April: the month that almost killed me [Monthly Wrap-Up & TBR Update]

Okay, so my title is a little dramatic, but this month was seriously ROUGH. I’m not quite done with everything (I’ve got one more wedding this Saturday), but I’m hoping after that I’ll have even just a millisecond to relax. My reading went completely off the rails this month. I discovered a free game on my phone so…there went that free time (it’s called Two Dots if you’re wondering). I just read a bunch of random stuff and almost nothing that I’d planned on. Oh well.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 7 (3 DNF)
Books currently reading: 3

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of April = 449
Books added to TBR = 22
Books read/deleted from TBR = 5
Total on TBR now = 466

How did your reading go this month?
Advertisements

TTT | People I’d like to Freaky Friday with

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

I feel like this list is pretty similar to last week’s list, because if I switch places with these people, then I can go where they go!

Alina from the Grishaverse – I just want to trade places with her so I can make all the better decisions that she should have made.

Hermione Granger – MY DREAM. If I was Hermione, I would have been sorted into Ravenclaw and I would still get a time turner and be able to apparate and all those coo things.

Rachel Chu from Crazy Rich Asians – She gets to eat all that yummy food and she’s marrying into an exorbitant amount of money? Yes, please.

Macy from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen – As I’ve said before, Wes was my first true bookish crush. I feel like Macy and I are already somewhat similar so it would be a natural switch. And I think it’d be a blast to work at Wish Catering.

Any of the ladies in Blue’s house from The Raven Cycle – What a family! What a house! They just seem really close and like it would be a fun place to live.

Anyone on the Invictus crew – Time travel! Heists!

Sophronia from The Finishing School series – I love her group of girlfriends and they learn so many cool things!

Abigail Rook from the Jackaby series – This one would probably be scariest, but also very exciting. Just trying to get around Jackaby’s house sounds like an adventure.

Richard Mayhew from Neverwhere – London Below is definitely somewhere I’d like to visit. Hanging with Door and the Marquis is just a bonus.

Bailey from the Night Circus – I WOULD RUN AWAY TO THIS CIRCUS TOO, BAILEY.

Link your TTT list in the comments!

How my reading life has changed post-baby

discussion posts

Those of you who have been following me for a while might remember that I had a baby last April (he’s amazing and the best thing to ever happen to me). Shortly after having the baby, my husband and I moved in with my parents for a summer internship. For whatever reason, I barely read anything that summer. I was adjusting to being a mom, I was adjusting to being back at my parent’s house, I didn’t have my bookshelves, I started playing the new Zelda game, etc., etc. A million excuses could be made. It wasn’t until we came back home after the summer that I really got back into reading.

My best year of reading to date was 2015 when I managed to read 175 (!!!) books. I know, it’s crazy. I had just graduated with my undergrad and was only working part-time while my husband was still going to school/also working. I had a lot of time by myself to read and that’s actually when I decided to start this blog. Then, that Fall, I decided to get my Master’s in Library Science and I read even MORE books for my classes. So that’s how I got to 175. Last year, I squeaked by with 62 books–about a third of what I’d read in 2015.

So that’s the short answer to how my reading life has changed post-baby: I’m reading less. But that’s not really the whole answer. I don’t have as much time to read during the day because I’m watching my baby (and he must always come over to supervise as soon as I pull out a book) and also because I’m working part-time at the library. I have about a three-hour window after he goes down for bed and before I should go to bed. These three hours have to be allocated between watching shows/hanging out with my husband, reading, blogging, and any other hobbies I want to pursue. It’s been tough to figure out when to do what and I constantly feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do.

With that being said, because I work at the library, I am constantly surrounded by books! I’ve noticed that I’ve been reading a lot more broadly than I used to. I used to just stick with YA, but I’ve started reading non-fiction, adult fiction, and graphic novels as well. That is definitely a change that I welcome. I’m still planning/trying to get more into audio books–I think that’s something that I could easily do while playing with my son–I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Also, podcasts.

Overall, I (obviously) don’t regret having my baby, but it has changed A LOT about my life. I know everyone says that, but it’s so true! In the end, I’ve found that I really need to adjust my expectations and to not try to do so much. There are a couple of hobbies that I’ve decided to let go for the time being. I’m prioritizing reading and spending time with my husband at night over other things and I’m trying to squeeze in the blog whenever I can (aka nap times). I’ve set a tentative reading goal of 70 books this year and so far I’ve read 11, which Goodreads tells me means I’m on track.

I’ll just leave you with this picture of my baby pretending that he likes to read when he’s really just licking books.

D reading

Have you had any changes in your reading life lately? And to other moms, how did your reading life change when you had kids?

Provo Library’s Best Books of 2018 | YA Non-Fiction, Fiction, & Graphic Novels

Every year my local library puts on a “Best Books of…” event and I love it! A lot of the books I’ve already heard of, but I always come away with new books on my TBR! Even though I do work here, I wasn’t part of putting on the event or choosing the books–I was able to just attend as a patron, so that was super fun as well. I made my book club come with me too, so hopefully some of these books will make it into our discussions! Here’s a link for anyone who missed my post on the Adult non-fiction and fiction list.

Provo Library Best Books YA

Bolded books are ones that are on my TBR. Italics are ones I’ve read.

Non-Fiction
Fiction
Comics & Graphic Novels
Have you read any of these? What young adult books would you add to the list?

Pin this!

Provo Library Best Books YA

Provo Library’s Best Books of 2018 | Adult Non-Fiction & Fiction

Every year my local library puts on a “Best Books of…” event and I love it! A lot of the books I’ve already heard of, but I always come away with new books on my TBR! Even though I do work here, I wasn’t part of putting on the event or choosing the books–I was able to just attend as a patron, so that was super fun as well. I made my book club come with me too, so hopefully some of these books will make it into our discussions! Keep an eye out for the Young Adult list–I’ll be posting that in a few days as well.

Provo Library Best Books Adult

Bolded books are ones that are on my TBR. Italics are ones I’ve read.

Have you read any of these? What adult books would you add to the list?

Pin this!

Provo Library Best Books Adult.PNG

 

February TBR

In February, I have a couple of book club books to get to and some stuff for work. I’m hoping to get to some other fun stuff too, though! (Not that the other stuff isn’t fun, but when it’s assigned, it’s a little different).

monthly tbr

I’ll limit myself to that for now. I didn’t get through as many books as I would have liked last month–we’ll see how this month goes.

To reread? Or not to reread?

I almost exclusively buy physical books that I’ve already read and liked. I just don’t want to waste money on a book that I end up not liking, you know? So unless it’s one of my auto-buy authors (Sarah Dessen) or part of a series that I’ve been reading and enjoyed, I’m only going to buy something if I already know that I like it. But then a lot of my books just sit on my shelf unopened because I already read the ARC or the library copy or whatever and I don’t get around to rereading.

discussion posts

Pros/Cons of Rereading Books

Pro – You know what you’re getting

You’ve already read the book, you know how the plot is, how quirky the characters are, how swoony the romance is, you know how it’s going to make you feel. You can purposefully pick a book to perfectly suit the mood you’re in.

Con – There are no surprises

Chances are you remember that mindblowing twist at the end of the book. It is never going to be exactly as satisfying as the first time you read it because you know what’s going to happen.

Pro – Additional insights

Sometimes you get something else out of a book on a second or even third read-through. I think this is especially true with books you may have read when you were much younger or with series’ where you had to wait years between books. For me, Harry Potter fits both those categories.

Con – Time constraints

Who has time to even think about rereading books when new books are being published EVERY DAY. If you’re spending time rereading a book, you’re not spending time reading a new book–a book that would probably become your new favorite book of all time.

Pro – Can help you out of a reading slump

This is definitely the case for me. If I’m ever in a bad slump, I can pick almost any Sarah Dessen book off my shelf and I’m back. Rereading a favorite book can be like slipping into that cozy, old sweater you only wear on rainy days. There’s something very comforting about losing yourself in those worn pages.

Con – It might ruin the book for you

Perhaps you read a book when you were younger and you remember really enjoying it. It’s been a few (or more) years and you decide to pick it up again. To your horror, you realize that the writing is not that good, the protag is especially weak, and the love interest is alarmingly problematic in a number of ways. Some things are just better left as a rosy memory.

So yeah, I’m still pretty on the fence about rereading. There are obviously points on both sides and readers should probably take it on a case-by-case basis.

How do you decide whether or not to reread a book? Any pros/cons that I missed?