10 YEARS IN 10 BOOKS … and a little hour 14 ramblings

So, I decided I needed a break. Thus, this blog post. I have been fairly absent from social media for this readathon so far, and I haven’t really participated in any challenges. Honestly, though, I really enjoy just reading this time. Starting off with Momo, wait actually, … Starting off with writing a warm-up post and really focusing on what Dewey’s readathon means to me, I recognized that it is all about the books and the book community. Thinking about how books are my friends made me nostalgic for my younger years when I would get so invested in fictionary worlds and would just lose myself in stories. I think this is when I must’ve (I was unaware of this myself until just a few moments ago) decided that I will honor Dewey by reading this time – quietly and by myself! In the past, I have tried to partake in many of the challenges, I would take tons of pictures during the day to post here on the blog later, and I would visit the various social media sites and leave comments and thoughts – this time I have to remind myself to do that! Hey, isn’t that the best though???? Each readathon is different and unique and we experience it anew every time?

Anyhow, I am all of a sudden rambling on 😉 … I do want to complete the 10 Books in 10 Years challenge though. I think this one really captures the spirit of this readathon for me.  I will briefly tell you why you should read this book (adding links to my Goodreads review if they exist).

So without further ado …

2007    Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling)

If you’re human, you should read this series. If you don’t know how to read, you should have someone read it to you – your friend, your mom, a stranger. Make it happen. I am currently re-reading all the books and will of course be adding a longer review then (the first time around I only left notes in a notebook to myself).

2008    The Heretic’s Daughter (Kathleen Kent)

This was the toughest year for me to pick a book from. Come on 2008, where are all the amazing books? I guess I haven’t read that many from that particular time. I am going to ponder my choice for a bit, and don’t be surprised if I end up changing my answer. But for now, The Heretic’s Daughter it is. This book is about witches. I liked it. It’s sort of historical fiction.

2009    Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld)

Steampunk novels. I discovered them only this year. I chose this book for one of my Popsugar reading challenge categories and ended up loving the genre, and this particular book. Meanwhile, I’ve finished the trilogy and you should, too.

2010    The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Aimee Bender)

Another book I read this year. It’s lovely and weird and beautiful and full of odd things.

2011    A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)

This, my friends, is on my all-time-favorite list. I recommend it to everyone. It wrecked me in the most beautiful way possible. I think about it constantly!

2012    The Martian (Andy Weir)

This book is funny and witty! It’s full of science, yet portrays the human condition incredibly well. Read it and laugh. And then think about it.

2013   Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

What a beautiful book. It’s fiction but reads like the author’s biography. To me, it hit so many high-points as an immigrant myself.

2014    The Sleeper and The Spindle (Neil Gaiman)

The illustrations alone are mesmerizing. Combing this with Gaiman’s genius to tell a tale full of the fantastic and the novel, yet so full of the familiar, and you have a winning combination. Another one of my all-time-favorites.

2015    Between The World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)

If you know me, you know reading non-fiction doesn’t come easily to me. And this book was a struggle – both language and content were difficult for me. Yet, I highly value this experience. I am glad I struggled because the book embodies that. This man is a lot smarter than me. He is well-versed and highly educated. His words touched my heart. Because they were raw and honest!

2016    The One Hundred Nights of Hero (Isabel Greenberg)

This is one of those graphic novels that just oozes genius! I loved every minute I got to spend with the book. To this day, I sometimes just take it off my bookshelf to hold it for a bit and remember how I felt when I read this story for the first time (another all-time-favorite here, obvi).

2017    Norse Mythology (Neil Gaiman)

I like to imagine that this came about from Gaiman’s notes he gathered to write American Gods. How he managed to turn a history lesson in an amazing tale like Norse Mythology is beyond me. I bow to you, Neil Gaiman.

 

Well, there you have it. My humble recommendations. Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What else would you recommend?

 

Other stats:

Books completed: Momo and Gwendy’s Button Box

Current read: Sleeping Beauties

Current page count: 701

Coffee: only 1 large one! but also soda 😉

Snacks: burrito bowl for lunch, y’all …. otherwise I’ve been a pretty good girl … I am not much of a snacker during the day, but you just wait until the midnight hour …

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Hour 8 – Goodreads fun and a little update

The first 7 hours are over! How is that possible????? Time flies when you’re reading, right?
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I am still on Momo but am almost done with it. I met up with friends this morning at a coffee shop to drive to a nearby fiber festival where 1) yes I spent money and 2) got quite some reading done. I even found this amazing sunny spot near a garden where I ended up doing most of my reading (excuse the bright spot on my nose, lolz, the sun really liked to tickle it apparently – snap courtesy of one of my friends).

 

I am now back home on my couch and am hosting hour 8 on the Dewey’s Goodreads group. Come join me!

 

 

Hour 1 – it begins!

Good morning literature lovers!

20171021_065429It’s the first hour of Dewey’s readathon and I am super excited, albeit very tired. It’s early here but who can beat one of these beautiful USA sun rises! I’ve already let out the dogs and am currently snuggled on the couch with my first book – Momo by Michael Ende. I adore this story. I have the fondest memories reading it as a younger me and decided that this would be the perfect start to this 10-year-anniversary Dewey day! Nostalgia galore! Am I right????

20171020_214656So what else is in store for me today? I have to say I put a lot of thought and effort in my reading stack this time. I had to have the biggest self-control not to start the new King Sr and Jr collaboration early  – that cover of Sleeping Beauties is a dream, y’all (pun intended)! I also branched out quite a bit on graphic novels. I am particularly looking forward to El Deafo and The Color of Earth. I have a few more on my Kindle as well. Additionally, I picked two short stories: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly (on Kindle) and Gwendy’s Button Box (another Stephen King). I am stoked to read those. I’ll be tracking my reading progress in my BuJo this time (a new obsession of mine of course).

I think I better get off the couch. My friends will be here any moment. We are actually venturing to a fiber festival where I will be reading and admiring yarn! Wish me luck that I still get lots of reading done!

Happy readathon, lovelies!

This is straight-up a swoon post! And a welcome post!

Hello! If you’ve been following my blog for a while or if you’re new to my musings, welcome to this post o’swoon!

Dewey’s is upon us and I had signed up to do one of the warm-up posts. Well, it came out today. I feel so honored to have been able to write such a thing, and even more honored that it was not immediately discarded as rubbish 😉 ….

I had so much fun writing it. It came from the heart. Books are truly my friends, ever since I can remember. It was difficult to stop myself at only 300 words. In fact, I had to ask one of my besties (yes, I have actual people-friends too) to give it a read and help me cut words ;). You should check out her sciency awesomeness of a blog.

When I discovered Dewey’s readathon, I was ecstatic – an entire 24 hours dedicated to books. I mean, yes, of course, I’ve read hours upon hours at a time in the past, but I had never before shared that with others. After spending my first 24 hours with other worshippers of the literary kind, my love for books was renewed, elevated, and strengthened. And so was my TBR! Since then, I’ve done a few 24hr readathons, 24in48 readathons, themed month long readathons, and FB group weekend readathons.

20171018_090041-1.jpgI am eagerly awaiting this Saturday. I’ve made some bullet journal spreads to track my reading progress (one example is to the left). I set up buddy reading opportunities with people-friends (the virtual kind). I created my snack list (well that one is ever growing). I just requested a few more graphic novels from my library to have as in-between-fat-novel reads. And I told everyone about this readathon and my fundraising efforts.

Naturally, I will post updates here on my blog and some on twitter (@evilbibliotaph).

ichlese

 

How are you preparing? Are you a readathon rookie or a veteran? 

September mood longs for breezy fall nights

***spoilers possible

This month was EXTREMELY slow because I went on vacation. And contrary to my belief, I found basically zero time to read. I didn’t pack any physical books (except the two for the Goodreads give-away-day) and was reliant on my Kindle, which (of course) died on my long flight. Thus, I only got a few hundred pages into Outlander. Once I reached Germany, I went from one family gathering to another: two weddings, one baptism, grandparents, parents, siblings, and cousins do really take up a lot of time. I don’t want to sound like I am complaining though, I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed my family. Plus, I did get a lot of knitting done – both, mom and sis, joined me on several occasionss, so it became kind of a family affair!

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing (Jesmyn Ward) ♠♠♠♠

73This is a tough book to read. Ward’s way of creating haunting images is extraordinary. Her knack for language really shines through as she tells a sad story of despair. Jesmyn Ward provokingly conveys what it feels like to struggle with your inner demons while facing what life demands of you. Her characters are often lost and helpless. They feel alone despite the fact that they’re surrounded by family. The author tackles concepts like addiction and interdependency in a too-real fashion that makes you want to shake the characters until they wake up and face the facts. This book was slow-going for me as I often felt overwhelmed and lost myself. As I said in my Goodreads review, I think this novel will become a classic one day, and with her nomination for a National Book Award, the author is well on her way.

 

It (Stephen King) ♠♠♠♠♠

74Well, hot diggety. This book blew my mind. Stephen King is an underappreciated wizard of words. He slays with language. He creates and takes away. This is a very long novel but yet it didn’t feel that way. I know people often complain that he is wordy and has plot points that are completely irrelevant to the story, but I’d argue that those are what make the book. These interludes and tangents force you to get to know the main characters and that became really important for It. His character development in this book was simply genius. He believably conveys what it means to grow up in a town like Derry, the importance it takes to have friends when you feel hopeless, how puppy-love can turn into so much more, and how ignorance is sometimes the best solution. He spins a tale that is frighteningly fascinating, a villain that you want to hate but can’t, and a feverish need to remember what was so easy to forget. And you, the reader, are along for the ride. You meet The Losers when they were young and you get to know them again as adults. The story is frantic, doused in chaos, and full of twists and turns, and yet you always know where you are and what’s going on. This is a slow read, one to savor, with lots of pauses but it never feels that way. My heart was pounding at times, I gasped on several occasions, and yes, at times I was scared like a little kid. King’s dedication of this book to his children was perfectly fitting and really captures the essence of It.

 

Select (Marit Weisenberg) ♠♠♠

75

This book felt immature and parts of the story were just not believable. Marit Weisenberg shows promise as a writer and her ideas have potential. I am expecting more to come as she grows in her profession. Don’t get me wrong, this is a decent series and I will probably read sequels. I enjoyed the characters and the premise. It just was missing something, the important je-ne-sais-quoi, the thing that takes a good novel over the top and makes it great. Fingers crossed the author will get there in the future.

 

 

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers) ♠♠♠♠

76The best description for this books is ‘language over content’. This is right up my alley. I loved Carson McCullers writing. It was beautiful, imaginative, interesting, and quirky. She is capable of making the mundane special. There is no real plot here but there is no need for it. Her characters are what carry the story. You will laugh with them, cry with them, hurt with them, grow with them. You will question their motives and you will praise their courage. You will wonder why and then go ‘ah, I see’. This is not a feel-good piece of work. This is a critical view on 1930s American small town society. You should read it because your life will be better for it. Also, I adore this cover!

 

Kinderland (Mawil) ♠♠♠♠♠

77Guys, I couldn’t be more excited about having found this book. This was like a walk down memory lane IN GRAPHIC NOVEL FORM. I found myself in Berlin in this eclectic comic book store – Modern Graphics (side note, you should check it out if you ever find yourself on Oranienstrasse). I had a fun conversation with one of the clerks there about our mutual admiration of Neil Gaiman until I asked him to recommend a local Berlin author – and here he led me to Mawil. I was immediately drawn into as it is about a young boy growing up in East Berlin, dealing with East German fallacies/idiosyncracies/quirks and the sudden fall of the Berlin wall. I devoured this book and essentially read it in one night. The illustrations are exactly what they should be given the topic. All in all, this is a home-run of a book.

It’s time for another Dewey’s readathon!

Woohoo!!!! It is readathon month! Dewey’s has been doing an amazing countdown, which I, unfortunately, couldn’t participate in as I spent most of September abroad in Germany. Nevertheless, I am stoked because 1) I love 24-hour readathons and 2) it is Dewey’s 10 year anniversary! And of course, I will be supporting one of my favorite charities again: The East Nashville Hope Exchange. I have to say I was overwhelmed with the monetary (and cookie/snacks, text messages, phone calls, and hanging out with me in coffee shops) support I received during the last readathon in April. It went way beyond my expectations. And I am certain the volunteers at the Hope Exchange appreciated it as well. So, with that said, let’s blow their minds this time! I pledge to donate 10 cents for every page I read. Please feel free to pledge any amount you choose if you feel so inclined 🙂 – let’s use #ichleseblog and @deweysreadathon with our donations (donation button is on the main site towards the bottom right). Alternatively, you could look through their specific wishlist and choose an item or two from there to donate.

My game plan for this readathon is fairly similar to the ones in the past: lots of genres, lots of snacks, my puppies, a coffee shop visit, chit-chats with friends when I get tired, and of course fun bookmarks. I’ve gathered a few new ones since the last readathon and will surely feature them in picture form as they are being used during October 21st. You’ll be able to follow me in the Facebook group, on Twitter (@evilbibliotaph), in the Goodreads group – where I’ll be hosting reading hour #8, and of course on here!

I have NOT narrowed down my TBR for this event, although I have some ideas and I am leaning toward making it spooky themed as I am already participating in the RIP XII readathon and haven’t made as much progress there as I wanted. Here, I thought vacations are for reading and was (yet again) proven wrong. I definitely have enough exciting books to fill 24 hours ranging from classic gothic lit to graphic novels to fantasy adventures to Stephen King-esque horror. Though I started reading the Outlander series and given that the first book alone is 800 pages or so, they would also be good readathon candidates. Ugh, and then there are some of the sci-fi books I’ve been meaning to read and of course my NetGalley ARCs – well jeez, the choices are tough and plentiful! I will make a blog post later with the actual list (once I commit to it! – maybe you can help me 😉 ).

Anyhow, let’s savor this month and get ready for another Dewey’s 24-hour readathon!

Goodreads turns 10!

Well hello there! I guess it’s time for a quick reminder (albeit late) that today is a special day – Goodreads turns 10. In honor of this anniversary, the excellent people at Goodreads encourage everyone to be a book fairy today. They partnered with The Book Fairies for this fun endeavor and declared today to be a #hideabookday.

I did my part. I am currently visiting home (Germany!) and left one book on a train from Berlin to Munich and another at the entrance of a local high school in my hometown. The two books I chose are near and dear to my heart. 21743391_10155827730906388_3993408119708996877_nA Monster Calls utterly wrecked me. I read it in one sitting and basically wept the entire time. It has everything that makes a great story – and if you know me you know I love a good telling about death and how to deal with it. 21463399_10155827730806388_8289167421363250723_nNeverwhere was my second Neil Gaiman read and to date is still my favorite book of his. It’s dark,  sarcastic, imaginative, magical, and sexy.  It has a badass (at times villainous) female warrior and creepy monstrous henchmen. It speaks of friendship, bravery, and loyalty, and it draws you into a world so different from our own.

Sadly, I only could hide two books because I actually had to fly with them, and you know weight restrictions and a girl needing all her clothes doesn’t bode well for taking a bunch of books. I, however, was able to recruit my sister to the cause and she also left books behind in Germany. I love how different our book choices are!

IMG-20171002-WA0005 (1) IMG-20171002-WA0007 IMG-20171002-WA0008

 

Did you participate today? What books did you choose? And why?