Friday, November 30, 2018

Books Read November 2018: 269 - 288

This was a weird month where I got burned out on keeping caught up with eARCs and actually read a lot of the books already on my shelf. And then the Tournament of Books longlist came out....

Pictured are the 5-star reads for the month:

269. A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter **** (postal book swap; my review)
270. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez ***** (library book; my review)
271. Nasty Women ed. Samhita Mukhopadhyay **** (library book; my review)
272. A Month of Sundays by Julie Mars *** (postal book swap; my review)
273. Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me: The Best of Teffi by Teffi **** (personal copy; my review)
274. Zer0es by Chuck Wendig *** (library audiobook; my review)
275. Sonora by Hannah Lillith Assadi ***** (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
276. All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung **** (Hoopla eBook; my review)
277. Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson **** (personal copy; my review)
278. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang **** (Hoopla audiobook; my review)
279. Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson **** (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
280. The Book of M by Peng Shepherd *** (interlibrary loan; my review)
281. Saints of Big Harbour by Lynn Coady **** (personal copy; my review)
282. Becoming by Michelle Obama ***** (personal copy audiobook; my review)
283. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett **** (personal copy; my review)
284. Notes on a Foreign Country by Suzy Hansen **** (interlibrary loan; my review)
285. Syllabus by Lynda Barry ***** (interlibrary loan; my review)
286. Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Gluck **** (personal copy; my review)
287. Kudos by Rachel Cusk **** (library book; my review)
288. Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima **** (eARC from NetGalley; my review)

Books read: 20

Personal copy or postal book swap: 8
Library copy: 9
Review copy: 3

Author of color: 8

Alaska/Canada 2018 reading goal:2
Reading Women Challenge 2018: 1
Tournament of Books: 3
National Book Award: 2

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Reading Envy 135: Speed Dating 2018, Round 5

Between my reading goal of six book speed-dating projects in 2018 and a looming pile of galleys, I knew it was time to do another round! Please enjoy this brief bonus episode (and mark your calendars - episodes will be weekly through the end of the year.)

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 135: Bonus Speed-Dating 2018-5.

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Submit an audiofile about your best read from 2018

Books Discussed


Vanishing Twins: A Marriage by Leah Dieterich (Soft Skull Press, 9/4/18)
The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell (Berkley, 9/12/18)
The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apekina (Two Dollar Radio, 9/18/18)
Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf, 10/2/18)
In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 11/6/18)
Evening in Paradise: More Stories by Lucia Berlin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 11/6/18)
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (Flatiron books, 11/6/18)
Insomnia by Marina Benjamin (Catapult 11/13/18)
Sugar Run by Mesha Maren (Algonquin Books, 1/8/19)
The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar (Counterpoint, 2/5/19)
The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas (Crooked Lane Books, February 12, 2019)
The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman (Berkley, 2/19/19)
Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward (Park Row, 3/19/19)

Related Episodes

Episode 113 - Speed Dating 2018, round 1
Episode 117 - Speed Dating 2018, round 2
Episode 120 - Summer Reading; Speed Dating 2018, round 3   
Episode 128 - Poetry and Whale Guts (Bonus episode; Speed Dating 2018, round 4)
Episode 063 - Desolation Road (book speed dating and books on grief)
Episode 059 - Are you Inspired Yet? bonus book speed dating
Episode 047 - Sex with Elvis: Bonus Book Speed Dating Episode
Episode 035 - Speed Dating Books   

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Reading Envy 134: A Pastiche Romp with Ruthiella

Ruth, often known as Ruthiella, returns to the podcast to talk about several long books she has read and enjoyed lately. Jenny joins in with surprising selections. We talk about the pull of book lists for our own reading, and books we need to give a second chance.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 134: A Pastiche Romp with Ruthiella.

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Books Discussed:

Possession by A.S. Byatt
Florida by Lauren Groff
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
Annie Muktuk and Other Stories by Norma Dunning

Other Discussion:

Man Booker Prize
National Book Award
Tournament of Books
Possession (film)
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Charles Dickens
Wilkie Collins
Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
The Observations by Jane Harris
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Kate Morton
Milkman by Anna Burns
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Rashaman (film)
Arcadia by Iain Pears
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Jonathan Argyll series (art history) by Iain Pears
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
Books on the Nightstand podcast
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Books and Chocolate  blog - Back to Classics challenge
The Tin Drum by G√ľnter Grass

Related episodes:

Episode 033 - An Undulating Thrum with guests Ruth and Elizabeth
Episode 067 - Rain and Readability with Ruth(iella) 
Episode 085 - An Acquired Taste with Thomas Otto  
Episode 105 - Best Reads of 2017 
Episode 131 - Tartan Noir and More with Claire Duffy

Stalk us online:

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

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Review: Sonora

Sonora Sonora by Hannah Lillith Assadi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've meant to read this for so long and finally did thanks to the publisher, Soho Press, via Netgalley. Assadi was recently honored by the National Book Foundation as one of their "5 Under 35" authors of acclaim.

The settings (Sonora Desert and later New York City) are vivid and the two female friends growing into women are connected to the landscapes in a number of ways. Either one of them or the place might be cursed, because other teens start dying in their community. Ahlam, the daughter of an Israeli mother and Palestinian father, has dreams/visions that feel like clues.

There are elements that to me give away that this is a debut novel from a writer with an MFA program influence - extraordinary drug use for one - but it is stronger and more captivating than most novels in that vein. I liked the multiple timelines and storylines and the focus on the parents at times. The biggest strength is the sensory writing.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Reading Envy 133: To Understand the World with Lauren Weinhold

Just in time for Non-Fiction November, Lauren and Jenny get together to talk about their reads for Science September (#scienceseptember) and the reads we envied from other people. The title of the episode comes from Carl Sagan, referring to taking children to the library to help answer their questions: "Every question is a cry to understand the world."

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 133: To Understand the World.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
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Pictured: Only some of the fantastic science books read in September

Books Discussed:

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
The Great Quake by Henry Fountain
The Song of Trees by David George Haskell
The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell
The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
1997 article in Nature about mycorrhizal fungal networks
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the art of growing a backbone by Juli Berwald
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush
Galileo's Middle Finger by Alice Dreger
Darkness in El Dorado by Patrick Tierney (not linking because this has been debunked and should be considered shenanigans)
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
Waking Up Podcast #135: Navigating Sex and Gender (Sam Harris)
Light of the Stars by Adam Frank
How to Tame a Fox by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White
The World is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One by Sylvia A. Earle
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter by Ellen J. Prager
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean M. Carroll
The Physics of Everyday Things by James Kakalios
The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics by Susskind
Totally Random: Why Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics by Tanya Bub and Jeffrey Bub
Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith
How We’ll Live on Mars by Stephen Petranek
Your Kids Might Live on Mars. Here's How They'll Survive. (Stephen Petranek TED Talk)
Mars (tv series on NatGeo)
The Poetic Species by Edward O. Wilson and Robert Haas
Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff
The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Science and Power of Dreams by Matthew Walker
Descartes’ Error by Antonio Damasio
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong
The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club by Eileen Pollack
It’s All Relative by A.J. Jacobs
Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey through the World’s Strangest Brains by Helen Thomson
Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist by William Maples
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
Seeds by Thor Hanson
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicolson
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species by Richard Ellis
The Beauty in the Beast: Britain’s Favourite Creatures and the People Who Love Them by Hugh Warwick (not available in the USA)
The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis

Thanks to the following readers in Instagram for sharing their #scienceseptember reads!

@loreofbooks @reallifereading @rhode_reads @madeoflightandsound @books_and_biology @shatterlings @dinsdalekep @greenteareads @unwildrumpus @books.and.beers @wynreads @dryapyapi @readmorescience

And thanks to @conservio in Litsy

Related episodes:

Episode 093 - Spewing Science with Jeff Koeppen
Episode 097 - Blank Spaces with Lauren Weinhold
Episode 123 - Godlets and Forests with Lauren Weinhold
Episode 131 - Tartan Noir and More with Claire Duffy

Stalk us online:

Lauren at Goodreads
Lauren is @end.notes on Instagram
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Books Read October 2018: 248-268

Pictured: This month's 5-star reads

248. Florida by Lauren Groff ***** (library book; my review)
249. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan **** (library book; my review)
250. The Tattooist of Auschwitz  by Michelle Miller *** (library Hoopla audiobook; my review)
251. In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey **** (eARC; my review)
252. Protest Kitchen by Carol Adams ** (library book; my review)
253. Letters from Max by Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo **** (eARC; my review)
254. The Final Voicemails: Poems by Max Ritvo **** (eARC; my review)
255. Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi by Anthony Bourdain *** (library book; my review)
256. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain *** (library book; my review)
257. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh **** (library book; my review)
258. Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller *** (eARC; my review)
259. A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Conner *** (library book; my review)
260. Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture ed. Roxane Gay ***** (library book; my review)
261. Far From the Tree by Robin Benway ***** (library book; my review)
262. What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky *** (eARC; my review)
263. The Woman Who Married a Bear by John Straley *** (personal copy; my review)
264. Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer ***** (borrowed from a friend; my review)
265. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan *** (personal copy; my review)
266. Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff *** (library book; my review)
267. Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones ***** (personal copy eBook; my review)
268. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing **** (personal copy; my review)

Total Books Read: 21

Audio: 1
eBook: 6
Print: 14