LWIBooks: January 16, 2017

Last week sucked for me, reading wise. I worked on a couple books but didn’t finish much—though what I did finish was pretty darn great. I saw a few movies and reestablished a few head canons, discovered something I want in book form, and got stuck in a Read Harder rut.

I went to the movies twice this past weekend, and watched a movie that hubs saw without me but knew I would want to see. That movie? The Accountant. And now I want a romance featuring someone modeled off of Chris getting a HEA. Is that too much to ask?

I also saw A Monster Callswhich, jeez. I remember why I didn’t get far in the book. But the movie was beautiful and heartbreaking and incredibly well done and acted—though now we know Sigourney Weaver’s weakness: British.

That same day, I saw Singin’ in the Rain for the first time in a theater, and the spectacle is just magnificent on a big screen. If you’ve got the time and the chance to see it when it plays again on Wednesday, take it. I’ve seen bits and pieces in the past few years but it’s been awhile since I’ve watched it all the way through, and boy, is that OT3 there. I thought it was just me when I was younger, but that was before I discovered fanfiction; and the last time I looked on AO3, there was nothing there. Well, now there is, and over the past 24 hours I’ve read nearly all of it. (I will probably write more thoroughly on this after I’m done.)

Okay, on to books. The reason for this post:

Books Completed

26114524The Only Thing Worse than Me is YouLily Anderson

love Much Ado About NothingLike, probably more than I do Pride and PrejudiceSo when I realized in the first chapter that this was going to be a YA retelling (because that was left out of the blurb! Who leaves that out of the blurb?!) I became even more excited about what this book would be. It had already drawn me in with supernerds who were also super geeky. The snappy dialogue and excellent transference of the plot—while still making it different enough that you weren’t sure how things would go down—won this one for me, and I am eagerly awaiting Anderson’s second book (THIS WAS HER DEBUT, WHAT, AND SHE’S A LIBRARIAN, WHAT) that’s based on The Importance of Being Earnest. If she writes a YA version of Design For Living, she will go down in history as my absolute favorite person putting words together on the planet.

Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds, Kris T. Bethke

This was a cute little novella that was the perfect length to read while twisting my hair on Saturday. Will, a young professional, is drawn out to a meeting at the PFLAG chapter his mother started. She wants him to hear a speech by Joshua, who owns a bakery. Diminutive Will is not usually attracted to big, hairy men, but something about Joshua draws him in. The writing is a bit juvenile sometimes, but it touches on some great things, particularly supportive families and body image in men.

Under Rose Tainted Skies, Louise Gornall

I DNFd this book. I was sad to; the narrator, Norah, is an awesome person and her love interest sounds cute, if troubled. Norah’s mother is great, and the other people that I encountered in the 40 or so pages I read before I stopped were very interestingly written. But Norah has Agoraphobia and Severe Anxiety Disorder, and she is very well written. I’ve been pretty high on the Empath scale this week, and her very extreme anxiety was making my (much lower scale) anxiety and neurosis much more palpable. I actually spoke the words “you know I like having the bedroom door open so I can hear if someone breaks in while we’re sleeping.” Not that it’s ever happened, or that there is a high chance of it happening, but my usual “is the door locked?” followed by my checking three or four times before being able to sleep, wasn’t enough. (This is not the full extent of how anxious this book made me, just an example.)

Still Working

8341567Running InterferenceElley Arden

I don’t know if there’s something about the writing or my reluctance to read second-chance stories, but this one is slow going. I was really excited about the prospect to read about a world in which a women’s professional football league existed, but the other stuff is not making me anxious to pick it back up.

Getting InsideSerena Bell

Okay, maybe what’s really going on is that there’s too much football in my life right now.

The Perfect Play, Jaci Burton

Or maybe not because I was going at this one like gangbusters until I got distracted by Don, Cosmo and Kathy. (Also, see that cover? I bought that one in print.)

Picking Up Soon

30251383Hidden FiguresMargot Lee Shetterly

 I haven’t forgotten about this one, but I’ve been out of the nonfiction mood.

Joyride, Jackson Lanzing et al

I need to get back into comics. This one looks hella fun.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 2, Amy Reeder et al

Luella is my must-buy trade girl. I can’t wait to sit down and savor it.

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Angela Carter

I’m doing a group read of this with some of the folks at WWAC, and I finally got it from the library. I think I’m really only going to do one at a time, so I had better get started!

 

Also, because this is going to be available this week!

 

And now I’m going to go finish reading all that magical fanfiction and get lost in the Tucson Festival of Books panel schedule. Sweet Christmas.

LWIBooks: January 9, 2017

Last week was the first of January. I made some good progress in reading, discovered some things, and saw a movie that pushed a book up my list.

Books Completed

An Unseen Attraction, KJ Charles

Actually, I finished this one in December but never posted about it. This one comes out in February and I can’t wait for more people to be talking about it. I continue to play into the hands of non-male, potentially non-queer authors writing M/M romance but hers are just SO GOOD. And this one is no different, with Clem being darling, Indian, and cognitively disabled/neurodiverse in the middle of Victorian England. Also this one sets up the scene for a series that takes place during the Great London Fog and that is one of those phenomena that I’m fascinated by.

Roller GirlVanessa North

This book covers two slots in the Read Harder challenge: LGBTQ+ romance and book about sports. I’ll still be reading other books in both of those categories, but I wanted to get this one read because I’d seen it around a lot.

The Hating GameSally Thorne

I’ll tell you a secret: I picked this book up immediately when I saw it…on the ARC cart…months before it came out. And then I never read it. Why did I never read it? It was so much fun. Also, this one covers a Read Harder category: Sally Thorne’s debut novel.

Beauty and the Wiener, Casey Griffin

It was cute, but it wasn’t as cute as the first one. Ah well.

Insert Groom Here, KM Jackson

The hype for this one (including the blurbs on the book cover) made it seem like it was going to be much funnier than it actually was, but I still enjoyed reading it. If only I hadn’t spent half the book trying to figure out Aidan’s racial ambiguousness…

Currently Reading

Getting InsideSerena Bell

I’m intrigued by the premise of the first female coach in the fictional pro league and the player she has to deal with, but so far it’s been pretty putdownable.

Ashes, Laurie Halse Anderson

I picked this one up back in December and haven’t picked it up for awhile; maybe it will be one of my books for next week.

Picking Up Soon

Under Rose-Tainted SkiesLouise Gornoll

I got this one from Netgalley quite a while ago and its release date is coming up. No recollection what it’s about but I remember being really interested.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is YouLily Anderson

Once again, I’m going to try to read my physical TBR from the beginning, and in my case that means alphabetically.

Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shatterly

Except I really need to get on this one. I’ve had it for months and had planned on making it through before I saw the movie, which I saw Saturday night.

Ah well.

Also, just because I just found it, I’m going to be watching this trailer over and over.

What’s been on your radar recently?

Reading in 2017: A Promise to Myself

Here it is. A new year. That time we sit down to say “this time it will be different. This time will be different.”

Well, I suck at that. Especially when it comes to books.

So beyond using the long weekend to get my TBR corner back in order, I’m not going to make resolutions.

I’m going to make a promise to myself that I will keep it moving.

I’ll keep doing what I have been, and see what happens.

What does that mean?

I’ll keep being a discerning book buyer. I gave up on moratoriums and bans. Restricting myself from buying books is like taking me off sugar. It might happen for a few days, and then I’ll sit down and eat a whole pack of Oreos. Yes, I do occasionally fall prey to Book Outlet box sales, but I’m still not going to buy a book I’m only peripherally interested in.

I’ll make a real attempt at Read My Own Damn Books. Do you know about the “You Do You Reading Effort” Andi started last year? Libib says I have 392 physical books on my TBR (which is a bit give and take because I haven’t moved things out of it—but I also haven’t felt like manually adding ARCs, so who knows) and there are 497 books in my kindle. Let’s take out about 150 (I think I’ve probably read that many). That’s a hell of a lot of books. Jesus Christ.

I’m gonna read as many of them this year as I can. There are still a few books I might find myself immediately in the mood for from the library (for instance, KM Jackson’s Insert Groom Here is currently on hold for me because that sounded like something I wanted to read right fucking now). The numbers will continue to grow, because, like I said, I am not going to stop buying them. But I’m going to try to start actually reading them.

I’m going to really try to complete the Read Harder Challenge. almost made it last year. I only got halfway through Frankenstein, my horror novel, because I just started too late in the year. It’s not a sit-down-and-read kind of book; it’s a take your time, stop when you’re bored, and come back when you’re interested again kind of book. I stalled in Megan Kimble’s Unprocessed pretty early in the year, but never actually got around to trying another food memoir. And I never did get to a book about religion. I think one of the books I’d potentially suggested as being set in the Middle East was also about religion, but then I sadly abandoned that one as well.

In preparation of this year’s, I’ve already planned for most of the categories with my own books, and seen where there are holes I’ll need to fill. There are a surprising few. And since I’ve touched every physical book I own this weekend, I discovered a few more that I’d since forgotten about. I think the only thing I really haven’t figured out is the travel memoir. I look forward to that discovery, when I find one.

23492771I’m going to finish my Project Books. I picked out two nonfiction books to definitely read this year, instead of trying them out and then putting them back on the shelf. I probably would have picked up Kelly Jensen’s Here We Are anyway (probably at Tucson Festival of Books when I get to meet her, yay!) but it came in a Collection Development box the other day and I’m going to savor it quickly so it can go back. But Lillian Faderman’s The Gay Revolution, which is over 700 pages, is one I only discovered because of TFOB (the festival again! Did I mention I’m the managing editor of the Festival Blog? We start looking at it much earlier than anyone else) but am really interested in. It’s got all the history that I don’t know, and regardless of the heft is (so far) pretty accessible.

I’m going to read more diversely in romance. Me? Need to read more romance? Hah. But really, I have a few go-to types, and if I find new authors in that types, hooray. But if I’m going to be talking about romance twice a month (oh hai, did I mention I’m going to be writing a romancelandia newsletter for Book Riot? Say hello to Kissing Books) then I need to know more about the genres I’ve lost interest in in the past years, like paranormal and suspense. Some of this will happen by reading my own damn books. But I’m also going to be paying even more close attention to what’s coming.

Also, I might finally get that tattoo. This image has stuck with me the longest since I began considering getting a second tattoo (I can only find it on a tee shirt right now):

books-infinity-shirt
Find it on Teespring

I have been imagining which direction it would sit on my arm, and how big it would be. I have been imagining what it might look like with music notes interspersed. I have really been thinking about it. And I live in tattoolandia (there’s like…one tattoo shop per square mile in Tucson or something like that) so I could probably get a really good artist to do something with it. I like the tattoo I have, but it was so obviously a decision made by a twenty-year-old. The tattoo set that sat with me the longest before this one included two phrases in german (“Seid umschlungen, Milionen!” and “Bereite dich zu Leben!” from Ode to Joy and Resurrection, respectively) and relying on a tattoo artist to design something dealing with music, so this one is also a little more practical. And just a better idea.

 

Here’s the thing, though: I suck at keeping promises to myself.

So I’m going to do my best, and be my best, and hope that’s good enough. For my books.