Friday, June 30, 2017

June Wrap-Up

Honestly, this is a little embarrassing.

In case you missed my last post, I'm in the middle (or hopefully near the end) of a pretty big reading slump. Which means that this wrap-up, which was supposed to be the first of three GIANT summer wrap-ups where I'd cram as much reading in as I could before school, is pretty sad-looking. I read 4 books. One of them was a comic. The last time I read only 4 books was in my first month of college, and that was a significantly better excuse.

Oh, well. At least I read some things! And I'm going to get back on track! I promise.

THE BOOKS

GEORGE by Alex Gino: This was so cute! I've been meaning to pick it up for ages - I think I'm basically the last person to - and I'm so glad I did. I'm really happy that there are kids growing up with books like this.

GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Jaye Robin Brown: Another one that I've wanted to read for a while! I had a couple of problems with this one, but overall, it was a pretty great read. I loved the characters, and it was such a great story.

STAR WARS: HAN SOLO by Marjorie M. Liu: This was so much better than I thought it was going to be! I've started keeping my expectations low for all of the mini series, but this one was action-packed and managed to fit a whole plot that still made sense into five issues.

NORTH OF HAPPY by Adi Alsaid: I've been meaning to read an Adi Alsaid book for a while now, and I finally did! I knew I was going to love this by the time I was only a few chapters in. I was sucked right in, and honestly, how great it was probably contributed to me not wanting to read anything else for a while.

READING STATS
  • Total books: 4
  • Longest book: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, 432 pages
  • Shortest book: Star Wars: Han Solo, 112 pages
  • Favorite book: North of Happy
  • Least favorite book: Star Wars: Han Solo
CHALLENGE PROGRESS

Backlist Reader Challenge: 1 this month, overall 17/60 (George)

Read it Again, Sam Challenge: 0 this month, overall 17/16+

2017 Debut Author Challenge: 0 this month, overall 7/12

2017 Series Ender Challenge: 0 this month, overall 3/5-10

BLOG POSTS
BLOGGING CHALLENGE PROGRESS

2017 Discussion Challenge: 1 this month, overall 4/11-20 (Are Reading Slumps Good?)

How have your lives been? When was your last reading slump? How many books did you read this month? Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Are Reading Slumps Good?

I've been pretty absent from my blog this month, and I don't really have much of an excuse. I've had summer vacation! I should have all the time in the world! And yet my reading and blogging has been about as inconsistent as during the school year. Why? The dreaded reading slump, and the inevitable (for me, at least) subsequent blogging slump.

I haven't finished a book since the first few days of this month. I've tried to pick up a few others, but I just can't get into them. And I kind of miss reading, but I also kind of don't. It's one of those reading slumps - when everything else you do kind of fills in your life so there's not exactly a hole in your life where reading used to be.

But this reading slump really hasn't been a bad thing! I've relaxed in other ways. I've watched a ton of Netflix. I've done a lot of organizing. I've spent time with friends. I've read so many things online that aren't books - I feel like trying to keep up with the news should count towards my Goodreads challenge.

I also feel like when I do start reading again, I'll look at the books I read with a somewhat fresher mind. I love just going from one book to the next, but after a while, it can get tiring. And I don't think it's fair on books that I might love to read them when I'm just tired of reading in general. If I can wait a week and love it again, I'm going to do that.

I used to hate reading slumps. I still don't like that I feel like I'm getting behind on my reading, but I'm starting to accept that reading slumps are sometimes good for me. It's a kind of balance that I'm not so good at consciously doing, so I guess this is my subconscious checking in on me. I definitely don't like the blogging slumps, though - a big part of that problem is that I'm still really bad at planning my posts in advance, which is something I can definitely work on.

Personally, my reading slump looks like it's coming to an end. A couple of my library holds came in, and I'm actually really excited about getting to them, so I think I'll try to start them in the next few days. But if I don't feel like going past the first few chapters, I won't push it. I know I'll always come back to reading eventually.

Do you ever like your reading slumps? How long did your last one take to get over? Do your reading slumps affect your blogging? Let's discuss in the comments!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme: Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start But Haven't.

Well, that was a totally accidental two-week blog hiatus. Whoops! But I'm back! Hopefully more regularly...again.

Anyway, this week's theme was really fun! I think we all have those series that have been sitting on our lists for far too long. Because starting a series is a commitment! If you like it, you're in for the long haul! And then that's essentially more books on your TBR, so basically you read a book and the result is you add more books to your TBR and that's not productive at all so why bother? But they're worth it in the end. Here are ten series I should really start sometime soon.

 
MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin: I think I'm the last person to read this series. I've heard kind of mixed things about the ending, so I've adjusted my expectations appropriately, but I still really want to read it.

LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien: So technically, I've started this series, but considering I've never finished the first book, I think it still counts. I've tried so many times! But I always get distracted a couple hundred pages in. I'll do it eventually.

FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes: I've heard so many good things about this series! I really want to catch up before the last book is released, and I have a lot to get through, so I need to start soon. I've been telling myself that for a few months, though, and I still haven't!

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams: This is totally different from what I normally read, but it's a classic, and I've had a bunch of people recommend it to me, so I really want to give it a try! But again, I haven't.

MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD by Rick Riordan: I kind of have a reason for this one! I hadn't actually finished the Heroes of Olympus series until earlier this year, and I want to read all of Rick Riordan's books in order. But now I have no excuse, so I have to get on this.

THE LYNBURN LEGACY by Sarah Rees Brennan: I haven't heard anything about this series in ages - probably because the first book was published five years ago - but it's been sitting on my list for so long and it looks so interesting and I don't know why I haven't read it yet.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT by Edmund Morris: This one is actually nonfiction - a three-part biography of Theodore Roosevelt. I already have the first two parts, and I've wanted to read them, but they're just so huge!

SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch: I bought a Kindle copy of the first book about six months ago with the thought "I'll definitely start this series now." Nope! Still haven't. I'm kind of glad I waited, because I think I'll want to read the whole series at once, but waiting this long? I'm a little ashamed.

SHADES OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab: Anything else I've said about feeling ashamed in this post pales in comparison to my shame at not having read this yet. It's literally been on my monthly TBR every month since last September! And I still haven't read it. I need to get on this.

THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen: I was supposed to read this last year, but I never got around to it, and it's kind of slipped to the back of my list. I don't want to forget about it, though!

What are some series you haven't gotten around to yet? Do we have any in common? Are there any of these that you can't believe I haven't read yet? Tell me in the comments!

Friday, June 2, 2017

My Favorite #OwnVoices Queer Books

Happy Pride Month! I know a lot of people are making plans to read more LGBT+ books this month, and while that's great, we also need to make sure we're supporting #ownvoices books instead of just books about queer characters written by allocishet authors. Ava @ Bookishness and Tea wrote a really great Twitter thread about this a few days ago, and it inspired me to make this post of my favorite #ownvoices queer books.

What is #ownvoices? #ownvoices is a hashtag created by author Corinne Duyvis, and it applies to books where the protagonist and the author share a marginalized identity.


IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo: This book was so good that I read it in one sitting! Amanda is such a great main character, and I also really liked that she's out at the beginning of the book - I'm pretty sure that all of the other books with trans main characters I've read so far are about coming out.

AS I DESCENDED by Robin Talley: This book was exceptionally creepy. I'm actually a little too scared of it to really commit to rereading it. I was sold from when I first saw the premise: Macbeth, but queer girls in a modern-day boarding school. Nail-biting-ly suspenseful.

ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Okay, so you've probably seen this book everywhere, but it's still worth mentioning! The writing is incredible, the plot is good, and it's a book that I think will appeal to pretty much any YA reader.

EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour: This is such a cute book! It's light and mostly fluffy in a way that queer books don't usually get to be. I talk about how I want more happy queer books literally all the time, and this is one of the ones I pull out as an already-published example. I really need to reread this one.

RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy: I just finished this a few week ago, and I'm so happy I read it in time to include it on this list! I know it got a lot of backlash when it was first announced by people worried it would be bad representation, but trust me: it's great. It explores how sexuality can be fluid for some people, and some people start out identifying one way and end up with something different.

WILLFUL MACHINES by Tim Floreen: This is a really good book that I've hardly seen any hype about! It's sci-fi, which I don't read a ton of, but it was a really interesting look at the idea of artificial intelligence.

What are some of your favorite #ownvoices queer books? What are some books on your Pride Month TBRs? Tell me in the comments!