It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week. Now hosted by The Book Date.

Last week

There was all the excitement about #DiverseBookBloggers and our directory. Make sure to add your blog and grab a blogger/ally badge!

I also really started on my exam prep and so most of my reading is secondary literature at the moment and excerpts from academic books about Chicana feminism. But I also read a fantastic novel:

juliet takes a breath

Isn’t that the most amazing cover? Go read it now! Especially if you’re a brown girl, lesbian or interested in racism in feminism.

Currently

Still slowly making my way through Borderlands, and might be for a while yet. It’s still amazing!

Gloria-Anzaldua-Borderlands-0829-main

And then during the weekend I also got back into A Stranger in Olondria, and I’m finally really into this world and loving the slow, detailed way in which the story unfolds.

olondria

Soon

I got so many fantastic recommendations for audiobooks from you all, but Scribd didn’t have that many of them, but I put them on my audible wishlist! Since I had to redeem a credit, I chose to go with this one, which comes recommended by Naz from Read Diverse Books.

book of unknown americans

What are you all up to? And what are you reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week. Now hosted by The Book Date.

 

Last Week

It’s been a busy week, I had lots of paperwork stuff on my list and I’m starting to prepare for my defense and oral exam. So you might soon find my reading following some themes not part of a challenge 🙂

I got some baking done and found the perfect mix of glutenfree flour. So yay bread is back on for breakfast (I’m German so bread is life! 🙂 ) and nope I’m not gluten intolerant just have to watch what I eat. It doesn’t look as pretty as normal bread loaves, but it tastes pretty awesome:

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On the reading front, I managed to finish two books and that means my book juggling is slowly getting more manageable:

Gut was a quick and easy read, despite it being non-fiction. Enders presents a quick informative overview of the gut and its importance to our health in general but also with regard to bacteria influencing mental health. Who knew! It’s written in an accessible style and accompanied by charming illustrations made by the author’s sister.

Brown Girl Dreaming was a tougher read with regard to the subject matter but I absolutely love it. It’s written in verse but I dare say it will appeal to non-poetry people as well. I listend to the audiobook narrated by the author and it was such a cool ‘reading’ experience. Highly recommended!

I also got some blogging done though I dropped the ball on my schedule. Oh well, so many of you were nice enough to drop in anyways! I posted a list of books that make for perfect uninterrupted weekend reading, so if you have a free weekend soon take a look at my post. And then I also recommended lots of novellas for Saturday’s readathon or in case you want to get some quick reading in.

Currently

So this morning I realized my only fiction read was the Issa Rae memoir as audiobook but I only listen to it before bed. That means I can finally get to my Once Upon a Time book list and it’s about time as I’ve only read 1 out of 5! I started with Somatar’s book and so far I’m really enjoying it.

olondria

Soon

So soon, in fact next Saturday: It’s readathon time, yay!

readathon

Hope lots of you are joining in, it’s such a fun event! You can still sign up here.

Also, I will soon (probably in May) start with my uni reading and one of my topics is Chicana lit. So anyone wanting to drop some recommendations or join me in my prep reading, let me know in the comments. I fear I’ll have to stick to the classics but we’ll see.

Hope you’re all having a great start to the week! We actually had a nice sunny but not too warm day over here and I spent some time reading in the garden. What are you all reading?

October in Books

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October was a great reading month for me, I managed 10 books (counting 5 Lumberjanes issues as one book). Mostly this success is due to the readathon, my first one and which was a lot of fun.  Sadly, with the end of October also comes the end of two reading events: Diversiverse and R.I.P. X.

For Diversiverse, I read Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season and Also by Mail by Olumide Popoola. But I read more works by authors of color: The Good House by Tananarive Due, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Of course I won’t stop reading non-white authors now that the event is over and luckily there are tons of amazing recommendations to be found in the #Diversiverse tab on Aarti’s blog, take a look at this wonderful growing archive!

For me the creepy reading season basically goes till February, so I’m sad that R.I.P. X is over already. But I’ll continue with the suspenseful, eerie, creepy and terrifying…mwuahaha 😀 My creepy R.I.P. X reads in October were The Cutting Season (overlap with Diversiverse) and The Good House by Tananarive Due, and also the first Zombillenium comic. And I guess my Halloween reads The Walls Around Us and Halloween Party count as well. I’m only sad I didn’t manage to write up all the reviews, but hopefully that’ll get done in the next few weeks.

Looking at my list of books read, I just cannot pick a favorite. I enjoyed them all, and loved quite a lot of them. I knew I would love The Cutting Season and Also by Mail, but Aristotle and Dante really surprised me. Turns out I can do YA romance after all when it’s amazingly written LGBTIQ+ of color and about friendship. I also fell hard for Lumberjanes.

I don’t really have grand reading plans for November. I’m still pacing myself with The Fifth Season, which I fell for at the dedication page already. And then my birthday is on Sunday, so maybe there’ll be some new books for me to enjoy 🙂

Hope everyone had a great October! Any reading plans for November?

Thoughts on Audiobooks and The Girl on the Train

wpid-img-20150411-wa00002.jpg.jpegI never thought I’d say (or write) this, but here I am blogging about audiobooks. Except for a couple of years during childhood, when I was kept entertained on long car rides or during bath time with the children’s story hour on radio and endless cassette tapes of Pippi Longstocking, Bibbi Blocksberg and others, I have never quite gotten the hang of audiobooks. It’s always been fine for other people, good for them and how do they do it…but me and audioooks? Nope. The problem in my case was mostly that I didn’t like strange voices narrating, and I never really had situations where I couldn’t simply open the book, so why press play and stare at the wall or whatever you’re supposed to do while listening.

Turns out, and everyone figured this out at the dawn of time, there’s people who are trained to narrate well and some of them are blessed with truly amazing voices. Also, I was off to a friend’s wedding party using the bus (so much cheaper) rather than the train (my preferred way of travel) and since I get awful motion sickness from reading in cars or on the bus and had 5 hours to kill I downloaded The Girl on the Train. Well, let me tell you I couldn’t wait for the 5 hour journey home.

Also, as of this month I have a half hour commute on the bus to get to the uni library each work day. So, I decided to stick with the audiobook thing, and while I would prefer to read, it’s been working out quite well. Since my work day consists of some heavy reading and academic writing, I have chosen to continue thrillers, mysteries and other escapist audiobooks to listen to, my most recent one Before I go to Sleep. My only problem is that audiobooks are so expensive and the small library doesn’t have that many audiobooks, hardly any English ones and most are still actual CDs I have to convert. So I’m using audible.com at the moment. I know there’s free audiobooks, via librivox and ones in the public domain, but I’ve read most of the classics and apparently I’m picky about the narrator. For now, I try to get by with the one audiobook credit per month and usually find a second book via daily sale etc. You’re probably all blessed with amazing libraries and I guess preferring the national language also helps. Is anyone using audible?

As for The Girl on the Train, I’d been eyeing it for a bit, but usually all the hype puts me off books and I only go back and read them after the fuss has died done. I’m so glad I decided to take a chance, because for me it was certainly worth it. As the story follows Rachel on her commute for a big part of the book, it was really the perfect choice to read it while traveling. This one’s been compared to Gone Girl a lot (all the time, way to much!), and though I’ve only watched the movie, I have to admit to enjoying this one more. None of the characters are likeable, if you care about that thing, I really don’t, the female characters were mostly well-rounded, complex and contrary. There’s plently of suspense and interpersonal drama, but not really too melodramatic (which is what I got from Gone Girl). The comparison’s to Hitchcock’s Rear Window are much more apt, and Rachel’s imagining of the perfect couple Jess and Jason and the discrepancy between what people seem to be and what is going on behind closed doors would be suspenseful enough for any thriller, but add Rachel’s inability to let go and her own connection to the area and the narrative unreliability will keep you entertained to the last page. Since the story is told from other perspectives as well (though Rachel’s remains the biggest contribution), the different readers added weight to their characters and I found thm well-chosen. Since the book is told in a series of diary-like entires, the only thing I missed was being able to quickly turn a couple pages back and check the date. But other than that, a wonderful audioook experience.

Have you read The Girl on the Train? What did you think?