#February2021Review3

Today’s review is for Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease.

This book was just beautiful and magical.  I loved seeing the growth of the characters, especially Camille.  I also loved seeing Camille and Lazare’s relationship develop and Sophie come into her own with her dress shop.  Everything That Burns takes place during the French Revolution where magic is persecuted.  Speaking of magic, Camille, who no longer wants to do magic, uses it unintentionally when printing pamphlets using her father’s old printing press to tell the stories of a group of girls that she meets called The Lost Girls.  The Lost Girls were an intriguing group of characters, each with their own special talent.  I loved reading about The Lost Girls and their stories.  I loved how the story ended, it wasn’t rushed and everything came together nicely.  I can’t wait to read more from this author. 

#DestressYourReadingLife

Today’s short discussion is about how I de-stressed my reading life, as in making it not be stressful. This post also coincides perfectly with the one I posted yesterday, which you can read here.

The first way I de-stressed my reading life was by setting my reading goal to one book and keep it at one book throughout the year. This has worked immensely as I don’t feel the pressure to read x amount of books and then feel like a failure because I had to lower my goal.

The second way I de-stressed my reading life was not joining a lot of challenges or doing a lot of readathons. I’m only doing two challenges, Modern Mrs. Darcy and the Library Love Challenge. They are the only challenges I’m committed to doing.

The third way, I’m paying less attention to what everyone else is reading and reading what I genuinely want to read. Part of this is also not getting so caught up with which books are hyped and what ones aren’t. This is a problem that I’ve had in the past, where I was reading books because that’s what everyone else was reading, therefore, feeling like I had to read them and not necessarily enjoying them. PSA: You don’t have to read what’s popular and new to be relevant in the book community.

What do you do to make your reading life less stressful? Let me know in the comments!

#February2021ReadingGoalsandChallengesUpdate

I’ve done these posts in the past to keep me accountable for my goals. However, seeing as how I decided to do things differently this year with my goals and challenges, I still thought it would be great to do these monthly updates.

You can read what my goals are and the challenges that I’m participating in here.

Reading goals:
Goodreads/Storygraph: Read one book. I’ve already accomplished this goal. I have no regrets about setting my goal of reading one book and not changing it once I reached it.  I feel much freer in my reading life.
Read more backlist books: I am doing okay with this goal.
Read more books about social justice written by Black authors: I’m doing a decent job with this goal.  

Challenges:
Modern Mrs. Darcy: I’ve done quite a few things from this challenge.
Library Love- Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books. For this challenge, I have read nine out of 12 books.

Blogging Goals:
Post weekly reading updates: I have stuck to this
Post reviews weekly: I have to say, I’m doing pretty well with this goal.  It helps me when I read a book and then review it as soon as possible. I have also gotten better at cross-posting my reviews to Barnes and Noble.
Try to post more discussion posts: I have now added to the list of discussion post ideas that I created at the beginning of the year.  By the time the year is over, I will have had a discussion post for every week.

#FridayUpdate95

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 2/5/2021-2/11/2021 I read:
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease
– 333 pages

Stats:

Weekend reading plans:
Finish Everything That Burns

#February2021Review2

Today’s review is for Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire.

Yet another masterpiece in the Wayward Children Series.  McGuire created such a unique world with this book with Centaurs, Unicorns, Kelpies, and other mythical creatures.  As for the characters, I loved Regan and the Centaur herd that found her when she went through the door.  Regan’s friendship with Chicory, one of the Centaurs was so pure and heartwarming.  While reading, I found myself being able to relate to Regan just wanting to belong with a group of friends.  I also found that I could relate to Heather too, feeling unaccepted because she liked different things than the other girls.  Across the Green Grass Fields is very much a unique character-driven story, and I loved it.  I can’t wait to read Where the Drowned Girls Go.

#TheStoryGraph

Today I am going to discuss an alternative to Goodreads for those trying not to use Amazon’s services as much.

If you were not aware, Goodreads an Amazon company, and if you follow me on there, you may have noticed that I haven’t updated it in some time and that’s because I’ve been using StoryGraph. I was introduced to StoryGraph reading the blogs of Misty from Misty’s Book Space and Kristin from Kristin Kraves Books. StoryGraph is similar to Goodreads in the way that you can still keep track of what you read.   StoryGraph is also much different in the sense that it goes deeper than just the number of books you read, how many pages you read, your highest rated book, your lowest rated book, your longest book, and your shortest book. The StoryGraph tracks your mood, pace, categories, and genres you read. StoryGraph has more options when reviewing books. There are options for whether or not the book is character or plot-driven, a mix of both, if the characters are likable or not, how diverse the cast is, character development, and whether or no the flaws of the main character are the main focus.  Another feature of StoryGraph that I   As I’ve been using StoryGraph more, I’m liking it much better than Goodreads, and I’ve been using Goodreads since 2010-2011ish.

Do you use StoryGraph? Why or why not?  You can also follow me here.

#FridayUpdate94

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 1/29/2021-2/4/2021 I read:
Check Please by Ngozi Ukazu
Rebel Rose by Emma Theriualt

Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

Stats:

Weekend reading plans:
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
Whatever I’m in the mood for.

#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.

#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