Tag Archives: #readmyowndamnbooks

July Book Haul!

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So I’m starting to see a pattern here–I always lie about how many books I’m going to buy in a given month. Every month I think, hey, I bought a lot of books last month, maybe I should take it easy this month. And then Book Outlet has some books on my wish list on sale, or there’s an enticing new release, or there’s a library book sale with prices just too good to resist. So instead of pretending I’m going to limit my book buying, I decided I really need to commit myself better to #readmyowndamnbooks!

I only buy books I’m really excited about reading, but I get distracted by library books, audiobooks (which I never buy), and the occasional ebook, and only 26 books out of the 58 books I’ve read this year have been on my physical TBR shelf. This ratio needs to improve, stat. And it will, because I am SO EXCITED about all of the books I bought in July!

So here’s what I bought in July:

ConfessionsBinti (Binti, #1)milk and honeySecond Star

In the spirit of #readmyowndamnbooks, I already finished all four of these in the same month I bought them! So I’m off to a good start with this haul. I’m hoping to read at least a few more in August, and I will be talking more about these ones in my July reading wrap-up post. To summarize: they were all great. I would literally recommend all four of these books, and I’m so glad I found them this month. Thanks, Book Outlet and B&N coupons!

HomegoingVicious (Vicious, #1)Tender MorselsThe Philosopher Kings (Thessaly, #2)

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – I have heard countless amazing things about this book; it’s been all over the blogs and Bookstagram. Initially I was going to wait until it came out in paperback, and then I got some B&N coupons in the mail and decided it was a sign. Plus, I couldn’t wait any longer and didn’t want to be left out of the amazingness that I have heard about this book. This is at the top of my August TBR.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – I see this book on my Bookstagram feed multiple times per day, and as I have yet to pick up a V.E. Schwab book, I had to jump on this when it showed up for a good price on Book Outlet. It’s fantasy, and focuses on two former best friends with some type of superpowers, I think? I’m not really too clear on the plot, but I am excited to get into this next month as well.

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan – this is a dark fairytale retelling I read about on Flavorwire, and when it came in the mail I immediately started skimming the first chapter. And…it’s one of the few books in this haul that I’m now sort of hesitant about, as the first chapter was very heavy on sexual violence and I’m concerned this book may get too disturbing for me. I’ll definitely give it another try, but I’m not sure how it’s going to go.

The Philospher Kings by Jo Walton – this is book 2 in Jo Walton’s Thessaly trilogy, which deals with the premise of the Greek goddess Athena setting up a “Just City” outside of the normal course of time and populating it with teachers from various times throughout history to educate students. I don’t want to spoil anything from the first book (which is called The Just City) but after the ending, I’m very intrigued where the plot will go next. And I love anything Greek mythology-related, so this series was a must-read for me.

A Tale for the Time BeingSome Kind of Fairy TaleRadianceA Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this Man Booker Prize nominee that follows the stories of two (maybe three?) women.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce – I think this was one of the very first books I added to my to-read shelf on Goodreads, and I finally found a copy! It’s about a man whose missing sister returns after 20 years with a mystery surrounding her. Also, the blurb on the back compares Joyce to both Haruki Murakami and Ian McEwan.

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente – I’m so interested in Valente’s writing, and this one, which is supposedly somehow both about Old Hollywood and space travel, sounds especially intriguing.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab – Another book that I think anyone has read except for me! This one involves multiple magical Londons and it’s one that’s been so hyped I was reluctant to read it. But then I changed my mind…

Vicious Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, #1)DuplexElect Mr. Robinson for a Better WorldThe Brides of Rollrock Island

Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson – this is a UF/PNR read that I really know nothing about, but I haven’ t found a new good UF series in awhile, so I’ll give it a shot. This is another genre I’m really picky about, so we’ll see.

Duplex by Kathryn Davis – this is a short novel set in the suburbs where magic starts to intrude on a young married couple’s life (I think?) and it’s supposed to be amazing.

Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World by Donald Antrim – I believe this is a sort of creepy dystopian read set in a small town; it’s another short read I’ve had my eye on for awhile.

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan – I actually had no idea this was YA when I bought this. It’s about a sea witch who brings men in her small village magical brides from the ocean, and the bond between the two somehow changes both of them.

LailahOf Bees and MistSweetbitterFangirl

Lailah by Nikki Kelly – this is a YA read that involves angels, vampires, and a love triangle. This could be really great or really terrible, but either way, I’m reading it.

Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan – I just picked this up at a used bookstore that popped up in my mall where Hollister used to be. It was totally a cover buy, and here’s what Goodreads says: “Of Bees and Mist is an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree and places them in a mythical town where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, and prophets and clairvoyance are an everyday reality.” Sounds great!

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler – this book about a young twenty-something working in a fancy restaurant has gotten a ton of hype, and I found an ARC at that same used bookstore and couldn’t resist.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I’ve already read and loved this book, and wanted my own copy for cozy winter rereading.

 

I can’t wait to get reading! What books did everybody buy in July?? Let me know and feel free to link up!

 

 

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May Reading Wrap-Up!

 

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Total books finished: 7

#readmyowndamnbooks/#SmashYourStack:  4 (!)

Audiobooks: 2 (!)

Library books: 1

Read Harder Challenge tasks completed: 1

✓ 6. Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography)
Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

Severity of Ferrante Fever: high

So, I had decided to participate in the #SmashYourStack challenge for May and challenge myself to take down books from my physical TBR. I actually did OK on this challenge–I read hardly any of the books I thought I would, but I did manage to read 4 books that I actually own. (Although I totally cheated by buying the first 2 Ferrante books and then counting them for the challenge.) Overall, the quality of the books I read this month was fantastic–I added 2 books to my ongoing list of my top ten reads of 2016 (of course, it’s all subject to change, since 2016 isn’t even halfway done yet).

I also listened to 2 (and a half, since I started Citizen: An American Lyric this month too) audiobooks this month, which is crazy for me. Bout of Books gave me a lot of audiobook motivation, and I feel like I’ve really found my audiobook niche with nonfiction.

The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2)My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)Death My Own WayMr. SplitfootRoses and RotNot That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

So here’s what I read in May, ranked in order of awesomeness:

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My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (5 stars) – If you haven’t read this series yet, prepare to become obsessed. It opens with a mystery and the two main characters in their sixties, then flashes back to their fascinating and violent childhood in a poor neighborhood of Naples. The relationship between the two main characters is constantly fraught with emotion in different ways, and the world of 1950s Italy is alien and immersive. I highly, highly recommend this for anyone in a reading slump or looking for a new series to become addicted to–I honestly think anyone would enjoy these books, even if, like me, you typically steer clear of realistic fiction in favor of science fiction/fantasy.

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Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt (4.5 stars) – this quickly became one of my favorite reads of 2016 so far. I loved the dual narrative structure and the consistent weirdness of this book. Highly recommended for anyone interested in weird fiction.

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The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante (4.25 stars) – Although I liked My Brilliant Friend more, this was still incredibly well done–especially the whirlwind last 200 pages and the OH SHOOT ending. The middle had a long plot section that I wasn’t a fan of, but once it transitioned out of that, it went back to amazingness. It’s the perfect springboard into the third book, which I started this morning.

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Death My Own Way by Michael Graziano (4 stars) – I picked this book up at the Buffalo Small Press book fair as part of my effort to read more books from independent publishers, and found that it was a perfect entrancing book to read in one sitting. It’s a philosophical take on life, death, and art set in a single night in Central Park. Recommended for anyone looking for a short, thought-provoking read.

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Roses and Rot by Kat Howard (3.5 stars) – This book was released last month and got a great review from Neil Gaiman, which is how I heard about it. It came in as a library hold and I only had a week to read it; I was nervous about finishing in time so I ended up reading it in 2 days! That kind of binge reading has been rare for me lately due to work, but it was a great feeling to just dive into a book and barely come up for air. This is a dark fairytale/fantasy about two sisters, a writer and a dancer, at an artist’s retreat after escaping an abusive mother; it’s about the love between siblings and the devotion to art.
I loved the setting, the concept, and overall liked the plot and characters, but I found the writing style to be way too simplistic for my taste. I needed a lot more detail and description, and although the characters were interesting, they could have been much more fully drawn. I also found the love interest very boring.
If you enjoy dark fairytale themes, then you’ll probably enjoy this; for me, it was good, but just not amazing.

Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (3 stars) – I liked this audiobook a lot more than I expected to, although I found the quality to be very inconsistent. I like Lena Dunham’s delivery, and found her very easy to listen to.

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik (3 stars) – I loved hearing more about the amazing RBG, but didn’t love the structure and writing style of this audiobook. The narrator was also not awesome.

 

What did everybody read in May???