February Wrap-Up

This month, though short, I was able to finish 12 books! I ended up having more time to read than I had anticipated and adding more audiobooks into my reading life helped me read for an average of an extra 45 minutes-an hour a day while walking to class and work on campus.

The books I finished this month are:

  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  2. Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence (Check out my full review here)IMG_5240.jpg
  3. The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  4. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
  5. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  6. Matched by Ally Condie
  7. Crossed by Ally Condie
  8. Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys
  9. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  10. The American Essay in the American Century by Ned Stuckey-French
  11. Fat Chance by Julie Hadden
  12. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I’m so excited to see where the month of March takes me as I try to read more books on my TBR.

Review: Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence

As a bookish person, I often find myself thinking about the books I have read long after I have finished reading, closed the cover, and put it back on my shelf. From childhood reads to the one I read yesterday, each book as shaped my reading life and the way I view reality around me.

I now get to add Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence to this list. Her book is full of letters to books she has come in contact with throughout her life, and as a librarian, the list is extensive. I found myself agreeing, laughing, and feeling my TBR growing as the further I got into her book.

This has not made me want to write a letter to every book I read, but I feel Dear Fahrenheit 451 deserves a letter. So here it goes (just in time for Valentine’s Day):

To Dear Fahrenheit 451,

You have made me excited to read. Don’t get me wrong, I already love to pick up a book and dive into a new story, but you somehow manage to make this desire grow.

I laughed along when reading about books I had already read. I wondered if I would have the same reaction to books I had never heard of before. And I always kept a notebook and pen nearby to jot down titles of books I want to read (or re-read) because of your letters.

Thank you for being honest, full of laughter, and a few tears too. You make breaking up with a book a little bit easier and falling in love with a new one more exciting.

See you the next time I need a book suggestion,

An Avid Reader

 

 

 

January Wrap-Up

Thanks to a break from school, a variety of book lengths, and some extra reading willpower, I was able to read 11 books this months. This will probably be my best reading month until after graduation in May.IMG_5098

  1. The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket
  2. The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket
  3. The End by Lemony Snicket
  4. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
  5. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Full Review)
  6. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  8. The Poetry of Robert Frost Collection
  9. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham (Full Review)
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  11. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

I also gave up on 1 book (and by extension a trilogy): Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. If you are interested in seeing why, check out my post here.

Overall, this was a great month of reading! I enjoyed the majority of the books I selected and was glad to read a mixture of books that had been on my shelf for months and others I had recently been introduced to.

What kind of reading adventure will February be? Stay tuned to find out.

It’s not me, It’s you: Breaking Up with A Book

I love the feeling of finishing a book. The sense of accomplishment. The closure…or a successful cliffhanger making me want to read more. And, of course, the search for my next book

Typically, even if I’m not a huge fan of a particular book, I will still see it through to the end. As an English major with a focus in literature I have had to read multiple books that I just had to trudge through because of class (sorry Heart of Darkness, but you make this list).

podcast-cover-art-1400-HiResThe thought of stopping a book, like actually stopping and not just slowly getting through it, hadn’t really been on my radar until I started listening to the podcast “What Should I Read Next,” hosted by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. I started to hear different readers say that gave up on books they just couldn’t relate to and had no desire in finishing. Could I do this too? Should I try it?

Though I have been listening to the podcast and considering this idea for almost a year now, I hadn’t come across a book I disliked enough to stop in the middle of the story. And then earlier this week I began to read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

I really, really wanted to like this book. Shiver is the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, which has been on my to-read shelf for a few years now. I had even moved these books onto my Top 25 Books to Read in 2018 list! I really wanted to like it.IMG_5051

But, unfortunately, I just couldn’t get behind the story. Now, it has a 3.78 rating on Goodreads and has been on The New York Times Bestseller List. Clearly this is a book that’s enjoyed by some, just not me. I’m not saying this is a bad book…just a bad book for me.

I’m not sure if it was the plot, or the characters, or the writing that made me decide to close it and not pick it back up again. Maybe it was my age, and I could couldn’t relate to this teen romance anymore. Whatever the reasoning, I only made it to chapter 10 before stopping.

But now I am at a crossroad…what book will I read now? What book will blow my mind to keep me motivated to read instead of falling into a reading slump?

Here are three tips I have tried in the past when I’m struggling to chose a new book:

  1. Re-read a book you already know you love in order to capture the magic
  2. Listen to an audiobook, by changing the format of reading you also change your type of reading experience
  3. Ask for suggestions from a friend, teacher, parent, etc. (they might suggest something amazing that you have never even heard about before)

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Review: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

If you are a fan of Gilmore Girls, Parenthood and/or the speed at which Lauren Graham talks, then this is the book for you.

When ordering textbooks for my last semester of my undergraduate career, I decided to order an extra book as a reward to myself for being so close to graduation. Lauren Graham’s book had been on my radar for awhile, and having seen every episode of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood throughout my time in college, I felt it was an appropriate choice.Unknown.jpeg

And I wasn’t wrong. The book packs plenty of humor into each page and several times I caught myself audibly chuckling while reading it in public. Following her journey was amazing and, even though I’m not interested in being a professional actress, I loved the behind the scenes look at everything.

However, one point I want to mention is that it reads like a conversation. Vastly far from an “academic” or classical read (which I was thankful for) the entire book feels like you sat down and were simply having a conversation with Graham and it happened to also be captured on paper. It reads like this to the point that I almost wonder if she spoke and recorded her story, transcribed it, and then just turned that into a paragraph format.

As someone who enjoyed the fast paced dialogue on Gilmore Girls and spent hours hearing her Graham speak, I enjoyed this. At points I could almost actually hear the words in her voice, as if she was in the room with me. I’m considering re-reading this with the audiobook narrated by Lauren Graham just to experience this throughout the entire book. And if this thought makes you giddy and excited to read this book, then I highly encourage you to check it out.

Just be warned that it will also encourage you to rewatch Gilmore Girls…but you need an occasional break from reading, right?