Monday, September 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Fall TBR

Please excuse me if this list looks a little more "TBR for all of 2016" instead of just Fall. Since I'm finally settled into my new house and actually have free time (what is this no homework thing? How did I forget how awesome it is? Someone please remind me of this the next time I say I'm going back to school) there is quite the book backlog to address. So welcome to my Fall TBR, where release date and excitement level aren't exactly related.

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
I know it isn't 2011. However I am all about the trailer (featuring a stunning Eva Green) and need SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT after spending the last three weeks with poetry collections and the new Foer Tome. I just ordered this from Book Depository and hope it gets here super quick!

2.The Invisible Library - Genevive Cogman
I have no idea how I missed this series. I'm tired of using the craziness of the last two years as an excuse, so I guess all I can say is I've made a huge error. An error I plan to rectify this fall!

3. Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories  - Lauren Groff
After loving everything about Groff's 2015 hit Fates and Furies I was excited to hear about her backlog being released in paperback. I'm a sucker for short story collections and have heard nothing but good things about Delicate Edible Birds. It's actually on it's way tomy mailbox as I type. Here's hoping it arrives soon!

4. The Queen of the Night - Alexandra Chee
I've seen this on all the end capes. I've heard all the reviews. I've seen it up and down tumblr and blogspot. I'm caving. Another 500+ page book really isn't going to help me hit my book goal for 2016 but I'm sold on The Queen of the Night.

5. Of This New World - Allegra Hyde
Look! A real October release! I've been hearing Hyde's praises for a couple months now and I must say this debut story collections looks like the perfect combination of fresh and of the moment. I currently have it dog earred for the October Readathon!

6. The Wonder - Emma Donoghue
I loved Room. I don't even know if that's a thing I should say? Room was a masterful and terrible journey. It was expertly written, tho. The Wonder just came out last week but I'm already hearing fantastic things! I can't wait to sink into another of Donoghue's expertly created worlds.

7. November Storm - Robert Oldshue
Another October release! Also another story collection.  During the chillier, prettier months I am all about short pieces that give me pause. This collection is supposed to be about people struggling, and dark feelings are another fall favorite.

8. The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware
Basically since Gone Girl came out I've been picking up anything with "The Next Gone Girl" written in it's blurb. There have been a few misses with this (Gone Girl included. I don't know why I continue to do this to myself.) but books like Dark Rooms and The Girl on the Train have completely engulfed me in the last few years, so I'll continue my yearly mystery/thriller buy and hope that yet again I enjoy this story more than Amy Dunne's diary entries.

9. Bad Things Happen - Kris Bertin
Okay, more short stories. Again released earlier this year. But remember how I said the human struggle was kind of a fall trope for me? This is going to fall right into my fall wheelhouse.

10. Children of the New World - Alexander Weinstien
Stay with me for one more short story collection. Children of the New World, which was released earlier this month, sounds like Back Mirror on paper. The stories seem chilling but relevant. I'm hoping they stay just on the "Sarah can sleep" kind of scary.

Now that you know what I'm reading (and how desperately I'm in need of books that aren't short story related) I hope you all will send a few recs my way! Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bookish Resources - Holy Crap Life Is Busy Edition

You'd think that by nature of working at a library now I'd be up in all the literary news. But alas the stacks I maintain are used more for museum research than leisure reading. This paired with a concentration in Digital Content instead of public librarianship has lead me to feel a little, but not entirely, out of the bookish loop.

Since I am currently working my way through two tomes, in an ill advised attempt to finish my 2016 checklist (that I am woefully behind on.) In lieu of a review this week I've come up with a fail-proof list to keep overwhelmed grad students, or just generally busy people in the bookish loop when there is zero time to read.

All The Books - Book Riot - Podcast
2016 is the year I discovered podcasts. After devouring every history and politically related title I could find on podcast republic I started to look for book based listens. All The Books is the podcast that made me excited to read again. Having a weekly list of titles being released means I usually add one or two to my good reads shelves, and now am not entirely blindsided by the new release section at the book store. Liberty and Rebecca are the best, and I love how excited they get every week just to talk about books. They're truly infectious!

Literary Hub & Electric Literature (because do I really need to also include Book Riot?!)
LBR I spent more than half the time I was in library school working at a credit union that offered no mental stimulation but lots of internet access. These were sites I checked daily in hopes of finding a fun list or insightful article (or snippet of fiction) to keep my brain from oozing out of my ears. I highly recommend each, even though i'm sure I'm preaching to the converted.

Flavorwire's book section has been my go to for quick book news updates and release info for going on six years. It's not always the most innovative, and occasionally the changes of contributors feels jarring, but I still always find myself coming back for more.

Oh, you might notice that despite increased commutes and the like audio books make no appearance on this list. I cannot for the life of me figure out a way to listen and retain to them. If you have any tips or recs please send them my way!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Princess Saves Herself in This One- Lovelace

I love this new wave of poetry.This Rupi Kaur, Tumblr ready, kind of verse. I am sure there are millions who hate it,but I am in love with the way it forms mantras out of small lines. It cuts deep in a way that people who came of age with twitter and the threat of character limits really understand.

In case you can't tell I'm not an expert in poetry.
Not of any sort.
None the less I can appreciate words that move me. It is clear that Lovelace has been through some unspeakable tragedies. For me, this collections of poems hit the perfect balance of evoking emotion, hitting home, and flow. It's easy to see the person behind this collection. It's someone who has dealt with greif, and heartache. Someone who has come of age during a time where BA's in English are laughable, and where body image issues turn into life consuming problems.
You don't need to relate to every poem to understand the beauty and power in this collection. I'd highly recommend picking up a copy.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Remember Me?


I don't know there is a better way to start this type of post.

Hello. I'm sorry. I've been gone for quite some time.

You see I've been busy. There were many trips across the country, ones that bring together friends from hundreds of miles away.

I stood up in one of my oldest friends weddings. I didn't make a fool of myself during my maid of honor toast. I only cried a little.
I  moved. Within the same city, and into the house my grandmother used to own.But still, it counts. (Just ask my bank account.)

But really the real reason this blog has been eerily silent for almost two years has everything to do with graduate school. 

You see, I just finished my Master's of Library and Information Science.  After two years, a lot of stress. only a few buckets worth of tears, and a crazy last semester I'm done! I started a job at a special collections library earlier this summer. 
At the begining of the year I called 2016 a year of transition. I think I hit the nail on the head.

Now I have free time. I've binged a couple of shows on Netflix. I'm reading for pleasure again. 

And I've missed the bookish community.  So I'm back, at least I hope I'm back. Historically when I say these things something happens within a week and I jump ship. However the last two years have been an anomaly, and I have a lot of reading to catch up on!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Book List

1. Nobody is Ever Missing - Lacey
2. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares - Cohn
3. My Salinger Year - Rakoff
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone - Rowling
5. Franny and Zooey - Salinger
6. Amy and Rogers Epic Detour - Matson
7. the Rosie Project - Simsion
8. Fairest - Meyer
9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling
10. Changing my Mind - Smith
11. Dark Rooms - Anolik
12. The Geography of You and Me - Smith
13. The Victorian Serial - Hughes and Lund

14. The Strange and Beautiful Life of Ava Lavender - Walton
15. So You've Been Publicly Shamed -Ronson
16. Gutshot - Gray
17. The Forty Rules of Love - Shafak
18. Persepolis -Satrapi
19. Bodie Troll - Fosgitt
20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling
21. The Ghost Network - Disabato
22. This is What Happy Looks Like - Smith
23. Station Eleven - Mandel
24. All the Light We Cannot See - Doerr
25. The Raven Boys - Stiefvater
26. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling
27. The Dream Theives - Stiefvater
28. Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Stiefvater
29. Ink and Bone - Caine
30. Modern Romance - Ansari
31. The Festival of Insignificance - Kundera
32. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling
33. The Little Paris Bookshop - George
34. Fortune Smiles - Johnson
35.Fates and Furies - Groff
36. The Girl on the Train - Hawkins
37. Carry On - Rowell
38. Fifteen Dogs - Alexis
39. The Turner House - Flornoy
40. The Bad Boys of Butte - Rickey

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Another Readathon?

Hi all! I know it's been a solid six months since I've written here. A lot has happened between now and then. There's school, and work, and all those little things that make life worth living. Unfortunately books haven't been a part of my life since the school year started. I blocked off this weekend to change that. 
I miss reading, and as i'm getting over a dozy of a cold I can't think of a better form of medicine. 

So here is a quick introduction, I'm Sarah, by the way. Hopefully I'll find a way to be around here more. 

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Michigan, the metro Detroit area. It's kind chilly today and that makes for perfect snuggly under blankets reading!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I just bought Carry On and I'm really excited for it, but i'm not really sure what order i'll read anything in, at least not yet. 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Gummy bears and pita chips? I'm fairly predictable here. 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Hi! I'm in my second year of library school (though i don't want to be a traditional librarian), I have a dog who will be my unwilling cheerleader and cuddle partner all day, and I'm currently looking for authors who were born or have lived in New Orleans so I can prep for my next trip!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I think this is my sixth readathon? It may be my seventh. My first was in Fall 10 but I haven't managed every one since. 
The main thing I'm doing different today is not worrying. Usually not having done this introductory meme by 9am would be a stress inducer for me, but i woke up a little after 8 and started reading, and occaionally texting. Sometimes it's good to remind myself this isn't about page or book counts but instead about enjoying reading, and the great community that surrounds this reradathon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Serendipitous Settings

Now that school's over I'd like to focus on reading. I say like to instead of offering any more commitment because my life has been chaotic lately. I, and I'm sure many of you bookish folks, would agree, don't usually love chaotic. But right now it's fun, and the unknown isn't as scary. I'm waiting to hear back from a few internships and just came back from a weekend in Boston!
Which is actually why I'm writing this post.

As part of a new kind of reading challenge I'm doing a check list instead of reading to a book count. One of those checks is a book in a forgien language.

Now I'd just recently watched a Ted Talk with Elif Shafak and immediately knew i wanted to use one of her novels for this challenge. My local bookstore only had Bastard of Istanbul (which she wrote in English) and The Forty Rules of Love, which i bought after trying to clarify that it was written in Turkish (I'm still not sure. Shhh)

Anyway, Forty Rules sat at the bottom of my TBR pile for about a month. I didn't touch it during the readathon, and after I started a large Murakami (again for this challenge) instead of diving into a more digestible novel.

I finally packed it in my bag for an early Saturday flight to Boston and immediately knew I made the right choice. The main character lives just outside of Boston, and while this setting isn't relevant to the story other than to show a distance between 2008 America and 13th century Turkey I clung to it.
You see I don't know much about Rumi, and while I hate to admit it I'm fairly ignorant of most customs of Islam. I'd jumped so far out of my comfort zone that I had to claw at the one thing that felt like home when my head was swimming with religious passages.

In the bookish side of the internet we talk a lot about how books change us, or how we find them at the right time. I don't know that I learned more about myself here, or that I am changed by Shafak's story. However I do know that this small setting, just outside of Boston, kept me reading even when I wasn't sure I wanted to finish. It gave me a connection sometimes that's all a reader needs.