January was my first Book of the Month experience. These were the 5 books I had to choose from.
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.
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?
This was a very very quick read. A Boy Named Queen is only 96 pages. There is no reason it can’t be read by everyone. It would make an amazing class discussion book. There’s nothing explicit about transgender like in George. It could easily be read in class and talked about in reference to how everyone should be treated, everyone is different and that’s not a bad thing, etc. It’s just the best. Quick summary. Evelyn is just starting fifth grade. She gets new shoes that her mom would have never let her get the year before. She feels ready. On the first day there is a new boy who announces that his name is Queen. She is instantly intrigued. Evelyn’s life isn’t boring but Queen would definitely be a friend who could make it more interesting and she wants to learn about him and be friends with him. No hi-jinx ensue as in typical middle grade books, but a wonderful friendship forms.
I’m a few months late to the Reading Challenge thing but I can’t wait to participate now that I know. Luckily, I mark the date I read things in Goodreads so I can just back track through the past few months. I’m going to do the Popsugar Reading Challenge 2016 (image below) because that’s what my friend is doing and I like accountability. There’s also one via Book Riot called Read Harder and Bustle has one as well to encourage reading books by women and writers of color.
I have already completed a few of them or have some books that I’m reading right now that will qualify. I’m not counting kids books, which is a lot of what I read.
A National Book Award Winner AND A book of poetry AND A Book that’s Under 150 pages: Faithful & Virtuous Night by Louise Glück
A YA Bestseller: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
A Book Translated to English: The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal (translated from French)
A Book Set in Europe: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
A New York Times Bestseller:
1776 John Adams by David McCullough
A Book You Can Finish in a Day: Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
A Murder Mystery: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
A Book with a Blue Cover: Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (re-read)
A Book from the Library: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
A Book about a Culture You’re Unfamiliar with AND A Book that Takes Place on an Island: Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lại
A Book that is Published in 2016: The Widow by Fiona Barton
Filed under 2016, adult, best lists, book club, book review, current news, day in the life, fiction, fun facts, non-fiction, Reading Challenge, short stories
American Housewife: stories by Helen Ellis is an amazing short story collection. I loved it so much. My favorites were actually a compilation of lists / suggestions titled, “Southern Lady Code” and “How to be a Grown-ass Lady” which both had me laughing out loud. Like snorting, loudly. Helen Ellis is so funny and I recommend this to any woman, married or not. There is also a chapter about book clubs, so it would make a great book club book if only just to discuss that hilarious chapter. I leave you with some suggestions on “How to be a Grown-ass Lady”
- Don’t bite your cuticles.
- Don’t sit on a toilet in front of anyone, ever.
- If your husband wants a bigger TV, for heaven’s sake let him have it.
- Accept it: you’re too old to drink more than one drink and sleep through the night.
- Face it: you’re never going to get carded again, so quit asking bouncers if they want to see your ID.
- Quit going to places where they have bouncers.
2016 Reading Challenge: a book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy (as long as we have the same sense of humor)