I’m not super “in” when it comes to graphic novels. I do try, but there’s so many that are 50 book series’ that I get bogged down and only like the ones that are standalone. I recently read the first Lumberjanes and it was hilarious. Not super surprising since the author also wrote Nimona and I liked that as well (although my review says otherwise..)
Anyway, Real Friends was quick and stands by itself. It’s a memoir of Shannon Hale’s experience in fourth and fifth grade and what it was like to try and make friends. Real friends. Not those catty girls who don’t really want to play with you but let you sit with them at lunch or are only nice to you because their mom is friends with your mom. I cringed reading some of the things that were said or done to poor Shannon but in hindsight those things were probably also done to me. Growing up is hard y’all.
I liked that at the end Shannon made a decision that a book that was trying to send a positive message might not have made. Shannon told a girl she couldn’t be in her group of friends because she was mean and made her feel bad about herself. In any other book Shannon would go home and have a heart to heart with her mom about how you have to be nice to everyone and she should let the mean girl in her group. But Shannon didn’t talk to her mom and she didn’t go back and change her mind. Everything was not fine with that girl and they did not become life long friends. And I liked that. Because not everyone will be your friend and you don’t have to be friends with everyone, especially if they’re mean to you. That is a positive message too.
Now that I said the thing I like I’m quick going to say the thing I didn’t like. Here it is. Shannon Hale throws Jesus in there at the WEIRDEST times. It makes no sense. Yes, she mentions going to church. But all of a sudden Jesus is sitting with her in a bush as her only friend. It was unnecessary and awkward.
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with pictures
I belong to this wonderful Facebook group called, The Book Club. It used to be called something else that I can’t even remember now because it wasn’t very catchy. It has been recently closed to new members so I won’t post the link but it’s a great group. I feel like we’re all very similar and could be friends in real life because inevitably books that they post about are either books I’m also reading, just heard about, or want to read. Since we talk about books almost exclusively, there’s often a repeated refrain. It goes like this, “Oh, I have that book. Never read it.” Many of us in that Facebook group have this problem. There’s a word for this. Tsundoku. No really. Read that article.
“The desire to buy more books than you can physically read in one human lifetime is actually so universal, there’s a specific word for it: tsundoku. Defined as the stockpiling of books that will never be consumed, the term is a Japanese portmanteau of sorts, combining the words “tsunde” (meaning “to stack things”), “oku” (meaning “to leave for a while”) and “doku” (meaning “to read”).”
I have so much tsundoku I don’t even know what to do with myself. Also, is it a verb? A noun? Anyway.. for the month of May people from this group are participating in Read Your Shelves to encourage us to all read books we already own that we ignore. So, for the month of May everyone stops buying books. Stops checking out library books. Only reads books on their shelves. Or at least to the extent that they can handle this directive. I returned all of my library books. Sort of. I still have a few. But I suspended all my holds. Except a few.. ok so I’m 3/4 of the way doing this. But I’m doing good! I’m reading so many things and although I have only finished one I wanted to share what I’m reading with you so I can continue in my excitement and soldier on with #RYSMay2017
Saints for All Ocassions by J. Courtney Sullivan is the one I just finished. It’s a Kindle book that I’ve had on there for a month or so and was only going to eventually read after months of hearing people tell me how good it was. I ask you, what is the point of getting early copies of books if I don’t read them before their release date?
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie. I have never read Rushdie. I think I secretly hate him because I read his ex-wife’s book, Love, Loss & What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi and she portrays him as a horrible person. But that horrible person won the Booker Prize sooo.. what can you do. Side note : I thought he won a Pulitzer until I checked just now. Anyway, this new book of his comes out in September 2017. It’s weird and I may not finish. Truth.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I have had this book for at least a decade. The previous two books are on my Kindle and as I read along with that wonderful tablet I find it that it’s easier to read in bed on my Kindle than it is to read actual books. This makes me sad. Before I got my Kindle I would’ve said real books were far superior. But nothing can compare to a tiny item that does not need it’s pages turned or the fact that I can read in the dark when my tired hubby wants to sleep and I do not. Therefore, I’m stalling a little on this one because I find it harder to read in bed, which is sometimes where I do my best reading. I’m liking it so much though so I will definitely finish despite this barrier.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. I had this book before #RYSMay2017 started. It is a library book. But I couldn’t bear to return it because I need to read it. I’ve been avoiding it because I don’t feel like I need a cry just now and I’ve that’s exactly what it does. I adore Sheryl Sandberg. She is so inspiring. I read Lean In 3 years ago and adored it so much. I bought a copy recently because I realized I didn’t own it and it is worth owning. I will be picking up Option B soon soon soon.
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
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.
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.
I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I started this and quit. I have no other excuse.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I received Victoria through Netgalley. If you don’t belong to that website you should go there now and sign up. I requested it because I read and really liked The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. Her books covers are absolutely gorgeous, no? I saw the real book at B&N the other day and there’s a little blurb under the author’s name that says “Author of the New York Times bestseller The American Heiress and creator / writer of the Masterpiece presentation on PBS.” I thought they were referring to The American Heiress being a Masterpiece presentation but after a bit of Googling it would seem that Victoria is actually the one being put on PBS so I’m glad I finished and enjoyed it! It’s unfortunate that the timeslot is on Sundays when football is also on. I will probably have to watch it after the fact.
So, the book. Victoria is made queen almost immediately. Perhaps on page 30. The rest of the book is about her trying to make her way through all the pomp and circumstance that being a queen requires. This is a time when only men are in the court, in places of power and definitely only men have ruled the country. She is an anomaly. She enlists the help of the, at the time, Prime Minister Lord Melbourne. What follows is how her years as queen play out. There’s also a lot of her blossoming love with Albert. Most everything I knew about Victoria going into this was about her and Albert’s love. I heard a fact once that after he died she laid out a new set of his clothes every night before she went to bed. As if he would wake up the next day and put them on and everything would be fine. She also wore black for the entirety of her life after his death. Amazing.
For the last few years, I can’t remember how many, NPR has done this virtual concierge of their best book suggestions for the year. I like it, but I’m a list person so some part of me misses the basic list. See for yourself and you can how you feel. Please note, there are way more in this concierge thing than on a regular best of 2016 list because of the algorithm they have to choose different topics. 309 books!
I looked at them all. Because, why not? I have read, 11 of them. To completion! I have tried to read, or almost finished as I like to call it in Goodreads, 13 of them. That’s 8% – rounding up. Haha. Let’s include one more layer. There are 24 of them I have checked out and brought to my house but never opened, or only read the first few pages. That puts me up to 15% so I feel a bit better. Anything above 10% and I’m golden. Who can really compete with NPR?