10 books to read before the end of the year

I set my reading goal at the beginning of the year to be 70 books. As of right now, I have surpassed that number beyond my wildest dreams. I reset my goal for 100, but I’m currently sitting at 90 and I think I’ll easily be able to hit that new number. However, I’m going to make another goal to at least read these 10 books before the end of the year:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber – Sitting on my shelf…mocking me. I will get to it this year!

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This was on my year TBR so I better finish it before the end of the year!

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell – Just got this one from B&N. I’ve loved all of Gladwell’s books so I’m especially excited for this one!

Order: Hardcover | eBook

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Preordered! So pumped. I LOVED The Night Circus and this book just sounds AMAZING. I never preorder (because $$$) but I made an exception with this one (and I had a gift card).

Preorder: Hardcover | eBook

Bad Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett – I’m hoping to get to this one next month! I’ve got it on my Kindle ready to go.

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – I read a ton of Holly Black when I was in junior high and I’ve reinstated my status of Holly Black trash recently (see below). No one does faeries better!

Preorder: Hardcover | eBook

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – **Shrugs**

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – I started this one so long ago and haven’t gotten around to finishing it. I want to finish it before the end of the year!

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

The Umbrella Academy vol 3: Hotel Oblivion by Gerard Way – SO PUMPED FOR THIS.

Preorder: Paperback | eBook

Runaways vol 4: But You Can’t Hide by Rainbow Rowell – I recently got back into Runaways. I read the originals way back when they came out and I’ve been pretty happy with this reboot. The Hulu show is trash though.

Preorder: Paperback

What are some books you’re hoping to read before the end of the year?
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Why I Don’t Listen to Audiobooks

I’ve seen many people talk about how they love audiobooks and it helps them to read more throughout the month. Yeah, that’s great and all, but that only works for people who aren’t already using their time listening to something else like I am. I’m talking about PODCASTS.

Confession: I’m kind of addicted to podcasts? I can’t seem to stop subscribing. Even though my commute to work is literally like…less than five minutes, I turn on a podcast as soon as I get in the car. This is why I don’t have time to listen to audiobooks. I’m too busy using my 10 minutes of driving time and my 20 minutes of getting ready time a day listening to my podcasts.

What are these podcasts that are keeping me from being more productive in my daily reading? I’m so glad you asked. Here are the 8 podcasts that I listen to regularly along with a few that are more seasonal or I’m just getting into.

Podcasts That I Listen to Every Week

This American LifeI’m basic. Sue me.

Planet Money – I was an Econ undergrad, but you don’t have to be to listen to this podcast! Honestly, this is probably my fave. They have a few episodes a week that are 25 min max and they’re always SO GOOD. Super interesting/educational and also super easy to follow.

Criminal – I like true crime as long as it’s not TOO graphic and the thing I love about this podcast is that it focuses on all kinds of “crimes”. They have typical murdery type episodes, but they also had one on a streaker and the last one I listened to was about Sarah Winchester. Super interesting!

This is Love – This podcast is done by the same people and host as Criminal. I don’t like it quite as much, but I still find it pretty enjoyable.

Bookish Podcasts because I’m A Librarian

The Public Libraries Podcast – This podcast is great because it talks about various topics that public libraries deal with all the time (how to best serve the homeless population, how to get teenage boy of color interested in reading, how to teach teen parents about reading to their babies).

What Should I Read Next? – I really like this podcast because Anne Bogel (the host) is really engaging when she talks about books. Some book podcasts (like the two following this one) have hosts that tend to…fangirl over books for lack of a better term. That’s a bit of a turnoff to me. I want to listen to people talk about books, but I want to listen to them talk seriously about books. I don’t want to hear, “Ugh, you just have to read this book because it’s so great and…and the main characters are just so…ugh. You just have to read it.” Anne is super articulate when describing books and I appreciate that.

All the Books! – I listen to this podcast because I just want to be aware of what books are coming out and what might be popular.

Hey YA – Same as above except this one focuses on YA.

Podcasts That Are a Tad More Seasonal

Invisibilia – This podcast talks about the invisible forces that shape us. It’s a super interesting premise and I like that they kind of go all over the map. It’s not one that I would want to listen to always, though, so it’s good that it’s a little more seasonal.

Serial – If you haven’t heard of Serial, then you’ve been living under a rock for the last three years. Obviously, I thought the first season was super engaging. I only got like…2.5 episodes into season 2, though, before I got bored. Season 3 came back with a vengeance and I really liked following stories from the one court.

Found – This is a podcast based on found objects–letters, notes, flyers, receipts. Sometimes they’re actually able to track down the origins of the found objects, but other times they just discuss a broader theme based on the object. It’s made me a lot more aware of the “trash” that I might find laying around.

Revisionist History – This is Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast. I think I’ve read almost if not all of his books by now and I really enjoy them. His hosting skills are quite good as well.

New Podcasts That I’m Trying

Household Name – These guys teamed up with Planet Money for an episode on Panera Cares and I really enjoyed it. It talks about brands. I’m only a couple of episodes in, but I think this could be one that I add to my weekly rotation.

Endless Thread – Last Seen (below) played a preview of one of their episodes and I thought it was really well done. I think the premise is that it explores a different Reddit thread each episode? But I’ve only listened to the one, so I’m not sure about this one yet.

Podcasts That I’ve Finished

Last Seen – This podcast is about an art heist that occurred almost 30 years ago at the Gardner Museum in Boston. The art still hasn’t been recovered and the hosts detail the multiple theories that have crept up over the years.

Dirty John – This is now a television series and the story is CRAZY. It’s about this guy who cons a lady into falling in love with him and it doesn’t end well.

Dr. Death – This podcast is about a doctor who was operating in Texas but was causing all these problems and some of his patients even died. He clearly should not have been operating, but proper protocol wasn’t followed so he ended up operating on like…a ton more people than he should have.

S Town – This is by the same people who do This American Life and Serial so obvi I listened to it. You think the podcast’s going to be about one thing, but then it takes a turn and you think it’s going to be about something else, but then it takes another turn and ends up being about something else entirely.

Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones? Let me know what other podcasts I should be listening to instead of audiobooks!

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New Semester Mini-Reviews

Okay, so I’m really trying to get caught up on all of my reviews. I read a lot in August, but did not do so great on writing my reviews. So here goes:

One of the GuysOne of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
Honestly…I don’t even remember TOO much from this book. There’s a tomboy girl who goes to an all-girl prep school. She’s got four best friends and she starts this rent-a-date service? Anyway. It was all very predictable and I honestly didn’t really like how the friendships between the four friends resolved. I mean, I know that friends grow apart and all that, but if you’re really so tight, then I don’t think that just falls apart over one event? The conflict between the main character and her parents was interesting, but didn’t really add too much to the story, in my opinion. There were a few secondary characters that I really couldn’t stand, but other than that I think the characters were okay. The romance was alright and maybe this is a spoiler, but I appreciated that there wasn’t a love triangle. Overall, not an entirely realistic plotline, but the story was easy to read and had a nicely predictable ending. 3/5

99 Days99 Days by Katie Cotugno
So…I did not find the main character in this book particularly likable. She just kept making these decisions that had me face-palming THE WHOLE TIME. I’ll be honest, I have never been in the position where I have feelings for two brothers and have to decide which one I’m going to date. That being said, is it really that hard to have a little self-control? I mean, like I said, I don’t really know and I don’t want to come across as judgey, or preachy, or holier than thou or anything like that but…COME ON. I understand that one of the brothers is her ex and she has some unresolved feelings but is it really that hard to not make bad decisions? On another note, I thought it was interesting that each chapter was another day, but that also created some weird breaks and a lot of “Oh, let’s hang out tomorrow” so that a new chapter could start with the characters hanging out. I liked the ending because it just seemed more realistic instead of the typical ending for books like this. Overall, there were some good things, but there wasn’t too much about this book that I liked. I will never be behind the whole “brothers fighting over one girl” trope. 2/5

BlinkBlink by Malcolm Gladwell
I love this book! I’ve read it once before and just reread it for book club. I feel like this book is especially applicable now–even more so than when it was initially published. There’s a section on police work and it really helped me to understand what exactly goes on in a situation where a policeman needs to make the decision on whether or not to fire their weapon. I feel like with all of the police brutality situations and the Black Lives Matter movement going on, everyone needs to read this book in order to understand just what is going through a policeman’s mind. Obviously I’m not saying that it’s okay, but after reading this book I’m less inclined to put the policeman at fault. Does that make sense? Maybe not, but if you read the book I think it will. Anyway, Gladwell is such a good writer and all of his books are absolutely fascinating. I recommend them all! 5/5

The HuntThe Hunt by Megan Shepherd
Let me just start by saying that I am still weirded out by the whole inter-species romance! Like, come on Cora, the guy is NOT EVEN HUMAN. I though this book was a little more interesting than the first one, but I’m still a much bigger fan of Shepherd’s The Madman’s Daughter trilogy. This is like a sci-fi book but without a lot of the science-y stuff. Like, it’s almost to the point where I wish there was more science because some stuff just still doesn’t really make sense to me. Like how is time the same in space and on Earth? I would just assume that if Cora and the gang ever were able to make it back to Earth and Earth was still there, everyone they knew would be long dead by hundreds of years. Also, I’m not sure that I like the whole telepathy/mind powers bit it seems like a bit of a stretch. The plot itself was okay. There was this little twist that comes in near the end that I’m still confused about. Overall, that part of the story doesn’t really make sense and I’m not sure how it moved the plot forward. The characters are a lot more enjoyable than they were in the first book so there’s that. Honestly, I’m just waiting to see how this series ends. At this point, it doesn’t really seem like it’s going to end well. 3/5