Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top Ten Books I Want to Read This Summer

Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at the Broke and the Bookish!

1. Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

I might let myself buy this as a reward for finishing the tidying from the first book!

2. The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron

To go with my non-fiction kick and get some more tips for introverts.

3. The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

I downloaded this on my ereader awhile ago; maybe I'll get to it during my vacation this summer.

4. The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

I may or may not get to it this summer, but I believe it just came out and I do want to read it!

5. Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok

I enjoyed Girl in Translation.

6. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

I need to get to this already!

7. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I got pretty addicted to The Happiness Project books; hopefully, this is similar.

8. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

I put this on an earlier list, but haven't gotten to it yet!

9. Poetry

I went on a poetry buying spree earlier this year and have yet to exhaust my collection!

10. Short Stories

I read some on Tor.com and a few from Lightspeed magazine; I should do that more often!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Books Finished in April

19. Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress

Received from Bookmooch; the best I've read from Nancy Kress since Beggars in Spain. I still prefer the first book, but this is an intriguing sequel that ups the game on how genetic engineering can revolutionize society. The affected speech of the "livers," (people who are essentially paid not to work) though, is super annoying.

20. The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon

Glad I gave Chabon another chance after Wonder Boys, although I probably liked this one so much since I'm more interested in the source material. Chabon creates a convincing version of a Jewish/Yiddish society formed in a post-World War II Alaska. Highly recommended, and proud of myself that I didn't need the glossary. Also, wishing there were more books out there where I could put my vestigial Yiddish to use.

21. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Totally convinced now that all chefs are secretly part of the mafia. Just kidding. A little. Seriously though, not what I was expecting, but definitely...interesting.

22. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Meh. This book got such great reviews, but it's just a story about a family and I didn't find any of the characters especially compelling. Anne Tyler is a wonderful writer and her prose is pleasing, but I didn't like it as much as Digging to America or The Accidental Tourist, which I was concurrently listening to on audiobook.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Free Books and How to Find Them

I've acquired a number of free books lately and thought I would share my secrets. Feel free to share yours in the comments!

I've been a member of Bookmooch for about 8 years now, and while it's not always gratifying in the short term, it's been amazing over the long haul. Eventually, books I'm interested in come around, and in the meantime, I can send excess books to good homes that will care for them (and then perhaps pass them onto another loving home). 

Recently, I've acquired Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, which were on my wish list for years, so it's not the fastest method but it gets results!

2. Little Free Libraries

I'd vaguely heard of Little Free Libraries when I discovered one in my neighborhood. I always enjoy checking out the selection, and it changes often enough that every once in a while, I see a book of interest. I've also added a few books to the collection.

Recently, I've acquired Paper Towns by John Green and Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. There's no guarantee that a book you want will magically appear, but browsing is part of the fun!

3. The Library

And then, there's the actual public library! Although I occasionally have some success getting specific books I want, I've found that most of the fun of the library is browsing or looking for popular books from years ago. If you really want a current bestseller, there's probably a long waiting list or if you need a specific book now, it's not often the best way to go, but to walk in a roomful of free books is itself a pleasure.

Recently, I've been checking out audiobooks including Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist. It's  a good deal since audiobooks are usually expensive and, unlike physical books, I don't find I like to re-read them.