Monday, May 30, 2016

Catch-Up/Birthday Book Haul

I haven't done a book haul since January. And since then, my library bookstore had a sale, I've been to Barnes & Noble a few times, and my birthday, as you can imagine, I have quite a few new books to show you. So I'm gonna skip the big intro and get straight to the books.

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris: I already own the second part of this three-volume biography, Theodore Rex, so I was thrilled to find this for just a couple of dollars in the library bookstore! I'm going to wait until summer to read this, since I want to spend some time with it. I hope I can find the third volume soon!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: After reading Persuasion and Pride & Prejudice a couple of summers ago, I'm really excited to read more Jane Austen. And I loved the webseries adaptation of this, Northbound.

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster: I already read this lovely little classic as an ebook, and I love it so much that I couldn't pass up a physical copy for only two dollars. And it has all the illustrations!

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger: I read about this in How to Be a Heroine, and it sounded really interesting. It turned out not to be as good as I thought it might be, but it was pretty nice. I also get the feeling it's something I might want to reread later.

The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord: I got this little gem from the library last year and couldn't stop thinking about it, so when I saw that it was out in paperback with a bonus epilogue, I couldn't resist. I read the epilogue the day I got it and I LOVED it! Definitely going to reread this book sometime soon.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: When I got this, Salt to the Sea had just been released and everybody was talking about how great it was. I love historical fiction, so I really wanted to get that, but I couldn't find it! But this was there instead, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: And on my next trip to the book store, this book was actually there. I'd been hearing so many positive things about this book that if it hadn't been there by that point, I'd probably have ordered it online anyway. I always love when a historical fiction book gets more attention!

A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood: I'd been looking forward to this book from the moment I first found out about it, which is probably more than a year ago at this point. It sounds like it was designed to make me buy it - stories about badass girls in U.S. history written by some of my favorite authors. I got this one the day it was released, of course.

Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker by Stacy A. Cordery: The first of my birthday books! A couple of weeks ago, Avery @ The Pages are Bookining asked me what my feelings were about Alice Roosevelt. No context at all. I said that I didn't know too much, but that I liked her from what I knew, so she got me this absolutely lovely-looking biography!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: I already owned a copy of this book - it's pretty much my favorite book ever, how could I not - but Avery noticed that my copy was almost falling apart from lending it to people and forcing them to read it, so she got me a brand-new one!

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight: I'd never heard of this book before my friend got it for me for my birthday, but just from glancing through it, I can tell that it's going to be hilarious (and probably a little genuinely helpful, too). I'm probably going to save this for a break during the summer, since I'm planning on reading a lot of longer books.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore: The last of my birthday books. Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner has been trying to get me to read this book for pretty much forever, but it's never been at the library and I somehow never got around to buying it. So she got me a copy! I promise I'll read it soon, Sky.

Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor: This book has a really fascinating premise - it's a retelling of Peter Pan, but it's set in America in the 1950s, with a focus on the aftermath of Japanese internment. I really have no idea what this book is going to be like, but it seems like such an interesting mix that I just had to get it.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper: When I first saw this book on Goodreads, I thought that it had a really pretty cover. But it's even more beautiful in person - it looks like it's a watercolor painting done by hand, and I'm pretty sure I just stared at it on the shelf for a minute before I picked it up. This wasn't entirely a cover buy, though - I'm pretty much always interested in historical fiction, and I know I'll be reading this in the next few months.

What new books have you picked up recently? Are there any of these that I absolutely have to read right now? Tell me in the comments!

May Wrap-Up

I swear I posted my last wrap-up a week ago. Is May over already? Is it summer yet? In a weird way, May was so busy that it almost felt like it didn't happen. LOTS of things happened, so I didn't have as much time for reading (or blogging, as you can probably tell). So we'll start with the life updates, since that's where I actually got things done.

Biggest thing first...I committed to college! I'm officially part of the Smith College Class of 2020! (I technically did this in April, but it's going in this wrap-up anyway.) This decision took me a long time, and I am so glad that I'm officially done with the entire college application/admission/decision process. I'm very excited about going to Smith, even though it means some big changes - I'm currently in California, and Smith is in Massachusetts! (For those of you who don't know U.S. geography, California is on the West Coast and is fairly warm all year and Massachusetts is on the East Coast and has actual seasons.)

I'm not quite done with high school yet, though - my school goes until the middle of June, which means that I'm not free to spend 100% of my time reading until then. This month was especially chaotic, since I had all of my AP exams and most of my final exams. Why did I have most of my final exams a month before graduation? Who knows. That was one big reason that I didn't have quite as good of a reading and blogging month as I would have liked to. But things are looking up for June!

May is also my birthday month! I'm 18. I'm an adult. Somehow. And I got lots of great books as birthday presents, which means that I obviously have to show them off in another post coming soon.

As I said, I didn't have the best reading month, but I did read a few books that I really liked.


The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume 2 - Macroeconomics by Yoram Bauman: I read this as a last-minute review for my AP Econ test. For that purpose, it wasn't great, because it didn't cover everything I learned and there were a lot of things I hadn't heard of. As an entertaining introduction to macroeconomics, though, I'd definitely recommend this.

Black Widow, Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmonson (Black Widow #1): This is a comic book I'd been wanting to read for a while, and it didn't disappoint. The art was beautiful, and the story was gripping, so I'm definitely excited to see where this is going in the next volumes! ½

A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood: Not every story in this anthology was great, but there were a few that I did absolutely love. My top three were actually by authors that I'd never read anything by before, so I'll definitely have to check out more by them - El Destinos by Leslye Walton, Pearls by Beth Revis, and Bonnie and Clyde by Saundra Mitchell. 

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #2): This book was so powerful that I just had to give it a 5-star rating, even if the characters were pretty infuriating sometimes. This really made me think about politics, war, and compromise, and it always kept my interest. A definite step up from book 1.

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #3): I didn't like this one quite as much as the second book, mostly because it seemed a bit repetitive (especially for a book that was so long). But it was a very good conclusion to the series, and all of the different perspectives were balanced very well.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2): I'm definitely jumping onto the book-hype bandwagon for this one. I was a little bit skeptical - I didn't like the first one quite as much as everyone else, and I didn't really see how the decision about how great this book was could be quite so unanimous - but it really did blow me away. I can't say much, because major spoilers, but I can't wait for book 3! Thanks to Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner for letting me borrow her copy!

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith: This was pleasant enough to keep me occupied for a day, but I didn't think it was anything special. As with all Jennifer E. Smith books, I liked the idea behind the book a lot more than I liked the book itself.

The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn #2): So maybe this book didn't quite meet all of my expectations based on how amazing the first book was, but my expectations were also kind of impossibly high, so this book was still incredible. I'm satisfied with the way everything turned out, and as much as I'd like to read more about Shazi and Khalid, this duology is great as it is.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: I really liked pretty much everything in this book...except the plot. I don't know what it was, but the plot just didn't grab me. I was entranced by how vividly Ruta Sepetys described the atmosphere of New Orleans in 1950, and I loved the variety of characters, but the plot itself just wasn't as interesting to me. (But part of the plot is that Josie wants to go to Smith! Go Smith!) ½

DNFed this month:
  • The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (Lady Helen #1): I think this is the first time I've DNFed a book because I'm so unbelievably bored. I did have a couple of actual issues (such as the fact that it is a bad idea to suddenly and completely trust the guy who robbed you and probably killed his wife), but mostly, I just realized that I had hundreds of pages left and couldn't care less about anything or anyone. So I stopped.
  • Total books: 9 new, no rereads, 1 DNF
  • Longest book: A Court of Mist and Fury, 640 pages
  • Shortest book: Black Widow Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread, 144 pages
  • Favorite book: A Court of Mist and Fury
  • Least favorite (completed) book: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
  • Diverse reads: 5 (A Tyranny of Petticoats, Monsters of Men, A Court of Mist and Fury, The Rose & the Dagger, Out of the Easy)
  • Nonfiction: 1 (The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two - Macroeconomics)
  • Comics/Graphic Novels: 2 (The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two - Macroeconomics, Black Widow Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread)
What did you do in May? Was it a busy month for you, too? Did we read any of the same books? Tell me in the comments!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May Library Haul

It feels like forever since I've done a library haul. And it kind of has been. I had no library haul in April, and only a mini one in March, because I may have gotten a few too many books at once and been unable to read all of them quickly. So I've learned my lesson. I only got nine books this time!

Ahem. So maybe I could have gotten fewer books and been more sure that yes, I can read them all before they're due. But I just saw them on the shelf, and so many of them are ones I've been looking forward to for so long, and school's a lot less busy I got nine. I've had less self-control than this.

If you've seen my #BookBuddyAThon TBR, you've definitely seen a few of these books, but I also got some for after that. 

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith: I know that I'm in agreement with a lot of book lovers when I say that there's something about summer that just screams contemporaries. I've read most of Jennifer E. Smith's books, and while they're never my favorites, I usually have a good enough time reading them. And her books always have such interesting concepts that I just have to read them!

The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters: Even if this book weren't by Cat Winters, I would be completely sold on the premise. This is a retelling of Hamlet, except it's set in 1920s Oregon with a biracial female protagonist. And it just so happens to be written by an author I really like. And maybe this counts as studying for my final exam, which is mostly about Hamlet? That might be stretching things a little bit.

The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn #2): This is probably the MOST EXCITING PART of this haul. Considering it's a recently-released sequel to a popular book, I thought that there was no way it would be at the library. But it was. And I'm going to devour it as soon as I finish the book I'm reading now. I absolutely loved The Wrath and the Dawn, and I'm sure that this one will be great, too!

The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer: I'm a sucker for road trip books. I will literally never get tired of them, even if so many of them seem like more or less the same plot over and over again. So it's just an added bonus that this one seems pretty unique! And I'm also excited about the European setting, which is also different from a lot of road trip books I've read.

Front Lines by Michael Grant (Soldier Girl #1): For a while, I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to read this. Then I heard that it was pretty diverse and good for fans of Code Name Verity, and suddenly I absolutely had to read it.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #1): I hadn't heard about this book until a couple of months ago, when suddenly everybody was talking about it. And the premise isn't something I think I'd usually go for, but I don't think I've seen anyone give this book less than a perfectly glowing review. So I definitely need to see what the fuss was all about. I have high hopes!

Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler: I've had my eye on this book for a while, but I decided to save it for now because I wanted to make it have perfect timing. This book is about the end of high school, and I'm going to be finishing high school about a month from now. (Finally.) And that's why I will probably be feeling LOTS of things when I read this.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles): I cannot believe that the Lunar Chronicles is pretty much over. There's going to be a couple of graphic novels (and I think a coloring book?), but for the most part, this is it. This is the end. And I'm not ready. This series is one of the first popular YA series I started reading, and I'm going to miss it.

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl: I fell in love with Nathan Edmonson's run of Black Widow comics a couple of weeks ago, and I was sad that I couldn't find the next volumes at the library. But hopefully this will satisfy some of my Black Widow craving!

What have you picked up from the library recently? Which one of these should I read after the readathon is over? Tell me in the comments!