National Readathon Day – I’m making #timetoread

National Readathon Day

Today is National Readathon Day! I don’t know if I’m technically too late to sign up, but I don’t really care. I’m making time to read today in support (mostly because I was going to make time to read today anyway!).

National Readathon day is sponsored and put on by Penguin Random House, GoodReads,Mashable, and the National Book Foundation. Join in the Readathon by reading from 12-4 p.m. in your own time zone.

I thought I’d do a post for this so I could share what I’m going to be reading. I’m FINALLY going to be reading My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, which I first heard about in June (?) of last year and have been wanting to read since then. I started it yesterday and I’m already loving it, as much as you can love a book about a girl who wants to kill herself. I’m pretty sure it’s going to live up to my own personal hype. Yay!

Will you make #timetoread today?

Book Review: The Rabbit Back Literature Society (ARC)

A confusing but sometimes enchanting story that’ll leave you lost in the end, The Rabbit Back Literature Society is good but not great.

The Rabbit Back Literature SocietyAuthor:  Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Literary Fiction

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Thomas Dunne Books)

Publication Date: January 20, 2015 (US publication – first published in 2006)

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Thomas Dunne Books for letting me read this.

What first drew me to this book was that absolutely gorgeous cover. Obviously. Then my friend Jo over at Drifting Pages bought it. Then I saw it on Netgalley and just had to read it. It has such an interesting concept. The Rabbit Back Literature Society was…good. Not great, but good. It’s well-written for the most part. The magical realism was really cool but also very strange, which I should have expected. However, it didn’t do anything. It didn’t go anywhere, which was really disappointing.

The thing that really disappointed me was the “mystery”. I like when books don’t answer all of your questions, leave you to figure out what you think happened. But I like when they answer SOME of them. One, even. There was little to no resolution for what was the biggest mystery in the whole book – the disappearance of Laura White. We do get resolution for one of the other mysteries, and I thought it was sweet and simple and wonderful, but we had NONE for the main mystery. It felt a little like I’d wasted my time.

The violence was also strange. I’m not sure if this is in part due to the fact that it’s been translated, but the authors of the society play “The Game” in which they can invoke a rule that allows them to hurt the other to get them to tell the truth. It was weird. There’s also one scene (only a few pages) that talks about an act of sexual violence that was seriously disturbing. I had to put the book down for a while.

I enjoyed the mysticism and magical realism, and most of the writing was interesting enough to keep me going. But feeling like you’ve part of the point when you finish is not something I like. Not bad but not great either.

The bottom line: I never really figured out what was happening or why I was reading about it. I will say that the book will push you violently out of your comfort zone, which I appreciated, and the magical realism was interesting and enchanting. I haven’t said much about the plot because 1. I’m not sure what the point was, and 2. I’m not sure there was supposed to be a point. If you like magical realism and translation, read this. But if you need things to be wrapped up, you’ll go insane at the end. Basically, read The Rabbit Back Literature Society at your own risk.

Rating: 6 – good, but not great

Comic Book Review: Memetic #1-3

I don’t post a lot of comic reviews on my blog, which is something I want to do more of in 2015. So why not start with a recent favorite? Memetic was a limited run series of three issues from BOOM! Studios.

Memetic #1-3    WRITER: James Tynion IV / ARTIST: Eryk Donovan
COLORIST: Adam Guzowski / LETTERER: Steve Wands

When your comic book shop tells you they think you’d like a new comic about a killer meme and asks if you want them to order you a copy, you say yes. I mean, a killer meme?! Of course you say yes. Then, when you’ve read all three of them, you wish there were more and can’t believe it’s over.

What am I talking about? Memetic, of course! A three-part mini-series from James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan, Memetic was scary, you guys. It felt too real, as if it could happen any day now. To sum up without spoiling it (you should really just read them; it’s only three issues!): one day in the near future, a meme spreads on the internet. Seemingly harmless and strangely adorable, the meme is that of a sloth giving the viewer a thumbs up. Nothing that special, right? Somehow the image makes the viewer feel ridiculously happy, making people around the world want to share it with everyone they love. On and on it goes until almost everyone with access to the internet has seen it. But then people start dying. Can they find the source and get him/her to flip the image and save humanity? Or will we die out because of our obsession with social media?

Memetic was so good. It was a little confusing at times, with a little too much happening at once, but I was expecting that as they had to shove an entire story into three short issues. Though it was a lot all at once, this didn’t annoy me. I wanted more! The issues were intense, thrilling, terrifying. It felt like a logical story coming from our current society; it never felt preachy or like Tynion was shoving his message down our throats. Obviously it felt a bit like a cautionary tale against what could happen when you become addicted to the internet.

The artwork was really great. Not over the top but sensationalized enough in all the right places. It’s simple in the beginning, to bring out the story and let it say what it needs to, but later, when things get crazy, it comes out in full force to scare the crap out of you. Eryk Donovan’s art is creepy but feels realistic. Adam Guzowski coloring brings it to life.

Overall, Memetic was an unnerving, modern-day cautionary tale. It probably wasn’t healthy how into it I was. But comics aren’t going to kill me, right? RIGHT? …Totally worth checking out this (way too short) run from BOOM! Studios.

I’m also posting this review on WatchPlayRead. Check out my contributor page on WPR if you are interested in seeing more of my comics reviews. I usually post two a week, so there’s a bunch over there!

The 2015 Book Memories Challenge

You guys remember how I said I was only participating in four challenges this year? Well, I lied. Sort of. I saw Ursula Uriarte post on Instagram about the Book Memories Challenge hosted by Grown Up Fangirl. I thought this was an amazing idea. Basically, you find a container and every time you read a book, you write down a quote from said book and put it in your container. At the end of the year, you get them all out and read them to see what passages or words or quotes meant something to you. How cool is that? I already write down some of my favorite lines in a notebook that I keep with me at all times when reading, so this was a perfect challenge for me. I suppose it’s not really a challenge though, more of a way to document lines in books that mean something to you. Either way, I love the idea and I jumped on board. So far, I have 5 quotes in my container and I can’t wait to keep on filling it up. I think this is going to be a perfect way to document my reading for the year but more fun than just keeping up with it on Goodreads. I love finding quotes that speak to me. After Sarah Shotts asked me if I’d posted about it on my blog (which I hadn’t), I knew you guys would probably be interested and thought I’d share. If you want to participate, the hashtag designated is #bookmemorieschallenge15. Also, don’t stress: you don’t have to post a picture of every quote. I’m taking a picture of each one next to the book, but I’m only posting one every once in a while. However, I thought I’d share the first five with you so you could see what I’ve written down so far. 🙂

First, here’s a picture of the container I found to use and what I’m writing my quotes down on (due date cards that we no longer use at the library):

Book Memories Challenge 2015 And now, here’s the first five quotes I’ve found for the challenge. I’ll include the full quote beneath it in case you can’t read my writing!

Throne of Glass quote

“Still, the image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back.”

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

“I wanted to believe I could be somebody in here just for me.”

The Iron Trial

“And despite himself, despite the terrible thing he was doing, despite all of it, Call began to grin.”

Girl Online

“Sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realize that they aren’t actually real.”

Never Never

“Her eyes are like two open books, and I suddenly want to devour every page.”

So there you have it, the first five entries into my book memories challenge jar for 2015. Would you guys be interested in me posting more of these as I go along? Maybe doing a monthly recap using these or should I post them as I read? Are you participating in the Book Memories challenge? If so, are you posting them anywhere that I could see? I’m nosy. 🙂

Bout of Books 12 – Goals, TBR, and updates post!

It’s here! Bout of Books 12 has officially started. I hope you’re all signed up and ready to get reading. Bout of Books 12I know I am. After (or before, whichever) you read this post, make sure you go enter my challenge for Bout of Books 12 – The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt! I mean, there’s a giveaway. Why wouldn’t you participate?

Bout of Books isn’t doing a specific goals link up this go around, but I still want to lay a few out for myself. I’m not going to stress if I don’t meet them or give myself a headache reading too much just to make sure I read my whole TBR. This is supposed to be fun, you guys! So here are my goals:

– Read the four books, one graphic novel, and seven single issue comics on my TBR
– Post (or schedule) reviews of at least two of the things in my TBR
– Participate in at least one, but preferably two, Twitter chats (FYI, they are on Monday at 1 p.m. CST, Wednesday at 8 p.m. CST, and Saturday at 10 a.m. CST)
– Participate in at least four Bout of Books challenges (You can see the schedule for the challenges HERE)
– Have as much fun as I possibly can, meet some new bloggers/readers, and READ

My TBR:

Bout of Books 12 TBR

I plan to read (order based on mood) Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, Batman R.I.P by Grant Morrison, and these single issue comics: Thor #2, Superior Iron Man #2, Gotham Academy #3, Batman and Robin #36, Arkham Manor #2, Gotham by Midnight #1, and Memetic #2.

Monday

Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Read today: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Pages read today: 260
Total number of pages: 260
Challenges participated in: I hosted the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt challenge today! As of writing this, you have two more hours to participate! The challenge (and the giveaway) end at midnight CST tonight.
Notes about today: I had an absolute BLAST hosting one of the first two challenges today. In addition to reading one book, I checked out and responded to every single one of the entries (over a hundred), which was super fun! I loved seeing which books everyone found to fit the categories. I also participated in the first Twitter chat of Bout of Books 12 which was just as insane, fun, crazy, and amazing as I was hoping. My eyes went a little cross-eyed at the end though. Looking forward to day 2!

Tuesday

Number of books I’ve read today: .5 books and seven single issue comics
Total number of books I’ve read: 1.5 + seven single issue comics
Read today: Thor #2, Superior Iron Man #2, Gotham Academy #3, Batman and Robin #36, Arkham Manor #2, Gotham by Midnight #1, and Memetic #2. I also started The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.
Pages read today: 265 (168 = 7 comics x approx. 24 pages each + 97 of The Iron Trial)
Total number of pages: 525
Challenges participated in: I did the Top 10 Recommendations challenge hosted by Trees of Reverie. This was really fun because I got to use books that I’ve actually recommended to my patrons at the library! There’s still time to participate if you want to join in. 🙂
Notes about today: So I read maybe half of what I was hoping to read today because my mom’s bird (which usually sits nice and quiet on my shoulder if I go out on the porch) decided to FLY OFF into our TEN ACRES of land. I spent roughly three hours looking for the darn thing which was supposed to be spent reading. Thankfully, I found the idiot bird but lost valuable reading time. Hope you had better luck than I did!!

Wednesday

Number of books I’ve read today: .3? I didn’t read as much as I wanted to.
Total number of books I’ve read: 1.8 + seven single issue comics
Read today: Part of The Iron Trial
Pages read today: 113
Total number of pages: 638
Notes about today: I was a little busier at work than I thought I’d be – we had a good amount of patrons but I also did my YA book ordering, my time sheet, and our AV order for the month. So, not as much reading. BUT I did participate in the BoB Twitter chat last night and found a few new awesome people to follow. Check them out:  (I was already following her, but she deserves a shout out), @gnarly_marly. I could go on and on, but this is a start. 🙂

Thursday

Number of books I’ve read today: Part of The Iron Trial and one comic
Total number of books I’ve read: Almost 2 + eight single issue comics
Read today: Part of The Iron Trial and Feathers #1
Pages read today: ~64 (40? of The Iron Trial and 24 pages – Feathers #1)
Total number of pages: 702
Notes about today: I reviewed Feathers #1 over on WatchPlayRead. I had another busy day at work so I didn’t read hardly anything at all. But we had a soup fundraiser at my library and it was a lot of fun! I also had to make up a lot of flyers for some events – which I also enjoy. Hope you guys had a good Thursday!

Friday

Number of books I’ve read today: .4 of The Iron Trial and .5 of Girl Online
Total number of books I’ve read: 2.5 + eight single issue comics
Read today: Part of The Iron Trial and half of Girl Online
Pages read today: 226 (49 of The Iron Trial + 170 of Girl Online)
Total number of pages: 928
Challenges participated in: I did the Describe Your Book in Pictures challenge hosted by The Book Monsters, in which I described The Iron Trial in a series of four pictures. It was a lot of fun!
Notes about today: I worked at the library by myself. We are a really small library, with only three employees – one was off (she’s part-time) and one was at a branch managers meeting, so I was alone. I did have a bit of time to read and finished The Iron Trial. I know we’re not supposed to stress about how much we read, but stressing is just who I am. However, I feel pretty good about how much I’ve read and I’m having a lot of fun. 🙂 Only two days left though. 😦

Saturday

Number of books I read today: .5 of Girl Online, nine single issue comics, 22% of Never Never
Total number of books I’ve read: 3 + 16 single issue comics
Read today: the last half of Girl Online, nine comics (Batman and Robin #37, Robin Rises Alpha, The Walking Dead #135, Memetic #3, Superior Iron Man #3, Thor #3, Wild’s End #4, Arkham Manor #3, and Fiction Squad #2), and the first 22% of Never Never
Pages read today: 428 (182 of Girl Online + 216 = 9 comics @ approx. 24 pages each + 22% of Never Never – approx. 30 pages?)
Total pages read: 1,356
Challenges participated in today: Today, I did the Literary Quote challenge hosted by Gone with the Words. This was fun, and I got to put another quote in my Book Memories Jar…er…can. 🙂
Notes about today: So after I finished Girl Online, the plan was to start rereading Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. But then I decided I felt more like comics and raced through NINE single issues I was behind on. Then I wanted to start Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher because one of my favorites (Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek) was gushing about it to me on Twitter along with Bradie (at Brandie is a Book Junkie – a new friend!), and I HAD to read it. It was amazing. Should be doing a joint review with those two ladies soon. So I ended up having a GREAT Bout of Books Saturday – even though I missed almost ALL of the last chat.

Sunday

Number of books I read today: 78% of Never Never and 25% or so of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Total number of books I’ve read: 4.25 + 16 single issue comics
Read today: The rest of Never Never and the first quarter or so of Forever
Pages read today: 212 (110 pages of Never Never + 102 pages of Forever)
Total pages read: 1,568
Notes about today: It’s the last day of Bout of Books 12. 😦 Other than being super sad about that, I had a pretty great reading day. I finished Never Never while still laying in bed this morning, had a break from reading, and then dived into a reread of Forever, which I’m loving even more the second time.

I hope you all had a wonderful Bout of Books, and I look forward to seeing you all on here or on Twitter! Hope you’ll all join Bout of Books again in May, everyone!

Seize the Tuesday – Better late than never

Seize the Tuesday is a book blogger meme created by myself and the Let’s Get Lost Buddies Street Team, to share stories about how we’ve seized the Tuesday, with a special focus on the particular book we’re reading. We’ll share our posts online with the hashtag: #LetsAllGetLost. The idea is to share little ways in which you may have embraced Bree’s motto of seizing the Tuesday. To relate it to books, you can talk about what book you’re reading, and how you stole some moments from the day to enjoy reading. It doesn’t have to be about reading, but we all know that a well-read day is a day seized. The idea is not just to help spread the word on LGL, but also to remind people to live fully, even/especially if that means spending a part of your day reading.

seizethetuesdaybanner_zpsf766e20a

Today started off kind of crappy – I spilled coffee on a couple of books and my phone. Yay! But the day was okay overall. Note that I didn’t say it got better or it was great. Because it wasn’t, but that’s okay sometimes. It was an okay day. I did some work for my online job, wrote a post for my blog, finalized my Bout of Books 12 challenge post (make sure you come check that out on Monday – and sign up for Bout of Books!!), and wrote a review for WatchPlayRead. I spent most of the day in my room but I also got out with my family for a bit for some shopping. Nothing that exciting happened but nothing super bad happened either (except that dang coffee). It was okay.

Throne of GlassBut I’m going to make it better now. I’m going to spend at least the next hour reading. I’ve been wanting to read Throne of Glass for a while now and I just got it for Christmas. Of course, that’s the book my coffee spilled on, but whatever. Moving on. I’m going to start Throne of Glass and read until I am too tired to keep reading – whether that’s in an hour or five. Let’s do this.

Seizing the Tuesday…night.

WWW Wednesday [11] – The Rosie Effect, Batman, and Firecracker

WWW Wednesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three questions: (As always, all titles are linked to their corresponding Goodreads pages)

  • What are you currently reading?The Rosie Effect

I’m currently reading The Rosie Effect, the follow up to Graeme Simsion’s super amazing book, The Rosie Project. I’m enjoying being back with Don and Rosie. I’m reading it pretty quickly and I’m laughing just as much as I’d hoped I would. Don is just so awkward. If you want a little teaser from the book, check out my Teaser Tuesday from yesterday.

  • What did you recently finish reading?IMG_20141222_150321

I read a bunch of Batman comics on Monday. My boss lent them to me at least two months ago and I just hadn’t gotten around to them. I read: Batman: Year One and Year Two, A Death in the Family, Lovers & Madmen, and Batman: RIP.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

FirecrackerI’m not sure. I’d planned to read The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, but my lovely friend Annette sent me three awesome books for Christmas (Firecracker by David Iserson, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness). The way that she’s talked about Firecracker (and her review) have made me really interested, so I think I’ll read that next!

What are you reading?

Waiting on Wednesday: Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!Everything That Makes You

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Author: Moriah McStay

Release date: March 17, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

Why I’m excited: I just think this sounds really cool. Who doesn’t think what if? Who hasn’t wondered what would have happened – if you were different, if you’d made a different decision, if you looked different, and so on. I don’t know about you, but I’ve wondered that for sure. Looking forward to reading this one. Sounds like it’ll be fascinating. Plus, look at that awesome cover.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I read in 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014 (Overall, By A Particular Genre, 2014 Releases)

This is one of the hardest TTT posts I’ve ever had to do. I read SO MANY good books this year. Because of that, I’m going to list more than ten books. Sorrynotsorry. I’m going to give you a list of books published before 2014 that I read this year and a list of books published during 2014. Hope that’s okay! All of the titles are linked to my reviews.

Published BEFORE 2014

It's Kind of a Funny StoryLola and the Boy Next DoorMaze Runner cover image
The Incredible Book Eating Boy CoverThis Is What Happy Looks LikeThe Day the Crayons Quit Cover

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Every single book I read by Oliver Jeffers (you can find all my reviews under this tag – sorry it has some other stuff in there too)
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Published DURING 2014

Since You've Been GoneThe Young ElitesBlue Lily, Lily BlueLet's Get Lost
Love Letters to the DeadRivers by Michael Farris SmithRain Reign

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Rivers by Michael Farris Smith
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Well, look at that. I only went THREE over. I will stop there because I could probably list about 50, but I don’t think you guys would be too happy with that. What are the top books you read this year?

Audiobook Review: I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer

I Don't Know What You Know Me FromAuthor: Judy Greer

Narrators: Judy Greer

Audiobook length:

Genre: Autobiography

Publisher: Doubleday (book); Random House Audio (audiobook)

Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

So you might be looking at the cover of that book and asking yourselves why that person looks so familiar (which is the point behind the title of the book).

Like me, you might’ve first come across Judy as the mean-girl best friend in 13 Going on 30.

Judy Greer - 13 Going on 30

Or as the co-worker best friend in 27 Dresses.

Judy Greer - 27 Dresses

Or her one-episode guest role as the slutty Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton on The Big Bang Theory.

Judy Greer - The Big Bang Theory

Or the unstable office assistant in Arrested Development.

Judy Greer - Arrested Development

Or The Village. Or the voice of Cheryl in Archer. Or really, the tons of other co-star roles she’s been in since she started acting. She’s “Hollywood’s go-to best friend,” and because of that she’s relatable and easy to connect with. Her autobiography provides us with anecdotes about how much going to the Oscars can suck, especially when you don’t know anyone and you have to wear Spanx.

This book isn’t laugh out loud funny as the synopsis makes it out to be. It is, however, full of amusing (but not hilarious) essays on Greer’s life before Hollywood, her life as a co-star, and her life as a step-parent to Dean Johnson’s kids (it was amusing and also weird how she always first and last named him). It’s not a tell-all about the various actors and actresses she’s worked with. It doesn’t really go in depth about what it’s like working on movies. It’s probably not what you’d expect. But it isn’t necessarily bad either. There are really amusing bits – like the things she texts to her friends (probably the only laugh-out-loud moment in the book, but so funny my face hurt from laughing) or what she gets up to off-set on-location.

If you’re interested in what it’s like to be a co-star or the shenanigans you could get up as a step-parent (which are pretty funny), then check this book out.

Although, I will say that I DNF’ed this audiobook at about 85% (I know! I made it almost to the end). I just couldn’t keep going. I kept saying to myself, “Who cares?” – which is harsh, I know, but I just wasn’t invested enough to finish.