Tagged: series

It’s Monday and I actually had a relaxing weekend.

“I was a professional amateur DJ.”

I’m supposed to be writing up my yearly self-evaluation, so now seems as good time as any to write a blog post.

 

So dumb. So cute. (via)

So dumb. So cute. (via)

 

1. I continue to be in love with The Good Place. Jason Mendoza is the dumbest person alive (well, dead), and I may love him for it. Also, he died in the most Florida Man way possible. I mean, seriously. I can see the headline (highlight to read because spoilers): Florida Man Suffocates to Death in Failed Robbery Attempt. I laughed, but also: Jason. Seriously.

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Book Tour Review: Stepping to a New Day

Like most boys, he’d grown up believing girls were emotional and fragile little things. Since moving to Kansas it was obvious the women he’d interacted with didn’t know that.

Stepping to a New Day by Beverly JenkinsStepping to a New Day is the seventh book in Beverly Jenkins’s Blessings series, set in the fictional (and delightful) Henry Adams, Kansas.

I have to confess that I haven’t read the other books in the series, which meant it took me a little while to get into the rhythm of the story and the rules. However, once I figured out that it’s basically a soap opera with rotating frontburner and backburner characters, I was ALL IN.

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It’s Monday & I’m smashing my stack while listening to Lin-Manuel Miranda

This past week, I read:

Ender's Shadow (Shadow, #1)Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was fine, but a little dry mostly because it’s very interior and about a kid who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else thinking about how much smarter he is than everyone else. The only problem is that set up leaves little room for interaction with other characters and is, you know, kind of boring. But it was interesting enough for me to finish, so.

Sister Carlotta’s sections were pretty great, though. And I wasn’t that fond of the chapter beginnings. They were unnecessarily vague in places and would have worked better as actual scenes.

 

Royal Wedding Disaster (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, #2)Royal Wedding Disaster by Meg Cabot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Suuuuuuper cute with lots of laugh out loud moments. I am extremely tickled that Olivia finds Grandmère to be a comforting presence, but that’s the benefit of a different POV.

These books are just similar to and different from the original Princess Diaries series to delight old fans like me. Although, I do wish Olivia’s nemesis wasn’t basically a mini-Lana.

View all my reviews

 

Last week, I posted:

[wrap-up-posts week=”20″ year=”2016″ listtype=”ul”]

I’m already smashing my stack because I totally pulled Ender’s Shadow right off my shelf. (It was gifted to me several years ago–so long ago that I actually can’t remember when. And, yes, I just got around to reading it. That’s just how I roll.)

 

As of today, I’m reading:

A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich by Alice Childress

In more #SmashYourStack news, I have decided to tackle A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich by Alice Childress (which I just found out was made into a movie starring Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield! So there’s that).

My daughter is so confused by my reading choices right now. Most of the books I’ll be reading from my own shelves are from the ’80s, and I had a small pile of them on my bed.

Her: “Why are you reading all of these old books?”
Me: “Because we’re moving, and I want to read them so I don’t have to pack them.”
Her: *makes a face*

Linda Cooney is up next, basically. Ah, nostalgia. (I bought almost all of these books from the Friends of the Library book sale so will re-donate them to be re-sold to raise even more money for the library.)

 

Aristotle & Dante

 

Call it the Hamilton effect, but I totally just started listening to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz because Lin-Manuel Miranda mentioned on Twitter that he narrated it. I can’t find the Tweet, so here is the FB post:

 

I had started this book a couple of years ago but didn’t finish because I had hit my no assigned reading during the summer wall (my book club selected it). However, I always planned to get back to it. Turns out LMM was just the boost I needed. And now I get to take him on my morning walks with me.

(And I just found out LMM narrates The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which I finished earlier this year. I totally would have listened to that one, too!)

Anyway, I’m enjoying it so far, so that’s nice.

 

Happy reading, everyone!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (5/16/16)

This past week, I finished:

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was super fun. Apollo is a great narrator because his arrogance is beyond belief, yet he’s also kind of likable because he is hilarious. To wit, this is a thing he actually thinks: “If she could do it, then so could the brilliant, fabulous Apollo.” And that’s AFTER his character has exhibited some growth. So.

Lots of laugh out loud moments and two of my favorite characters in the whole series showed up (as well as Percy Jackson, naturally).

View all my reviews

Last week, I posted:

[wrap-up-posts week=”19″ year=”2016″ listtype=”ul”]

 

As of today, I’m reading:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson are both selections for my summer book club. I told myself I would give any of the book club choices 50 pages to grab me before moving on. I just started both today so have no real opinions on either yet. But I have heard good things about both of them, so I’m hoping I enjoy them.

So far Brown Girl Dreaming reminds me of Woodson’s picture book Show Way, which is amazing if you haven’t read it.

Happy reading, everyone!

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (5/9/16)

This past week, I read:

Alex + Ada, Vol. 2Alex + Ada, Vol. 2 by Jonathan Luna
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alex’s grandmother proves, once again, why grandmothers are better than almost everyone else.

Lots of good forward motion here with the plot. I’m interested to see how it all turns out.

View all my reviews

 

Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 1: Captain Raven and the All-Girl Pirate CrewPrinceless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 1: Captain Raven and the All-Girl Pirate Crew by Jeremy Whitley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, yes, this was much much better than Raven’s introduction in Princeless, Vol. 3: The Pirate Princess since Raven kind of didn’t fit the tone there.

This book/series is definitely YA whereas Princeless could be classified as children’s, middle grade, or lower YA.

Anyway, I am a fan of groups of ladies being generally badass and am an ultrafan of POC women doing the same. Lots of good jokes in here (“not all men” and men’s rights makes an appearance) and a lot of fun. Also violence. And queer girls/women. And girls/women having varied interests (chemistry! cartography! dance! RPG! beating people up!).

Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.

View all my reviews

 

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the TimeScrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this on the recommendation of a friend who said it transformed the way she thinks about running training. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I would use it in my classes. Lots to think about here but really good stuff about the ownership of learning.

View all my reviews

 

As of today, I’m reading:

I don’t know what I’m reading. Wait, that’s a lie.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

I’m still making my way through Furiously Happy–very slowly. Lawson’s writing style is a bit, shall I say, relentless. So I’m finding it difficult to sit down and read large chunks at a time. However, if it were a blog I could drop in on from time to time…well. You see where I’m going with this, right? Anyway, I told my daughter I would finish it, so I shall. It may take me until the end of summer, but I’ll do it. That’s just how much I love her.

 

The Hidden Oracle by Rick RIordan

Also, I just this minute decided to start reading The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan even though I have a ton of other books in my stack ahead of it because I know it’ll make me happy. So, that’s I am: eschewing all of the should-reads and going with my want to read. Just the way the book and summer gods intended.

 

Happy reading, everyone!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (4/18/16)

This past week, I finished:

Princeless, Vol. 3: The Pirate PrincessPrinceless, Vol. 3: The Pirate Princess by Jeremy Whitley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars, rounding down

This was fine but VERY backdoor pilot. The whole purpose was to introduce Raven who has her own series, Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 1: Captain Raven and the All-Girl Pirate Crew. So there’s that.

Hot tip: This book is super gay, which I’m sure the shippers will love, especially because the subtext is actually addressed at the end of the book.

As always, the artwork is great, and Adrienne and Bedelia are A+–when we actually get to see them together.

View all my reviews

 

Princeless, Vol. 4: Be YourselfPrinceless, Vol. 4: Be Yourself by Jeremy Whitley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, yes, back to the things I love in this series. Also: Devin! I love him. Good stuff with the sisters here and a fun side adventure with Sparky showing just how badass she can be. Yay Sparky!

View all my reviews

 

 

Last week, I posted:

Still going with the A to Z challenge!

[wrap-up-posts week=”15″ year=”2016″ category=”Blogging A to Z” listtype=”ul”]

 

As of today, I’m reading:

True story: I was all set to finish up Necessary Endings, but then I lost it. In my house. Turns out that it fell behind my bed–on the side I didn’t check. I only found it because I changed my sheets this weekend. Amazing. So! This week! I vow to finish!

My daughter read and loved Furiously Happy, so I promised her I would read it after she finished it. She finished and immediately told me to get started, so that’s happening this week. I’m on the first story of Demigods & Magicians and enjoying it so far.

Oh, and of course the Hamiltome, Hamilton: The Revolution. Was there any doubt?

Happy reading, everyone!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (4/4/16)

This past week, I finished:

Silver SparrowSilver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book. Well-drawn and sympathetic characters…even when I didn’t want them to be.

3/31/16: I got to pick for book club (finally!) and picked this one. I feel the exact same way about the book that I did the first time, so yay for that. These characters break my heart.
View all my reviews

 

A Tangle of Gold (The Colours of Madeleine, #3)A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is really, really, REALLY hard for books or movies or TV shows to surprise me, and this book did. Also, Princess Ko is the absolute best. I 100% love her, and she has entered the pantheon of my favorite female characters, the likes of which include Ella from Ella Enchanted.

Overall, I give the entire series five stars, and The Cracks in the Kingdom is my favorite in the trilogy.

View all my reviews

 

Last month, I read:

This past month I finished seven books, two of which were rereads and two that fulfilled categories in the Read Harder challenge (book about religion, historical fiction). I’m at 12 books out of 31 for Diversity on the Shelf, which means I still haven’t achieved 50% of the books I’ve read being by or about people of color. I definitely need to do better there. Oh, and Goodreads tells me I am three books ahead of schedule for their reading challenge.

 

Last week, I posted:

I signed up for the A to Z reading challenge, which means there’s quite a bit of activity here for the next month. Here are the posts I’ve made for the challenge so far:

[wrap-up-posts week=”13″ year=”2016″ category=”Blogging A to Z” listtype=”ul”]

 

As of today, I’m reading:

Yep, I’m still making my way through Necessary Endings. I started The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks (it started as a webcomic) on the suggestion of a coworker. We were having a prof dev session on building a web presence, and I showed him this blog. Apparently, we read a lot of the same things, so he thought I might like ASG. It’s pretty cute so far, so he wasn’t wrong.

I was traveling this weekend and checked out The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin for my Kindle. I’m only about five or so pages in, so I have no idea how I feel about it quite yet. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the week.

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children's lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children’s lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

Happy reading, everyone!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (3/28/16)

This past week, I finished:

The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colours of Madeleine, #2)The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jaclyn Moriarty is a genius. This book. THIS BOOK. Love. Love, love, love.

Also, I have a deeper appreciation for the first book, which I obviously need to reread now.

3/27/16: Okay, I love this book EVEN MORE now than the first time. Of course because I picked up things I didn’t pick up on the first time but also because I fell super in love with the characters in a way I didn’t the first go around. I knew Princess Ko was pretty amazing, yes. And, oh, my heart aches for Jupiter so much (SO MUCH). But also Samuel is pretty great and Keira, too. Plus everything with Belle.

So, basically, this book is pretty great, and I still 100% recommend it and the first one in the series. I am suuuuuuper excited for the final book in the trilogy.

View all my reviews

 

I also decided to sign up for:

A to Z 2016

I’ll be blogging about fannish pursuits (aka things I’m a fan of or have strong feelings about). You can read my sign up post here.

 

As of today, I’m reading:

I’m still plugging away at Silver Sparrow and Necessary Endings. I’m actually almost done with the former. We’ll see how long it takes me to get through the latter. I hope to be finished this week, though.

My hold for The Magicians by Lev Grossman finally came in, which is terrible timing because (a) it’s an e-book, which means that I only have 21 days to read it, and (b) my copy of Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty (the final book in The Colors of Madeleine trilogy) should be here tomorrow (!!!). Obviously, after the above review, you can see which book will take precedence. Also, The Magicians hasn’t really grabbed me yet and it’s kind of bleak so far, which may not be what I’m in the mood for. So, we shall see how it goes for that one.

 

In other book news:

Our department sent out the call for our fall textbook orders today, and I went into a bit of a panic because I still haven’t decided which novels I want to use for my ENC 1102 (research writing) class. The deadline is April 7. And it’s a hard deadline, too. So I kind of had a mini-freakout, basically.

Right now I’m thinking Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Gareth Hind’s Romeo & Juliet, and possibly Cinder or The Hunger Games. It’s those two possibles that have me on edge. WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE? WHAT IF I THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE BETTER? Etc.

For my creative writing class, I’m 99.9% sure I’m going to use Stephen King’s On Writing. Oh, and I need to pick a textbook for my LIT 1000 (Lit Appreciation) class.

So I’m not at all prepared for that very, very close deadline is what I’m saying. And I am also open to suggestions. The general theme I’m working with for the research class is protest art or art activism. Or at least that’s what I want the last paper to be about. Which means I am also considering something like Fahrenheit 451 or 1984. Catch-22 might also be good. You can see how those last two novels become ever more important then and why it’s also so hard for me to choose, right? Right.

Happy reading, everyone!

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children's lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts &  Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children’s lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? (2/15/16)

This past week, I finished:

Castle in the Air (Howl's Moving Castle, #2)Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was cute. Now I want to read the actual story of Aladdin so I can compare this to that and then compare both to Aladdin (the movie).

Also, that cover is CREEPY. Man.

View all my reviews

 

Proposal (The Mediator, #6.5)Proposal by Meg Cabot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s Meg Cabot, so.

View all my reviews

 

 

I also wound up DNF-ing Re Jane. Normally, I don’t talk about the books I didn’t finish here, but I felt compelled to write a bit about why I couldn’t get with this one, so:

 
Re JaneRe Jane by Patricia Park
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Jane would never ever ever EVER EVER (view spoiler) NEVER EVER. That is fundamentally the core of the book and her character and having her do that means the author DOESN’T GET THE ORIGINAL since that is the WHOLE POINT OF THE STORY.

If this weren’t on my Kindle, I would’ve thrown the book across the room, I swear. Just…no. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

That would be like a Pride & Prejudice retelling where Darcy and Lizzie instantly hit it off and started dating. Or if Romeo & Juliet’s families didn’t hate each other. Or if Hamlet was just super happy about his uncle marrying his mom after his dad died and his dad’s ghost visited him saying that he had been murdered. Would Hamlet be all, “Wow, that sucks, Dad, but Mom is super happy with Uncle Claudius now, and I’m just happy for her so probably you should go haunt somebody else”? I mean, that is how ridiculous the whole plot point in Re Jane is. If (view spoiler), you are no longer telling the story of Jane Eyre, but doing something else.

So basically I had to stop reading because of that. Who knew I was such a purist?

View all my reviews

 

As of today, I’m reading:

So I’m still making my way through The Light Between Oceans for book club. It is really slow, but it has finally started to pick up. Probably because I’m at the part where the baby finally shows up. (No spoilers–that’s the premise of the book.)

I’m not a super Mediator fan (Suze is fine, but not one of my favorite Cabot heroines), but I do enjoy a good Meg Cabot book, and I’m sorely in need of some fun reading, so I’m really looking forward to reading Remembrance this week.

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children's lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

Original now hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children’s lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

I hope everyone has a good reading week!