Monthly Archives: June 2013

June New Books

Are you signed up for the Summer Reading Club yet? Do you have enough books to meet your goal? Here, check out the new books and see if anything catches your eye.

Letting Ana Go by AnonymousSomething Like Fate by Susane ColasantiTricks by Ellen HopkinsPrimates by Jim OttavianiAstonishing X-Men: Northstar by Marjorie LiuCrushed by Sara Shepard

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48-Hour Book Challenge: Finish Line!

I finished three more books within my 48 hours! Of course it helps that two of them were graphic novels, which make for quicker reading, but I couldn’t have done it without moral support from my cat.

my cheerleader

my cheerleader

So, in my last 4 hours, I read:

Uglies: Shay's Story

Uglies: Shay’s Story by Scott Westerfeld. It has been a few years since I read the other Uglies books. I really liked them, but what remains of them in my memory feels pretty much exactly like Shay’s Story? I don’t really remember the plot of the original books well enough for this to feel like an alternate take. I think it would be a more enjoyable read if I’d read it closer to the other books.

Level Up

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang. This was cool and weird and not really what I thought it would be?? What it is is a sad but hopeful look at families and destiny and duty? And Pac-Man.

Everybody Sees the AntsEverybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King. Ah, Jesus! I needed a cry break after this book. It was great, though. Very intense and heavy-hitting, but… an earned intensity. I also loved Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I think I might be the last YA librarian standing who hasn’t already read all of A.S. King’s books, but, uhh… really great, check it out if you haven’t already, now please pass the tissues.

48-Hour Book Challenge

Final Challenge Update:

Time spent reading/blogging: 22.5 hours
Pages read: 2141
Books finished: 8 completed books and 1 book fragment

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48-Hour Book Challenge: Books in the Wild

Even though I was excited about the 48-Hour Book Challenge, it also seemed like a shame to spend a whole weekend holed up inside reading. And then I realized… duh, I didn’t have to to all my reading inside, or even in the car!

5-Star Trails

I flipped through my trusty copy of 5-Star Trails: Louisville & Southern Indiana to find a good trail that I could do with my earbuds in. (Usually I prefer to hike without listening to anything–aside from the soothing sounds of nature, and anyway, sometimes listening to music or audiobooks puts you at risk of being run down by cyclists or trail runners.) But I synced the rest of What Happened to Goodbye to my iPhone and set off for some nature.

Self-Portrait with Audiobook

Self-Portrait with Audiobook

It's not safe! Take a Franciscan Friar!

It’s not safe! Take a Franciscan Friar!

I also brought my Kindle, and when I stopped for a snack break on a nice bench on a bridge, I started reading Riot by Walter Dean Myers. Since it’s written in screenplay format, it was a very quck read, and I read all of it there, looking out on the lake.

Still Life With Kindle

Still Life With Kindle

Riot is historical fiction, set during a specific event–the New York Draft Riots of 1863. It’s a topic that lends itself to a lot of complexity–I have a degree in history and I’m very interested in the clashes along class, color, and cultural lines in American History. These riots–which were largely poor Irish Americans looting poor black Americans when really both groups’ true enemy was wealthy white Americans–seemed like an excellent topic for a historical novel, with lots of complexity to flesh out. Unfortunately, Riot fell a bit flat for me, with a lot of cardboard characters and cardboard dialogue.  One of the protagonists, Claire, says lines like, “None of this is right. Why should anyone hate me because I’m black?” about 20 times throughout the novel. Like, yeah, we the 21st century audience get it, but why would a 15-year-old black girl in 1863 just constantly say things like that in conversation? HMM? But like I said, it is an interesting topic and the screenplay format makes it a quick read–probably a good choice for a certain flavor of reluctant reader.

Anyway, I got off the trail and back to my car just as it started raining! I finished What Happened to Goodbye in my apartment parking lot, hoping to wait out the rain, but it was still going strong when I finished the book and scurried inside. It was solid chicklit–a few elements seemed implausible, particularly the way the teenagers used social media… which was kind of a big plot point… but whatever. I also felt like the teens overreacted insanely to things, and then I realized that I’m old now and the teen drama is probably more realistic than my own adult reactions.

Now I’m home and happy to spend the last few hours of the challenge out of the rain and curled up on the couch with a book. I think I’m going to start with Ugles: Shay’s Story by Scott Westerfeld and see what else I can get through before my finish line at 7pm!

Challenge Update

Time spent reading/blogging: 18.5 hours
Pages read: 1493
Miles hiked: 3
iPhone battery when I got back to my car: 6%
Books finished: 5 completed books and 1 book fragment

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48-Hour Book Challenge: Whoaaa, we’re over halfway there

I’m back from my cousin’s wedding! By the numbers:

Audiobook discs listened to: 3

Crappy teen novels finished: 1

# of books remaining in the Pretty Little Liars series: 12?!

Probability that I am just going to read Wikipedia to find out who A is: 99.9%

# of different ways I’ve misspelled Sara Shepard’s name: I think 3?

# of cakes eaten: 1

caaaake

(technically there was still some cake left at the end of the reception, but I did not calculate the percentage remaining. so we’ll just round up to the nearest cake.)

On my way to and from the wedding, I listened to three more discs of What Happened to Goodbye. To be honest, I’m surprised there are four more left? Kinda feels like Sarah Dessen could wrap things up right about now… I suppose there must be a twist or two left. I’ll probably listen to some more of it tomorrow, though I’m not sure I’ll finish all of it within the 48-hours.

Flawless

Then I got home and finished Flawless, the second Pretty Little Liars book. Like I said about the first one–I definitely get why these fly off the shelves at the library. Very fast-paced and soooo many scandals and mysteries. I think I’m done with the series, though, at least for now. I have emotional whiplash from learning too many shocking secrets about these Rosewood girls. Also I kind of hate all of them. But mostly I hate their parents. Or maybe I hate society for making them all this way? Or Sara Shepard? Uh, who don’t I hate?
Cake. I don’t hate cake. Maybe I should read a cookbook next. I just know I’m not going to read Sweet Valley Confidential next–I’ve overdosed on mean girls.
Also I just went on Wikipedia to find out who A is. NOT SORRY.
Challenge Update:
Time spent reading/blogging: 13.25 hours
Time spent being unreasonably irritated with Sara Shepard: At least 2 hours
Pages read: 1125
Books finished: 3 completed books and 2 book fragments

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48-Hour Book Challenge, Day 2

Just a short check-in before I leave for the wedding I’m attending!

Last night I stayed up until 1:30am blogging and reading other blogs & Flawless. This morning I slept in but spent 1 hour & 45 minutes on a combination of Flawless and disc 2 of What Happened to Goodbye while I drank coffee and beautified myself. No books finished, but I added 148 pages of Flawless and 48 more audio-pages of What Happened to Goodbye, bringing me to…

Challenge update:
Time spent reading/blogging: 8.25 hours
Pages read: 760
Books finished: 2 completed books and 3 book fragments
I’ve got about 5 hours of roundtrip driving, so by the time I get back tonight I’ll have at least 5 more hours of listening to What Happened to Goodbye to report back on! Hope everyone else is having a delightful, book-filled weekend!

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48-Hour Book Challenge: 5 hour check-in

Whew! I started reading at 7pm and have been reading for 5 hours! Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Captain's Log

So, yes! First I finished off reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, which I started reading earlier this week. It’s an adult novel & wanted to read it because I read a bunch of tweets that basically said, “Oh it’s so awesome but just read it and don’t get spoiled for it!” and then I checked to see if our library had it, and our library catalog’s 1-sentence summary of it is a huge spoiler 😡 I still really enjoyed it, but I think I will second the advice to try not to get spoiled for it if you can help it! Anyway, I read the last 84 pages of that.

Then I decided to take a walk since it was still a nice evening, so I put the first disc of the audiobook of Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye on my phone and went out for a stroll. Then I came back inside and used the rest of the disc to do my nails, in preparation for the wedding I’m attending tomorrow.

What Happened to Nail Polish

Beautiful. Anyway, I’m enjoying the book so far! I have only read one other Sarah Dessen book actually–I don’t know why, because I like contemporary YA lit generally, and I liked the other one I read (Someone Like You). I’m excited to continue this one tomorrow on my drive to and from the wedding. I listened to 1 disc of this. Amazon says the book has 432 pages, and this has 9 discs, so we’ll call this the equivalent of 48 pages.

Then I read Invincible Iron Man Volume 5: Stark Resilient by Matt Fraction. I admit I’m a bit of a Johnny-Come-Lately to Iron Man–I hadn’t even heard of the character before the first movie came out, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movies and have been loving Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man comics. Now I’m mad that volume 6 is checked out 😦 I especially love that Pepper Potts gets to be such a hero in the comics too! Go Pep! Anywho, this was 128 pages.

Finally, I made some popcorn and fired up my Kindle to read the first Pretty Little Liars book by Sara Shepherd. I have an ambivalent attitiude about all these teen Mean Girls books–I love the movie Mean Girls, obviously, and I like the wicked sense of humor some of these books bring to the genre–eg Gossip Girl. Some of them just read like Lucky magazine with notes written in the margin by horrible people–eg The Clique. For me, Pretty Little Liars was sort of in the middle. Not as biting as GG but not as inane and boring as The Clique. It ends on a total cliffhanger though; the kind of infuriating cliffhanger that isn’t even really an ending to a book. (The first Vampire Diaries book pulled that shenanigans too and now books 1 & 2 are printed in the same volume, because book 1 lacks an actual ending.) Anyway, so I finished reading it and literally said “WHAT’ aloud to my cat, who has no information regarding A’s identity. (Ugh, why do I even keep him around?) Now I kind of want to read the second dumb book so I can find out who A is, GOD. Or I could just read the Wikipedia entry… we’ll see. For now, I’ve read at least 304 pages about those lovely small mendicants. And I definitely get why these fly off the shelves at the library–teens obviously have to get the next book ASAP because I bet none of these have actual endings! I’m onto you, Sara Shepherd

Pretty Little Duarte(In the time it took me to upload this photo of my cat, I moseyed over to my library’s website to see if our digital copy of Flawless, aka PLL #2 was available… it was. I downloaded it. Am I going to have to read all of these now?! Infuriating.)

Challenge update:
Time spent reading/blogging: 5 hours
Pages read: 564
Books finished: 2 completed books and 2 book fragments
I was originally planning to read a bit more after this and go to bed but there is a very real possibility that I am going to stay up all night angrily reading Pretty Little Liars books… tune in on this very blog to find out!!

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48-Hour Book Challenge Starting Line!

48hbc_newI’m officially starting the 48-hour book challenge at 7:00pm, EST! I’ll read as many books as I can until 7:00pm on Sunday. (Then I’ll take a quick break and rally for the Tony Awards!)

TBR!

Here’s my TBR pile, artfully arranged on my couch, where I will probably do a lot of my reading. I already blogged about some of my TBR pile earlier this week, but today at the library I added a few more items. I doubt I’ll be able to read all of these, but I wanted to give myself a good variety, so I added:

But since it’s such a lovely evening, I’ll start off the challenge by finishing up We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler out on the balcony.

selfie with book

It’s not too late for you to sign up for the 48-Hour Book Challenge yourself! Join us, won’t you?

PS I tweet @holajupiter and will give updates there as well!

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