Tag Archives: reading list

A Final Book Count

Counting from my first month of law school to now…I have officially read 736 books while in law school. 

737 if I finish The Enchanted April tonight. 

It is a tiny victory, and yet a satisfying one. 


Can’t Wait…For My Holds

I thought about doing a Can’t Wait Wednesday post but when I think about the books I truly cannot to read, the problem isn’t that they have yet to be published. The problem is that I’m waiting for them on my library reading app, Libby.

I love Libby. I credit it for why I can read at the level I do. It means I have a book–or 9–at my fingertips at any given moment of the day. But Libby only allows 10 holds per card! And with holds taking weeks, if not months, to come in, it can take a while to get the book you want. 

For example, I’ve been waiting for Elantris by Brian Sanderson for over two months and I still have six months to go on my hold. 

Sometimes a bunch of the holds come in at the same time. Then you have 5 days to read them all. Pressure, even for me. Alas, it means reading as far as you can and then putting the book on hold again. I got 5% into Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano before it was due back. Then I put it on hold again and waited a month. Got the book again and made it to the 15% mark. Returned it and now have at least two weeks to go before I will get it again. 

Sometimes I will read a book and eagerly search for the next one in the series…only to learn I’ve got a 7 week wait ahead of me. This proves particularly tricky when I’m in a phase–for example, cozy mysteries–and desperately eager to get my hands on Book #16 of the Miss Fortune Mystery Series. But come 7 weeks later when the books come in, I’ve moved on to Regency novels and my eagerness to read a book titled Swamp Santa went out the window over a month ago. 

So, it is an imperfect system. And even with two library cards, I get angsty waiting for my 20 holds. I swear weeks go by with nothing and then they always come in all at once. But I get quick, convenient access to a lot of books and don’t have to worry about returning them on time (it is automatic!) Plus, I love the audio book option. It lets me play books at 3x the speed. 

So, my current Can’t Wait Wednesday reads? 

Elantris by Brian Sanderson

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano

The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis (audio)

Reflection on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis (audio)

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Lovely War by Julie Berry

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce

(And then more Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews novels than I will admit to 😉 )


Semester Reads

Christmas came early (or perhaps late? I did accept this job last year) for me. I got finally got the syllabus for the class I am TAing for this semester and it includes the books we will be reading. The authors are:

  • Machiavelli 
  • Luther
  • Swift
  • Hobbes
  • Locke
  • Kant
  • Smith
  • Rousseau 
  • Marx
  • Nietzsche 

Going to be good!! I do hope my students are prepared for how much of a Locke fangirl I am.


2019 Reading Challenge: Jane Austen Related

You’ve all been lovely about my inundation of book-related posts but I am going to put you through one more: the best and worst Jane Austen related books of 2019. Because here is a fact: if there is one saturated genre, it is the spin-offs, reimaginings, and retellings of Jane Austen’s works. And I read a lot of them this past year. So here are a few of my favorite and least favorites from the past year that maybe did not make 5 stars, but proved memorable. 

Listed from best to worst: 

  1. Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon by Maria Grace (a surprisingly delightful P&P retelling starring dragons!)
  2. Longbourn: Dragon Entail by Maria Grace (sequel to Pemberley) 
  3. Netherfield: Rogue Dragon by Maria Grace (final book in the trilogy) 
  4. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin (P&P with a Muslim twist. Keep your eye out for a longer blog post contrasting this one with Unmarriageable and Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors)
  5. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal (P&P in Pakistan)
  6. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale (sequel to Austenland and better than the original but not as good as the movie)
  7. The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret C. Sullivan (good beginner read but gives advice like the author is Caroline Bingley which is weird.)
  8. All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith (an interesting premise–American professor leading Austen book-clubs in South America–but execution fell flat) 
  9. Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken (basically Mansfield Park 2.0 but with a gutsier heroine)
  10. An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan (P&P from Darcy’s POV)
  11. First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride & Prejudice by Alexa Adams (imagine Darcy and Elizabeth did not take an instant dislike to one another. What would happen?! With this plot, nothing interesting.) 
  12. Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd (took forever to get murdering!) 
  13. A Weekend With Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly (hated it)
  14. Bespelling Jane Austen by Mary Balogh and others (4 short stories–1 decent, the others trash)
  15. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn (see my 1 star posts)
  16. Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos (so bad I did not finish)

200 Books!

I finished my 200th book for 2019 on Friday! I got a major head start on the number while in Thailand and slowed down over the summer. I expected to hit 200 sooner.

To celebrate, and because I’m gone this coming week and don’t want to worry about blogging every day, I’ll be posting a “2-4 star” book review every day for the next few days. In other words, these are the books that won’t make it on my end-of-the-year 1 and 5 star lists, but I still find notable. 

I’ll even give you an advanced look so you know which ones to come back for:

Monday: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Tuesday: Wisconsin Murders: An Enquiry into Mayhem and Homicide in the Midwest by August Derleth

Wednesday: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Thursday: Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson

Friday: All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane by Amy Elizabeth Smith

Saturday: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 


Can’t Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.

Somewhere Only We Know

Title: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Publishing Date: May 7, 2019 

Goodreads Synopsis: 10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

 

My Reaction: K-POP STARLET.  Enough said.
(But also, Maurene Goo. I love everything she writes.) 

 

(Is Can’t-Wait Wednesday still a thing? I am just going to hope it is because my sleep deprived brain can’t think of a better blog post right now. Consider yourself spared angst about my paper. Also I just finished typing up some blog posts for the next few days – I apologize in advance for any spelling and grammar errors. I’m seriously sleepy.)

 


Whatcha Reading…? 1/28/2019 Book Update

Back in 2016-2017, I used to do an occasional “Whatcha Reading” update. Basically, when I find myself buried in avalanche of current reads, I like sorting them out on here. 

Now, I know what you are thinking! “BUT WHAT ABOUT THAILAND?!” I promise I’m still here. The thing is, due to certain circumstances, I spent the weekend at home. And really, the most exciting thing I accomplished was laundry. I’ve strained my brain to make laundry an entertaining story, but mostly it involved me lacking the correct change and making strategic visits to the convenience store to get more. Mostly I read. And as I’ve decided to tackle several rather long books courtesy but my new Kindle, a “Whatcha Reading” update is the best way I can describe my weekend.

Without further ado, I present you my current reads: Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, Ethics by Aristotle, The City of God by Saint Augustine, Pamela by Samuel Richardson, and Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy L. Sayers. (And lest you think my reading involves only intellectual works, I must confess I recently finished To Catch A Bad Guy by Marie Astor, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joane Flunke, and The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Cruise – all as horrible as they sound.) As you can see, I’m working through the As on my Kindle. 

Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas is 95,666 pages long. I’m 1,520 pages in –  about 1%. I do not plan on finishing it this year…or next…or maybe the year after. But the work played an instrumental role in developing Western thought so I figure it is worth the long term commitment. 

Ethics by Aristotle…I am not sure what I think about this one yet. Obviously, I’m familiar with Aristotle’s theory of virtue as the mean between two extremes. He jumps around quite a bit, however, between personal application of virtue and civic virtue. His explanation of justice I found particularly intriguing. Mostly I feel like I miss as much as I understand. But I find his method of explaining things helps me better understand Aquinas. (Similar formatting of arguments.) 

I purchased my copy of The City of God by Saint Augustine instead of getting the free version and I am amazed the difference a good translation makes. I am not particularly far into the book but I’m quite intrigued. It begins with a seeming history lesson about the barbarians who sacked Rome but did not touch the Christian churches. Amidst this strange beginning, Saint Augustine weaves several points about human suffering. 

Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson was published in 1740 and I’ve been dragging myself through it since last July. Though a remarkable literary achievement for its time, I find the entire work slow and irritating. But I’m also stubbornly determined to finish it since it was a ‘first’ for many literary tropes we use today. (And Jane Austen read it.) 

Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy L. Sayers is incredibly good so far. I find it easier to grasp than her work about the trinity, The Mind of the Maker. In this book, she tackles Christian doctrine. She continues to emphasize the creativity of God and the importance of creation for human identity. I’m convinced this one will end up an immediate favorite.