Richer Reading Life Update

We’ve made it halfway through the year! Is my reading life richer?

Books

  • By a woman – The Bell Jar
  • By a POCBad Feminist
  • By a LGBT+ personMore Than This
  • Deals with Mental Illness
  • Woman in Politics
  • Author over 65
  • Author from Africa
  • Takes place in Asia
  • Indie press – Pedal Zombies
  • TranslationSings Preceding the End of the World
  • PoetryPoisoned Apples 
  • Published before 1850
  • Genre I typically avoid
  • Award Winner
  • Audiobook
  • Recommendation

I have Poetry done and a few others picked out. I can knock off two casual challenges as well as one of these with a library book. However I had so many holds come in at the same time, I didn’t get around to it. The titles I have in mind shouldn’t be going anywhere in the next six months so hopefully I’ll be more productive in the next quarter.

 

Activities

  • Ask a local librarian for a recommendation
  • Ask someone I respect for a recommendation and read it right away
  • Read outsideoutside a restaurant, near some shops, and on the beach
  • Read a book that looks like it will make you uncomfortable
  • Read out loud to someone I loveBoyfriend and Ghostly Encounters
  • Dog ear a page – Never Open Desert Diner quotes
  • Write in margins
  • Give away a book that’s been in my TBR a long time Most of my 2nd quarterly cull
  • Cull 10 books from my collection and don’t bring any home for a month Culled? Check. Working on the no-new books.
  • Attend a reading event near me – This Is Why You’re Single sketch show and book tour
  • Read the book, watch the movie, debate which is better
  • Listen to an audio book of a physical book I DNF
  • Listen to a podcast about booksDear Book Nerd and BookTube
  • Memorize a poem
  • Read one page of a holy book of faith I was not raised with
  • Have a conversation about books with someone you’ve never talked books with before MRI tech

Talking books with someone I’ve never talked books with before was difficult. Most of my friends are readers so books come up easily and often. However, I wasn’t expecting to connect with the fellow doing my MRI. We had a lovely chat, enjoy the same poets, and I recommended a book. I wanted to spread out my outdoor reading just so it would feel more meaningful. I was able to cross off my final location while on a trip to the coast. Boyfriend wanted to check out some attractions while I wanted to relax with my book. Win-win if you ignore the sunburn.

Reading aloud was much easier than I thought. I was wracking my brain for what to do and then a ghost hunter memoir I suggested came into the library. Jeff Scott Cole thought to include QR codes so we could see and (mostly) hear the evidence he collected. I shared several EVPs with Boyfriend and read to him from those chapters for context. As for the culling, I have definitely culled more than 10 books in this latest purge. Can I be good for the month of July?

Based on the speed at which my library holds seem to be coming in, possibly. We’ll see how it goes.

 

Books

  1. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  2. This Is Why You’re Single by Laura Lane & Angela Spera
  3. Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken & Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
  4. The Green Man by Ellen Datlow
  5. Sisters of the Revolution edited by Ann VanderMeer
  6. Sharkpunk edited by Jonathan Green
  7. The Feminist Utopia Project by Alexandra Blonsky & Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
  8. Headscarves & Hymens: Why the Middle Easy Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy

I was left largely unattended in a book store while returning a duplicate I got for a gift. At least it was an indie bookstore. I plan on acquiring more books from a different indie later this year. Hopefully I can finally make good on one of my activities and not bring any books home in July.

2nd Quarterly Cull

These are all the books I’ve culled over the last 3 months.

  1. Cake Wrecks
  2. In the Beginning (mental_floss)
  3. Forbidden Knowledge (mental_floss)
  4. Instant Knowledge (mental_floss)
  5. The Never Open Desert Diner
  6. Exploiting My Baby Because It’s Exploiting Me
  7. The Postmistress
  8. Belle Weather: Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits
  9. On Strike for Christmas
  10. A Version of the Truth
  11. Literacy and Longing in L.A.
  12. Earthman Jack and the Ghost Planet
  13. Johnny Hiro
  14. The Help
  15. Ten Girls to Watch
  16. Seven Wonders
  17. Y: The Last Man Vol 1
  18. Y: The Last Man Vol 2
  19. Y: The Last Man Vol 3
  20. The Walking Dead Vol 1
  21. Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon Vol 1
  22. The Power of Kindness
  23. What They Don’t Teach You in College
  24. I Am the Messenger
  25. If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name
  26. The First Husband
  27. Up All Night (YA anthology)
  28. The Boneshaker
  29. Infernal Devices
  30. Morlock Night
  31. Arranged
  32. Crazy Enough by Storm Large
  33. Someday, Someday Maybe
  34. Agent to the Stars
  35. Picador Book of 40
  36. Native Star
  37. Hidden Goddess
  38. Wicked City #2
  39. Steam Engines of Oz Vol 2
  40. The Battle of Blood and Ink
  41. Laughter: A Scientific Investigation
  42. Unbelievable: Investigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena, from the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory
  43. Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
  44. Wish You Weren’t Here: The Black Cat Anthology of Travel Humor
  45. My Big, Fat, Supernatural Honeymoon
  46. Home Improvement by Charlaine Harris
  47. Extraordinary Engines (steampunk anthology)
  48. 1oo Things You’re Not Supposed to Know by Russ Kick
  49. Arena by Karen Hancock
  50. The Executor by Jon Evans
  51. Yoga Bitch
  52. House of Cards: The True Story of How a 26-Year-Old Fundamentalist Virgin Learned about Life, Love, and Sex by Writing Greeting Cards
  53. You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl
  54. Rude Bitches Make Me Tired
  55. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte
  56. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
  57. Many Bloody Returns
  58. Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
  59. A New Earth
  60. The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay
  61. Yes Means Yes
  62. Deadfall Hotel
  63. Enlightened Sexism
  64. Bitchfest
  65. We Don’t Need Another Wave
  66. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
  67. Jurassic Park
  68. Jurassic Park: The Lost World
  69. Jpod
  70. Better than Fiction
  71. Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old like a Skank
  72. So Many Books, So Little Time
  73. Out of the Broom Closet
  74. Lost Voices (mermaid story)
  75. Faery Tales (memoir)
  76. Malled
  77. After edited by Ellen Datlow
  78. Reading Women
  79. The Bitch in the House
  80. sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling
  81. If Only by Geri Halliwell
  82. The Orphan Master’s Son
  83. Vamplets 1
  84. Vamplets 2
  85. Fort Freak
  86. Busted Flush
  87. Ares & Aphrodite Vol 1
  88. Unbeatblae Squirrel Girl Vol 1
  89. Reed Gunther Vol 1
  90. Cambodian Grrrl
  91. The Woods Vol 1
  92. Foreign Babes in Beijing
  93. Blowing My Cover by Lindsay Moran
  94. The Big Tiny
  95. No Baggage
  96. The Cutting Room
  97. World War Z
  98. Below Stairs
  99. Six Word Memoirs 1
  100. Six Word Memoirs 2
  101. Six Word Memoirs Love & Heartbreak
  102. Anansi Boys
  103. Metatropolis
  104. A Truth Universally Acknowledged
  105. What Is This Things Called Love?
  106. Farhenheit 451 (graphic novel)
  107. Stays Crunchy in Milk
  108. Recipes for a Perfect Marriage
  109. Down the Mysterly River
  110. The Dirty Life
  111. The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  112. It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single
  113. Lockdown: Escape from Furnace
  114. Jane Austen’s Guide to Thrift
  115. Part-Time Princesses
  116. The Telling by Jo Baker
  117. The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss
  118. Trouble in Paradise
  119. They’re Not Like Us Vol 1
  120. Songs of Love and Death
  121. Luke Skywalker Can’t Read
  122. Murder at Mansfield Park
  123. Libriomancer
  124. The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things
  125. Coud Atlas
  126. Sleep Talkin’ Man
  127. This Book Is Overdue!
  128. Jane Austen Made Me Do It
  129. My Name Is Memory
  130. Saga Vol 1
  131. Saga Vol 2
  132. All Stories Are Love Stories
  133. Outlander
  134. Indestructible
  135. Firebrands
  136. Black Science Vol 1
  137. Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 1
  138. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
  139. A New Earth
  140. Joe Golem and the Drowning City
  141. My Friend Dahmer
  142. How to Build a Girl
  143. What Matters in Jane Austen?
  144. Jane’s Fame
  145. The Stuff of Legend Vol 1
  146. The Stuff of Legend Vol 2
  147. Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells
  148. The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination
  149. Starling
  150. To Be Real
  151. Point Your Face at This
  152. This Is a Book
  153. Kraken
  154. The Greatest Show on Earth
  155. LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring*
  156. LOTR: The Two Towers*
  157. LOTR: The Return of the King*

I got pretty ruthless this time. I decided that if I can get it from the library, I don’t need to keep it. Minus a few favorites, I did just that. I even managed to sell a handful to Powell’s. Ultimately, I want to be able to store most of my books horizontally and get the total under 500. Despite many autographed book purchases at Awesome Con, I’m well on my way to that.

* – Don’t tie yourselves in a knot. I want to read these but I had cheap movie-fied mass market paperbacks. When I’m ready to read them, I’ll get prettier editions.

Read-a-Thon

I see these Read-a-Thon videos all the time on BookTube. Who starts them? Where do the rules come from? How does it all work?

I did a bit of homework and it looks like most read-a-thons are like book tags. Anyone can create one but you need a decent number of people to make it take off. I just described every meme ever created.

I found one taking place this month: the High Summer Read-a-Thon. No rules other than plow through your TBR pile with gusto which kind of works for me right now. Whenever I go to the library, my eyes are always bigger than my proverbial stomach. Hopefully I will down the various titles staring at me from my TBR and library piles.

I predict a graphic novel heavy TBR since they’re among the few things I can down in an evening but I’ll let you know what I decide.

Music Monday: Road Trip

Summer is the perfect time for trips to the lake, beach, or wherever your good times happen. This playlist is about hitting the road.

Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones
Highway to Hell by AC/DC
Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf
Life in the Fast Lane by The Eagles
Life Is a Highway by Tom Cochrane
Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett
Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles
I’ve Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash
Runnin’ Down a Dream by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Where the Strees Have No Name by U2
Get Out of My Dreams by Billy Ocean
Ridin’ by Chamillionaire
Shut Up and Drive by Rihanna
Greased Lightning from Grease
I Drove All Night by Cyndi Lauper
Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots
Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf
Girls Fast Cars by The Wombats
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers

My Dream Bookshop

Inspired by this video from Jen Campbell, I got to think about what kind of bookshop I’d like to open.

It would either be on a bustling downtown street in a townhouse or in a scenic downtown near the water. The basement and top floor would be used for storage and the office. The shop pet or mascot would be a rescue dog.

We would only sell genre fiction. Fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, magical realism, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, and horror. Ideally I would have a loft or small area set aside for Teen & YA. I don’t know how many children’s books I could stock but I’d definitely have at least down to middle grade.

I’d want my shop to be compact so not too much room for squishy chairs. The register would be on a counter with shelves on the side. On those shelves would be the staff recommendations. Our window display would always be themed. Women’s history month? Here’s some stories with bad-ass women. GoT premiering? Here’s the books and some of his anthologies. Back to school? Here’s some stuff they make you read in class. Once Upon a Time premieres? Here’s some twisted fairy tales.

A list of titles we’d carry would include but not be limited to:

  • 1984
  • Brave New World
  • Frankenstein
  • Rick Riordan series
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • All Jasper Fforde books
  • Most, if not all, Neil Gaiman books
  • Stephen King
  • Terry Pratchett
  • LOTR & other Tolkien
  • GoT & Martin’s many anthologies
  • Harry Dresden
  • Most of Ellen Datlow’s anthologies
  • Frank Herbet
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Ursula LeGuin
  • Madeline L’Engle
  • The Checquy Files series
  • Harry Potter series
  • The Raven Boys series
  • The Hunger Games series
  • Dracula
  • Neal Stephenson
  • Doctor Who books
  • Star Wars books
  • Star Trek books
  • Clive Barker
  • Richard Matheson
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Orson Scott Card (not many since he’s terrible)
  • H. P Lovecraft
  • Veronica Roth
  • Sabaa Tahir
  • Cassandra Clare
  • John Joseph Adams anthologies
  • G. D. Falksen
  • Octavia Butler
  • V. E. Schwab
  • Patrick Ness
  • Catherynne M. Valente
  • Simon R. Green
  • John Scalzi
  • Cherie Priest
  • Kelly Link
  • Charles Stross
  • Cory Doctrow
  • Jeff VanderMeer
  • Patricia C. Wrede
  • John Connolly
  • Joe Hill
  • Ransom Riggs
  • Patricia Briggs
  • Marissa Meyer

There are many others but this paints a pretty broad picture of what I’d be shooting for. Maybe Twilight if there was the demand for it but I’d only ever have 3 or fewer box sets in the store at any given time.

The only nonfiction we’d have would be first hand UFO accounts & ghost stories, science-behind-the-series type of thing, a few biographies of famous sci-fi authors, and some of the nonfiction work of popular authors. Ideally, this wouldn’t require an entire shelf. I might make it share if we found any poetry that fit the theme. That is my dream bookshop.

I don’t know what the name would be but I’d want it to be something punny like Out of This World or Once Upon a Time Machine books

Capsule Update

My pre-Firefly outfits


During Firefly I wore all 4 wicking capris, all 3 sleeveless tops, and the blue tee. Only 2 sports bras got worn so I may return the unworn one.

Tuesday was the blue bird dress and then then the green skirt + black tank + cream shrug. Here’s some of my other combos


Sunday was the start of Shark Week so I had to celebrate. While they’re off capsule, it was an occasion and they’ll be going back in their drawer for a few months after this.

My other outfit was my Kylon Ren tank and casual capris. I may do some shuffling around of pieces so if my base capsule changes, I’ll let you know.

Richer Reading Life Activity 7

I read aloud to someone I love. I convinced my library to get a copy of Ghostly Encounters by Jeff Scott Cole. Cole is a teacher/history buff by day, paranormal investigator by night. He talks about how he got involved, tools of the trade, and various experiences/encounters he’s had. He included several QR codes that link to (mostly) audio and video evidence.

Boyfriend and I were on a Ghost Adventures binge last fall and he’s listened to several episodes of Jim Harold’s Campfire podcast. When one of the EVPs was incredibly clear, I had Boyfriend listen to it. He was impressed and I read to him several times from the book so he could have context for the EVPs or would know the creepy tales of the various places.

I give Ghostly Encounters 3.5/5. It was interesting writing and the interactive QR codes were excellent. However, I often had to stockpile them since I read on the train and had no signal. They weren’t easily found on the website either. My other big complaint was the lack of book. The memoir/narrative stopped after less than 200 pages. Around 60 pages were devoted to listing some haunted places in all 50 states and different paranormal groups in each state.

Those lists could have been on the website. The haunted places were cool but very abridged and I don’t need to know about paranormal groups in Utah or Minnesota. I’d rather have more book and more tales. It was good, not great. It was fun being able to share it with Boyfriend though.