Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Wrap-Up

June was quite an eventful month for me! And most of that centered on one thing - I finished high school! Graduation was in the middle of the month, and organization and rehearsals took a surprisingly long time. I still managed to get a lot of reading in, although I didn't do as much on the blog. In fact, I was supposed to be writing a post that was an update to my May blogging goals, but then I looked back at them and figured out that I'd accomplished exactly one of those. So I'm going to keep those goals and write an update post later.

Speaking of my goals, however...I have a bookstagram! I'm @lostinmylibrary, and I've been having a lot of fun so far!


Thud! by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #34): The Watch subseries of Discworld is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and this book was no exception. It was so wonderfully crafted, with all of the little sub-plots coming together. That's kind of what I've come to expect from Watch books, but it's always fun to see how it ends up.

Problèmes au Paradis by Carol Gaab: I was required to read this book for French class, and as with pretty much all required foreign language books, it was pretty awful. It managed to fit clueless characters, a love triangle, and instalove into fewer than 80 pages. I learned a lot of vocabulary, but I'm pretty sure that I could have learned it a lot more quickly and pleasantly without the book.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle #1): This book took me over two weeks to finish. I just couldn't bring myself to care about what was happening. It didn't help that I didn't care about Eragon at all. He was so stupid sometimes! And the writing had this weird combination of being formal and sometimes disjointed. The best parts of this were Saphira and Solembum.

The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters: This was one of my most anticipated 2016 releases, and it didn't disappoint. Definitely my favorite Cat Winters book so far! I loved the nods to Hamlet, but the story definitely stood on its own. See my full review here.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles): This was not the greatest part of the Lunar Chronicles, but it was still pretty great. All of the stories were good, but I especially liked The Princess and the Guard, The Little Android, and Something Old, Something New.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #1): This was so fun! I heard a lot of amazing things about this book, and everyone was right - I could barely put it down! I was on the edge of my seat, holding my breath because I NEEDED to know what happened next. And it was funny in all the right places, too!

Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler: I was very underwhelmed by this. I was prepared to be emotional - reading a book about going through high school towards graduation the week before my graduation - but I just didn't care very much about the characters or what was going on.

Where's My Cow? by Terry Pratchett (Discworld): A nice little extra for the Discworld series, and it will probably only make sense if you've read Thud! (and possibly a few other Discworld books).

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl (Black Widow #1): I love Black Widow, but this book just didn't do anything for me. I think I'll stick to the comics. ½

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis #1): A short, powerful look at a part of history that I didn't know much about before reading this. I now definitely understand why this book gets so much praise - it's so beautifully put together, and it has that perfect balance of educational and personal.

The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer: I have very mixed feelings about this one. There were certain things I loved, but also certain things that really got on my nerves. ½

Front Lines by Michael Grant (Soldier Girl #1): This book definitely wasn't what I thought it would be. Some parts were better, and some parts I didn't like as much. My favorite of the three narrators, Rainy, didn't get very many chapters at all, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where all three of the girls go in the rest of the series! ½

Star Wars: Chewbacca by Gerry Duggan: I never seem to like mini-series in comics, and yet I keep reading them and hoping that I'll love them. This was another one of those. It was a nice enough way to spend half an hour or so, but nothing special at all.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson: So this was my favorite book of the month, no contest. And one of my favorite books of the year. And one of my favorite contemporaries of all time. If you're looking for a summer contemporary, READ THIS ONE. It has friends and family and a great love interest and dogs and it's just so wonderful.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Graceling Realm #1): Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner has been trying to get me to read this one for AGES, and I finally did. I don't know why I put it off for so long! It was AMAZING. It had a bit of a slow start, but pretty soon, I couldn't get enough of it.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson: This book started out pretty slowly, but it got better as it went along. There were a few things that bothered me, but it was a nice, fairly quick read, and I'm glad I picked it up.

Shouldn't You Be In School? by Lemony Snicket (All the Wrong Questions #3): I think this is my favorite book in the All the Wrong Questions series. I wasn't always entirely sure what was going on, but that was okay, because neither did anybody. I loved all the plotting and trying to put things together, and I loved how almost everything resolved.

Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? by Lemony Snicket (All the Wrong Questions #4): I did like this, but it felt like such a shift from the rest of the series that it didn't really seem to fit. And I understand why it ended the way it did, more or less, but it still felt very unsatisfying. All the Wrong Questions became All the Unanswered Questions.

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan: This was "required" reading for my AP Econ class last semester. We were all supposed to have finished it by the end of April. I don't think that happened for anyone, but I was interested enough (and far enough in already) to finish it. It took me until now, but I did it! This is a very good introduction to basic economics, and it makes things relevant, but it's definitely not unbiased. Read with that in mind.

Making Money by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #36): Another book in my (very long) quest to read ALL the Discworld books! This is another one about Moist Von Lipwig, and while I didn't like it quite as much as Going Postal, it was very fun to read after having taken an economics class. Because Moist is taking over the Royal Bank, a job that makes lots of money. Literally. I did a chunk of this with the audiobook while coloring, which was a very fun way to spend time.

Reread this month:
  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #35): I knew it had been a long time since I'd last read this, but it turned out that I remembered almost none of the details. It was really fun to go back to! Still not my favorite Tiffany Aching book, but pretty great. And even better now that I understand the references to other Discworld books! Previous rating: ; new rating:
  • Total books: 20 new, 1 reread
  • Longest book: Front Lines, 576 pages
  • Shortest book: Where's My Cow?, 32 pages
  • Favorite book: The Unexpected Everything
  • Least favorite book: Problèmes au Paradis
  • Diverse reads: 9 (The Steep & Thorny Way, Stars Above, Rebel of the Sands, Infinite in Between, Persepolis, The Land of 10,000 Madonnas, Front Lines, Star Wars: Chewbacca, The Art of Being Normal)
  • Nonfiction: 2 (Persepolis, Naked Economics)
  • Comics/Graphic Novels/Picture Books: 3 (Where's My Cow?, Persepolis, Star Wars: Chewbacca)
How was your month? Did we read any of the same books? Do you have a bookstagram? Tell me in the comments! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Bookshelf Tour Tag

About a month ago, the lovely Liz @ Out of Coffee, Out of Mind created a new tag, and she tagged me to do it! This tag is all about the physical books you have on your bookshelf. I think that's a really fun idea! I get so many books from the library that a huge chunk of the books I talk about aren't books that I actually own.

A short but powerful book - Night by Elie Wiesel

This is one of the shortest books that I own, and also definitely one of the most powerful. I get that the subject matter of concentration camps during the Holocaust makes a lot of books powerful in and of itself, but this book is just put together so well and faces the facts so bluntly that it's even more powerful.

A good, long book - Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

I chose this book because it's a long book that feels long. It's a tall hardcover that's over 600 pages long, so it'll probably take you a while to get through. But it's so worth it. It's so beautifully written, and the length just means that all the different POVs get their chance to shine.

Favorite classic (on your shelf) - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I've had some complicated feelings about Pride and Prejudice lately, which started when I was required to read it for school - you can read my post about that here. But as difficult as it was for me to get through that reread, I adore this book. It's so witty and fun, and it's so easy to get lost in. (Side note: I wish I had an edition as pretty as the one I'm showing here. Mine's really rather plain.)

A relatively obscure book - The Unknowns by Benedict Carey

I think I got this book when I was in elementary school. This will show you how much of a nerd I was (and probably still am): it's a book about solving a disappearing-people case using math. The first clue involves using the Pythagorean Theorem to figure out a location. I'm not even kidding. I thoroughly enjoyed this book when I first read it, but I haven't found anyone else who's even heard of this book, and it has just over 200 Goodreads ratings.

An underrated book - A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

I read this last October, pretty quickly after it came out. I knew that I'd enjoy it - it's dark historical fiction set in an insane asylum with no main romantic plot. But I didn't know how much I'd love it. I haven't been able to stop thinking about this book and I've been aggressively recommending it to a lot of people. It has fewer than 3,000 Goodreads ratings, and the average is only 3.77 stars! I think it deserves a lot more love.

An overrated book - A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

This book took me years to read. I loved the first three books in this series, really liked the fourth one, and then this one was just...not as good. At all. The first 500 pages were really repetitive and boring (hence the spending literal years reading it), the next 300 or so were pretty good, and then the last 400-ish were just weird. I get that this series is popular, so I'm not surprised that this book has over 360,000 Goodreads ratings, but an average rating of 4.29? Really?

Most reread book - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

I've actually read all of the Harry Potter books three times each, but I'm picking Prisoner of Azkaban as my most reread because I reread parts of it a lot. It's my favorite Harry Potter book, and I think I'm going to have to do another complete reread soon.

Of all the books you own, how many have you not read?

Somewhere around 80. But most of those are nonfiction or classics, which I don't read nearly as quickly. I don't feel any pressure to get those off of my TBR any time soon. 

A book you haven't read - The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan

I read the first two books in the Kane Chronicles as they came out, but more than 5 years later, I still haven't read book 3. I can barely believe it myself. But I'm going to read it this summer, I promise!

A short story collection - A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood

I think this is the only short story collection I own, other than some of the Sherlock Holmes books. I liked this overall, but my favorites were Pearls, Bonnie and Clyde, and El Destinos.

A nonfiction book - Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

Here's another book that I'm going to get to this summer! This is part two of a giant three-volume Theodore Roosevelt biography, and I'm hoping to marathon all three this summer.

A book (physical copy, not the story itself) that has an interesting story behind it - A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

I LOVE this question, but I'm not sure I can do it justice. I don't really have any interesting stories behind the books I have, so I just picked this one because the circumstances were unusual. When I was 8, my grandpa had a stroke. The plan was that my dad was the only one going across the country to check on him, but then when I got out of school that day, we were all going. I only had time to pack clothes, and I didn't get to bring any books with me. So as soon as we established that my grandpa was in a stable condition, my mom took me to the bookstore and let me pick out a few books. This is one of the ones I chose - I didn't figure out that it was the second book in the Tiffany Aching series until I tried to read it, and I didn't know about the whole Discworld series until years later!

I'm going to tag... Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner, Avery @ The Pages are Bookining, and you! If you want to. Tell us about your bookshelves!

What are the most interesting books on your bookshelf? Which books do you think are the most overrated/underrated? Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MASSIVE Start-of-Summer Book Haul!

I always end up buying a bunch of books at the beginning of summer. It doesn't matter that my preexisting TBR was over 20 books, which, when combined with going to the library far too often, is more than enough to keep me busy. It's a leftover habit from when I was a small child, and *gasp* didn't have a TBR at all times. I needed to have new books because I'd suddenly have lots more time and not enough to read.

This book-buying spree was a bit bigger than normal, because I went to Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, AND a used bookstore, so in total, I got 26 books in the span of of about 4 days. I think that's a new record.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson: I literally just finished this book, and it's a new favorite, so of course I can't write anything coherent about it except that I LOVED it! I also have to say that I owe this to Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner because I was being indecisive about which book to get and she told me to get this one. THANK YOU!

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: I think I first heard about this book when Cait @ Paper Fury posted a review a few months ago, and I knew that I had to read it! Time travel, pirates (I think), and adventure - definitely need to get to this one soon!

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett: Another book that I've already read. I don't know what happened to my copy of this, but I found a like-new copy for only a few dollars and I got it. Because it's great. There's sass and a talking cat and stories within stories. If you haven't read Terry Pratchett, I think this is a pretty good place to start.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (#2-3, #5-13) by Lemony Snicket: I completely lucked out here. I love this series, but I didn't own it, so I got the first book a few months ago at a used bookstore and just resigned myself to slowly accumulating them, one by one. But then I went back to the bookstore and eleven of them were there! In hardcover! In great condition! As soon as I get book 4, I'm going to do a series reread.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: I'm THRILLED that I found a copy of this, because it's one of my favorite contemporaries ever and it was on my Standalones I Need to Reread post a while back. Now I don't need to wait to get it from the library again! I'm definitely rereading this one this summer.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare: Another series that I've already read and am just getting around to owning. I now have half the series! This one wasn't my favorite, but I liked it, and I'm one step closer to having the full set. And yes, I got the old cover, because I have the first two books with that cover and I want them to match.

Fire by Kristin Cashore: I have to give another shoutout to Sky @ Sky's Reading Corner because she's been telling me to read Graceling forever, and then she got it for me for my birthday. I saw this at the bookstore, and I figured, why not just binge-read the series? So now I just need to find Bitterblue somewhere.

That Summer, Someone Like You, The Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen: I've already read The Truth About Forever and This Lullaby, but I never got around to That Summer or Someone Like You. And it's great that I have them all, because it's not really summer until I read at least one Sarah Dessen book. Now the only question is which one!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: I've actually had an e-book copy of this for a while, so I don't know why I haven't read it yet. I have a habit of getting an e-book and then either reading it right away or not reading it for 2.7 years. Maybe having a physical copy will motivate me to pick it up?

Cress by Marissa Meyer: I found this beauty in hardcover in near-perfect condition for only $7. It looks so pretty on my shelf next to Winter! This wasn't my favorite book in the Lunar Chronicles (that honor goes to Scarlet), but I did LOVE it and I really want to reread the series now. (If you couldn't tell, I want to reread ALL the things this summer for some reason. And also read all the things. Which may present a problem.)

When We Collided by Emery Lord: I really liked Emery Lord's first two books, so I'm SUPER excited for this (even though I've heard some mixed things). It's another one that I'm just going to have to read this summer.

The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan: I already owned a copy of this. And I got another, because my old copy was a paperback and I finally caved in to the desire to have the whole series be matching hardcover. And maybe, just maybe, I'll FINALLY read this book this summer. I don't know what's taken me so long! At this point, I might have to reread the entire series to refresh my memory. And so the TBR grows...

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: This was my favorite book of last year, so I had to get a physical copy. And probably reread this one, too, because a) it just makes me so happy and b) I didn't get a chance to read this while eating Oreos, which is practically required. I got the paperback, so it has two chapters of Becky Albertalli's next book in the back! I haven't decided whether I'm going to read those yet, though, because it might just make the wait seem that much longer.

What books have you gotten recently? Is there a time of year when you always buy new books? Tell me in the comments!