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This Week in Books: April 30-May 6

This week is Golden Week in Japan, and I’ve got the whole week off from work. Sweet, right? Extra blogging time!

Nah. I’ll be at Dyke Weekend from today until Thursday – no WiFi – and then there’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride. (I’m running the Stonewall Japan booth on Sunday, so stop by and say “hi.”)

So I won’t have much time to blog, but I will have more time to read!

I haven’t quite finished last week’s books; I’m a slow reader, and there were a lot of them. I’m nearly finished with Come As You Are, and I’ve requested the The Girl with No Shadow audiobook for the third time (sigh) so hopefully I can finish that soon…

(I’ll admit, that makes these memes hard for me. There was a time when I finished a book (or more) every week, but now I have a full time job, my own apartment, I cook all of my work lunches, and there’s always Tokyo to explore… This “having a life” thing is great, but it does put a dint in my reading time.)

Like I said, I’m still working on everything from last week. The Gauntlet is due back in four days, and I haven’t even had a chance to start it yet. I’ll have to get on that real quick, especially if I want it ready to recommend for the local book award (nominations are due by May 8).

I’m going to pack a print book for my little Golden Week getaway, too; either My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer or Good Omens. Depends on how I feel when I pack… in about an hour.

Reading on my phone is so convenient, but it’s not quite as peaceful as sitting around, looking out at the mountains and drinking tea with a real, ink-and-paper book in my hand.

First I’m gonna catch up with all this stuff. I shouldn’t even be thinking about what I want to read next.

… but lately I’ve been in the mood to reread either The Silmarillion and/or The Drawing of the Three (which is my favorite Dark Tower book).

This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy at Lipsyy Lost & Found.

this week in books

This Week in Books: April 23-29

This is This Week in Books, a weekly feature to let you know what I’ve been reading!

I dropped Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners, because it wasn’t funny or informative. Expect a scathing review soon.

I’ve temporarily set aside my reread of The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia, but I’ll get back to that as soon as I catch up on some of my library holds.

I had one of those #bookwormproblem weeks when suddenly, everything I’ve put on hold over the last several months came  in… at once. So I’ve got The Girl with No Shadow and The Princess Diaries on audio; Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, Ireland: A Shot History, and The Gauntlet in ebook; and My Mixed-up Berry Blue Summer in print.3427448

Phew! I actually returned Ireland, and The Princess Diaries almost as soon as they came in, because I knew, realistically, I could never finish all of those books at the same time – especially the audiobooks – so I’d go to the back of the line and let someone else have them.

In a way, I’m grateful for the sudden glut: not only do I have several books to bounce between while I can’t focus, but it’s forced me to drop books that actually weren’t that good. If I’d picked up Unmentionable at any other time, I probably would’ve slogged through it for want of anything else.

First, I’m gonna get through this mess of holds, and then I’ll get back to The Magician’s Book.

Plus, who knows? I’m always finding things to read that aren’t on my TBR, and never getting around to reading things I added ages ago. I like to live dangerously.

This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy at Lipsyy Lost & Found.


this week in books

This Week in Books: October 27-November 2

THEN: The Answer, by Rebecca Sugar

The only book I’ve read since last week’s slump was the Steven Universe tie-in picture book, The Answer. (I reviewed it here.)

NOW: The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. by Jessica Valenti

I’ve been meaning to read The Purity Myth more-or-less since it came out in 2007 and somehow, I never got around to it until now. (I love library ebooks.) I’m glad her memoir, Sex Object, didn’t turn me off from her writing. If I hadn’t meant to read this for so long, would I have picked it up after that? I don’t know.

This has been a good read. I’m back on my “women’s studies 101” kick.

NEXT: The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien; Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed

Both of these came in from on hold a little too late, but I think I’ll read them anyway.

I have a lot of sewing to do if I’m going to get these Christmas presents finished on time, so The Lord of the Rings audiobook will be good for that – though I doubt I can get through the whole thing in the two week borrowing limit.

Tiny Beautiful Things is a re-read. I wanted some self-help to read over my autumn vacation, but since Radical Self-Love was such a let-down, I decided to go back to an oldie but goodie that I knew wouldn’t disappoint.

This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found.

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This Week in Books: October 13-19

Then: Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier

I slowed down a little this week. The only thing I’ve finished since last week is Raina Telgemeier’s newest graphic novel, Ghosts, which arrived with the book club books on Friday. After an extremely hectic day – asking myself “which is the more dire need: the loo or a snack?” because I’ll only have time to do one or the other kind of hectic – I rewarded myself by taking this out of the cataloging stack and reading it at my desk during my “lunch break” (from 3:30pm-4pm).

It was so good. Full review to come.

Now: Brightwood, by Tania Unsworth

I was super excited for Brightwood, but I won’t lie: the book starting off with a description of the wealthy, perfect Fitzjohn family kind of threw me off. It reminded me too much of my Mary Sue obsessed days. I was most interested in the aspect of mental illness, but there’s an almost fairy tale-ish quality that’s somehow undermining that. I don’t know. I’ll keep reading and get back to you on that.

Next: something by Judith Tarr

I’m not sure what I plan to read next. There’s always something else on my TBR, you know? but one of my friends recommended I read a Judith Tarr book. I’m not sure what I’ll pick up. I chose Forgotten Suns from the list because it had the prettiest cover, but I was recommended to read one of her historical fantasies.

This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found.

this week in books

This Week in Books: October 6-12

“Where were you on Monday?”
I was sick.

But I’m back for This Week in Books!

Then: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling; Among Others, by Jo Walton; The Golden Compass and Philosophy: God Bites the Dust, edited by Richard V. Greene (dropped)

I finished listening to Prisoner of Azkaban with hours to spare before the due date. I usually listen to it at work while I’m shelving or processing books, but I had a chapter left on the Saturday morning it was due, so I sat in bed, crocheted, and listened.

There’s so much hope in the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry’s hopeful, of course, about his newfound relationship with Sirius, but then there was the exuberance and impatience of waiting for Goblet of Fire. I couldn’t help but feel shivery and excited when Ron talked about his dad getting them Quidditch World Cup tickets.

Another reread, I finished Among Others. I’m still not sure about the ending. I’ll get back to you once I’ve had a chance to think about it.

Oh, and I dropped The Golden Compass and Philosophy. Usually that kind of thing is right up my alley, but it just wasn’t working for me.

Now: The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman; Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives, by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

I wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit to listening to Goblet of Fire, one of my least favorite Harry Potter books, and Order of the Phoenix felt like a huuuuge time sink, so I jumped the tracks to The Golden Compass. I can only listen to audiobooks of books I’ve read before; the better I know them, the, well, better. I just get distracted sometimes.

Lyra’s voice annoyed me at first, but it’s grown on me. Mrs. Coulter’s voice is not what I expected.

The other book I’ve got going is another nonfiction book about girls and women, but it’s taking a “more nuanced” look at women and beauty, instead of just the “negative” ideas about women’s body image, advertising, etc. I’m not sure I like it; I find myself resisting a lot of what Whitefield-Madrano has to say.

Next: Brightwood, by Tania Unsworth

I can’t believe I didn’t know about Brightwood until today! It’s everything I’ve been looking for in a book; what’s magic and what’s mental illness has plagued me since I read The Magicians (and Among Others, actually) for reasons that deserve their own post. Let’s just say, I read a review of this and immediately knew I had to have it.

This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found.

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This Week in Books: September 29-October 5

I stayed home sick today, so maybe this blog post isn’t up to snuff…

Then: Not Your Sidekick, by C.B. Lee; I Kill Giants, by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Nakamura; and Unicorn on a Roll, by Dana Simpson

First off, I had a great reading week this week. Not Your SidekickI Kill Giants, and Unicorn on a Roll, all within a few days? Good stuff. I definitely needed Unicorn on a Roll to calm down after I finished the brilliant, beautiful I Kill Giants. I won’t say too much now; spoilery review coming later.

Speaking of brilliant and beautiful: Where was Not Your Sidekick when I was a teenager? I can’t even imagine who I would be if this kind of queer-inclusive media existed when I needed it so bad back then that I didn’t even know I needed it. (My friend gave me a copy of Empress of the World, maybe trying to make me come out, but I didn’t get the hint.)

Full review of Not Your Sidekick to come when I’ve calmed down, but:

Now: The Golden Compass and Philosophy: God Bites the Dust, edited by Richard V. Greene; Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing, by Melissa Mohr; and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling

After Not Your Sidekick, I figured I was heading for “book hangover” territory, and so I decided some nonfiction was safer for now. I love reading books about books, and my favorite books to read about are Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. There’s just so much to explore. So I borrowed The Golden Compass and Philosophy from the Boston Public Library.

think the idea is that a casual, chatty tone will make philosophy more approachable for fans/non-philosophers, but it’s a little off-putting – and I am the queen of casual, chatty writing.

I was stuck at home sick today, so I decided to spend some time reading a (gasp!) print book. I don’t like hauling them around in my purse, but since I was here anyway, I picked up my nonfiction fave, Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing, which I first read last year and loved. I can’t help but read passages aloud to anyone else in the room while I’m reading.

… and I’m still listening to Prisoner of Azkaban at work.

Next: Among Others, by Jo Walton; The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman; Princess Princess Ever After, by Katie O’Neill

I grabbed Among Others on a whim. I’ve read it before, but that was a strange time in my life when I really, really needed the magic not to be real. (Maybe I’ll tell you that story sometime.) I’m curious to go back and reread it again now and see how I feel about it – especially that ending.

I put The Golden Compass audiobook on hold, figuring it would be a week or so before it came in and I’d have time to finish Prisoner of Azkaban. Whoops! I was wrong. It came back within a few hours. So I’ve got it out, and I guess it will give me something to do this weekend, because it’s supposed to rain again all weekend.

Finally, “Didn’t you have Princess Princess Ever After on your list last week?”
Yes, actually, I did, but my book still hasn’t arrived and there’s no tracking. Fingers crossed it comes in soon. I preordered this back when it was first announced in, what, May?

This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found.

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This Week in Books: September 21-28, 2016

Welcome to This Week in Books, where I’ll keep you updated on what I’m currently reading!

Then: Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, by Peggy Orenstein; The Rise of Enlightened Sexism: How Pop Culture Took Us from Girl Power to Girls Gone Wild, by Susan J. Douglas

I picked up Girls & Sex on the advice of a colleague who suggested it. I can’t wait to talk with her about it. She said that anyone who works with teenagers (educators, social workers, parents) should read it. I’m in the elementary school, not the high school, but I gave it a go (and read Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter, about the 3-12 crowd) and I’m looking forward to our discussion.

Girls & Sex is Peggy Orenstein’s expose on “the complicated new landscape” of teenage girls’ and young womens’ sexualities and sexual lives, from hook-up culture to “rainbow party” panics, and “no means no” to “yes means yes,” Orenstein explores what’s changed and what hasn’t for girls and young women today.

After Girls & Sex, I continued on the theme and read Susan J. Douglas’s Enlightened Sexism. There was some thematic overlap between the three; Douglas’s book focuses on the role of media and the battle between “embedded feminism,” that takes for granted the feminist accomplishments of the last 50+ years,  and “enlightened sexism,” which declares feminism so over, so we can go back to focusing on girly things like catfights and pleasing men, which is what women really want, right?

(Full review and reflection to come.)

Now: Not Your Sidekick, by C.B. Lee; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling

All of my library holds came in at onceof course. So I’ve got Prisoner of Azkaban to listen to at work, or at home while I crochet, and Not Your Sidekick for… basically all other times, ever. I can’t put it down. As I said on Twitter,

Not Your Sidekick is the story of Jessica Tran, daughter of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants… who also happen to be C-rank superheroes. Her big sister manifested metaphysical powers, her little brother is a super-genius, and she’s a B student with no powers. Determined to do something with her life, Jess takes an internship in the Experimental Division of Monroe Industries working – oops? – for her parents’ villainous rivals, the Mischiefs.

Stop reading my review and put Not Your Sidekick on hold at your local library ASAP.

Next: Princess Princess Ever After, by Katie O’Neill

My roommate texted me this morning to let me know my book had been delivered and I was super excited!!, but then I got home and it was… not my book. (My friend got a DVD shipped to my place because so many Japanese companies won’t ship outside of the country. It’s no trouble, except when I think my comic is finally coming and it’s… not.)

This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found.