Saturday, December 31, 2016

Infographic! Q4 2016

What are my other infographics for this year, you ask?
Q1 2016 Infographic
Q2 2016 Infographic
Q3 2016 Infographic

Friday, December 30, 2016

December Reading Wrap-Up

December is juuuuuuuust about over but I'm not getting any more books finished before the year ends, so why not start with my December Reading Wrap-Up a bit early. Cos really, aren't we all ready for this year to be done?*

December was swell. There was Christmas which is always a good time. Tom got me tickets to see Book of Mormon so A+ work there. (He also got me, or I guess us, a smart thermostat and I realize I am officially an adult because I'm legit excited by this.) We went to Hawaii and that was super fun. Personally, good month but still ready for this year to be over. So let's jump to the stats AND KNOW I'm gonna have just a BUNCH of infographics coming up. And perhaps I'll get around to writing some reviews again.

Total books read
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
Virgin Envy by ed. Jonathan Allan, Cristina Santos, Adriana Spahr
Something New by Lucy Knisley
Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran

Total pages read

I had to double check this. Really. Wow. No fiction. I don't think that's ever happened before.
Female authors
OK, technically one of the editors of Virgin Envy is a guy BUT the way my tracking is set up does not take into account multiple authors and it was two to one. So.

White authors

US authors

Book formats
ebooks: 60%
paperback: 40%

Where'd I get the book
Indie bookstore: 40%
Kindle: 40%
NetGalley: 20%



Blogger reco


Review book

Books by decade
2010s: 100%

Books by genre
Biography: 20%
Essays: 40%
Graphic Novel: 20%
History: 20%

Resolution books
Only one, Moranifesto, cos she is a non-US lady.

Alright, January. Let's be better.

*Even if some personally awesome things happened, as Tom keeps reminding me. We saw Hamilton, went on some super fun vacations, Seton Hall won the Big East Tournament which means Tom has some fancy basketball bling.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

They saw what they wanted to see, blind to the inconvenient, implacable truth

I know I'm roughly 100 years behind the times but I finally read Cuckoo's Calling by nudge nudge wink wink Gailbrath. I'm also roughly 100 years behind the times in terms of reviewing, since I read this back in October. Haha whoops

I feel like at this stage you've either already read it cos it's Rowling and gotta read her, or else you're in the "what is Rowling doing, this isn't HP" camp and you're not going to read this. I was in the middle. I wasn't going to rush out for it (obviously, given I just read it) but I also wasn't avoiding it. I didn't expect it to be HP like, not only because obviously the story is much different, but I also wasn't expecting to have the same connection to the characters or world. And I didn't. Which is fine cos I still had a good time with the story.

Overall I liked the story. I wanted to know what happened next, which is always key for a mystery. The characters were fun and well drawn and I wanted to spend time with them.

Cormoran Strike is a private investigator and in the mold of typical PI's he has his troubled past and his tumultuous love life and his connections and his ways of conducting his investigations that aren't necessarily by-the-book. There's also his temporary assistant, Robin, who has been placed with him because he forgot to cancel his work with the temp agency. He really can't afford an assistant right now (add to list of PI tropes), but keeps her on when an old friend shows up with a job. His sister, super model and general famous person Lulu Landry, is dead. Her death, a fall from the balcony of her apartment, is ruled a suicide but John Bristow believes otherwise and wants Strike to prove what happened.

This gives Rowling a case to do what Rowling does best, which is come up with lots of characters for Strike to meet. There are clues and epiphanies and red herrings and false starts and suspects and people with lots of secrets.

I won't give away more cos, you know, mystery. It wasn't a particularly profound story but it kept me guessing and I had a good time with it. And I'll probably pick up the other Cormoran books in the series.

Gif rating:
Title quote from page 80, location 868

Galbraith, Robert. The Cuckoo's Calling. Mulholland Books, 2013. Kindle

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuesday Top Ten: Bookish Christmas Gifts

I haven't done a Tuesday Top Ten in I don't know how long. A million years? Roughly. I mostly stopped because things got busier and I got worse and worse about checking on the new topic and being able to do the hop part of things, so I figured it was unfair. But I'd like to try to get into this again, so hey, let's see how this goes.

The topic is Top Ten Books (or non-book bookish items) would I like Santa to leave under my tree.

Typically I don't ask for books for Christmas. I usually don't have a lot of books I am like MUST HAVE THIS so I prefer to just browse and buy books on a whim. So let's see what I can come up with.

1. Social Justice Reads - I thought I'd keep this as a single item because I literally just wrote a post about the SJRs that I want, and it seems silly to repeat that. But if these were to show up, I wouldn't be upset.
2. Book gift card - I was looking through my TBR list to try to find some other specific books that I'm like "Not only do I want to read this, but I want to read it IMMEDIATELY" and I'm not really coming up with much, so let's go with a gift card to somewhere like The Strand. See now I HAVE to use this money on books. No choice, really.

3. Litographs - We already have a print of a scene from The Great Gatsby made up of the text of The Great Gatsby so why not get more of that? I'm loving the Midsummer scarf. Or maybe The Tempest t-shirt.

4. Shakespeare insults mug - While we're on the topic of Shakespeare stuff, why not a mug made up of Shakespeare's insults? OH WAIT, I already got that as an early Christmas gift. Win win win.

5. A metal thing to use my Shakespeare fridge magnets - Remember that word poetry stuff that was so great? There's a Shakespeare version of it and I have them. BUT my fridge does not work with magnets. Which I guess makes it look nice and clean and whatnot but means that all my cool magnets are homeless. So I guess in this sense the item itself is not bookish but would facilitate bookish stuff. Though I guess I'm sort of just asking for a piece of sheet metal. maybe gussy it up a bit?
6. Bookish socks - I am in need of socks pretty much all the time. I don't know what I do to them, wear them EXTRA HARD, but pretty much all of my above-the-ankle socks have holes in them. If I have to get new socks, why not make them awesome ones, like the banned book socks?

And here we go. I'm already running out of ideas. I'm sure there are more, but I can't come up with them now. And really, item 1. is really multiple items, so I've made it beyond 10 items, so I'll stop here. What are your bookish wants, that I'll prob steal. (Not the items, the ideas. Just to be clear.)

Monday, December 19, 2016


If you follow me on various social media, you may have seen some posts about Hawaii. Cos I got to go to Hawaii.

Tom had to go for work (#roughlife) and as long as I paid my own flight out there, I'd get to tag along. I managed to find a flight that was not bank breaking and so tag along I did. Tom works for Seton Hall and the men's basketball team played in a Pearl Harbor anniversary tournament. And here's how that trip went

Got into Hawaii after two very long flights. We had to leave for the first flight at 5am and since Tom didn't get back from work until midnight, we decided we just wouldn't go to sleep so we'd be tired and sleep on the plane and hahahaha that is never a good idea. Tom and I flew separately (he with the team, I by myself cos it saved me a bunch of money).
Some pretty views
I didn't sleep much on the flights but I did sleep like a log that night so that's something. We had dinner with a few of his coworkers and unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the food but OH MAN, it was good. I had butterfish with a miso sauce on wasabi mashed potatoes with swiss chard. Then there were some fireworks on the beach after which I immediately fell asleep.

We got up early cos of timezones and the whole going to sleep at 9 thing. Tom had to go to practice with the team so I was ambitious and went to the gym before wandering around the resort and then hanging out by the pool reading Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes
Tom's schedule was clear the rest of the day so we decided to do the hike up Diamond Head. It's only about 1.5 miles round trip but you're hiking UP and there are a bunch of stairs, so it feels like more. Also adding to the challenge is doing this in the afternoon, just get the sun blazing right down on you. But look at these views. Worth it.
After making our way back down we decided "Let's make the 2 mile walk to get lunch!" Cos sure, why not. So we walked over to Rainbow Drive-In for lunch plates which were amazing and after all that walking/hiking, we deserve fried food + rice + macaroni salad.
Back near the resort we found this bar Tom had been talking about for awhile (Rum Fire, though he didn't know the name) and got mai tais. (I got the original '44 recipe which is pretty much just alcohol with a squirt of lime juice so, that was fun.)
We walked along the beach and hung out by the pool till it was time for more eating and hit up a sushi place nearby. We split toro nigiri (which Tom repeatedly called the best he's had ever) a couple rolls (spider and shrimp tempura) and some tempura veggies. That was enough for the day so we headed back and went to sleep.

The next morning, there was more practice for the team and more gym for me. Being that this is a trip for the team to play in a Pearl Harbor tournament, a tour of Pearl Harbor was on the itinerary. I got to join on this trip so we took a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial which was the most somber point of the trip.
Following the tour was a reception. But not just any reception, A RECEPTION ON AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER.
There was food and music and a tour of the carrier that was very cool. I felt kinda bad for the team because carriers are not made for basketball player sized people. Though it was kinda funny to watch them have to limbo their way around.

After this there were more mai tais cos they're so good.

Tom had yet to get to the beach on this trip but he had more work to do so we got up early to head to the beach around 8am which is fine by me cos I am pale. The water was lovely, the beach was gorgeous, I believe they were filming an episode of Hawaii 5-0 at the end of the beach.
Good morning. Eventually I was driven to the shade but Tom had to go work anyway so fine by me. I spent the time hopping between pools, reading and drinking coconut smoothies, eventually deciding I should do some holiday shopping. Or at least holiday shopping planning.
Tom came back and had found this restaurant called Nico's Pier 38 so we headed out there for dinner and again, amazing. We had: poke, rare tuna coated in seaweed and sesame seeds with a ginger garlic cilantro dip, green peppercorn swordfish, rice, veg, and more mac salad because that is a thing I am apparently down with.

There was some adventure with our Uber (it involved getting lost and driving on a sidewalk for a brief time) and then we made it back and had ice cream in fresh waffle cones.

GAME DAY! Which meant morning beach time and some quick gift shopping before grabbing lunch.
We went to a noodle place and I was a bit skeptical about cold noodle soup so Tom and I decided to split one hot and one cold and my skepticism was COMPLETELY UNFOUNDED. Oh man, these noodles might have been the best thing I ate while over there.
After we had to head back and get ready for the game. And by "getting read for the game" I mean I had to do nothing but Tom had stuff to prepare before we joined the team on the bus to head over to the base.

There is a whole basketball arena on the Pearl Harbor base, if you're curious. It is also not an air conditioned building. So. The poor players who actually had to run around in that, but hey, Seton Hall won so SUCCESS!
Enough with the sports, let's talk about how after the game and all the other after-game stuff was done, we went to a burger place near the hotel and I got some amazing thing that was burger + pork + pineapple and very good and greasy.

The saddest day because it's the day I have to leave. We spent the morning doing some last minute gift shopping, grabbed some coffee and a snack, and then I had to pack and Tom had to get ready for the second game they were playing. I enjoyed some last minute reading by the pool and finished Unfamiliar Fishes before it was time to head to the airport for a direct flight back to NJ and ugh that was a lot of travel time. But I had plenty of stand up downloaded to make it through.

And now I'm back in NJ procrastinating getting anything done, pretty much for the entirety of the month. And the day I'm finishing this, it's snowing so. I made a mistake coming back

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Social Justice Reads

You guys, I am bad at posting. I am going to go ahead and blame vacation time (Hawaii post coming. I swear. It is like 85% written and I am trying to get that last 15%) but I have been lazy and unmotivated and have spent a lot of time watching episodes of Big Fat Quiz of [blank] on YouTube.
Me, basically
So while I work up the energy to actually get something real written, let's crowdsource some social justice reads. Because yeah we should probably have a better understanding of some of the terrible things happening in society. You know, other than the other terrible things happening

I have some stuff on my radar but what else should I add? Here's what I've got

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O. Emerson
A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Friday, December 9, 2016

Dream Book Panel

I'm working on my Hawaii post (cos hey, I was just in Hawaii and that was swell) but in the meantime I got an email from Eventbrite, with a post topic about my dream book panel and after not finding a catch I thought that was a pretty cool topic and I'm looking for writing prompts so yeah, let's do this thing. And also you guys should write up your panels cos I am super interested to hear who you would have or what questions you'd ask. Everyone play!

The prompt is "What if you could plan the perfect panel of authors or characters to speak at a conference?" OK here's my panel

Christopher Moore, Jasper Fforde, and all of my favorite authors get together to talk about how cool I am and also send me all of their future books as they're released. Oh also Bill Watterson decides to write new Calvin & Hobbes and that is how society will begin to heal. Right? That sounds fun for everyone.
OK FINE, let's do this thing for real.

Since I am deep into my feminist rant reading, let's take the topic of feminism with maybe some intersectionality thrown in there because yeah, we need that. And since this is my perfect panel, I'm thinking this can include both dead authors as well as characters. LET'S SEE HOW THIS GOES
Up first: Octavia Butler. I need to hear her thoughts on everything really, but particularly her thoughts on gender and race because she has some thoughts here, if her books indicate anything. Plus she was a black female author writing science fiction starting in the '70s, which I know, sounds like THE most welcoming environment.

Next Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because have you read We Should All Be Feminists yet? Or seen her beautifully shut down the idea that Drumpf is not racist including the line 'As a white man, you don't get to define what racism is." And also all of the other line and laughter. It's wonderful.

How about some Sarah Vowell to add some history to the mix? Plus I feel she would bring some levity to the proceedings, cos things could get real heavy.

Speaking of people who can balance the serious and the funny, let's have Roxane Gay join as well. She will have lots of insightful things to say and then she can bring up House Hunters when we need a break. (But seriously, her live tweeting of HH is amazing.)

And then let's add Hermione because one, wouldn't it be awesome for Hermione to be on a panel? Also I think she could learn something. Yes, maybe she would bring some interesting thoughts to the mix but I would also like her to learn a bit about maybe not seeing herself as a white savior (thanks, Witch, Please)

Then let's include Celeste Ng because while I haven't written it yet I very very much enjoyed Everything I Never Told You and think she could bring some interesting thoughts about race and family and what is expected/allowed of women.

Crap, should there be a dude here? Umm, OK, Chuck Wendig cos from his blog and social media he seems like he gets it. He can come too.

Alright, I should probably stop here. But yeah, this seems great and if this could happen, that would be SUPER KEEN.
Thanks for the post prompt, Eventbrite, and hey people, if you need to manage an event or conference, they seem like a way to help with that so maybe check them out.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pretty excited about my current to read list

I just got approved for a couple NetGalleys and, you guys, I am preeeeeeetty excited about my current reading stack and thought I would share. Plus this buys me some time to work on my Cuckoo's Calling review, which I should really get to. #procrastinationftw

But anyway, check out my current "I am reading this" list:

The Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik (this one isn't a NetGalley but I'm reading it now and it fits)
It's Up To The Women by Eleanor Roosevelt

Virgin Envy: The Cultural (In)Significance of the Hymen by Jonathan Allan, Cristina Santos, and Adriana Spahr

I am going to be SO MUCH FUN. The books are all on my ereader so unfortunately people won't get to see the covers but maybe people will ask me what I am reading. And then regret interrupting me.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November Reading Wrap-Up

November. You were the 2016th-iest of all the months, weren't you? But hey, there was Thanksgiving and that's always fun because food is delicious and there were puppies.
They were all interested in something just to the side of me
Let's focus on the stats

Total books read
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
Danse Macabre by Stephen King
Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit

Total pages read


Female authors

White authors

US authors

Book formats
ebook - 50%
paperback - 50%

Where'd I get the book
borrow - 25%
indie - 50%
Kindle - 25%



Blogger reco


Books by decade
1980s - 25%
2010s - 75%

Books by genre
Essays - 25%
Horror - 25%
Rom Com - 50%

Resolution books
Not 80% from last month but hey, not too shabby
Danse Macabre was published in 1981 so hey, published before 2000
China Rich Girlfriend is by a non-white AND non-American guy so double win

Alright, December. Be better. For reading but also just in general.