Books & Blogging in May (a wild wrap up appears)

maywrapupI made a wild claim in yesterday’s post that I wasn’t going to do a wrap up for this month, but I’m feeling slightly better today, slightly more collected, slightly more in control of emotions. (The black cloud of grief is steadily clearing above my head, but man, it’s been a sucky few days.) Ergo, with June just on the horizon (how? and more importantly, why??) I bring you my Wrap Up for the month of May!

I’m linking up with Sunday Post for this, though it’s more of a monthly recap than just what’s happened in this last week. (I’ve never met a rule or clearly defined set of instructions I couldn’t weasel my way around…)

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I had a good blogging month, lots of memes/tags and Tuesday Top Tens, and lots of lovely comments from all of you!! Here’s a quick list of what I posted over the last month:

1. First Draft Fatigue? How To Stay Motivated When Your Story Has Lost Its Steam
2. Weekend Writing Warriors
3. Problems Every Reader Can Relate To
4. Beautiful People, May Edition
5. The Moments I Look Forward To Whenever I Reread Harry Potter
6. Ten Authors I Would Never Ever Be Able to Meet
7. Sickles and Sixpence: Deciding Your Fantasy World’s Currency
8. Ten Books That Made Me A Better Writer
9. The Tom Hanks Book Tag
10. Ten Books That Would Genuinely Help If You’re Stranded on a Deserted Island
11. The Endless Possibilities Readathon!
12. The passing of my cat, Dylan

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Dylan

dylanI won’t be doing a wrap up for this month, I’m a little too out of it. We lost a wonderful member of our family the day before yesterday, and I’d like to take a moment to repost what I put on instagram after his passing:

This beautiful boy passed away today. Dylan was 19 years old, and lived a long, happy life of luxury. The boy never met a sunbeam he didn’t want to sleep on. Or a soft blanket he didn’t want to sleep on. Or a hard surface he didn’t want to sleep on — the boy liked sleeping, on anything and anywhere. He purred constantly, and was never happier than when he was in a lap, getting pet. Dylan, you were a lovely, wonderful, perfect cat, and we will miss you so so much.

The Endless Possibilities Readathon!

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News flash: I am in a reading SLUMP. And a writing slump. Just a general slump. Lately, I’ve had all the motivation and creative drive of a wet towel on the bathroom floor. Wadded up. Damp. No good for anything. Didn’t even make it to the laundry basket. Just a towel on the floor.

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So, because of this slump, I haven’t finished a book since the very beginning of May. When Tina the Bookworm posted about this Endless Possibilities readathon, I thought it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get myself reading again!

The readathon runs Thursday through Saturday, June 4th through the 6th, and is basically an excuse to read as much as you can and chisel a (hopefully sizable) dent in your TBR list. Sign ups are here, there’s a Facebook group, and the only other rules are to post your intended reads ahead of time! So, here goes —

My Endless Possibilities Readathon Picks

uprootedcoverUprooted, Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t – and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

Even though I have no conceivable idea how to pronounce “Agneiszka”, I’m looking forward to reading this. It’s my first ever book from NetGalley, chosen almost entirely because the cover is magnificent, and I hope I like it. I’m always up for a good fantasy — wizards and dragons? Exactly my kind of story.

The Sky Is Everywhere, Jandy Nelsonskyeverywhere

Adrift after her sister Bailey’s sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey’s boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs… though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.

I’ll Give You The Sun, Nelson’s second book, was nothing short of breathtakingly beautiful, so I figure if there’s any book liable to lift me from my limp-damp-towel-state and crack me back into shape (I’m hilarious), this should be it! If it’s half as gorgeous and visceral as Sun, it’ll be an amazing book.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind

perfumeIn the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift—an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and fresh-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the “ultimate perfume”—the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.

WELL THAT’S A CHANGE OF PACE, ISN’T IT? My friend Courtney was pushing for me to read this during the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, but I just didn’t get to it. It’s nice to pick a bunch of different tones and genres for a readathon, though, to keep things varied and interesting, so I’m slapping it on my TBR for this event — I’m sure I’ll love it, it sounds messed up, which I have a frightening tendency to enjoy … Plus, the cover is so beautiful.

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So, there you have it! My Readathon picks. (I’m hoping I don’t completely forget I signed up for this, and wake up June 7th with the vague inkling I’ve forgotten something…) Are you doing the Endless Possibilities Readathon? Even if not, what’s next on your TBR? Leave a comment, let’s talk!

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well thank god all these books survived the plane crash (top ten deserted island books)

tues10This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, BrokeandBookish‘s bookish linkup for bloggers, is about your top ten Summer Beach Reads. Confession: I don’t really read at the beach. If I’ve gone all the way to the beach, if I’ve actually put on a bathing suit, slathered myself in soupy, greasy sunscreen, if I’m enduring the heat and the salty air and the hoards of people running around, I’m getting into the water. I’m spending all my time in the water. I can’t sit out in the sun; I burn. And I don’t want my books to get sand all creased between the pages! I’m really not the person to be compiling a list of summery fun beach reads.

So, I thought I would cheat a little.

2You know what has a beach? A deserted island. That’s where I’m taking this Tuesday Top Ten: I’ve been in a plane crash, or my boat has shipwrecked, or I’ve won some kind of contest where I get to spend a month on a deserted island (is this a prize or a punishment??) — and I’ve been left on a beach with no other person in sight. I’ve got a source of fresh water, trees loaded with fruit and nuts, and a knapsack with some very useful reading material, because I just so happened to have come prepared.

So, what books would be actually, genuinely useful if you’re stranded on the sandy stretches of a deserted island’s beach?

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The Tom Hanks Book Tag

Poking around on Instagram, I found this Tom Hanks Book Tag post that ~spoke to me emotionally. I love Tom Hanks, first of all. I firmly believe that the final few minutes of Captain Phillips, when he’s in the infirmary on the boat, is the best acting I’ve ever seen. I also love talking about books so HERE GOES —

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The Tom Hanks Book Tag

1. Big: A book you read when you were young that was intended for a more mature audience?

OH OKAY. I read The Shining when I was in fifth or sixth grade — it wasn’t too scary for me, it was way too sexual. I won’t get into it, but let’s just say, I was too young to be reading the word “seed” in that context. Gardening = forever changed.

2. Forrest Gump: Books are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. What book did you pick up not knowing anything about?

Most of them! Nearly every book I read, I go into with a proverbial blindfold tied over my eyes. I don’t know why, exactly, but I always have. I don’t want to know the blurb, the hook, the main character’s name, I don’t want any prior expectations — I just want to watch everything unfold naturally.

ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW WHAT’S REALLY FREAKY, NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT? This tendency, to go into things blindly, stems from when I saw the Tom Hanks movie The Green Mile in theaters! Up until that point, I would always know the basic plot line of every movie I went to see, because I loved movies and loved reading about them. But, for whatever reason, I had no idea what the Green Mile was about when I went to see it — I didn’t know it took place in a prison, let alone death row, I didn’t know it was a Stephen King story, I didn’t know anything. And I loved the experience of being totally surprised and totally immersed in an unexpected experience that I’ve tried to go into everything else as bright-eyed and ignorant ever since. THAT’S SO STRANGE. dang, tom hanks book tag, bringing my life full circle.

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