead and DNF’d.

That actually worked out well, since my library had The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg available. I started it today and it’s fascinating; it focuses on the lives of women in Afghanistan and particularly the custom of disguising and raising some young girls as boys.

I’m also in the middle of Vicious by V.E. Schwab as my main physical book–actually, it’s the only physical book I’m reading right now, which is super weird! I’m typically such a multi-book reader. Anyways, I’m a little more than halfway through, and I sort of thought I’d have finished it already, but like I said, August has been a slow month so far. I really like the characters and how the book jumps back and forth in time to tell the story; however, I’m not absolutely blown away by this book. It’s good, but not amazing. So far.

 

What are you guys reading? Let me know!

 

WWW Wednesday: July 13th

IMG_1970Random stack of some of my favorite books.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Taking On a World of Words (https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/). You answer the 3 W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

Things have been crazy and I was out of town for a bit, so I haven’t been posting much lately, but I’m back! I’ve been really enjoying reading outside with the gorgeous summer weather, and I’m definitely looking forward to the #24in48 readathon, which starts in a little over 2 weeks. Is anyone else participating?

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What are you currently reading?

Men We ReapedThe QuickBlue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

My current audiobook is still Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward; I actually own this audiobook (I almost never buy audiobooks) so I had it on pause for a bit while I finished some library checkouts. It’s devastating and powerful, and so beautifully written. I’ve also had Blue Lily, Lily Blue on pause; I just really haven’t been in a Raven Cycle kind of mood lately. I really do want to finish the series, but I need a break from it right now. And I just started The Quick by Lauren Owen; all I really know about it is that the premise involves vampires in Victorian London, which is right up my alley. I’ve heard really mixed things about this book, and it has a low rating on Goodreads, but I really like the writing style and atmosphere so far. One of my absolute favorite books (The Magicians by Lev Grossman) has equally bad reviews and a low Goodreads rating, so I try not to put too much stock in that.

What did you recently finish reading?

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksGods Behaving BadlyShrill: Notes from a Loud Woman

So many things!!! So I finally finished Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third book of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels; the quality of the writing remains fantastic and I am so anxious to see where Lila’s and Lenu’s stories go next. I finished 2 (!) audiobooks recently, which is a LOT for me (I’ve posted before about my audiobook struggles) and I really enjoyed both of them. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was really informative, and I feel like it’s important for everyone to know Henrietta’s story; I do agree with other reviews I’ve seen that I could have done with less of the author inserting herself into the story. I thought that Shrill by Lindy West was funny but extremely raw and true; I knew nothing about this audiobook and picked it up solely due to bookstagrammers’/book bloggers’ recommendations, so thanks, guys! I also finished Gods Behaving Badly a few days ago; it wasn’t amazing but was a fun and funny satire of Greek mythology.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The ArgonautsThe Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)Lagoon

I’ve been hearing amazing things about The Argonauts on book blogs and Bookstagram, so I went ahead and bought the audiobook to listen to next. I definitely will be picking up the final Ferrante book, The Story of the Lost Child, soon, but first I need to prepare myself for the emotional onslaught I know it will be. The amazing-sounding Lagoon is absolutely coming up next when I finish one of the physical books I’m currently reading. I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I’ll read for the 24 in 48 Readathon (July 23-24!) but that’s still 2 weeks away so I don’t want to post my readathon TBR picks yet.

 

What has everybody been reading lately???

 

 

WWW Wednesday

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words (https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/).

Right now, I’m in the middle of two quartets of books and really engrossed in my current audiobok (Men We Reaped). In other bookish news, I heard that Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace is being made into a miniseries! The more Atwood, the better, in my opinion; I haven’t heard any news lately on the Maddaddam TV series, so I hope that’s still in the works.

Currently reading:

Men We ReapedThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)

So far, Men We Reaped is really incredible. Jesmyn Ward’s writing is somehow both clear and layered at the same time, and she’s so good at creating a sense of place. The story she tells is traumatic, and I’m amazed that she found the strength to tell it.

I’m over halfway done with The Dream Thieves (the second book in the Raven Cycle) and it’s really good. I’m so glad that I started this series; it’s been awhile since I found a good YA series that I can really get sucked into. The characters in this series are what keeps me  hooked (although the plot is definitely weirdly good as well) and I think Ronan might be my favorite. Although Blue is a great protagonist, and it’s pretty impossible not to love Gansey.

I’ve stalled a bit on Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay; it’s not that it isn’t great, but I’m having a little reading ADD and YA seems to be really working for my reading mood at the moment. I’d like to dive back in and finish it by the end of the month, but we’ll see.

Recently finished:

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)

The Raven Boys (4 stars) and The Cuckoo’s Calling (3 stars).

What’s next?

The Girl Wakes: StoriesBlue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)LagoonThe Book Thief

I’ve been wanting to get to The Girl Wakes by Carmen Lau for awhile–it’s a book of short stories focused on dark feminist fairytale retellings, and it’s pretty short, so I’ve been waiting until I get a stretch of time to read it in one sitting. I’ll probably start the third book in the Raven Cycle (Blue Lily, Lily Blue) after I finish The Dream Thieves, and I already checked it out from the library in preparation. Also, with all of this series reading, I’d really like to pick up a good standalone next; I’m thinking maybe Lagoon and/or The Book Thief.

 

What is everyone reading right now???

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

I recently finished reading:

Citizen: An American LyricA Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

I decided to branch out beyond my nonfiction audiobook niche by listening to Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, which is a short book of prose poems about different aspects of racism in the U.S. I thought that a lot of Rankine’s writing was extremely powerful and there were several lines that gave me chills, but it seemed like some passages were just so much stronger than others. I also found audiobook a difficult format for poetry; I was constantly rewinding to make sure I was fully appreciating the words.

I also finally allowed myself to finish A Court of Mist and Fury, after savoring it for about a month. This series is so romantic and dramatic; it was a fantastic sequel that definitely surpassed the first book. Recommended for fans of romantic fantasy.

The Color of Magic was a disappointment for me. I’ve read two other Discworld books (Mort and Small Gods) that I enjoyed, but this one unfortunately got really…boring. It started out well, with humor and an interesting setup, but then went rapidly downhill. I know that this is the first book in the series and isn’t widely considered one of the best, but I was still disappointed–particularly with the book’s treatment of female characters. I understand that Pratchett was satirizing a lot of aspects of fantasy literature, but it’s still really unnecessary, and in my opinion a turnoff to a lot of female readers, to have literally every female character be naked in this book.

I’m currently reading:

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)

I’m about 1/4 of the way through Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (the third book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels), which so far is surpassing the previous book in intrigue. We’re getting more and more hints toward the future of the relationship between Elena and Lila, and things are happening really quickly. Also, in a not-so-shocking turn of events, I ordered the fourth book, The Story of the Lost Child, on B&N.com.

Also! I am 100% on board with The Raven Boys. I complain a lot about my pickiness with YA, but this book is hitting all the right notes for me. I purposefully didn’t read anything about the plot or characters before starting it (I picked it up entirely on recommendations from bloggers and bookstagrammers) and I think that was a really good decision. I love all of the characters, the setting, and the fantasy elements. It’s really unlike any other YA I’ve read before. I’m about 1/3 of the way through and already putting the second book on hold at my library.

And for audio, I picked up The Cuckoo’s Calling again after abandoning it about 2/3 of the way through this winter. I wasn’t in the right mood for it before, but I’m enjoying it more now, particularly as the plot is finally starting to pick up. Finally. I’m definitely going to finish it this time, but I doubt I’ll read the rest of this series.

Up next:

Men We ReapedThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)

I think my next audiobook will be a book I’ve had my eye on for awhile: Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward. I’m really in the mood for some nonfiction, and this sounds so powerful yet personal. Here’s the Goodreads blub: “In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth—and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.”

As far as print books go, I can see myself jumping right into the next books in the Raven Cycle and Neapolitan Novels next. It’s so weird–I feel like I NEVER read already completed series, and it’s such a nice feeling not to have to wait until the next book is released. Not that this will ever stop me from reading unfinished series, but it is quite nice.

 

What are you all reading this Monday? Feel free to link to your posts!

 

 

WWW Wednesday!

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It’s WWW Wednesday, hosted by Taking on a World of Words at https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/. For WWW Wednesday, you just answer the 3 W’s:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, as for what I’m currently reading:

The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2)Citizen: An American LyricA Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

I’m very slowly reading/savoring A Court of Mist and Fury; I love how long it is and it’s very romance-focused. A lot of the time I tend to quickly devour books like this, but it seems like a waste; there are so few YA series that I really like that when a new one is released I feel like I should make it last. I’ll probably need to do the same thing with Crooked Kingdom when it comes out; I can’t even think of any other current YA series that I’m that into right now, which is sad.

I started The Story of a New Name, the second book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet, a few days ago but am waiting for a good stretch of reading time to get completely immersed.  The first book ended on a huge moment (don’t worry, I would never give away any spoilers) and I know that wherever the story goes next is going to be intense.

I’m currently listening to Citizen: An American Lyric, which is a book of poems, prose poems, and essays about the insidious racism in America by Claudia Rankine. It’s beautifully written and I like hearing poetry read aloud, but I keep replaying parts of it to make sure that I’m getting all of the meaning.

What did I recently finish reading?

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader GinsburgDeath My Own Way

Bout of Books ended on Sunday, which was a really wonderful week for me. I finished 2 audiobooks and 2 print books, and enjoyed all of them; I also emerged with a severe case of Ferrante fever and a newly revived interest in nonfiction audiobooks.

What will I be reading next?

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)The Girl Wakes: Stories

The short answer is, I’m not sure. This weekend I’ll be in New York visiting friends (and hopefully the Strand) and am planning on taking The Story of a New Name with me. If/when I go to the Strand, I’m planning on picking up a few new books because I know I will be powerless to resist, so my next reads may depend on what I find.

I’ve also been thinking about starting The Raven Boys for my next YA book to try; there has been so much hype about this series now that the last book has come out, and my library has both the ebook and the audiobook available. I’ve been trying not to read too much about the plot of the series so that I’ll be surprised, but I have a feeling that this might be up my alley.

Also, I’m assuming that once I finish book 2 of the Neapolitan novels that I’ll need to immediately start book 3, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. And I had mean to get to Carmen Lau’s The Girl Wakes, a book of short stories focused on feminist fairy tale interpretations, during Bout of Books but didn’t get a chance, so that’s definitely coming up soon as well.

 

Has anyone read any of these books? What are you all reading at the moment?