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March Wrap-Up

And with a blink of the eye, the first quarter of the year is over. and I have to say this, holy shit, time is flying! This month seemed to speed by – of course, it helped that I was traveling for two weeks so I had nothing to really do but go to the class I was attending, workout and read – without all the distractions of home (although I missed my pup like mad) – see obligatory picture…this is her common pose while i’m laying on the couch reading (or working out in the basement). The end of March saw a most gorgeous weekend with temps in the 70’s – which meant I got to sit outside, get some Vitamin D and finish up the month with some solid reading. Overall for March, my total was 29 books – so right in line with what I read last month and in January (for a current total of 89 books for the year).

New Authors Discovered:
I kick off the month with two new to me authors – that I know I will definitely read more of in the future – my first experience with reading Sylvain Neuval came from his dystopian novella set in the UK where immigrants have to sit a test to determine if they are worthy enough to be granted citizenship. I followed very quickly with The Girls of 17 Swann Street (Yara Zgheib) – which was an emotional look into a residence facility for women with eating disorders. For me it provided a very stark reminder of how fragile life is and how eating habits can transition over time into an eating disorder – but how there is help available. I don’t know if the author had ever been in one of these treatment facilities – but she had an insight that seemed to be very realistic. Finally, while I was traveling, a book that I had on reserve on overdrive for like 2 months came available for me to listen to – so I also discovered Dani Shapiro – though her memoir, Inheritance.

Diversity Challenge
One of my favorite books of March was one that I found when I was scrolling through a list of new releases for March – which was also one of the new to me authors I discovered – The Girls of 17 Swann Street which helped me with my diversity challenge as it featured characters who suffer from a mental disorder (anorexia, as it has a heavy mental component). This was one of those books that I started reading Sunday morning and by that evening, I had finished. It was a can’t put down book for me and I know that I’ve recommended it to several people already. I also read Lion by Saroo Bierdley – this book was the basis of a movie that was released a few years ago where a young Indian man, who had gotten lost as a child was adopted by an Australian couple, finds his childhood home through the miracle of the internet and google maps. In addition to The Test (Sylvain Neuval) mentioned above, I also read two books where main characters who are the children of immigrants or members of another culture (in these instances, specifically Chinese with American Panda (Gloria Chao) and Indian with When Dimple Met Rishi (Sandhya Menon)). I’ll admit that 3 months in, I’m really enjoying this diversity challenge as its making me look more closely at the books i’m picking to read, because previously I was definitely stay within a relatively narrow scope of authors/genres.

Series Continued
March was pretty much a solid hit for series that I’m in the process of continuing. I finished up 2 books in a trilogy that I’d been waiting to finish for a couple of months; I also listened to do more additions in J.D Robb’s In Death series (the end is actually nearly in sight with listening to books 38/39 and currently 48 books in the series available! honestly I catn’t believe that the author still keeps me intrigued with all the different storylines!) My enjoyment of Lisa Kleypas and her historicals continued with the most recent in her Ravenel’s series – but the best part of the entire book for me was seeing Sebastian and Evie from The Devil in the Winter (which is like one of my favoritest historicals romances of all time).

Tackling the TBR
Of the 29 books I read this month, 8 of them were books that had been on my TBR/TBL pile since before January 2018 (because hey, I figure more than 15 months counts being lost on the TBR). The book that has been on the TBR pile the longest that I read this month was Red’s Hot Honky-Tonk Bar – which I bought wayyyy back in 2008-09 (I think it was potentially one of the first books I bought for the kindle way back when. it always surprises me when I enjoy books that have loitered on my TBR for that long – especially authors like Pamela Morsi – who I have read books by before and always enjoyed (yeah, i’m kind of a doofus…lol).

When all was said and done, I think March was a fairly successful reading month and I can’t wait to see what April brings for me – especially since April features the first of the two Dewey Readathons for the year 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2019 in Month in Review

 

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February Wrap-Up

Ahhh, February – the shortest month of the year and the one that a) either feels like it is going to last forever or b) just flies by – you never know. Its also the month where it can be 60+ degrees somedays and on others snowing and storming. I know I don’t regret the snow day we had last week from work, or the fact that I had several days where we had a delayed work start (which is solid because I can get my workout in earlier in the day rather than in the evening). February saw me read (or listen) to 30 books – which is on the lower side of my normal reading (of course it doesn’t help that I have like 10 different books in progress…lol).

New Authors Discovered
February definitely was a GREAT month for discovering new authors – Of the 30 books that I read, 9 were by new to me authors, and at least 4 of them have been added to my read more in the future pile. I already have several books by Fredrik Bachman checked out from the library and on the pile for March and waiting (impatiently) for the next book by Helen Hoang. The Kiss Quotient (Helen Huong) gets the award for the most unique but likeable characters; and Saving Meghan (D.J. Palmer) for the most unlikeable characters (and yet I found myself completely sucked in). I also forsee a binge read of the J.A. Jance series that I started (Joanna Brady series)

Series Continued
I continued to dig into the multitude of series that I have in progress this month. I binged on books 2 and 3 in Kristi Belcamino’s Gabriella Giovanni series and then bought the remaining books in the series so that I could finish reading it in March. I also read the next installment in Rosalind James’ Escape from New Zealand series (I totally fall into the delayed gratification for this series, by trying to ration the books that have been released). I finished up Lauren Dane’s Ink and Chrome Trilogy (although I’ll flat out admit that it wasn’t my favorite book in the series) and jumped back into Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles (the third book def. suffered from that transition in series weakness – or at least I think so). I also continued with the next book in Lucy Lennox’s Made Marian series. JD Robb gave a solid installment to the In Death series with Thankless in Death (I finished up the last chapter of that on the first of the month) Finally, after discovering him in January, I buddy listening to the remaining 2 books in the Reckoner’s series by Branden Sanderson (although technically I finished up the last bit of the third book on the first day of March).

Diversity Challenge
February saw me read a book that hit both a neurodiverse character and by an author that identifies as such – I think of the 30 books that I read this month, The Kiss Quotient was in my top 3 favorites for the month. I loved Stella as a character and the romance between her and Michael had the right amount of sexual tension building throughout. I laughed out loud in several places, in particular, her lesson plans that she made for her sexual experiences. In addition, to the Kiss Quotient, I also rediscovered my enjoyment of m/m romances (specifically this month ones by Mary Calmes) and I’m part-way finished with Halsey Street (Naima Coster) which showed up on my kindle screen one night and caught my eye. I should have it finished in the next couple of days.

Tackling the TBR
Of all my various reading goals, this month my goal of tackling Mt To-Be-Read/Mt To-Be-Listened was the most successful. Of the 30 books that I read, 9 had been on my TBR pile for longer than three years and another 3 for longer than a year. I already mentioned it, but Thankless in Death was probably my favorite lost on Mt TBL that I got to this month (even though I did technically finish it up in March, over 90% of it was listened to in February). I also started Maya Banks KGI series (the first book has been on Mt TBR since 2012 and for some reason and I don’t remember buying them all, but I own books 1-8…I think I might have a TINY problem…) I also had to laugh when I requested a book from the library (The Winter Over) to discover that I had actually bought back in January 2017 (and I have now created a shelf on Goodreads called – “totally forgot I bought that” for those random finds).

My Top 3 Reads for February:
The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang
Beartown – Fredrik Bachman
From Lukov With Love – Mariana Zapata

What About You? How was your February Reading? Did you discover any new must-recommend authors?

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2019 in Month in Review, Uncategorized

 

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2019 Diverse Reading Challenge

A few weeks ago an author I’ve previously read and is pretty much on my go-to pile (the amazing Robin Covington) posted on her facebook page about a reading challenge she wanted to undertake in 2019. The goal of the challenge is to expand the diversity of your reading choices by including more diverse authors and characters. While 18 books (1 for each character/author) will barely scratch the surface of the availability of diverse books – it will hopefully give me a starting point to consistently consider more diverse reading choices.

Here’s finding new authors to read and love in 2019!

 

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