TBR for the semester – YA lit

This semester I am taking a young adult fiction class and will be reading tons of YA. I haven’t planned out all the titles I will read yet but I wanted to give you a sampling of the titles I already know I will be exploring throughout the semester.

  1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  2. March by Joh Lewis
  3. Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
  4. Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings (instructor assigned)
  5. What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell (instructor assigned)
  6. Heaven by Angela Johnson (instructor assigned)
  7. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (instructor assigned)

In addition to this list also need to choose two books from two different genres, one title that focuses on multiculturalism, a graphic novel, and pending my final project topic, a few books all centered around one theme. Please let me know if you have any suggestions! I am looking forward to completing this list and in general leaving this class with a better understanding of the scope of YA lit and how to evaluate and recommend books for different students.

 

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2017

I am committing to the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2017. I will be updating this list throughout the year as I complete items on it.

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The Challenge (6/40)

  1. Recommended by a Librarian:
  2. Been on Your TBR List Way Too Long:
  3. Book of Letters:
  4. Audiobook:
  5. Book by a Person of Color: March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  6. One of the Four Seasons in the Title: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
  7. Book That is a Story Within a Story:
  8. Book With Multiple Authors:
  9. Espionage Thriller:
  10. Cat on the Cover:
  11. By an Author Who Uses a Pseudonym:
  12. Bestseller From a Genre You Don’t Normally Read:
  13. By or About a Person Who Has a Disability:
  14. Book Involving Travel: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  15. Book With A Subtitle: 
  16. Published in 2017:
  17. Book Involving a Mythical Creature:
  18. Book You’ve Read Before That Never Fails to Make You Smile:
  19. Book About Food:
  20. Book With Career Advice:
  21. Book From a Nonhuman Perspective:
  22. Steampunk Novel:
  23. Book With a Red Spine: Intimations: Stories by Alexandra Kleeman
  24. Book Set in the Wilderness:
  25. Book You Loved as a Child: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
  26. By an Author From a Country You’ve Never Visited:
  27. Title That’s a Character’s Name:
  28. Novel Set During Wartime:
  29. Book With an Unreliable Narrator:
  30. Book With Pictures:
  31. Book with Main Character Who is a Different Ethnicity From You:
  32. Book About an Interesting Woman:
  33. Book Set in Two Different Time Periods: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (& J.K. Rowling)
  34. Month or Day of the Week in the Title:
  35. Set in a Hotel:
  36. Written By Someone You Admire:
  37. Book Becoming a Movie in 2017:
  38. Book Set Around a Holiday Other Than Christmas:
  39. 1st Book in a Series You Haven’t Read Before:
  40. A Book You Bought on a Trip:

Advanced (2/12)

  1. Book Recommended by an Author You Love:
  2. Bestseller From 2016:
  3. Family Member Term in the Title:
  4. Takes Place Over a Character’s Life Span:
  5. About an Immigrant or Refugee:
  6. From a Genre/Subgenre You’ve Never Heard of:
  7. Book With an Eccentric Character: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  8. Book That’s More Than 800 Pages:
  9. Book You Got From a Used Book Sale:
  10. Book That’s Mentioned in Another Book:
  11. Book About a Difficult Topic: Th1rt3en Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  12. Book Based on Mythology:

Setting Goals for the New Year

January 1st has come and gone, but I’ve chosen to take this time that I have off from school to reflect on what I accomplished this past year and decide what I would like to focus on in the upcoming year. Here are some goals I am going to set, both professionally and personally, for this year.

Professional goals:

  1. Attend the American Library Association Conference.
  2. Find a fulfilling summer internship.
  3. Further develop my leadership and management skills through workshops, reading, and classes.
  4. Maintain this blog more regularly.
  5. Hone my skills at program planning and execution via my current internship at a major library.

Personal goals:

  1. Improve my knowledge of current affairs (I’ve gotten a bit lazy since I left journalism school).
  2. Travel more – visit at least one state I’ve never been to before and hopefully one new country.
  3. Recommit to reading in my spare time during the school year.
  4. Go on more dates with my partner (not just dinner at Taco Bell).
  5. Reconnect with friends with whom I have lost touch or only irregularly talk.

Best and worst reads of 2016

I am *so* sorry for disappearing. Here I was thinking that the end of the semester would bring me more time to blog, and instead I have barely had time to think!

I thought I would take a moment and recount some of my favorite and least favorite books I read this year. Without further ado and in no particular order…

The Best:

  1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
  4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  5. The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han
  6. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  by Chris Grabenstein
  7. All the Bright Places  by Jennifer Niven
  8. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  9. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  10. Buffering by Hannah Hart

The Worst:

  1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  2. The Girl on the Train by Patricia Hawkins
  3. Me Before You (and After You) by JoJo Moyes
  4. The Innocent Killer by Michael Griesbach
  5. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

November book round-up

I didn’t get to do too much reading this month, but I got through…

Buffering by Hannah Hart

Buffering was my favorite book I read this month and is a well-crafted, beautifully honest memoir by Youtuber Hannah Hart. Hart shares tales of growing up with a mother who suffers from severe mental illness and a father who is a Jehovah’s Witness and becoming a proud gay woman. I was amazed by her honesty in what must have been an incredibly painful book to write, and very grateful that she decided to share her story and what she learned along the way.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I… really was not impressed by this book and that was very disappointing for me. After having checked this title and its sequels out to what feels like every teenager in our neighborhood, I was expecting great things. However, I found the writing and characters to be flat, and certain parts of the plot really dragged. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t really as impressed as I thought.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Read this book if you loved Safran Foer’s other books, love character development, or are interested in a story which incorporates Jewish customs and culture. Don’t read it if you’re put off by extremely graphic language or somewhat meandering messaging. I enjoyed this foray into the lives of a dysfunctional family who felt familiar because of their nuanced dynamic and their location near me in the D.C. area, but I definitely don’t think this is a book for everyone.

Music to help you cope over the holidays

I’ve found that certain songs have really stuck with me recently as I have dealt with the aftermath of the election. I’m sure many of us are going to homes where the situation might be tense, and music has always been a coping mechanism for me, so I thought I would share a few songs in hopes that they might help someone else!

*I will note that while I think most of these songs have somewhat of a hopeful message in them, they also are intended to help relieve anger or frustration as well. Several of them are also explicit. For peppier songs, I would recommend one of Spotify’s excellent “mood” playlists!*

“We Will Fall Together” – Streetlight Manifesto

“So how will we fight? When all we have is logic and love on our side?

“Welcome to the Black Parade” – My Chemical Romance

“We’ll carry on, we’ll carry on, and though you’re broken and defeated, your memory will carry on.”

“Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” – K’naan (from the Hamilton Mixtape)

I know this is cliche but I would probably just recommend the whole Hamilton soundtrack and mixtape 😉

(Open in Spotify)

“Let’s Not Sh*t Ourselves (To Love and To Be Loved)” – Bright Eyes

“How grateful I was then to be part of the mystery,
to love and to be loved. Let’s just hope that is enough.”

“Alright” – Kendrick Lamar

“Do you hear me, do you feel me, we gon’ be all right.”

Top Ten Tuesday: All time Movies!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

I do not watch a lot of movies, so it was very difficult for me make this list! It took me a long time to even remember what movies I’ve seen beyond my top 5.

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  2. The Breakfast Club
  3. Juno
  4. Little Miss Sunshine
  5. Rocky Horror Picture Show
  6. Steel Magnolias
  7. Mean Girls
  8. Grease
  9. You’ve Got Mail
  10. Harry Potter series (all eight!) 

Book Tastes Tag!

Borrowing this from Giovanna at Book Coma Blog! I wasn’t tagged either but I thought it would be fun to throw it back to my middle school years when all I would do was take those silly quizzes on my “notes” on Facebook and publicly embarrass myself for years to come. Hopefully this one isn’t quite that bad. Here we go!

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HARDBACK OR PAPERBACK?

Paperback. They’re lighter, fit better in my purse or backpack, and easier to maneuver (usually). Unless the book is really big and hard to keep open because of all its pages. Like I probably would have preferred to read Game of Thrones in hardback. But generally, I prefer paperback.

HARRY POTTER OR LORD OF THE RINGS?

Harry Potter one hundred percent. To be fair I haven’t read or seen Lord of the Rings (I know, I’m sorry everyone) but I tried to watch the first movie and just could not get into it. I have a hard time getting into fantasy and I think HP was easier for me because it had elements of the real, familiar world in it.

STEPHEN KING OR RL STINE?

Stephen King. I never really gave R. L. Stine a fair shot though, because the covers of his books scared the bejeezus out of me when I was a kid.

SCI-FI OR FANTASY?

Hm… Probably fantasy. It really depends on the plot of the book.

READING INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?

Generally, indoors. I always think I love reading outdoors but then I get out there and I can’t get comfortable and the wind is blowing my pages around and I get cold and then hot and it’s just much better to read inside. Unless I’m at the beach, which is my favorite place to read.

TWILIGHT OR 50 SHADES OF GREY?

Twilight! I vividly remember sobbing in the middle of my study hall one day because of the plot of one of the books (maybe Eclipse?) I don’t think I’ll read them again, and I can’t say much for Stephanie Meyer’s prose but they were definitely addictive!

SHOPPING ONLINE OR LOCAL?

Local. Most of the books I end up reading are just ones I’ve plucked off the shelves and want to read immediately. And honestly, I never buy books anymore, I almost always borrow them from the library!

THE GREAT GATSBY OR THE CATCHER IN THE RYE?

Haven’t read either in so long… probably The Great Gatsby? I love the 1920s as a cultural setting.

FICTION OR NON-FICTION?

Fiction. I occasionally read non-fiction but fiction is my favorite.

BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARING?

Bookmarks. I used to dog-ear but now I’ve learned the error of my ways. And I have more bookmarks right now than books!

DR. SEUSS OR ROALD DAHL?

Roald Dahl. Matilda was my childhood. I loved Dr. Seuss as well, but he just couldn’t grab me the way that Dahl’s books did.

E-BOOK OR AUDIOBOOK?

Audiobooks. I used to have a hard time listening to them and paying attention properly, but they’ve really grown on me now that I commute so much!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to read if your book club likes memoirs (and girl power)!

  1. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
  2. You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart
  3. Buffering by Hannah Hart
  4. Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
  5. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  6. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
  7. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
  8. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (though a children’s book technically, I think fascinating for all ages)
  9. Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
  10. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh