August 6, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

bookdate

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Heyo!

I sat with my planner first thing this morning, and already everything I’d slotted for this AM has been juggled. It’s not even noon on a Monday, but if these past few hours are any indication, this week is going to be…interesting. Dear universe let this not be representative of my entire week, thanks.

Let’s chat books. I did finish one ARC for #ARCAugust– The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith, which was quiet and magical. I listened to Rainn Wilson‘s book on audio but I wasn’t impressed. 

This week I plan to finish:

It’s been exactly a year since surgery today, and it feels a bit weird. It’s easy to think about progress physically but I’m still discovering that there’s a bunch of things the whole experience did to my mental health that I’m still navigating a year later. Some days are hard, and I’m reconciling with pain being a part of my life, but the truth is, I just got really lucky a year ago for things to happen when they did, where they did, how they did and most everything since. I’ll take that for now. 

Talk to me about your reading lives, friends!

-J

 

July 29, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

bookdate

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hello!

It’s 7 AM on Monday morning as I type this, which is the only free hour I’ve probably got this entire week. Either my recovering body is just slower than it used to be or I’ve just forgotten what it is like to have work things to do. Whoo boy time has definitely been getting away from me and I’m still figuring out how to juggle all of my various commitments. 

Since I was last on here, there has not been just one readathon, but two! Yup, we have 24in48 followed by Dewey’s reverse readathon, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Read a bunch, hosted some, and ate SO MANY SNACKS. These are a couple of my favorite events, and both were glorious. 

Some highlights from all the reading these past couple of weeks: The Wrong Way To Save Your Life by Megan Stielstra (touching memoir), I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown (searing), A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Elsie Chapman and Ellen Oh (magical), The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan (poignant), The Windfall by Diksha Basu (funny and hit close to home), and Not That Bad by Roxane Gay (it still hurts). 

I truly don’t know what I’ll be reading this week. August is going to be a whole bunch of book-related work things but how much of that I’ll have time to read I don’t know. My focus this month is to restart reading my ARCs that I’ve neglected and dust up reviews to post on here because those weekly Netgalley check-in emails are anxiety-inducing and serve as a good reminder to make it happen.

On the life side of things, I’ve started swimming again! I’m having many feelings about this that I have jotted down somewhere, maybe I’ll post about it sometime. Right now, I’m trying to soak up all the good feelings that are stemming from bringing back swimming into my life. 

Okay, my hour is up, and I have to bounce to tackle whatever this week has in store for me. Meanwhile, talk to me about what you’re reading!

-J

July 16, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

bookdate

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hello friends!

It’s been a couple of weeks since we last chatted, and I am FINALLY reading again! Cue the confetti, pop the champagne, it would seem I am back on the bandwagon. Basically, me @ all my books right now: 

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What helped, you ask? I really don’t know. I’ve been in the mood for primarily nonfiction in the last two weeks, so I’m leaning into that. I’m also not forcing myself to read anything that’s not getting me excited, so galleys will have to wait for a bit. I finished reading Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (super informative), Sick (absolutely devastating), A Wizard of Earthsea (entertaining), Alex and Eliza (quick and sweet), Bruja Born ( thrilling and as good as the first; I love Lula), and So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know (has its funny moments, not memorable).

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be reading again- people often snort at my stress about not reading or not wanting to read (“Oh you’ve still read more than most people”, “watch something instead”, “you read enough” are just some of the reactions I get), largely because they underestimate not just how much it ties into my identity but the role it plays in my mental health as well. Books anchor me, sustain me. In the middle of depression, anxiety, dysphoria, it’s the thing that holds me together.

Anyway, now that I’m back to it, here’s what I’m reading this week:

Like I said, all nonfiction. I’m not questioning it. Fiction will be waiting for me when I’m ready. 

Talk to me about your reading lives, friends. What’s new in your world?

-J

 

July 2, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

bookdate

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hey friends, 

A new week, new month, and a new half of the year is upon us – and I am slightly panicking. Where oh where does the time go? I haven’t scratched the surface of the things I meant to accomplish this year, and somehow I’ve just taken on more. 

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We’re still knee deep in the slump here. It’s super frustrating. It’s been months. I can’t seem to focus on a book. It feels like a chore, which is deeply upsetting. Help me out friends. Here’s what’s on the roster: 

Traction and Jab Jab Jab are for work things; the content is really interesting, I’m just having trouble focusing. Sick is so intense and her story is riveting, but again, I’m not actively plugging away at it. I’m nearly done with Retta’s book on audio, and her book is fine and it’s got humorous moments, but again, I’m not invested.

I’m sitting in my sister’s apartment as I type this, and I have the whole house to myself, presenting the most ideal reading condition, and yet. 

That’s all I’ve got. None of my usual break-the-slump tricks are working, so I’m open to anything you’ve got. Thanks!

-J

June 25, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

bookdate

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hi friends,

Wow, it’s been a while. Yes, yes, you may roll your eyes, I am too. One day y’all, I will get a handle on this blogging thing. One day. Meanwhile, let me get you up to speed on the life things.

First, I did promise y’all a picture of the shiny new shelves and never delivered, so here they are.

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I still tear up sometimes when I look at this to be honest. 

Updates since my last It’s Monday post: My trip to the States went well. The conference had its moments, but it was lovely to catch up with colleagues and friends. It was a bit stressful on my body, and I’m definitely feeling the effects of it. Still, enjoyable, and I’m glad I made it happen. Rehab- took a bit of hit with my two week hiatus and eating and drinking like a fratboy, but I’m finally sort of getting back into a semblance of a routine with it. 

New thing that is happening- I’m working with a couple of friends on a collaborative, sort-of-publishing project. We’ve been working on it for a couple of months now, and I’ll link y’all to social media and website things when they’re up. It’s very exciting, I get to put a variety of skills into action, I’ve learnt so much since starting this thing, and I’m really excited to share it with you soon. Also, if you see me pop up on other social media handles on the interwebz- that’s a part of this. I’ll still be active on my personal handles, so it’s all good.

Reading- well, I haven’t done any. Really. It’s nearly the end of June and for the first time in three years I’m nowhere close to having read a 100 books by the middle of the year. I’ve been hit by a slump. Hard. Any reading I’ve done has been related to the new gig, and that’s a couple of books at most. It’s been weeks since any solid fun reading has happened. It’s frustrating, because I’ve bought so many things I’ve been excited to read, and I’ve neither found the time nor made the time to get to them. I’m trying a couple of strategies to get back to it, and I’m hoping something pans out.

This week I’ll be attempting to finish:

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Reviews- not even laughably behind, just horrendously behind. I haven’t requested anything in a couple of months either because I just feel so bad not having caught up on what I already have. Most likely, that’s my only reviewing goal for the rest of the year- catching up. We’ll see.

Talk to me pals- what have you been reading? What’s happening in your lives? Jobs, friendships, partners, pets, babies, books, summer plans- I want to hear about it all. 

-J

 

 

 

May 7, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

bookdate

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Holy cow, friends. When I typed up my last post, I had absolutely no idea I wouldn’t be blogging or reading for this many weeks after. Wow. I’m thinking of calling myself The Chaotic Bookworm or The Neglectful Reader or something. Chaos is my middle name. Chaos is my state my mind. Chaos is my new best friend. You get the idea. 

Since this still is a book blog, let’s talk books. I feel like I haven’t been reading at all, but I just checked my Goodreads, and since my last blog post, I have actually read fourteen books. Primarily romance, YA, and middle grade novels. Mostly audiobooks. Still, way more than I thought I did. Some really good books too- I highly recommend The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, A Princess In Theory, Wanna Bet?A Girl Like Her, and Sunny. It’s so interesting, because you wouldn’t be able to tell I’d been doing any reading based on any of my social media updates, rather lack thereof. Hell, I couldn’t tell I’d been doing any reading. That’s something to think about. 

I’ve also been a bit off social media. Not intentionally, I just can’t seem to hold space for it, besides tweeting when I’m overwhelmed and promptly disappearing. Which is mostly fine. I do feel guilty about being so out of the loop with friends and book news and aro/ace activism, and I’m just choosing to sit with it for now.

Life- let’s see. So much going on. We’ve moved again, and this will be my parents’ permanent home. It’s a gorgeous place though it’s far away from the city. BUT I HAZ SHINY NEW BOOKSHELVES AND ALL MY BOOKS ARE OUT SO CITY, SCHMITY AMIRITE?! Pictures will happen when my room doesn’t look like a cardboard box infestation. 

I am traveling to the States in two weeks for a work conference and seeing friends and I am excited, stressed, and terrified about traveling. I will be among folx who are incredibly supportive, so my anxiety is no longer at vomit-y, just nausea. I’m choosing to focus on the being able to see dear hearts, and that’s keeping me going.

Rehab- This is the one thing that has been going really, really well. It’s so great to see and feel progress and improvements in strength. I had a follow-up with my surgeon a few days ago, while he’s not very happy with my foot still being weak, he’s cleared me for travel and is generally happy with how my sessions with my trainer have been going. 

I guess we should come back to books, eh? Here’s what I’m planning to read this week:

I am laughably behind on reviews. They will happen. Soon. 

Meanwhile, what have y’all been upto? Read anything good lately?

-J

 

March 26, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

How, how is it the end of March already? Where did the last week go? I woke up this morning and it felt like I had this particular Black Books moment with Monday:

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Let’s tackle books first. First, my streak continues- I read three out of the four books I’d mentioned in last week’s post! The fourth one is work-related reading and therefore I’m not counting it as a thing that needed to get read in a week, so yay! Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao was really heavy and dealt with a LOT of trauma (my review this week will come with a lot of trigger warnings for sure). Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala was another heavy one, and I did enjoy the audiobook narrated by the author (trigger warnings for police brutality resulting in death, anti-queer rhetoric, anti-queer hate, and religious intervention for gay character). Both so good, but definitely not happy books by any means. The Radical Element by Jessica Spotswood I really did enjoy, and featured some of my favorite YA women of color. Historical fiction stories of badass women, here for it. 

Keeping this week’s roster light, as I’m travelling this weekend to hang out with my sister. I’m not planning for any additional reading, but I’m sure I’ll pack an extra book or three for fear of running out of reading material. 

Meanwhile, my semi-hiatus from Twitter continues to work well. I’m pleasantly surprised by how little I’m actually checking the website itself, without feeling antsy or any other form of FOMO. Keeping this going for as long as I can. 

I’m still losing more chunks of time than I like, so I’m doing another experiment where I account for 30 minute chunks of my day as they happen (so reverse-planning, essentially). I’m curious to see if any patterns emerge from this. This is not from a “I must be productive every minute of every hour of everyday” headspace, but more of “I have deadlines that I need to keep up with” standpoint. I’ll keep you posted on what I learn.

On the health front, my mental health is pretty much in limbo- I’m functional, and in a mostly okay headspace. Physically, this new trainer is super paying off. I really like her approach to our sessions, she forces me to acknowledge every small milestone, and it feels really good to see my progress, slow as it is. 

ALSO, it is FINALLY mango season here. So. Many. Mangoes. Oh joy. India has the best mangoes, don’t @ me. 

That’s all I’ve got for today. I’m looking forward to seeing some friends and hanging with my sister this weekend, we have a running list of food spots we plan to hit around town while I’m there. It’ll also be the first time I’m travelling alone since last June, and I’m definitely excited about that.

In the meantime, what are y’all reading?

-J

March 19, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack

Hey there!

I did myself a favor this past week and deleted both the Twitter and Facebook apps from my phone, and I have actually been checking both platforms much less frequently. It has definitely done wonders for me. I actually got shit done. Read books, and reviewed one. Starting prepping for a new part-time gig I’m taking on soon. Made measureable progress with physical training. I even took the first steps towards finding a queer-friendly therapist (which is hard in this city). I’m not flying, but I’m feeling better. 

So, reading! I finished five books this past week which I felt really good about. Slump averted! I finished reading Speak by Louisa Hall in print ( I wanted to love it so much, but I think there were a few missed opportunities to really push the book into weird and cool territories, and there were places in the second half that over-explained connections to the reader). On audio, listened to Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (witty, acerbic, and touching narrator) as well as The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (so fierce, punched me in the gut). I finally read my first Ursula K. Le Guin book, No Time To Spare (totally understand why she’s so beloved, an amazing writer and clearly so badass). I also read Piecing Me Together by Reneé Watson in one sitting (it is an utterly gorgeous book) which has given me the idea for a blog post, stay tuned. 

I’m hoping to keep the pace up this week, and here’s what I’d like to finish: 

Before I wrap up, I do have an ask- if you have any favorite literary criticism books, please drop your recommendations in the comments. Need it for the new gig. Thanks!

Until next time, I hope you all have a wonderful week of reading ahead of you. 

–J

March 12, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hey there,

I haven’t done these in a couple of weeks because I haven’t really been reading. Different parts of my body have been taking a hit one after the other in the past few weeks so I haven’t been up to doing much. I did however, catch up on Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and the new Queer Eye (which I adore so much), and watched reruns of Gilmore Girls (I know, I know) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. 

Meanwhile, I have started working with a new trainer (who is so much more professional than my physiotherapist) and it’s been good so far. It’s so interesting navigating physical activity spaces as a fat person, but so far there have been no red flags. Sometimes the intensity of the past year hits me and I get frustrated by how I have to claw my way through the progress, especially when it takes so much longer to recover from things. But I’m trying not to dwell on the things I have no control over. 

Now that I have significantly bummed you out, if you’re still with me, take a look at what I’m reading this week:

That’s all I’ve got, friends. Drop me a line in the comments and share what you’ve been reading!

-J

February 19, 2018: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme currently hosted by The Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week, and add to that ever-growing TBR stack.

Hey there!

I WATCHED BLACK PANTHER AND IT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE. PLEASE GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. SHURI, NAKIA, AND OKOYE ARE THE LITERAL BEST I’M GONNA NEED MORE SCREEN-TIME AND PRINT TIME AND ALL KINDS OF FORMAT-TIME ABOUT THEM. 

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Okay, I know that wasn’t necessarily book related (unless you haven’t already read the Black Panther and World of Wakanda comics in which case, please read them), but I had to put it out there.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming- books! I read some. Let’s see, quite a bit of romance in the last couple of weeks. First, The Lust Diaries series by Tasha L. Harrison (I liked the first book, had some issues with the second and third. Iffy consent, and cis men who think they can make decisions for women “because they know what’s best for them” is a trope that makes me want to smash things), and the first two books of the Cyclone series by Courtney Milan, Trade Me and Hold Me (both of which I loved).

Backlist:finally finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (absolutely phenomenal, I really think it got swept under the radar during awards season) and Blue Nights by Joan Didion (thoughtful written and so cathartic). 

Frontlist: I devoured An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (brilliant writing and character development) as well as This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins (tightly crafted and eviscerating).

On audio: I listened to Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam (character-led plot, well-rounded, engrossing story) and Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot (brutal account of an Indigenous writer on motherhood, mental illness, loss, among other things). 

Screenshot_20180217-222702_01.jpgI am going to take a moment to acknowledge that on Saturday night, for a whole ten minutes, my Goodreads “Currently Reading” shelf was empty because I didn’t have any partially-read books left in it. *insert GIF of shedding a single tear*

That of course, did not last long, so let me show you what I plan to read this week:

If you are trying to recover from the shock of only seeing three titles on this week’s TBR instead of the usual obnoxious number, it’s because I’ve actually got things I need to get done this week, which includes watching Black Panther again tomorrow. 

These past two weeks have been a little hazy because of a general spike in my anxiety as well as not feeling great physically. Here’s hoping for a more productive week.

Also, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week starts today! I’m hoping to write a post about it for this week, but I’ll definitely be talking about it over on Twitter. Feel free to direct your questions there, in public or private. I’m happy to talk about this stuff with you. 

So tell me friends, what have you been reading?