Archive for the ‘Bookishness’ Category

Five for Friday.

January 12, 2018

It’s noon-time: what are you eating? Are you eating? I can goes days without wanting to eat, I mean, like everything sounds like it will taste like cardboard, and then all of a sudden I want to eat everything not nailed down. Last night was one of those glutton-fests. Today, I’m forcing myself to eat a cup of noodles.

I hope your lunch is tastier (and contains far less sodium) than mine.

Let’s see what other bits of randomness are floating around in my brain, shall we?

1. My foot. Oh my mother-flippin’ foot! I rolled my ankle this morning. So you’d think I’d be complaining about my ankle. But oh no. Somehow when I rolled my ankle, I fell off the curb, down to the ground, skinning my knees and everything. Somehow in the process, I think I snapped a bone on the side of the middle of my foot. It’s slightly bruised, very swollen, and it hurts to stand on it. I think it’s swollen even on the bottom of the foot. So that’s gonna be fun to monitor this weekend.

2. I can’t get it x-rayed tonight because I volunteered to help with All-City Choir auditions. So I’m spending two or three (or six) hours tonight at the middle school, doing heaven knows what, but I’m guessing it involves a lot of standing and shepherding teenagers around. FUNTIMES. I hope there’s fries for that.

3. After I survive the endtimes auditions, Gracie and some of her friends are sleeping over. I’m wicked excited that I get to steal my girl for another weekend (that’s why I volunteered to help at auditions: so I could see her, even for a little bit), but I’m a little leery of all the chaos that means will be happening at my house. Plus: no x-rays.

4. And tomorrow there will be no x-rays because after I shoo the teenagery peeps out of the house, I’m shlepping myself northward to visit the wonderful and gorgeously talented Andi! First we were going to meet up for shenanigans, but then she had to work. But I am good at co-working! So we are meeting up for responsible grown-up shenanigans. In other words, we’re going to write like motherfuckers. And maybe vlog about our bullet journals. Who knows! 2018 is fire and gasoline, baby! [I’m trying new slogans.] The idea of vlogging scares me, but I’m with friends who make me feel safe, so why not? We will burn the motherfather down with our awesomeness. And then we’ll get some more work done. Because we’re amazing.

5. I’m thinking of trying minimalism. I’m tire of my house looking like a firetrap. Like a closet of toys exploded all over it. Like the kids are running the asylum. On one hand, I don’t really care. On the other, I bet I’d feel a whole lot calmer if it were cleaner. So lets see what would happen if it were cleaner. And you know what would make it cleaner? Donating or trashing half the stuff in it. So Imma challenge myself: throw away (or donate) 50 things. Yes, you’ll see a post about this, just to keep me honest.

So there you go! Five thoughts. Five of many more I could keep tossing, but, hey – I have things to write. Great big things. Here I go…

Advertisements

Year-end Catch-Up Posts: Read Harder Challenge 2017

December 26, 2017

Morning, all! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! Our was filled to the brim with laughter and happy (and maybe a viewing of Stephen King’s IT), and so naturally today I’m feeling all of the productivity. So I thought why not use the day to catch-up on some posts – like letting everyone know how I did with my Read Harder Challenge?

At my last check-in, mid-year, I had nearly finished the challenge, but was bemoaning how I didn’t really want to read at all. The political sludge and general sense of doom and catastrophe was leeching my will to live or do anything enjoyable. I’m happy to say that while I might not have rediscovered (yet) a desire to blog every morning, but my ability to read on the daily came back to me, and I finished the year just slightly north of 200 books.

Still, even with my newly rediscovered joy for reading, it took a while for me to knock out the few remaining challenges. Still – that’s so much better than not crossing the finish line, which is really where I was worried I’d finish the year when I was assessing my lack of give-a-damn earlier this year.

Let’s peek at how things shook out for me. You might recall, too, that I add a personal spin to Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge and insist that each book must be by an author of color. I’m consciously trying to raise my overall percentage of AOCs – and I have, from 11% is 2014 to 44% this year. Challenges like this are one of the ways I make it happen. So, what did I read? I’m so glad you asked!

Read a book about sports: Sudden Death, by Alvara Enrigue. This was part of The Morning News’ Tournament of Books. Not my favorite book, but interesting debating it for the brackets.

Read a debut novel: The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. Who hasn’t read this book this year? Goodreads reported it was the most searched for book this year. It’s also vying for my favorite read of the year.

Read a book about books: My Soul Looks Back, by Jessica Harris. I cheated a little – it’s about authors more than books, but meh meh meh…

Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American authorFicciones, by Jorge Luis Borges. This was my first Borges. I’m not sure if it was because of the short story format, but I wasn’t terribly drawn to his style. I can see the genius; this collection just wasn’t for me.

Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative: Lucky Boy, by Shanthi Sekaran. This book was heartbreaking. I have a lot of close friends who struggle with adoption issues and I cried through most of the novel.

Read an all-ages comic: March, by Rep. John Lewis. Rep. Lewis’s three volumes took turns circulating through all three members of my household. And then we bought copies to donate to the girls’ schools. Because yes.

Read a book published between 1900 and 1950: Passing, by Nella Larsen. This was a bit of a cheat – I’d read selections of the novel before, but never the entire thing. If you haven’t, you must. Just thinking about the injustice of racial discrimination and how far we haven’t come has me seeing red and I haven’t even had breakfast yet.

Read a travel memoir: An African in Greenland, by Tete-Michel Kpomassie.

Read a book you’ve read before: The Chaneysville Incident, by David Bradley. One of my favorite books of all time. I cringe at how misogynistic it is, but the brilliance of the storytelling sucks me in every time. And every time I read it, I want to call up my old professor and debate the ending.

Read a book that is 100 miles of your location: Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correia. This is a perfect example of reading outside my comfort zone. I never would have read this otherwise. Not my cuppa tea – I’m picky about crime books and I don’t do paranormal. But finding a book set in Dallas or close to it? Not gonna happen when you also impose filters of “AOC” and “Not previously read.”

Read a book that is set more than 5,000 miles from your location: The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan. Another book up for Best of 2017, this one knocked me in all my feels. And that cover!

Read a fantasy novel: Version Control, by Dexter Palmer. This was another Tournament of Books book, otherwise I would have ditched. I’m not much into fantasy, but I couldn’t deny it was well done. Just not my wheelhouse.

Read a nonfiction book about technology: Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly. Now this I could read all day long! The girls got the movie for Christmas and I can’t wait to see if it’s as good as the book!

Read a book about war: American War, by Omar El Akkad. This has interesting an apocalyptic, fantasy spin, but the pacing was broken up and hard to follow at times.

Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life, by Benjamin Allire Saenz. I read two books by Saenz after discovering him this year. That’s what this challenge is all about, isn’t it? Finding new-to-us books and authors who become favorites?

Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country: This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and Jill Tamaki. My daughter read this after I did (she’s a sucker for graphic novels) and she and I were both gobsmacked that this could be challenged. Then we had a great talk about sexuality and how perception of it has changed from when I was a kid to now.

Read a classic by an author of color: Amiable with Big Teeth, by Claude McKay. I wasn’t a big fan, but I recognize the giant contribution of Mr. McKay to his field. I much prefer his poetry.

Read a superhero comic with a female lead: Rani Patel in Full Effect, by Sonia Patel. I make my own definitions of what is and isn’t a superhero. An outsider, a woman, who steps up and finds her voice? Superhero.

Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey: When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon. It’s a matter of time before this book becomes a movie and I am HERE for that!

Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe, by Benjamine Allire Saenz. The second of his novels I read, and my favorite of them. I get all the hype – it’s deserved.

Read a book published by a micropress: Fish in Exile, by Vi Khi Nao. Not my favorite voice, but I wanted to read more Asian authors, something I need to do more of.

Read a collection of stories by a woman: Speak Gigantular, by Irenosen Okojie. A quick read, but powerful, filled with jabs and uppercuts.

Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love: Milk & Honey, by Rupi Kaur. Pretty much my favorite poet at the moment. I will read anything she writes.

Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color: The Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon. This is a bit of a stretch. At no point in the novel does the text explicitly state every character is “of color”, but at no point are their clues, context, or straight-up evidence that they aren’t, either. So, by default, I’m saying they are. And who’s to say otherwise?

So there you go! Another reading challenge smashed! I can’t wait to jump in and challenge myself to read bigger and better in 2018. If you’d like to play along, Book Riot already has their Read Harder challenge for next year up and running. I can’t wait to plot out what I’ll read!

Five for Friday.

December 8, 2017

Morning, everyone! Let’s launch right into it, shall we?

1. The elephant in the room: I know I haven’t been posting lately. I’ve struggled with depression on and off throughout my life and because of some serious (but not permanent, please Universe) financial difficulties, it’s been hanging around again. When I get deep into the weeds like this, I really can’t write. Especially when I’m asked to create engaging, witty, and entertaining content before coffee. Right? Gawd! No wonder I’ve been without words for so long! But there it is. I promise I’m fighting the good fight and I’ll be back again. I haven’t hung up my sign for good.

2. It snowed last night in Austin and San Antonio. Those who I’m friends with on Facebook know I’ve been excitedly posting about the snowflakes/sleet/wintry mix promises our fickle weathermen have been promising all week. And then taking back because they’re GIANT LIARS!!! Instead, our snow went south and how unfair is that?! I’ve been asking my friend who travels back and forth to a weekend place atop a mountain in Colorado to make a snowman for me, even if it’s a tiny 4″ snowman because they’ve only gotten a dusting. My friend refuses. I. WANT. SNOW. !!!

3. Gracie-girl decided to reclaim her closet and I have a hallway full o’ stuff for me to re-home this weekend. Can you hear my underenthusement? (Is that a word?) It’s not an unreasonable request. The girls shared a room growing up. When Jeff and the Xman moved in, it made more sense for the Xman to share a room with Bee, on the two nights every fourteen days when they’d both be home, and let the girls have their own spaces the rest of the time. Otherwise it would be the girls sharing space all the time, and an empty room for 12 days out of every 14. The Xman was far, far too badly behaved to make that a craft room/Xman’s room to reclaim some functionality. And so we moved Gracie into my craft room. I hastily moved some things so Gracie could hang up her clothes. But I left all the photo albums, scrapbooks, folding chairs, wire shelving unit, and piles and piles of stuff we needed to store and had no other room for. Last weekend Gracie decided she wanted to make it a small office, so she cleared everything out (except the folding chairs – they had to stay) and piled it all in the hallway. I suppose I should, you know, move it. I guess.

4. Bee has been running an underground Slime Business at her school. For the past four months. Yes, this will be a separate blog post. No, I didn’t find out because she went to jail. TL;DR – I need suggestions for an Etsy store name for her to transition into life on the up-and-up.

5. I had a rather successful book haul at the library yesterday! Nine novels, one autobiography. I chose one that someone recently RAVED about on Twitter, but hell if I can remember who it was (and they aren’t ‘fessing up…). The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I grabbed it, thinking it would either go up in flames (and then I could greedily move on to the next book-victim in my pool of contenders….) or I’d fall in gloriously and have all evening to hoover it up. I didn’t have all evening, but I did start thinking it might be one of my Best of 2017; it’s too early for me to say for sure, I’m only about a quarter-way in, but I did volunteer to take shifts covering the receptionist’s breaks today because they let you read up there. I can’t wait to tell you how the rest of my curiosity voyage goes!

And there you have it. A genuine blog post. I hope to have some more for you very soon!

I blinked, so naturally it’s November already.

November 1, 2017

It’s November, and you know what that means?! Yeah, it does! – leftover Halloween candy, soup for dinner, and non-fiction reads!

I didn’t do so well keeping up with my scary reads. I read a lot of steamy romances and books I’d already read before this past month. <shoulder shrug> I can try to follow a theme, but I always end up going where I want to. I’m sure it’s not frustrating at all.

Still, the past few days I’ve almost picked up quite a few non-fic books only to put them back. I saved them for binging during #NonFicNov, which just shows how much I was desperately looking forward to this month’s theme. It’s time to chow down!

As far as the menu, I don’t think I have much of a plan. Find the non-fic books on my To Read list and then read them. I’m not waiting to see which might be better or cheaper or freeer – I’m just getting the book and going. Or, at least, that’s the plan right now.

Who else is joining me fir a little #nonficnov?! What titles are you especially looking forward to?

Fixing my very long day.

October 18, 2017

It’s been a long, crazy week at ThePlaceThatShallNotBeNamed. The kind of long, crazy week that makes you get into someone else’s car at the end of the day, thinking it was yours – but that’s a story for another time.

Tonight, I did a little thing on a whim.

I did this:

IMG_4821

The picture’s kinda dark, and I was trying to be all funky (and make the mess seem, I dunno, cooler) by tilting everything, but that picture there on the wall? That is the kind of crazy thing I did to cheer myself up. I rather like it.

I got the picture for Christmas two years ago. If you can’t quite make it out, it’s a silhouette of Roland from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower standing in front of his Dark Tower, holding a rose. I paid gobs of money to have it professionally framed…and then let it sit on my floor collecting dust. It’s what I do. But when Kim was here in August, we did this thing where we rearranged my room rather dramatically, and the desk I stole back from Gracie really makes the end of my bedroom look so bookish and there was just the right amount of room for Roland to go over my chair, right there next to the door. Don’t you think?

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this works.

I’ve tried this before. Two weeks ago I slapped on some Command hangers, pulled out my handy little level, and secured the picture to the wall. Or…I thought I secured it. Two hours later, I was screaming, popping out of bed, and pretty sure someone was trying to murder me. Thank god my light was still on and I was reading. Otherwise….yeah, let’s not go there.

So! Tonight when I decided at far-too-late-o’clock that a second attempt was necessary, I attached 152 more Command strips (2 probably wasn’t enough before, even if they were huge and extra duty)(yeah, I hear the jokes; shut up), dragged out my level, and tried again.

Have I mentioned how much I like my picture? Up on the wall? It’s like that is a fancy new thing I’ve started – hanging pictures on walls. I’ll try not to go too crazy – I only have 12 more Command strips anyway. And oh, I can only think what kind of blog hits I’ll get off that search term.

Meanwhile, I have a pretty new picture and I took control of the end of my day. Good-o.

 

30 Days of #Readathon: Best.

October 1, 2017

It’s Sunday night, and you know what’s a good way to put off going to work tomorrow? Talking about the Readathon! As you might have heard, Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is celebrating 10 years of readathoning excellence, and to get us all worked up to read all night, Dewey’s fantastic hosts have decided to launch a “30 Days of Readathon” countdown. Each day has a theme; you get to decide how to tackle each theme. You can post blogs, snap pictures, record videos, host podcasts – you do you! The how is up to you. The what is books, obviously. Why? Because BOOKS!

There are 20 days left before our #Readathon kicks off, which means today’s theme is “Best.” Best what? I decided to re-post a picture from October 2014, one of the best Readathon hauls I ever prepped. I borrowed nearly thirty books from the library, just to be sure I had what I needed when the mood struck. (And, yes, I read or perused most of them!)

IMG_5310

It also counts as one of the craziest prepper moments, too! Ha!

What are some of the best moments from your Readathon-er past? Have you ever done anything totally off-the-charts insane?

30 Days of #Readathon: Places.

September 28, 2017

It’s a rainy Thursday, a small cold front is blowing through, and it feels like Piglet and Pooh and their Blustery Day are about the float past me…even though, to be honest, it’s not even all that windy outside. It’s more of a mood. And that mood is screaming at me to call in and stay home so I can cuddle up with a stack of books!

It doesn’t help that today marks 23 Days Left(!) in our 30-day countdown to Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon extravaganza(!!), and Day 23 is all about places. So when I woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m. and my body was All Done with The Sleeping, I pulled up the countdown, checked today’s theme – for those wee small hours of the morning when my heart wants to sleep but my body does not, they seem to be the only minutes I can steal for plotting blog posts and thinking of such things – and I started thinking of all the fun times the girls and I have had blocking pictures and participating in readathons. Then the rain started beating down even harder, and I swear to god I got my lazybones out of bed only because I had two small humans who had school. Uh…not sure if that’s parenting for the win or a solid loss, you guys.

These are some of the places my mind wandered to while I was lying in my bed, so cozily Not Sleeping this morning…

Barnes-and-Noble-Reading

Bookstores. I always pick up a book and read the first few pages in the store, just to see if I’ll be hooked by the voice. Sometimes the plot can be a bit of a slow boil, sometimes characters won’t show up for awhile, but the voice is my favorite part of the Holy Trifecta, and that I can usually tell right away. Not every book with a catchy voice will keep my attention, but a book that doesn’t have it in those first few pages never will. I might learn to appreciate the book – but, dudes, that’s what libraries are for! (One of many, MANY things they’re for – don’t hate.) The girls and I will also wander out to our local Barnes and Noble during the afternoons of long readathons for a change of pace and to keep ourselves engaged. And maybe for some caffeine and a bakery treat if mama’s feeling pretty flush!

BookNook

The Book Nook. The girls created their own little book nook behind the chaise lounge in the living room. Gracie-girl hasn’t been back there in awhile (don’t even get me started on the hundreds of little ways TeenGracie is leaving KidGracie behind!), but Bee will still bring her graphic novels, or fashion books, or her laptop back there (with as many snacks as she can get away with, usually). It’s not fancy – just a bunch of oversize pillows, an outlet that’s unsightly for pictures but perfect for charging e-readers, and sometimes a blanket or two. Just a girl, her books, and a few comfort items. But it’s enough to make my heart happy whenever I catch sight of her back there in her reading cocoon!

Dinand

The stacks. A few trips ago, my sisters and I took the girls to Holy Cross, my alma mater. There are so many gorgeous libraries on campus, but my heart belongs to Dinand. There are secret stairs, lots of couches and comfy chairs, creaky spots in the floors, that book smell sent straight from heaven, and so. many. stacks. It is unpossible to not feel perfectly happy when reading in such a place! I only get to visit now – and not even every trip home – but it’s a place I used to spend many Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons, even if I didn’t have to study. Why waste library time studying when you could spend it reading?!

Reading-in-bed

In bed. My comfy, comfy bed. Mmm…. Because I’ve been waking so early, I’ve been drifting off most nights after I’ve only squeezed in a few pages worth of reading time, but this is still the place I love to read most! All my life I’ve been a bed reader – hiding in our rooms away from the noisy house, flopped across the bed diagonally, not even under the covers. And reading at bedtime was always, always, always the best way to get sleepy and signal that another day was done. Right now I’m daydreaming about a Jetsons-like device that could magically calculate how many pages I’ve read in bed over the course of my lifetime. I’m pretty hearts-in-eyes-swoony over the number I imagine would show up!

Those are just a few of the places I love to read. I couldn’t find the one of me reading on the couch, or out on the patio (reading in the sunshine=sweetness; falling asleep and getting sunburned=AGAIN, KATIE?!), or a bathtub filled with scalding hot water and a nice topper of bubbles or a bath bomb. Oh, or that one great picture I have of me in my car on my lunch break, with the windows down, the sunshine streaming in, my feet up on the dash and a book in my hands. That’s a great picture.

But honestly the thing that makes them great is the book in my hands. That’s all I really need to carve out a “place”!

 

30 Days of #Readathon: Drinks.

September 27, 2017

It’s been a whirlwind kind of week, and I feel like I forgot to tumble out of the floo about six stops ago, but here I am and here we go!

As you might have heard, Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is celebrating 10 years of readathoning excellence, and to get us all worked up to read all night (ha! like we need motivation!), Dewey’s fantastic hosts have decided to launch a “30 Days of Readathon” countdown. Each day has a theme; you get to decide how to tackle each theme. You can post blogs, snap pictures, record videos, host podcasts – hey, who wants to teach me how to Instagram? The point is, the how is up to you. The what is books, obviously. Why? Because you’re wickedly, wonderful insane, just like the way we like!

Today’s topic is drinks. Had I pre-planned a little, I could have gotten a little sloshy last night. In the name of blogging, of course. Alas.

Instead, when I popped my eyes open, wide-awake at 5 a.m. this morning, I used the time to – well, first check the theme and then to plan my attack. I decided to go with my bookish mugs. Look – all patiently waiting to be filled with The Coffees so I can maybe stay awake later.

BookMugs

A few of my favorites are missing – my orange Penguin Pride and Prejudice; my Mischief Managed; my I like BIG BOOKS and I cannot lie mug… But these are still all of my favorites, too. Who can resist Bartleby? I know I would prefer not to. (Sorry. See earlier comment about waking up at 5 a.m. I can’t help myself.) And the Harvard Bookstore mug that warns I am hot and literate? Literal fire.

So! Now it’s your turn! Go forth and show me your frothy bookish drinks. Oof, I did not mean that to sound nearly as dirty as it did…

30 Days of #Readathon: favorite book.

September 21, 2017

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is celebrating 10 years of readathoning excellence this fall. To get the party off to a rip-roading start, Dewey’s fantastic hosts have decided to launch a “30 Days of Readathon” countdown. Each day has a theme; you get to decide how to tackle each theme. You can post blogs, snap pictures, record videos, host podcasts – hell, start an Instagram channel! The how is up to you. The what is books, obviously. Why? Because you’re deliciously insane, just like the rest of us!

Today’s topic is your favorite book. Can you guess mine? The artwork in my bedroom all centers around one book, and today just happens to be the author’s birthday.

DarkTower

30 more days to go…!

Rolling in RIP XII reads!

September 14, 2017

My RIP XII update is here! …because you know you’ve been waiting for it!

ripxii

While I set aside a few books I wanted to read, I’ve gone off list a little. I’ve knocked out a few books I intended to read, though, so the guilt hasn’t quite consumed me. What did I read? I’m so glad you asked!

Final Girls, by Riley Sager (Dutton, 2017, 342 pages, library eloan). Everyone has been talking about this book. Seriously – it’s pretty much all I’ve heard. And because it’s a mystery with a tricky ending, and because it’s written by a woman, of course they trot out “It’s the next Gone Girl!” endlessly. Guys – it’s not the next Gone Girl. So stop that right now. It was a mildly entertaining read, although the main character wasn’t very likeable (and not in a wonderfully complex way like – ha! – Gone Girl accomplished), and while I did enjoy picking up the story and reading to find out what the outcome was, it bugged that the writing was so cliche and obvious in so many areas that as an editor, I might have revisited. Some plot points made me roll my eyes. But here’s the thing – I kept picking it back up. The ending maybe made me wish I had just given it a pass, but I did read from cover to cover. So how do you rate a book like that? I’ll give it 3 of 5 stars. Because if I saw someone was reading it, I wouldn’t stop them. I might, however, advise everyone to borrow instead of buying.

Not a Sound, by Heather Gudenkauf (Park Row Books, 2017, 296 pages, library loan). I’m not a huge fan of Gudenkauf; her plotlines are easy to trick apart early on, her female characters easily fit into uncomplicated boxes with predictable actions and mindsets (as do her male characters for the most part, but they do have more emotional range, perhaps because they have nothing to prove?), and, I don’t know, her books sometimes have this overly dramatic feel, kinda like a Jodi Piccoult. But usually they’re not that bad, and I know I can at least sit down and be diverted for a couple hours. Except, not this one. This one I couldn’t finish. The main character lost her hearing in an accident, and I thought having a disabled main character might be a chance to shine! And then Gudenkauf used her character’s disability as a plot device. One very clunkily handled. I couldn’t deal with so much eye-rolling over that and over all the usual awkwardness of how the characters act and don’t act. The predictability of it all – and seeing it go in bad, bad places – ruined it for me. And the murder that the character finds in the beginning? Totally unbelievable how our m.c. acted! So, nope. Couldn’t do it. Not even “letting” her be an alcoholic who wasn’t allowed to see her step-daughter (a gendered role reversal I was interested in) on top of everything else could draw me in to see how it played out. What a disappointment. 1 of 5 stars.

Vassa in the Night, by Sarah Porter (Tor Teen, 2016, 296 pages, hardcover). Gracie got this book through her book box subscription service – the one that I’ve been reading all the books from! And Vassa was okay. It had an interesting retelling of the Cinderella story, set in an alternative, fantasy-styled Brooklyn. Porter is a strong writer and the parts that I loved most were her rich descriptions and the way she was able to color a scene so vibrantly; I could see everything Porter described. The story was…well, I don’t think it was it so much as it was me; I’ve read so many of these types of books lately, I think I’m a little burned out. So really – my fault. I’d recommend if it’s your jam! 2 1/2 of 5.

A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow, 2015, 286 pages, ebook). This was a Deal of the Day a while back and I snagged it because I had started reading it so many times from the library and just couldn’t find time. RIP was a great excuse! I was excited to dive in because Stephen King had blurbed it, too, and how can you beat that?! It lives up to some extent – it reads like The Exorcism meets The Virgin Suicides directed by John Hughes. Scary, but not, but you can see the rotted everything there at the surface, bubbling over. And you try to contain it, but can’t. That’s the part that scares me the most – you have no control. Not over the ghosts in your head. Not if they’re that strong. But I wasn’t as carried away with the book as a whole as I was by the scary mind-full-ness of the thing. I wondered if King had blurbed it partly because William Morrow was who first launched his Dark Tower stories and I know he appreciates the firm. Whatever the case, I couldn’t give it more 3 of 5 stars.

So that’s all the books I’ve managed. I’m halfway through the second Dark Tower book (speak of the devil), and Thirteenth Tale, and I started It before I went to the movie. (Which was AMAZING, you guys! Like, pushing myself backwards through my chair, scream-laughing the entire time.)

And all that scary is why I’ve been reading so many romances and YA-drama books right before bedtime – so I can shake some of the scary from my brain!

But you shouldn’t. You should read more so you can give me good recs so we can keep the RIP party rollin’! Hit me up with your faves!