Category: Uncategorized

Romance Review: The Wedding Party

January 24, 2022 Uncategorized 0 ★★★½

Romance Review: The Wedding PartyTitle: The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date, #3)
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-half-stars

 

Maddie and Theo may share a best friend, but it doesn’t mean they have to like each other! In fact, they both really dislike each other, so when they have a drunk hook-up, they expect it to be a one-time thing. Until they’re asked to be in their best friend’s wedding and forced proximity makes them realize that they can’t keep their hands off each other. And maybe they don’t dislike each other so much after all? (Who are we kidding – this is a romance! Of course they don’t.)

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Futuristic Friday: Find Your New Reads { January-March 2022 Edition}

January 23, 2022 Uncategorized 1

Although I’m a few days late sharing this, I’m excited to point you to our Futuristic Friday post, hosted this month by Tamara at Traveling with T. As usual, between the two of us, we have a wide variety of books we recommend across genres that include thrillers, historical fiction, science and history nonfiction, and cozy mysteries. There are just so many great books coming out at the beginning of this year. Be sure to visit Tamara to see the ones we’re looking forward to the most.

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One Favorite and One Dud in Mini-Reviews

January 19, 2022 Uncategorized 4 ★★★★★

One Favorite and One Dud in Mini-ReviewsTitle: The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town
Author: Brian Alexander
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

I particularly wanted to review this book I read in December about a hospital in small town Ohio because it was one of my favorite reads last year for many reasons. First of all, it was pretty cool that it was in a town that’s only about an hour and a half from where I went to high school. Second, it was an incredible insider account of a how a small town, independent hospital works. I enjoyed learning about the challenges they face financially; the difficulty they have recruiting doctors; and the pressures they face from larger hospital systems that receive bulk discounts on medical supplies and insurers. It’s truly impressive how broken the system is. Last but not least, the author’s description of the town itself was a compassionate, but not uncritical look at the beliefs and lives of the people in this conservative Ohio town. So, in many ways this was a look at parts of the world I am close to, but knew nothing about. I really appreciated the use of interviews and personal stories to teach me something new.

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Another Great Essay Collection in Review: Disability Visibility

January 15, 2022 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★½

Another Great Essay Collection in Review: Disability VisibilityTitle: Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century
Author: Alice Wong
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-half-stars

Summary: I learned a lot from this multi-author essay collection, which didn’t have even a single dud.

Well, I must say, it’s been an incredible reading year already. Kicking it off with a heartwarming romance helped get me out my reading slump and this is the second really wonderful essay collection I’ve read. All of the essays in this book are by disabled writers, activists, and/or speakers (some are transcribed speeches). Something I loved about this book is the broad scope of the collection. I always enjoy learning about the world from different perspectives. This book not only includes the experiences of people with many different disabilities; contributors also differ in race, gender, sexuality, religion, careers, and perspectives on disability. There were a number of commonalities that really jumped out at me too though.

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Essay Collection in Review: A Little Devil in America

January 12, 2022 Uncategorized 4 ★★★★★

Essay Collection in Review: A Little Devil in AmericaTitle: A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance
Author: Hanif Abdurraqib
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Beautifully written essays that blend pop culture and memoir to address big topics in ways that are both thought-provoking and moving.

I really loved Hanif Abdurraqib’s previous essay collection, Go Ahead in the Rain, enough so that I’m very surprised to say that this book was even better. His previous collection focused pretty tightly on the band A Tribe Called Quest, although it did still include a lot of memoir and some references to other pop culture from the author’s childhood. This book was wider ranging. The collection as a whole covers pop culture icons and moments from the 1800s to today. Individual essays thoughtfully engage with and manage to connect with many different types of pop culture, from music to movies to comedy. Read more »

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Romance Review: Red, White, and Royal Blue

January 10, 2022 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★★

Romance Review: Red, White, and Royal BlueTitle: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Practically perfect in every way, with convincing relationship development, fantastic banter, and a wonderful supporting cast.

This story of the First Son of the United States falling in love with a British prince was delightful. I’m so glad I picked it for my first read of the year. It made more me excited to just read for hours than I have been in a long time. I’ve read the occasional romance where poorly handled consent or an annoying lack of communication make me knock a star off the rating. But most romance I’ve read has felt worth five stars to me. This was no exception. It’s just so emotionally satisfying. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, and it gave me the HEA (happily ever after) every good romance deserves. Read more »

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Pondathon Sign-Up

January 8, 2022 Uncategorized 1

Pondathon II: The Quiet Pond’s Story-Driven Readathon. A small spade and watering can are crossed with vines wrapped around it frame the words Pondathon II. Three little forest sprites - one with a leaf on its head, another with twigs on its head like antlers, and a mushroom on the other’s head - sit on the words ‘Pondathon’.

I saw the first pondathon read-a-thon last year and thought it looked adorable, but was too busy to sign up. This year, Ponadathon II feels a bit more laid back to me and I am super excited about the work CW from The Quiet Pond has put into making graphics you can update to show your progress. There are lots of lovely bits and pieces you can put together to easily make your own character. Then the same will be true for putting together a garden plot using plants and decorations you earn by reading. I can’t wait! The official description and instructions for if you want to join me are below. Note that this event is run in NZT (New Zealand Time), so deadlines will happen almost a full day in advance of the listed time for anyone in the US.

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Favorite Fiction of 2021

January 5, 2022 Uncategorized 6

  • It turns out that I've not read much fiction and I've not done a good job of reviewing some of my favorite reads! This was another incredible book from Fredrik Backman which falls in one of my favorite genres - apparently unconnected people coming together and finding that they can all help each other. It deals with some heavy topics but in a truly heartwarming way.

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My Year in Review: 2021 Reading Stats

January 3, 2022 Uncategorized 17

 

This is one of my favorite posts of the year. I often don’t even keep up with tracking book stats during the year, spending a few days updating my spreadsheet over winter break. That means that putting this post together is my first check-in on how I’ve been reading over the last year. It’s always fun to review what’s been going well and what  I might do better next year. And it’s also always fun to make lots of pretty plots 🙂

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Nature Nonfiction Review: The Glitter in the Green

December 31, 2021 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★

Nature Nonfiction Review: The Glitter in the GreenTitle: The Glitter in the Green: In Search of Hummingbirds
Author: Jon Dunn
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This was a beautifully written blend of travel and nature writing with a little bit of science and history.

I don’t read much travel or nature writing, but I have started to really enjoy reading about birds and a great review from Rebecca at Bookish Beck sold me on this one. Plus the cover is truly lovely! This is the story of the author’s travels through much of North and South America to see an incredible variety of hummingbirds. He sees hummingbirds everywhere from Alaska to the tropics. Some are common, while others exist in precariously tiny ranges – perhaps only the slopes of a single mountain. The author gives a history of primarily European study of these tiny birds, as well as info on their role in South American myths and descriptions of current conservation efforts. Read more »

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