March 19, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack

Hey there!

I did myself a favor this past week and deleted both the Twitter and Facebook apps from my phone, and I have actually been checking both platforms much less frequently. It has definitely done wonders for me. I actually got shit done. Read books, and reviewed one. Starting prepping for a new part-time gig I’m taking on soon. Made measureable progress with physical training. I even took the first steps towards finding a queer-friendly therapist (which is hard in this city). I’m not flying, but I’m feeling better. 

So, reading! I finished five books this past week which I felt really good about. Slump averted! I finished reading Speak by Louisa Hall in print ( I wanted to love it so much, but I think there were a few missed opportunities to really push the book into weird and cool territories, and there were places in the second half that over-explained connections to the reader). On audio, listened to Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (witty, acerbic, and touching narrator) as well as The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (so fierce, punched me in the gut). I finally read my first Ursula K. Le Guin book, No Time To Spare (totally understand why she’s so beloved, an amazing writer and clearly so badass). I also read Piecing Me Together by Reneé Watson in one sitting (it is an utterly gorgeous book) which has given me the idea for a blog post, stay tuned. 

I’m hoping to keep the pace up this week, and here’s what I’d like to finish: 

Before I wrap up, I do have an ask- if you have any favorite literary criticism books, please drop your recommendations in the comments. Need it for the new gig. Thanks!

Until next time, I hope you all have a wonderful week of reading ahead of you. 

–J

March 12, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hey there,

I haven’t done these in a couple of weeks because I haven’t really been reading. Different parts of my body have been taking a hit one after the other in the past few weeks so I haven’t been up to doing much. I did however, catch up on Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and the new Queer Eye (which I adore so much), and watched reruns of Gilmore Girls (I know, I know) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. 

Meanwhile, I have started working with a new trainer (who is so much more professional than my physiotherapist) and it’s been good so far. It’s so interesting navigating physical activity spaces as a fat person, but so far there have been no red flags. Sometimes the intensity of the past year hits me and I get frustrated by how I have to claw my way through the progress, especially when it takes so much longer to recover from things. But I’m trying not to dwell on the things I have no control over. 

Now that I have significantly bummed you out, if you’re still with me, take a look at what I’m reading this week:

That’s all I’ve got, friends. Drop me a line in the comments and share what you’ve been reading!

-J

February 19, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hey there!

I WATCHED BLACK PANTHER AND IT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE. PLEASE GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. SHURI, NAKIA, AND OKOYE ARE THE LITERAL BEST I’M GONNA NEED MORE SCREEN-TIME AND PRINT TIME AND ALL KINDS OF FORMAT-TIME ABOUT THEM. 

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Okay, I know that wasn’t necessarily book related (unless you haven’t already read the Black Panther and World of Wakanda comics in which case, please read them), but I had to put it out there.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming- books! I read some. Let’s see, quite a bit of romance in the last couple of weeks. First, The Lust Diaries series by Tasha L. Harrison (I liked the first book, had some issues with the second and third. Iffy consent, and cis men who think they can make decisions for women “because they know what’s best for them” is a trope that makes me want to smash things), and the first two books of the Cyclone series by Courtney Milan, Trade Me and Hold Me (both of which I loved).

Backlist:finally finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (absolutely phenomenal, I really think it got swept under the radar during awards season) and Blue Nights by Joan Didion (thoughtful written and so cathartic). 

Frontlist: I devoured An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (brilliant writing and character development) as well as This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins (tightly crafted and eviscerating).

On audio: I listened to Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam (character-led plot, well-rounded, engrossing story) and Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot (brutal account of an Indigenous writer on motherhood, mental illness, loss, among other things). 

Screenshot_20180217-222702_01.jpgI am going to take a moment to acknowledge that on Saturday night, for a whole ten minutes, my Goodreads “Currently Reading” shelf was empty because I didn’t have any partially-read books left in it. *insert GIF of shedding a single tear*

That of course, did not last long, so let me show you what I plan to read this week:

If you are trying to recover from the shock of only seeing three titles on this week’s TBR instead of the usual obnoxious number, it’s because I’ve actually got things I need to get done this week, which includes watching Black Panther again tomorrow. 

These past two weeks have been a little hazy because of a general spike in my anxiety as well as not feeling great physically. Here’s hoping for a more productive week.

Also, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week starts today! I’m hoping to write a post about it for this week, but I’ll definitely be talking about it over on Twitter. Feel free to direct your questions there, in public or private. I’m happy to talk about this stuff with you. 

So tell me friends, what have you been reading?

 

 

 

February 5, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hello!

Last Monday I talked about looking forward to being in my own space and being anxious about my routine constantly being disrupted. Naturally, I was relieved to be home and looking forward to some life consistency. Turns out, my dad planned a surprise family getaway for my mum’s birthday (he loves surprises, so of course that meant he chose to keep this information from me as well). It was a sweet gesture; my sister flew in from Bombay and my mum had a great birthday, which was good. The travelling plus sightseeing definitely worn me out and I’ve spent most of this Monday moving as little as possible. I have also made my parents swear we have no trips planned for the foreseeable future, so hopefully my anxiety will simmer down as I clamour for some semblance of stability. 

I didn’t get through all of my ambitious reading plans from last week, but what I did read I enjoyed for the most part. I finished listening to Trainwreck by Sady Doyle ( smart feminist commentary), The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (1920s mystery with a badass lawyer heroine set in British Raj Bombay), Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert (this was okay, not particularly comfortable with how they portrayed the coded autistic character), and So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (absolutely fantastic, couldn’t put it down, full review coming soon). I’m also started listening to This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins.

For this week:

I know, I know, I’ve clearly learned nothing from last week’s attempt to read all the books, but guys, I have a good feeling about this week. 

Unrelated, I’ve taken another stab at bullet journaling this year. I’m really happy with my February bujo layout and spreads, and am actively engaging in two things that I think will help with keeping mental health in check- a daily mood tracker and a gratitude journal page. I use an app called Booster Buddy for the mood tracking (it’s quick and it’s got a raccoon that’s damn adorable), and I have just a page in my bujo for the gratitude journaling bit- I think brevity is key, so it’s low-pressure because I just have to come up with one thing for the day (which as some of you know can be really hard to do sometimes). I think these are two things that are keeping me anchored and help me check-in with myself, which I like. Sorry if this was a random tidbit, I feel like I complain about my mental health so much on here it feels good to talk about how I’m proactively working towards taking care of it as well.

That’s all from me, folks. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful week!

By the way, what are you reading currently? What did you finish reading recently that you loved?

-J

 

January 29, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hi friends,

Wow, it’s been a week. I’ve not been this busy in a long time, and I’m definitely still getting super exhausted from days that are productive and busy but not even close to what used to be my threshold for busy in the past. Apparently my post-op body is still getting there, and I keep reminding myself that I am still only almost 6 months post-op major neuro surgery and recovery is slow, and it’s going to be a while before I can go back to that kind of workload.

Tl; dr I was too tired/did not make time to post anything on here since last Monday. 

Onto happier things; we’re just coming off of 24in48, and as per usual, it was a spectacular weekend. 1850 participants from all over the world, say whaaaaaaaaat? Absolutely stellar show from Rachel, Kerry, and Kristen, all of whom I adore dearly. Kudos on orchestrating a phenomenal and fun experience for everybody that took part. Remember, whether you read one book or 10, one hour or 24, you were a champ for carving out time in your busy, busy life to take part and peek into the giant, global bookish blanket fort that is a readathon, and you are allowed to feel good about that. 

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I paced myself this time around; I managed to read for 24 hours, but didn’t read as much as I usually do. Through the week I only managed to finish Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann ( I’ll have a review coming out soon, that book affected me in unexpected ways). During readathon I read: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (absolutely stunning verse novel), Illegal Contact and Down By Contact, both by Santino Hassell (both on audio, which was an interesting experience, both super hot, and both roping in serious social issues and feels amidst the fluff. Also oh my god Noah), Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor (satisfying end to the trilogy), Giant Days Volume 5 and Volume 6 ( I love these girls so much) by John Allison (Author), Max Sarin (Illustrator), Liz Fleming(Inker), Whitney Cogar (Colorist), and Jim Campbell (Letterer), and Winter by Ali Smith (my first time reading her work, her writing is absolutely gorgeous, this was unexpected and beautiful). I also got halfway through Trainwreck by Sady Doyle on audio. 

I am currently visiting some extended family but will be back home tomorrow afternoon. I don’t know if it’s my anxiety or the fact that my routine has been disrupted several times in the past couple of months with extended family times, but I just want to go back home asap so that I can get back to my walks and PT and cleaner eating habits and sleep in my own bed. It is possible I’ve become even more of an introvert in the last six months. 

On the reading roster for this week:

It’s very ambitious, I know, but this comprises of books I’m halfway through, books that need to go back to the library in two days, and ARCs that are already past their pub date. I do have a seven hour train journey tomorrow so I’m hoping to get a substantial amount of reading done on it. I am determined to get my Netgalley review percentage up to at least 80 in the first quarter of the year, so definitely making sure my currently reading pile includes a galley or two at all times.

That’s all from me, folks. Hope you have a glorious Monday and stellar week. 

If you participated in #24in48, link me to your posts, updates, Litsy/Instagram handles, or just share what you read, in the comments below. Or feel free to share what you’re looking forward to reading next. Or, ya know, non-bookish life updates. Talk to me!

-J

January 22, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hey there!

So it’s already Tuesday here, but I’m doing an It’s Monday post anyway because I really want to keep up with them and well, it’s Monday somewhere. Wow, this past week flew by. We’re moving (again!) in a couple of months, and this time to what is going to be my parents’ permanent residence. Same city, just an apartment. So I’ve been going with them to mediate wallpaper choices, curtain matches, you get the idea. It’s fun for the first five minutes but it’s mostly exhausting. But, moving will mean I get to bust out all my books from storage and put them in some beautiful bookshelves, so I’ve got something to look forward to in the new crib. I also got to have an intentionally lazy Sunday after a weirdly hectic week, and it was absolutely glorious, to say the least. We all need those once in a while. 

First, general housekeeping. Most of you might be aware of this already, but for those who don’t- we are officially retiring Social Justice Book Club. Kerry was super nice to take me on as co-host in 2017, but it ended up being a tumultuous year for both of us on a lot of fronts, and we decided it was time to close this chapter. I will continue to be reading books that tackle social justice themes, as will Kerry, so feel free to chat about them with us all across social media. Like Kerry said, if there’s interest, we definitely did enough research to put out a couple of book lists on some of those topics.

Onto happier news, it’s time for my first readathon of the year! 24in48 is back this weekend, and boy I’m looking forward to a glorious bookish bubble. You know the gist- 24 hours of reading over a 48-hour weekend, with snacks and sleep and conversation. Now I will be traveling this weekend so I’m not making a proper TBR, just going with the flow, and I’m keeping to the official start and end times per usual. There’s also tons of prizes for both US and International readers, so go ahead, sign-up!

And finally, time to chat about books. Last week, I finished The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (heartwarming, quirky, made me tear up), Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (one of the best audiobook decisions I’ve made in a long time), The Vanderbeekers on 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (another enchanting tear-jerker), Rangoli by Pavana Reddy ( some impactful poetry), Fit (Fit #1) and Sated (Fit #3), both by Rebekah Weatherspoon (diverse and steamy novellas, oh my), and finally finished reading A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield (riveting subject matter, but so dry and such a struggle to read). So yeah, pretty happy with my reading week. 

On this week’s roster:

 

Keeping it down to three so that I can get some reviews out ( I’d really like my Netgalley review percentage to come up to that 80% as soon as possible), and hunker down for a weekend of intense reading. 

That’s all I’ve got, folks (and with less than two hours to spare before Monday ends in PST, ha!). Don’t forget to sign-up for 24in48. Whether you read for 2 hours or 24, half a book or 7, it’s just feels good to be one with your people for a weekend. I’ll be posting updates on Litsy and Instagram for sure (@theshrinkette on both of those).

If you’re participating, let me know in the comments section, and link me to your sign-up posts, TBRs, Litsy and IG handles, etc. Also, what are you reading this week?

-J

 

January 15, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Happy New Year, friends!

Wow. WOW. What a year. Phew. Sometimes I laugh when I think about how terrible I thought 2016 was ’cause boy, 2017 was a humdinger. Never in my life have a been happier for a year to be over. 

If there’s anything 2017 taught me, it was not to make elaborate, overly ambitious plans because you never know when one thing could happen that sends all your plans down the drain. You’d think that’s a super obvious life lesson but I’ll be the first to admit it took me 2017 to actually comprehend what it looks and feels like. 

I spectacularly failed all of my reading and blogging goals for 2017 because so much life happened, and I’ve entered 2018 with a super low-key, attempted zen attitude. I’m not participating in any reading challenges this year- no Read Harder, no Goodreads goal, no Litsy A to Z, no Reading Women challenge, nothing. In truth, I’m a little burnt out on reading challenges, and I’ve realized I pretty much read diversely regardless of challenges, so I’m forcing myself to take a break from them this year and see where my moods take me. Likewise, I don’t have any specific blogging goals this year, and I’m already noticing that I’m looking forward to sitting down and writing posts and reviews as opposed to dreading them. That feels really good. 

Now, to the actual reading I’ve done so far. I read and loved Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (what a brilliant writer), Halsey Street by Naima Coster (stellar debut), Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano (absolutely delightful), The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (superb multigenerational novel), We Go Forward by Alison Evans (sweet friendship story), and Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (I’ll be shouting from the rooftops about this book for the rest of the year).

Only two books I’ve read thus far have been a bit disappointing: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (I think we can blame the hype for this one), and Bad for the Boss: A BWAM Office Romance (Just For Him Book 1) by Talia Hibbert (questionable consent in erotica novels always makes me itchy). 

On the roster for this week: 

I started Furiously Happy on audio a couple of days ago and The Music Shop last night and I’m really liking both so far. I’m struggling a little to get through A Few Red Drops; the subject matter is interesting but the writing isn’t engaging. I’ll start the other two later this week once I finish a sensitivity read that I need to get done. 

That’s all I’ve got going on for now. I’m excited to do It’s Monday posts again because it’s a great way to check-in and gives me chance to chat with you all about books and other things. So, how are you? How did your 2017 go? What are you looking forward to the most in 2018? Last, but not the least, what are you reading these days? 

-J