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Reading check ins 2020 > Week 21 Check In

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message 1: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 833 comments Mod
Hi Everyone!

Hope everyone's holding up ok.

Finally getting some nice weather again, so been able to run again which helps.

This week I finished:

...I think last week I updated for The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein and Sadie right? I finished in the middle of the day last thursday so I think i finished just before posting.

So I finished: Frankenstein - it was included in the back of the Elizabeth book, so I went ahead and re-read. It'd been several years, good to revisit and freshen my memory.

Aru Shah and the Song of Death - popsugar book with an author in their 20's. I like the Aru Shah books ok, but I feel like she's maybe TOO inspired by Rick Riordan. To the point where if you'd handed me the first one without an author on it, I would have just assumed it was his newest book, taking on Indian mythology. So again, i like them, i like rick riodran. I just wish she'd find her own voice/groove more, it's impossible to not continually make the comparison as I read.

Euphoria - my next books & brew pick, used it for popsugar vision impairment prompt since one of the characters was very nearsighted. I wasn't a fan, really. I hated one of the main characters so much it really spoiled everything else in the novel.

Currently reading:

The Count of Monte Cristo - got through another chapter or two. I WILL finish this this year.

Discount Armageddon - going to be my book by an author who's written more than 20 books. Just started, but I havne't tried this series by her yet so excited to finally get into it.

I also got my book flood, yay! I know a couple of the organizers are in here, so thanks for all your work! I'll hopefully get to them soon <3


This week's question is from Dann, thank you! "You discover a new author you adore. What's your approach? Instantly devour everything they've ever published, or sprinkle them in slowly into your rotation so their back catalog lasts you longer?"

I'd say I'm somewhere in the middle. I'll probably go out and get a couple more just to see if I like their whole range or the one i read was a fluke, or if it's a series to find out what happens. But I generally have reading challenges going, or other stuff going on so i'll be sprinkling them in as I go along. In some cases, like the Incryptid books by Seanan McGuire i'll not be able to find them at the library or on sale so I end up waiting until I just get fed up and buy full price haha.

message 2: by Jen (last edited May 21, 2020 10:20AM) (new)

Jen (piratenami) | 193 comments This week, I had a couple of finishes.

First, I finished Network Effect, which was my Popsugar book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character. I loved it, but then, I just really love the character of Murderbot and I'll read nearly anything Martha Wells writes anyway.

I also just finished Aurora Burning, which was book 2 in the series that started with Aurora Rising. I'm counting this as my Popsugar book that's published in 2020. All I can say is, I really enjoy these characters, but I kind of wish they were in a book with a stronger/less predictable plot. Also, this book ended in a massive cliffhanger, which drives me crazy. I highly suggest, if anyone's thinking about reading this series, wait until book 3 comes out so you don't have to suffer in the cliffhanger zone.

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next now, though. The library just gave me Wayward Son, but I also kind of feel like I need a break from YA for a little bit. I might look at my collection of Kindle books I forgot I bought on sale -- anyone else do that? -- and see if there's anything appealing to my current mood.

QOTW: I'm also somewhere in the middle. I will usually binge-read a few, and then try to spool out the remainder. Some of that has to do with how prolific they are. If they're steadily putting out new material (*cough*Seanan McGuire*cough*), I'm more likely to read quickly and then wait for new stuff. If it's an author who only puts out a book every 3-5 years or has stopped writing, I'm more likely to spool out any back catalog slowly to tide myself over.

message 3: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 833 comments Mod
Haha I do that all the time Jennifer. This year my popsugar goal has been to try to pull as much as I can off my kindle, to try to actually get some of those read. Obviously I don't just happen to have a book for EVERY prompt, but I've managed check off a decent number of prompts from there.

message 4: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 228 comments Last week when we posted I was halfway through The Ghost Brigades, and I finished it and ended up liking it even better than the first book. I'm looking forward to continuing the series (reading with my other group).

Then I ended up bingeing my way through the first three books of the Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland -- The Dragonet Prophecy is the first book. My son is reading them obsessively right now, and he's been bugging me to read them to so we can talk about them together, so I picked it up and to my surprise I'm really loving them! I haven't read much middle grade fiction and I think I really need to read more, especially since I have a kid in that age range now. I'm on book 4 now and I fully expect to be caught up to him (he's on book 7) by the end of the week - we have the first ten books in two boxed sets (thanks, Grammy!).

QOTW: It really depends on the author and my mood, but generally I tend to space the reads out, unless it's a series - with a series I tend to binge if I can (see above!).

message 5: by Sarah (last edited May 22, 2020 12:46PM) (new)

Sarah Pace (space1138) | 127 comments I think there are a bunch of us who are making a goal of cleaning out the backlogs on our Kindles right now with libraries and many bookstores still closed. I'm definitely in that club, too! This week...

This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, a Voice That Held It Together I was expecting this to hit close to home, and it definitely did! It's the chronicle of an influential radio broadcaster in the days following the devastating 1964 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska. Now, having happened to have been raised in the broadcast industry in Anchorage, and also having happened to have ridden out Anchorage's most recent major earthquake in the same spot that Genie Chance did (my car), this whole thing was absolutely fascinating! It was a whole flurry of places, names, and emotions that I recognized, and was delightful to read. The only reason it lost a star is because the author started to do a weird third-person narrative about himself and his research partway through that just felt jarring and distracting. ***confession- this book is actually a birthday present for my Mom next week. And yes, she will fully expect me to have read it first- a trick she instilled in my years ago!***

Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life. This was my Book Flood book, and my Floodee really seemed to choose it with intention and care, which was soooo appreciated! Unfortunately it just kinda fell flat for me. The author is more or less on a search for meaning through researching an influential (and highly colorful) historical taxonomist (think a similar setup to Julie and Julia). As much as a good taxonomy story makes my little cataloging librarian's heart sing, I just wasn't crazy about how the journeys for both ended, as well as their conclusions about the purpose and result of organizing chaos.

And currently working on Foundryside. This came highly recommended from a number of sources, all independent from each other, which is usually a good sign. I'm only about 5 chapters in, but so far it's quite good, with a fairly unique setup that's got lots of potential.

I'm also starting a fellowship program next month that will be super reading heavy (it's the one I was grousing about on the Mothership that had all of the bonkers reading habits questions on the application). It's religious though, so it will largely be stuff that I won't discuss on here- but I fully intend to keep checking in with the conversation questions, even if I'm not reading much else.

QOTW- I definitely slam whatever series I've just discovered (why yes, Red Rising, I am talking about you!!!), and then allow other series and stand-alones to trickle into my queue so I can savor whatever other goodies the author has.

message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments At last check in, I was partway through Illuminae, which I really enjoyed for the format. The story was OK, and felt forced at the end, like it was going to be a stand-alone and then they decided to make it into a series so they had to add something to leave unresolved. Since I enjoyed the format, I'll probably seek out the sequels eventually, but I'm not too worried about needing to know what happens next.

After that, I read my preordered copy of Sword in the Stars, which was a lot of fun. It's even more meta than the first book, but it works with the story. I'm sorry there aren't going to be more books in the series, but I'm sure the authors will write something else awesome.

Next up was one that had been on my list for a while, The Library at Mount Char. I'm going to be thinking about that one for a while. It's one of those that's hard to describe, because reading it is a whole experience. I'm glad I read it - it doesn't seem quite accurate to say I enjoyed it, given some of the things that happen in the story, but I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't need their books to be completely linear and is OK with heavy themes combined with some whimsy.

I'm now reading Step on a Crack for IRL Book Club #2 - I'm still pretty early on, but it seems like a good one for the Mount Char hangover, since it's very straightforward and not terribly taxing.

QOTW: I used to run out and try to immediately read everything when I found an author I liked, but now I try to space it out - I find that I appreciate each book more when I read other things in between, rather than letting someone's entire catalog run together by rushing through it.

message 7: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 228 comments I really loved The Library at Mount Char! It was definitely not an easy read, but I thought it was absolutely fantastic.

message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan | 236 comments I thought it was great, too, Shel - I think I had every possible feeling in the human experience in the course of reading it, which is quite an achievement for a single book. It just doesn't seem right to say that it was "enjoyable", per se, given that some of those feelings are not pleasant. I'm not sure what the right word is - it's immersive, thought-provoking, evocative, visceral, and a bunch more SAT words, but none of them really capture it. I guess it just has to be experienced.

message 9: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 833 comments Mod
I've had the Library at Mount Char on my kindle for a couple years, speaking of "kindle books you buy on sale and fail to read" haha. I'll get to it eventually!

message 10: by Shel (new)

Shel (shel99) | 228 comments Sheri wrote: "I've had the Library at Mount Char on my kindle for a couple years, speaking of "kindle books you buy on sale and fail to read" haha. I'll get to it eventually!"

I'm sure you can shoehorn it in to one of your prompts :D

message 11: by Rebecca (last edited May 23, 2020 08:42AM) (new)

Rebecca | 140 comments Another work week, in which I was encouraged to work overtime yesterday to catch up, and then today the company let everyone off early for the holiday weekend, and I'm furloughed again next week. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (I think in reality we need about 60% of the normal workforce at a time, but that would be too much of a logistical nightmare.)

When PBS did their Great American Read a couple years ago, my sister embarked on a project to read most of the books on the final list of 100 (there were some she couldn't get from her library, and at least one she noped out on entirely). I asked her if she had any recommendations for me, and she suggested The Lovely Bones as one that she thought she would hate and would not otherwise have read, but enjoyed more than she expected to. I did enjoy it as well, and would summarize it thus: after a young teen is brutally murdered, she observes the effects of the tragedy on her family and friends as she tries to adjust to the afterlife. When I was checking it off on here, I was a bit surprised at how divisive it apparently is. I looked at some one-star reviews, and they seemed to be of two camps. Some people wanted it to be about bringing the murderer to justice, which it decidedly is not, but others were put off by something that happens near the end of the book. In hindsight, I see the point of the latter camp; the event is indeed very weird, and could be interpreted in some unpleasant lights, but it didn't strike me that way while I was reading it.

I can tell from the wear pattern that I did in fact read Eugénie Grandet in college, but I retained absolutely no memory of it. With all due deference to Tolstoy, the unhappy families of 19th-century French literature are starting to run together. The circumstances and locations differ, but it's all about money and social status and the lack (real or perceived) thereof.

QOTW: I'm somewhere between "sprinkle into rotation" and "lacking in sufficiently adored authors". There are just a lot of authors out there, and I don't bank on ever getting around to reading all of anyone. Partly I think I was soured on series as a kid by the impossibility of keeping up with the ones that were ongoing and by the accelerating terribleness of Dune. I am sort of maybe trying to read all of Agatha Christie, but not in any deliberate fashion.

message 12: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Powell (danielepowell) | 158 comments As I was digging around for something, I found my limited-edition copy of Snow, Glass, Apples, so I reread that. Although I have no problems using short stories or graphic novels to fill reading challenge prompts, this just didn't fit anywhere, and I tend not to use rereads unless the prompt specifically calls for it.

My other finish this week was Full Throttle, my first Joe Hill, but certainly not my last. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, in this case, and Stephen King was probably the first author that I read everything I could get at my local library. Used for Slytherin/R.A.B./book written under a pseudonym.


QOTW: I'm a sprinkler, myself, even when the author is still quite active. I'm way behind on a lot of Neil Gaiman, and there's quite a few Stephen Kings to catch up on from years out of university where I just didn't read as much.

message 13: by CJ (new)

CJ I've been reading slowly the last week or two. I'm still reading Oliver Twist. I seem to mostly read it in chunks but not be hugely motivated to pick it up all that much. I'm getting there though.

I'm trying to work out what to buy with my audiobook credit, but I've no idea what direction to go.

Otherwise I poked a look at Othello when I'd left Oliver somewhere and needed to read, but I mostly only read the character list and first exchange. I need to get some more cheerful books.

QOTW: It depends on what sort of book it is, but I do like to draw things out because I like to change it up between genres and styles depending on my mood when I'm picking and what I've just read. Sometimes I'll speed through a series if I can get my hands on them all easily, other times I'll save authors as reliable choices when I want something easy to find in a bookshop (probably Margaret Atwood comes into this category for me).
I have a real aversion to having too many physical books in my tbr shelf, even though I mostly read physical books, so I'm usually limited by what I've decided to buy or am motivated enough to grab the ebook of.

message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan LoVerso | 261 comments Hi! It has been a few weeks since I've written here, although sadly not a huge amount has changed.

I am still dabbling in The Brothers K. My daughter who is quarantining with use from NYC loved it and lent me her copy. I'm only so-so on it so far. I'm not a fan of the large amount of baseball tie ins (which she warned me about and said the book was great in spite of it). I'll give it a hundred or so pages before deciding to power through or give up.

I am not sure if I reported or not that I finished Leviathan Wakes. I do really like the Expanse TV show and I'm glad I watched it. I had forgotten where each season ended but it was very much in line with the show.

I am now on Caliban's War. Given my long stay-at-home walks, I'm about about halfway through this 17 hour book.

QOTW: I go in waves. My latest new favorite author is John Scalzi. I have read several series by him now, but paused. So I'll read a whole series or two, but no necessarily all series.

message 15: by Dakota (new)

Dakota | 20 comments Susan wrote: "Hi! It has been a few weeks since I've written here, although sadly not a huge amount has changed.

I am still dabbling in The Brothers K. My daughter who is quarantining with use from..."

Susan, I don't know if you gave up on The Brothers K yet, but I read it in college, and it's definitely one of those where you have to get past a certain point in the book for it to really get good. I wish I could remember what that point was! I ended up reading it multiple times over the years and learned to love it. I don't know if that's helpful or not, but that was my experience. :P

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