May 22-28, 2017

The past five days have been a total blur, so much so that I didn’t even post on Sunday/Monday about my week in reading. It is now the following Friday, and yet another reading week is almost over.

All of the blame goes to a super cute new puppy friend we made that Thomas rescued last weekend. Let me introduce you to Sam…he also goes by Sam Finnegan, Pup-Pup, and Lil Baby. He has been a handful when it comes to feeding, training, taking out every 2-3 hours because his bladder is tiny, puppy classes, first vet appointments, and of course receiving much loving and attention from us. He is very cute, but he is also hogging up all the time!

I also started volunteering/interning at the UF libraries with a College of Journalism & Communications librarian, which is also a new development that has been taking up some of my time (and requires early mornings)! I have enjoyed it so far. That plus continuing my weekly volunteering at the public library has me feeling like I have found enough things to put on my plate this summer before we leave for Colorado.

This post also was supposed to be done during Memorial Day weekend, which was my brother Junior’s birthday. He is 10 now… so that’s ludicrous and real life. My baby brother is 10. I went home and celebrated with him.

Anyway, let’s finally talk about the reading I’ve been doing. (Honestly, not much.) Since my last post I’ve finished The Vegetarian by Han Kang, which was one of the most memorable books I’ve read this year. It was hard to put down the first 2/3rds, extremely sad, but also smart and thought-provoking. I really enjoyed my experience reading it with two other lovely ladies as part of a buddy read, and I definitely will read Human Acts before the year is over.

I also finished Photobooth: A Biography by Meags Fitzgerald. It was a completely different kind of graphic memoir, looking at the history of photobooths and then entwining that with the author’s own personal history with photobooths. Some parts were more engaging than others – I don’t really feel the same niche passion about photobooths, but I can definitely tell it was important to the author. I enjoyed learning more about what photobooths meant to the author and her reminiscing.

I did get back into audiobooks this week. On Friday I drove for five hours for Junior’s birthday, and for the majority of those five hours I listened to The Song Machine by John Seabrook. It is super easy to listen to, especially because it’s about pop songs and narratives I know. As I got home I had an hour or so left, which I got to finish on my drive back north on Monday.

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May 15-21, 2017

My reading week has not been I’ve-finished-books productive, but it has been productive in starting new things I have been really excited about and am enjoying.

I finished Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, which I was close to finishing last week. I liked it, but it struggled to resonate emotionally for me. I felt this same way with Another Brooklyn, which is slightly disappointing, but I do value the themes and topics Woodson explores and I do enjoy her writing. I finished The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg too. I enjoyed that a lot more than I initially expected. It was so whimsical, self-aware, and fun to see bamf women and girls outsmart manipulative punks. I liked it quite a bit.

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Right now I’m in the middle of three things: Pride and Prejudice, The Vegetarian, and Photobooth: A Biography. I am finally reading my first Austen – and a book I had on my 2017 TBR list – with three lovely women as part of a buddy read. I am about a third of the way through and I am so interested to see how this will come together. I want to learn more about both Elizabeth and Darcy. So far I love the dialogue and have been enjoying listening to it on audiobook on YouTube.

I am reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang, which I started quite a few days ago. I read the first 60 pages in a sitting or two and was so HOOKED IN. Everything about it is calling me to rate it 5 stars so far. I love the way it’s written/translated and it’s so suspenseful, gripping, and thought-provoking. I’ve joined a buddy read of it now too, so I will definitely be finishing that soon.

Photobooth: A Biography by Meags Fitzgerald is something else I have started. I am really enjoying its set-up: I find myself most interested in graphic novels/memoirs that don’t follow the typical graphic novel structure. It also mixes both the author’s experience with an actual history of photobooths which is teaching me a lot!

I’ve been failing recently on audiobooks. I think it’s mostly because I don’t have to drive for long periods of time right now, so I am still reading Maya Angelou’s autobiography. I started H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald, listened to an hour, and decided to return it. I don’t think I want a book centering on grief at the moment. I felt like I wanted something more light, so I checked out The Song Machine by John Seabrook, which I have heard mentioned often in the Switched On Pop podcast. We’ll see if I finish any audiobooks this week. I should be moving the majority of my stuff into Thomas’s house for safekeeping, so maybe I’ll listen to audiobooks as I go about finishing packing and doing the move.

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May 8-14, 2017

My reading this week was a bit more stilted than last week. I feel like last week I was go, go, go right after Thomas left for his trip. This week was a bit more slow, but I still got some things accomplished.

I finished Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar, which was fantastic. I’m almost sure I liked it more than Into Thin Air (I’m placing all the outdoorsy hiking tragedy books in my head I suppose). It was so fascinating to learn about something so mysterious, creepy, and seemingly unsolvable. We will not know what actually happened, probably ever. But it was insightful to learn what theories have been posited before and to learn Eichar’s new theory as well. I definitely learned a lot about Russia I didn’t know prior, including information about the Mansi people, the importance of hiking for many young adults at the time, and the incredible weather conditions they faced. I’d be surprised if this doesn’t make it to on my favorites list at the end of the year.

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The moment I realized I was going to have nightmares that night.

I also finished the first volume of the Archie reboot. To be honest, it was slightly disappointing most of the way through. I think I am way more lenient towards graphic novels, and especially first volumes, but I thought there was room for improvement here. Overall, I enjoyed the tone and the characters (I can easily say I liked this Archie way more than The CW’s rendition of Archie), but I think some spark was lacking. Maybe it was that I expected automatic friendship between Betty and Veronica. It’s highly likely I am comparing this reboot to The CW show too much, because I’ve never read any Archie comics before. I will try volume two though.

I started a few things this week too, which I’m hoping to finish next week. I need to get it together and finish Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I am enjoying it, but it’s not one I crave to pick up. I have less than 75 pages to go, probably. I also started The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg on Sunday, which I hope to finish soon. I’m definitely enjoying that one and what it’s saying about storytelling. I’m still about a third of the way through Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

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