Saturday, December 16, 2017

Book Subscription Plans 2.0

After posting an initial list of book subscriptions I knew about, I found out about even more that are out there. Much of this list is thanks to your comments and to reading friends in the Goodreads' Newest Literary Fiction group. Some of these will be UK-oriented but many still ship to the US.

Subscriptions are great gifts for readers because they keep on giving and you can purchase at the last minute!

Asymptote Book Club - This is a brand new service that I am personally very excited about! Their team of editors works in six continents, and all monthly selections will be new world literature titles.

Book Culture - an independent bookstore in NYC that offers several subscription options, including Queer Voices, Poetry, Literature in Translation, New and Noteworthy Fiction, and more

Deep Vellum - International literature in translation. Choose from the 5-book or 10-book subscription.

Peirene Press - European literature in translation, usually the latest and most acclaimed. An annual subscriber will receive a new book every four months. "A beautiful, unexpected surprise."

Persephone Books - UK small press reviving out of print works by female authors. Choose from 6 or 12 month subscriptions (titles are selected by subscriber.)

Soho Press International Crime Club  - Monthly book - ebook or print format. Selections listed ahead of time on their website.

Tilted Axis Press - Founded in 2015 and based in Sheffield and London, a not-for-profit press on a mission to shake up contemporary international literature. Digital or print format
If you know of others, please keep sharing! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Review: Bonfire

Bonfire Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is very readable but I felt some things were set up and not fully taken advantage of except for how they advanced the central mystery of what happened to Kaycee. I do like the idea of Erin Brokovich confronting the fallout of childhood bullying, and would read the next book by this author.

A few more questions in the spoiler tag:

(view spoiler)

Also, poetic license maybe, but there is no toll rode on I-70 in Missouri.

Thanks to the publisher for approving my request for access to this title via NetGalley.

View all my reviews

Review: Stephen Florida

Stephen Florida Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"I have reached many limits, but I have not reached my limit in wrestling. I know that for certain."
Stephen Florida is a college wrestler with one goal - to win the championship at the 133 lb weight classification in his senior year. He has been working towards this goal and will not let anything get in the way. This book is able to show what a singular, obsessive focus looks like, and what suffers, not the least of which is the person pursuing the goal.

I think the strength of this novel really shows at the end. (view spoiler)

View all my reviews

Reading Envy 104: Uppity Lives and Jelly Melons

Jason Roland is back to chat books, and we travel from Alaska to Czechoslovakia to the spooky Oregon woods to the spookier suburbs of Ohio in our discussions.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 104: Uppity Lives and Jelly Melons

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher

I am scheduling guests for 2018! If you are interested in appearing on the podcast: FAQ
I am also collecting best reads of 2017 for episode 105. More info here.

Books featured:



To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham
The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan

Other mentions:

Victuals: An Appalachian Journey by Ronni Lundy
David Joy
Jim Minnick
Olio by Tyehimba Jess
Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Book Fight Podcast
Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn
Crapalachia: A Biography of Place by Scott McClanahan
Hill William by Scott McClanahan
The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
So Much Blue by Percival Everett

Related episodes:

Episode 014 - Flannery O'Connor with Zombies
Episode 025 - Mule and Plow
Episode 042 - It Begins with Rain
Episode 054 - Retired Pirates 
Episode 073 - Buried Under the Beets with Jason Roland
Episode 080 - The Wild Things Helped with Jason Roland


Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy
Jason on Twitter

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Reading Envy 103: Duchess Potatoes with Carol Ann Ellison

Carol participated in the readalong discussion of The Secret History, and came back for a full episode. Jenny's mic was on the wrong setting, so if she sounds a bit like an echo-chamber, the issue is known and fixed in the next episode. Hopefully it's not too distracting!

The name of the episode is the answer to the thing Jenny couldn't remember.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 103: Duchess Potatoes

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher

I am scheduling guests for 2018! If you are interested in appearing on the podcast: FAQ
I am also collecting best reads of 2017 for episode 105. More info here.

Books featured:



The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
Another Place You've Never Been by Rebecca Kauffman
Into the Dark by J.A. Sutherland
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakruni

Other mentions:

The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
Novel Gobbler post on The Winds of War
The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro
Novel Gobbler post on The Muralist
Cleaving by Julie Powell
The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Seingarten
Olestra
Elizabeth Clett
The Expanse by James S.A. Corey
Horatio Hornblower
Our Souls at Night (film)
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The World According to Garp by John Irving
The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving
Last Night at Twisted River by John Irving
The Mistress of Spices (film)
The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakruni
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Thornhill by Pam Smy
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Hadriana in All My Dreams by René Despestre

Related episodes:

Episode 078 - Small Towns in the Second Person with EA Mann
Episode 082 - Reading Envy Envy with Scott Danielson
Episode 097 - Blank Spaces with Lauren Weinhold
Episode 099 - Readalong: The Secret History

Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy
Carol Ann at NovelGobblers
Carol Ann at Goodreads
Carol Ann is @thebookandbeyond on Instagram

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Read in November: Books 279-303 of 2017


Pictured: November's 5-star Reads

279. Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa **** (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
280. The Voiceover Artist by Dave Reidy **** (interlibrary loan; my review)
281. Wilde in Love by Eloisa James *** (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
282. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman ***** (audiobook from Audible; my review)
283. Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman *** (library book; my review)
284. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson **** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
285. Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed **** (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
286. Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chodron **** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
287. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie **** (postal book swap; my review)
288. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder **** (ARC from publisher; my review)
289. The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne ***** (ARC from publisher; my review)
290. Christmas in Kilts edited by Bronwen Evans **** (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
291. The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles **** (postal book swap; my review)
292. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh **** (postal book swap; my review)
293. 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino ***** (postal book swap; my review)
294. All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes by Maya Angelou **** (postal book swap; my review)
295. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng **** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
296. The Weight of Mercy: A Novice Pastor on the City Streets by Deb Richardson-Moore **** (personal copy; my review)
297. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas **** (ARC from publisher; my review)
298. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang **** (ARC from publisher; my review)
299. Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
300. Light Both Foreign and Domestic: A Collection by Darin Bradley **** (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)

301. Bering Sea Strong by Laura Hartema **** (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
302. Holding Space: On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go by Amy Wright Glenn (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
303. Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky **** (personal copy; my review)

Review: Light Both Foreign and Domestic: A Collection

Light Both Foreign and Domestic: A Collection Light Both Foreign and Domestic: A Collection by Darin Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First I should say that I always struggle with short stories. I wanted to read these because I'm a fan of Darin Bradley and I am a completist, but I must admit I feel weird writing the first review in Goodreads.

But a person who gets short stories is this author. He understands that the short story is a place to play with an idea, a fragment, and flesh it out to its logical conclusion. The topics in these range from quantum algorithms in suburbia to archival collections to basement enlightenment to ginseng harvests in a post-hipster world. There is even one story that reads like a post-apocalyptic gospel.

And because it is Bradley, you will find chewy words and a tone I always hear in my head as part Jimmy Stewart, part noir detective. (If you don't hear it too then I can't really explain it to you!)

Thanks to the publisher for providing access to this title via Edelweiss.


View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reading Envy 102: The Reading Women and Reading Envy Crossover Episode

Sometime in this past year, I realized that another podcaster, Kendra, lived in the same city as me. Her co-host is Autumn and they host the Reading Women Podcast (more info and links below.) We decided to use the opportunity to talk about the best books we read by women this year.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 102: Crossover with the Reading Women

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher

And check out the Reading Women Podcast:
Copied from their website:
"The goal of the Reading Women podcast is to bring previously anonymous women to the forefront of your TBR stack. Each month Kendra Winchester and Autumn Privett pick a theme and then discuss several books in a book club-style podcast. Subscribe today to discover amazing female authors who are giving voice to a part of the world's population that has been largely overlooked."


I (Jenny) am scheduling guests for 2018! If you are interested in appearing on the podcast: FAQ


Books featured:



The Mothers by Brit Bennett (Riverhead)
Black Wave by Michelle Tea (Feminist Press)
Human Acts by Han Kang, Translated by Deborah Smith (Hogarth)
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (Grove Atlantic)
Juventud by Vanessa Blakeslee (Curbside Splendor)
Himself by Jess Kidd (Atria)
A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin (FSG)
Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Deep Vellum)
This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf)


Other mentions:

The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
The Impossible Fairy Tale by Han Yujoo
Tilted Axis Press

Hunger by Roxane Gay
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Turf by Elizabeth Crane
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill
David Mitchell
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell
The Idiot by Elif Batuman (Penguin Press)
Decatur Book Festival
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Algonquin)
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin)


Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy
Reading Women Podcast
Kendra on InstagramTwitter, Goodreads, and YouTube
Autumn on Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads