2014 End of Year Book Survey



Every year, Jaime at the Perpetual Page-Turner puts together this great End of Year survey. It’s just a fun way to look back on your reading year. I took most of December off from blogging, which was much needed, but I’m ready to get back into the swing of things with a full week of best of 2014 and looking ahead to 2015. To kick it off, I’m going to start with the year-end survey! I always pick the questions that are most relevant to my reading life, so be sure to check out the full survey if you’d like to add it to your blog, too!

Reading Stats

Number of Books Read: 102 and I’m expecting to read a few more before the week is over.
Number of Rereads: 3
Genre You Read the Most From: Fantasy – 39 books.

Best In Books

Best book read in 2014? Like I could pick just one! Someone by Alice McDermott, The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Book I was excited about and thought I was going to love more: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. A Secret History is one of my favorite books, so I had high hopes for The Goldfinch. While I liked it a lot, it’s definitely not one I’ll read again.

Most surprising book: I’m going to go with most surprising series – The Vampire Academy series and the Bloodlines series. I devoured these this year and really loved them, which I wasn’t expecting! They aren’t perfect books, but I liked the world building a lot and cared about the characters.

Book I pushed the most people to read: I’m constantly telling people to read The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Best series I started in 2014: Bloodlines!

Favorite new author: I think everyone discovered Roxane Gay this year, but An Untamed State was one of the best books I read this year. Celeste Ng is another author I’m eager to read again and Lin Enger, author of The High Divide.

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year: The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero and The Three by Sarah Lotz

Book I’m most likely to reread next year: I like to wait at least a year or so in between rereads, so probably nada.

Favorite cover: 

9781616202545 Aristotle_and_Dante_Discover_the_Secrets_of_the_Universe_cover

Most memorable character of 2014: Jane Eyre

Most beautifully written book of 2014: Talking to the Dead by Helen Dunmore and Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman (Goal: read more beautiful books in 2014)

Most thought-provoking book of 2014: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Book I Can’t Believe I Waited Until 2014 to Read: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield – I won this galley in a Twitter contest ages ago and it had been sitting on my shelf for a long while. I ended up loving it and I’m sorry it sat on my shelf for so long!

Favorite passage? From Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman:

The letters are sitting right here, bound in dirty string so they can’t come open too easily, so they can’t steal my nights as I look for secrets in their creases. Mama developed Grandma’s preference for onionskin paper too, and felt-tip, I wait for this to happen to me, I’m certain it will. The only way to tell the difference between Mama’s letters and Grandma’s at first glance is that Mama’s stay bundled up so tight the string rips into their pages and Grandma’s are loose and open, all over this table. I keep Mama’s letters closed, keep their edges close together like a cut that needs force to heal. I’m all wrapped up in there, jumbled with her, small i‘s and slashes, her story in my story at every turn.

Shortest book? Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson (40 pages) Longest book? A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin (976 pages)

 Book that shocked me the most: Wild Ones by Jon Mooallem had some fascinating and shocking facts about conservation and extinction.

OTP: Sydney and Adrian!!!!

Favorite non-romantic relationship: Karou & Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Favorite book read in 2014 from an author I’ve read previously: Locke & Key and Saga volumes 2 and 3

Best book I read in 2014 based on a recommendation: Wild Ones by Jon Mooallem based on a recommendation from Aarti

Best debut I read in 2014? Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Best worldbuilding? Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Book that put a smile on my face: Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and

Book that made me cry: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Hidden gem of the year: I want everyone to read David R. Dow, so I’m going to say Things I Learned from Dying by David R. Dow

Book that crushed my soul: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Most unique book of 2014: The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero – Though this style of book isn’t really unique, it was definitely the most unique book I read in 2014!

Book that made me the most madAn Untamed State by Roxane Gay made me viscerally angry about the horrible things that people can do to each other.

Looking Ahead

One book I didn’t get to in 2014 that will be a priority in 2015: I’ve already picked out my first book of the year for 2015 and it’s going to be My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, which I’ve only heard good things about.

Book I am most anticipating for 2015: The third book in the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patric Rothfuss, Doors of Stone, does not have an official release date, but the rumor is that it will be in 2015. Fingers crossed!

One thing I hope to do in my reading life: For every book by a white person, I would like to read a book by a person of color and keep up my trend of reading more books by women. I’m going to do a more detailed post about my 2014 stats and my 2015 reading goals, so keep an eye out for that this week!

What did your reading year look like?




Introducing Nonfiction November!

cork w books


I’m so excited to announce that Nonfiction November is returning for 2014! The idea for Nonfiction November came because I had had such a great year of themed reading and I had (and have) way too many nonfiction books languishing unread on my shelves, plus alliteration is a wonderful thing, so Nonfiction November was born. Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, nonfiction blogging hero and all around wonderful person, co-hosted with me and it ended up being one of my favorite blogging months ever! This year I’m happy to say we have two new bloggers who have joined us – Rebecca from I’m Lost in Books and Katie from Doing Dewey will be co-hosting with us this year!

Like last year, this is an event that can be as low-key or as involved as you want it to be! There are three main ways you can participate and, of course, we hope you’ll be able to do all three! I’m most excited about our new readalong this year, but we need your help to pick out the book we’ll be reading. See below!

Option One

Read and post about one nonfiction book during the month of November and include it in one of our linky posts!

Option Two

Participate in our weekly discussions about nonfiction! Each week there will be a different topic, hosted by a different co-host. On Monday, we’ll post about that week’s topic and on Friday we’ll do a round up of that week’s participants. You can put your post up on anytime during the week, just be sure to add your link to the linky before Friday so we can include you in the round up post! Here are this year’s topics, so you can plan ahead:

Week 1 (Nov 3-7), Hosted by Kim – Your Year in Nonfiction

Take a look back at your year in nonfiction and answer the following questions:

  • What was your favorite nonfiction read of 2014?
  • What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
  • What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
  • What do you hope to get out of Nonfiction November?

Week 2 (Nov 10-14), Hosted by Leslie (me!) – Be the Expert/Become the Expert/Ask the Expert

This was one of my favorite topics last year. Everyone loves a list, after all! If you decide to Be the Expert, post a list of books about a certain topic that you’ve read and can recommend. If you’d like to Become the Expert, do a little research and create a list of books on a certain topic that you’d like to read. Finally, if you’d just like suggestions from other participants on which books to read about a certain topic, you can Ask the Expert. Here are a few examples from last year.

Week Three (Nov 17-21), Hosted by Rebecca – Diversity in Nonfiction

What does diversity in nonfiction mean to you? Is it about the topic or theme of the book? Or is it the race or ethnicity of the author? Do you have any recommendations for diverse nonfiction books? Are there any topics that you’d like to see written about and/or read more widely?

Week Four (Nov 24-28), Hosted by Katie – New to My TBR

It’s been a week full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

Option Three

POLL COLLAGE_2Finally, the third way you can participate is new this year: our Nonfiction November Readalong! This year we’re adding a readalong component and we’d like you to help us pick which book we’ll be reading. Please go to this link to vote on which of the following four books you’d like to read for the readalong: Cleopatra by Stacy SchiffThe Sports Gene by David Epstein, The Restless Sleep by Stacy Hornor Wild Ones by Jon Mooallem. 

PHEW. That was a lot to say in one post, but I hope you’re as excited about participating in Nonfiction November as we are about reading your posts! I can’t wait!

A More Diverse Universe


The wonderful Aarti at BookLust has been running A More Diverse Universe every fall for the past two years. In past years, she’s challenged bloggers to read science fiction and fantasy novels by people of color and post about them. The first year, it lead to me reading The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun by NK Jemisin. Just reading through this post again made me want to reread the series! They’re wonderful fantasy novels that I highly recommend. Lsat year, I had every intention of participating, but I didn’t quite make the date, but it did make me take a serious look at my reading habits and what I can do to make sure I’m reading more and more books by authors of color.

This year, Aarti is opening up the challenge a little bit. Instead of reading fantasy and science fiction books by an author of color, the task this year is to read and review any book by an author of color during September 14-27th. I also have a goal (that I’m woefully behind on) to read books on my TBR, so I pulled the books that I could reach (there are a few boxes in front of my bookshelves still unfortunately) from my shelves and I came up with a reading list. Here are my pool of titles!




I don’t expect to finish all of these, but I think it’s a good selection that includes nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Historical fiction and contemporary. A lot of these books are BIG though, so I’m not quite sure how many I’ll get through in the next three weeks, but hopefully I’ll have a few reviews for you during A More Diverse Universe.

If you’re interested in participating, head on over to Aarti’s post to sign up. I can’t wait to read your reviews!


This past month…

2014-05-03 14.19.04 - Copy

I feel like so many things have happened and I don’t even know where to begin. The days all jumble together until I can’t tell one week apart from the other. I’ve traveled a lot – to Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina, Indianapolis. That picture up there is from my plane and that’s Cincinnati. Did you know that the Cincinnati airport is actually in Kentucky? I’ve worked. I made up for only reading one book the entire month of April (to be fair, it was A Feast of Crows) by reading 5 books this weekend (four comics, one novel). I’ve enjoyed good weather and bad. I’ve had wonderful news and horrible news and all the ups and downs that come with it. I’ve learned things about myself and feel like time has passed both too slowly and too quickly. All in all, I’m incredibly grateful that I got to just sit on my couch this weekend.

There have been times this past month when I didn’t miss blogging. A few afternoons when I thought I could give this up, probably. But there have been other days when my fingers have itched to write and I tried to let them write without a purpose, in a journal, in a google doc, and I missed this. What I really missed was you. I have felt a little bereft not knowing what’s going on in your lives. I’ve spent the past few days catching up – I’m sorry if I didn’t comment, but know that I read it and I want to know more! What has happened to you this month? What have you been reading? Tell me everything.

This week in…


I made two manageable goals at the beginning of the year: record a quote from every book I read and post at least once a week. So far I’ve kept that up! I’ve been posting very general thoughts about books, random things that occur to me when I am reading or when I begin writing the post. I’ve been calling these posts “Quotes & Notes” and so far, I’ve published ones on Things I’ve Learned from Dying by David R. DowThe Reconstructionist by Nick Arvin, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Next week, you can look forward to reading about Tandem by Ann Jarzab, On Such A Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee and probably Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.


I’ve decided on a very basic reading schedule for 2014 based on what has worked well in January:

  • one book in translation
  • one book from work that is publishing in Fall 2014. I want to read the whole Fall fiction list, something I haven’t done in the almost 2.5 years I’ve been at this job.
  • one 2014 release (not from work)
  • at least one comic a week
  • the rest from my TBR in 2014 list

I feel like the reason I always fail at reading my TBR is because of all the new shiny books out there! This gives me two books that I’m allowed to buy a month, plus a third new book from work. All the excitement from Comics February has made me remember the days when I used to read one comic a week. It might not happen every week, but it’s good to have the goal. At my standard reading pace, this help me get pretty darn close to finishing off my 2014 list, while still not feeling bored by having my reading planned out for the year. ALSO I’m perfectly happy DNFing a book from my TBR list. I’ve already sent one out the door that I just couldn’t stand.

I’m not expecting every week to be perfect, but it helps to know what I want my 2014 reading year to look like (which I already talked about here and here) and actually applying that to a month’s worth of reading!


I’m working on a “scrap” blanket, in an effort to use up ALL THE YARN. For a while, I was just buying any pretty yarn I saw, and then never finished any projects with it. Fortunately, all the colors I own compliment each other pretty well, because it’s coming together nicely.

scrap blanket

As for what I’ll do when this is finished and I have no yarn… I have been thinking of trying out one of two new hobbies: bookbinding and hand quilting. I’ve been following Trish’s progress on her hex quilt and I really want to make my own! I even picked out the fabric I would use. I am also obsessed with this bookbinding tumblr and I watched a ton of bookbinding howtos from Sea Lemon this morning. Both of these hobbies are going to take a little investment, so I have to decide! I have dabbled in bookbinding and sewing in the past, but not seriously. I’m looking forward to learning something new!


  • Andi’s post “15 Topics for your Blogging Blues” – I shall keep this post in my pocket for all the rainy blogging days.
  • Sasha’s post “Into Whatever Crazy Beauty Awaits” – The last paragraph of this gives me  chills. It’s so so beautiful and such a wonderful way to anticipate the new year. I’m trying to hold onto all the New Year enthusiasm as long as I can. When is it no longer acceptable to say Happy New Year?
  • Jason’s post “Comfort Food” – “I love [pb&j]. Like, the actual emotion. Like, I have an intense, fraught, passionate relationship with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Yup.
  • Linda Holmes’s post “Chris Christie and Pulling the Red Handle” via Clare @ The Literary Omnivore – Amen is all I really have to say about that.

looking ahead.

This week, I’ll be reading If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino (my monthly translation!), Someone by Alice McDermott (book club read), and The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. Plus anxiously anticipating Comics February!!!

What did you do this past week? What are you looking forward to next week?

2013 Reading Stats

I haven’t posted reading stats here in a while and I didn’t do a very good job of keeping track the past few years. Life just got in the way. In 2013, though, I made it a point to keep track of a few things: date finished, page count, publisher, pub date, male/female ratio, where the author was from, and whether or not the book was a translation. I think it is interesting to see how my reading changes over time and how it shifted throughout the year. It’s mostly for me, but I know that I love reading other people’s stats posts. I’m fascinated by what people decide to keep track of. As for my 2013 reading, I’ve talked already about how I only read one translation this year and how I want to make it a priority to read more in 2014, but how did my other stats fair?

Total Books Read: 104. One hundred seems to be my magic number. Sometimes I read a little bit more, sometimes a little bit less, but it is always around 100 books, no matter what I do.

Total Pages: 33,259! I loved how Care pulled out her chunksters (books with more than 450 pages) to see what percentage of this year’s page count was chunksters. I read 14 chunksters, which were a total of 11,477 pages or 34.5% of my total reading for the year.

Age range: 65 books for adults (62.5%), 24 YA (23%), 3 Middle Grade (3%), 1 Children’s (1%) and 11 that were vague crossovers that could have fit into two or three categories (10.5%). I’m pretty happy with this split, though I wouldn’t necessarily mind if there were more YA books next year.

Genre: This is so hard to pin down, I’m almost hesitant to even track it every year. This is, in reality, a combination of form and genre, to make it a little bit easier.

  • 27 comics, 5 of which were nonfiction/memoir (26%)
  • 17 fantasy/science fiction/speculative fiction (16%)
  • 28 general fiction (27%)
  • 7 horror (7%)
  • 18 nonfiction (17%)
  • 3 poetry (3%)
  • 2 historical fiction (2%)
  • 1 romance (1%)
  • 1 book of short stories (1%)

I’m so surprised that the comics number is so high! I did read a lot this year, but I didn’t think it was that many. Once again, I’m happy with this, but I wouldn’t mind if fantasy or horror jumped up a bit. And definitely poetry! I want to read more in 2014. Why did I split out horror from the fantasy/science fiction/speculative fiction category? I don’t know. I just did.

Female vs Male Authors: 54 female (52%), 46 male (44%), 4 both (4%)

Book format: 90 print books (86%), 6 ebooks (6%), 8 audiobooks (8%). This number is more for curiosity’s sake than anything else. I might try to listen to more audiobooks, but I’m not overly concerned with my print vs ebook number. Though I would like to see more of the print books I own heading out the door! I have way too many.

Library books vs my books: 29 library books (28%), 65 books from my shelves (62%), 10 borrowed from other readers and returned (10%). This number LOOKS really good, but I’m pretty sure I acquired just as many as I sent back out the door.

Author nationality: 

  • 75 from USA (72%)
  • 12 from UK (12%)
  • 8 from Canada (8%)
  • 3 from Australia (3%)
  • 2 from New Zealand (2%)
  • 1 each from the Netherlands, Nigeria, and Spain (3%)

The remaining three were essay collections that featured several authors, so I did not track them. This is the number, along with the number of authors who are POC (only 10 books!) and the number of translations (just 1), that I’m most disappointed with and is something I’m seriously going to work on in 2014. I should be reading books from around the world by a variety of people, not just my own familiar corner.

So, I’ve told you about my blogging goals for 2014. Now for the reading goals! Like with the blogging resolutions, it’s all about keeping it simple:

  • Read more books that I own! And stop buying as many as I send out the door!
  • Read more books from around the world, in translation, and by people from a variety of races.
  • Blog about each book I read in some way, but not necessarily a review. I started keeping a book blog to remember the books I read, so even if it is just a monthly wrap up of what I read, I’d like to have some kind of post that at least mentions each book I read in 2014.

And that’s it! If you keep stats about your reading, were there any big gaps you noticed in 2013 that you’d like to fix for 2014?

5 Years Later

Five years ago today, I was a sophomore in college and without a thing to read over my winter break. I wanted something new to read, so I got online to find book reviews and discovered that there was such a thing as a book blog. I knew that this was how I wanted to spend my time and a baby blog was born.

Since then, a lot of things have changed, but one thing is still the same. I feel so fortunate for that day, because book blogging has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I have met amazing people, been fortunate enough to have many opportunities, and hope to be a blogger for a long time.

Usually, I don’t do much for my blogiversary, because there is just so much going on. It’s the end of the year! There are year-end surveys and book lists, New Year’s Resolutions, and holiday posts. But lately I’ve felt the blogging bug and I thought I might share some of my blogging resolutions.

  • Blog at least once a week. I know this won’t happen every week, but I’d really like to try to make this a priority in 2014.
  • Blog about books, but not necessarily reviews. I like my book lists, my conversations about books, but I’ve been tired of writing reviews for a long time. I think it’s time to just let them go.
  • Post a quote from every book I read. Weekly post about this, maybe?
  • Blog about other things. I’ve thought about blogging about NYC, crafting, recipes. I’d like to find a way to do this consistently. I want my blog to reflect my life.

And that’s it. I want resolutions that are doable. I want 2014 to be the year of getting it right in all aspects of my life. Or at least trying my best. Will you join me?

How I Read

In 2008, I read almost exclusively books from the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list. I read a lot of important books. I also didn’t enjoy myself very much.

When I began blogging, I read books to fulfill challenges, books recommended by other bloggers, and, as I got on a few publishing and book tour lists, galleys.

This past year, I read whatever I wanted, when I wanted.

Those are three very different ways to read. I probably read more translations and classics the year of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list than any other year – I’m not sure I’ve ever been more well-read, in terms of what society and the canon consider to be important reads. But that list can’t sustain me. I need fun; I crave it.  I need balance between the important because someone else said so and the important because I said so.

I also didn’t read a lot of recent releases. Receiving galleys of books not even published yet really made me feel up-to-date with what is being published now. I read books that ended up on year-end lists! This year I’ve hardly read any. As nice as it was to feel like my reading was current, I didn’t like feeling like I was reading on someone else’s schedule.

This year, for the most part, I read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and in a lot of ways it was pure bliss. I bought a lot of books and read them immediately – when was the last time I did that? Instead of letting them sit on my shelf waiting for “the perfect moment,” that moment was the day or week they landed in my mailbox. But I found that I only read one translation, not nearly enough books by people of color, or books set in different places around the world.

This is a long way of introducing how I want to read things in 2014. I really only have one goal for next year: I want to learn things. I want to practice things. I want to get things right. There’s not really a wrong way to read, but this year I want to find that sweet spot between new releases, difficult, important reads, and books that I want to read. I want to read more books by women and I want to read more translations and I want to be a lot more well-informed when it comes to what is showing up on year-end lists.

I want to write down at least one quote from every book I read. I used to start out every review this way and I miss having a record of the piece of the book I loved the very most. I want to read more purposefully, but at the same time, not feel trapped by my purpose.

I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I don’t want to say I’m going to read one translation a month or read 30 books from around the world. I just want to be aware of what I want, of the kind of reading year I want to have. I want to keep up with the themed reading months. Comics in February, gardening in March, horror and thrillers in October, Nonfiction November. Those months were amazing and focusing so closely on one topic made me feel like I was really learning something about a genre or a topic or a form. I’m not sure what my themed months will be, but I know I’m already looking forward to them.

2014 is going to be the year of learning, the year of practice makes perfect, the year of balance. Or at least the year of trying for all three.

Nonfiction November – Week 1 in Review!

final version 3Well, the end of week 1 of Nonfiction November is here and let me just say – my TBR list is getting longer and longer and longer. My library queue and my bank account do not thank you. But the reader in me? I can’t wait to get to reading. We had a great turnout this week and I’m hoping to see even more folks participating next week. Don’t forget – if you join in any of the weeks you’re eligible to win one of two prize packs that Kim and I are picking out ourselves!

So what are your favorite nonfiction books?

Masanobu at All the Pretty Books told us about her three favorite topics to read about: Spanish grammar (hey! me too!), nonfiction books about books, history (especially WWII), women, and biology. Head over to her blog to see which of the nonfiction books she read were her favorite in those categories. I love that she included some that are in Spanish!

Joy at Joy’s Book Blog gave us her nonfiction favorite of 2013: Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life by Karen Karbo. You should head over to her blog to learn more about this new-to-me series, which sounds totally awesome.

Hillary at ahorseandacarrot, a big nonfiction reader, picked two history books as her favorite nonfiction reads of all time. I understand where she is coming from: sometimes you just don’t know why a book is your favorite. Sometimes they stick with you and you just can’t explain why. Head on over to ahorseandacarrot to see which books Hillary puts at the top of her list.

Tanya at 52 books or bust reads a lot more fiction than nonfiction, so she chose three narrative nonfiction books that will appeal to the fiction reader in all of us! She included one I really enjoyed, Brain On Fire by Susan Cahalan, so I’m adding the others to my TBR as we speak.

Sophie at Paper Breathers says at the end of her post that she’s excited to start reading some different types of nonfiction, since all of her favorites seemed to touch on ethics. Check out which books join The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot on Sophie’s top list of her three favorite nonfiction books.

Melissa at Avid Reader’s Musings has an amazing comprehensive list organized by category. She also includes my current nonfiction read: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. I’m so impressed by all the amazing nonfiction Melissa has read!

Andi at Estella’s Revenge includes one of my very favorite nonfiction comics: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen  by Lucy Knisley. It’s just so charming and perfect in every way. What else did she say is a favorite of hers? You’ll have to pop on over to Estella’s Revenge to find out!

Monika at A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall loves memoirs, so head on over to see which of the memoirs she’s read in 2013 ended up on her list of favorites. I’m also excited to see she’s included some nonfiction for children, like I Came From Water by Vanita Oelschlager.

Shannon at River City Reading has a stunning blog and an awesome duo of nonfiction favorites, including one of my personal favorites – Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I love Strayed so much, I included her in the button!

Julz at JulzReads has a long list of her nonfiction favorites. The one that caught my eye is The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. How cool does that sound?

Nupur at One Hot Stove gave us a top ten of her nonfiction reads in the comments section of this week’s post. It’s full of classics, recent bestsellers, and so many interesting choices. Including a cookbook of sorts I have sitting on my shelf: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese.

Stacy at Stacyverb has just an awesome list. These are all books I’ve been meaning to read forever!! Of the one’s I’ve read, Love is a Mix Tape is definitely one of my favorites, but also one of the saddest books I’ve read. I’ve also been meaning to read On Writing by Stephen King! If these two books are any indication, though, everyone should be adding Stacy’s picks to the top of their TBR! She’s got good taste.

Care at Care’s Online Book Club chose to talk about her favorite nonfiction author: Tracy Kidder. He sounds amazing! You really must go read about Care’s recommendations.

Finally, your two hosts. Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness took the one title approach and told us about her favorite nonfiction read: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman and I just couldn’t pick one, so I listed 10 of my favorite nonfiction reads. It’s a list I already want to edit after seeing some of the amazing titles you chose!

Remember, next week’s theme is Be the Expert or Ask the Expert or Become the Expert: 

Be the Expert: Is there a particular topic you have read a lot of books about? Share that with us so we can all become well-read in your favorite topic!

Ask the ExpertIs there a topic you want to know more about but you aren’t sure where to start? Ask us and hopefully we’ll have good answers for you in the comments sections. Maybe someone can take on your question in a second Nonfiction November post later in the week.

Become the Expert: Do you have a subject that dominates your TBR? What books would you read to become an expert in the topic of your choice?

Pick one, or two, or all three options for next week’s Nonfiction November. Remember – Kim is hosting the linky and the roundup post next week, so head on over to Sophisticated Dorkiness to share your link.

I hope you had a great first week of Nonfiction November. I know I did!

Bout of Books 8.0 Goals!


Today is the first day of the Bout of Books 8.0, which is a readathon that goes from Today at 12:01AM all the way through Sunday. Everyone sets their own goals. As they say on their introductory post, the only “competition” is between you and the amount of books you normally read. When Kim said recently that she was going to participate by challenging herself to give up television for the week and to read during that time instead, I thought that might be a good idea for me too. I need a little less screen time myself.

My challenge will be twofold. I want to knock off a few books from my shelves and to get my book club book read. I usually read for 2 hours on the subway every morning, but I want to spend the rest of my evening time, that’s not spent on dinner or hanging out with Michael, only on reading. I typically read 1-3 books a week, so my goal for this week will be 5. I already finished one this afternoon: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. The other five I read will come from this pile:


1. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
2. The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss
3. Sleep, Pale Sister by Joannne Harris
4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
5. Nothing by Blake Butler
6. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked is this month’s book club pick, so even if I don’t get to it this week, I’ll be rereading it next. It’s one of my favorites, so I’m excited to revisit it. I’m not planning on doing much reading this weekend, since I’ll be visiting my mom to celebrate her birthday, but we’ll also probably do a lot of lounging in the pool, so there will definitely be some reading. My only goal is to read when normally I would be watching TV and reading Tumblr. We’ll see how it goes!

(I’m uploading this from my tablet, so I apologize in advance if any of the formatting is a little wonky!)