Updates, updates.

TGIF, amirite?!

I feel like everyone has been saying this, but really, where the hell are the weeks going? How is it already the middle of May? 

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The past week has been a blur- I met several book people over the past couple of days, including some Book Rioters! Hey, remember that time I was featured on the Book Riot instagram? Sadly, I was so very uncool around them, even though I’d practiced my speech in my car for 10 minutes. I totally did that fangirl giggle when Amanda asked if she could take that picture of me in all my BR swag glory ( I am not proud of that sound). BUT I MET AMANDA NELSON so whatevs. Poor Rincey got the brunt of my hyperventilation, and she was very gracious and sweet about it. I also got to meet some of my internet bookish friendships, which was glorious. So jealous that I didn’t go to BEA, but it’s fine.

BookCon tomorrow! D and I are video-chatting in a couple of hours to figure out our agenda for tomorrow. I have printed out floor maps and everything, because I can’t stand McCormick Place in general so having my agenda mapped out will hopefully minimize stress. I will be snapchatting (username: jananivaidya), tweeting and instagramming for sure, so you can follow all of my Con adventures on there!

Reading challenge updates:

So, I have a problem. I overcommit. I find it (nearly) impossible to say no to things- work, life, or otherwise. So while I would like to do all of the things, I end up leaving very little room for life getting in the way, so I’m almost always in scramble mode. For example, life, work, and general moodiness and things have led to my reading taking a solid hit, and I’ve not been reading as much as I usually do. Therefore, I don’t really have enough material for separate posts for each of the challenges, so I hope all of the hosts will forgive me for lumping the updates into a single post. Let’s dive right in:

  1. R. K. Narayan Readalong: I have only finished one book, Malgudi Days and it is unlikely that I will start and finish the other one by Sunday. It was a re-read for me, and I enjoyed reading a few stories before bed each night. I’m so glad that Deepika created this opportunity for me to go back to this book. First, because that introduction/tribute by Jhumpa Lahiri is excellent, and second, because RKN was a prolific writer that so few people outside of India know about and will now. Like many contemporary giants such as Tolkien, Prachett, Rowlng, etc. minus the fantasy aspect, he created this entire world that was so relatable to the average reader. Written over the course of 40 years, it captures the essence of pre-independent India, with it’s myriad small-town inhabitants and their day-to-day experiences. I was hit by waves of nostalgia for home when reading this one for sure. His writing style definitely reminds you of Chekov and O-Henry, masters of the short story format. It is amazing how much the man can compress into a story that’s all of 4-6 pages in length. What a versatile storyteller, I’m so glad I loved this just as much as I did when I read it for the first time as a teenager. 
  2. Bout of Books: I definitely have not participated in this event in full reader/social media monster mode, but I have been checking in at least once everyday. I’m learning that I prefer reading challenges that are of a shorter duration- it’s just how I operate. Very short-term-goal oriented. Also, it’s pretty clear how unrealistic my TBR plans are, but I think this time around it just had to do with the timing of the event in my life. I’ve only completed 1 book, one trade, and couple of comic issues. Maybe I’ll finish just one other book by Sunday. I did participate in a couple of the daily challenges, which was cool. Again, crunch-time constant contact with the event definitely works better for me personally, but I’d like to see how I do next time around with less number of distractions/commitments. 
  3. Smash Your Stack: Ha, let’s see, in the first two weeks of this challenge, I have completed all of 6 books/comics/trades. Not my best effort. I’ve got two weeks to redeem myself, and I’m hoping National Readathon Day next Saturday helps me get to my goal

On the health front, I have been eating crappily, partly because of eating out with friends in the past couple of days, and partly because I only got paid yesterday (real food is definitely not budget-friendly with an erratic paycheck). I’ve already worked on my meal plan for next week so getting back on track with it. I haven’t gone running since Saturday, but I did do yoga three days this week, mostly as an opportunity to engage in some mindfulness exercises. 

Currently reading: Riding that book-hopping train with: All Things Cease To Appear by Elizabeth Brundage, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (audio), Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (I will finish by the end of the month I swear), and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (ARC, yes I’m annoyed with myself for not going to BEA to see him or George Saunders). 

Currently listening: Mandolin Srinivas for the past few days.

Currently watching: The Office (U. S.). My third round, I think.

Okay, I’m going to salvage the next hour to read, before I sit down to plan for BookCon. Wish me luck! 

What have you guys been upto?

-J

 

 

Teaser Tuesday: May 10, 2016

Hello!

It’s Teaser Tuesday!

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This fun bookish meme is hosted by MizB at Books And A Beat. The rules are pretty simple: Grab your current read, open a random page, and pick two teaser, non-spoilery sentences to share from that page.

Here’s mine for this week:

“We are a flawed, weak species, he gently reminds us in these pages, focusing his attention, clearly and without sentiment, on those who will stoop low, those who will stop at nothing. What makes us care for such frequently pathetic characters is that they, like most of the rest of us, are strivers, driven by hopes for a slightly better life.” malgudi days

It’s Bout of Books, BEA, and Book Con week! Unfortunately, I’m not going to BEA, but I’m gate-crashing a blogger happy hour tomorrow, where I will get to fangirl over my many twitter/blogging idols! I can’t wait! I still have not planned my Book Con agenda, hopefully that should happen today. Bout of Books is going okay, I read for about 5.5 hours yesterday, but I’ve already gotten a couple of hours in today (gotta love audiobooks) so I’m off to a good start. I’ll catch ya guys later!

-J

 

Review: Before We Visit The Goddess

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Before We Visit The Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Published: April 19th, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781476792002
Source: Owned
Challenges: Read My Own Damn Books, Read The Books You Buy, Smash Your Stack 

 

I read The Mistress Of Spices back in high school and remember enjoying it, although back then I just devoured books without any thought to analyzing the plot, storyline, writing style, or any of that. I read for the sake of reading, and only as an adult have I made any effort to account for these factors when reading a book. Does it make it less fun to read? I don’t think so. Blogging sure is making me more vigilant about it, I now make notes for a book as I’m reading if I decided I’m going to talk about them here. 

Continue reading “Review: Before We Visit The Goddess”

Book Tag – Scavenger Hunt!

Heyo booknerds!

It feels like it’s been a while. It’s definitely been a while since I talked about books. The week has been very slow in terms of reading, so I thought I’d post this tag which frankly is long overdue. Thanks to my new pal Naz for thinking of me for this tag, and I’m sorry it took me so long to get to it! Also thank you, The Library of Sarah, for creating this tag 🙂

I’d pulled out the books I wanted to use for this post when I was reorganizing my bookshelf (again) about 2 weeks ago, but just hadn’t gotten around to taking pictures and writing the post. I’m not going to lie, I definitely did not think about how time-consuming blogging can be when I started. It’s a lot of fun, but definitely requires a certain amount of response effort and time allocation. I’ll eventually figure out how to fit it into my schedule and make regular posts, hopefully.

Maybe if I didn’t ramble on so much on every post this wouldn’t take so long now would it? 

Back to the tag. The rules are pretty straightforward: Find a book that matches the categories provided. Let’s dive right in shall we?

Continue reading “Book Tag – Scavenger Hunt!”

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: May 4, 2016

Hiya!

It’s Wednesday, which means it is time for Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts, hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous.

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But first, HAPPY STAR WARS DAY, ERRYBODY! MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU

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Before we start, go check out Swapna Krishna‘s cute collage homage to Star Wars. She’s one of my favourite Twitter nerds that I follow. 

The Bookish:

  1. I haven’t gotten much reading done this week, life stuff has me so jittery I am book-hopping but not finishing. Not a fan. I am a poly-reader, but that means that my reading is planned. Book-hopping is me picking up a book, reading 2 chapters, remembering that I have all these others going on that have review/book club deadlines, stress out and pick up the next book, rinse, repeat. So, not fun.
  2. Shaina and I have started book 3 of The Raven Cycle- Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I think this one will be my favourite of the series. 
  3. The R. K. Narayan readalong is happening this week! I started Malgudi Days last night, and was hit by a wave of nostalgia of middle-school English periods. 
  4. I’m a rogue member of a Facebook Book Bloggers BEA meet-up group, simply because I want to hang out with the bookish people. I know, shameless move, but they indulged me. 

The not-so-bookish:

  1. I’m still waiting to hear back from that one uni I was talking about last week. The thing is, it’s May and as each day goes by I keep having this sinking feeling that my paperwork snafu has cost me potentially being accepted into this program that I really want to go to, because frankly, it’s the only PhD program I care about. They’re doing the exact kind of research I want to be doing, so it makes me sick to think that not receiving the right email about that second portal link is going to get me rejected, as opposed to just not being a strong candidate. I think this is a big part of why I’m jittery, because I’m definitely not sleeping well. My poor parents are being supportive as hell and being super positive, which is really sweet but not doing anything to calm my nerves about it. Anyway, I began the first steps of my plan B in motion (going back to India to work) and got in touch with some people that I will be meeting with at the ABAI conference later this month, so we’ll see. 
  2. I’m doing a little grocery-budgeting/eating more home-cooked meals self-management intervention this week. Basically, grocery shopping everyday, but buying just enough stuff for two square meals (dinner+ packed lunch for work). I’m going for several outcomes here: 1. Comparing how much money I spend per week going daily vs. once weekly; 2. Less food wastage (food spoilage was happening a fair bit); 3. Less likely to order take-out or buy lunch; 4. Making an effort to eat low-carb dinners (stress on low); and 5. The grocery store environment becomes so routine that I’m not “tempted” to buy stuff that’s not on my grocery list, because I’ll be there everyday. I’ve not been successful with meal-prepping for the whole week when I’ve tried before, so I want to see how tackling it everyday works. It’s been 3 days so far, and other than craving bread after 11 p.m. in the night on the first day, I’ve been doing well. We’ll see how that goes. 
  3. ICYMI: May is national Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Margaret Cho, along with Ellen Oh and Nerds of Color, organized a twitter chat tagged #whitewashedOUT, which basically called out Hollywood for its whitewashing of very Asian characters (most recently, Doctor Strange, Ghost In A Shell, etc.) and spurred thousands and thousands of tweets from Asians across the board about all of their personal stories, interactions, questions, life-choices, feelings, etc. of the racism that has been directed at them in an astounding variety of circumstances/situations. I was tempted to link some think-pieces, but I’ve instead just linked the twitter-feed. Go check it out, listen to the stories, understand their rage. It is necessary. 

That’s all from me folks! What’s your week looking like?

-J

Teaser Tuesday: May 3, 2016

Hello!

It’s Teaser Tuesday!

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This fun bookish meme is hosted by MizB at Books And A Beat. The rules are pretty simple: Grab your current read, open a random page, and pick two teaser, non-spoilery sentences to share from that page.

Here’s mine for this week:

“Behind him, he heard Ronan say, “I like the way you losers thought Instagram before first aid. Fuck off.” bluelilyblue.jpg

Shaina and I have been buddy-listening to this series, gushing and swooning about all the angsty friendship feels happening with the characters. I wish I’d had this series at age 15 instead of the Twilight books. I will definitely be going back to read it all in print at some point, but I’m enjoying Will Patton’s narration right now. I just want to envelope all these characters that are each trying to work through their own shit by banding together and tell them it’s all going to work out (like I would know). If you want to keep track of all of my feelings as I listen to each book, add me on Snapchat (jananivaidya) or check out my Twitter. 

More later,

-J

Bookishness in May

Heyo,

I realized last night that there’s a BUNCH of bookish things happening in May that I will be a part of, so I decided to consolidate all of them in one page, most as a point of reference for me, but also for anyone else that wants to participate in them:

Reading Challenges:

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1. Smash Your Stack, which is all through the month of May, hosted by Andi and Melissa.

 

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2. Read My Own Damn Books, hosted by Andi, which I will once again be attempting this month, with an emphasis on “no book-buying outside of conferences”.

 

Read the books you Buy 2016

 

3. Read The Books You Buy, hosted by the Book Date, where I will again make all that moolah spent worth it. 

 

 

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4. R. K. Narayan Readalong starts today! This one is hosted by Deepika, who is an amazing reader and blogger and lover of canines. It’s from May 1st to May 15th. I’ve got at least three books of his that I want to read, and I haven’t read them since middle-school, so this will be a lovely wave of nostalgia.

 

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5. Bout Of Books, which runs from May 9th to May 15th. This will be my first time, sign-up if you haven’t already!


nationalreadathonday6. National Readathon Day, on May 21st. This readathon is hosted by the American Library Association and Penguin Random House, in support of literacy programs. I’m using this as a practice run for my next Dewey’s readathon, since I probably won’t be doing a lot of social media stuff with this one, besides updates and general cheering. The official tag is #Readathon2016. If you have nothing going on that Saturday, sign up and read with me for a few hours!

Bookish Events:

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BookCon is on May 14th! I will not be able to go to BEA, time commitments and I can’t afford both that and ABAI. I am stoked for BookCon though, and I feel that will be less overwhelming for someone like me who is a book-event newbie. But I’m hoping to see my lovely twitter friends that will be attending BEA/BookCon that week, so that means books-and-booze time! Woo! 

 

I know it sounds like a lot, but I think it’s all evenly spaced out, plus some of them are a month-long and only require the minimum response effort of adding a hashtag to instagram pictures and tweets. I will definitely be blogging updates for each event as they happen, so you’ll be privy to all of the details of my bookish life, whether you like it or not.

Alright then, tally-ho folks, I got me some books to read!

-J

 

April 2016 Wrap-up

 

Booknerds!

Ooh, this is my first wrap-up post. It feels good, because this means I’ve had my blog for at least a month, and nobody has tried to kick me off WordPress yet. Yay!

Okay, let’s see:

Print books: 12 books, 3326 pages

Audiobooks: 8 books, 2302 pages, approx. 68.06 hours

Comics/Graphic novels: 625 pages 

 

Total number of books/comics: 25

Total page count: 6253

Read My Own Damn Books update: I read 16 of my own damn books.

Read The Books You Buy update: Including pre-orders, I bought a total of 15 books in May, of which I read 9. Ack, Bookstore Day on the last day of the month definitely skewed this number. 

Holy cow, this month has been a good one for reading, and all of the credit goes to Dewey’s Readathon. I don’t feel too bad about my Bookstore Day splurge anymore, because most of the books I read in April were my own. Here’s hoping National Readathon Day (May 21st, mark your calendars) does the same for May!

What did your reading look like in April? Link up your wrap-up posts in the comments below!

-J