Thursday, July 9, 2020

Books From The Backlog #53


Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life in Books, is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your shelf unread.

I am featuring books in the order that they were added to my Goodreads To-Read shelf, so sometimes there will be a couple weeks in a row of books on the same topic.

Neglected Book of the Week
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Why did I add Tudor Cousins: Rivals for the Throne to my TBR?

Because at any point after Henry VIII died the Tudor reign could have been radically altered from what we know it as today. The possibilities are deliciously endless.

Have you read this book, or is it somewhere on your TBR? If you've read it, would you recommend it to others?

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Book Tag | The Mid-Year Book Freak Out



Once again I am way behind, because Ashlee from Books Are 42 tagged me last week - maybe even two weeks ago? At this point I can't even tell you what day it actually is. So here's a little bit about my reading so far in 2020!

How much have you read?
My goal for the year is to read 275 books. Based on my Goodreads count, I have read 222 so far. However, that total includes the chapter books I read with Eleanor (Magic Tree House, A to Z Mysteries, etc.). I typically only actually include YA and above towards my own total, which is currently 133.

What have you been reading?
I have been pulled quite far into the YA and Adult thriller pool - thanks a lot, Greg and Ethan! But as always I am plowing through history like nobody's business. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis I have also been reading several texts on racism, antiracism, and such. I have also been reading more YA and middle grade books by Black authors, featuring predominantly BIPOC casts of characters.

Best book you have read so far in 2020
Oh good gravy, this is too tough to answer. There is no one single answer.
  • Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  • The Broken Girls by Simone St James
  • Good Girls Lie by JT Ellison
  • Hunting the Unabomber by Lis Wiehl
  • William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Mean Girls by Ian Doescher
  • Catch and Kill by Ronan Farror
  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller
  • The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield
Best sequel you've read so far in 2020
One of Us is Next by Karen McManus OBVIOUSLY

New release you have not read yet but want to
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France and England, Mother of Empires by Sara Cockerill The only reason I have not read it yet is because Amazon has not been able to get it to ship to me. Boo!!!

Most anticipated release for the second part of the year
  • The World Aflame by Dan Jones and Marina Amaral
  • The Cousins by Karen McManus
Biggest disappointment
  • This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf - unbelievable "plot twist" that ruined the entire book, insufferable main character who was stupid
  • Scourge of Henry VIII: The Life of Mary de Guise by Melanie Clegg - more about Henry than Mary
  • A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson - a complete clusterfuck of garbage, an insufferable and dishonest main character, unbelievable events that just happen to happen
  • Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era - hard to be an inside look when you can't get basic facts correct
Biggest surprise
Pretty much all the YA and adult thrillers that I am finding and absolutely loving (except McManus and Capin. There is nothing surprising to be that I have loved the books they put out this year, seeing as how I loved everything they wrote before 2020.)

New favorite author (debut or new to you)
Courtney Summers. I loved Sadie and could not put the book down. I will be reading her other work ASAP.

Underrate gems you've discovered recently
Doesn't really apply to me. I discover my fiction mainly through a couple blogger friends who seem to know pretty accurately what I will and won't like.

Rereads this year
Due to reading non-fiction almost exclusively, I never reread those. I did, however, reread One of Us is Lying in preparation for One of Us is Next.

Newest fictional crush
These will never change - Nate Macauley from One of Us is Lying/Next and Chuck Watts from the Mercy Watts series. Dan Jones obviously remains my very real non-fiction historian crush. Is that weird? Oh well. It should be illegal to be that intelligent AND that attractive all in one person.

Newest favorite character
I've read about a lot of badass young women in my latest fiction forays mentioned above. No fave in particular though. 

Book that made you cry
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Crow by Barbara Wright

I also freaked out at the end of One of Us is Next when it was unclear how extensively Nate was injured. I very politely asked Karen McManus on Twitter to please leave him alive and well and JUST FINE before I started reading the book. Her reply did nothing to calm my fear and when I reached that part of the story I may have returned to Twitter and loudly reminded her of my request. Side note: Karen McManus is awesome. She is an author who I constantly see interacting with fans and it is great. I can't think of a single Tweet I have ever tagged her in that she has not responded to in some way. I love when authors take the time to cultivate relationships with fans - even after a slew of successful books.

Book that made you happy
One of Us is Next. I can't help it. I <3 Nate.

Favorite book to film adaptation
I don't watch much television or many movies, so I would have to go waaaaaaaay back and say Jurassic Park or The Shining.

Most beautiful cover you bought/received this year
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What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
LOL. Have you seen my TBR?

Favorite post you've done this year
I am really proud of the Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad book talk series. I am posting the prompts each day and even though there are not a lot of comments or discussions yet, the posts are getting a lot of views so I know people are seeing them. I get it, it is uncomfortable, but these are conversations that white people need to have and things we really need to think about and confront. I have slowly but surely been adding my own responses to the prompts and I hope more of you will chime in!

Favorite book community member
This question is not even fair. I have a group I adore and you all know who you are!

I won't be tagging anyone this time around, because I have a done a bunch of these lately. I would love to see anyone's answers to any of the questions, either here or on your own blog.

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Book Talk | Dismantling White Supremacy Day 11

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I began this book last week and would love to have discussions based on the prompts provided within the book. The book is set up so that after each day's reading, there are a handful of prompts to respond to. Feel free to respond to as many or as few as you like. I would love for this to be a discussion and a place where we can learn and grow together. Please be honest, because that is the only way anything will change.

Additionally, I have been compiling a list of books under the #BlackLivesMatter Reading List tab. I am usually adding books daily that I find, or are recommended by others. Please leave a comment on that page if you have titles to add. I hope you can find titles on this list that you will learn from as well.

Day Eleven Prompts

1. Think about the country you live in. What are some of the national racial stereotypes - spoken and unspoken, historic, and modern - associated with Black children?

2. How do you think about Black children who are citizens in your country differently from those who are recent immigrants?

3. How have you viewed or how do you view Black children when they are young versus when they get to their teens and young adulthood?

4. How have you treated Black children differently than white children? And how have you treated darker-skinned Black children differently from lighter-skinned Black children?

5. How have you tokenized or fetishized "cute Black kids" or "cute mixed kids'?

6. How have you wanted to "save" Black children?

7. If you are a white or biracial parent of Black children, what antiracism work have you been doing on yourself and in your communities to make the world a safe space for your children? Do you protect your kids when someone others your Black children, or do you retreat into white silence?

Let's talk!
Sarah

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Tackling the TBR Week 25: July 1 - July 7, 2020


My TBR has been out of control for YEARS. Then in January of 2019 I started tracking weekly my true reading/acquiring habits, and voila! I have been able to keep on top of things a little bit better. I may never get below 1,000 books, but at least I won't be topping out over 5,000! When a book cover is linked, it goes to the review here on my blog.


I will be posting on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and the last day of the month. Feel free to join in if you'd like!


If a book is linked in the 'Books Read' section, you can click the cover to go to my review.


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Previous Week's TBR Total: 3,095


Currently Reading

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53136920. sx318 sy475 The Lost Pianos of Siberia45046716 5154222952756711. sx318 sy475 53084465. sx318 sy475 51352065 Enchanted New York: A Walk Along Broadway Through Manhattan's Magical Past53181112. sy475 52578667 White Out: A Thriller (Badlands Thriller Book 1) by [Danielle Girard] 50765199. sx318 sy47518813642
    

     

Books Added to TBR

6033525. sy475 1132808 Her Final Words by [Brianna Labuskes] White Out: A Thriller (Badlands Thriller Book 1) by [Danielle Girard] 50789231. sx318 sy475


Books Removed from TBR: 0

Books Read

Her Final Words by [Brianna Labuskes] 29736467 35604682 12802858 7063652

Books DNF-ed

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Duplicates Removed: 0


New TBR Total: 3,097


Any of these catch your eye? Have you already read any? Let me know!


Happy Reading!

Sarah

Book Talk | Dismantling White Supremacy Day 10

46002342

I began this book last week and would love to have discussions based on the prompts provided within the book. The book is set up so that after each day's reading, there are a handful of prompts to respond to. Feel free to respond to as many or as few as you like. I would love for this to be a discussion and a place where we can learn and grow together. Please be honest, because that is the only way anything will change.

Additionally, I have been compiling a list of books under the #BlackLivesMatter Reading List tab. I am usually adding books daily that I find, or are recommended by others. Please leave a comment on that page if you have titles to add. I hope you can find titles on this list that you will learn from as well.

Day Ten Prompts

1. Think about the country you live in. What are some of the national racial stereotypes - spoken and unspoken, historic, and modern - associated with Black men?

2. What kinds of relationships have you had and do you have with Black men, and how deep are those relationships?

3. How do you think about Black men who are citizens in your country differently from those who are recent immigrants?

4. How have you treated darker-skinned Black men differently from lighter-skinned Black men?

5. What are some of the stereotypes you have thought and negative assumptions you have made about Black men, and how have these affected how you have treated them?

6. How have you excluded, discounted, minimized, used, tone policed, or projected your white fragility and white superiority onto Black men?

7. How have you fetishized Black men?

8. How much freedom do you give Black men in your mind to be complex and multilayered human beings?

Let's talk!
Sarah

Monday, July 6, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday | Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By



Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

So there are some obvious authors, like those from my childhood -  Ann M. Martin, RL Stine, Louis Sachar, Beverly Cleary, Gertrude Chandler Warner, Lois Duncan, Mary Downing Hahn, Avi, Louisa May Alcott, LM Montgomery, Gary Paulson, Roald Dahl, the variety of authors of the American Girls series (Kirsten, Samantha, Felicity, and Addy are the best. No contest), and more.

Then there are the most-read authors I read with Eleanor's, such as Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House) and Ron Roy (A to Z Mysteries), Melissa de la Cruz (Descendants). Shannon Hale (The Princess in Black), Mo Willems (Elephant and Piggie, Pigeon, and Knuffle Bunny), Jane O'Connor (Fancy Nancy and Nancy Clancy), Ben Clanton (Narwhal and Jellyfish), Serena Valentino (Disney Villains), Harper Paris (Greetings from Somewhere), Lisa Yee (Super Hero High), Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon), Lisa Ann Scott (Mermaid Rescue), and also more...

Unfortunately, Goodreads decided some time in the last year or so to get rid of the feature that showed a user's most read authors. What a bunch of bunk. Everyone should go complain so they bring it back.

Anyway, OBVIOUSLY this guy is one of my most-read authors:


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I also really like this cozy mystery series by AW Hartoin, and eagerly await Mercy's next adventure. Mostly because her boyfriend Chuck is my book boyfriend.

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