#February2021Review1

Today’s review is for Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho.

If you haven’t watched Emmanuel’s video series of the same name as the book, I highly suggest you do.  Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man is a book that you need to take your time reading, so you can fully digest the information.  While a lot is unpacked, the book is very readable and accessible, meaning that young adults could read this book. There is a lot of important history that I never knew.  Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man touches on the importance of language, context, and origins.  The book also discusses enslavement, how racism is a virus, white privilege, implicit bias, and how reverse racism doesn’t exist.  I learned so much from reading Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, it’s such an important book that needs to be read.

#OnMyShelfTag

Today, I thought I would do something different. Today I am taking a popular BookTube Tag, the On My Shelf Tag, and doing it on my blog. I thought it would be something fun and different, I will also not be tagging anybody to do this. Last week, I asked people to give me a number between 1 and 105. Today, I am sharing those results.

Here are the results:
88- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: This book, while it does have its faults will always be one of my favorites, it’s a classic and one that I reread every once in a while.

82- Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee: I haven’t read it yet.

33- Stealing Home by Becky Wallace: I find it a little ironic that the 33rd book on my shelf is a baseball book (if you know, you know), it’s also one of many baseball books on my shelf. I loved this book, it was a cute contemporary and it focused more on the business side of baseball rather than the game itself. It’s a great summer read.

22- Black Moon by Romina Russell: This is the third book in a series set in space, and it is a wild ride. 

52- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder: I haven’t read it yet.

46- Rabbit by Patricia Williams: I haven’t read it yet.

9- Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and A Dream by H.G. Bissinger: This book is a classic, and it’s a great story. It’s been a while since I’ve read it.

42- Hope Nation by Rose Brock: This an anthology of short stories from some of the most well-known YA authors that are heartbreaking yet hopeful. The stories are autobiographical.

78- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein: The poems in this book are always so much fun to read, and some of them actually make you think.

13- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: This is the first book in an adult fantasy trilogy. The magic system in this book is very unique in the sense that not everyone can do magic. There are also four different London’s in this book, which sounds confusing until you read the book.

102- Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis: I adore this book, it’s one that I have reread a few times. It’s the fourth book in The Chronicles of Narnia series (yes, I read them in chronological C.S. Lewis order) in which the Pevensie children return to Narnia and find it much different than when they left it.

7- The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship by David Halberstam: This book is a true story of friendship. It tells the story of Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio. It’s also about how Dom and Johnny take a road trip to visit Williams.

38- How To Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs: This is a collection of engaging short stories about the experience of not only living in Jamaica but immigrating to America and the experience of being a Jamaican in America.

53- On The Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder- I haven’t read this yet.

66- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: I loved how different this book was and how one of the main themes is that everything isn’t always what it seems to be.

#January2021ReadingWrapUp

Today I bring you my January reading wrap up.

As always books are listed in the order that I read them and are linked to my StoryGraph reviews.  Screenshots are also from StoryGraph.

For the month of January, I read 10 books.
January Reads:
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Lore by Alexandra Bracken
d’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Check Please Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu
Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault

Stats:
# of days that I read: 21

Book Haul:
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton- Library
Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton- Library
d’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire- Library
The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman- Library
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco- Library
Check Please Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu- Library
Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault- Library
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire- Library

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman- Barnes and Noble Pre-Order

#February2021CalendarGirls

Hosted by Flavia the BibliophileDani @ Mousai Books, and Darque Reader Reads. Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile.  It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl. Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and I will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!

The theme for February is Tell a Fairy Tale Day: Fairy Tale Reimagining.
My pick for this month is The Land of Stories Series by Chris Colfer.

Screenshot from StoryGraph

Synopsis from StoryGraph: “Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.”

#AmazonAlternatives

Today’s post is an extension of one from last week which can be read here. In that post, I discussed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon due to their price-fixing practice in regards to eBooks. So, today I wanted to continue that discussion by talking about alternatives to Amazon Kindle eBooks.


*This post is strictly for eBooks.

Barnes and Noble Nook: The free app can be downloaded to both Android and iOS devices, and Tablets. There is also a section on the Barnes and Noble website that has eBooks at all price points:
Under $5
Under $2.99
You can search by Genre
Search price low to high, high to low, publication date, relevancy, and more
For children’s and YA books you can search by age group
Google Books: Also a free app available for both Android and iOS devices and Tablets. You can search by genre but not by price.
Deals page on the app with books under $5
iBooks: Only on iOS devices.
Has a user-friendly interface.
It doesn’t list the price of the books until you click on the book.
eBooks.com: I discovered this on the website of a publishing company. There is an app that is compatible with most devices running iOS and Android, it’s not compatible with Windows phones. You do need Adobe Digital Editions but they also have a selection of DRM Free books. 
You can also read online and don’t need an app.
Website is easy to use
Can browse by age group and genre
Can’t sort by price
Indiebound: Indiebound has a list of independent bookstores that offer eBooks through a service called My Must Reads.
Have to download an app and be a registered user to browse the app
You can only search by title and not the author
No option to pre-order eBooks
Kobo: I’m not very familiar with this one but I do know that it exists.
App available for iOS and Android devices, a desktop app available for Windows and MAC
OverDrive/Libby: This allows you to borrow eBooks from the library. Just be sure to read in the app and don’t have eBooks sent to your Kindle device because Amazon sends the information to publishing companies which hurts libraries.
I mainly use Libby because I like the interface better
Hoopla Digital: Also allows you to borrow eBooks from the library.
No waitlist
Project Gutenberg: A library of over 60,000 works of literature in the public domain that have been digitized. The literary works that are found on this website are no longer protected by the United States copyright laws.
No special app required
A great resource for classic literature


#FridayUpdate93

If you are new to my blog, I have decided that I am no longer going to do Friday 56. Friday Update is a feature in which I provide an update on what I read during the week, sometimes what I’m currently reading and what book/books I plan on starting over the weekend.

For the week of 1/22/2021-1/28/2021 I read:
The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Stats:

Weekend reading plans:
Check Please Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault

#TheProblemWithAmazon

If you pay attention, I mean really pay attention to what goes on in the retail world of books you know how damaging Amazon is to the industry, it’s been said over and over again. Amazon is also horribly damaging to libraries which has been said multiple times too, you can read an article about it here. I DO NOT buy books on Amazon (have I in the past, yes), and make a conscious effort to reduce purchasing other items on Amazon due to their unethical selling practices.

However, if you need extra motivation to stop purchasing books from Amazon you should be aware that there is currently a class-action lawsuit against Amazon and the Big Five publishers (they are not named as Defendants) which you can read about here. The Big Five Publishers are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers (they HAD an eBook embargo against libraries because of Amazon), Penguin Group Inc., and Simon & Schuster. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon colluded with these publishers in a practice called price-fixing. In this case, price-fixing means that while the publishers increased their prices for eBooks to other retailers, which are considered Amazon’s competitors, Amazon was protected and not affected by the increase (source). This practice is harmful to consumers who aren’t aware that they are paying higher prices at other retailers.

As a consumer, this makes me angry. I’m also tired of the “but books (eBooks) are cheaper on Amazon” argument, it’s not valid. If you continue to purchase eBooks from Amazon you are enabling a dangerous, and unethical practice.

#January2021Review4

Today’s book review is for The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman. It is the seventh book in The Invisible Library Series.

I was very happy when I found out that the eighth book of this series is in the works because the epilogue of this book left me wicked confused.  Other than the confusing epilogue, I enjoyed this book.  I loved seeing Irene and Kai’s relationship develop more, and I loved seeing how the dynamic of Catherine as Irene’s apprentice played out.  Speaking of Catherine, I loved her as a character, and how flawed she is, I also loved how she knew exactly what she wanted, and as the story went on how she matured and developed.  I can’t wait to read more from this series, which has become one of my favorites.

#BacklistReads

Today I am going to discuss Backlist Reads or Backlist Books. I’m sure everyone by now is familiar with backlist books and has heard of the Beat the Backlist Challenge. Backlist books are books that you want to read that have already been published that you still haven’t read.  Books published before this year 2021 count as backlist books. Now, I don’t see backlist books as ONLY books that you own.  I feel like backlist books can be borrowed from the library, and if you know me, I love borrowing books from the library because it is a great resource. I did some math, I have 58 backlist books that I own, and to be completely honest, is decent, in my opinion. I have 23 physical backlist books and 35 backlist eBooks, and if you have read this post, you know that one of my goals is to read more backlist books. 

What do you think? Do you count library books as backlist books too?

#FridayUpdate92

If you are new to my blog, I have decided that I am no longer going to do Friday 56. Friday Update is a feature in which I provide an update on what I read during the week, sometimes what I’m currently reading and what book/books I plan on starting over the weekend.

For the week of 1/15/2021-1/21/2021 I read:
D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire- 64 pages which brought me to the end of the book
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

Stats:

Weekend plans: I’m not sure what I’m going to pick up next.