February BOTM

February was my second month doing Book of the Month Club and it was a kicker!

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I was a little concerned about the rest of my months when I had no real desire to read any of the January choices. I had picked something random that I thought I could easily pawn off on a friend if I never got around to reading it. Really exciting.. But then! I saw February’s choices. I did not have to do the extensive research I did the last month, but I did, because I was basically drawn to them all. So I needed the ratings and reviews in order to narrow my choice down. Quick reminder, BOTM has you pick one book from the chosen 5 but you can then add up to two more of your choice for $9.99 each if you can’t possibly choose just one. Guess who had three books in her box this month?? Me. My choice for the box ended up being Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (review later) and I added Behind Her Eyes and The Animators. I chose Pachinko because the guest judge on BOTM is Alexander Chee. He of the Queen of the Night phenomenon. Click that link btw, I adore the illustrated photo the New York Times had commissioned for the book review. I ordered a copy for my friend, a copy of the piece of art – not the book, that’s how much I love it. I digress, I chose Pachinko. I’m reading it now and it is great. Moving on. I also chose Behind Her Eyes because in an episode of the All the Books podcast Liberty Hardy, who reads for a living, said that even she had no idea where the ending was going. Are you kidding?? Sign me up! The Animators was also in that podcast episode but Rebecca Schinsky talked about it and I found it compelling. Not as much as the other two but enough to pay ten bucks. Sooo, long story short, stayed tuned for book reviews!

 

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January BOTM

January was my first Book of the Month experience. These were the 5 books I had to choose from.

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Now, I did a lot of research before I chose. First, I read the summaries. Then I made note of who the judge was just in case I had heard of them. I had not, nor had I heard of any of the authors. So then I went to Goodreads and Amazon and looked up their ratings. When it came down to it I didn’t really love any of them. Honestly, I should’ve skipped this month (which BOTM lets you do) but I was too excited to get my first box. I ended up choosing Girls in the Moon. I already had The Most Dangerous Place on Earth on my Kindle from Netgalley or else I would’ve chosen that one. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read it yet. I picked it because I knew there was someone I could give it to afterwards. That’s another perk to me, sharing the book love. Once I’m done with my reading choices I can’t wait to send #bookmail off to someone else to enjoy. Also, this box came with a freebie! Gillian Flynn’s short story Grownup was an added bonus to January’s box.

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Book of the Month

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I signed up for Book of the Month. As if I don’t have enough to read (rolls eyes). But I couldn’t help myself. There was a Groupon for three months at $19.99. That means I could get 3 brand new hardcover books for $6.66 a book! Are you kidding me?? How can a librarian book addict resist that? Spoiler alert : she can’t. If you haven’t heard of Book of the Month, this is how it works. Each month you pick one book from a group of 5 books. Those 5 books are chosen by guest judges who write a little blurb on why they chose it. If you just can’t decide on one, you can add two more to your box for $9.99 each. Which let’s face it, is still a super big deal on a brand new hardcover. Not even Amazon has new hardcovers for that cheap. So far I am having the best time because well.. #bookmail. But also, the books are amazing! I can’t wait to continue. And I have decided I will continue even after my Groupon has expired. Stay tuned for the books I’ve chosen in January & February so far.

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Bear and the Nightingale

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I read a book! I am such a slacker with my reading lately. Every time I log on to Goodreads it tells me I’m behind in my reading goal for the year. One month in and I’m already behind. HOW CAN THIS BE??! We’re being pelted with snow here so I’ve taken the day to tackle my TBR pile. And what do you know, I finished a book! The Bear and the Nightingale is a book I did not choose myself. An old co-worker suggested we read a book together, with another co-worker, and this is the book she chose. Set mostly in Russia during winter, it was great for a snowy day. I liked it at first but grew less fond of it the more mystical it became. My friend pointed out that I do like mystical things. Harry Potter anyone? As someone who enjoys Harry Potter and the Night Circus I can only say that this book is different because it mixed in evil and church. I like good and happy magic like tents of ice and chocolate frogs. This is not that. It is still enjoyable, just not my jam.

Now that I’ve looked it up on Goodreads I can see that there’s apparently a book two. Whaaat??

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit (I’ve always wanted to see those gorgeous palaces!)

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : A book involving a mythical creature

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : Read a book that is set more than 5,000 miles from your location (Russia is 5,253 miles, in case you were wondering)

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

How timely. While we’re in the throes of an immigration ban it’s interesting to read a book on just that. Two women who want to leave their country. And they have damn good reasons and should be allowed to leave their country. And that’s how I feel about that. But let’s talk about how I feel about the book.

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First, apologies to my bestie who loves this book. For years she’s been telling me how great it is and I kept saying, yeah yeah okay, and then never reading it. Mainly because I had heard about his other book, The Kite Runner, and had no desire to read that one either. So I projected that lack of enthusiasm onto this book. This is a book that I only feel good about reading because it helped me understand Afghanistan and it’s conflict. Did I like the characters? Of course. However, I hate, absolutely positively hate, when books have violent husbands and the women can do nothing. It makes me want to hurl the book across the room. I cringe even thinking about the things women who lived in this area and this time went through. And in that way, I’m glad I read it because my eyes have been opened more. But I can’t say I enjoyed the outcome. I did enjoy the way it was written and the two points of view. I always like that. But otherwise, God it was depressing.

Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : A book recommended by someone with great taste

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : A novel set during wartime

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : Read a book about war

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Traveling Book Club Nov-Dec

I went through my messages. These are the books I had in November and December. You can probably guess on whether or not I read them since I couldn’t remember what any of them were. I’m not a very good participant. Too many books, too little time! #librarianproblems

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Shrill by Lindy West. I had no idea who Lindy West was before I got this book but I do now. From her own website she is described as, “an American writer, feminist, fat acceptance movement activist, and film criticism editor.” She works at The Stranger with Dan Savage. It would seem that I’ve never written about my love for Mr. Savage on this blog but I do. I love him. So that made me interested. I read the chapter she wrote about him and some others but did not read the whole thing.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This book. I swear it haunts me. Annie Barrows writes the Ivy & Bean books. I love those books. They are adorable. But I don’t want an adorable adult novel. I can’t in good conscience read this book without cringing. Maybe someday someone will convince me. But it wasn’t this time.

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I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I started this and quit. I have no other excuse.

 

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Traveling Book Club Jan-Feb

I’m going to have to go back and look at what Nov-Dec was. Whoops. Let me tell you about the ones I currently have at my house before I forget them too. Specifics on the inner workings of the traveling book club are here.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. You may know him as the author of the Kite Runner, which became a movie. I have not read it or seen the movie. My best friend has been raving about this book for years. I never wanted to read it. It’s not my thing. But now that she’s part of the book club and this is the one she chose I felt obligated. I just finished and will review it soon. Spoiler: I will not be raving about it for years.

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Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Also a movie. Not only that, I feel like it might be the first real blockbuster that featured Jennifer Lawrence. This sounds like a True Grit kind of book and I can’t say whether or not I’ll pick it up. It did win the Audie Award in 2011 so I may try it on audiobook.

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Love Does by Bob Goff. A lot of the women in this group had already read this book. Apparently I missed the boat because I’d never heard of it. I think this will be a pick and choose chapters kind of book. But I will open it.

 

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